Sunday, 2 February 2014

PROMOTION & REVIEW - CAMPBELL BY C.S. STARR

BOOK PROMOTION
ISBN:  978-1493731985
ASIN:  B00GI4E2SS
Publisher:  Self/Indie
Pages/File Size: 396pages/2533KB
Formats Available: Paperback, E-book

BLURB from Goodreads
It’s been ten years since a virus wiped out the adult population. Across the world, opportunistic kids worked to reestablish order through the creation of uneasy, fractured territories.

A decade later, the rules are changing.

Desperate to stop his western territory from coming apart at the seams, Connor Wilde sends his oldest confidante to negotiate with the leader of Campbell, a swelling northern empire.

Tal Bauman isn’t expecting her to be so impossible.

Or intriguing. Or beautiful.

He’s also not expecting their negotiations to leave them both fighting for survival in a part of the world neither are familiar with.

Spanning a dystopian North American landscape, Campbell is the story of two unlikely companions who find themselves reevaluating their loyalties, beliefs, and futures.

PURCHASE LINKS


AUTHOR INTERVIEW

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
I’m C.S. Starr. I was born in Nova Scotia, Canada, and currently live in Toronto.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
When I was young, I wanted to be a marine biologist, but that was when I was really young. I’ve always loved books and writing, and I must confess, if I’d been lofty, my real job would have been pretty close to what I wanted to be when I grew up.

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I think I really considered myself a writer when I hired an editor.

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
I’m my own publisher, and I have a day job (as does my editor), so it took a while, though not as long as it would have taken traditionally. I started Campbell in June 2012, and it published in November 2013. Between that time, I also wrote the second book in the series, West, and about half of the third book, East.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I do! I’m an acquisitions editor with a large university press.

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 Campbell. It’s the story of a world a decade after everyone over the age of twelve was killed by a virus.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
If I’m working on one thing, 4-5 months. If I’m working on multiple projects, a little longer. I write fairly quickly.

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
Campbell is book one of three, but I may do a novella or two afterward because I have some different characters whose stories I’d like to develop a little further. I have a few other dystopian scenarios in my mind, most of which deal with environmental causes, and a chick lit zombie book in draft form that’s dying to get published.

What genre would you place your books into?
The Campbell series are dystopian novels, with new adult characters.

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I like the thought that goes into coming up with a cause (though it doesn’t reveal itself in the first book entirely) for the world to change, since we live in an ever changing world. I think people get complacent and assume things are the way they are and will always be the way they are, which isn’t the way history has unfolded.

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
From Campbell, Rika is probably my favourite, but that’s because I know how her story plays out in the subsequent books :).

How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I wrote when I was a teen, but as an adult, probably since I was 25. I was looking for a creative outlet apart from my professional career, and it’s been a great one!

Where do you get your book plot ideas from?What/Who is your inspiration?
I spend a lot of time driving for work. Most of my ideas are developed while I’m sitting in traffic. I’m not sure what my inspiration is. I like the process of creating.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I sit either in my green chair or on my couch. My dog, Sushi, is usually glue to my side, or stuck to my feet, under a blanket if it’s cold, as it seems to be most of the time in Canada.

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 few people that I send to in advance that I trust that read in various stages; some chapter by chapter, some at first draft, and some at at the proofreading stage. My husband also reads. He gets frustrated if I ask him to read chapter by chapter because sometimes there’s a big wait between them so I’m trying to leave things to the end for him.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
I do, and I appreciate every one that’s left for me, even if its critical. It’s such an important part of the process!

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
The titles came very early, when I started thinking up the plots for the three books in my series. My husband and I do the covers together. He’s an urban designer, so he’s got a good eye for things.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
Plot and title have gone hand in hand with this series. I think having a title is important before the book goes too far.

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Usually lots of googling, and baby name sites. The main character in Campbell, Lucy, is named for a family member though.

Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I have a plot, but it’s flexible for the most part. I write a lot in the first draft and delete a lot too. I take the “Kill Your Darlings” rule quite seriously.

How do you market/promote your books?
I’m still figuring all that out! I’ve been working to get a number of honest reviews up on Amazon and Goodreads and blogs like yours, and I’m running a few contests.

What do you do to unwind and relax?Do you have a hobby?
Writing is kind of that hobby, but I also run when Canada isn’t under ice and snow. I’m also into flea markets and house decorating.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
Not really, but it’s impossible not to put yourself into your writing. I’ve visited every place I’ve written about, which I think is important to my process.

Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
Haha there are, but I like to leave them up to the reader to determine.

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
Paperback, though I do love a beautiful hardcover book. I have a Kindle, but it isn’t my preferred format.

What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
I have pretty wide ranging tastes, but if I had to pick one, I’d say Summer Sisters by Judy Blume.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
I got Connie Willis’ Blackout and All Clear from a colleague that I’ll probably read over the holidays. One is hardcover, the other paperback.

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
Nope, but I think print books will have to become more beautiful and something people want to keep. I can see mass market paperbacks vanishing.

Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
I’ve always been an avid reader, and I used to write when I was young, but took a break from it until I was about 25.

Did you have a favourite author as a child?/Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it?
Anything by Robert Munsch. He’s practically a Canadian institution.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Just write. Don’t over-think it, especially with your first draft. A lot of people get caught up in perfection and never finish anything. Use an editor, and a proofreader. Share your work with people who you respect, and are genuinely invested in your success. Don’t expect your audience to find you, especially if you’re self-publishing (and coming from someone that works in the industry, even if you have a publisher). Make the effort to put yourself out there. Join Goodreads, Facebook, connect with your audience any way you can.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
I thought about it, since I do maintain a professional presence online that I like to keep separate from my writing, but I opted to go with my initials and my last name, because it’s a good one with a lot of family history behind it :).

Where can readers follow you?

Your Blog Details: Csstarrwrites.com
Your Twitter Details: https://twitter.com/CS_writes

And any other information you wish to supply: 
Campbell on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GI4E2SS/ref=tsm_1_fb_lk


REVIEW
ISBN:  978-1493731985
ASIN:  B00GI4E2SS
Publisher:  Self/Indie
Pages/File Size: 396pages/2533KB
Formats Available: Paperback, E-book

BLURB from Goodreads
It’s been ten years since a virus wiped out the adult population. Across the world, opportunistic kids worked to reestablish order through the creation of uneasy, fractured territories.

A decade later, the rules are changing.

Desperate to stop his western territory from coming apart at the seams, Connor Wilde sends his oldest confidante to negotiate with the leader of Campbell, a swelling northern empire.

Tal Bauman isn’t expecting her to be so impossible.

Or intriguing. Or beautiful.

He’s also not expecting their negotiations to leave them both fighting for survival in a part of the world neither are familiar with.

Spanning a dystopian North American landscape, Campbell is the story of two unlikely companions who find themselves reevaluating their loyalties, beliefs, and futures.


INITIAL THOUGHTS
I was looking forward to a decent post apocalyptic read, after being contacted by the Author and being asked to review her book. I still love being asked to read and review a book, someone actually would like my opinion on their work!
When I first began reading I was a little put off by some of the rather crude language, I'm no prude and am not easily offended but was worried the book would be like this the whole way through or worse.

MY REVIEW
The cover shows a rather lonely figure of a girl walking in between two fields of crops. From reading the book I'd say the female could be one of two characters, it's either Lucy Campbell, who lives and "rules" Campbell, a newly named revitalized region of America. Or the figure could be Leah, the cousin of Tal, the second in command of the West region, which is simply called "West". Leah has built up her own garden of fresh vegetables and fruit to eat. The book is simply titled Campbell and the book does centre on the area's of Campbell and the West. The fonts used for the Title and Author Name are simple but effective.
So would I pick the book up in a book store? Yes but I wouldn't necessarily think it was of a post apocalyptic genre.
So as I have mentioned above, in "Initial Thoughts" the Author C.S. Starr contacted me via email regarding a review for her book. She then sent me a free mobi file to enable me to read and give my honest review on the book on my kindle. 
So America has been hit by a mysterious virus and all adults have perished. America has been divided into groups/areas that are now ruled by the remaining population of kids. The main areas being Campbell, West and East. All the areas "rule" and "regulate" differently. East is considered the harshest, followed by a fairly dictatorial West and a more socialist Campbell. Connor is the "man in charge" in West though things are not going so well in the West as people are wanting "change" they want a more socialist system like the one that exists in Campbell. Connor decides he wants a "meet" with Lucy Campbell but has ulterior motives. Connor always has ulterior motives! there has to be "something in it for him".
When Lucy Campbell (Campbell's No1) and Tal (West's No2) are kidnapped suspicion immediately falls onto the East who are trying to acquire more land and people. East has both Campbell and West in its sights for potential take overs.
During the kidnapping Lucy and Tal grow closer but agree what happens when kidnapped stays there. (You'll see what I mean when you read the book!). But Tal and Lucy are not the only ones in danger as Cole, Lucy's brother was kidnapped prior to them and is being tortured mercilessly according to the photographic proof the kidnappers are sending to Campbell. 
So who are the kidnappers? Are they the same? Who will live? Who will die?
Yes, there's lots going on in this book, plenty of action, intrigue, deception and suspense. there's some edge of seat stuff in here as well as some poignant, tears welling,heart breaking stuff too! And of course there just has to be a little romance involved.
So did I enjoy the book? Yes, it's a really great story. Would I recommend the book?  I'd highly recommend this one, not just for those that love dystopian, though it does have a lot for the dystopian/post-apocalyptic genre fan. It also has much more to offer.            Would I read a BK2? Oh yes please, sign me up to read it now! Would I read other work by this Author? Again, the answer is yes please.I really enjoyed the writing style and pace of this book.


PURCHASE LINKS
    

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