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<<August 2015>>
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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: author interviews, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 808
1. Life in the Meadow with Madie, An Interview with Patty Luhovey

Patty Luhovey began to write Life in the Meadow with Madie: Mr. Earl's Missing Eyeglasses in 2009. Several of the story’s characters are based upon family members, even her daughter’s dog Carli.

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2. Exclusive Excerpt & 10 Chances to Win! // AWAKE by Natasha Preston

Today we are celebrating Natasha Preston's newest YA Thriller, AWAKE, which will be releasing August 4th.  Natasha has graciously provided us with an exclusive excerpt from the book, and make sure you check out the awesome giveaway at the end of this post! Excerpt from AWAKE by Natasha Preston “Come here,” I said, holding my hands out. Usually she would curl into my side but

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3. Risk, Meet Fleur Ferris

Thanks for speaking to Boomerang Books Blog, Fleur. Thanks you for having me on the blog Joy. Your new YA novel, Risk (Random House Australia) is creating a buzz in Australian YA circles. I believe that it has a very important message, told as an engaging story. Is it your first published work? Have you met […]

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4. Georgie Donaghey in the Spotlight; ‘Lulu’ Makes her Debut

It’s not enough to just want something and hope that it will be delivered  to you on a silver platter. Unfortunately for most of us, life isn’t that simple. What we try to teach our kids is that you absolutely can achieve your aspirations, your goals, your dreams, but it takes work, persistence and determination. […]

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5. Review – Lulu

At first glance, life on the icy floes may seem appealing. (Unless you reside in SE Queensland as I do with no real concept of what cold is until you have to live through ‘an unseasonably cold winter’ with little more than a cotton tee-shirt and a pair of bed socks). In Lulu’s world, there […]

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6. Will Mabbitt, Author of The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones | Speed Interview

Will Mabbitt writes. He writes in cafes, on trains, on the toilet, and sometimes in his head when his laptop runs out of power. The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones is his first book. Another one is coming soon.

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7. Alex and the Messy Monster, An Interview with Vanessa Newman

Alex and the Messy Monster is the first book in a series of children’s books that address the emotional and physical needs of kids.

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8. Australian YA Fiction: Meet Nova Weetman, author of Frankie and Joely

  My upcoming YA column for the Weekend Australian profiles four new novels by Australian women. One of the books I selected for the column is Frankie and Joely (UQP) by Nova Weetman. Nova gives some fascinating insights into her work in the following interview. What’s your background in books, Nova? My first YA novel The […]

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9. Andye's Favorite Things to do in D.C. {The Fixer Blog Tour & Giveaway}

We recently read and LOVED The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, so we jumped at the chance to be on the blog tour, and spread the love a little more! Since The Fixer is set in Washington D.C., and I happen to live in the D.C. area, I was asked to talk about my favorite things to do in D.C. Make sure you enter the Giveaway at the end of the post! Seeing all the sites: The way that I most

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10. Sheryl Berk and Carrie Berk, Authors of Fashion Academy | Selfie and a Shelfie

Sheryl Berk and Carrie Berk snapped this selfie at BookCon in May where they launched Fashion Academy!

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11. Interview with Lynne Jonell

SignCatFolks, one of the things I love about this job is the fact that I get to watch authors’ careers bloom and blossom.  I see authors starting out or at the beginning of their careers and watch as they garner praise and flourishes throughout the years.  Today’s example is author Lynne Jonell.  Back in 2007 I very much enjoyed her book Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat.  She’s written so much since then, but her latest is the one that caught my eye.  Recently Kirkus said of The Sign of the Cat in a starred review that, “Intriguing, well-drawn characters, evocatively described settings, plenty of action, and touches of humor combine to create an utterly satisfying adventure.”  The book follows the adventures of a boy who can communicate with cats.  So, right there.  You’ve got me.  Add in Lynne’s amazing answers to my questions (come for the interview, stay for the reference to a “squishing machine”) and you’ve got yourself a blog post, my friend.

Betsy Bird: Hello, Lynne!  So let’s just start with the basics from the get go.  Where did this book come from?  I mean to say, what was the impetus that made you want to write it?

Lynne Jonell: Hi, Betsy! The first and shallowest impetus for the book was that, back in 2006, I had sent a book off to my publisher but was still in full-steam-ahead writing mode. I wasn’t up for starting a whole new novel just yet, but I thought I could manage a chapter book.

Secondly, as a child, I had always wished I could speak the secret language of animals. Very quickly, a concept took shape—there would be a boy (I had never written about a boy, and it seemed like a new challenge), he could speak Cat (I love cats, plus it seemed that they would be privy to a lot of information—cats go everywhere, and no one worries about whether or not a cat is going to repeat what it hears), and he didn’t know what had happened to his father (every story needs a problem, right? I knew that much.)

Concepts won’t sustain a book for very long, though. For me, there has to be something underneath, some deeper thing that drives me to write a particular story. I usually have no idea what this thing is, or where it is rooted, but I can tell when it is there because I will have an image in my mind—something that haunts me.

EmmyIncredibleWhen I have a vivid picture—no matter that it makes no sense yet—I know there is power somewhere, there is energy enough for an entire book. Then I will begin to write toward that image. For example, Emmy & the Incredible Shrinking Rat started with a dream of a piece of green paper with a curved line, and later an image of a cane carved with the faces of little girls.

When I was beginning to toy around with The Sign of the Cat, I saw a boy and a kitten in the sea, struggling to stay afloat as the ship they’d been on sailed away into the night. There was a man on deck of the ship, too. He watched the boy without expression, and he did not give the alarm.

Soon more images began to come—a tiger, a squishing machine, Duncan hiding in a closet and watching with horror as a man dug into a pie—and I couldn’t fit them all into a chapter book. I picked up the story from time to time, playing around with it, but it wasn’t until 2010 that some of the pieces came together and I began to work seriously on the book. Now, of course, I know what the book means to me—and it’s full of personal references—but at the beginning, I didn’t have the faintest idea where it was going.

BB: You’re no stranger to the world of fantasy, but sometimes I feel like you tend to keep one foot rooted in the real world as well.  You’re not quite a magical realism writer, but when fantastical elements appear in your books they seem to happen in a world very much like our own.  Is there any particular reason for that, do you think?

lynnejonell-2011LJ: Yes, absolutely. My favorite books, as a child, were ones in which magical things happened to ordinary children, going about their ordinary business. Then suddenly—wham! The chemistry set made them invisible, the strange coin they picked up off the street gave them wishes, the nursery carpet turned out to contain the egg of a phoenix, the toy ship purchased in a dark and dusty shop could grow to carry four children, and fly… I loved the idea that maybe, just maybe, it might someday happen to me.

Children today may seem more sophisticated than we were, but that’s superficial… deep down, they are developmentally the same, and they believe in the possibility of magic a lot longer than you might think. I have had ten year olds ask me, very shyly, if the magic in my books was real.

That’s why I love to make the world of the book close to the child reader’s world. It seems as if the magic could happen to them, too, someday. And rather than magical realism, perhaps you could call my books “magical science”, because I always base the magic on some scientific concept, to make things even more plausible. For instance, in The Sign of the Cat, I was fascinated with the concept of critical periods of brain development.

There’s a famous study where normal kittens had their eyes covered for a few months after birth. When the covering was removed, the kittens were blind. Their eyes were normal, and there was nothing wrong with the optic nerve, but the connections between the brain and the optic nerve hadn’t been made during a crucial period. There are critical periods with hearing, too, and attachment (think imprinting, with baby ducks), and the acquisition of language.

I thought, what if there’s a critical period where humans had the ability to learn Cat? We wouldn’t know it, because cats can’t be bothered to teach anyone anything, and the chance would go by forever!

BB: What kinds of books did you read when you were a kid?  I’m crossing my fingers for the name “Edward Eager” to appear, just so’s you know.

PhoenixCarpetJL: Oh, sure, Edward Eager, of course—but his inspiration was E. Nesbit, and I loved her books even more. The Phoenix and the Carpet, and Five Children and It—masterpieces. I also adored Eleanor Cameron, anything by Ruth Chew (I loved The Wednesday Witch), Hilda Lewis (The Ship That Flew), Bedknobs and Broomsticks, the Narnia books of course, The Hobbit, anything by Elizabeth Enright, Eleanor Estes, Rudyard Kipling; I could go on and on…

I also had an abiding fascination with fiction about Native Americans—the different tribes, how they lived, the various cultures. I had a deep and secret longing to go back in time, before European settlers arrived, and be a Dakota boy. I wanted to be a boy because, in the books, they always had the adventures—and I also decided I would have to have perfect vision, because I was terribly nearsighted and I knew I couldn’t steal horses and count coup when I couldn’t see past my nose. I think this period was at its height when I was in fourth grade, and I remember many summer mornings where I’d grab my favorite stick and go off to some vacant lot or field where I would become that Dakota boy for hours on end.

BB: I once ran a children’s bookgroup and held up a new fantasy for them to peruse. One of them groaned audibly when they saw the number on the spine. “No more series!” she cried.  I don’t know that that kid was exactly the norm, but she did at least prove to me that there are kids out there that prefer standalone novels to series books.  Is The Sign of the Cat a standalone or the first in a series?  How did you come to make that decision?

 JL: The Sign of the Cat is a stand-alone. I don’t know how that decision was made, actually—it seems that the book made the decision for me. A reviewer said that Cat was a good “series starter” and I wondered where that came from! But I suppose that everyone, when a book ends, likes to wonder what happens next.

BB: Would you call yourself a “cat person”?  If so, do you think a non-cat person could ever write a book of this sort?

JL: I’m more a cat person than a dog person. I like the way cats are a little aloof, and don’t slobber all over you with their affection, and aren’t very needy—but they are capable of deep attachment once you get to know them. I like their independence.

rat-cookieBut I don’t own a cat, and I don’t think I needed to be a cat person to write this book. I am most definitely not a rat person, yet I wrote three books about rats!

BB: If you could speak the language of any kind of animal besides cats, what would it be?

JL: Birds. I would so love to fly… I think they might speak very poetically about flight, and they could come to my windowsill and tell me all about it.

BB: And finally, what are you working on next?

Castle_MenziesJL: I’m working on a time-travel book based in Scotland. And yes—there was an image with this book, too. The first was a postcard of Castle Menzies. My grandfather, whose clan it was, showed me the picture when I was a child, and I never forgot it.

The second image came 45 years later; I had a vivid mental picture of an acorn rolling out from a stone wall. I didn’t know what it meant, but I knew that the stone wall was part of the castle, and I also knew that it was time to get to work on that particular book.

BB:  Well, many thanks to Ms. Jonell for joining us today.  Now about that “squishing machine” . . .


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12. A Recommendation, An Author Interruption , and a 2 ARC Giveaway!

This Book Has Been Given the Andye Stamp of Approval Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life. She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared. Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart. He’d thought, all these years, that his dad

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13. Interview with Kirsty Eagar, author of Raw Blue

Kirsty Eagar is the Sydney-based author of YA novels Raw Blue, Saltwater Vampires and Night Beach, plus Summer Skin, to be published early next year (!!! I am excited about this). She's won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Young Adult fiction and been shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, the Queensland Literary Awards, the Western Australia Premier’s Awards and a Gold Inky - which should indicate that her novels are pretty terrific. I met Kirsty Eagar at the Somerset Writers Festival in 2011, so I can confirm she is as lovely in real life as she is on the internet.

Being able to ask an author tonnes of questions about their writing process under the guise of it being for my blog - when in actual fact I'm just really curious! - is one of my favourite things about blogging (I hope you love finding out the stories behind stories as much as I do!). Luckily for me, Kirsty took the time to answer all of my very involved questions with really thoughtful, interesting answers - on writing about surfing, reading while writing, exploiting your own fear to create creepy atmosphere, the advice she'd share with herself as a beginning writer, plus more.


Steph: I really love that each of your novels are so different from one another (save for the surfing theme - I'm going to ask questions about that shortly!) - from Raw Blue being achingly realistic to Saltwater Vampires being paranormal with historical elements to Night Beach being a terrifically eerie gothic horror story. So I wonder whether you decide before you set out what genre you'll write the next book in, or whether that's something you work out as you write? Genre-wise, do you favour one over the others? 

Kirsty: Oh, that’s such a good question. I’d love to know how it works for other people. With Raw Blue and Saltwater Vampires, the genre was part of the initial seed idea. It wasn’t that clear cut for Night Beach. In the beginning, I had it pegged as more of a noir thing, more realistic. But when I decided to include art in the plot, everything changed, because I’ve always loved the Surrealists. Also, the house that Abbie’s living in is borrowed directly from real life – an old place we rented. The swaying chandeliers really happened, likewise that place had no hallway (so each room had two to three doorways) and there was a locked door downstairs. So it was probably the decision to use the house that turned the story gothic. (The house’s saving grace was that it also had a great view – blurry photo below is from the balcony at night: moon over the ocean).

On genre: I have no favourite. I found Saltwater Vampires the most demanding to write, though.

Steph: I also love that surfing is a central theme in all your novels, and that it's inextricably tied to the plot of each. How do you manage to continually write about surfing in a fresh way? What first inspired you to write about surfing, and do you think it will continue to be central to your work? 
Kirsty: Before I got published I’d written two novels that almost, but not quite, made it, and I’d given up on the whole idea of getting there. But I couldn’t let go of writing, so I decided to just write something that mattered to me. And surfing has given me all the big things in my life (writing, my husband, a home, a community, daily conversation that forces me to remove my head from my … you get the picture) so it had to be in there. In the beginning I struggled with permission, though. But then I realised that a lot of surf writing is from a male perspective, and tends to be about dominating the ocean, whereas I wanted to write about something quieter – just turning up because you love it. That realisation gave me the way in, and a point of difference.

There’s probably always more to write on it, because the hierarchy in the water is an interesting way to explore other themes, like belonging, for example. That said (she says, climbing down from her high horse) there’ll be no more surf writing for at least the next two books. It’s been good to step away from it.

Steph: In Saltwater Vampires, historical events and characters are interpreted through a supernatural lens - what drew you to writing about the Batavia? Are there any other historical events you'd like to reimagine for a novel? 
Kirsty: I think what made me want to write about it was that it was just such a good story. To this day, Mike Dash’s account of what happened, Batavia’s Graveyard, is probably my favourite work of non-fiction (his writing is brilliant).

Funny, you ask that second question … I’m related to the explorer Emily Caroline Barnett (nee Creaghe) so I’d like to look at her life either in a novel, or creative non-fiction.

Steph: Do you read while you're working on a novel? Does what you're reading vary based on what you're writing and help inspire your work? 
Kirsty: Yes and no. I oscillate between lumpy bursts of intense effort in amongst much longer periods of flat line procrastination. So I’m happy to read when I’m flat lining, but I don’t read at all when things are heating up. I’ll read books related to what I’m doing in a research sense, but I try not to cross over with other fiction. Most of the time, I read pretty widely and there’s no rhyme or reason to it. So I might read a sports biography, and then a YA, and then a horror, and then short stories … What inspires me is when you come across writing so good it smacks you in the eyeballs. It makes you realise what’s possible.

Steph: What have you learnt about writing and publishing that you'd share with yourself back when you first started writing? 
Kirsty: Just. Keep. Working. Set targets and then halve them (annual, monthly, week to week) and keep a record of your hours – it keeps you honest, gives you a feeling of accomplishment, and forces you to focus on the writing. In a business sense, don’t be afraid to ask questions and never be afraid to change things if they’re not working. I think, too, I haven’t always been very mature about handling the post publication side. I let things slide, buried my head in the sand. In terms of interacting with other writers and readers, you should know, Steph, that you have been a role model to me. I very much admire your grace, professionalism, generosity and courtesy. So that’s important, too, focus on the people who are positive.

Steph: Do you outline your novels or make things up as you go along? What's your process like, generally, from idea to finished manuscript? 
Kirsty: It tends to be pretty loose until I finally get a decent first draft down. I don’t outline formally, only because when I’m writing it changes anyway. But I do have a working idea in my head of where I might be going, and a couple of story beats I want to hit. Each chunk of new writing might contain a couple of hidden gems – like a throwaway line halfway through chapter five that you suddenly realise would work well as a scene, and not just any scene, but your opening scene! So what I call a first draft is heaps and heaps of rewrites and a lot of stops and starts. I find that excruciating, and I always tell myself it’ll be different next time, more organised, but it never is.

Steph: Night Beach is incredibly eerie and atmospheric - what were your inspirations? What advice would you give writers wanting to generate creepy atmosphere in their stories? 
Kirsty: Thank you! The art in the story was a big inspiration. I took directly from it in places – so, for example, Dorothea Tanning’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. Yes, there’s a point in the story where Abbie’s hair is standing on end like the dolls/girls in that painting, but what I found, the more I looked, was the sense of unease I felt actually came from that door, just so slightly ajar. I drew a lot on the idea of the shadow, too – Jungian psychology and the shadow-self, the unconscious parts of your personality that you don’t acknowledge (so, for Abbie, that might be her sexuality, or residual feelings about her parents’ divorce).

More generally, I am the person who can’t sleep without closing the wardrobe door. I take open stairs two at a time because I’m convinced a hand will suddenly close on my ankle. I haven’t watched a scary movie since I was thirteen; I find them unbearable. So it’s about exploiting your own fears as much as anything else. And my daughters, when they were little, used to come up with some genuinely creepy shit. Also, I was very tired when I wrote that book – it was written between the hours of 10pm and 2am. Being the only one in the house awake meant I could easily scare the crap out of myself!

Steph: There's a lot of really challenging material (to write and to read) in your novels, and very authentic, emotionally honest characters. I think this sort of stuff can be easily mishandled, but everything is dealt with very subtly and realistically. I felt this most especially with Raw Blue. So I wonder how you go about empathising with your characters - are you the sort of writer to whom characters seem very real and drive the story themselves, or do you have to really draw them out and explore the character before being able to write them so authentically? 
Kirsty: Thank you again, Steph. Yes, they definitely feel real and, I think this is important, they also aren’t me – because you’ve got to get your own ego out of the way. Hopefully that happens during the whole write, rewrite, rewrite, feedback, rewrite, rewrite cycle! But, on the other hand, I think you’ve got to be honest. So you’re invested, you’ve risked something. That said, the characters drive it. I will sit with a scene for a long time now, and wait until my initial urge has passed and a second, better, solution arrives, generated by them. But that’s scary, because you’re always worried it won’t come. How’s that for a not very good answer to your question??? :)

Steph: Do you have a perfect reader in mind as you write? Or do you write for yourself? Does it vary from novel to novel? 
Kirsty: The eventual decision to go with one thing over another (because there always seems to be two competing ideas when I’m about to start something new) is made to please myself. But once I’m writing, it is about the reader. I don’t know who they are, though. They’re this floaty presence, holy and humbling. Real readers are the motivation to not give up on a story, because you’ve loved this world and these people and you want someone else to share it with you.

Steph: What are you working on at the moment? (Having now read all your novels, I am in that rather unpleasant state of impatiently waiting for the next book - so I hope it will be out soon!)
Kirsty: Well, that goes from me to you, too, Steph – waiting! The next one (I have to interrupt myself here to say that for a long time I thought there mightn’t be a next one, so it’s really nice to be able to say that, albeit, not very casually!) comes out early next year. It’s called Summer Skin. Despite being a beachy sounding title, as I said, there’s no surfing. It’s a uni novel, set in Brisbane (where I went to uni). It’s a bit out there, and I’m terrified.

Thank you for such astute questions Steph, and thank you very much for having me!!!

Thank you, Kirsty!

Kirsty writes a terrific blog, which is well worth checking out - one of her features, Where the magic happens, is about where writers write, to which I contributed a post, which you can read here (predictably, it features garden gnomes). I am ridiculously excited for Summer Skin - and Kirsty has a little snippet of it up on her blog.

Here's my review of Raw Blue, and more info on Night Beach and Saltwater Vampires (you'll probably see reviews for each of these here soon).

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14. The Rootlets: Super Rootabilities, An Interview with Vicki Marquez

Interview sponsored by Vicki Marquez The Children’s Book Review | June 22, 2015 The Children’s Book Review: The Rootlets: Super Rootabilities is the first book in your healthy eating series for kids. Before we talk about the book, can you tell us about your background as a certified health coach, wellness expert, and plant-based chef? And when […]

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15. Toni Buzzeo, Author of Whose Tools? | Speed Interview

Toni Buzzeo is the author of the 2013 Caldecott Honor Book and New York Times bestseller One Cool Friend, as well as many other books for children.

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16. My Writing and Reading Life: Simon Nicholson

Simon Nicholson writes for Nick Jr. including such shows as Tickety Tock, Bob the Builder, and Zack and Quack, as well as for BBC children’s programming.

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17. Tania McCartney’s Passionate Spirit Shines

As we grow up and experience a variety of things that life has to offer, we become attuned to our own identity and sense of self. We develop tastes, interests, abilities, likes and dislikes, individual quirks, and future aspirations. We are all unique and special in our own little ways. One such individual who is […]

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18. {Quick-Fire Interview & Giveaway} GALGORITHM by Aaron Karo

Hey guys! Who's ready for a little RomCom (that's Romantic Comedy for the noobs). When I saw the name and cover for this book, I was immediately intrigued. It looks so cute, and I'm definitely interested in reading a RomCom from a guy's point of view, with a guy author. Yes. Thank you. Luckily Harper Teen was kind enough to offer us a book for one of you! And as a special treat, I asked the

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19. Doodles and Drafts – Getting silly with Gregg Dreise

As one strolls about this wondrous planet, one encounters a variety of individuals who may astound, influence, enrich, or even, deplete you. Not everyone we meet ends up a friend. Life is often an ongoing cycle of trials and consequences. How we survive and interpret the progression of life builds character and shapes us as […]

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20. {Excerpt & Giveaway} TRACKED by Jenny Martin

Today we have the privilege of being the next stop on the TRACKED blog tour. This book is a lot of fun, and is one of the most anticipated books of the season. Below we have an excerpt, to give you a taste of what's to come, and don't miss the awesome giveaway at the end of the post! Enjoy! ~Andye TRACKED  Author: Jenny Martin Pub. Date: May 5, 2015 Publisher: Dial Books Pages: 400

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21. JESSE'S GIRL by Miranda Kenneally {Excerpt, Giveaway & More!}

In celebration of Miranda Kenneally’s new book, Sourcebooks Fire has put together a pre-order promotion for Jesse’s Girl, which goes on-sale July 7! Below you will find a giveaway for Breathe, Annie, Breathe, an Excerpt from Jesse's Girl, and an awesome Preorder Promotion! Check it out and let me know what you think! I'm super excited for this book!! Goodreads | Amazon EXCERPT FROM

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22. Plot or Pants? Interview with Bestselling Author Hugh Howey - @hughhowey - #WriteTip

Today it is my honor to have bestselling author, Hugh Howey on the blog to share his writing process and his thoughts on plotting vs. pantsing. 

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I do a bit of both. I plot out the general storyline (the beginning, middle, and end), but I allow the characters to bob and weave within that framework (even rewrite the story in some cases). I think overly plotted books can be a bit dry and overly improvised books can wander and have less than satisfactory conclusions.

Why do you prefer one to the other?

Plotting keeps me focused on where the story is heading. It keeps the book from stalling at the ¾ mark. Improvising is where the great twists and turns come from and how dialog leads to character discovery. My style is to employ both. And that’s not a cop-out; it’s very deliberate on my part to plot to a certain degree and let the story flow as well.

Do you think the pantser can exist without the plotter?

I don’t know how anyone writes a decent story without some form of plotting. I understand that some authors do this, but it baffles me.

Some writers say: ‘the road to hell is paved with good outlines.’ Thoughts?

I think you can spend too much time on an outline and stick to it even when a better plot reveals itself, yes.

Can you describe your outlining process?

I make a ton of notes. They are out of order and jumbled. And then I tease out what order things need to happen and cut and paste the notes to go with rough chapters. I start writing and encounter my notes as I go. I also jump around and write scenes out of order as they come to me and rearrange them as needed.

Do you consider yourself a Linear or Non-linear writer? And why?

It depends on the story. If it’s a single POV, I write linearly. Most of my early books were written this way. Several more recent books that I've written have involved jumping back and forth between characters, which means I often write chapters out of order to stick with one character, and then splice them together afterward.

Where do you get your best ideas for plots?

Observation. Watching the world spin. Reading the newspaper every day. I can find a story in the paper every single morning that could be spun into a novel or a short story.

If you do outline for a novel, how much time and research do you do before starting the actual writing of the novel?

Almost none. I sketch the plot and start writing. I do a lot of daydreaming and thinking when I’m away from the computer to prepare for the next writing session.

What is your process for exploring your characters?

This is a weird one for me, but characters just seem to happen. They reveal themselves almost fully formed. I think, if you absorb enough fiction in your life, it becomes easy to dream up fleshed-out characters.

Do you fill out character Bios/interviews for your main characters before writing their story?

Nope. Sounds like fun, though.

What is one writing book that you highly recommend?

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves.

Do you write a synopsis for each book before you write it?

No. I hate synopses. I loathe them. I find them impossible to write.

While you might start with an issue or theme in mind, themes will also develop or emerge as you write, so how important do you think “theme” is to your writing process?

Very important. I always have a theme I want to explore with any story. It’s one of the primary reasons I write.
Fun Bonus Questions

What book are you currently reading?

BAILOUT by Neil Barofsky

What’s your favorite movie or TV show?

Modern Family and Big Bang Theory

Favorite color?


Laptop or desktop?


Where can we stalk you online?

Official Website: http://www.hughhowey.com

Twitter name and URL: @hughhowey

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Author Bio:

Hugh Howey's Wool series became a sudden success in the Fall of 2011. Originally just a novelette, the demand from Amazon reviewers sent him scurrying to write more tales in this subterranean world. The resulting Omnibus has spent considerable time in the Amazon top 100, has been a #1 Bestseller in Science Fiction on Amazon, and was optioned by Ridley Scott and Steve Zaillian for a potential feature film. The story of its success has been mentioned in Entertainment Weekly, Variety, and Deadline Hollywood among many others. Random House is publishing the hardback version in the UK in January of 2013.

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He lives in Florida with his wife Amber and their dog Bella.    

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23. Anna Banks Interview-Joyride Blog Tour PLUS Giveaway

Please welcome Anna Banks to GreenBeanTeenQueen as part of her tour for her new book Joyride!

About The Book: (from goodreads:) A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads—with the law and with each other—in this sparkling standalone from NYT-bestselling author Anna Banks.

It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico.

Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber's mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects.

All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh.

-Your Syrena Legacy series features mermaids and Joyride is contemporary. Why did you make the switch? Was one genre easier or more difficult to write?

I didn’t intentionally make the switch to contemporary. I’m not familiar with how you should even write contemporary, because I hadn’t read too many before this. But it’s Carly who compelled me to write it. She has a story to tell even if it’s not fantasy, and I can’t ignore the her strong voice. Fantasy is much easier for me to write. I get to create a world in fantasy, where in contemporary, the world has already been created. You’d think that would be easier but it’s not. Sticking within the boundaries of this world and still telling an interesting story is hard writing. A lot of fantasies have high concept plots, it’s expected, and contemporaries tend to focus on character. In JOYRIDE, I tried to write a balance between plot and character. I hope you enjoy it. J

-What's the best prank you ever pulled?

I’ve pulled a lot of pranks in my time but here’s the most recent. I was selling one of my Coach purses on craigslist and agreed to meet a lady in a parking lot so she could buy it. We had texted and confirmed our appointment. When she got there, she told me I didn’t have any business selling a Coach purse for that much money and that I should just give it to her. Ummmm, no. She pretty much pitched a fit for like fifteen minutes that I wouldn’t give her my purse. So after our confrontation, I downloaded a picture of a black cat, made lost posters for it with the lady’s number on it and put a $500 reward on it. Every available street light in town got a poster. I’m pretty sure she’s going to have to switch her number.

-If you could have dinner with any fictional character, who would it be?

Warren from the Shatter Me series. Obviously, the guy is hot. But I’d want to pick apart his brain, and unfortunately he and I are amused by much of the same things. I think we’d get kicked out of the restaurant and that’s when our real dinner would begin.

-What books are on your nightstand right now?

I’m at RT, so I’ve got some steamy romance novels on my hotel night stand—and don’t think I’m not reading them all, either!

Want to win a copy? Leave a comment below!
Contest thanks to Macmillan Books!

-One entry per person
-Contest ends May 28
-Ages 13+
-US/Canada Address Only Please

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24. Meet Kathryn Apel, author of On Track

Meet Kathryn Apel, author of On Track (UQP) Thanks for talking to Boomerang Books, Kathryn. Where are you based? I’m based in Queensland – most often in the Gladstone/Bundaberg Region. What’s your background in books? I haven’t always been a writer – but I’ve always been a reader! As a teacher, books have always been an […]

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25. NOWHERE BUT HERE: Respect the Rules. Respect the Club. {Blog Tour & Signed Giveaway}

Respect the Rules. Respect the Club.  3. Hang-arounds, people not associated with the club, are permitted to party with the Club, but only allowed on the Club’s terms. Everyone was banned from here when Eli was away the first time. Now, with him gone again, anyone who is a brother is allowed to come and go, but there’s no partying, no old la­dies, no friends of the club, no

0 Comments on NOWHERE BUT HERE: Respect the Rules. Respect the Club. {Blog Tour & Signed Giveaway} as of 1/1/1900
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