Category Archives: interview

SPOTLIGHT & INTERVIEW: How to Love the Empty Air by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

How to Love the Empty Air

by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

Autobiographical Poetry

Book Description

Vulnerable, beautiful and ultimately life-affirming, Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz’s work reaches new heights in her revelatory seventh collection of poetry. Continuing in her tradition of engaging autobiographical work, How to Love the Empty Airexplores what happens when the impossible becomes real―for better and for worse. Aptowicz’s journey to find happiness and home in her ever-shifting world sees her struggling in cities throughout America. When her luck changes―in love and in life―she can’t help but “tell the sun / tell the fields / tell the huge Texas sky…. / tell myself again and again until I believe it.” However, the upward trajectory of this new life is rocked by the sudden death of the poet’s mother. In the year that follows, Aptowicz battles the silencing power of grief with intimate poems burnished by loss and a hard-won humor, capturing the dance that all newly grieving must do between everyday living and the desire “to elope with this grief, / who is not your enemy, / this grief who maybe now is your best friend. / This grief, who is your husband, / the thing you curl into every night, / falling asleep in its arms…” As in her award-winning The Year of No Mistakes, Aptowicz counts her losses and her blessings, knowing how despite it all, life “ripples boundless, like electricity, like joy / like… laughter, irresistible and bright, / an impossible thing to contain.”

  1.  Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz. I’m the author of seven books of poetry, including How to Love the Empty Air which is coming out this Spring, and two books of nonfiction, most recently Dr Mütter’s Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue of Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine which spent three months on the New York Times Best Seller list. For most of my adult life, I lived in New York City, but fell in love and now live with my husband and our family in Austin, TX.

  1.  What made you want to become a writer?

My mother. In fact, the very first poem in my very first poetry collection is about that very subject, and you can watch a film of my performance of that piece online here:

 

 

  1.  Who or what gives you inspiration?

As writer of nonfiction and of poetry, I love true stories told by the people who lived them. My husband is a fiction writer, and so our house is filled to the brim with books. Whenever I feel lost, inspired, or confused on where to go next with my writing, I just pick up a book and see what it can tell me. For poetry, my go-to poets of late have been Kevin Young, Bob Hicok, Hanif Abdurraqib, Sharon Olds, Danez Smith, Denise Duhamel, and the poets I am lucky enough to be touring with this spring: Sarah Kay, Anis Mojgani and Derrick C. Brown.

  1.  Please give us some insight on How to Love the Empty Air.

My books are all autobiographical, all attempts at trying to capture what life is like for me at whatever time I am living it. The first poet who made me realize I could be a poet was Jim Daniels, who wrote lovingly and honestly about his working class upbringing, and his time as a worker in an auto factory. Until then, I didn’t realize you could be working class and a poet. I wanted my work to do the same: honestly depict what life was like for a college student (my first collection), a writer for porn (my second collection), an office worker by day, performance poet by night (my third collection), etc… However, choosing to record your life in this way means also having to shine a spotlight on the tougher parts. How to Love the Empty Air is my attempt to capture the before, during and aftermath of the loss of my mother.

  1.  What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

I mean, honestly, it’s believing that you can do it and then doing it. As mentioned above, I came from a working class neighborhood: all cops, firefighters and sanitation workers. When I told folks that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up, I might as well have told them I wanted to be the tooth fairy. But being a writer means taking risks, writing constantly, risking failure, and navigating success. At each level, you are going to feel like a total fraud, but you need to push through and remember that it’s all about the writing, doing the work. After my mother passing, I was given her journals, I found a 4 item list in one of them that I use as my guide for life and writing, which I think is tremendously helpful:

1.) Know Your Purpose

2.) Be Present

3.) Act Decisively.

4.) Don’t be attached to the results.

She titled this list “True Work” and I can’t think of a better guide for writing.

  1.  What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

No. I’ve written in coffeehouses, libraries, museum, trains, planes and tiny laundry-rooms-cum-offices. The only thing I need to something to record with – laptop preferred, but a sharpie and a stack of napkins have worked in a pinch too!) and I am ready to go.

  1.  What are some of your favorite books?

I would wear out the battery of the computer if I listed them all, but since How to Love the Empty Air deals with processing grief, I will share the books I found the most helpful during that time in my life:

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

Dear Darkness by Kevin Young

The Art of Losing, a poetry anthology edited by Kevin Young

Motherless Daughters by Hope Edelman

  1.  Do you have any advice for up and coming writers?

My best advice for upcoming writers is to embrace the concept of “Horizontal Loyalty.” The traditional model for finding success as writer has always been identifying mentors – writers who have been there before and will help guide your career. And while mentors are absolutely important, it has been shown that the success of an artist can more successfully be tracked by their connection to other artists on their level who are creating work they admire. Meaning, identify people your age, or doing work on a level similar to yours, whose approach, style and work ethic you really like. Make a connection with those artists, and share resources, help each other cross finish lines, alert each other to great projects, and push each other to new heights. This is what is meant by the phrase “Horizontal Loyalty.” It means finding your kinship with your peers and developing with them. And this has certainly been true for me in my writing life. While I have had incredible mentors, so many of the artists I met and connected with when we were in our teens and twenties are artists who have helped shaped my career as an adult. The gondolier and amateur magician who I booked at the show I used to run out CBGBs in the early aughts later became my publisher… and the minister at my wedding! The tech support cubicle jockey who I helped book his first NYC poetry tour in 2001 would build my first website that year (the one I still use!), introduce me to my literary agent a decade later, and would become my husband in 2016! Which is all to say, instead of looking upward to help move your career forward, just look around. The tools for success are already around you, you just need to value them!

  1.  What, if anything, are you working on right now?

This Spring I will be touring around the country in support of How to Love the Empty Air. So you live in LA, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Chicago, Austin, Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, and a half dozen places inbetween, please come on out and say hello. Tour details can be found on my website: http://www.aptowicz.com I will be performing along with some incredible poets, and we would love to see your face. Once my tour has wrapped, I will be getting back to work on my next nonfiction book. It’s top secret for now, but I can’t wait to share it with the world!

  1.  Why do you love writing?

 My love for writing comes from my love of reading. I love how connected I feel to the world when I read something written by someone else that truly resonates with me. The person could be very similar to me, or as different as can be imagined, and yet, we can share this same thing, this humanity. It’s humbling and affirming at the same time. I love writing because it allows me to join the conversation, and add my own stories to the mix. What greater gift could there be?

About the Author

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz is the author of seven books of poetry, including The Year of No Mistakes, crowned the Book of the Year for Poetry by the Writers’ League of Texas. She is also the author of two books of nonfiction, most recently Dr Mütter’s Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine, which spent three months on the New York Times Best Seller List. Recent awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the ArtsEDGE write-in-residency at the University of Pennsylvania and the Amy Clampitt Residency. When not on the road, she lives in Austin with her family.

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BOOK TOUR INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Antipodes by Michele Bacon

Antipodes

by Michele Bacon

YA Contemporary 

Release Date: April 3, 2018

Book Description

When Erin Cerise steps off her plane in Christchurch, New Zealand, she is focused intently on her mission: do something unique that will erase the mess she made of her life on her 17th birthday. She’s already lost her swim team captainship, her boyfriend Ben, and her reputation. Her mother is certain studying abroad will regain Erin’s chances of a good future. Once Erin sees her uninspiring host family and city, though, she’s not so sure.

Before Christchurch, Erin wasn’t always intense and focused. Years ago, a mission sounded like a fun adventure, and the only ivy she cared about was the stuff growing around her grandparents’ back porch at their peaceful Upper Peninsula home. When had her priorities gone upside down?

Now Erin balks at NZ’s itchy school uniforms, cold houses, and her hosts’ utter inability to pronounce her name correctly. Christchurch does boast amazing rock climbing, gorgeous scenery, and at least one guy who could make her forget Ben if she lets him. With months ahead of her, Erin slowly begins to draw on the years behind her, one step back into her memories at a time. As she rebuilds her life from the other side of the world, she finds that when life turns your world upside down and you’re far from home, every way you move takes you closer to where you came from.

  1. What made you want to become a writer?

I cannot remember wanting to be anything else. Except a majorette. I desperately wanted to be a majorette. Aside from that, I’ve been writing and telling stories all my life. While I’ve been a writer all my life, I always wanted to be a published author. Now I realize there are many ways to have a rich and fulfilling life as a writer, and I’m happy.

 

  1. What are some of your favorite books?

In YA, anything by Brittany Cavallaro, Jandy Nelson, Courtney Summers, or Nicola Yoon. Also Eleanor & Park (Rowell), Genuine Fraud (Lockhart), If I Stay (Forman), The Inside of Out (Thorne), and Shine (Myracle). In adult, anything by Bill Bryson, Michael Cunningham, Laurie Frankel, Roxane Gay, Jonathan Tropper, or Kevin Wilson. Also Left Neglected (Genova), The Nest (D’Aprix Sweeney), Before You Know Kindness (Bohjalian), and Station Eleven (Mandel)

 

  1. Are your characters based on anyone you know?

Yes and no. I’ve invented each of my characters, but I often steal personality quirks from people I know or give characters my passions. I gave my first protagonist, Xander Fife in Life Before, my childhood. While no character is based on a singular person I know, I do steal surnames of my favorite people for every manuscript.

 

  1. Why do you love writing?

I love words and telling stories, plotting a book, discovering the best way to tell a story, writing dialogue, and inventing new characters. But the thing I love best about writing is hearing from readers that what I wrote made them think or feel something. When my stories touch the brain or heart of someone I’ve never met? That’s a great feeling.

About the Author

Michele Bacon writes novel-length fiction for young adults and older adults. When she’s not writing, she’s skiing, playing tabletop games, traveling, or dreaming of travel. She lived in Christchurch, New Zealand for over a year, and is eager to return. Today, Michele lives in Seattle with her partner and three children. She is also the author of Life Before.

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The Fantastic Flying Book Club

SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: Legends of the Lost Causes by Brad McLelland and Louis Sylvester

Legends of the Lost Causes

by Brad McLelland and Louis Sylvester

Middle Grade Fiction

Book Description

The first book in a new middle-grade fantasy action-adventure series set in the Old West.

A band of orphan avengers. A cursed stone. A horde of zombie outlaws. This is Keech Blackwood’s new life after Bad Whiskey Nelson descends upon the Home for Lost Causes and burns it to the ground.

With his home destroyed and his family lost, Keech will have to use the lessons he learned from Pa Abner to hunt down the powerful Char Stone. Luckily, he has the help of a ragtag team of orphans. Together, they’ll travel through treacherous forests, fight off the risen dead, and discover that they share mysterious bonds as they try to track down the legendary stone. Now, it’s a race against the clock, because if Bad Whiskey finds the stone first. . . . all is lost.

What made you want to become a writer?

Louis: I love stories. Reading is one of my favorite activities and I try to read for a couple of hours every day. As I read, I discover inspiration for my own stories and characters. I also enjoy playing games, especially role-playing games (RPGs) like Dungeons and Dragons, in which you and a small group of friends create a story together. After enjoying a big adventure, I wanted to share my characters and plots with other people. It didn’t take me long to realize that the best way to share my stories was through writing.

Brad: This might sound silly, but growing up with a novel constantly in my hand, I always enjoyed imagining myself as one of those mythical Authors (capital A) who created the stories I loved. I would read a book and envision my name on the cover, or see my photo on the back of the jacket, and before long I couldn’t contain the desire to see that in real life. So I started writing my own stories, and thanks to the endless support and encouragement of a wonderful mother, I never stopped.

 

What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

Louis: While I enjoy a nice can of Pepsi when I’m writing, what I most require nearby is my copy of Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. Whenever I feel like I’m stuck or blank, all I need to do is pick up this book, read a page or two, and I find that I’m reinvigorated and ready to write some more.

Brad: I’m a huge sucker for chocolate and coffee — I think those are my lucky charms. If I start a session of writing, I have to make sure I have at least one of those two items on hand. If I don’t, I go for the next best substitute: hot cocoa! (What can I say? I’m a choco-fiend.)

 

What are some of your favorite books?

Louis: My favorite western books include True Grit by Charles Portis and (as mentioned above) Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. My favorite fantasy books are The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie and Claire North’s The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. I grew up loving Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game and Douglas Adam’s hilarious The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Also, anything by Neil Gaiman makes for a wonderful read.

Brad: I grew up absolutely adoring Robert Arthur Jr.’s The Three Investigators series, particularly The Secret of Terror Castle and The Mystery of the Whispering Mummy. Like Louis, I’m also a massive fan of Ender’s Game, and I never grow tired of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. On the western side, my favorites are True Grit and Lonesome Dove — both being the gold standard, I think, for the western genre.

 

Are your characters based on anyone you know?

Louis: I think every character is infused with aspects of people I know. But none of our characters are exactly like people in my life.

Brad: I agree with Louis that I can’t pinpoint specific people who our Legends characters are based on. That said, I do find myself from time to time envisioning the faces and hearing the voices of certain childhood buddies while writing our kid characters. For example, I sometimes see the grinning face of my best friend in middle school when I contribute to the character of Sam.

 

Why do you love writing?

Louis: There is something amazing about witnessing a story growing into life. When you first start working on a story, you think the tale will go a certain way, but as you revise and edit and rewrite, the characters come alive and often demand that the story move in surprising directions. I love the way a story can take me by surprise and I love seeing how a character can come alive on the page.

Brad: As I mentioned before, so much of the passion I have for writing started with my mother. An elementary school teacher for most of my childhood, she personally taught me how to read and write and draw appreciation and strength from stories and storytelling. In fact, I don’t recall a single day of my youth when Mom took a book from my hands and told me to stop reading. So I think my passion for writing came from her desire to grow me into a solid reader. And when I started tinkering with my own stories, she always lifted up my creativity and encouraged me to keep pushing toward my dreams.

 

About the Authors

Born and raised in Arkansas, Brad McLelland spent several years working as a crime journalist in the South before earning his MFA in creative writing from Oklahoma State University. A part-time drummer and singer, Brad lives in Oklahoma with his wife, stepdaughter, a mini-Aussie who gives hugs, and a chubby cat who begs for ham.

Louis Sylvester is a professor at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. He earned his PhD from
Oklahoma State University. He enjoys playing tabletop games from his collection of over 1,000 card and board
games, watching western films, reading fantasy novels, and spending time with his wife and two dogs.

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Macmillan will give away one copy of the book to one commenter from the US or Canada!  Leave a comment letting me know what your fave middle grade books are.  Giveaway ends 3/25/18.

BOOK TOUR INTERVIEW: Blood Matters by Aviva Bel’Harold

Blood Matters

by Aviva Bel’Harold

YA Supernatural

Book Description

Grief changes people.

Brittany used to be a normal teen. She ate like one, slept like one, and had typical teenage mood swings. But after she found her best friend dead, everything changed.

Grief might explain her loss of appetite and her lack of sleep. It might even explain why she sees her dead friend everywhere she goes. But it certainly won’t explain why everyone she touches develops bruises or why she’s attracted to the smell of blood.

And, she’s pretty sure grief dosen’t make you want to rip apart your boyfriend just to get closer to his beating heart.

But what happens when it’s the choices we make, not the creature inside, that proves the monster is in us all?

sshinterview

1.  Tell us a little about yourself.

I love people. I love being around them. Listening to their life stories. Talking to them. Entertaining them with my life stories. I love doing this so much that for a long time I figured I should have been an actress. But I had kids before I could pursue a career in acting.

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2.  What made you want to become a writer?

I never wanted to be a writer… No, actually, that’s not entirely true. I never thought I could be one. You see, I’ve always had stories — huge epic fantasies in my head. But I’m dyslexic so I never thought I could become an author. I always figured I’d just be a good story teller — you know, the kind of person who’s good to have at parties.

 

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3.  Who or what gives you inspiration?
I think we need to find inspiration wherever we can — daily! So for me my kids inspire me. Growing up is never easy even when things look like they are. Growing up is met with challenges and learning opportunities. And the way kids will face them head on is an inspiration. My kids have inspired me to keep on trying even when I don’t succeed (or at least it doesn’t appear that I am succeeding).
My husband also inspires me to be better. He loves me, just the way I am, but for him I constantly want to be better.
My friends inspire me to find joy in the now. They tell me time and again that if I’m not having fun then I should reevaluate how I’m doing things. Even if its a simple change of attitude.
And finally my fans inspire me to keep going even then I feel like I’m all tapped out. A simple note or mention can to a long way for inspiration to pick up my pen and get another chapter written, edited, finished.
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4.  Tell us about Blood Matters.
Blood Matters is the only way I could envision vampires to be real. Up to coming up with this idea I thought vampires were a nice idea but not really feasible.
However, as I wrote the book I fell in love with EV (the parasite). And it was my love for her — my heroic villain — that kept my pen moving across the page to the books completion.
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5.  What’s the hardest part of being a writer?
The hardest part is balancing everything. I mean, how much do I write each day/week? How many days do I let the dishes pile up? When the story is flowing I don’t want to stop to make dinner or clean, or even spend time with my family. Yet when I’m in problem solving mode (others might call it ‘writers block’) then the dishes, no the whole kitchen, in fact the whole house is cleaned! Sometimes I worry that living with me is like being with someone who’s bipolar. It’s can’t be easy for my kids or my hubby (but I think the dogs are ok with it…)
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6.  What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?
I need my pen. Silly really. My Uni-ball Signo 207 pen. Its not the best out there, though it’s not the cheapest either. They are disposable so I go thought a couple each month. But without my pen I’m lost. My second necessity is coloured paper. I have a crazy system with different colors of paper for different editing stages… Oh, and printer ink — I’m hooped if the printer runs out of ink.
Other than that… I guess my sauna is also a necessity. I go in there and it’s like a dark room — no distractions. I get a lot of good writing/editing done there.
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7.  What are some of your favorite books?
Favourite books are like clothing to me. I will love a shirt of pair of pants so much that I’ll wear it until it is falling apart. Books are the same. If I love it I read it over and over again until it is completely worn out so the words aren’t legible any more. Then I put those books on my featured book shelf so everyone can see them (even if they don’t look like much to look at). Some of the books that have made it there are:
Harry Potter (all of them)
The Twilight series
The Left Behind series
Ann McCaffery’s Dragon Rider’s series
Kelly Armstrong’s The Summoning as well as The Gathering
Artemis Fowl
And all books by Torey L. Hayden 
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8.  Are your characters based on anyone you know?

No, not in this book. I did however borrow names for it but not because the characters represented anyone, I just liked the names.

 

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9.  What, if anything, are you working on right now?

Right now I am working on a space adventure that takes place in a solar system ruled by magic that’s being misused. It’s a YA that’s a dystopian space opera with magic. It’s going to be amazing!

 

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10.  Why do you love writing?

Writing makes me feel like I’ve lived more lives than the one I’ve been given. Also, I like meeting new people and when I write I feel like I do that with each new character. And lastly, even if I wasn’t writing I’d still be making all these things up — so being a writer helps me justify all my daydreaming.

 

 

About the Author

Aviva Bel’Harold writes young adult fiction: Horror, Science Fiction, ­Urban Fantasy, etc. — as long as the ­characters are young, full of life, and out for adventure. When she’s writing, you’ll find her curled up on a sofa with a pen and a pad of paper, ­surrounded by her adorable puppies.Born in Winnipeg and raised in Vancouver, Aviva Bel’Harold ­currently resides in Calgary with her husband, four children, and six dachshunds.

Website | Facebook | Twitter: @AvivaTheAuthor

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INTERVIEW & SPOTLIGHT: Catch Us if You Can by Marc Feinstein

Catch us if You Can

by Marc Feinstein

YA Coming of Age

Book Description

A small town, a family, a tragedy and the saving power of Rock & Roll…
It is 1967. Gene Gennaro is sailing through his freshman year in Oldbrook, blown along by the steady prevailing innocent winds of the time—sports, girls and Rock & Roll. On the Ides of March, a tragedy thrusts him into a new world forever rocked by that fateful day.

The next three frenetic years of high school are a lifeline for Gene as unbreakable as the fidelity of his friendships with five basketball teammates; most of all Reuben, his best friend since before kindergarten, whose lifeline at times turns into the rope for a tug-of-war between fate and will, testing their classically loyal friendship.
CATCH US IF YOU CAN is a coming-of-age tale of small town but urban youth growing up in the late 1960’s trying to untangle the answer to life’s tragedies as well as answer Bruce Springsteen’s haunting question: Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true or is it something worse?

sshinterview

 

1.  Tell us a little about yourself.

Okay, just a peek, but it’s an inner glimpse that I don’t often share. Took the steady, expected path of the more staid strivers (college, law degree, career, wife and 2 boys). Mysteriously to most (and some would say, foolishly), I abruptly shifted direction into this writing project while always trying to stay true to myself. Aware that writing legal thrillers or suspense would likely gain me easier admission into the traditional publishing industry, and cognizant of those questioning why I would leave a rewarding legal career to write fiction, I couldn’t help but do and write what I wanted to rather than what “they” wanted me to.

2.  What made you want to become a writer?

Not an easy one to describe—maybe it will come out in some future piece. I’ve always respected storytelling that resonates and sticks with you in a meaningful way—whether it be through songs, poems, or stories. Lacking the musical chops for song-writing, it was the writing of novels or screenplays that I knew I would one day try to tackle.

3.  Who or what gives you inspiration?

Following up on my prior response, anything that stays with you in a meaningful way. My wife. My sons. Some movies and well-written dramatic television. Great books. My imagination.

4.  Tell us about Catch Us if You Can.

My book is a lot of things—different things to different people. And it was designed to be that. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to synthesize it for agents, publishers and marketers—not an easy task. Everyone seems to want a pitch or tagline that encapsulates what took more than 400 pages to write. If it was that easy to do, trust me, I wouldn’t have put in the years.

So, I’ll steal some of what’s already been created to talk about the novel: As a coming-of-age tale, it is about loss—of life, of innocence, of dreams. Set in the late Sixties, it is an homage to a unique time—historically and culturally. Portraying the ardors of youth, it sends out a high school basketball team as a search party to answer Springsteen’s haunting question: Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true or is it something worse? The rest can be gotten from the book synopsis on the cover, at the booksellers, and on my website: http://www.marcfeinstein.com.

5.  What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

I hate to be modest or sound trite, but I don’t yet consider myself a writer. I don’t know why, but I have trouble saying it when asked what I do. I’ve written my first novel and learned a great deal from the experience—about the craft and about myself. The writing and the learning was enjoyable. But I don’t think I will call myself a writer until I’ve reached my audience. So, to me, the difficult part is getting the book out there. Far and away, the hardest part is the business end of things.

6.  What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

Nothing superstitious or even comforting out of habit. Mostly what I need is the environment and resources to transport me into the world I am writing about. In the instance of Catch Us If You Can, music from the era had an uncanny ability to take me back and feel—not just remember or imagine, but truly feel—what it felt like. Of course, as with anything to do with the brain, your mind sometimes plays tricks on you, so that it is difficult to separate real from imaginary when you start to inhabit the world you’re writing about.

7.  What are some of your favorite books?

Perhaps stemming from my competitive side, I’ve always made lists for fun (sometimes just mentally, other times committed to writing) of top 10’s—music, movies, TV shows, even vacations. Curiously, I’ve never done it for books. But I can say, without reservation, that there are lots of novels that have, for myriad reasons, stayed with me (among them, but in no particular order):
Samaritan—Richard Price
American Pastoral—Philip Roth
A Prayer for Owen Meany—John Irving
A Separate Peace—John Knowles
Brewster—Mark Slouka

8.  Are your characters based on anyone you know?

To the extent that I know myself (or have learned things about myself in the writing process), all my characters have some part of me in them. Of course, some more so than others. From a physical feature standpoint, even character traits or personalities, it is of obvious benefit to see what you’re trying to describe; so, it’s easy to pattern someone’s looks and quirks off of someone you know, or a mix of people you know, so you can visualize.

I am sure this happens to authors of fiction all the time—a guessing game of who in real life is portrayed fictionally in the novel. There is a veritable secondary marketplace for literary criticism and even books devoted to such conjecture, so much so that I am sure there is an element of intentional guile on the part of some authors. Since, for Catch Us If You Can, I chose a subject matter (a high school basketball team in the late 1960’s) that in some ways paralleled my own high school experience, the natural tendency for those who grew up with me will understandably be such a guessing game. But let me go on record as saying I am not yet that crafty.

9.  What, if anything, are you working on right now?

I have already started work on 2 novels, yet unsure which one will take off first. One is a mystery surrounding the disappearance of a wife in an otherwise enviously happy family, whose teen children have to reconcile what happens when their father is the prime suspect in her murder. The other, a saga of a man permanently scarred by a lost high school romance, whose unmoored life through five decades and across the country, shockingly takes root when an unknown daughter shows up.

10.  Why do you love writing?

It’s a question that, astonishingly, I have yet to have been asked; and now that I have, I think I have to admit that it’s not the writing that I love, as much as it is the storytelling. Writing is a craft that I believe is always being honed, that is solitary and lonely and takes a lot of discipline and work and a thick skin—not necessarily something to fall in love with. The ideal of a writing life, of inhabiting an imagined world that you create for whatever period of time it takes to complete, and that takes you—the author—along for the ride, and that hopefully connects you with an appreciative audience, well, that’s what my Italian friends call amore.

About the Author

Born in the Bronx and raised in Ridgefield, New Jersey, Marc Feinstein is a child of the 60’s unbound with stories to tell.
Feinstein is a graduate from the University of Pennsylvania where he received his Bachelor’s in Economics. He went on to law school at the Mc George School of Law at University of the Pacific and then began long career in law as a Litigation Attorney and Mediator.
He spent over 30 years of his life in Orange County, California with his wife and two children and now retired resides in Maui with his wife.
He is an avid basketball enthusiast –from playing it, to coaching it, to the study of its history and evolution as a game.
Feinstein is having the time of his life writing and creating stories that connect and resonate with a broad audience and hopes to one day crossover his books to film.

Visit him on his website at www.marcfeinstein.com
Like him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarcFeinsteinAuthor
Follow him on Goodreads www.goodreads.com/goodreadscommarcfeinstein

PURCHASE:

Amazon
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Virtualbookworm

INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Wishful Thinking by Elle Jefferson

 Wishful Thinking 

by Elle Jefferson

New Adult Thriller

Book Description

Seventeen year old James Castle Jr. has rugby to deal with the pressures of high school. Fights with his girlfriend, his dad’s constant blame game and graduation anxieties all work out on the field. Every pass, tackle and scrum works out a kink.

That is until rugby gets suspended.

Without rugby as an outlet he has no idea how to deal with stress or the feelings of fear plaguing him since the break-in at home. James walked in on a burglar who knocked him out and left him with a concussion.  Now, James keeps seeing a little girl with pigtails everywhere. Great, he can add delusional to the list of shit he can’t deal with.

What makes the situation weirder, if that’s possible, is this little girl looks a lot like the new girl at his school, Claudia.
He can’t explain the connection he feels to Claudia, it’s not lust or friendship even, but it’s there.
Everything ties to one event; a hit and run accident he was the victim of fourteen years ago. An accident he doesn’t remember. An accident his father never told him about. An accident that wasn’t in fact an accident. It seems someone from his father’s past is hellbent on revenge and this time they plan to make sure James is dead. James will have to remember the past or else be caught in a killer’s crosshairs.

***Parents strongly cautioned due to minor drug use, underage drinking, sex and foul language***

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Did you know that my life as a writer started when I was pregnant with my second child? I had just finished my fifth or sixth read through of Harry Potter and was left going “now what?” And thus I started writing. In the beginning I started reading all the books I could find on writing … on editing … on plots … on characters … on grammar. I took classes, mostly online, and then I plunged head-first into the world of writing. It was in the seas of writing while trying to tread water but mostly drowning that I learned of a forum. It was a magical forum where other wannabe writers talked, shared, laughed and mostly gave each other encouragement (I also happened to meet Colleen Hoover there long before Slammed became a NY Times bestseller).

It was through this forum that I met some amazing people and five particular women who became my betas. Later they became my sounding boards and then even later became my everything in the writing world.  So without further ado, here is my post on writing.

 1. What am I currently working on?

As of today I’m working on book three in my vampire series ADIB. It’s the final book and ties up everything and it’s making me a total mess. To say “no pressure” is a lie. There’s so much pressure that yesterday after I took a shower and went to clean my ears I actually saw some of my brain oozing out. Have you ever tickled your brain through your ear with a q-tip? Needless to say I looked like a dog whose owner had found her favorite scratching spot. But on a more serious note I love this series and want the final book to blow the other two out of the water.

 2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

You got me. I’m still working on figuring out genres. Books never fit neatly into a box, although you’d think they would since they’re rectangular, but whatever. I do know that my books no matter what level i.e YA, NA, or Adult (yes I’m a genre hopper so sue me) always have a hint of the paranormal. I also like my characters to be diverse  which is a trend I’m seeing more and more in books and it makes me happy.  Since I can only be me it’s awesome to read books where the MC is different from me. Either by sex, race, religion or even sexual orientation, I love it!! Diversity in books? One word, WONDERFUL.

  3. Why do I write what I do?

I will say no matter what I write, whether it be paranormal, or sciency (so not a word but should be) there is always a romance. You ask why and I’ll tell you why, because I’m a romantic, because I’m in love with love. Personally, I don’t believe there is nothing more powerful or more beautiful than two people falling in love. Probably makes me terribly sappy but I can’t help it I love love man!! I totally just sounded like an aging hippie.

 4. How does your writing process work?

Okay here’s a visual to end all visuals, picture a monkey. Are you picturing it? Is he skinny? Hairy? Maybe has a bald butt? Okay, now that you have your monkey I want you to imagine said monkey picking up a pile of his poo and flinging it at the wall. Can you see it? Is it making you laugh? Because it’s totally making me laugh. You and your monkey just hanging out flinging poo. HAHAHAHA!!! Well that’s me only instead of poo its words and I fling them and some stick and are actually pretty good, but some? Man some stink.

Keep your eyes out because I have lots more stories brewing in my head. Thanks for reading.
Elle

About the Author

Elle Jefferson lives up in northern Arizona with her two beautiful sons, wonderful husband and her German Shepard Dorrie. When she’s not reading or writing she’s painting or enjoying the great outdoors.
Look for the final installment in the ADIB series in October ’14

Connect with her at
http://ellejefferson.blogspot.com
or www.facebook.com/ElleJeffersonAuthor.com
twitter @oohlalakrysa

Purchase:
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Blitz-wide giveaway
–A signed paperback of Wishful Thinking
–$10 Amazon GC
–Swag

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

Xpresso Book Tours

BOOK TOUR INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Play with Me by Piper Shelly

Play with Me

by Piper Shelly

Grover Beach Team, Book One

Book Description

A short, sweet novella.

Ryan Hunter’s parties are legend. And tonight she’s going to be there.

Liza Matthews anticipates the return of her best friend and only love since kindergarten from soccer camp. But when Tony finally shows up, his mind is more focused on another girl. And worse, she’s a soccer player. Fighting for the attention Liza craves, she’s just a hairbreadth away from making a very stupid decision. But when extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, she’s prepared to play ball to get her man.

The tryouts are hell, the first match ends bloody, and the morning after the selection party she wakes up in the worst place possible—in the arms of the captain of the soccer team. The hottest guy in school. Ryan Hunter.

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Hey everyone! Thanks for the invitation to this little chat. It’s a pleasure to be here today.

1. What made you want to become a writer?

My passion for writing and story-telling. There are so many characters in my mind, waiting to come alive in new books, that I can hardly type fast enough to bring them all down onto the page. And what’s the point in writing stories, if you have no one to read and get lost in them? That was my drive for becoming a writer.

2. Who or what gives you inspiration?

Most of all, music. I can listen to the same songs for days and just start dreaming. Each of my books has its own playlist, and when I later listen to those songs again, I’m immediately back in the story. 🙂
But also a good film or book can inspire me to write a new story. And of course, many little things from my everyday life.

3. What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

I need silence and warm feet. That’s all, thank you.

4. What are some of your favorite books?

Well, there’s the entire Love At Stake series by Kerrelyn Sparks, Twilight, Harry Potter, Hush Hush, and also Absolute Surrender by Georgia Lyn Hunter. I recently read Fifty Shades of Grey and totally fell for the Christian.

5. Are your characters based on anyone you know?

Well, some of them are, but not all of them. Mostly, the heroines have a lot of myself in them, especially Jona and Liza. Ryan Hunter was actually based on my husband when I got to know him (he was 19 then), and Julian from LOVING YOUR LIES is just how I imagine my guardian angel. 😉

6. Why do you love writing?

Because it gives me a way to escape this boring world. If you turn on the TV or switch on the radio, all you hear and see is destruction, war, death, people stealing, people suffering, people starving, people hurting other people. I just can’t take any more of that crap.

I need more in my life. More in my world. I need witches, angels, romance, guys who’d do everything for their girls, butterflies in my stomach, a pounding heart because of a simple smile… And since it’s damn hard to find all that in the real world, I decided to just turn it off and create my own.

That’s why I write books. To give myself a way to escape and also my readers, who need a door to disappear through for a little while sometimes.

About the Author

PIPER SHELLY prefers blue to green, spring to winter, and writing to talking. But then she prefers writing to almost everything else. It helps her to escape from a boring world to something with actual adventure and romance in it, she says. Even when she’s not crafting a new story, you’ll see her lounging with a book in some quiet spot. She was 17 when she left Vienna to live in the tranquil countryside of Austria, and from there she loves to plan trips to anywhere in the world. Two of her favorite places? Disneyland and the deep dungeons of her creative mind.

Website/Goodreads/Facebook

Purchase (FREE on Kindle for all of October):

Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  

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Prize (open internationally):
–A boxed set of PLAY WITH ME and RYAN HUNTER. One book, both stories inside.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

 

Xpresso Book Tours

BOOK TOUR INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Sidelined by Kendra C. Highley

Sidelined

by Kendra C. Highley

YA Contemporary

Book Description

After being pushed to excel her entire life, high school basketball star Genna Pierce is finally where she wants to be. University scouts are taking notice, her team is on its way to the state tourney, and Jake Butler, the hot boy she’s daydreamed about since ninth grade, is showing somedefinite interest. When he asks her out and their relationship takes off, Genna believes things can’t get better.

Then, it’s over.

A freak accident ends her career before it’s even begun. Her parents are fighting more than ever, her friends don’t understand what she’s going through, and she’s not sure who she is without basketball. And while he tries to be there for her, Genna doesn’t understand how Jake could ever want the broken version of the girl he fell for.

Her life in a tailspin, Genna turns to the only solace that eases her pain: Vicodin.

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1. What made you want to become a writer?

I’ve loved books since I was really little. I’ve also loved to make up stories. Still, it took my mom planting the seed when I was fifteen for me to really get serious about it. Then, it took me another twenty years before I actually wrote my first full-length novel (which will never see the light of day). Once I got started, I knew this is what I’ve always wanted to do.

2. Who or what gives you inspiration?

I get inspiration from lots of different things. Sidelined came out of watching a few friends struggle when they were injured in high school sports, losing out on a scholarship. These guys were so angry, so crushed, it left a huge impression on me and I wondered how a girl would act in that situation. About the time I started drafting the book, I read an article about doctor shopping and prescription drug abuse in teens, which pointed me in the final direction.

3. What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

Dark chocolate M&Ms are a must have, as is a playlist for the book I’m working on. I also have to have my laptop, because I type faster than I write, so writing long-hand hasn’t ever worked for me. I also usually have a spiral notebook for each book, for outlines and stray plot ideas.

4. What are some of your favorite books?

That’s a pretty long list, but here are a few:
Pride and Prejudice (or pretty much anything else Jane Austen has written)
Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
The Two Towers (from LOTR) by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Curse Workers trilogy by Holly Black
The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson
Tracked by Jenny Martin (coming in 2014)

5. Why do you love writing?

Words have so much power. When wielded carelessly, they can wound to the core, but when used well, they can inspire, guide, embolden or celebrate. Writing allows me to explore the stories in my head without having to go through the situations my characters find themselves in. In turn, they teach me all kinds of things about the world. You hear a lot of authors say, “I can’t not write.” It’s something in my blood and in my heart, begging me to put words on the page, and I love the feeling I get when the story works out in ways I never dreamed.

About the Author

Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to two self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most critical job. She believes in everyday magic, extraordinary love stories and the restorative powers of dark chocolate.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

PURCHASE:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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PRIZES:

$25 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift card and a women’s collegiate basketball to the first prize winner (US Only)
3– $10 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift cards for 3 second prize winners (International)

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

RockStar Book Tours

BOOK TOUR INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Left by TR Graves

Left

by TR Graves

Still Standing Series, Book One

Book Description

Your own two feet are all you have when you’ve been left.
A naive Baylee loves Colt, her boyfriend of four years, more than she ever thought possible. After a little snooping, she’s convinced she’s well on her way toward hearing an once-in-a-lifetime proposal and starring in the wedding-of-the-year event. Instead, she’s blindsided by a very public breakup and the crushing news that Colt is marrying someone else… someone more befitting him and the role his father expects him to take in his law firm.
Baylee may have spent years resenting Ariana, her mother, and her suicide, an intolerable show of weakness in Baylee’s opinion, but after Colt leaves her just short of the altar, Baylee sees the world through her mother’s eyes. She sympathizes with Ariana’s actions and realizes that some things—soul-deep aches—can irreparably damage you and make moving on nearly impossible.
At least that’s how she feels until she meets Ryker. With his help, Baylee discovers there is life after Colt, and she prepares to move on by pulling herself up by the bootstraps, holding her head high, and standing on her own two feet. Unfortunately, a new jealous and hateful Colt has his own plans for her, and they are plans no one—especially Baylee—ever saw coming.
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I’d like to thank Carrie @ Sweet Southern Home for the interview and for hosting my book tour and me. It goes without saying that authors – like myself – would be nowhere if it weren’t for the kindness showered upon us by bloggers like Carrie and blogs like Sweet Southern Home. ❤

1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m the author of Warrior, Secret, and Still Standing series—currently available—and Moral Dilemma and Underwater series—to be released in 2013/2014.
I live in Texas with my husband, our nineteen-year-old daughter, and nine-year-old son.
I work full-time as a hospital administrator and RN in the third most populous county in the country. To say that I’m passionate about the subject of healthcare is an understatement.

2. What made you want to become a writer?
My father was a man who could tell a story that was so vivid and dramatic that people hung on his every word, flocking to our house morning, noon, and night just to hear them. A few months after he died, story plots and their characters began haunting me. They were so demanding that I had no choice but to write them down… to share them. Before his death, writing a book was not anything I’d ever imagined doing. Since his death, writing books is all I imagine doing. In some ways, I believe that the stories/characters that I’m creating come directly from him. Knowing how strong-willed he was, I suspect he’s found a way to communicate with me and keep his stories alive even in death.

3. Who or what gives you inspiration?
I get inspiration for lots of different things, and it can come from anywhere at any time.
The inspiration behind Left (Still Standing, #1) came after suspecting that several young, beautiful, and intelligent women that I know are living in relationships with men who are abusive. Because I appreciate how special these women are and what amazing qualities they offer to the world, I couldn’t stop asking myself why they were staying with someone who treats them with anything less than respect… with someone who doesn’t shower them with the unconditional love they deserve. From that internal dialogue, Left was born.

4. Tell us about Left.
Left deals with an unspeakable subject, domestic violence, but it’s not preachy or in your face. Instead, it’s full of sweet and tender (and passionate) moments, ones that will help you understand how a woman, Baylee, can fall for a man, Colt, who has a monster buried deep inside. It’s offset by empowering moments where the main character realizes she’s been looking through her rose-colored glasses long enough and that it’s time to admit what she already knows. Enriching the story is the team of people (in the form of amazing back-up characters… most notably Ryker) who support Baylee as she pulls herself up and swears on all that is holy she will stand on her own two feet if it’s the last thing she does. Finally and because no story is complete without an ‘Oh my God! I never saw that coming’ ending, there are some finishing events that are similar to the ones we see played out every day across this country. They are the result of several relatively benign and ignored actions/reactions. I’m convinced that everything about this story will hit home with readers because the progression of events and the characters’ underlying relationships with each other are so natural and real.

5. What’s the hardest part of being a writer?
I can honestly say… lack of time. I wish I could write all the stories that pop into my head, but writing a really good story and developing the characters that go along with them takes lots of time and patience.

6. What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?
Diet Dr. Pepper or Diet Mountain Dew. I must have one of these every day. On top of being a wife and mother, I work full-time. In order to get to my job, I commute 10-12 hours per week. As an indie author, I write, market, and publish my books. On top of all of that and as if I don’t do enough, I am the coordinator of a team of authors who blog about the trials and tribulations of being an indie author. Without caffeine, I would not be able to accomplish most of this.

7. What are some of your favorite books?
I have an eclectic list of favorite series: Mortal Instruments, Shades of Grey, and Tiger’s Curse. I love them because of the visual images painted by these authors as well as the author’s ability to draw me into the story and make me love/hate the characters. Books that make me feel like I’m in the room watching the action or elicit the emotions the characters are having are the ones I label as favorites.

8. Are your characters based on anyone you know?

Allison in Warrior Series is an amazing patient advocate (willing to give her life to heal the dying). The nurse in me identifies with that passion.

Emily in Secrets Series has lived her entire life enslaved by a commune of men who have tried to make her think there are no options. The moment she gets a peek into a world where she can be free to live – and love – anywhere – anyone – she likes, it becomes impossible for her to go back to her life of servitude. The strength it takes for her to fight against that world makes her absolutely endearing.
Baylee in Still Standing Series is naive, happy-go-lucky, and prepared to stand by her man through thick and thin. When he leaves, my heart goes out to her. I love the way we – the readers – stand back and watch her deal with a situation she never thought she’d be in.
The common thread with all of these women is that they are strong… they refuse to compromise their morals/ethics… they love long, hard, and unconditionally… and they refuse to conform no matter how simple their lives would be if they did just that. In some ways, I believe those characteristics embody me and my choices.

9. What, if anything, are you working on right now?
I’m finishing up Underground (Secrets, #2). It’s the second book in the Secrets series, Grave Bound being the first.

Summary:
Betrayal and loss have changed Emily Riddle in ways she never thought would have been possible. With a death wish guiding her every move, she’s willing to compromise her morals, ethics, and instincts to bring the men who’ve broken her heart to justice… even if that means living a life underground, being someone she’s not, and pretending to respect the very men she’s positioning herself to take down.
As soon as she teams up with the district attorney, Tope Bryson, and agrees to be a member of his covert operation, she returns to the commune and convinces the patriarchal leaders she is the most qualified person to take on roles traditionally assigned to men. Desperate and without options, Owen, the commune’s leader and Emily’s father, agrees to a temporary change.

Emily takes full advantage of the opportunity and quickly proves to him – much to her brothers’ dismay – that he can’t live without having her in those critical roles and that she may be the best candidate for his ‘next in command’.

She and Tope quickly realize that the men of the commune consider a woman who threatens the good ole boy system that’s been in place for decades public enemy number one. Determined to protect Emily from her brothers, Tope plants an undercover officer and charismatic law student, Noah Babineaux, in the commune. Neither Tope nor Emily is prepared for the attention Noah pays Emily.

With a nothing else matters attitude, Emily focuses on her underground mission and pushes her hate, anger, grief, and… blossoming feelings down until they threaten to explode from the inside and tear her apart. It’s a race against the clock to get the evidence necessary (and ultimately the retaliation Emily craves) before a life of submissive brutality – or sibling jealousy – kills her.

10. Why do you love writing?
As a regular human being without any special powers, I have absolutely no control over the real world. As an author, I become judge and jury… have the power to make a character loved or hated… determine where the characters are going, when they’re going, how they’re going, and what challenges they’ll meet along the way. Something about that is exciting.

About the Author

T. R. Graves, the author of The Warrior Series and The Secrets Series and The Underwater Series, is a 2012 NaNoWriMo Winner.
She lives along the Texas coast with her husband. Together, they raise T. R.’s beta reading daughter and their football-loving son. Besides being blessed with a supportive family, she counts her career as a registered nurse in not-for-profit hospitals high on her list of fulfilling accomplishments.

Purchase: Amazon

 

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There will be a tour wide giveaway of a finished paperback copy, 2 ecopies, and a giveaway to win an Amazon Kindle Fire along with all of the book-related Hidden Object books created by Phatpuppy (Claudia McKinney) if you purchase the ebook during the tour. Please email your receipts to shanereads (at) yahoo (dot) com for proof.

 

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

AUTHORS ARE ROCKSTARS: A.R. Kahler

Authors Are Rockstars

Hey yall, welcome to Sweet Southern Home!  I’m happy to be a part of this year’s Authors are Rock Stars tour.

Today I’m featuring the rocking A.R. Kahler!

So why does A.R. (AKA Alex) rock?  Well, in addition to being the author of  The Immortal Circus series, which is sexy and original, he’s also traipsed all around Europe…teaching circus!  Yeah, he’s been to Spain and Scotland and the Netherlands doing stuff like this:

So that’s pretty sweet.

But to me, he’s a pretty great writer!  I reviewed Part One of The Immortal Circus back in February and gave it 4 stars!

Part Two has since been published and I’m hoping to fit it into my schedule soon.

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I was able to ask Alex a few questions in conjunction with my Authors Are Rockstars tour stop.

1. What made you want to become a writer?

Reading, honestly. When I was younger I devoured everything I could get my hands on. Books helped me cope with many things, and I think as I grew older I slowly transitioned to creating my own worlds to escape in. I guess it was only a matter of time before I wanted to start sharing those with others. Now, my biggest drive is to get the reader to dream of something different—I want to create places readers can live and love and explore. Even if those places aren’t always the most welcoming.

2. Who or what gives you inspiration?

Everything. Inspiration comes at the worst of times in the strangest of places. An entire trilogy was inspired by a line that popped into my head at three in the morning while fighting insomnia. Conversations, Wikipedia snippets, overheard songs or the way a tree arches over the sidewalk…I’m always open to ideas. Because of that, I’m grateful for finally owning a smartphone—now, I can take notes in that, rather than all over my arm.

3. What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

Hmm…I move around a lot, so there’s not much I really need. A computer is handy. Coffee is grand. I suppose I almost always have music in the background to turn certain parts of my brain off. Notebooks for drawing out story lines are helpful. Also, I usually live in cold places, so fingerless gloves are a mainstay.

4. What are some of your favorite books?

Oh, hard to say. ‘Harry Potter’ is a lifelong friend. I’m also really into ‘The Secret History’ by Donna Tartt, ‘American Gods’ by Neil Gaiman, and—my new love—the ‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’ series by Laini Taylor (now I really want to go to Prague).

5. Are your characters based on anyone you know?

Nope. Some might have snippets of personality, or I may re-imagine quotations, but for the most part I don’t base my characters off anyone. They tend to generate a life and personality of their own, and probably wouldn’t appreciate me trying to fit them into a different mold.

6. Why do you love writing?

Fan reactions. Writing is, for the most part, incredibly solitary. So I’m touched beyond measure when fans reach out and tell me they loved a character or a book, or start hypothesizing what will happen next. That why I really dig the power of social media and discussion boards—it lets me know my words are getting out there. Like I said earlier, I started writing because I wanted to sweep readers away. When I hear that it’s successful, I feel like I’m part of an even bigger cycle of storytelling.

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A.R. Kahler’s Books

THE IMMORTAL CIRCUS
Murdered contortionists aren’t exactly what Vivienne signed up for when she ran away to join the circus. But like most things under the big top, nothing is what it seems. With a past she can’t quite remember, Vivienne finds that running away forever might not be as appealing as it once sounded—especially not when she realizes the devilishly attractive ringleader Mab is the Faerie Queen of legend…and that she and the rest of the troupe are locked in an age-old rivalry between the otherworldly Courts.

 Aided by her friends Kingston—a feisty stage magician whose magic is quickly stealing her heart—and his smart-ass assistant Melody, Vivienne finds herself racing against the clock to discover the culprit behind a series of deaths that should be impossible. However, the answer she seeks might reveal more about her own bloody past—and future—than she bargains for.

The show’s just beginning.

Step right up…

THE IMMORTAL CIRCUS: ACT TWO

Vivienne is almost content with her new life in the Cirque des Immortels. She has moved up from selling cotton candy to telling fortunes, she has a gorgeous, magical boyfriend, Kingston…and no one has been murdered since the clash between the otherworldly Courts. Her life under the faerie big top would be perfect, in fact, if not for the nightmares and visions that compel her to seek and confront her half-remembered past. But for Viv, not knowing her past may well be a blessing. There’s a reason she ran away. But can she truly escape herself?

The second act of the fantastically evocative Cirque des Immortels series, The Immortal Circus: Act Two draws readers further into a world that’s at once wonderful, seductive…and deadly.

Step right up…

MARTYR, the first book in his post-apocalyptic YA fantasy series, THE HUNTED, will be published 10/14 by Spencer Hill Press.


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