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Suzanne Young is a high school teacher whose first five books went straight to the “novel graveyard.” But she kept writing, and perfecting her craft, and with her sixth effort she broke through to publishing success, in 2010. Since then she has published six young adult and crossover books, with three more on the way. In this interview we learn what kept Suzanne writing, and about her experience in working with three different major publishing houses.

Suzanne’s most recent novel “The Program” was released by Simon Pulse this summer, and deals with the sobering reality of teen suicide. Originally, Suzanne had planned a true-life novel on the subject, but decided instead to set the novel in a futuristic, slightly dystopian world where teen suicide has reached epidemic proportions. “The Program” is the government’s intended solution, with teens subject to close monitoring of their emotional state. At the first sign of depression a teen will be whisked off to “the Program” – and when they come back, they have retained only happy memories. Unfortunately, there are side effects. Ultimately, the theme of the book is hope, and it is Suzanne’s hope that the novel will help bring this subject out into the open.

Originally broadcast 7/26/13.


Monica Hadley is co-founder, host and producer of Writers' Voices on KRUU 100.1 fm in Fairfield, Iowa, a community low power radio station, and webmaster at

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