Blogger Widgets
Blog design and digital scrapbooking elements created by Adori Graphics »

Friday, October 17, 2014

2AMC: Rachel Wilson, author of Don't Touch


We have here today the author of Don't Touch which was described by Kirkus Reviews as “An insightful look at anxiety disorders and letting go of fear.” So without further ado, here's Rachel Wilson.


About Writing:
While you were in the process of writing this book, have you ever doubted yourself or second guessed the reason why you are writing this story? If yes, how did you overcome those obstacles?

Um, absolutely! During grad school at Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA), I dismantled Don’t Touch and put it together from scratch, doing a near-complete rewrite. I had to ask myself whether I’d ever find the material that would stick. If I’d been writing in a vacuum, I could easily have come to the conclusion that I was doomed to never finish since I was struggling so much. But that’s part of the process, and seeing other writers going through the same thing proved that. For me, the best antidote to doubt is to surround myself with other writers. Feeling their energy and passion for writing allows me to tap into it again, and it’s the best reminder that writing often feels like wrestling and that’s okay.

I don’t know that I second-guessed my reasons for writing the story, but I did discover new reasons in revision as I came to understand the story better. Being open to those discoveries led me in interesting directions and added layers. 

About Getting Published:
As an aspiring author, hearing about how authors got published is always fascinating and inspiring for me. So can you tell us your journey to publication? And what was the first thing you did or said after you got the news about the book deal?

I met my future agent, Sara Crowe, at an alumni event at VCFA, where she heard me read from Don’t Touch. She seemed to love my reading, and I went out to dinner with her and some of her clients and got the feeling she’d be great to work with. Still, I revised for another year or so before querying. When I finally did, she was thankfully still much enthused. Don’t Touch sold at auction not long after that. There were so many stages to finding out about the deal—interest from the editor, an acquisitions meeting, an editorial meeting, a phone call—that I can’t pinpoint a moment when I got the news. But when a friend messaged me that the deal had been posted in Publisher’s Weekly, it suddenly felt very real. I’d been checking messages in my car while parked, and I finished up and started driving, but I soon realized I was too emotional to drive and had to pull over. I’m not the most emotional person, so all that week when I had all these feelings that I didn’t know what to do with, I’d watch sad episodes of Grey’s Anatomy for the express purpose of crying.

About Being an Author:
Tell us what it's like to be a published author? What was your most favorite moment in this whole experience, aside from seeing and holding a physical copy of your book?

It’s not terribly different from being an unpublished author except that there’s more awareness from both friends and strangers that when I say I’m writing, I mean it. That’s a pretty nice change because a lot of the time when you tell people you write, they assume you mean that you intend to write, one day, when you have time but that at this very moment, you’re incredibly busy watching Netflix. Once there’s a published book, you have physical proof that you’ve actually been doing all this writing. And there’s awareness on my part that people I don’t know are reading my book and having opinions about it. That can be scary but fun too. One reader made a fan mix for Don’t Touch, and that made me feel so awesome I wanted to hug her. My friends have also been incredibly supportive—they were excited for me before, but the book actually coming out made it all more real. My favorite moment has probably been having champagne with my family and a bunch of family friends on the night of my Birmingham book launch. The event was over, books had sold, people had seemed to have fun, and celebrating with a smaller group of people I love so much was something I’ll never forget.

About the Book:
Just like superheroes, I think it's safe to say that books also have an origin story before they became what they are right now. It might have started out as a thought, an experience, a dialogue you heard, a conversation with a friend, or an idea that has been plaguing your brain for quite some time. So tell us, what's your book's origin story? And what made you decide to write it?

If my book were a superhero, it would be one that went through a shocking mutation. I knew I wanted to write about OCD because it had such an impact on me as a kid, but the story changed shape over time. For a while, the book that would become Don’t Touch was called Manatee and featured—yes, a manatee—as well as a ballet dancer who breaks both her legs. As I zeroed in on the story, it became more and more compelling to me so that I’m not sure I ever decided to tell this particular story. It evolved into what it is now very gradually.


About the Author:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Rachel M. Wilson received her MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Don't Touch(HarperTeen) is her first novel. Her eerie digital short, The Game of Boys and Monsters, recently came out with HarperTeen Impulse. Originally from Alabama, Rachel now writes, acts, and teaches in Chicago, Illinois.
Title: Don't Touch
Genre/s: YA, Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | Book Depository

Summary:

A powerful story of a girl who is afraid to touch another person’s skin, until the boy auditioning for Hamlet opposite her Ophelia gives her a reason to overcome her fears.

Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. Touch another person’s skin, and Dad’s gone for good.

Caddie can’t stop thinking that if she keeps from touching another person’s skin, her parents might get back together... which is why she wears full-length gloves to school and covers every inch of her skin.

It seems harmless at first, but Caddie’s obsession soon threatens her ambitions as an actress. She desperately wants to play Ophelia in her school’s production of Hamlet. But that would mean touching Peter, who’s auditioning for the title role—and kissing him. Part of Caddie would love nothing more than to kiss Peter—but the other part isn't sure she's brave enough to let herself fall.

Perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson, this debut novel from Rachel M. Wilson is a moving story of a talented girl who's fighting an increasingly severe anxiety disorder, and the friends and family who stand by her.
Book Trailer



GIVEAWAY 
US Only (Until November 17)

2AMC: Amy Talkington, author of Liv, Forever


Today, we have the award-winning filmaker, screenwriter and now, debut author of Liv, Forever. Her novel was described by Kendare Blake as, "...that special kind of story that manages to be both morbid and sweet." Let us all welcome, Amy Talkington.


About Writing:
While you were in the process of writing this book, did you ever doubt yourself or second guess the reason why you are writing this story? If yes, how did you overcome those obstacles?

Initially I imagined LIV, FOREVER as a screenplay/movie (that's my day job, screenwriting). I spent a long time working out the story outline and, as I did, I realized I wanted to write it as a book. Because I was working off a very detailed outline, I never questioned or second guessed the story but I DID question AND second guess my ability to write it in novel form. I've written short stories, numerous screenplays and articles for magazines but LIV, FOREVER was my first novel so there was a lot of doubt about my ability to pull that off.

How did I push through? I had to! I was lucky enough to sell the book off the outline so I had a deadline. Looming deadlines always help!

About Getting Published:
As an aspiring author, hearing about how authors got published is always fascinating and inspiring for me. So can you tell us your journey to publication? And what was the first thing you did or said after you got the news about the book deal?

I had an unconventional path. Once I realized that I thought LIV, FOREVER would make a great book, . I reached out to the one single editor I know in the business, Daniel Ehrenhaft at Soho Teen, and… he wanted to publish the book! So my experience was pretty unique (and lucky!) in that way.

What's the first thing I did? Panicked!

About Being an Author:
Tell us what it's like to be a published author? What was your most favorite moment in this whole experience, aside from seeing and holding a physical copy of your book?

I got to do a small book tour and that was incredible -- to get to meet young people (and older people) who'd read and loved the book. Answering their questions, discussing it. I'd have to say the school visits were probably my very favorite!

About the Book:
Just like superheroes, I think it's safe to say that a book also has an origin story before they became what they are right now. It might have started out as a thought, an experience, a dialogue you heard, a conversation with a friend, or an idea that has been plaguing your brain for quite sometime. So tell us, what's your book's origin story? And what made you decide to write it?

The idea came from a bunch of things piling up in my brain at once. First, I just had this character I wanted to write: Liv. Secondly, I’ve been interested in ghosts for a long time so... I started to think about what kind of a ghost story Liv might be a part of. I got really excited about the metaphors a ghost story affords—the idea that she had to die in order to fully learn to live (and love). And, finally, when I was thinking about all this, the Occupy movement was happening and I was really struck by the great divide in our country—between the 99% and the 1%. I wanted to tap into that. I don’t want to give it away but I can say that divide—and the feeling so many people have that the 1% would do almost anything to stay on top—comes to play in the school’s mythology and conspiracy.



About the Author:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Amy Talkington is an award-winning screenwriter and director living in Los Angeles. Before all that she wrote about music for magazines like Spin, Ray gun, Interview, and Seventeen (mostly just as a way to get to hang out with rock stars). As a teenager in Dallas, Texas, Amy painted lots of angsty self-portraits, listened to the Velvet Underground and was difficult enough that her parents finally let her go to boarding school on the East Coast. Liv, Forever is her first novel.

Title: Liv, Forever
Genre/s: YA, Paranormal Mystery
Publisher: Soho Teen
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBoundBook Depository

Summary:

When Liv Bloom lands an art scholarship at Wickham Hall, it’s her ticket out of the foster system. Liv isn’t sure what to make of the school’s weird traditions and rituals, but she couldn’t be happier. For the first time ever, she has her own studio, her own supply of paints. Everything she could want.

Then she meets Malcolm Astor, a legacy student, a fellow artist, and the one person who’s ever been able to melt her defenses. Liv’s only friend at Wickham, fellow scholarship kid Gabe Nichols, warns her not to get involved, but life is finally going Liv’s way, and all she wants to do is enjoy the ride.

But Liv’s bliss is doomed. Weeks after arriving, she is viciously murdered and, in death, she discovers that she’s the latest victim of a dark conspiracy that has claimed many lives. Cursed with the ability to see the many ghosts on Wickham’s campus, Gabe is now Liv’s only link to the world of the living. To Malcolm.

Together, Liv, Gabe, and Malcolm fight to expose the terrible truth that haunts the halls of Wickham. But Liv must fight alone to come to grips with the ultimate star-crossed love.
Book Trailer

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

2AMC: Stefanie Gaither, author of Falls the Shadow


Falls the Shadow received a starred review from VOYA which described it as "a very engaging read and hard to put down until the last page". I'm very happy to have the author here on my blog. Let us all welcome, Stefanie Gaither.

About Writing:
While you were in the process of writing this book, have you ever doubted yourself or second guess the reason why you are writing this story? If yes, how did you overcome those obstacles?

The majority of my time writing any book is spent ricocheting wildly between extreme confidence and passion for the story and thinking "this book is complete crap and even my mom isn't going to want to read it". So, yes? :) But the trick, for me at least, is to face the page every single day, no matter which state of mind I'm in. Even if I don't add any new words to a manuscript, I still sit down and stare at the manuscript, so it doesn't have a chance to leave my mind and become something I sweep under the bed and give up on. Besides, a lot of these stare-down sessions tend to turn into productive writing sessions, even if it takes the muse awhile to realize I'm serious and we're going to write whether we believe in this story at this particular moment or not.

About Getting Published:
As an aspiring author, hearing about how authors got published is always fascinating and inspiring for me. So can you tell us your journey to publication? And what was the first thing you did or said after you got the news about the book deal?

I first started thinking seriously about trying to make it onto bookstore shelves when I was a sophomore in college, I think; that's the year I completed my first novel. It involved werewolves, and it was pretty sucktastic. BUT it was an important step--because I finished it, and I queried it, and I got my first taste of acceptance from agents...followed by crushing rejection, haha. I survived it, though, and became determined to get more acceptance than rejection on the next one, and then the next one... and then finally I wrote FALLS THE SHADOW, which led to quite a few full requests, several agent offers, and the rest is history. Overall, it took about four years from the moment I said "I'm going to do this" to reach "I did this". And there was lots of rejoicing, weeping, and a really unhealthy level of stubbornness involved.

About Being an Author:
Tell us what it's like to be a published author? What was your most favorite moment in this whole experience, aside from seeing and holding a physical copy of your book?

Mostly it's weird--but in a really good way, of course. It's just strange when you've had a dream for a really long time, and then it comes true, and you walk into a bookstore and see your book on the shelf like you've envisioned so many times before. It's like, okay, that was a lot of work, now what? And of course then you remember the work's just getting started, and there are other books to write and contracts to hopefully land, and lovely interviews like this one to complete...the list goes on. And it's awesome because I tell people this is my job now when they ask what I do for a living--because it IS a lot of hard work-- but really I'm just living a strangely surreal dream. While hanging out in sweatpants. And drinking lots of coffee (yes, lots of those stereotypes are true for me).

As for my favorite moment? I loved getting to show my mom and my husband the dedication page for the first time and watching them tear up. I had their dedications written long before the book was done, and I was so thrilled to finally be able to show them to them.

About the Book:
Just like superheroes, I think it's safe to say that books also has an origin story before they became what they are right now. It might started out as a thought, an experience, a dialogue you heard, a conversation with a friend, or an idea that has been plaguing your brain for quite sometime. So tell us, what's your book's origin story? And what made you decide to write it?

I think the actual "spark" of an idea came from a quote I remember seeing on the internet-- something like "instead of creating new people, why doesn't God just keep the ones he has now?" And I've always been a sci-fi fan, so that quote made me think "clones". But I've also always loved stories about families, too, and, after losing family of my own at a young age, I felt like I understood the sentiment behind this quote. So all of those things sort of combined into this story that I wanted to tell: one that was full of cool sci-fi stuff, but decidedly human at heart and ultimately about people and relationships and how things like loss and grief complicate them.


About the Author:

After co-managing a coffee shop for several years while simultaneously earning her B.A. in English, Stefanie left the small-business world behind to focus on her author career instead. Now, in addition to writing YA novels, she also works part time as a copywriter for an advertising agency. She lives near Charlotte, NC with her artist husband, a ridiculously spoiled shih-tzu named Shakespeare, and a baby-to-be who will be making her debut in early December. You can find out more about Stefanie and her books at www.stefaniegaither.com.
Title: Falls the Shadow
Genre/s: YA, Science Fiction,
Publisher: Simon and Schuster BFYR
Publication Date: September 16, 2014
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

Summary:

When Cate Benson was a kid, her sister, Violet, died. Two hours after the funeral, Cate’s family picked up Violet’s replacement. Like nothing had happened. Because Cate’s parents are among those who decided to give their children a sort of immortality—by cloning them at birth—which means this new Violet has the same smile. The same perfect face. Thanks to advancements in mind-uploading technology, she even has all of the same memories as the girl she replaced.

She also might have murdered the most popular girl in school.

At least, that’s what the paparazzi and the anti-cloning protestors want everyone to think: that clones are violent, unpredictable monsters. Cate is used to hearing all that. She’s used to defending her sister, too. But Violet has vanished, and when Cate sets out to find her, she ends up in the line of fire instead. Because Cate is getting dangerously close to secrets that will rock the foundation of everything she thought was true.

In a thrilling debut, Stefanie Gaither takes readers on a nail-biting ride through a future that looks frighteningly similar to our own time and asks: how far are you willing to go to keep your family together?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

2AMC: Mary Elizabeth Summer, author of Trust Me, I'm Lying



We have the author of Trust Me, I'm Lying here, who's celebrating the release of her debut novel, today. HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY, Mary Elizabeth Summer!!!


About Writing:
While you were in the process of writing this book, have you ever doubt yourself or second guess the reason why you are writing this story? If yes, how did you overcome those obstacles?

Constantly! It's part of the writing process to second guess everything about your story from phrasing to characterization to plot reveals to what your protagonist has for breakfast. Just the other day I was agonizing over whether one of my characters should use contractions or not. Agonizing! I'm still on the fence, to be honest. But there are no absolutes in this business. You could do anything you want in your story. Which is great for variety and creativity, but also crazy-making because sometimes you just want someone to tell you what you should do to get it right. Just keep telling yourself there is no "should"; there is no "right." You're never going to please 100% of readers 100% of the time. It's not possible. So write what you want to read to the best of your ability, and you'll be right every time.

About Getting Published:
As an aspiring author, hearing about how authors got published is always fascinating and inspiring for me. So can you tell us your journey to publication? And what was the first thing you did or said after you got the news about the book deal?

My journey to publication is pretty typical, I think. I decided I was going to participate in NaNoWriMo one year (back in 2005--you do the math), and I actually managed to finish my first novel. It was a crappy novel and shall never see the light of day, but I proved to myself that I could do it. Plus, it was a ton of fun to write, so I also proved to myself that this is what I want to do for a living someday (note that I said 'someday'--I still have a day job despite being published). Fast forward three more novels and nearly seven years later. I had just finished the first draft of Trust Me, I'm Lying (which at the time was titled Catch My Grift), and I thought, "This is it. This novel is actually good enough to submit to agents." I was still kind of in the editing process, and I didn't quite want to get on the query bandwagon yet. But I did want to test my premise to see if it anyone was interested in the idea of the story at least, so I entered an online query contest on Cupid's Literary Connection blog. Not only did my story make it into the contest, I got lots of agent interest, including from my dream agent Laura Bradford. Long story short, she read TMIL and offered me representation and I nearly died of squee. She's my agent to this day, and I love her more than chocolate. So then I edited TMIL with Laura's help, and we sent it off on submission to publishing houses. Fast forward some more, and I ended up accepting Wendy Loggia's offer from Delacorte Press (an imprint of Penguin Random House) in December of 2012. And the whole debut author experience from the beginning of 2013 to nearly the end of 2014 has been crazy and awesome. And crazy. And awesome. ;-)

My first words to my agent when she told me I had an offer on my book: "I think I'm going to puke."

About Being an Author:
Tell us what it's like to be a published author? What was your most favorite moment in this whole experience, aside from seeing and holding a physical copy of your book?

I won't lie. Holding a copy of my actual book with my picture on it and everything made me cry (and I'm not a person that cries very often). Aside from that, I guess my favorite moment was...well, I can't actually say, because it's not official yet. LOL Let me try again. My third favorite moment was when TMIL made the Autumn 2014 Kid's Indie Next List. It was so amazing getting to read the bookseller's recommendation of my book. I think I actually hugged my laptop screen after I read it.

About the Book:
Just like superheroes, I think it's safe to say that books also have an origin story before they became what they are right now. It might have started out as a thought, an experience, a dialogue you heard, a conversation with a friend, or an idea that has been plaguing your brain for quite sometime. So tell us, what's your book's origin story? And what made you decide to write it?

One night back in 2010, I was mainlining episodes of White Collar and Leverage, and I thought, "Man, I wish I could read a book about teenage girl con artist, but I don't think there are any." When I woke up the next morning, I had Julep's voice in my head, fully formed and clamoring at me to write her story. So I did. (Incidentally, I found out later that there are actually several stories featuring teen grifters, but I didn't hear about them until after I finished writing TMIL. LOL)

Something I wholeheartedly believe in is that if you really want to read a book and you haven't seen anything like it on bookshelves (regardless of whether or not it actually does exist and you just don't know about it), then you have to write it. It's not just that you have to write it so you can read it. I mean you are duty-bound to write it. Wanting to read something and it being scarce enough that you haven't heard of it already means that somebody else out there really needs that story, too. And since you are a writer and you want to read it, it's up to you to write it. That is what it means to have a muse. The muse doesn't write your story for you. The muse just makes you want to read the story you're meant to write.


About the Author:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Mary Elizabeth Summer contributes to the delinquency of minors by writing books about unruly teenagers with criminal leanings. She has a BA in creative writing from Wells College, and her philosophy on life is “you can never go wrong with sriracha sauce.” She lives in Portland Oregon with her wife, their daughter, and their evil overlor—er, cat. TRUST ME, I’M LYING is her debut novel.


Title: Trust Me, I'm Lying
Genre/s: YA, Contemporary, Mystery
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

Summary:

Fans of Ally Carter, especially her Heist Society readers, will love this teen mystery/thriller with sarcastic wit, a hint of romance, and Ocean’s Eleven–inspired action.

Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.

But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal.

Monday, October 13, 2014

2AMC: Bethany Crandell, author of Summer on the Short Bus


Summer on the Short Bus got a lot of positive reviews from bloggers and authors I admire and I'm very lucky to interview the author here today.  Let us all welcome, Bethany Crandell.


About Writing:
While you were in the process of writing this book, have you ever doubt yourself or second guess the reason why you are writing this story? If yes, how did you overcome those obstacles?

I didn’t have any doubts about this book until after I wrote it. And even then I didn’t doubt the work but whether or not it was a story people would want to read. The querying process (both in finding an agent and a publisher) is one of the most humbling, skin-thickening experiences I’ve ever faced, and when the rejections started piling up it definitely took a toll on my confidence. Still, I knew deep down I loved my story even if nobody else did--that was enough to keep me showing up for more the next day.

About Getting Published:
As an aspiring author, hearing about how authors got published is always fascinating and inspiring for me. So can you tell us your journey to publication? And what was the first thing you did or said after you got the news about the book deal? 

Like most authors I know, my journey involved a lot of crying, praying, threatening and drinking. (You’d be surprised what someone will agree to publish when you leave a ransom note for their cat. #kidding) I don’t remember the specifics of what went down right after I got the official “offer”, but I assure you there was a lot of squealing, ugly/happy crying, dancing celebrating involved.

About Being an Author:
Tell us what it's like to be a published author? What was your most favorite moment in this whole experience, aside from seeing and holding a physical copy of your book? 

It feels exactly like my pre-published life; except there are more dirty dishes sitting in the sink at the end of the day. Not sure what that’s about….

My favorite moment so far would have to be the night my ARCs arrived in the mail. My sister and I sat on my front porch stoop, each armed with a glass of champagne, and laughed at how awesome and ridiculous all of this was.

About the Book:
Just like superheroes, I think it's safe to say that books also has an origin story before they became what they are right now. It might started out as a thought, an experience, a dialogue you heard, a conversation with a friend, or an idea that has been plaguing your brain for quite sometime. So tell us, what's your book's origin story? And what made you decide to write it?

I have no idea where it came from, but my book evolved from a title I couldn’t seem to shake, THE SHORT BUS FOLLIES. I knew I had to write it when the voices in my head (the characters) became too loud to ignore.


About the Author:

Bethany lives in San Diego with her husband, two kiddos, and a chocolate lab who has no regard for personal space. She’s slightly obsessed with John Hughes movies, avocados, and inappropriate laughter. She’s represented by Rachael Dugas at Talcott Notch Literary Services.


Title: Summer on the Short Bus
Genre/s: YA, Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | Book Depository

Summary:

Spoiled, Versace-clad Cricket Montgomery has seventeen years of pampering under her belt. So when her father decides to ship her off to a summer camp for disabled teens to help her learn some accountability, Cricket resigns herself to three weeks of handicapped hell.

Her sentence takes a bearable turn as she discovers the humor and likeability of the campers and grows close to fellow counselors. Now, if she can just convince a certain Zac Efron look-alike with amazing blue eyes that she finally realizes there's life after Gucci, this summer could turn out to be the best she's ever had.

Summer on the Short Bus is a very non-P.C., contemporary YA with a lot of attitude, tons of laughs, and a little life lesson along the way.

Giveaway
Open Internationally as long as TBD can send to your country
(Until November 13)

Thursday, October 09, 2014

2AMC: Elissa Sussman, author of Stray


Stray has just celebrated it's book birthday on October 7 and I'm excited because you know how I loved fairytales. This is one of my most anticipated Fall 2014 titles from Harper Collins and I am so happy that I had the opportunity to interview and feature its author here today. So without further ado, Elissa Sussman


About Writing:
While you were in the process of writing this book, have you ever doubt yourself or second guess the reason why you are writing this story? If yes, how did you overcome those obstacles?

I think every writer has those moments – I’m certainly no different. There’s always a point after getting really great, but intensive notes from someone, usually my editor, where I’m so daunted by the work that needs to be done that I just want to curl up on my couch and watch Star Trek TNG. With ice cream. Which is what I usually do. But then, once I’ve gotten it out of my system, I write lists. And I outline. I take my notebook and write down every question that needs to be answered. Then I go walking, or take a shower or lie down and pretend to take a nap, just allowing my brain to work through the problems that need solving. At some point during that process, I start to feel good about the project again and that’s when it’s time to work.

About Getting Published:
As an aspiring author, hearing about how authors got published is always fascinating and inspiring for me. So can you tell us your journey to publication? And what was the first thing you did or said after you got the news about the book deal?

My publishing story is pretty traditional. After I had a version of STRAY that I was confident with, I made a list (see the pattern?) and built a spreadsheet of all the agents I was interested in querying. And when I had a query letter I felt good about, I just starting emailing them. It took about five months and sixty queries to find my agent, the amazing Samantha Shea. We worked on STRAY together until Samantha felt it was ready to go out on submission. A few months later I got the call saying that Greenwillow wanted to publish it. There was a lot of jumping and crying and phone calls to my family. I think I said “oh my god” quite a few times.

About Being an Author:
Tell us what it's like to be a published author? What was your most favorite moment in this whole experience, aside from seeing and holding a physical copy of your book?

Hearing from readers absolutely makes my day. Knowing that you’ve created this world and these characters and now other people are experiencing it is the greatest thrill. I’m so happy when I learn that others are just as invested in the world of STRAY as I am.

About the Book:
Just like superheroes, I think it's safe to say that books also has an origin story before they became what they are right now. It might started out as a thought, an experience, a dialogue you heard, a conversation with a friend, or an idea that has been plaguing your brain for quite sometime. So tell us, what's your book's origin story? And what made you decide to write it?

My book was the child of a women’s history class and a re-watching of Disney’s CINDERELLA. I was writing a paper on the representation of women in animated films and for the first time really took notice of how Cinderella’s fairy godmother was portrayed. Initially STRAY was a book about a fairy godmother academy, but after “developing” it for five or so years, I finally decided that I had done enough thinking and it was time to actually do some writing.


About the Author:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr

Elissa Sussman is a writer, a reader and a pumpkin pie eater.

Her debut novel, STRAY (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins), is a YA fantasy aboutfairy godmothers, magic and food. She received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and in a previous life managed animators and organized spreadsheets at some of the best animation studios in the world, including Nickelodeon, Disney, Dreamworks and Sony Imageworks. You can see her name in the credits of THE CROODS, HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA, THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG and TANGLED.

She currently lives in Los Angeles with her boyfriend and their rescue mutt, Basil

Title: Stray (Four Sisters #1)
Genre/s: YA Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling
Publisher: Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | Book Depository

Summary:

“I am grateful for my father, who keeps me good and sweet. I am grateful for my mother, who keeps her own heart guarded and safe. I am grateful for my adviser, who keeps me protected. I am grateful for the Path, which keeps me pure. Ever after.”

Princess Aislynn has long dreamed about attending her Introduction Ball, about dancing with the handsome suitors her adviser has chosen for her, about meeting her true love and starting her happily ever after.

When the night of the ball finally arrives and Nerine Academy is awash with roses and royalty, Aislynn wants nothing more than to dance the night away, dutifully following the Path that has been laid out for her. She does not intend to stray.

But try as she might, Aislynn has never quite managed to control the magic that burns within her-magic brought on by wicked, terrible desires that threaten the Path she has vowed to take.

After all, it is wrong to want what you do not need. Isn’t it?

STRAY is the first in a collection of intertwined stories, all set in a world where magic is a curse that only women bear and society is dictated by a strict doctrine called The Path. A cross between The Handmaid’s Tale and Wicked, with a dash of Grimm and Disney thrown in, this original fairy tale will be released October 7th, 2014 from Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

2AMC: Shallee McArthur, author of The Unhappening of Genesis Lee



Today we have the awesome author of The Unhappening of Genesis Lee which is expected to be released on November 18. Kirkus Reviews said, her debut is "For anyone fascinated with thoughts of omniscience and total social connection—and who isn’t?". 
So let's now all welcome, Shallee McArthur.


About Writing:
While you were in the process of writing this book, have you ever doubt yourself or second guess the reason why you are writing this story? If yes, how did you overcome those obstacles?

Oh man, YES. Like a hundred times. There were moments where I was sure this book was awful and would never go anywhere, and I should just give up now. The best thing in those moments was to call/email/text a critique group member, and they'd slap me into shape by reminding me of all the great things about the story. They also reminded me that just because there are things that can be made BETTER, it doesn't mean the story is BAD.

About Getting Published:
As an aspiring author, hearing about how authors got published is always fascinating and inspiring for me. So can you tell us your journey to publication? And what was the first thing you did or said after you got the news about the book deal?

I got my agent fairly quickly (2 weeks!), so I automatically assumed the submission process to editors would be the same. It wasn't. I was on sub for 8 months. So the day my phone rang and my agent's name popped up, I started shaking before I'd even picked up the phone. I already knew we had a publisher interested, but it's a long process and there are a million points where one person's "no" means it's time to move on. So when my agent said we had an offer, I laughed like a crazy person. I said "okay" and "awesome" and giggled a lot. Then we hung up and I screamed and scooped up my children from where they were eating lunch and danced with them around the kitchen. I told my four-year-old my book was going to be a real book, and asked if he was excited. "No," he said. Nothing like kids to keep you humble. :)

About Being an Author
Tell us what it's like to be a published author? What was your most favorite moment in this whole experience, aside from seeing and holding a physical copy of your book?

Ooh, that's a toughie. Being a published author, funnily enough, isn't so much different from being an unpublished writer. Except now there's deadlines, and you suddenly have a whole team of people helping you make this book thing a reality. The biggest thing I learned is it didn't change me-- I'm still the same person, writing the same kinds of stories. My favorite moment, though, or moments, I guess, was recently being a panelist at Salt Lake Comic Con. It was so amazing to be up with other authors, sharing what we know, and having people tell me their excited to read my book. Hearing that still makes me go, "REALLY?? Thanks!!"

About the Book
Just like superheroes, I think it's safe to say that books also has an origin story before they became what they are right now. It might started out as a thought, an experience, a dialogue you heard, a conversation with a friend, or an idea that has been plaguing your brain for quite sometime. So tell us, what's your book's origin story? And what made you decide to write it?

This book has three sort of origins-- one started with reading The Giver in fourth grade, then another thread came in when my grandmother got Alzheimer's, and the final moment was the one that tied them together. My mother is very attached to objects that have special meaning to her, and she'd spent an evening telling us stories about some of them. Driving home that night, my husband commented it would be cool if we could store our memories of an object in that objected. I gasped at the force of all those threads of the story suddenly colliding in my head, and the story was born.


About the Author:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr 

Shallee McArthur originally wanted to be a scientist, until she discovered she liked her science best in fictional form. When she’s not writing young adult science fiction and fantasy, she’s attempting to raise her son and daughter as proper geeks. A little part of her heart is devoted to Africa after volunteering twice in Ghana. She has a degree in English from Brigham Young University and lives in Utah with her husband and two children. Her YA sci fi novel, THE UNHAPPENING OF GENESIS LEE, debuts November 4, 2014.

And because people always ask, her name is pronounced "shuh-LEE." But she answers to anything that sounds remotely close.

Title: The Unhappening of Genesis Lee
Genre/s: YA Science Fiction, Dystopian
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Publication Date: November 18, 2014
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Genesis Lee has never forgotten anything. As one of the Mementi—a small group of genetically-enhanced humans—Gena remembers everything with the help of her Link bracelets, which preserve memories perfectly. But Links can be stolen, and six people have already lost their lives to a memory thief, including Gena’s best friend.

Anyone could be next. Which is why Gena is less than pleased to meet a strange but charming boy named Kalan who claims that they’ve not only met, but that Gena knows who the thief is.

The problem is, Gena doesn’t remember Kalan, she doesn’t remember seeing the thief, and she doesn’t know why she’s forgetting things— or how much else she might forget. As growing tensions between Mementi and ordinary humans drive the city of Havendale into chaos, Gena and Kalan team up to search for the thief. And as Gena loses more memories, they realize they have to solve the mystery fast.

Because Gena’s life is unhappening around her.

Mojave Green Blog Tour: Guest Interview and Giveaway


It's been a while since I participated in any blog tour so today is very special. I now have on the blog the authors of the Dimensions of Death series which I'm a huge fan of. So without further ado, I introduce you to Berk and Andy, The Brothers Washburn.

Andy and Berk:
Pitch Green and Mojave Green are the first two books in The Dimensions in Death young adult horror series. Based on a scary story we used to tell as kids to our siblings and friends, these books combine horror, suspense and mystery, moving at a breathtaking pace as our protagonists fight for their lives while they battle a monstrous evil presence hiding in and around an old, deserted mansion in a small mining town, located near Death Valley in a desolate part of the Mojave Desert.

The mansion was built almost a hundred years ago by an eccentric genius, who got funding and structural specifications from a clandestine source of ancient knowledge and wealth. One night the genius was mysteriously slaughtered, and ever since, children and other defenseless animals in the Trona area have been disappearing without a trace on a regular basis. In the first book, we meet two teenagers, Camm and Cal, who are destined by wit, pluck and luck (not always good) to become the balancing force against the unearthly predator, who came to call the mansion home. Our heroes are hurled from one scene of horror to the next. Though their intentions are good, they don’t understand what they are facing, and by the end of the first book, a door has been left open to predations on an even grander scale.

In the second book, a call from her best friend, Cal, brings news Camm had hoped never to hear. Children are again disappearing from Trona. Has the unnatural creature they killed last year returned to life or has the ancient Searles Mansion spawned a new menace? Ignoring dire warnings from federal agents, the pair take a road trip home with unsuspecting school friends in tow and discover the situation has gotten worse. With monstrous predators seemingly coming out of nowhere, enigmatic forces tear the friends apart, pulling Cal into another world, where his chances of survival are slim. Finally coming to terms with her feelings for Cal, Camm desperately seeks help where she can, even from the dead, but can a rogue agent and other wary misfits help her uncover the long-lost secrets that she needs to rescue Cal and stop the inter-dimensional attacks? The destiny of her own world may lie in Camm’s young hands.

How different is it writing your sophomore novel, Mojave Green, to your first novel, Pitch Green? Is there a lot of pressure to make this better than your first book?

Writing the second book was a completely different experience for us as co-authors than was the first book. The first book was based on a childhood story that we had been telling for years, and the basic plot elements already existed. The second book is a brand new story that has never existed before. It was created from scratch in the last couple years. As co-authors we had to agree on a whole new plot and work out the kinks in a whole new story.

In both cases, we were under pressure to make the story as good as possible. We didn’t think in terms of one story being better than the other, but we are definitely excited with the Mojave Green story. 

What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing this book to life? 

In addition to a careful research of applicable geography, we had to do an in-depth research of basic principles of astro-physics since Mojave Green answers many of the questions raised in the first book. But remember, this is not science fiction. This is horror based on pseudo-science rather than mysticism.

What was your favorite scene/s in Mojave Green? Can you tell us without giving a spoiler?

Some of our favorite scenes in book two take place as Camm and Cal confront the new predators spawned by the collapse of the guardian systems that were originally built into the mansion.

What was your most favorite moment/s in this whole experience of writing and promoting your book?

Some of our favorite moments in this whole book-selling process come as we are able to interact with a few of our fans at book signings and other author events. We’re getting excited now for book three, which we anticipate will up the ante over what was presented in the first two books, but first we’re interested in hearing what you think of Mojave Green.

What should your fans(including myself) expect in Mojave Green?

Our fans can expect a faster moving, broader ranging story in the second book, which introduces new characters and covers more territory, both in terms of geography as well as emotions.


About the Authors:
Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

A. L. Washburn and B. W. Washburn are brothers, licensed lawyers and full time writers, residing in Colorado and southern Utah. Growing up in a large family in Trona, California, a small mining community not far from Death Valley, they spent many happy days in their youth roaming the wastelands of the Mojave Desert. After living in South America at different times, each came back to finish graduate school and start separate careers. Living thousands of miles apart, they worked in different areas of the law, while raising their own large families.

Each has authored legal materials and professional articles, but after years of wandering in the wastelands of the law, their lifelong love of fiction, especially fantasy, science fiction and horror, brought them back together to write a new young adult horror series, beginning with Pitch Green and later Mojave Green. They have found there yet remain many untold wonders to be discovered in the unbounded realms of the imagination, especially as those realms unfold in the perilous wastelands of the Dimensions in Death.

Title: Mojave Green (Dimensions of Death #2)
Genre/s: YA Paranormal Horror
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

Summary:

In Trona, California, an isolated mining town deep in the Mojave Desert, an unearthly creature preyed upon the town’s folk for decades. Armed with secrets from a peculiar puzzle box, only Camm and Cal stood against the creature. Finally safe and far from the horror, the teenagers believe they have destroyed the monster—until they hear news that Trona’s children are still disappearing. Caught in the nightmare since her childhood, Camm feels personally responsible for the town’s children. As her life-long best friend, Cal feels responsible for Camm. With unsuspecting friends in tow, they return to warn the innocent people of Trona of the true nature of the creature.

But things have changed.

Death comes in a new form. The balance between dimensions is altered. Crossovers multiply. Trona is evacuated. Cal is pulled into another dimension. The situation spirals out of control.

Only Camm and a few misfits can stop the coming desolation—but it may already be too late.

GIVEAWAY
You can win a 3 ARC of Mojave Green (US only)

 
Free blog design by Adori Graphics using the Be Inspired digiscrapping kit by Adorible Digital Designs