Saturday, 14 December 2013

ASTRAEA PRESS PROMOTION PART ONE - YA TITLES

PROMOTIONAL SPOTLIGHT

Title: Aftersight 
Author: Brian Mercer
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Pages: 387 PagesISBN: 9781621352143


BLURB from Astraea Press

Becky Reynalds is a girl with otherworldly powers she doesn’t want. Having survived a car accident in which all her friends are killed, Becky has been “gifted” with the ability to hear spirits, a gift that brings with it the power to divine other people’s feelings and innermost secrets, whether she wants those secrets or not. Recruited to Waltham Academy for Psychic Sensitives in Northwest England, Becky meets three hauntingly familiar girls with unique psychic talents, only to discover that their meeting is no accident.


AUTHOR INTERVIEW

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?

My name is Brian Mercer. I was born in Sacramento, California. I moved to Seattle, Washington twenty years ago.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I’ve always written stories. I don’t think you need to write for a living in order to be a writer. You simply need to write.
I’ve always loved technology. When I’m not writing, I work as a computer analyst/programmer for a not-for-profit healthcare company.

When did you first consider yourself a "writer”?
During my sophomore year of college I finished my big term paper early one day, so opened a new document and wrote the dreaded words, “Chapter 1” at the top of the page. I’ve been writing ever since.

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?

It took a fair amount of time, which isn’t always a bad thing. Better to get published a little later than you’d like than to get published too early.  Writing is a skill that needs time and experience to mature.
  
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 is a supernatural YA novel called Aftersight about four teenagers who gain the ability to perceive the afterlife and are recruited to a British school for psychic sensitives for a grand design that we get to learn about as the story unfolds.

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?

Astraea Press.

Do you have a "lucky charm" or "lucky routine" you follow when waiting for your book to be accepted by a publisher?

I like to start writing the next novel, let the old one do it’s thing while I’m working on something new.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
Once the story gets going, it usually takes anywhere from five to seven months to write the first draft and maybe four cumulative months of editing, though revision time varies greatly. The hardest part is getting the story going.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
My most recent novel, Aftersight, is the first of the Waltham Academy Chronicles. I’m also working on The Cromwell Benefactor, the first book in a parallel series.
  
Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
I think my favorite character Sara Barrett, from Aftersight. She grew up in London and has the ability to communicate with animals and pets, both living and deceased. As the story opens, she’s lived a sheltered, upper class existence and I find her naivet√© combined with her unabashed love of animals particularly charming.

Where do you get your book plot ideas from?  What/Who is your inspiration?
A lot of my ideas come from first-hand experiences. Many of the paranormal experiences in Aftersight happened to me personally or to someone I know.
What inspires me are friendships. I generally have a tough time introducing conflict between the core characters in my stories. I want readers to get a sense of true loyalty and camaraderie with my characters, almost like you’re one of the group.
  
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
 When I’m into the flow of writing, I’m writing all the time: at home in my study, when I’m out and about on my laptop, and on the bus on my iPad. I’ll even type out a few lines on my phone or dictate a bit of dialogue into a recorder when I’m on the go. Whenever I get inspired, I’m writing.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
A very wise and talented author friend, a man by the name of Bob Dugoni, advised never to read your reviews and I try to always follow that advice. Ironically, I don’t think even Bob follows that advice.
I do have a cadre of trusted readers who really understand storytelling and I find their feedback invaluable.

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
I’m trying to remember who said this... Phillip Margolin? Michael Connelly? Stephen James? One of them said that everyone has an opinion about a story and that everyone’s opinion is right. Not everyone is going to like a particular story, any story. I think in the end you just have to hope that more people like it than don’t.
  
How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?
 I have to say I couldn’t be more pleased with the cover of Aftersight. It was created by an extremely talented cover artist named Amanda Matthews. I threw out a couple of ideas and she took one of them and hit it out of the ballpark.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
Usually I like to have a working title before I get too far into a manuscript. Often times I find a strong title motivates me and gives me a sense of the energy of a story. Of course, it’s always with the knowledge that your title and the final title might not be the same title. In the case of Aftersight, that was the title from page one.
  
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
It’s kind of an organic process. I usually do character profiles before I get too far into a story, but often the characters are informing me what they’re like while I’m writing. That’s my favorite part, when the characters kind of take off on their own and say and do their own things. That’s when the magic happens.

Do you do a 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 prefer to outline. I’m more comfortable when I know where the story is going. That said,  Aftersight was the first novel I’ve written where I didn’t know where it was going until I got there. I would start a chapter with a notion where I’d end up, but I didn’t always know exactly how I was going to get there. It was a little unnerving.
Often times characters would be doing things or feeling things and I didn’t know why, until later, when all the pieces fell into place. In a way, I went on the same journey as the reader.


Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?

I have. Often writer’s block is an indication of a plot flaw in the story that I haven’t yet identified, but it also could mean that I’m too conscious about writing to please someone else rather than telling a story that I want to read.
You can try just writing through it, but that often leads to writing in circles. I found the best solution is usually to step back and identify the issue and then attack if from a different perspective.

Is there a certain author that influenced you in writing?
When I first started writing, several authors influenced my writing style: Terry Brooks, Anne Rice, Shelby Foote, Patrick O’Brian. Eventually, once you write enough, you eventually find your own voice.

What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
My favorite books are Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series. They have action, intrigue, humor, and they’re extremely well written. What keeps me going back to those books again and again is the friendship between Jack and Stephen.
  
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst  book to movie transfer?
Making movies and writing books are both ways of telling stories, but I think they’re two completely different art forms. It takes a special kind of talent to translate a book into film. Even then, I think a movie should be judged on its own, without comparing it to the book, but there’s nothing better than seeing a book you love come to life on the big screen.

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
Of course, I can’t know what things will be like when there are hover cars or when apes take over the Earth, but I don’t see printed books going away any time soon. E-Books are just another way to consume books.

If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
Patrick O’Brian, George R.R. Martin, and Anne Rice. Wouldn’t that be an interesting dinner!

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Stop measuring yourself by other authors’ biographies. The success stories you read about where writers get their Big Break rarely mention the years those authors spent right where you are now, practicing the craft and experiencing heartbreak.
Be patient. Allow things to unfold in their own time. You’re learning things now and growing in ways that you cannot perceive until you have a little distance on it.
And finally (this is the big one, trite though it might sound), don’t give up! If this is what you’re supposed to be doing, if this feeds your soul, in the end, it’s the best nourishment you can provide.

Where can readers follow you?

Your Blog Details?
http://brianmercerbooks.tumblr.com

Your Website?
www.brianmercerbooks.com

Your Facebook Page?

Your Goodreads Author Page?
 pending

Your Twitter Details?
@BriMercer 



PROMOTIONAL SPOTLIGHT

Title: Perfect Summer 
Author: Karen King
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Pages:  148pages
ISBN: 978-1482720631


BLURB from Astraea Press
Set in the future in a society obsessed with perfection, 15 year old Morgan can't help being a bit envious of her best friend, Summer. Summer is beautiful, rich and seems to have an effortlessly perfect life. Whereas Morgan isn't so rich, or beautiful and her younger brother Josh has Down's syndrome, which according to the government, and society in general, is a crime. Then Josh is kidnapped and the authorities aren't interested, so Morgan and Summer decide to investigate. They, along with another teenager Jamie whose sister, Holly, has also been kidnapped, uncover a sinister plot involving the kidnapping of disabled children and find themselves in terrible danger. Can they find Josh and Holly before it’s too late?

AUTHOR INTERVIEW
What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
Karen King. I was born in the UK and still live there.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I’m a writing tutor. I teach writing via distance learning and run workshops for adults and children in schools.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Perfect Summer, a dystopian YA. It explores the questions that if society becomes too obsessed with perfection would being different become a crime?

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
It depends on what I’m writing and whether I’m on a deadline. I write all sorts of books from picture books to romance novels and some of my work is commissioned. If I’m given a month to write a book then I’ll do it in a month even if I have to stay up half the night. If I’m not on a deadline then I’ll take my time.

Do you have plans for a new book?
Yes I’m currently writing another YA titled Sapphire Blue. It’s an after-life story with a mix of romance and horror.

Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
Perfect Summer is my favourite book because I really believe in its theme, that there is too much pressure on people to have ‘perfect’ looks and I worry where that will lead.

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
Morgan, from Perfect Summer, is my favourite character. She’s a typical teenage girl, worried about fitting in, a bit jealous of her ‘perfect’ best friend, flawed but feisty and brave enough to fight for what she believes in, risking her life to save her brother.
(This one is definitely going on my want to read list!)

How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I’ve always written, I had my first poem published when I was eleven. I love reading and read a lot as a child, which inspired me to write. I’ve been writing for a living for about thirty years now.

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
No, everyone’s entitled to their opinion and an author has to accept that not everyone will like their work.

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
The character comes first for me. I always create the character – or rather the character pops into my head -  and then I get the story idea.  I like to really get to know my character before I start writing but sometimes when I’m writing they’ll surprise me and do something I didn’t expect.

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 do a basic outline so that I roughly know what’s happening and where the story is going then I write the first draft and see where it takes me.

Did you have a favourite author as a child?
Yes. I loved the Just William books by Richmal Crompton. They made me laugh out loud. I also enjoyed reading Enid Blyton’s books.

Where can readers follow you?
Your Blog Details?
My Blog is on my website. http://www.karenking.net/blog
Your Website:
http://www.karenking.net
Your Facebook Page?
https://www.facebook.com/KarenKingAuthor
Your Goodreads Author Page?
 https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/74448.Karen_King
Your Twitter details? 

@karen_king


PROMOTIONAL SPOTLIGHT


Title:  The Last Great Wizard Of Yden
Author: S.G. Rogers
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Pages:  296pages
ISBN: 978-1466426283



BLURB from Astraea Press


For his sixteenth birthday, all Jon wanted were the keys to the family car. Instead, he got a lousy magic ring…
Artistic prodigy Jon Hansen yearns to fit in, but when he stumbles onto a supernatural kidnapping, his life changes forever. Unfortunately, his search for answers uncovers a magical secret—one that makes Jon a danger to everyone around him.
The Wolf Clan wizard Efysian has been draining the magic from Yden. On a quest for eternal power, he’s willing to kill to feed his addiction.  To harness the ultimate source of energy, he travels to Earth.  This time, however, he has a persistent witness to his crime. 
Can Jon survive long enough to outwit the most evil wizard the magical world has ever known?  Or will Efysian add the young wizard to his gruesome collection of trophies?


AUTHOR INTERVIEW

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in Los Angeles, California. My pen name, S.G. Rogers, is my ‘real’ maiden name, although I use my first two initials for brevity. I live on a coastal island off the coast of Georgia called Skidaway Island. We’ve got gators, deer, foxes, boars, and exotic birds roaming around the island, along with the golfers!

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I wanted to be an actress when I was growing up, but I was always writing, too. After I got out of school I pursued acting in L.A. for ten years. I used to work on Days of Our Lives on a fairly regular basis, which was great fun. For some odd reason, they frequently cast me as a cop.

When did you first consider yourself as a “writer”?
The moment I made the decision to pursue writing as a career, I became a writer. Whether or not anyone else considered me a writer at that point was open to debate.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
The third book in my Yden series, called Secrets of Yden, will be published soon. Short summary: To prevent an unstable portal from stopping time on Earth forever, Jon may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
Three months is a fairly good estimate for a full-length book. Sometimes, with a historical romance, I get bogged down with research.

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
Unfortunately, I have to weigh marketability with pleasure. Although I love writing fantasy, my historical romances have been far and away my biggest sellers. I have a prequel to The Last Great Wizard of Yden in the works, called Kira, Warrior Princess, but I also have an Edwardian-era romance which will be published at the end of 2013 called Jessamine’s Folly.

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 wish I could plot more beforehand, but I haven’t the patience. I come up with a premise and go from there. It takes me longer that way, but for me I enjoy “discovering” the plot.
   
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..”)
I don’t like moralizing, particularly when it’s overt. I will confess, however, much of my word view appears in my stories. I’m fond of having the bad guys lose and the good guys win, but I also allow some of the antagonists to make positive choices. It’s always fun when a despicable character redeems him or herself.
  
Where can readers follow you?
Your Blog Details?  
www.childofyden.wordpress.com
Your Facebook Page? 
https://www.facebook.com/SuzanneGRogers
Your Goodreads Author Page? https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4216062.S_G_Rogers

Your Twitter Details? 
https://twitter.com/suzannegrogers


GIVEAWAY
One Winner will win an Ecopy of each of the titles in this feature!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No comments:

Post a Comment