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Friday, October 24, 2014

2AMC: Kate Ormand, author of Dark Days


We have the author of Dark Days here today for an interview regarding about her publication journey and her YA debut novel, which a Amy Christine Parker, author of Gated, described as  '...fast paced and tense with “ticking clock” chapters.' 
Let us all welcome, Kate Ormand!
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?

Yes. Quite often, actually. I’ve always been the same with anything I create, especially with painting and writing. But I think it’s so important to believe in your own work. It’s very easy for self-doubt to creep in. I always try to beat it back and focus on getting the book written, and worry about the next stage after that.

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 signed with my agent in September 2012 and we worked on the book together for a few months before sending out on submission to publishers. I got the offer from Sky Pony Press in February 2013 after a day at work. My agent had been trying to get hold of me all day, but I’m glad I didn’t see until I got home because I’m not sure I’d have been able to function properly for the rest of my shift! I sat on my bed and read through the email. I couldn’t reply right away because I was shaking. My dad was home that day, so I went downstairs and told him about it and sent an excited text to my partner, my mum, and my brothers, who all made a big fuss. Then, when I’d calmed down just a little, I told my agent YES! It was an amazing day!

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?

That was such an awesome moment. Other than that, I think being able to share the news with everybody – family, friends, and online – is a favourite memory. The support was overwhelming and just made it all the more special.

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 remember picturing the clock, and the cyborg army marching on the sector. I don’t know exactly what triggered the thought, but it stuck and I knew I had to write it. I grabbed a notebook right away! I’m putting it down to a love of dystopian novels and action films.


About the Author:
Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

KATE ORMAND is a YA writer represented by Isabel Atherton at Creative Authors Ltd. She lives in the UK with her family, her partner, and a cocker spaniel called Freddie. She recently graduated from university with a first class BA (Hons) degree in Fine Art Painting. It was during this course that Kate discovered her love of reading YA books, prompting her to try a new creative angle and experiment with writing. Kate is also a member of an online group of published writers and illustrators called Author Allsorts. And she writes children’s picture books under the name Kate Louise. You can see more about Kate and her writing by visiting her website (www.kateormand.wordpress.com) or on Twitter (@kateormand).


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Thursday, October 23, 2014

2AMC: Natalie Parker, author of Beware the Wild


Today is Beware the Wild's release day and I'm happy to tell you that the author is here to tell where she get the idea of her book, and a lot more. Plus a giveaway! 
Let's welcome, Natalie Parker


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?

I learned an awful lot about writing while working on BEWARE THE WILD. One of the things I learned is that I am both my greatest ally and my greatest obstacle. 

Here’s an example of both. When I signed with my agent, she gave me pages and pages of notes all about how the novel wasn’t quite ready. I took a month to ponder them and at the end of that month, I realized the solution was a deadly one….I needed to start over from scratch. 

Talk about disheartening! It might have been – scratch that, it DEFINITELY would have been easier to make cosmetic changes to the manuscript and call it good. But at the end of the day I knew that rewriting would lead me to a much better place. So, in spite of wanting to wallow on the floor in a puddle of my tears, I opened a blank Word document and typed a new first line. 

Writing is a challenge because successes and improvements happen on such a long timescale. For me, it helps to remember I am ultimately the gate-keeper of my own improvement.

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?

Mine is a story of hurry-up-and-wait. I worked on BEWARE for nearly a solid year before I and my crit partners deemed it worthy of submission. I sent our my queries and had 4 offers within the first week! I signed with Sarah Davies of the Greenhouse Literary Agency and as you know, she encouraged me to rewrite the beast from scratch. After I did, she and I tossed it back and forth for several months before she decided it was ready for submission. 

And overnight, an editor ready it and made her intentions clear. It took another month for the deal to go through and she and I would work on yet another rewrite after that. So, it’s been a very long, very exciting journey. 

When my agent called with the news, I don’t think I said actual words. There were just strings of noises with exclamation points. 

My friends, on the other hand, burned down a shed in their excitement. They’re definitely better with celebrations than I.

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?

This is a tough one! I think my favorite moment was signing my agency agreement. That was the first moment everything felt real and possible. 

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?

Such a hard question. I imagine inspiration is very like a rain storm. It may seem to arrive all at once, but really it’s been building for a while, traveling great distances, and waiting for all the right conditions to let lose. Which is my way of saying….I really don’t know. I suspect it was something to do with spending much of my childhood in the south, especially during the long, hot summers, and also with a preoccupation with the idea of gatorgirls and boys.

I decided to write it the moment a first line popped into my head. Once that happens, I know the story is ready to explore itself.

About the Author:
Website | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads

Natalie C. Parker grew up in a Navy family where having adventures was as common as reading fairy tales. She received her BA from the University of Southern Mississippi, her MA from the University of Cincinnati, and currently works at the University of Kansas coordinating projects on climate change. Though the roots of her family are buried deep in southern Mississippi, she resides in Kansas with her partner in a house of monsters.

Title: Beware the Wild
Genre/s: YA, Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: October 21, 2014
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | Book Depository

Summary:

It’s an oppressively hot and sticky morning in May when Sterling and her brother, Phin, have an argument that compels him to run into the town swamp — the one that strikes fear in all the residents of Sticks, Louisiana. Phin doesn’t return. Instead, a girl named Lenora May climbs out, and now Sterling is the only person in Sticks who remembers her brother ever existed.

Sterling needs to figure out what the swamp’s done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is connected to his disappearance — and loner boy Heath Durham might be the only one who can help her.

This debut novel is full of atmosphere, twists and turns, and a swoon-worthy romance.
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

2AMC: Whitney Miller, author of The Violet Hour


Our author today wrote The Violet Hour which the Kirkus Reviews said "[this] should please horror fans. And as fan of horror myself, I'm quite excited to read this book. 
Anyway, let us welcome, Whitney Miller!


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?

There were definitely moments of doubt and frustration while writing this book, as there always are for me. Sometimes you write yourself into a metaphorical corner, and can't seem to find your way out. In The Violet Hour, I wasn't sure how to end the book - I wrote three different endings and none of them was quite right. When I hit these obstacles I usually let my subconscious do the heavy lifting...stop trying to solve the problem and just let the answer come to me when it's ready. The ending for this book finally hit me like a bolt from the blue when I was randomly doing laundry one day. I won't spoil it for you - the ending is one of the best parts of the book! Even when you write yourself into those corners, you just have to remember that as a writer you're in control - you can just write yourself a door and walk through it!

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 an agent about a year and a half after I started writing, which was pretty fast, but my first book didn't sell. While that first book was on submission, I began writing The Violet Hour, mostly to keep myself sane. When I finally got the book deal I'd been dreaming of, I was ecstatic. My first thought was something like "LSDIJFLOHSGKIHSFIJLKJLD!!!! I can't believe I have a book deal!!" and my second was "Oh...wow. I really need to work hard and make this book the best that it can be. People are actually going to READ this." Both thoughts were humbling. I just felt really lucky, and really determined to do my best.

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?

The very best thing about being a published author is getting to meet readers who like your book. There's really nothing better, even holding the first physical copy.

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 travel a lot for work, and am lucky that I get to see incredible places all over the world. This book came to me when I was sitting in Yoyogi Park in Tokyo one Sunday afternoon, watching the Harajuku girls as cherry blossoms fell like snow around them. For some reason I thought, "This would make the perfect beginning to a horror book!" It's totally random, but most readers agree that it made for a pretty gruesome beginning :) From there, I just thought of all the amazing places I've been to in Asia and crafted a creepy, ambient, and thrilling speculative fiction piece around them. It was so much fun!

About the Author:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Whitney A. Miller lives in San Francisco with her husband and a struggling houseplant. She's summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, ridden the Trans-Siberian rails, bicycled through Vietnam, done the splits on the Great Wall of China, and evaded the boat police in Venice, but her best international adventures take place on the page!



Title: The Violet Hour
Genre/s: YA, Science Fiction, Horror
Publisher: Flux
Publication Date: March 8, 2014
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

Summary:

Some call VisionCrest the pinnacle of religious enlightenment. Others call it a powerful cult. For seventeen years, Harlow Wintergreen has called it her life.

As the daughter of VisionCrest's patriarch, Harlow is expected to be perfect at all times. She must be considered a paragon of integrity by the other Ministry teens and a future leader in the eyes of the world.

Despite the constant scrutiny Harlow is keeping a dark and dangerous secret, even from her best friend and the boy she loves. She hears a voice in her head that seems to have a mind of its own, plaguing her with violent and bloody visions. It commands her to kill. And the urge to obey is getting harder and harder to control ...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

2AMC: Madeliene Kuderick, author of Kiss of Broken Glass


"Vivid and descriptive...a moving story about a serious issue." that's what School Library Journal said about Kiss of Broken Glass which is the debut novel of our featured author for today. So without further ado, I'd like to welcome on my blog, Madeleine Kuderick.


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 was extremely driven to write this book and did not have any moments where I second guessed myself about why I was writing it. That said, I felt a tremendous responsibility to write this story in an authentic voice and there were times when I found myself writing and re-writing verses to ensure the words rang true.

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 began attending SCBWI conferences and learning to write for the YA audience in 2008. I had pieces published in magazines and anthologies along the way but it wasn’t until December 2012 that the stars aligned for my first book. I was attending an SCBWI conference in Miami and had submitted ten pages of my manuscript for critique. The reviewer was NY Times Best Selling author Alex Flinn who was moved enough by my piece to recommend it to her own agent. That led to my signing with Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc. and ultimately receiving a two book deal from HarperCollins. The entire process took about three months from conference to contract which is incredibly fast and felt like an absolute whirlwind at the time.

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?

There have been so many wonderful moments along this journey from a fantastic trip to New York to meet my brilliant editor Toni Markiet, to seeing the cover art for the first time, to hearing my words read by the talented Katie Schorr on the audiobook, and on and on. It’s really hard to choose a favorite. But I think the most meaningful moments have been when I received feedback from readers, especially those who have struggled with self-harm, saying that my book struck a chord with them or helped them to feel less alone.

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’m a real believer in the adage that sometimes you don’t choose the story, the story chooses you. In my case, this story began with my daughter’s real life experience when she was exposed to cutting as early as the sixth grade and eventually experimented with self-harm. But it’s important to remember that KISS is a work of fiction. So while my daughter’s experiences influenced me deeply, I also spent hundreds of hours researching the blogs and Tumblr pages of other teens struggling with self-harm. Eventually I developed Kenna, a fictional character who embodied all those brave and aching voices, and I felt compelled to tell her story. I think this book is vital now, more than ever, because there seems to be a surge happening. Self-harm is more prevalent, visible, and competitive than it has ever been before. I wanted to write a book about what it would be like to get swept up in that, and how hard it might be to get out.


About the Author:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Madeleine Kuderick grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, a community with rich literary tradition, where she was editor-in-chief of the same high school newspaper that Ernest Hemingway wrote for as a teen. She studied journalism at Indiana University before transferring to the School of Hard Knocks where she earned plenty of bumps and bruises and eventually an MBA. Today, Madeleine likes writing about underdogs and giving a voice to those who are struggling to be heard.


Title: Kiss of Broken Glass
Genre/s: YA, Contemporary Fiction, Verse Novel
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: September 9, 2014
Amazon | Barnes and Nobles | IndieBound | Book Depository

Summary:

Madeleine Kuderick’s gripping debut is a darkly beautiful and lyrical novel in verse, perfect for fans of Sonya Sones and Laurie Halse Anderson. Kiss of Broken Glass pulses with emotion and lingers long after the last page.

In the next seventy-two hours, Kenna may lose everything—her friends, her freedom, and maybe even herself. One kiss of the blade was all it took to get her sent to the psych ward for seventy-two hours. There she will face her addiction to cutting, though the outcome is far from certain.

When fifteen-year-old Kenna is found cutting herself in the school bathroom, she is sent to a facility for mandatory psychiatric watch. There, Kenna meets other kids like her—her roommate, Donya, who’s there for her fifth time; the birdlike Skylar; and Jag, a boy cute enough to make her forget her problems . . . for a moment.

Monday, October 20, 2014

2AMC: Kristi Helvig, author of Burn Out


Burn Out was described by Kirkus Reviews as "a scorching series opener not to be missed." I couldn't agree more. And I'm very glad to tell you that I have the author here today for an interview. Let us all welcome, Kristi Helvig!


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?

So I never doubted my story or second guessed why I was writing it. That being said, I did have doubts as to whether it would find a publisher or not, but that wasn't something within my control so I just focused on making it the best book I could.

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 started with getting an agent. I cold-queried agents using sites like Querytracker and AgentQuery, and was lucky enough to get several offers. I knew my agent was right for me during our phone call, and she’s the one who submitted me to publishers. When she called me about the book deal for BURN OUT and the sequel, the first thing I did was call my husband and tell him we were going out to dinner—as a busy mom, I love any excuse to go out to eat!

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?

My favorite moment was probably my launch party at the Tattered Cover bookstore. To look out at a sea of friends and family who’ve been so supportive of my writing was really emotional for me. Oh, and my other fave moment was my son telling his class that I was famous, because Lou Ferrigno and I were listed near each other as guests at Comic Con.

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’m a total nerd and my husband and I had watched a science documentary about what would happen when our sun eventually burns out. That same night I heard a haunting song on Pandora called “Center of the Sun” by Conjure One, and then went to bed soon after. I ended up having one of those all-night vivid dreams that centered on a girl named Tora who struggled to survive after our sun burned out early. When I woke up, I started scribbling like crazy in a notebook I keep by my bed. Six weeks later, I’d finished the first draft of BURN OUT.


About the Author:
Website |  Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Kristi Helvig is a Ph.D. clinical psychologist turned sci-fi/fantasy author. She muses about Star Trek, space monkeys, and other assorted topics on her blog and Twitter. Kristi resides in sunny Colorado with her hubby, two kiddos, and behaviorally-challenged dogs. Grab a copy of BURN OUT on Amazon, Indiebound, or Barnes & Noble. The sequel, STRANGE SKIES, releases June 9, 2015 from Egmont USA.


Title: Burn Out 

Genre/s: YA, Science Fiction, 
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Publication Date: April 8, 2014



Summary:


Most people want to save the world; seventeen-year-old Tora Reynolds just wants to get the hell off of it. One of the last survivors in Earth's final years, Tora yearns to escape the wasteland her planet has become after the sun turns "red giant," but discovers her fellow survivors are even deadlier than the hostile environment.

Holed up in an underground shelter, Tora is alone--her brilliant scientist father murdered, her mother and sister burned to death. She dreams of living on a planet with oceans, plants, and animals. Unfortunately, the oceans dried out ages ago, the only plants are giant cacti with deadly spines, and her pet, Trigger, is a gun--one of the bio-energetic weapons her father created for the government before his conscience kicked in.

When family friend, Markus, arrives with mercenaries to take the weapons by force, Tora's fury turns to fear when government ships descend in an attempt to kill them all. She forges an unlikely alliance with Markus and his rag-tag group of raiders, including a smart but quiet soldier named James. Tora must quickly figure out who she can trust, as she must choose between saving herself by giving up the guns or honoring her father's request to save humanity from the most lethal weapons in existence.
Title: Strange Skies (Burn Out #2)
Genre/s: YA, Science Fiction
Publisher: Egmont USA
Publication Date: June 9, 2015

Summary:

Action, adventure, and romance are heating up in this sequel to the futuristic science fiction thriller Burn Out. Perfect for fans of Across the Universe and The Memory of After.

Caelia is the new Earth. That's what the Consulate told everyone and, against all odds, Tora finally has made it there. She can't see the ocean from her cell in the Consulate's containment center, and she doesn't know what happened to the weapons her father died for and she's risked her life to save.

But as she plans her escape, she runs into the last person she ever expected to see-her dad. The Consulate has kept held him prisoner in a complicated plot designed to lure Tora out of hiding. Now Tora has a new purpose: break free, get the guns, and save her father.

But first she'll have to navigate a strange new planet, track down James (whose loyalties still remain questionable), and find Kale…before he finds her first.

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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



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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?
 
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