Amazon sums up SILENCE like this:
Love Is Not Blind, It is Deaf.
Stella was born to sing. Someday Broadway. Even though she is only a sophomore at a new high school, her voice has given her the status as a cool kid. But then a tragic accident renders her deaf. She cannot hear herself sing not to mention speak. She cannot hear anything. Silence. What happens when everything you have dreamed of and hoped for is shattered in a single moment?
Enter Hayden, the boy with blonde curls who stutters. He is treated like an outcast because he is not normal. And, yet, Stella feels an attraction to him that she cannot explain. As Hayden reaches out to help Stella discover a world without sound his own tragic past warns him to keep a distance. But their connection is undeniable. Can the boy who stutters and the girl whose deaf find a happily-ever-after?
SILENCE is a story of friendship and hope with a lesson that sometimes it takes a tragedy to help us find beauty and love in unexpected places.
I sat down with Debby, laptop to laptop, to ask her some questions about life, her career, and SILENCE. And yes, Mod Squad. Because I know you all want to know, too, right?
Joy: SILENCE deals with some very serious issues: a girl rendered deaf from an accident; a boy who has been bullied because he stutters. How did you come to write this story?
Debby: I wanted to tell a story about a girl who loses her hearing and how this shatters her world. So many people, including teens, see themselves as what they are rather than who they are. Our preoccupation with social media only enhances this because we are reduced to single word descriptions instead of multi-dimensional individuals. Hayden is an outcast because he is different, yet it is his difference that allows them to communicate. The story grew from there.
J: I know that you are not only an awesome author but also a lawyer, an actress and singer/songwriter. (Yes, I am totally envious of all this! Not limited to your role on Mod Squad, because Linc. And Julie. But I digress) How much, if any, of the performer part of you did you give to Stella?
D: That Mod Squad episode was the first acting job I booked. It was many years ago, but I still remember how incredibly kind all of the actors were to me. As for Stella, I accessed that part of myself that loves to sing and perform, and I translated that to Stella’s world. I did not star in any of my high school’s musicals or plays, but my brother did, so I used the experiences he had to anchor Stella in reality. As an actor, the best moments are when you can lose yourself in the character, and I tried to share that in Stella’s portrayal of Maria.
J: You and I first met as debut authors in the Class of 2k9. Are there any similar themes in SILENCE and your debut, Jane in Bloom?
D: It’s amazing to think that it has been over six years since we joined the Class of 2k9. Even more incredible is the fact that so many of us are still close and still sharing our journeys with one another. Although JANE IN BLOOM and SILENCE are very different stories, they do share similar themes of loss, self-discovery and ultimately hope. Both books might make readers cry. I know I cried when I wrote them. A lot.
J: What advice do you have for aspiring writers/singers/actors/lawyers?
D: You’re funny, Joy! I’ll stick to the writer part. My advice to other writers is to believe in yourself and follow your dreams. There is room for everyone to tell a story because we all have a unique way of looking at the world. We just need to trust ourselves enough to share our stories.
J: What’s next for Deborah Lytton?
D: Right now, I’m focusing on the release of SILENCE as well as finishing a new young adult novel about two high school students who help each other through a very difficult time. It’s been an emotional and difficult book to write (a few more tears), but I hope it will be really powerful.
Thanks, Deborah Lytton!
For more info on Lytton and her books, go to: http://www.deborahlytton.com