Author Interview: Shaina Cilimberg

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Today we have one of our younger authors in GNFA, Shaina Cilimberg. She’s here to talk to us about her book: To Be Sane

Thank you for the interview Shaina, What inspired you to write this book?

I wanted to write a book with Selena having OCD (Obsesive Compulsive Disorder) and Asperger’s.  I want people to understand what we go through with those mental health conditions. I really wish I went more into it because there definitely needs to be awareness and better services for teens and adults with disabilities. Also, it would be nice for Christian teens to read Christian books acknowledge those two exist when so many claim its demon possession and following their own lusts. While it could be in some cases, not always. God made people with different abilities. Some come with our own cross to bear. SO it’s not fair for religious leaders to be like “oh…don’t take medicines” or for people to claim those on disability are just stealing money because that’s simply not true. Also, OCD is so much deeper than a teenage girl having, say, One Direction posters everywhere in her room. That’s not OCD. That’s a Direction and very “normal”. Also, I was inspired by Disney Channel’s Austin and Ally. I had written unpublished books in the past focused on music and am glad the show motivated me to once again write something like this. I really like writing about two kids who are performing in a band as opposed to the darker stuff I wrote about. However, the school shooting has impacted the male lead, Andy and readers will see why. I still write a lot on bullying and even explore suicide attempts and how both are connected. Both characters struggle with suicidal thoughts. Cyber bullying is a topic in this book, as well.

Wow, quite interesting and deep. Now,How did you come up with the title?

Selena, my main character, hates herself for her disabilities and she wants to be “sane”

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Rikki Strong or Megan Louise Linski. Both Indie writers

What are your current projects?

I’m considering breaking a rule in the series and writing about Josh’s college-aged rogue sister, Alice. I also might want to write about Selena’s BFF, Amanda

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I hope you enjoy my books and can relate to them. I love writing for teens. Other ages can enjoy them as well. Please leave a review if you like, because reviews are similar to tips!

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

First, Andy Young was in the first two books for brief moments. He is the male lead and lost weight. He also gained muscle and got a cool haircut. However, he is still bullied mercilessly. I want readers to realize everybody hurts and everyone gets bullied whether it’s being left out, shunned, put down, physical, mental, verbal and cyber. I also include him as a nerd and skater boy and want people to know there is nothing wrong with being both a Christian and skater/nerdy. I think parents should let their kids dress skater. I absolutely do. Also, I allow plenty moments for my characters to have fun, more than in the first two. I have my Christian teens have fun and that’s what they should be doing within the boundaries of obeying God.

About Shaina Cilimberg

Shaina Cilimberg is in her twenties and has been writing on and off since eleven.

She is trying to overcome her OCD and Asperger’s Syndrome in order to get a job someday.

She also takes college classes when she can.



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