Wednesday, October 16, 2013

@StrangeChem Author Slambook: Christian Schoon + Giveaway

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Author Bio
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After an initial stint as an in-house writer with the Walt Disney Company in Burbank, California, I freelanced as a scriptwriter and copywriter in LA for ten years. After my narrow escape to a farmstead near Iowa City, I now write speculative fiction and help re-hab wildlife and rescue abused/neglected horses from the area. Zenn Scarlett's story is strongly influenced by the amateur-vet knowledge I picked up working with a number of awesome local veterinarians, shelters and rescue groups, dealing with animals ranging from black bears, cougars, Burmese pythons and alligators to horses, burros and the occasional coyote.
1. What is your favorite color? Cat. Close 2nd: Dog, then ferret, followed by horse. (What?)
2. Favorite food? Balinese Bunkus – street food at small roadside stands in Bali; filled w/ rice/noodle dishes and worth the 24-hour flight-with-Guam-layover to get there
3. Favorite movie of all time? Never Cry Wolf from director Carroll Ballard. It’s a masterpiece.
4. Favorite song? Changes depending on mood. Today: Jeff Beck’s cover of Stevie Wonder’s Superstition.
5. Favorite book of all time? Similar to the song thing: all the books I’ve ever read conduct an on-going death-cage-fight inside my head to determine who wears the crown; today: The Hobbit/LOTR trilogy
All about Writing
1. How did your interest in writing originate?
Mom & older sister both English teachers and they encouraged me to write even when my writing sucked and consisted primarily of deeply, embarrassingly cringe-worthy poetry (i.e., most of high school). Then there’s the whole “whoa! I can create entire worlds filled with unlikely creatures and kick-ass heroines/heroes with these word-things” aspect.

2. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
All good thoughts must be out of my brain, into my fingers and out onto the hard drive by noon or else no bunkus for them.

3. Do you work with outline or just write?
I just dive in. Use up more time retracing my wandering (staggering?) footsteps because of that, but I generally find my way to much more interesting and unexpected scenic overlooks than if I’d been smart and drew myself a map.

4. What was the hardest part in writing your book?
The writing parts, mostly. Those are hard. Seriously, I envy people monstrously who say “Oh, words just leak out of my fingertips like oozing plasma!”

The easiest? The writing parts when you’re in the zone and look up at the clock and you’ve missed lunch AND happy hour.

5. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
We’ve currently got 16 rescued horses in various stages of re-hab on our farm right now. Then there are the 25 or so barn cats, dogs, ferrets. Fortunately, I love critters with a love that will not perish even as the sun enters its Earth-gobbling red-giant phase, so I don’t mind spending lotsa time w/ them. Otherwise, I’m fond of good restaurants, movies, books, hanging out w/ my equally-animal-obsessed wife Kat and, of course, reading awesome-socks blogs like Books for YA! (not kidding. Book blogs like this one are the massively-muscled, constantly laboring hearts pumping the thick, delicious blood of bookery through the arteries of the interwebs and into the pointy-toothed never-satiated mouths of book-thirsty-like-a-vampire readers around the planet. What?)
Finish the sentence
1. The difference between fiction and reality is: fiction is generated by the skillful, occasionally even artful distillation of reality; reality comes from what your brain agrees to tell you about what’s going on outside of your brain. Really. We don’t actually KNOW what reality is beyond what filters into our neurons via our pokey old senses. Could be, and frankly has to be, totally, freakily other than the pic we paint for ourselves in the darkened breadbox of our skulls. Spooky, if ya ask me. And ya did.

2. Research is what I'm doing when I can’t make up a good enough lie from what’s already in the above-mentioned brain-box.

3. I can write better when my muse isn’t touring Irish pubs or snorkeling in the bath-water-warm ocean off of Key West.

4. Sleep is an excellent way to tell your pre-frontal cortex and hypothalamus you love them and want them to be happy.

5. A room without a book might as well be a padded cell (Or maybe not. Do they allow books in padded cells? Padded books? Paperbacks? Are padded cells even used any more? Can I change my answer?).
Title: Zenn Scarlett (Zenn Scarlett #1)
Genre/s: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Released Date: May 7, 2013
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When you're studying to be exoveterinarian specializing in exotic, alien life forms, school... is a different kind of animal.

Best-selling author Mike Mullin (Ashfall) calls Zenn Scarlett "...delightful, bizarre, and occasionally terrifying." Melissa West (Gravity) says it’s “Utterly imaginative… sci-fi at its best... I couldn’t put it down!” And Temple Grandin (Animals in Translation) says "All future vets will want to read Zenn Scarlett and her adventures with veterinary medicine on alien animals."

The Story

Zenn Scarlett is a resourceful, determined 17-year-old girl working hard to make it through her novice year of exovet training. That means she's learning to care for alien creatures that are mostly large, generally dangerous and profoundly fascinating. Zenn’s all-important end-of-term tests at the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic on Mars are coming up, and, she's feeling confident of acing the exams. But when a series of inexplicable animal escapes and other disturbing events hit the school, Zenn finds herself being blamed for the problems. As if this isn't enough to deal with, her absent father has abruptly stopped communicating with her; Liam Tucker, a local towner boy, is acting unusually, annoyingly friendly; and, strangest of all: Zenn is worried she's started sharing the thoughts of the creatures around her. Which is impossible, of course. Nonetheless, she can't deny what she's feeling.

Now, with the help of Liam and Hamish, an eight-foot sentient insectoid also training at the clinic, Zenn must learn what's happened to her father, solve the mystery of who, if anyone, is sabotaging the cloister, and determine if she's actually sensing the consciousness of her alien patients... or just losing her mind. All without failing her novice year....

Title: Under Nameless Sky (Zenn Scarlett #2)
Genre/s: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Released Date: April 4, 2014
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Zenn Scarlett’s novice year of exoveterinarian training on Mars isn’t quite going to plan…

After barely surviving a plot to destroy her school and its menagerie of alien patients, could things at the Ciscan cloister get any worse? Yes. Yes they could: Zenn’s absent father Warra Scarlett has suddenly ceased all communication with her. Desperate to learn what’s become of him, Zenn stows away aboard the Helen of Troy, a starliner powered by one of the immense, dimension-jumping beasts known as Indra.

With her is Liam Tucker, a towner boy who is either very fond of her, very dangerous to her, or both. On the verge of learning the truth about her dad, Zenn’s quest suddenly catapults her and Liam thousands of light years beyond known space, and into the dark heart of a monstrous conspiracy. Braving a gauntlet of lethal environments and unearthly life forms, her courage and exovet skills will now be tested as never before.

With the fate of entire worlds hanging in the balance, Zenn is racing headlong into trouble… again.
Giveaway !!!
The Rules:
  • Open Internationally 
  • Must be 13+ to enter
  • Winners will be notified via email
  • A new winner will be chosen if a response is not received within 48 hours
  • Use the Rafflecopter to enter. I'm going to check the entries so please follow the directions correctly.
  • Contest ends November 16, 2013
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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