Virulent by Shelbi Wescott

April 17th, 2013 § 1 comment § permalink

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Author Shelbi Wescott has stopped by with a interview for her virtual book tour for Virulent!

About the book:

Describe your book in one sentence.

A post-apocalyptic adventure that takes place in a high school!

Give me a quick blurb about the book and do pitch on why you think readers will enjoy it.

The book is a fast-paced glimpse at the annihilation of the human race due to a fast acting virus—the result of an act of bio-terrorism. Lucy King, a senior in high school, becomes separated from her family and trapped inside her school as a war rages outside. As the days tick by, Lucy and the other survivors begin to piece together details about the virus and the people behind it. The truth will challenge everything Lucy has believed about her life and her family.

I wanted to write a book that I would enjoy reading; so I wanted to keep it action-packed, fun, with believable characters, and a plot that kept people guessing. My hope was that I could write something that was unputdownable.

How did you come up with the idea for the book?

That is a great story! So, I teach struggling readers as part of a ninth grade reading intervention class. There was one student who just hated every book I tried to get him to read. We read one post-apocalyptic book that I thought he’d love, but he said, “It was awful, I bet even you could write a better book.” He said it all flippantly…I bet he didn’t think that I would say, “Okay. You’re on.”

So, I had this student write a list of everything he wanted in a book. I took that list and from it Virulent was born.

When did you start writing it, and how long did it take you to finish it?

It was three years ago when I first started to write Virulent. But babies and work all conspired against me and I found myself putting it on the back burner. Then a group of students last year said to me, “We want you to finish this book before we graduate.” They’d read some sample chapters and I left them hanging. It was the fire I needed and so I got to work. When I really buckled down, it took me about nine months, with edits.

If your book was made into a movie, who would you want to play the main characters?

I have thought about this question so much and it’s kept me awake at night, really. I don’t have Hollywood actors and actresses in my brain as I’m writing my characters and so to take a step back and try to think of who would be good is challenging. I will say: I could see Logan Lerman as Grant. And I’d love Ben Affleck to play Lucy’s father. Maybe Emma Roberts as Lucy? But she could be too old too…I don’t know. It’s super hard! I’d love to hear fan ideas though!

About you as writer:

When did you begin writing?

When I first figured out how to string words together, I started writing stories. I’m a storyteller by nature and I figured out early that I loved holding people’s attention through the stories I could tell.

When did you first think, wow I have made it as a writer?

There are people out there reading my book who aren’t related to me. Someone picked up Virulent and thought, “Huh. This sounds good. I’ll read this.” And I didn’t pay them or bribe them or force them? That’s when anyone makes it as a writer, I think.

I really want my Safeway checker one day to be like, “Have a nice day…Shelbi Wescott…wait…are you the Shelbi Wescott who wrote that one book?” And then I’d get all embarrassed because the person who just rang up my six bottles of wine, tampons, and Gas-X, is the ONLY person to ever recognize me. That’s the way I think it will go down.

Do you have any special rituals you do when you sit down to write?

The strangest ritual in history: I need white noise. During the winter I keep a blow dryer on my feet during really intense scenes—it blocks out the rest of the world and keeps me warm! During the summer, I will use a fan. And in the fall or the spring, I’ll try to get the washing machine going or the dishwasher. White noise is my muse, my music. (After that, I enjoy wine. Or whisky. Or procrastination. I have to check Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, too.)

What advice would you give to aspiring writers out there?

This is an amazing time to be in publishing and to be a writer. The industry is undergoing a revolution and I feel like I’m a small part of that; the great news for writers is that they can join the change too! But nothing can happen until you finish your work. I wanted to be a writer, but I was so worried about rejection and failure that I kept myself from finishing things. Maturity helped get me over that hurdle and now I’m sad that I wasted so much time. Write. Write. Write. But better than that: Read. Read every day. Read everything. Devour books. Inhale them. Mimic them and write better than them too. And the best advice of all: Find people you love and trust who will give you honest feedback.

 

Silly questions:

Favorite color?

To look at: Yellow. To wear: Black.

Salty or Sweet?

Sweet. But I love to dip French fries in milkshakes – the best salty and sweet combo ever.

Favorite author?

I don’t have one per se. But my favorite author of the moment is Gillian Flynn. I can’t read her books fast enough…I want to volunteer to go mow her lawn or something so she can write faster.

Favorite book?

That’s like choosing a favorite child or a favorite ice-cream flavor. It should be illegal to choose.

One thing you cannot live without?

A pony-tail holder. I have visions of myself being this well-put-together woman who can walk confidently in heels and go an entire day without spilling food on her shirt. This person also knows how to fix her hair. But the reality is I can’t function in life if I can’t wear my hair in a pony-tail.

Vampire or werewolf?

That is a very good question. I won’t deny there is a mythical sexiness that vampires have that werewolves are lacking. I mean, vampires always appear so regal and all those years on earth led them to cultivating a taste for the finer things. There’s this idea that if a vampire can control his/her thirst, then they are ideal companions. Worldly and wise. But I’m always rooting for the underdog (no pun intended) and so I need to go with werewolves on this one. JK Rowling brought humanity to the werewolf and I think “True Blood” attempted to make shape-shifters sexy—but not to the extent of the vampire, yet. Perhaps for good reason, but regardless, there is something more to a werewolf; this notion of someone changing, unable to control that change, feeling vulnerable before and after. It’s so rich! It’s time…time for a werewolf revolution; werewolves will trend soon—it’s a niche that has yet to be overplayed.

That was my longest answer to anything this whole interview. That’s strikingly embarrassing and telling. Inner-geek has been revealed in full force!

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YA Science-Fiction/Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian
Date Published:  2/3/13

Lucy King is only an hour away from embarking on the most incredible vacation of her life: White sandy beaches in a tropical paradise, snorkeling and sunbathing in peaceful tranquility. But as Lucy looks forward to her trip, a sinister plot is unfolding that will demolish the world as she knows it. An unknown bioterrorist group unleashes a virus that virtually wipes out the earth’s population—leaving Lucy, and a small faction of survivors, trapped inside her high school to wait out the apocalypse.

War, looting, and death wreak havoc outside of her high school; but inside, the students must contend with a tyrannical and paranoid principal and their own struggles of being orphaned, frightened, and unsure of what the future will bring.

What begins as a basic fight for survival turns into a search for answers that will challenge everything Lucy has ever known about her life and her family.

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Shelbi Wescott

Shelbi Wescott is a high school Language Arts and Creative Writing teacher, a mother of two, a television junky, and a board game connoisseur. Her first book, “Virulent: The Release” was born from a challenge issued by her students to write a book that would interest them. When she isn’t writing or teaching, Shelbi can be found throwing unnecessarily elaborate birthday parties and officiating weddings. She is a fan of: Spanx, bourbon, Powell’s Books, and tabloid magazines.

Shelbi lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband (a local sports editor) and her two sons, Elliott and Ike.

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShelbiWescott


Twitter: https://twitter.com/Shelbispeaks


Tumblr: http://shelbispeaks.tumblr.com/

Justin Dennis Author Interview

March 14th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Through the Portal

Author Justin Dennis has stopped by today for a interview and to promote his book Through The Portal!

Book Description:

When Jem and Oliver accidentally fall through a portal to another world just before their first year of high school, they quickly discover that all is not well here. The first person they meet, a creepy old man named Atychis, almost gets them killed by a ferocious, fire-breathing dragon. They’re only narrowly saved when Sierra, a shy farm girl from a nearby town, uses illegal magic to help them escape. Allowed to stay with her family while they try to figure out a way back home, Jem and Oliver begin to learn of magic and the Regime that is oppressing it.

It isn’t until the Regime kills a woman that the three kids realize they have to do something to stop the Regime from taking over completely. After being framed for a crime they didn’t commit and banished from the town, Jem, Oliver, and Sierra take off on an adventure across this strange world in an attempt to defeat the Regime. New creatures and new kinds of magic are around every corner, but so are dangers that could have them wishing they were back safe at home.

Through the Portal is approximately 104,000 words and is the first in a trilogy.

One of the unique characteristics within Through the Portal is the use of sylph, a physical manifestation of magic that allows the user to manipulate it however they need while exerting minimal energy. Sylph makes transportation available through sylphcycles and sylphquads, and is just one of the exciting new concepts explored in this magical and complex world.

About the book:

Describe your book in one sentence.

A young, shy boy stumbles into a world of magic and is caught up in a war to save this new world.

Give me a quick blurb about the book and do pitch on why you think readers will enjoy it.

I think fantasy novels have become boring and predictable in how they handle magic. One of my goals with this novel was to mess with the rules of magic and upset the monotony of the fantasy genre.

It’s really an exciting book, though, because I can’t stand books that take hundreds of pages before they get interesting. Through the Portal starts enticing and ends the same way. The characters are lovable and surprises hide behind every corner.

How did you come up with the idea for the book?

I’ve always wanted to write something that takes place in a world that I could completely make up. Over time, the pieces for that story just slowly fell into place for me.

When did you start writing it, and how long did it take you to finish it?

I started writing in the Fall of my senior year of High School, so 2010, and finished in August of 2011 just before I went off to college.

If your book was made into a movie, who would you want to play the main characters?  

I honestly can’t think of any famous actors who fit the role of my characters. I think I might want some fresh faces—people no one has heard of yet.

About you as writer:

When did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing for as long as I remember. I don’t think I made anything semi-decent until early in high school, and even then nothing was longer than a short story. I tried one novel before this one, using similar names and places, but the plot made no sense and I just never finished it. This novel was my first full-length work that I really invested myself in and finished.

When did you first think, wow I have made it as a writer?

I think it first hit me this year as I was doing my taxes and I realized how many sales of my book there had really been. I’m not famous by any means, but I’ve sold what I consider to be a substantial amount of books and the fact that anyone else wants to read my writing is amazing to me.

Do you have any special rituals you do when you sit down to write?

There’s nothing really that I need to do. Sometimes I just sit in silence, other times I play instrumental music in the background like the Trans-Siberian orchestra, Lindsey Stirling, 2cellos, or David Garrett.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers out there?

Don’t give up. I’ve wanted to give up so many times, but you have to believe in your story and really work to make it the best it can be. Writing can be demoralizing, difficult, and unrewarding, but eventually it pays off. Never, ever give up. If your first try at a novel sucks, like mine did, write a better one.

Silly questions:

Favorite color?

Neon green! Bright, bright green is so eye-catching.

Salty or Sweet?

Sweet. Yum.

Favorite author?

Either JK Rowling or Philip Pullman.

Favorite book?

Either Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows or the Amber Spyglass. Trust me, I’ve had my debates as to which is better and I can never decide.

One thing you cannot live without?

My phone. I need to be connected to the internet at all times!

Vampire or werewolf?

Werewolf. Vampires are played out. Remus Lupin, anyone?

About Justin Dennis

Justin Dennis is a Seattleite going to college in sunny California. His major is a combination of creative writing and anthropology, but he also loves physics and science in general. He is a huge tech nerd who is obsessed with the newest and shiniest phones, tablets, and computers.

Writing occupies almost all of his time. His current work, the Through the Portal trilogy, is his effort to inspire good morals in an entertaining and exciting way. Through fantasy, he believes that important real world lessons can be conveyed effectively.

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Angelfire (Dark Angel #1) by Hanna Peach Author Interview

January 9th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

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 Author Hanna Peach has stopped by my blog today for an interview and a giveaway of her new book Angelfire (Dark Angel #1)!

About the book:

Describe your book in one sentence. 

Blades, magic and forbidden love – an epic adventure through a hidden world of angels and demons.

Give me a quick blurb about the book and do pitch on why you think readers will enjoy it.

Welcome to a world of hidden cities, borrowed magics, illegal night races, rebel angels and two thousand years of secrets. Alyx is a young female angel-warrior who becomes Guardian-bonded to a gifted mortal. They become our only hope in stopping an uprising led by the Archangel Michael.

Readers will love the strong kick-butt female heroine, the plot twists, the creepy villains, and that the adventure travels across many amazing cities around the world.

How did you come up with the idea for the book?

It started out with an idea around “what if angels were flawed, just like humans?” But the story evolved over time. What I started out with wasn’t the story that ended up into being.

When did you start writing it, and how long did it take you to finish it?

I started writing this book (and planning the series) 4 years ago.

If your book was made into a movie, who would you want to play the main characters?

Oh dear. I rarely watch movies so I have no idea about who the young actors are these days.

About you as writer:

When did you begin writing?

I first knew I wanted to be a writer when I was seven and have been writing ever since. I had an extremely encouraging English teacher who planted this seed.

When did you first think, wow I have made it as a writer?

I’m still waiting! Haha. My writing mentor (who published 21 books in his career) said that he was still waiting for the moment when he felt like a proper writer.

Do you have any special rituals you do when you sit down to write?

I must be well fed. When I write, I fall into a writing ‘bubble’ and will only be pulled back into reality when I’m starving – if I’m fed I can stay in my bubble for longer.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers out there?

1. Keep writing.

2. Keep reading and learning from the books you love but also from the books you hate.

3. Experiment. Break the rules. But be honest about what works and what doesn’t.

3 ½. Stop reading this and get back to writing!

Silly questions:

Favorite color?

Depends on the day and my mood. Today it is turquoise.

Salty or Sweet?

Sweet

Favorite author?

Oh dear… having to pick just one is like having to pick a favourite child! Overall, I’d have to say, Cassandra Clare. Her world building is epic. And I love how she has fit her prequel (The Infernal Devices) so amazingly into her Shadowhunter world.

Favorite book?

Again, with the picking a favourite child thing… Can I choose two? Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

One thing you cannot live without?

Notebook and pens – they are everywhere, by my bed, in the kitchen, in my handbag, in my hair… you get the point.

Vampire or werewolf?

Vampire – I’d love to be able to fly. And my long hair already gets everywhere; I don’t need the added hairiness issues of being a werewolf!

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Title: Angelfire

Series: Dark Angel

Author: Hanna Peach

Published: November 22, 2012

Format: E-book

Genre: New Adult Urban Fantasy/Paranormal

Length: ~90,000 words

Blurb:

An army of angels walk among us. They have kept us safe and ignorant, so far.

Earthbound for centuries and ruled by the Elders, they have established hidden cities, a society and The Code: obey your Elders, kill all demons, eliminate Rogue-angels, protect the mortals, remain hidden. Their warriors are the ungifted earthborn angels armed with blades and the ‘borrowed magics’ of distilled angel-blood tattoos.

Alyxandria is a young warrior with a fondness for customized knives and illegal night-races. If only she could overcome the taint of her parents who abandoned her to become Rogues.

When Alyx saves Israel, a gifted mortal with a past, she is forbidden to see him again. But she can’t help herself, drawn to him through their Guardian-bond, an ancient and long-forgotten bond; if he dies, she dies.

An encounter with a handsome Rogue leaves Alyx questioning all she has been taught to believe. Alyx begins to dig into the Elders’ secrets. Two thousand years of secrets that begin with the death of the Archangel Raphael. She is not prepared when she uncovers an Elder’s dark plan.

Somewhere on earth is a key to unlock hell. Somewhere on earth are pieces of an amulet that controls Lucifer and his army. Somehow Israel is the link and now both sides are after him. Who can Alyx trust when Good and Evil is no longer clear?

The war for earth begins.

EXCERPT 

“This is going to sound crazy.” She presses her palm to her forehead.

He laughs softly. “Remember who you’re talking too.”

“Right,” she says. “I think it’s time I admitted some things to you. But you have to promise not to freak out or get angry before I finish, okay?”

“Okay.”

“Remember the last time we met, you asked me how I happened to come by the alley in time to save your life…”

“A lucky coincidence.”

“It wasn’t. I knew you would be there, I knew you were being attacked.”

Israel frowns. “How?”

Alyx takes a deep breath – no turning back now -and begins to tell him about her visions of him. Then to prove she isn’t lying she describes each one.

“Let me get this straight,” he says. “You see things through my eyes?”

“Essentially, yes. That’s how I knew where to find you then. And tonight.”

“Do you hear my thoughts as well?”

“Just whatever thoughts you have at the time.”

“That is…” his eyes blaze at her, “…so frickin’ cool.”

Her mouth parts as she sucks in air, realizing that she has been holding her breath. “You think so?”

“Think about it Alyx. You have been inside my body, felt my heart beating as if it were your own, felt how I feel, thought as I thought. You know what it’s like for me.” He leans forward as he speaks, grabbing her hands. “You don’t just know me, you know me.”

Alyx swallows, hard. His eyes have a way of making her feel like she is underdressed. Alyx wonders for a moment whether he can see inside her as she does him.

 

About the Author:

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A writer of fantastical things, especially stories with fangs, magic or wings.

I want to tell you tales that will rip away the glamour from your life, keep you running and fighting and gasping long past the devil’s hour and maybe, just maybe, reality will look a little bit different when you return.

Sit with me around this witchlight. Let me tell you a story.

Find out more about her at:

Facebook

Website/blog

Amazon – Kindle

Goodreads

Giveaway!

One lucky winner shall receive a digital copy of the book (in Kindle or ePUB format).
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In The Shadow of Vesuvius Blog Tour Kick Off!

June 18th, 2012 § 2 comments § permalink

Today is the tour kick off for In The Shadow of Vesuvius!  Author Liz Carmichael has stopped by today with an interview.  Check it out!

About the book:

Describe In The Shadow of Vesuvius in one sentence.

“A fifteen-year-old slave fights to save the child she loves before Mount Vesuvius buries their town.”

Give me a quick blurb about the book and do pitch on why you think readers will enjoy it. 

“It’s 27 August 79 CE and Vesuvius has awakened.

One year earlier, Mira, a fifteen-year-old slave, had a vision of the eruption’s death and destruction.

To save her life, and that of her young charge, she must escape her stubborn owner, and flee from Herculaneum – or share the town’s fate when Mount Vesuvius sends its searing death and burial raging down the mountain.”

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This is a good fast read for those who enjoy some history in their stories as well as adventure, and a little romance. Written initially for young adults, it appeals to all ages.

How did you come up with the idea for the book?

It came to me after reading that a young slave (the archeologists new this because of the wear to her shoulder bones), with a child wearing gold a chain in her arms, had been found during the uncovering of Herculaneum. It saddened me so much I had to write them into life.

When did you start writing it and how long did it take you to finish?

The first draft of the story was written several years ago, and it was put aside and picked up again many times, reworked and rewritten until I came up with this version. Each time I thought I would have to let it go – it wouldn’t let me.

Since the book is based on a historical event, did you have to do a lot of research to write it?

There were many, many months of research. I read every book I could get hold of about Plinian eruptions (fortunately Pliny sent an account to his nephew, who added what he saw that day). I also studied as much detail as I could find on how people lived in that era. My daughter brought books on the destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum from her trip to Italy. There is a New Zealand site set up to allow a virtual tour of streets and some houses of Herculaneum, as it is now, that was a great help http://proxima_vertati.auckland.ac.nz/herculaneum/index.htm

If your book was made into a movie, who would you want to play the main characters?

That’s a hard one. I hadn’t thought about it until you asked. Putting on my thinking cap I came up with two choices for Mira: Abigail Breslin or Leyton Meestar. And two for Levi: Brett Delbuono or Aaron Johnson.

About you as writer:

When did you begin writing in general?

I began writing while still at school, but it wasn’t considered a career. When my children were young I took it up again, and enrolled in a “Writing for Children” course. Though the tutor said I was good, I didn’t really believe her and left the course.  But the writing bug doesn’t let you walk away.

When did you first think, wow I have made it as a writer?

Seeing my short stories published gave me a hint. Being accepted into the Professional Writing and Editing course was the first time I believed I was on the right path.

Do you have any special rituals you do when you sit down to write? 

Funny you should ask: I’ve only just realized I do have a ritual – or two. First is the morning shower, breakfast, checking and responding to emails, and then I can relax. Next is opening a notepad at a new page – I like to make reminder notes as I go, about any research needed – and have fresh coffee within in reach. To get me started I go over what I wrote the previous day, which means no staring at a blank screen.  Sometimes I write with music playing, other times I may need silence.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers out there?

Study. Study. Study: Learn all you can about the craft of writing until you make it your own, then: Write. Write. Write.  Know the “rules” inside out (then you can do your own thing), and never give up.

Silly questions:

Favorite color? Red

Salty or Sweet? Salty

Favorite author? Just one?  Vanora Bennett, Sarah Dunant, Sara Donati, Hilary Mantel. Recently Suzanne Collins has joined the list

Favorite book? Wolf Hall – couldn’t put it down. But I have to add The Hunger Games series, great writing, and great reading.

Vampire or werewolf? Werewolf

I wish to thank Rachel for organizing this book tour, for being a total professional all the way through, and for these great questions. It has been a treat to work with her.

Author Links:

Website

Purchase on Amazon for Kindle

Purchase on Amazon in Paperback

Purchase on Barnes & Noble

The Propheticus Blog Tour Kick Off

June 18th, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

Today is the tour kick off for Propheticus: The Magitori De Sangue by Emma Daley.  Today she has stopped by for an interview!

About the book:

Describe Propheticus: The Magitori de Sangue in one sentence.

A prophetic story from another time and place, that is a total escape from this world.

Give me a quick blurb about the book and do pitch on why you think readers will enjoy it. 

Propheticus is the story about a naive young girl, sheltered on another planet in an ancient setting. When Aniah, the main character, discovers a stranger in the desert outside their ranch on the planet Delucia, her whole world changes; she experiences love, fear and horror for the first time. It’s really exciting discovering these characters and the mystery behind them and the world that you get to escape into is just something else.

 How did you come up with the idea for the book?

It was a strange dream I had when I lived in Alaska and it really stuck with me. The dream was about one little blurb from the book and the rest of it just came together as I discovered my characters and what made them who they were.

When did you start writing Propheticus and how long did it take you to finish?

I began Propheticus in November of 2008 and it took me three months to write the rough draft, then a year to perfect it and then another year to piece together and publish it. I have never written anything that fast. It was exciting.

If your book was made into a movie, who would you want to play the main characters?

I have put a lot of thought into this J. I am pretty set on Natalie Portman for Aniah, the main character, love her. For Novell, the love interest, I have gone back and forth a bit and I think it might have to be a new face, but I do like Sam Worthington because of his role in Avatar and I like his maturity, I think it works well for the part. I’d be open to opinions on that. Dyna is an important role that I think needs to be mentioned and I really love the look of Diane Kruger for her. And Jonahs, from the second and third books, would have to be someone dangerous and sexy so I’d go with Kellan Lutz.

 

About you as writer:

When did you begin writing in general?

I was writing poems when I was eight or nine. I tinkered with the idea of writing books after High School when a teacher encouraged me and would start books on any old dinosaur computer that I came across; at work, at school. I even moved to Hawaii for three months with the idea to sit on the beach and write my first book. But I never started anything substantial until Propheticus.

 

When did you first think, wow I have made it as a writer?

When book three in the series came out. Until then I had been too busy to even register what I was doing and the magnitude of it. When the series was finished and I opened that proof copy for the last book, that was it; it hit me, I completed one story.

 

Do you have any special rituals you do when you sit down to write?

A fizzy drink, a snack by my side, a word document up, Facebook for encouragement, an extra search page and my headphones with iTunes up. That is my ritual. It has to be done at night of course.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers out there?

Just keep writing. Literally, through anything, if you write when you are emotional that is great, write when you are happy, write when something moves you. You really can achieve anything that you desire badly enough to keep doing it. I believe that. I’m going to produce films one day now, that’s my next feat and I know I will do it.

 

Silly questions:

Favorite color? Black.

Salty or Sweet? Both mixed.

Favorite author? Paulo Coelho. First book I ever read that inspired the crap out of me, “The Alchemist”.

Favorite book? The Alchemist.

Vampire or werewolf? How about something in between. I want something new J. Always.

Thank you so much Emma for stopping by!  Make sure you check out the tour schedule here.

 

Author Links:

Propheticus Blog

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Paperback

Facebook

Twitter

 

 

 

Interview with Author Kymberlee Burks-Miller

June 16th, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

Author Kymberlee Burks-Miller has stopped by today for an interview!

About the book:

Describe your book in one sentence.. 

*A book about familial love, with vampires and witches thrown in for good measure!

Give me a quick blurb about the book and do pitch on why you think readers will enjoy it.

*A college girl finds out a family secret that could get her killed. I think that readers could relate to the journey of self discovery and young love with a hint of magic.

How did you come up with the idea for the book?

*The Moon Coven Series was born of personal experiences, family, and dreams.

When did you start writing it, and how long did it take you to finish it?

*I began mapping the whole series ten years ago, and finally put pen to paper about four years ago. I still have to write the last full length novel in the series.

If your book was made into a movie, who would you want to play the main characters?

* Lilyann Moon~Evangeline Lilly and Mason Shaw~Jared Padalecki

About you as writer:

When did you begin writing?

* I began when I was little writing in a purple diary that my Auntie got me for Chrsitmas.

When did you first think, wow I have made it as a writer?

* I still don’t think that,LOL.

Do you have any special rituals you do when you sit down to write?

* Coffee, iPod, and fuzzy socks.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers out there?

*Write. Often and about varying topics.

Silly questions:

Favorite color?

* That’s simple, pink!

Salty or Sweet?

* Salty~Salt and Vinegar chips ROCK! LOL

Favorite author?

* LJ Smith

Favorite book?

* It changes frequently, but right now it’s Heart of Valor

One thing you cannot live without?

*COFFEE <3

Vampire or werewolf?

* Vampire

 

Author Links:

Website

Facebook

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Interview with Author Shannon Greenland

May 7th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

After your successful, award-winning 5-book series The Specialists, you’re coming out with a fresh novel for young adults. What inspired you to write The Summer My Life Began, and what’s it about?

Answer: I think every young person goes through a point in her life where she figures out who she really is and what she really wants out of life. This book is about that magical summer when that epiphany moment happens for Em, my main character.

The romance is surely a fun aspect of the book, and let’s face it – who doesn’t love a little romance? How do you create chemistry between fictional characters?

Answer: Conflict is the key to great chemistry.

You tried your hand at cooking quite a bit while writing the book. What’s one of your favorite recipes?

Answer: In the book Em makes a sausage breakfast pie that is to die for.

Your main character Em comes from a strict family. What was your life like growing up?

Answer: Oh, gosh, I’m from a small town in TN. My life was all about farming, hillbilly speak, tough guys that drove real trucks, and cruising the K-Mart parking lot on a Saturday evening.

How did writing The Summer My Life Began differ from your Specialists series?

Answer: The Specialists series has so many characters with diverse subplots. The Summer My Life Began is a stand-alone novel, so I knew I had to create the story arc in the span of 200+ pages. It sounds simple, but looking back, it was almost harder than writing an entire series.

What was your favorite scene to write in the new book?

Answer: I loved writing all the scenes with Cade and Em. They are too great together!

You teach middle school math but you also have another connection to schools in that you often are asked to be a guest speaker. What topics do you cover?

Answer: I’ve done Q&A’s, talks on plotting books, and a fun presentation on a day in the life of an author.

What’s next for you? Please tell me you have more books in the works!

Answer: Oh, I’m always working on something. Mums the word, though, or my agent will kill me!

To find out more about Shannon Greenland, and her books, check out these links below:

Shannon’s website

Follow her on twitter @ShannonGreenlan

Follow her on facebook

Become a fan on goodreads

 

This interview was brought to you by JKS Communications.

 

Interview with Chrystalla Thoma Author of Rex Rising (Elei’s Chronicles)

March 13th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Today we have an interview with Chrystalla Thoma, author of Rex Rising (Elei’s Chronicles).

 Rex Rising is such a unique story how did you come up with it?

Chrys: Thank you! Well, I happened to discover Elei’s journal… in a way. I had read a lot about parasites, and had many ideas about the world of Rex Rising, and then I wanted to write a story from the point of view of someone who knows just as much as the writer about what is going on. And Elei was born – fleeing, hurt, wondering what the heck happened and why everyone is after him.

These days, young adult fiction tends to be more about paranormal beings like vampires and werewolves.  What made you decide to write a young adult science fiction novel?

Chrys: My innate spirit of contradiction? lol. Honestly, I love vampires and shifters and what-have-you, and I am planning paranormal stories (I have also published a YA Urban Fantasy novella with MuseItUp Publishing and have another coming out this year – I’m not dead-set on science fiction!).

But I do like sci-fi because it is based on hard facts from which to extrapolate. In some ways, it requires more work, more research, more knowledge about our world before the story comes together. I like that – and the fact that ideas proposed in the book may be true, or come true some day.

 You seem to have created a fully fleshed out world for Elei.  How long did it take you to create the world and did you do any research on parasites?

Chrys: It took me a long time to flesh out the idea of how these parasites behaved. That was the main thing I did my research about (well, also about the world itself, but I can’t say more without spoilers…)

It took years, but that wasn’t a problem for me, because I always have many writing projects running simultaneously – for instance, during those years of research for this series, I was writing an epic fantasy series and the urban fantasy novella I mentioned above, as well as lots of short stories.

 What can we expect in the next book Rex Cresting?

Chrys: Blood and tears and pain… I love torturing my favorite characters. At the end of Rex Rising, there is a promise that the danger and the running and bleeding is over. But there is also a tiny hint that nobody knows if it’s over or not. Well, in Rex Cresting we know for sure it isn’t over yet. In fact, all that happened in Book 1 is just the beginning…

How many books will be in Elei’s Chronicles?

Chrys: It’s going to be a trilogy. However, there will be quite a few satellite books. There is already “Hera” recounting the events that brought Hera to the resistance. There will be at least one book from Kalaes’ point of view, also of older events. More shorter stories are being planned about other characters in the series. Finally, a companion book is also in the works, covering everything from world building, to recipes, to the origin of names, to science topics, etc.

How did you get into writing?

Chrys: As a child, I had a lot of time in my hands and a great love for fantastic stories. The rest, as they say, is (hi)story. :)

What advice would you have for young writers out there looking to write science fiction or fantasy?

Chrys: The same advice I have for every writer in any genre: write what you love, what you’d like to read.

What are some of the other novels that you have written?

Chrys: I have written the first two books in a trilogy of epic fantasy – with dragons and elves (though not the usual kind, these are based on Greek myths and legends), and I have planned a Steampunk trilogy with vampires. All I need now is time to get everything done! :)

Thank you very much for having me here today!

Thank you Chrystalla, I cannot wait for what you have in store for all of us!  Make sure you check out Rex Rising, and the follow up Rex Cresting which was just released on March 8, 2012!

Interview with R.K. Ryals author of the Redemption Series

February 16th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I am super honored to have the chance to interview R.K. Ryals author of the Redemption Series.  For more information about R.K. Ryals and her amazing books make sure you check out her blog and her facebook page.

How did you get into writing?

My family didn’t have a lot of money growing up. We had a television, but only got local stations. Even then, they were usually static-filled. When I was five, my mother took my twin sister and I to our local library and signed us up for our first library card. It opened up a magical world for me. Books take even the most humble of people to the most epic of places. I already had a love of stories. This I inherited from my grandmother who used to tell my sister and I story after story about her childhood. She was an incredible storyteller. I actually considered myself a storyteller before I even knew what writing was. I love history, old stories of minstrels and bards who didn’t have the luxury of paper, only word of mouth. And yet those stories have survived, grown, become epic. It was from telling my sister stories while lying in bed at night that I really got into writing. My mother overheard us, and she gifted me with some writing supplies. Pencil and paper gave me wings. I’ve been writing since.

How did you get the idea for Redemption?

I know this may seem really funny to some, but the idea for Redemption actually came from watching my oldest two daughters (8 and 3) fight over a DSi. I suggested they flip a coin for it. While watching them do this, a line popped into my head:

I wasn’t just tied to the beast, we were somehow part of the same person. The freakishly opposite sides of the same f-ing coin.

I often think in terms of dialogue or first person POV. I had developed a fascination with paranormal fiction, and I already knew I wanted to write a book based on that genre. At odd moments during the day, thoughts can just run through my head, and I’ll write them down. The entire series is based off these two sentences. And, what was supposed to be one book, became three.

A lot of YA novels tend to have the love story between the two main characters start off right away.  Why did you decide to let the relationship between Dayton and Marcas grow before they actually kissed?

I’ll be honest, I’m not a big fan of fast “love at first sight” relationships. I do know they have happened, and I have read a lot of books where it is done well, but I didn’t see Dayton falling quickly in love. She is too independent, and she had to deal with a lot of grief and personal revelations. Love, for her, was something that had to find its way past all of that. Also, Marcas was originally never supposed to be a part of the Redemption Series (I know, right). He just happened, for me and for Dayton. And, I am very glad that he did.

Dayton is such a strong character.  Is she somewhat based off yourself or a friend?

Dayton is somewhat based on myself. I lost my mother in 2005, and I drew on that for her grief. Her relationship with Monroe is VERY similar to my relationship with both my best friend and my twin. But, mainly Dayton is what I wish I could be at times. She is strong, independent, and she is resilient. It’s traits I like to think I have, but I know I probably fall short. The wonderful thing about being a writer is that I can be her for awhile, can adopt her mannerisms, and experience her adventure.

What can we expect to happen in your final installment of the series Retribution?

There will be a lot of loose ends tied up in Retribution. There will be more surprises. And there will be a lot of soul searching. It will be fast-paced and emotional.

How has the reaction to the series been so far?  Has it been what you expected?

I have gotten a better reaction to the series than I thought I would actually. The writing world is brutal. There are millions of writers trying to break into the same business. I am attempting the traditional route, but as I wrote queries and sent them off, received a few rejections and sent more queries off, my best friend sent me a link about self-publication. I didn’t give it much thought until I was introduced to my editor in NC, Melanie Bruce, by my sister who used to work with her at a college up there. She encouraged me to self-publish as well. I took the plunge. Self-publishing comes with its own stigmas as well as a bundle of hard work. Without traditional backing, you are responsible for your own promotions and etc. which is difficult with limited funds, but this journey has been an awesome one. The characters in Redemption are strong enough that they’ve carried me through. People have really warmed up to Dayton. They seem genuinely interested in what happens to her, and this means a lot to me. Also, Marcas and the supporting cast (Monroe and Conor) have gotten huge responses that I didn’t expect. This means a lot because my characters have become part of my life.

Do you have any other novels planned after Retribution?

I do. I actually received a lot of response about both Conor and Monroe from the Redemption Series, especially Conor. Because of this, I am currently working on a spin-off book for him that I hope to release around the same time as Retribution. I also have plans for Monroe, and I have been working on the idea for a fantasy series that I may attempt as well.

If a movie was made for Redemption who would you want to play the characters?

This is hard because many of the people I could see playing characters for Redemption may actually be too old for the part. For Dayton, I could see someone like Emma Stone portraying her. As for the rest of the characters, I’m not sure. They are so “vivid” in my head that it’s hard to really pin down actresses/actors. But boy, I’d love to see the Redemption characters come to life so it would be fun to find people to play them.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors out there?

Be tough. Have a hide like an armadillo. Never give up. Hold your head high. Rejections in any field of entertainment, be it books or other, are brutal. There are Indie routes, but if you choose these, please make sure you edit and revise, edit and revise, then edit and revise some more just for good measure. Indies are scrutinized more for this than a traditional published writer. Make connections, and keep those connections strong. Some of the most loyal people you will meet and your greatest allies are other writers, editors, and bloggers. They are incredible people. And they know what your struggles are. My mother gave me the greatest advice once though when I used to throw my work away, and she “rescued” it. She told me, “What you considered trash, I considered genius.” What some people may hate, others will love. So keep at it. Stay passionate.

 

 

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