Say Hello to Amy Trueblood

Author Interview

Meet Amy Trueblood.

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A devotee of reading and writing from a very young age, Amy Trueblood grew up surrounded by books. As the youngest of five children, she spent most of her time trying to find a quiet place to curl up with her favorite stories. After stints working in entertainment and advertising, she began writing her first manuscript and never looked back. Her debut novel, NOTHING BUT SKY will be published March 27, 2018 by Flux.

Social Media Links:

Website . Facebook . Instagram . Tumblr . Twitter

 

Onto the interview!

I love the slogan of “A wink, A smile, and A Happily Ever After.” How do you approach the cliched issue of writing a happily ever after ending and why do you think happily ever afters are important?

In my opinion, if you’re writing a story of hope there always has to be a “Happily Ever After,” but I never give it to my characters easily. I put them through a lot of pain and heartbreak before we get to that conclusion. In my mind, a “Happily Ever After” is not clichéd if the characters earn it.

 

Congrats on your debut novel, Nothing But Sky, releasing next year! What was your inspiration behind the creation of daredevil Grace Lafferty?

In the early 1920s there were many pilots who took to the skies in war surplus planes. Most of the time men received most of the notoriety. If you look closer at this time period though, you’ll discover many women were also part of this “Barnstorming” era. I wanted to bring these women’s stories to light via my fictional character, Grace.

 

Did you run into any surprising roadblocks while writing Nothing But Sky?

When you choose to writer historical fiction there can be many roadblocks. I think the biggest one was making sure everything was period authentic. Just when I would get into the groove of writing a scene, I would come across a word or a situation and I would have to stop and research it to make sure it was accurate for the time period. For example, there was a scene where I wanted to use the word “pizazz”, but as I discovered via research that word was not readily used until the late 1930s so I had to find another word.

 

Why historical fiction? 

There are so many undiscovered stories about amazing women in history and the female wing walker during the “Barnstorming” era was one I wanted to explore. These women risked their lives on a daily basis and I wanted to call attention to their skill and bravery.

I see you have a degree in journalism after snooping on your About page. Did your degree in journalism influence you to write historical fiction?

Actually no, but it did affect my interest in writing fiction. In journalism, there is no gray area. When you write a newspaper article everything is black and white—as it should be. But if you have a creative mind, your prose tends to wander in a different direction and that was something I wanted to explore.

My journalism degree usually rears its head during the drafting process as I tend to write very thin first drafts. I pay for this during the revision process as I usually have to add more setting details, as well as additional visual and sensory cues. A first draft for me may hover around 55,000 words, but by the time I’m done with a manuscript it usually ends up around 80,000 words.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to share or say?

I’m thrilled that YA historical is slowly but surely gaining a foothold in young adult literature. I hope this book will not be seen as purely a historical work, but as a universal story of a girl chasing after her dream. It’s the reason why I wrote this as part of my dedication: “And for little girls everywhere…no matter what people say, never be afraid to chase your dreams.”

Thank you for the opportunity to tell you a little more about Grace and NOTHING BUT SKY. I hope your readers will pick up the book and enjoy her journey.

 

Thank you Amy for stopping by A New Look On Books and Happy Book Birthday!

Nothing But Sky is out today!

Meet Michael Evans

Author Interview

Meet Michael Evans.

Michael Evans is the author of the novel Control Freakz, a Young Adult Post-Apocalyptic Thriller, and the forthcoming novel entitled Delusional. He is currently attending high school in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, but he is originally from Long Island, New York. Some of his hobbies include hiking, running, camping, going to the beach, watching and taking artsy pictures of sunsets (it’s honestly a very enlightening activity to partake in), and walking his ginormous, fluffy golden doodle underneath the stars. He is also fascinated with the environment and neuroscience, and his true passion is learning about how the wonders of the human mind and the environment we live in will change with time. The future, specifically his goal of helping to impact the future of humanity positively is what drives him to tell stories. Writing is something that is instinctive to him, and he seeks to express his thoughts on his own life and the world to inspire others to use the power in the voice they have to advocate for positive changes in their own lives and the world we all live in.

Social media links
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mevansinked/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MEvansInked/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MEvansInked
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17306697.Michael_Evans

The Interview.

I love the cover of your upcoming Control Freakz. How did the final product change from the original cover you had in mind? Did you have much say in the cover creation?

The cover of the novel is actually supposed to depict the inside of the mind of the main character Natalie! Due to that fact, I had no idea what the cover was going to look like, and I presented my cover designer with a few abstract concepts that he turned into a tangible, mysterious image. I was really happy with the design of the cover, and it was nice to have control over the little design changes that I desired to make.

What drives you to explore the darker aspects of the future and life? Is there any dark aspects that you can see happening now that concern you and you want to bring awareness to?

For me, writing and any art has the unique responsibility to bring to light what is both beautiful and just totally awful in our world. I don’t plan on relishing about the bad aspects of the future in all my writing, in fact I hope to also show people the unbelievable aspects of the present and the future, however, I believe it is important to make people aware of the negative possibilities of our future so that as a society we will take action to prevent it! For me, I am passionate about a lot of issues, and with the growing power of technology I could literally list dozens of things that need to be changed in the present so that they don’t metastasize into bigger problems in the future. However, for me the two biggest issues I see in our society today that will only continue to have graver consequences in the future is climate change and mental health, specifically the atomic precise manufacturing revolution. Mental health is especially important to me, because my worry is not with the presence of mental health issues in the future, but with the emergence of technology that are powerful enough to cure schizophrenia and depression, they are bound to be engineered to also completely destroy us as well. My novel actually explores my vision of how technologies designed to cure addiction may also cause the very foundations of society to crumble.

Dystopic in YA has been growing in popularity. What do you hope to see in the genre in 2018?

I hope to see more contemporary novels set in societies that have minor dystopian elements to it. Much of the audience for the purely dystopian genre has already been maxed out, and the best way to still incorporate dystopian themes into novels to expose readers to darker futures is to incorporate them into novels that are primarily romance, sci-fi, and even contemporary novels.

Trilogy vs. standalone, what do you find more fun and perhaps even more challenging to write?

I have only written one trilogy (I’m currently writing the last book Triggered), and I can say that although it has been very fun, it is challenging because although there is so many awesome possibilities when writing a trilogy, sometimes I tend to feel boxed in due to the fact that it is not a blank canvas. However, it’s really fun to incorporate new plot twists and elements to characters, even after the reader has been with them for 1000+ pages. However, I’m excited to start writing my first standalone novel, The Conspiracy of Happiness, when school is over for the semester.

Can you share the writing and editing process for Control Freakz? How did you get through any road blocks that may have occurred?

I first wrote the novel when I was 13, and at the time it was the first novel I ever wrote. I’m not gonna lie and say that it wasn’t hard; at times it was emotionally exhausting just thinking about how much left I had to write. However, I did love the process and upon finishing the first book I promptly wrote the first draft for my second book. At this point, I went back and began to revise my first book and realized how much my writing had improved. That’s why I completely rewrote the entire novel in 9 weeks over this past summer. My goal was to write 12,0000 words per week and writing for multiple hours each day actually made my story flow even better! After finishing the novel, I took a month break before jumping into two rounds of revisions, and then two rounds of editing with my editor, which collectively took about 3 months.

Is there anything you’d like to share with the readers today?

Yes! First of all, I will be attending the Teen Book Fest in Rochester, New York, on May 19th! Also, Delusional, the second novel in the Control Freakz trilogy, will be published in the fall of 2018, and the last novel Triggered, will be coming out in early 2019! I also am starting an entirely new concept, and although I won’t share what the story is about just yet, the title will be The Conspiracy of Happiness.

Control Freakz is on sale for $0.99 from Feb. 21-28 on Amazon!

The Google Search History of An Author; Guest Post by Helen Scheuerer

Guest Post

Meet Helen Scheuerer.

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Helen Scheuerer is a YA fantasy author from Sydney, Australia. ‘Heart of Mist’ is the first book in her high fantasy trilogy, ‘The Oremere Chronicles’. It explores themes of identity, belonging, loyalty, addiction, loss, and responsibility.

After writing literary fiction for a number of years, novels like ‘Throne of Glass’, ‘Elantris’, ‘The Queen’s Poisoner’ and ‘The Queen of the Tearling’ inspired Helen to return to her childhood love of fantasy.

Helen is also the Founding Editor of Writer’s Edit (www.writersedit.com), an online literary magazine and learning platform for emerging writers. In its first year, Writer’s Edit reached thousands of new authors, and soon became its own small press. It’s now one of the largest writers’ platforms in the world.

Helen’s love of writing and books led her to pursue a Bachelor of Creative Arts, majoring in Creative Writing at the University of Wollongong, as well as a Masters of Publishing at the University of Sydney.

Helen works as a freelance writer and editor, while she works on the second book in ‘The Oremere Chronicles’.

Author Links:
Website: http://helenscheuerer.com/
Prequels: http://bit.ly/2szZpYl
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helenscheuererauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HelenScheuerer
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/helenscheuerer/
Goodreads Book Page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34865933-heart-of-mist
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9898249.Helen_Scheuerer

 

Guest Post – The Google Search History Of An Author

Pretty much every writer out there has stopped and considered their Google search history at one point or another… More often than we’d care to admit, we’re sitting here stumped, wondering if whether or not a search can send us to prison, or an offshore asylum.

After chatting with lovely Rae of A New Look On Books, we decided it would be fun to delve into some of the weird and whacky Google searches that have found their way into my browser history.

1. How hard is it to pull an arrow from a stomach?

That’s right, there’s no messing around here, folks. If it wasn’t obvious enough, I wanted to know how much resistance a person would feel when they tried to pull an arrow from another person’s stomach.

The puller was someone who wasn’t particularly physically strong, and so I wanted to be sure that it was believable.

2. Alcoholism withdrawal symptoms

If you’re familiar with my debut novel, Heart of Mist, you might be aware that my MC has an alcohol addiction. In order to make this realistic, I needed to make sure I was well-informed about the effects and consequences of addiction, which is how this search found its way into my history.

3. Poisons to paralyse

Am I sounding unstable yet? There’s a brief scene in Heart of Mist where a character ingests a poison that causes her to be temporarily paralysed. It’s a brief scene, but I did want to make sure I got the details right. However, in the end, I chose to invent a poison (it’s a fantasy world after all!).

4. Anatomy of medieval armour (and weaponry!)

With commanders, captains and knights throughout my book, this search was a must. And as someone who’s always had an appreciation for period-drama costuming, it was one of the more fun (and less morbid) searches.

My characters are generally decked out in medieval-style clothing: leathers, corsets, cloaks, riding boots and the like… Plus, there’s also a range of weapons in use – katars, battle axes, swords, and daggers. It’s really fun to get creative with these and get educated on the ways in which they’re used.

5. Best fight scenes in literature

As someone who’s never been in a physical fight myself (touch wood), I made it my business to read and watch epic fight scenes to pick up on the best moves. I made word pools for things like fencing, so I knew what terminology to use at the right moment.

There are a number of fight scenes throughout Heart of Mist, and this search was definitely done more than once throughout the writing process. I may have even taken to acting out certain scenes in my office, so I knew if particular maneuvers were possible or not!

 

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And these are just the recent searches! Who knows what I would have found in the older depths of my search history…

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve searched for? Why not share it with Rae and myself in the comments below!

 

Do you have Heart of the Mist yet?

Check out the details below!

 

heart of mist cover.pngBook details:

Heart of Mist released August 31st, 2017.
Ebook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07556VD4Y/
Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0994165544/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36120100-heart-of-mist

Interview with Margaret Rogerson

Author Interview

Blogger Note: Hi everyone! I am super excited today to share with you my interview with An Enchantment of Ravens’ author Margaret Rogerson! *squeeeee*

 

authorphoto.jpgMeet Margaret Rogerson.

Margaret writes fantasy for young adult readers. Her books draw inspiration from old fairy tales, because she loves stories in which the beautiful and the unsettling are sometimes indistinguishable. She lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, and when she’s not reading or writing she enjoys drawing, watching documentaries, making pudding, gaming, and exploring the outdoors in search of toads and mushrooms. She studied anthropology at Miami University.

Author Links

Twitter
Tumblr
Instagram

Website

Now onto the interview!

What would you say is the main inspiration behind the creation of An Enchantment of Ravens?
An Enchantment of Ravens was primarily inspired by my love of folklore and my own background as a portrait artist.
How long has this tale been waiting to be written? That being said, how long did it take to write and edit?
Enchantment happened quickly; I had the idea for it while I was in the shower one morning, and by the time I got out of that shower, I had come up with most of the plot, setting, and characters. It took me about two weeks to write the outline, three and a half months to write the first draft, and another month and a half to edit it before I began submitting the manuscript to literary agents. Once a publisher accepted it, we edited it a little bit more—I think developmental edits took me about two weeks, and copyedits only a few days (the copyeditor did the hard part for me). However, many of those stages involved months of waiting in between. This is a little embarrassing to admit, but honestly, I couldn’t have written Enchantment so quickly had I not lost my day job and moved in with my parents! I try to make sure I tell people that because I don’t want other writers to compare their schedules to mine and feel bad. I had a LOT of free time, not to mention familial support. I wrote one book before Enchantment (another YA fantasy that’s now gathering dust on my hard drive), and it took me about a year and a half to finish while I was also working a full-time job.

Tell us about your journey from half feral child to author. How did it feel to get that acceptance email or call and later your first contract?
Ha! I see you’ve read the bio on my website. I’ve dreamed of becoming an author ever since I was a little girl running around in the woods eating bugs, but I never imagined it would be possible. Even after I’d finished Enchantment and started querying literary agents, it still didn’t feel possible. So the feeling of signing with my agent Sara was indescribable—part of me was convinced I’d hallucinated the entire thing. The publishing contract was a little easier to digest because I was already so dazed with happiness that nothing could have really surprised me at that point. For about a month straight, I walked around smiling and bumping into things.
How has your view of writing and reading changed as you went through the publishing of your debut novel?
Writing feels more like work now, but even before getting published, I had to learn how to treat writing like work; otherwise, I wouldn’t have had the discipline to finish a book. Reading is a bit different too, because I tend to read more critically now, picking apart the strategies that other authors use to achieve tension or foreshadowing, or how they construct a good action scene, that sort of thing. I read a lot more slowly than I used to.
How do you tackle world building and setting in An Enchantment of Ravens? Did you base the fae world off of your desire to live in a forest that has a touch of witchery?
The fairy world was definitely inspired by my love of nature, especially the autumnlands, since fall is my favorite season. There’s just something special about the forest during fall: whimsical, enchanting, a little bit haunted, with those rainy, misty evenings that make it easy to imagine a sinister presence slumbering beneath the fallen leaves… Interestingly I came up with a lot of the fairy court-related worldbuilding several years before I wrote Enchantment, for a personal RPG-type project I created for some friends. Needless to say, I’m a huge nerd! My friends enjoyed picking out details they recognized when they read the book for the first time.
What challenges did you face while incorporating the themes of sorrow and mortality in your world?
Great question! In Enchantment, I wanted to convey the idea that mortality and the ability to feel emotion and create art are profoundly intertwined. Because the fair folk are immortal, they have a certain hollowness to them, a desperate, horrible emptiness that drives them to crave human Craft in the hope and fear it will make them feel something genuine. It was a little challenging creating a wide range of fair folk characters who all possessed that shallow emotional range while also giving them distinct personalities. But it was a fun challenge, and I really enjoyed writing side characters like Lark, Hemlock, and Aster—and especially Gadfly.
What is something you want your readers to take away from An Enchantment of Ravens?
Enchantment has some stuff to say about art and love, about the value of mortality and the importance of staying true to oneself no matter what, but in the end I’m not sure it matters whether readers take any messages away from the book. I’d much rather it simply make someone happy on a chilly night, preferably with a mug of hot chocolate and a crackling fire.
Is there anything else you want to share?
Sometimes people get confused by the title when they hear it out loud, and mistake it for “An Enchantment of Raisins.”
Congrats on the your debut novel release!
Thank you so much for featuring me on your blog, Rae!

Happy Release Day An Enchantment of Ravens!

Go get your copy ASAP!

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