Book Spotlight, Interview & Excerpt City of Thieves by Audrey Cuff Ed.D.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Title: City of Thieves
Author: Audrey Cuff Ed.D.
Series: Ashley Brown Series
Genre: Ethnic
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing
Publication Date: August 28 2012

When Ashley Brown was five years old, her parents left her in the care of her grandma, though her mother promised to return for her. At fourteen, Ashley is still living with her grandmother in Highland, a city on the outskirts of Maryville, a place known as the "ghetto."
Ashley has shadowy memories of her mother taking her to her favorite place, the library. Reading a good book allows Ashley to escape her poverty and crime infested community. One afternoon after listening to the Mayor's press conference, Ashley discovers that the Mayor is taking away the community library. In spite of being put on punishment for a week by her grandma for defending herself from the school bullies, Ashley feels it is worth the risk to sneak out of her apartment to mail a letter she has written to the Mayor about keeping the library open.
Every day homeless people approach her and beg for something to eat or for money. The most frequent requests come from two disheveled individuals Ashley has nicknamed "Orphan Annie" and the "business-man bum." As if escaping the homeless people isn't enough, there are a bunch of bullies who harass Ashley. One day, the bullies chase her into an alley. They force her to the ground and Ashley is afraid of what could have happened next. This is one time Ashley wished she listen to her grandma.

Tell us the story behind the story. What inspired you to write this novel? 

I was inspired when I read a newspaper article about the mayor closing the libraries in the inner city, and stealing the people in the community education and way of life.

Tell us about the book cover. How does it represent your book? How did you choose the artwork? 

The book cover was designed by wild child publishing. 

“That stupid Mayor. I don’t believe it! She’s shutting down the library. The only library we have in this community and replacing it with some, some business store,” Grandma yelled. She scowled at the TV. “I don’t believe the stupid Mayor. You see what I mean about people in power making decisions that ruin your life, and you have no say about anything.” 
“Oh, oh, Grandma, that’s so terrible. The library is the only place I have left that’s positive in  the community.” 
“Ashley, don’t you get it? They don’t give a hoot about people from our neighborhood. All they care about is making money off of the poor,” she said.
 Then a quick flash the Mayor came on the television. Suddenly, my knees felt weak and heavy. I felt like I was ready to collapse.
“Grandma, what is, is the Mayor’s name?” I asked. I struggled not to stumble.
“I’m not for sure. Some person name Baldwin, a Mrs. Baldwin I guess. Oh watch they are showing that evil witch on television right now,” Grandma said. She glared at the television. Grandma was going nuts.
I desperately tried not to break down, Grandma didn't have a clue that I’d met Mrs. Baldwin, and I wasn't about to tell her. Luckily, Grandma was going crazy about the Mayor; she didn't notice that I’m emotionally falling apart.

I am a special teacher in the south jersey school district.  I have been special education teacher for the past eleven years. I teach psychology to 9th grade students. My students nominated me for the Outstanding American Teachers. I am the author of the book City of Thieves which is one of a three book series called the Ashley Brown series. My certifications include teacher of psychology, teacher of special education, and supervisor of education.  City Thieves is part of a series called the Ashley Brown series.

I would like to welcome Audrey to the blog today. She is going to share a little bit with us about herself and her Novel City of Thieves.

Audrey can you tell us a little bit about yourself?  

I am a special education teacher at a high school in South Jersey. I have been teaching psychology for the past 11 years. I am a vegetarian.   I enjoy quite evening at home with family.  My hobbies consist of running, going to the movies and of course writing. I have two children, and two grandchildren. 

While writing City of Thieves did you work with an outline or just write?  

No, I just write as my thoughts flow. 

How did you choose the genre you write in or did it choose you? 

The genre chose me. I got the idea to write my book from a disturbing article in the newspaper. 

Is there anything in City of Thieves based on real life experiences or purely imagination? 

Yes, after reading a newspaper article about the mayor closing the libraries in the inner city, I became very upset. 

How did you come up with the title City of Thieves?  

When I realized that the mayor  was closing the libraries in the inner city was stealing the people in the community education and way of life.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment? 

The toughest criticism always turns out to be the best criticism if you take what is true from it and leave the rest. I was told my book was only geared to a certain audience and that is true if you are judging the book by its cover!!  The best compliment was that I am a gifted writer.

Have you always wanted to be a writer? If so who or what was your inspiriation? 

No, however, my 7th grade teacher introduced me to the world of writing.  

Do you believe that writing changes lives? 

Absolutely, if you read the right book at the right time it could change your life forever. I know it happen to me.

Just for Fun

Night Owl or Early Bird? 

I am a night owl

Salty or Sweet? 

I love sweet things

Beach or Mountains? 

I love the mountains.

Favorite Quote?  

If you are looking for a certain book and can’t find it, you are obligated to write it.

Favorite Food? 

My favorite foods are all kinds of seafood and vegetables. 

Places to find Audrey

Her Website

Places to find City of Thieves

Barnes and Noble
Wild Child Publishing 


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