Title: The Girl
Author: Madhuri Blaylock
Series: The Sanctum
Release Date: 11th November 2013
BLURB supplied by Reading Addiction Blog Tours
The Sanctum, an all-powerful governing body founded by ten families, entrusted to maintain the peace amongst Magicals and ensure the ignorance of humans, has been corrupted by greed and savagery for generations, but is all Wyatt Clayworth has ever known.
A descendant of one of the Founding Families and Class A Warrior, Wyatt has always believed in the ways of The Sanctum, having grown up in the system and thrived under their leadership. A golden boy, renowned for his prowess and skill in battle, Wyatt has never questioned a mission or kill order until the night he crosses paths with a brutally injured and mysterious girl.
Scouring Central Park with his best friend and fellow Class A Warrior, Ryker Morrison, for the hybrid demon prophesied to bring an end to The Sanctum and destroy the world for Magicals and humans alike, Wyatt instead finds Dev and his whole life turns upside down. Told he was hunting a killing machine, hellbent on wreaking havoc and destruction upon all it encounters, Wyatt instead sees nothing more than a broken girl with haunted eyes and a bit of a death wish.
All Dev wants is for Wyatt to either kill her or leave her alone. When he refuses to do either, she finds herself being pulled into his life while being hunted by warriors everywhere she turns. Drawn to one another for reasons they cannot begin to explain to themselves, much less anyone else, Wyatt is determined to protect Dev and help her realize her mission to avenge the deaths of her family at the hands of The Sanctum. His abdication of his duties and his outright rejection of his responsibilities to The Sanctum create a maelstrom of events beyond anyone’s imagination.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Madhuri Blaylock is a lawyer by day, writer and avid shoe and dress buyer at all other times. She lives in Jersey City, but her heart remains firmly planted in Brooklyn via Snellville, Georgia. Her husband, Henry, is also a lawyer, and only a lawyer because he actually likes being a lawyer (go figure), probably always wanted to be a lawyer and is really, really good at all things lawyerly. He's also pretty hot.
She’s got a big kid, Miss Sydney, and a little kid, the one and only Dash. They're awesome and fierce and supremely cool and able to make her laugh at the strangest things. She would love to add a dog, some chickens, a goat and a burro to this crew. Everyone needs a burro.
Some of her favorites, in no particular order: ice cream, Kill Bill, four-inch heels, Matt Damon, tattoos, Laini Taylor, scotch on the rocks, The Sanctum trilogy, random office supplies, Martha's Vineyard, "The Girl" aka my Mini, Rihanna, Doc Martens, tulips, photo booths and dancing like a fool.
One day she plans to grow up. Right now, she’s enjoying the adventure.
What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Madhuri Blaylock, I was born in Vancouver, Canada, I grew up in Snellville, Georgia, came to New York City to attend Barnard College, graduated and moved to Brooklyn, New York, moved back to the city for a while and now, am currently living in Jersey City (Heights in the house!), New Jersey.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I’ve wanted to write for a very long time; however, I distinctly recall as a little kid devouring Gerald Durrell books and wanting to be a zoologist. In fact, I wanted to go to UC Berkeley and study zoology. I also wanted to be an actress. My admissions essay for my NYU college application was my acceptance speech for winning the Best Actress oscar.
When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I don’t know. I’ve always written but since I can’t support myself with my writing (at least not yet) I feel rather strange calling myself a writer. But it’s coming, I can feel it.
Do you work another job as well as your writing work? I do. I am a corporate litigation attorney for a large Manhattan law firm and have been practising for about 15 years.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say? My latest book is the first book in The Sanctum trilogy and it’s called The Girl. In less than twenty words, I would say The Girl is a simple quest for revenge that evolves into a complex tale of trust, friendship, honor and love.
Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
For The Girl, I was jotting down ideas for the book for about a year and a half and then finally told myself to start writing, lest I wind up with binders full of notes, but no manuscript. I started writing in May of last year and had a first draft complete by October. I edited for about another month and published The Girl last November.
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Yes, I’m currently working on Book II: The Boy, which is the second book in The Sanctum Trilogy. I’m hoping to have it ready to publish in about a month or so.
What genre would you place your books into?
Paranormal. Some folks also categorize it as Young Adult, but I’m on the fence about that one, especially as Book II comes along. It just doesn’t seem all that “Young Adult-ish” to me.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I love reading fantasy and paranormal fiction, have always had a very vivid imagination, and just really wanted to give it a shot. I had an idea of the world I wanted to create, went online and did some research about “world-building” in the fantasy genre and then just started doing my thing. Once I began, it kind of took off from there.
Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite? The Girl is my favorite because I feel as if it’s a perfect culmination of my maturation as a writer. It’s so different from my two earlier books, the language, the feel, the rhythm. I’m really proud of it, on many different leves.
Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
Wyatt is my favorite; I simply love him, even his flaws, and always have tremendous hope for him.
If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?
Easily Darby. For one, she’s a vampire and I love vampires. She’s smart, deadly and funny. But even more so, I love her power and confidence and the ease with which she uses her sexuality. You can tell she really knows herself and is comfortable with the being she is and I find that quality so attractive. She’s simply a walking turn-on.
Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
I have a group of girlfriends who count as my “beta readers”. My sister-in-law, Arsha, is smart as a whip, a voracious reader and someone who’s opinion I trust tremendously. My friends Alessandra and Betsey are both from the media world, Alessandra being a writer/editor, formerly with Newsweek and The Daily Beast and currently the Editorial Producer at Thomson Reuters and Betsey is the Art Production Director for the magazine Everyday with Rachel Ray. And finally, my close friends and colleagues, Emily and Corey, both brilliant legal minds and great editors. Plus, Corey is my fantasy/paranormal reading buddy. We recommend books and devour series together and she knows the genre really well, so she’s been tremendously helpful in creating The Sanctum.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
I do. I love hearing what people have to say about The Girl, be it good or bad. Luckily, most of the comments and reviews have been really positive but you can’t appeal to everyone all of the time and I’ve gotten some bad reviews. They’re tough to read and you instantly feel defensive because your writing is so personal, but it’s the nature of the beast. You have to take a step back after you read the bad reviews, inhale deeply and calm yourself, then understand that it’s simply one person’s perspective and for every bad one, there are a few good ones as well.
How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
The cover designs are the work of my uber-talented friend and neighbor, Michele Mason Holmberg. I approached her with some initial ideas for The Girl and she put them together and it looked great. I remember when she sent me the first cover, I was riding in the car and opened her email and was just floored by her creation. However, then she read some of the book and came up with her own design and honestly, I’m just really speechless. It’s the current cover and I love it. She’s already working on the cover for Book II, and although I’ve given my two cents on her first draft, I trust her judgment completely and know that whatever she winds up sending me is going to be awesome.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I have a title, but it never sticks. My first series was initially called The Coco Butta Kids and has now morphed into Ayesha’s Teenage Survival Files. The Sanctum Trilogy was originally called The Code of Ten, but once I really fleshed out the storyline and the three books, I realized that title didn’t work as well as The Sanctum.
How do you market/promote your books?
I’ve spent the last several months posting, tweeting, blogging, touring and pinning. It’s a neverending, exhausting process and I hate it with a passion, but being an Indie author, I cannot escape it. I would love to have someone do it for me, but as of today, I’m just not there yet.
What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
A really good book is one that keeps you reading late into the night, despite the fact that you know you have to get up in the morning and go to work and if you don’t close it now, you’ll be dragging all day and yet, you keep reading. What makes a bestseller? I have no idea, but if you do, please tell me the secret.
Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
I have and it sucked, but I think it’s all part of the process. When it’s happened, I’ve kept writing, even if it’s just a few sentences in a day. At least it’s something and eventually I manage to write myself out of it. I just suffered a bout of it last week and wound up deleting about a chapter worth of work, but I got myself out of it and have since been on quite a tear.
Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
For my current work, I would say Laini Taylor has influenced me the most, especially her book “Daughter of Smoke and Bone”. She created such a beautiful novel, that was so interesting and full of characters I love, and I wanted to see if I could do the same.
What is your favourite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
It’s too hard to pick an absolute favorite, but “One Hundred Years of Solitude” is in my top five. I love Marquez’ world of magical-realism and find myself getting lost, over and over, in the beautiful, often-harsh and always magical saga of the Buendia family
Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
It’s funny that you ask because I was just hanging out with a childhood friend who was in town for a weekend and she was telling her friends who came into town with her how I used to write stories about our group of friends and the fabulous lives we were going to lead in Manhattan. I’ve always written; it’s a great escape for a moderate introvert with a runaway imagination.
Did you have a favourite author as a child?
Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume
Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it?
Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret.
Do you have a favourite genre of book?
Fantasy and paranormal, but really I love reading all types of fiction. There’s nothing quite like curling up with a good book and getting lost for a while.
Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them?
I would say keep an eye out for Kayti Nika Raet and her work in The Outsider Chronicles. Taking place in a dystopia that has suffered an apparent cataclysmic environmental disaster, leaving its inhabitants fearing the acid rain that falls from the skies, dodging heart-eating Slithers and generally fighting to survive, Raet deftly creates a world full of despair and anger, with glimpses of hope interspersed throughout, setting up the reader for what I can only imagine is going to be an interesting ride.
What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Write, write and write some more. Then sleep a little, wake up, and keep writing. Oh, and drink lots of coffee.
If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
Zora Neale Hurston, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Mark Twain. The conversation would be brilliant, the memories divine.
Where can readers follow you?
Your Blog Details?
Your Facebook Page?
Your Goodreads Author Page? https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7323620.Madhuri_Blaylock
Your Twitter Details?
And any other information you wish to supply? Hit me up, any time, any place. I love to hear from folks. And thanks for the interview. It was a blast. Rock on.