Thursday, July 22, 2010

Introducing 2011: Angie Smibert

Angie's debut novel, MEMENTO NORA, will be published by Marshall Cavendish in July 2011!


1. What was the inspiration behind MEMENTO NORA?

I’ve always been fascinated with memory for some reason. The idea for Memento Nora came from an article I read about current Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) research. Scientists are now testing particular drugs to loosen the grip of traumatic memories on PTSD sufferers. I took the idea to the extreme. What if you had a pill that could completely erase selective memories? What if that pill was available in a chain of little shops reminiscent of frozen yogurt places? What kind of world would give you frequent forgetting points every time you visited this shop?

2. Why do you think it's important to remember, and to keep your memories?

Memories are part of who you are. Would you be the same person if you could erase everything bad that happened in your life? I don’t know. I doubt it. In some cases, though, like particularly traumatic memories, forgetting probably wouldn’t be a bad thing. It might enable you to move on with your life.

3. You've worked a variety of jobs, how have any of them inspired your writing?

I’ve worked at some cool places over the years. NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Virginia Tech. The Environmental Protection Agency. My jobs have usually had two things in common. They combined my love of language and science. (I’ll fess up. I have a degree in biology as well as one in liberal studies.) Those loves no doubt influence my fiction writing. (Memento Nora is science fiction, if you haven’t guessed yet.) You won’t find any Space Shuttles or nuclear waste in this novel, but you might find characters inspired by people I’ve worked with over the years.

4. How did you create the world Nora lives in?

I started with the idea of the pill and the frozen-yogurt-like clinic and worked backward. I kept asking myself questions. What kind of society would encourage its people to forget? Who would profit? Why? Who would it hurt? Who would be the least likely person to buck the system?

5. In what ways do you relate to Nora?

That’s a good question. On the surface, Nora and I aren’t very much alike. She’s the popular, rich girl whose life comes crashing down around her. I was the solidly middle-class, nerd-girl who didn’t belong to any one clique in school. (I had friends in many different groups, but never belonged to one.) No life crashing happened. I guess I relate to Nora more as she becomes the person she never thought she’d be—and likes it. She has to push against the expectations of her friends and family and even her society and do what she thinks is right for her.


Thanks so much, Angie!

Click here to visit Angie's blog.


  1. Enjoyed the interview and this book sounds seriously good.

    I love reading how it came about...

    Thanks again for all the support of us 2k11'ers, Kelsey!

  2. I am so looking forward to this book's debut!

  3. She worked at NASA? Very cool! I like the sound of the book, I'll definitely be looking forward to it =)

    Nice interview!

  4. Angie Smibert is clearly one of the standout debut authors! Can't wait for this one!


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