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When she's not writing, M.G. moonlights as a web designer and social media/creative director. She's the current web ninja lurking behind the hugely popular website YABooksCentral.com, a social network for YA (and kids!) book lovers. If you look hard enough, you might spot M.G. hiding in these places: in her creaky old house nestled in Michigan pines, sipping coffee on her porch, playing in leaf piles, cooking over campfires, and dipping her toes in creek beds.
1. What is your favorite color? My childhood self would say Magenta, mostly because it's such a fun word to say. My grownup self would say Autumn. All colors of Autumn.
2. Favorite food? How about an entire food group: Dairy. Slather it on, please and thank you.
3. Favorite movie of all time? The Princess Bride, hands down.
4. Favorite song? Currently? Down in the Valley by The Head and the Heart
5. Favorite book of all time? Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis. Also The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
All about Writing
1. How did your interest in writing originate?
I've always loved stories. My father is a natural story-teller, keeping visitors enraptured long into the night at his dinner table, so I may have caught the bug from him. I didn't have money to buy books, and I lived on a farm too far from the library, so if I wanted stories to read, I had to write them myself. First I scribbled in notebooks, then hammered away on the typewriter, then saved entire chapters on my old Commodore 64. I honestly can't remember a time when I wasn't writing. It's always been a part of me.
2. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I try to carve out full days of writing when I can. Two days a week I go to the YABooksCentral.com office for The Day Job. The rest of the week I commit to writing: from the moment I wake until the moment I crash in bed. My husband is the amazing kind who brings me coffee and meals, and reminds me to take breaks. I prefer marathon writing to little spurts here and there.
3. Do you work with outline or just write?
I always outline in some form or another. I have to know what's coming next or else I lose interest in the story. When I know a particular thrilling or delicious scene is coming soon, it pushes me to keep writing until I get there. Sometimes the outline remains in my head, sometimes I sketch out each act in a notebook. Currently I'm trying a post-it method on my wall, and it's working beautifully.
4. What was the hardest part in writing your book? The easiest?
57 Lives is a time travel story, so the hardest part was building a world that obeyed specific time travel laws. (Time travel might be the absolute hardest genre to write. It'll break your brain more than once.) Also, when Alex travels back in time, there's a lot of research that goes into each historical time period in order to present them accurately. I'm always afraid I'll get some tiny detail completely wrong. The easiest parts were the contemporary scenes when Alex is at home or at school. Alex is a lot like me — a tech geek loner chick — so having her navigate her present day life flowed easily. Even though I love the sci-fi and historical elements of the book, in some ways I love Alex's contemporary scenes the most.
5. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I'm almost always working on YABooksCentral.com, running book giveaways, promoting authors, and creating book haul videos. YABC has been around since 1998 (!!!) so the traffic is huge and managing it is a 24/7 gig. When I'm not working on YABC, you can find me reading, plowing through TV seasons in my jammies, going to movies (I'm addicted to movie-theater popcorn), camping on remote islands, road tripping (cars + travel = WIN), and waxing poetic about all things coffee.
Finish the sentence
1. The difference between fiction and reality is the author gets to decide the outcome. When you write, you get to decide how characters respond to each other and how they react to certain situations. You can tie the ending up in a nice pink bow or you can leave it messy and scarred. In reality, however, you can never know what's going on in someone else's head. You can never know how they'll react to some stupid thing you've said. You'll never be in full control, and you'll never know how things will end. That makes reality infinitely more fascinating and dangerous, but also makes fiction infinitely more fun. You get to build an entire world, then tear it down, then build it back up again. It's a safe place to cause destruction.
2. Research is what I'm doing when I'm learning about a new time period or culture for 57 Lives. In the book, Alex is a reincarnated soul, so she's lived in many historical time periods throughout the years. When she goes back in time to explore those lives, I want those scenes to be real. I want the reader to feel like they've stepped into a speakeasy in 1927 Chicago, or on a steam train in 1876 Missouri, or slid into the driver's seat of a Corvette cruising through Cincinnati in 1961. But when I think about it, I'm always researching. Living your life, getting out there, meeting people, having adventures — that in and of itself is a wealth of research for novels. (I also consider binge TV and film watching very important research.)
3. I can write better when I have coffee. I don't need to drink it necessarily, I just need a warm mug in my hands, steam rising to my chin. I need quiet, usually, and something pretty to look at out the window. I also need to be alone. I like to work out conversations between my characters aloud, and I feel pretty silly doing that in front of others. I used to do it as a kid, walking around the farm carrying on conversations with people who weren't there, which led to a lot of teasing from my older brother. So... yeah. Alone is preferred.
4. Sleep is an excellent way to recharge those plotting muscles. Sometimes you dive too deep into a story and can't find your way out. Sleep always gives you a fresh perspective in the morning. You get to come up for air.
5. A room without a book is bland. Books make the best decor. Plus, the more books you have on display, the more intelligent you'll seem to others, which equals twelvity-five bonus smarty pants points.
Cover of The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare was first revealed on YABC!
Title: The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare (Alex Wayfare #1)
Genre/s: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance
Released Date: March 6, 2014 (UK) | March 4, 2014 (US)
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One girl. Fifty-seven lives. Endless ways to die.For as long as 17-year-old Alex Wayfare can remember, she has had visions of the past. Visions that make her feel like she’s really on a ship bound for America, living in Jamestown during the Starving Time, or riding the original Ferris wheel at the World’s Fair.But these brushes with history pull her from her daily life without warning, sometimes leaving her with strange lasting effects and wounds she can’t explain. Trying to excuse away the aftereffects has booked her more time in the principal’s office than in any of her classes and a permanent place at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Alex is desperate to find out what her visions mean and get rid of them.It isn’t until she meets Porter, a stranger who knows more than should be possible about her, that she learns the truth: Her visions aren’t really visions. Alex is a Descender – capable of traveling back in time by accessing Limbo, the space between Life and Afterlife. Alex is one soul with fifty-six past lives, fifty-six histories.Fifty-six lifetimes to explore: the prospect is irresistible to Alex, especially when the same mysterious boy with soulful blue eyes keeps showing up in each of them. But the more she descends, the more it becomes apparent that someone doesn’t want Alex to travel again. Ever.And will stop at nothing to make this life her last.
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 March 6, 2014