1.) Tell my readers a little about yourself:
Thanks so much for having me today, Sasha! I’m a thirty-one-year-old writer and mom of two little kiddos. My son, Sean, is two and my daughter, Nora, is one. My husband and I adopted my son out of foster care when he was seventeen months old…a month after my miracle daughter was born. So I’m kind of still reeling from having what I like to call an “instant family”!
I’ve always been an extreme book nerd. As a kid, my parents used to bribe me to have friends over, but I’d never take them up on it. Reading alone in my room was pure bliss then…and still is now. I gobble up books like nobody’s business. (Can’t wait to find out what happens in Book Three Sasha! If you haven’t picked up Black Amaranth or Black Abaddon, do it! Such a good story.) I also love movies. Anything with a great storyline really sucks me in. I will admit that I have cried watching The Hunger Games and Divergent, simply because I was in awe of the stories and world building. Ah! Such a nerd!
I got started writing as a blogger with my husband. We had a marriage/relationship blog that did rather well and then magazines started publishing us and then a publisher approached us about a book. After that book came out I realized that perhaps I actually could write fiction (something I always dreamed about). But it wasn’t until a friend of mine told me, “You have to write a novel,”
that I actually sat down and did it. The War Inside was written while I was waiting for my foster
care license. My next book, Dream On, with Astraea Press, was written the summer after I had my daughter. I’m so excited to be back with the Horizons trilogy and releasing Book Two, The Gray Horizon.
Oh shucks, Melissa! Thanks for the shout out :) Book three should be released sometime next month. And I hear ya...I cried reading and watching the Hunger Games (something my cousin, Tiffany, will never forgive me for. I made her watch the movies and now she'll never trust me again:). Divergent...I wanted to so bad, but hearing the serious spoilers spoiled it for me. I know it's beautiful, but that #$%^ ending! Why? *shakes fist toward the sky*
2.) YA is such a popular genre, how does your current release stand out among the rest?
The Gray Horizon is YA dystopian, so it’s in the mix with a horde of awesome books, but I like to think it has a really positive twist to it. Yes, it’s about the destruction of society, but the focus does not stay there. The trilogy really digs deep into the choice we all have between good and evil and how there are always second chances. It’s dystopian with the emphasis on putting everything back together—a rebirth of human awareness.
I loved the first one, The War Inside. I know I'll love the second one too! Your writing style is beautiful and I'm really on a huge Dystopian kick!
The Gray Horizon is Book Two in a planned trilogy. The first book, The War Inside, is told from the perspective of one of the main characters, Thea, and is the introduction to a planet where disconnection has ruined everything. A worldwide black out destroyed modern society, and then when people crawled out of their electronic haze they discovered the Earth had been demolished and the sun obliterated by a thick layer of pollution. Thea meets an innocent girl named Viv, and her life is changed forever. There’s a paranormal twist involved, and of course, some cute guys! The Gray Horizon continues the story from the perspective of Caden, Thea’s love interest in Book One. Caden deals with a lot of inner demons, this strange power he’s been given, and what exactly it means to put others first. There are creepy shadow creatures, lots of action and intrigue, epic journeys, and some steamy kisses. J
Oh I can't wait!
Keep writing and keep learning. Know your market by reading a lot. Don’t hold any one novel too dear. I just went to a writing group where most people there had been editing the same novel for like 3-4 years. They hung on to those things for dear life thinking, “If I just keep at this one book enough, someone will recognize how brilliant it is and I’ll make it big.” You can’t build a career off one book. Write a book and try to sell it. If you can’t, then maybe self-publishing is for you. Publish it and then move on to your next book. Try to sell that one to agents. Rinse and repeat. I’ve heard over and over again from authors and agents that the key to getting published is to write lots of books.
Ipersonally have learned that I love working with publishers more than self-publishing. It’s just my cup of tea now that I’ve experienced both ends of the spectrum. I love editors and I love the editing process…when I’m not the one who is in charge of line-by-line corrections! Self-publishing is awesome and has many perks. It’s just whatever ends up clicking with each unique author.
Thanks for the advice. The road to publishing *lets out a long sigh* we all have our scars, but it's nice to come away with some knowledge after going down the long hard road. Kudos to you for accomplishing both!
I just saw a story online about the Er Wang Dong cave system in China. It has its own weather system and the images that have been taken there are stunning. While I’m a bit claustrophobic, the idea of going all Jules Verne and traveling someplace underground like that sounds amazingly appealing. I think if I were ever given the chance to spelunk down there, I would grit my teeth and do it. What an amazing setting for a novel, too! Check out some pictures here: http://www.wunderground.com/news/china-cave-weather-20131002
Thanks for the pics. This place sounds and looks awesome!
Marissa Meyer, the author of the Cinder novels. I was so skeptical of yet another fairy-tale retelling, but she literally blew my mind. The way she weaves old themes with futuristic sci-fi is amazing. I would love to collaborate with her on some kind of alien book…maybe aliens that have been trapped in lost caves in China!
Nice! I've heard of Ms. Meyer and I think her covers are very eye catching. My cousin and I have talked about finally giving in and reading them. When you hear that much about a series there has to be something to it :)
I either write through it or take time off. Both ends of the spectrum! If I decide to write through, I allow myself to write total crap. Sometimes writing twenty pages of crap can get you through the rough patches and back into the flow of the story. You can always go back an edit profusely later!
When taking a step back I don’t forget about the story. Quite the opposite, actually. I don’t write for a couple of days, but I think about the thing all the time. While I’m washing dishes, driving, in the shower…I let the tricky parts ruminate and roll around in my noggin until I figure out the next part of the story. This method usually works, especially because I don’t allow myself to take too much time away from the computer. Just enough to be inspired once more, and then it’s back to the daily grind. (The immensely fun daily grind.)
Writers block can really be tough. I usually dealt by stepping away, drinking some coffee and watching HBO. But after the True Blood finale, I've sworn off HBO! *Crying inside, why HBO, why?*
I literally cannot answer this question! There are too, too many to count. My recent favorites would have to be: Cinder, The Atopia Chronicles, Lexicon, Salvage, and Starstruck.
I'll have to check those out!
My own freakish mind. Seriously, I’m a dreamer. I can remember dreams I’ve had way back as a kid. I have a list going right now of book plots that I’ve dreamt about. Just last night I dreamed this whole NA retelling of The Little Mermaid. I think perhaps I should eat less chocolate before bed…or maybe more…the jury is still out on that one!
Oh, nice! NA retelling of The Little Mermaid? That sounds awesome. I would totally read that!
I have three books in the works right now: Book Three in the Horizons Trilogy, The Rising Sun. I also have a super-hero novel that I will be shopping around to agents in the late fall/early winter. And an alien book that’s in outlining stages. I’m really jazzed about all of them!
I LOVE that title, The Rising Sun. Thanks for stopping by and I've had a great time interviewing you!
1.) Favorite food: Chocolate.
2.) Favorite movie: Currently, Winter’s Tale.
3.) Mountains or beach? Beach.
4.) Hardback or eBook? I love both equally.
5.) Favorite color: Black.
6.) Plane or car? Car. I have an intense fear of flying, but love to travel. It’s a curse.
7.) Cat or dog? Dog
8.) Silk or cotton? Cotton. Less maintenance.
9.) Favorite season? Winter. Crisp snow outside and a mug of coffee snuggled up with a good book inside is heaven.
10.) Fiction or Non-Fiction? Fiction, all the way!
Add to Goodreads: Book 2
Buy on Amazon: Book 2
Author website: here
Author blog: here
I'm in the process of reading The Gray Horizon. Review will be coming soon! Thanks again, M. Kircher, for stopping by today and happy writing!