Interview with JL Douglas, author of Lunaside

Can you tell us a little about your book? Is it your debut novel?lunaside_cover
Lunaside is my debut novel. It’s a lesbian romance, set at a summer camp! It’s about Moira, Lunaside’s Art camp counselor, as she deals with having her geeky girlfriend work at the camp while also having feelings for the quiet, striking new counselor.
(As you can see in the art by http://layaart.tumblr.com/–Moira is caught between a nerd and too-attractive, ghost-eyed girl).
It’s also about the unexpected friendships that form between people forced to spend a summer together, and features lots of stuff about the inner workings of summer camp, based on my own experiences as a camp counselor.
(More art by http://layaart.tumblr.com/! Moira and her mismatched BFFs; Jude the Sports Camp counselor and Bailey, Lunaside’s reclusive costume designer)
Are you a plotter or a free writer?
Since I mostly write in first person, I start with a test write of that character’s point of view. After that, I think about how I can challenge my character to the point where they will have to go for what they want at all costs. Then I write a plan for how I want the story to go.
SPOILER: I almost never stick to the original plan.
Is your book part of a series or a standalone?
Lunaside is planned as a series, but each one is standalone and will feature a different counselor as the main character. The series aspect is really the story of the camp itself, as it grows and changes over time.
Do you require silence when writing or do you listen to music?
When I’m editing, I listen to a lot of house music. When I’m plotting, I listen to music that goes with the theme of the thing I’m writing. For Lunaside, that was lots of shouty indie rock about friendship. My current project’s playlist has a lot of music that sounds at home at a Soccer game or is literally about Soccer.
When I write, I can’t listen to anything. It’s too distracting. I start thinking about dancing or literally dancing, and it’s kind of hard to write like that.
Are you writing your next book? Can you share a little about it?
I’m working on a follow-up to Lunaside! It takes place the summer after Moira’s story, and will feature a different counselor as narrator. I won’t say who yet as the book is still being edited. She’s a VERY important character in Lunaside though, and expect her story to feature Writing Camp, more f/f romance, and A TON of Soccer references.
How long were you writing before getting a publishing contract?
I was always writing, but it’s only recently that I learned that it’s okay to submit stuff and tell my stories.
Prizm, my publisher, was actually the publisher I chose to study for one of my Creative Writing courses. We had to pretend to submit to a publisher or agent for practice, and I chose them because of their LGBT focus.
At the time, I wasn’t ready to submit a non-pretend query.  But then I got to the point where I felt like Lunaside was polished enough and I thought “let’s do this!”
When does your book release?
Lunaside was released January 7th of this year!
BIO:
JL Douglas left her real-life summer camp to go to university. One day, while looking over her endless pile of Stats homework she asked, “is there life after summer camp?!” Her answer was to write. LUNASIDE is her debut novel. She secretly hopes that it will be part of a master plan of one day running a summer camp of her own.
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Interview with T. Damon, author of The Falling

Can you tell us a little about your book? Is it your debut novel?the falling

My debut novel, The Falling, is Book 1 of The Forest Spirit series. It’s the tale of a Forest that is swept into drastic upheaval when a protective Higher Spirit, Labete, falls from grace and threatens the sanctity and balance of the Forest’s kingdoms. King Alston, ruler of the nymphs, refuses to take action, thereby indirectly causing the Forest to succumb to the darkness. But hope is found in the form of Narena, a willful young nymph, along with her tree whispering brother Nyxen, and debonair warrior Kellen. Together, the three nymphs join forces with sage salamander Hawthorne, sassy warrior faery Sebillon, and several Forest witches, all desperate to stop Labete and save the kingdoms. All the while, Labete is dead set on preventing them from accomplishing the one thing that would lead to his demise– awakening the Yew, the Highest Spirit and only Spirit powerful enough to destroy him.

Are you a plotter or a free writer?

I am a free writer. I generally will think of an idea for a story, start writing, and it’s not until I am at least halfway done that I decide on how it should end. Very rarely do I know the ending to a story before I begin to write, and even in those cases it’s just a general idea.

Is your book part of a series or a standalone?

The Falling is Book 1 of the Forest Spirit series. Book 2, entitled The Haunting, was accepted for publication by Nightchaser Ink Publishing, the publishing house that put out The Falling. I imagine The Haunting will come out sometime early next year, or very late this year. But I don’t have a release date as of yet.

Do you require silence when writing or do you listen to music?

I generally require silence when I write. I don’t even want my husband speaking to me while I am in the midst of a story. Usually I have to write while my one year old naps and my husband is at work.

Are you writing your next book? Can you share a little about it?

My next book, The Haunting, is completed and in my publisher’s editing queue. Let’s just say that things are not completely resolved after The Falling, though it takes a whole generation before the darkness starts to flare up again. There’s a new cast of characters, and some old favorites return to help as well. The villain is different, and in my opinion, easier to relate to than Labete, but still diabolical and terrifying nonetheless. I think the title gives the reader a good idea of what starts happening in the Forest in Book 2.

How long were you writing before getting a publishing contract?

I’ve been writing my entire life, but didn’t start to seriously consider it as a career until about three years ago. About a year ago, I initially self-published The Falling after two years of waiting around for big publishers to get back to me, as well as the typical rejections one receives when submitting. I was picked up by indie publisher Nightchaser Ink about two months after I released the book, which I’m told is nearly unheard of in the industry. I just consider myself extremely fortunate for that to have happened.

When does your book release?

The Falling is currently available on Nightchaser Ink’s website, Amazon, Barnes and Noble.com, and on all e-readers. The Haunting will likely release sometime early next year.

Bio:

T. Damon enjoys exploring the paranormal, and all things magical, mystical, and mythical. Her interest in horror novels and movies sparked a never ending quest to scare herself silly, and she’s still awaiting the book or film that will prevent her from ever sleeping again. Aside from this, she spends a lot of her free time learning about astrology, crystals, and perfecting her methods of various divinations, such as tarot card readings.

Links:

T. Damon on Nightchaser Ink’s website: http://www.nightchaserink.com/#!t-damon/c1nkc (Here you can find all the links to purchase the book on an e-reader)
T. Damon’s blog: tdamon.wordpress.com
The Falling by T. Damon on Facebook: facebook.com/thefallingbook
The Falling on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Falling-Book-one-Forest-Spirit/dp/1512235172/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440098854&sr=8-1&keywords=the+falling+by+t+damon
The Falling at Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-falling-t-damon/1122050496?ean=9781512235173

Interview with Clayton Gerrard, author of The Misadventures of a Life Less Lived

Can you tell us a little about your book? Is it your debut novel?

It is my debut novel! The Misadventures of a Life Less Lived is the story of Doug, a secretly-bookish college junior who lies to his friends to maintain their good opinion. Doug wakes one morning to discover his life has spoiled. (Because he kept it in the fridge to maintain a chill lifestyle, but somebody left it out overnight.) As a member of a popular fraternity, having no life is social suicide, so he embarks on a quest to find another life before anyone can discover he’s a temporary loser.

It’s New Adult – Magical Realism, so it has a strong fantasy element. It’s also satirical, absurd, and uproariously funny. It’s being published by REUTS publications. You can read the publishers blog here: http://blog.reuts.com/reuts-signs-satirical-and-snarky-the-misadventures-of-a-life-less-lived/

Are you a plotter or a free writer?

Both, actually. Like several greater authors before me, I liken my process to driving a car at night. I know my destination, but I can only see so far in front of me. Often there are unexpected curves and detours, but those are the aspects of the work that I love. Being surprised by my characters is the best part of creating a story. As long as they don’t go too far afield.

Is your book part of a series or a standalone?

It’s truly a standalone. I do have a mind to take some of the characters on another journey later, but the two books won’t be interrelated at all. My intention is you could read the second without even knowing there was a first and still feel as though you had a whole story.

Do you require silence when writing or do you listen to music?

I sometimes need something soothing, but non-distracting, so I’ll occasionally listen to classical music or Gregorian chant. Still, I’ll only listen during the rough draft. Revision requires total silence, or rather, white noise. A strong fan in the room helps.

Are you writing your next book? Can you share a little about it?

I am working on my next. The working title is A Hero Twain, and it’s the first in a dark, adult fantasy trilogy. It’s still too fresh and tender of an idea to share much more. I will say it’s as different from my first novel as Stephen King is from Douglas Adams. There’s nothing like jumping genres with your first two books. I may be shooting myself in the foot by not furthering the fan base that may come along with Misadventures, but Hero Twain is demanding to be told.

How long were you writing before getting a publishing contract?

I’ve been writing all my life, or at least trying to. The most success I’ve had prior to signing a deal with REUTS is having a handful of plays produced at small, community or collegiate venues. Misadventures is not only my debut novel, but the first novel I’ve been able to sit and write start to finish. The first draft took about a year, finding time here and there, and came in at a whopping 125,000 words. Then came the rewrites, and the whittling of a full fifth of those pesky words. I put in three full revisions, spanning two more years of work, before I was happy enough to put it in front of others. I’m spoiled, and tremendously lucky, that the first publisher I sent it to wanted it. I also fell in love with REUTS Publications, their mission, their transparency, and their love of what they do. I couldn’t have found a happier home for my novel.

When does your book release?

Our tentative release is February 2016, but it’s not a certainty yet. We’re still awfully fresh in the process, and wheels of this industry turn slow, as I’m sure you know. My fingers are crossed that we meet all our deadlines early.

Interview with Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, author of Bloodtraitor

Can you tell us a little about your book? Is it your debut novel?bt-cover

Bloodtraitor (ETA April, 2016) is the third book in the Maeve’ra Trilogy, and my seventeenth young adult urban fantasy novel.

Maeve’ra tells the story of a group of serpent shapeshifters known as the Obsidian Guild, who have chosen to become outlaws instead of serving the vampires who claim dominion over their kind. In Bloodtraitor, the guild has broken into factions. Malachi must feign loyalty to many, including the vampires and the new serpent queen, as part of a dangerous conspiracy that is the only hope they have of destroying their vampiric overlords’ empire forever.

Are you a plotter or a free writer?

I’m a “pantser,” meaning I write my first drafts by the seat of my pants. I usually start with one key character or scene or “what if” question and go from there. If I finish a draft and feel it has a good story, characters, and ideas, I’ll go back, outline and revise or rewrite as much as I need to.

Is your book part of a series or a standalone?

Most of the nine books in the Den of Shadows series are designed to stand alone- they are labeled as a series because they have some overlapping characters, but they don’t tell one long story and can be picked up in any order- but the Kiesha’ra and Maeve’ra books are best read in order.

Do you require silence when writing or do you listen to music?

I find it very difficult to write in a quiet environment. If I’m at home I usually listen to music. If I go out, I’ll go to write-ins at Starbucks or other places where there are plenty of distractions.
Most of the time, I have a particular album or set of songs I listen to for each book. The genres vary considerably; the only kinds of music I almost never write to are rap and classical. I find both of those distracting.

Are you writing your next book? Can you share a little about it?

After the Maeve’ra Trilogy ends, I might take a break from young adult to work on an adult fantasy-romance novel tentatively titled, Of the Abyss. Abyss first came into existence through NaNoWriMo in 2006, and I’ve been occasionally revisiting and revising it since.

How long were you writing before getting a publishing contract?

I’ve been writing since I learned to write and loved telling stories even before then, so it’s hard to give an exact number. I started what would become my first complete novel in fifth grade- if you can call it that. The first one didn’t have much value except as practice. I kept experimenting, and finally completed something worth revising a couple years later. Nine drafts later, I started submitting to agents December 31, 1997; I signed my first contract with Delacorte (now part of Penguin Random House) in May, 1998.

When does your book release?

Bloodtraitor is due to hit shelves April 12, 2016.

Bio:

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes published her first novel, In the Forests of the Night, when she was a freshman in high school. Since then, she has continued publishing novels for young adults during college and graduate school, and now as a full-time teacher and mother. Her published works include the Den of Shadows series, the Kiesha’ra Series, and the Maeve’ra trilogy. She can be found online on the message board of her website (nyeusigrube.com), her Facebook Page (facebook.com/DenOfShadows) or her Twitter (@AtwaterRhodes).

Interview with Sarah Kettles, author of The Old Creek Bridge

Can you tell us a little about your book? Is it your debut novel?

THE OLD CREEK BRIDGE is my debut novel! It’s a YA Contemp about family, love and loss, the mistakes that are an inevitable part of being a young adult, and how you react when faced with all that. The main character is a working class teenage boy with a chip on his shoulder the size of South Carolina who’s eventually forced to chose between cultivating his anger and spending the rest of his life alone.
Are you a plotter or a free writer?
 
A bit of both, really. I generally begin with creating a very loose outline of major plotpoints – the things that NEED to happen for the story to BE the story – and then free write my way from point to point. Sometimes I wander too far from one point to get back to the next – that’s when I become more of a plotter, back-tracking to figure out where I went wrong and picking out smaller points I need to hit to make sure I don’t get too far off-track.

Is your book part of a series or a standalone?
 
Standalone! I never thought that my first book would be – everything I wrote before it was planned as a series, if not actually written as a series – but I’m actually glad it is. Debuting with a series seems like a lot of pressure!

Do you require silence when writing or do you listen to music?
 
I can listen to music, but only if it it doesn’t have words – otherwise I end up copying down the lyrics instead of actually writing! It’s a shame, because I love making playlists for each of my works-in-progress, but I can’t listen to them while I’m writing, just while I’m brainstorming. Generally, I end up writing in silence.
 
Are you writing your next book? Can you share a little about it?

I’m actually working on two books, but the one that’s most likely to be finished next is another standalone YA Contemp, LACY, DYING, which is about a girl whose best friend attempts suicide four days before Christmas Eve and her struggle to comprehend what happened and what will happen if Lacy actually dies. As you may be able to tell, I don’t do much in the way of bright-and-bubbly, but my characters are never (permanently) without hope!

When does your book release?
THE OLD CREEK BRIDGE debuts November 24, 2015!
BIOAuthor Photo (800x800)

Sarah Kettles is an American married to a Scot and living in Ireland, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing at University College Dublin in 2012. She’s been writing since she learned to read and playing with words since long before that. When she’s not working on her next book, she works as a freelance editor and illustrator. Online, you can find her at SarahKettles.com and @sfkettles on Twitter.

Interview with JM Frey, author of The Untold Tale

Can you tell us a little about your book? Is it your debut novel? Rotoscoped Cover_JMFrey

Publisher’s Marketplace called it “Inkheart for Adults”, and I’ve nicknamed it my feminist meta-fantasy novel. But honestly, I’ve found it one of the most difficult of my books to try to describe in a pithy way! This is what we came up with:

THE UNTOLD TALE follows Pip, who is pulled against her will into the epic fantasy novel series she’s loved since she was a teenager. However, the world is darker, and far more dangerous than she could have ever predicted, especially when it turns out the hero is a much bigger misogynistic ass than she knew.  Pip knows how to circumnavigate the Hero’s Journey and the pitfalls and loopholes of this particular world – but what will happen to her beloved characters outside of the comfort of the fantasy they were written for?

What I love about this book, though, is that it’s not told from Pip’s perspective. The narrator is the younger brother of the world’s big enchanted-sword wielding power-fantasy hero. And he himself is a representative of the everyman geek.

I wanted write a book about what happens to people like the fantasy fans who read the books while in the books. Not everyone is Aragorn or Lancelot. Classic fantasy books have a history of having no respectable place for women in their narratives, and stereotyping men who are clever and use their brains instead of brawn as snivelling, whiney villains. This made it really hard for me, as an adolescent, to find anything to relate to in fantasy books. I was nerdy and female.

So when I decided I wanted to write a Swords and Sorcery epic, I wanted to write a compelling, engaging tale where the power-fantasy hero is not the one who saves the day, but the sidelined, ridiculed characters.

THE UNTOLD TALE isn’t my debut novel (that was the Lambda Award Nominated TRIPTYCH, in 2011), but it is my first epic fantasy novel. TRIPTYCH was social science fiction, and I’ve put out a lot of urban fantasy/spec-fic/ horror short stories since. So, this is sort of like a debut, because I’m entering a side of the genre world that I’ve never trod before. It’s very exciting!

Are you a plotter or a free writer?

Generally I’m a free writer/pantser.

When I start a book I’m never certain if what I’m writing will be the beginning, the end, or something in the middle. Usually I write the scene that has jumped into my head, and then I write down whatever other chunks are floating around in there, and then I take a step away to consider what I’ve created and what the structure of such a story could be. I find Scrivener invaluable for this process – it’s a great program and I cannot pimp it enough! I move things around like Jenga blocks, so having the Binder feature is really useful.

Once I’ve figured out what the overall narrative might be, based on what I’ve written, then I usually try to figure out how the narrative should end. I jump to the ending and I write that next. Once I know where the end is, then I think about where the beginning has to be, based on that – and I jump forward and write that. Once that’s done, I try to think of all the cool scenes or moments that I really want to get on “paper” before they fly out of my head.  Then I go back to the beginning and start filling in the blanks as I come to them. If another cool scene or bit of dialogue jumps into my head, I leap forward and write that, and then go back to where I left off.

So, essentially, it’s like building a stone walkway. I make a bunch of bricks and then play Tetris and Jenga with them until they fit together the way I want them to. I lay the first and the last stones of the path, and then play with the rest of the stones until they lay right, and then I go in and cement them all together.

However, as this book is a series, I’ve found myself having to outline and workshop the second and third books in a way I’ve never done before. It sort of takes some of the spontaneity out of it, I’ll admit, and I find myself bored with the hours I’m spending in front of the keyboard only because I know how the book ends and what happens and everything and there’s little for me to discover or play with.

That said, I just finished the second book in the series in about five weeks, and I’ve never done so much that quickly. Also, I think it’s a stronger and more connected draft than I’ve ever had as my first before. So there’s definitely advantages to both ways.

Is your book part of a series or a standalone?

This is my first series! THE UNTOLD TALE is Book One of THE ACCIDENTAL TURN series. I’ve also never had such tight timelines and turnarounds before. In some ways it’s really inspiring and motivating, and others it’s scary as heck! The series is comprised of three novels and two novellas, which I understand will be ebook only. They are: THE UNTOLD TALE (Dec 2015), THE FORGOTTEN TALE (June 2016), THE SILENCED TALE (Dec 2016) and THE GUARRALOUS GHOST OF GWILLFIFESHIRE (winter 2016) and THE WONDROUS WOES OF THE WRITER (summer 2016).

There’s also a website and social media for the faux-author of the fake fantasy series I created for the books, The Tales of Kintyre Turn, and it’s been a lot of fun commissioning fan artists to draw fan art of the series, posting as Elgar Reed, the author, and encouraging people to write fanfiction about the non-existent fantasy books.

Do you require silence when writing or do you listen to music?

Oh, silence, definitely. I studied singing and musical theatre when I was younger, so I have such an ear for lyrics that if I have music playing I pay attention to the words, or the narrative that the music is building, instead of what I’m trying to create. I absolutely have to write to silence. I can’t even write if someone has the TV on in the other room.
Having said that, I do edit to noise. Having the distraction is useful in this case because then I don’t become too wrapped up in the story to remember to take my red pen to it. I always do the first round of edits on a printed copy of the manuscript (it helps me get the sense of it as a book rather than just a story), and with a red pen. And generally in a pub.

Are you writing your next book? Can you share a little about it?

Right now the first two novels and the first novella is written. I’m in the midst of writing novella number two (which I want done by the end of August) and then novel number three is next (followed by a screenplay that’s already been promised to a production house. Next year I’ll be writing another screenplay on spec, potentially the transmedia stuff for the first screenplay, and then two more novels for my next trilogy.)
What I love about book two is that it follows our heroes after their Happily Ever After, and talks about what sorts of domestic issues might arise when you end up with the Perfect Book Boyfriend.

How long were you writing before getting a publishing contract?

I began writing fanfiction in 1991, and wrote nearly every day for pretty much a full decade. In 2001, one of my TAs at university suggested I try my hand at original fiction. Between 2002-2007 I wrote this, jeeze, just epic dark fantasy book about vampires and ancient gods and redheaded trickster figures, and knew as soon as it was finished that it was just unpublishable. Not because it was bad, but because it was so big, and sprawling, and … epic. Even editing it was a chore. The spellchecker would conk out because there were just too many weird names. (I’m actually serializing it on Wattpad right now under a pseudonym.)

After that I decided to try to write something smaller, more like the fanfiction I loved to write, something that was more of a character study with plot (which is a narrative style that has sort of become my signature, now.) I eventually produced the novella (BACK), which I sold in 2008, and then expanded based on fan mail I received for the novella into TRIPTYCH. I sent out 64 queries to agents and small presses, and in the end it was because I was at a room party at the Ad Astra convention in 2009 that I met Dragon Moon Press’ acquisitions editor Gabrielle Harbowy. She asked to read TRIPTYCH, and DMP signed it in December 2009. It was published April 2011, and we held the launch party back at Ad Astra.

From there, the critical attention that TRIPTYCH received put me out there, and after some false starts, I ended up signing with my agent at Fuse Literary with the next two books I wrote. One of which was THE UNTOLD TALE.

When does your book release?

December 8th, 2015! Yay! Just in time for Holiday prezzies!

Bio: JMFrey_Sears

J.M. is a voice actor, and SF/F author, fanthropologist and professional geek. She’s appeared in podcasts, documentaries, and on television to discuss all things geeky through the lens of academia. She also has an addiction to scarves, Doctor Who, and tea, which may or may not all be related. Her life’s ambitions are to have stepped foot on every continent (only 3 left!), and to perform a duet with John Barrowman.

Her debut novel TRIPTYCH was nominated for two Lambda Literary Awards,  won the San Francisco Book Festival award for SF/F, was nominated for a 2011 CBC Bookie, was named one of The Advocate’s Best Overlooked Books of 2011, and garnered both a starred review and a place among the Best Books of 2011 from Publishers Weekly.

THE UNTOLD TALE, book one of The Accidental Turn Series, debuts December 2015. Dubbed “Inkheart for Adults”, the story follows Pip, a fan girl extraordinaire as she teams up with the overlooked younger brother of a fantasy-epic hero to defeat the one villain the author of her favourite fantasy book series never seemed to be able to get rid of.

Interview with Jessica Gunn, author of Gyre

Can you tell us a little about your book? Is it your debut novel?

GYRE is my debut novel, and it’s about what happens when a fledgling archaeologist accidentally teleports onto a classified Navy research vessel, awakening an ancient time-travel war between Atlantis and Lemuria, and placing the vessel in the crosshairs. There’s romance, adventure, powers, and a bit of archaeology. It’s kind of a crazy mix of things, but it’s fun! 🙂 You can read more about it on my Goodreads page here.

Are you a plotter or a free writer?

I’m a weird sort of hybrid. Usually I start with a vague idea, jot down a few notes, and start writing. I only plot a few chapters in advance because I’m afraid of “losing the magic”. But with GYRE, after I wrote the first book I heavily plotted the rest, not knowing if I’d ever land a publishing home for the book/series. Even then, things have changed along the way. I’ve found that the characters pretty much do what they want, regardless of how you go about it.

Is your book part of a series or a standalone?

GYRE is the first book of a series, but I’ve so far only gotten a contract for this one book, so we’ll see 🙂

Do you require silence when writing or do you listen to music?

It totally depends on the project and my mood. While writing and editing GYRE, I listened to a playlist from 8Tracks that had epic soundtrack music, but there weren’t words. That seems to be the sweet spot. If I end up singing along, I lose focus and start a dance party. Which is fun but unproductive 🙂

Are you writing your next book? Can you share a little about it?

Yes! I’m in between writing what would be the third in the GYRE series and a YA fantasy. The YA fantasy is a remix of Arthurian legend. I’ve been obsessed with it since watching Merlin.

How long were you writing before getting a publishing contract?

I’ve been writing since 8th grade. I know that sounds silly and I know a lot of people say that, but it’s true. That said, I’ve been writing to query since around 2009. Those weren’t really serious attempts, looking back on it now, but I went to my first writing conference in 2012 and that was the first time I pitched a novel to an agent. GYRE’s contract is my first 🙂

When does your book release?

GYRE releases February 1st, 2016 from Curiosity Quills Press, and I can’t wait!

Bio: jessica gunn

Jessica Gunn is a New Adult author and avid science-fiction and fantasy fan. Her favorite stories are those that transport the reader to other, more exciting worlds. When not working or writing, she can be found binge-watching Firefly and Stargate, or feeding her fascination of the ancient world’s many mysteries. Jessica also holds a degree in Anthropology.

To catch up with Jessica, follow her on Twitter (@JessGunnAuthor) or on her website, www.jessicagunn.com.

Interview with Kristine Carlson Asselin, author of Any Way You Slice It

Can you tell us a little about your book? Is it your debut novel?any way you slice it

Any Way You Slice It is my debut novel. It’s about Penelope Spaulding, who loves to speed skate. She races around the rink to blow off steam after yet another fight with her dad about going to culinary school. When Jake Gomes, the bad boy who lives down the street, dares her to join the Rink Rats, the local misfit hockey team, she surprises herself and joins in silent defiance of her father and his expectations. – See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/any-way-you-slice-it-9781619637832/

Are you a plotter or a free writer?

I’m definitely a pantser (free writer) though I wish I could be a better plotter. I love just jumping in and being with my characters, but sometimes that backfires when I have no idea what they are doing or where they are going next!

Is your book part of a series or a standalone?

AWYSI is a standalone novel, but I’m thinking about another story in the same world…it’s brewing. Stay tuned!

Do you require silence when writing or do you listen to music?

I don’t really require silence, but I’m not necessarily a music listener either. It depends on where I am. I do create playlists for all my books, to inspire myself when I’m blocked.

Are you writing your next book? Can you share a little about it?

I’m working on a middle grade novel right now that I’m pitching as the “Prince(ss) and the Pauper” meets “I’m in the Band.” It’s about a girl who gets mistaken for a pop star and ends up living her life for a day. I’m so excited about getting it out in the world.

How long were you writing before getting a publishing contract?

I’ve been writing seriously for about 10 years…Before the novel debuted in 2015, I had written 14 work for hire nonfiction books for the school library market. The first one in that genre released in 2008. I was writing for about three years before the first nonfiction—but almost ten years before the novel came out. It’s been a long (often lonely…often wonderful) road. I’ve made the best friends, and had the best times since I started on this journey!

When does your book release?

Any Way You Slice It came out in April 2015. My newest middle grade nonfiction (What You Need to Know about Concussions) released in August 2015 and I’ve got a new project about Women in World War I coming out in spring 2016.

Bio:

Kristine Carlson Asselin lives in Massachusetts and writes Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction. Her debut YA novel ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT (Bloomsbury Spark) came out in April 2015. She is also the author of fifteen children’s books for the elementary school library market. Kris volunteers with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, and loves Harry Potter, Doctor Who, classic rock from the 70’s and 80’s, and anything with a time travel theme.

She is a proud member of SCBWI-New England, a contributor to the Sporty Girl Books blog, and a host for the weekly twitter chat #MGLitChat. Kris does query package critiques under the alter-ego @QueryGodMother and loves doing school visits for kids all over New England. Follow Kristine on twitter @KristineAsselin and learn more at http://www.kristineasselin.com.

Buy Any Way You Slice It here:

Kindle

Nook

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Interview with Melody Winter, author of Sachael Dreams

Can you tell us a little about your book? Is it your debut novel?sachael dreams 

Sachael Dreams is my debut novel. It’s a New Adult Romantic Fantasy written from the point of view of Estelle. She’s returned to her childhood home in Ravenscar on the North East coast of England after completing her degree in Art History in York. Everything changes when a mysterious man joins her on one of her midnight swims in the ocean. He’s a Sachael, a master of seduction, and offers her a life she could never have imagined. As secrets unfold a new danger arrives and before Estelle can fully comprehend what’s happening she becomes a pawn in a war she knew nothing about. She struggles to know who to believe and who to side with. Should she turn her back on her Sachael, or fight to escape her alluring, intimidating captor?
There are many subplots, mystery, heartache and romance that all overlap, but there is also an element of darkness running through the very existence of Sachaels.

Are you a plotter or a free writer?

I’m a plotter although I drift into free writing throughout my plot. I know the complete arc of the story before I begin, and even plan out chapters with a brief description of what needs to happen in each scene. As I write and my characters come alive they often stray from my original plan. I love it when this happens, and it regularly does. I usually let them have their own way before steering them back onto the original plan, but I have been known to complete change my direction due to their insistent demand. For example, when I was writing Sachael Desires (Mine #2) I was prepared to write a character full of hate and anger, but when I started writing him, he refused to be the person I’d envisaged. He turned out to be a loving and honourable man, but he did keep a little of how I saw him as he’s very sarcastic and demanding. He’s now one of my favourite characters.
I’d hate to just start writing and not know where I’m going with any of the characters, but maybe this comes from writing a four book series. I HAD to know the definite arc of each of the four books and could never have done that without knowing where I was heading or how I’d get there.

Is your book part of a series or a standalone?

The first book could be read as a standalone, but the reader would probably have many unanswered questions. Only through reading the whole series will the answers become known. If the first book is missed then the other books will not make sense. The series is like a book of 500k words broken down into four manageable chunks.

Do you require silence when writing or do you listen to music?

I prefer silence. I used to like listening to music but found myself getting easily side-tracked. Having said that, when I’m not writing I can often be found listening to my story’s playlist on my IPod. I have a track for every chapter, and love searching for the right song to fit the chapters. Many times a song can influence my writing, but I still can’t listen to it whilst I’m writing.

Are you writing your next book? Can you share a little about it?

I have the fourth book in the Mine series to finish, but have recently been writing the first book in another series, this time a two book series. (The Ascent) Iniquity is a Dark New Adult Romantic Fantasy set ten years into our future. Demons have risen from beneath the earth and plunged our world into darkness. They feed from people’s emotions and not only rule over humans but control vampires, infernals and miscreants. It’s not a world I would want to experience. The story is written from Athena’s POV and follows her journey as she turns twenty one and becomes embroiled in an unwanted relationship with a demon.

How long were you writing before getting a publishing contract?

I thought of the main characters for Sachael Dreams in 2012 and lived with them in my head for a good six months. I began writing their story in January 2013. The first draft was finished within six months, and I sent it to numerous ‘writer’ friends before sending it out to publishers. I signed with Reuts Publications in May 2014, so my journey has been pretty quick although it didn’t seem it at the time.

When does your book release?

Sachael Dreams was released in February 2015 and the second book in the series, Sachael Desires, is due to be released in November 2015.

Bio: melody winter

Growing up, Melody showed a natural ability in art, a head for maths, and a tendency to write too long English essays. Difficult to place in the world when she graduated, she pursued a career in teaching, but ended up working in finance. Melody is convinced the methodical times she spends working with numbers fuel her desire to drift into dream worlds and write about the illusory characters in her head.

Melody Winter lives in York, North Yorkshire, England with her husband and two sons. When not dealing with football, rugby, and a whole plethora of ‘boy’ activities, she will be found scribbling notes for her stories, or preparing for another trip to the nearby beaches at Scarborough and Whitby. With an obsession for anything mythical, Melody revels in reading and writing about such creatures.

Links
Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sachael-Dreams-Mine-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00TYZJNFA/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1440356790&sr=1-1&keywords=sachael+dreams
Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Sachael-Dreams-Mine-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00TYZJNFA/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1424905663&sr=1-1&keywords=sachael+dreams
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8241647.Melody_Winter
REUTS Publications: http://www.reuts.com/books/sachael-dreams/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MelodyWinter
Web: http://www.melodywinter.com
Blog: http://www.melodywinterbooks.blogspot.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melody-Winter-Author/169310363186274?ref=hl