Cori McCarthy – The Writer vs. The Adult Interview

Author Interview

CM Headshot2.jpgMeet Cori McCarthy

Cori McCarthy is the author of the science fiction thrillers The Color of Rain and Breaking Sky, as well as the contemporary mixed media novel, You Were Here, and the forthcoming feminist rom com, Now A Major Motion Picture. Cori started writing at the age of thirteen, and studied poetry, memoir writing, and screenwriting before falling in love with YA at Vermont College of Fine Arts’ MFA program. Cori spends most of their time at home in Vermont with their partner, fellow YA author Amy Rose Capetta, and their small son—and they are excitedly looking to get a puppy! On the horizon for 2019, Cori and their partner coauthored a duology entitled, Once & Future, a space fantasy about a girl King Arthur with an inclusive cast of the new knights of the round spaceship.

Find out more at CoriMcCarthy.com or tweet your favorite nerd .gif @CoriMcCarthy. You can also find me on Instagram. My account is locked to keep out the riff-raff, but if you’re a reader just request and send a note, and I will approve you 🙂

 

 

The Interview

 

The writer vs. the adult. What do you struggle with in terms of balancing your writing live with your personal life?

On most days, I have three full-time jobs. I am a writer, an editor, and a parent. This is tricky at best…and like living in a swamp at worst. To help me stay balanced, I make small to-do lists and try to clear the deck of life’s etc. so that I can spend as much time as possible playing LEGOs with my son and writing as many books as possible.

 

What inspires you as a writer?

My mistakes and National Geographic. Not a lot of people know this about me, but I love to research. When I worked on Breaking Sky, I got to research the military, the Cold War, our global history of militarized youth, as well as amazing firsthand accounts of fighter jet pilots. When I worked on You Were Here, I devoured the NatGEo show Secrets of the Underground for urbexer inspiration—as well as going to the urbex locations in that story firsthand.
I draw heavily from history, culture, travel, and adventure when I write, but I also delve pretty deeply into the mistakes I’ve made and the problems I’ve faced. My writing thus becomes a kind of catharsis—a way to understand why things happen the way they do. I’ve always found that fiction is a balm for the aching places in the soul. For example, I wrote You Were Here as a way to understand my friend’s death many years ago. I never thought I’d be able to process what happened—and why the adults in my life were so ill-equipped to help us deal with the loss. But then along came Mik, Jaycee, Natalie, Zach, and Bishop…and they helped me out.

 

I see you freelance edit and are a writing coach. Does your editor brain clash with your writer brain when you are working on your own projects?

Nope! My editor brain and my writing brain don’t seem to be friends, let alone acquaintances. There are so many times when I’m advising a writing client, and I realize that the mistake they’ve been making is something I also need to work on in my own manuscript. I tend to write loose and fast, making all the mistakes as I go—only to smooth them out later. While I don’t necessarily tell other writers to do the same, I do encourage writers to be more willing to write badly. After all, you can never write a perfect book from the get-go. So go ahead and write it badly first! It’s faster to revise a draft than to wait for the perfect (imaginary) pages.

 

From to memoirs to poetry to screenwriting to YA to picture books… you’ve dabbled in it all! Tell us about you and how it influenced your decisions to branch out into different genres shaped your writing.

I find that they’re all related! When I write picture books or novels in verse, my poetry background leaps forward. When I’m plotting novels, my screenwriting education takes the wheel and makes sure I don’t get lost in the land of over-plotting nonsense. When I worked on You Were Here, I had to write scripts for the graphic novel sections, and poems for Bishop’s poetry, and then I needed all my education to make Zach, Jaycee, and Natalie’s prose voices sound unique. It was the best kind of juggling.

 

Are there any stereotypes or stigmas that you really want to tackle in upcoming projects? I have to point out here I am anxiously awaiting for everything you have in the works and continue to read You Were Here whenever I need the facts (but hope!) during rough times.

This is such a great question!
My upcoming book Now A Major Motion Picture is lighter than my other books—well, it is a rom com! That being said, I’d love for readers to look at what’s woven into the sweetheart romance and the ridiculous fantasy nerd shenanigans. Iris, the main character, is waking up to how women are blatantly mistreated in Hollywood—and the world and in her own family. This kind of awakening is tough to write about, and I’m hoping that it sneakily reaches everyone out there who needs a boost in fighting back against the most recent surge of patriarchal nonsense.

I’m also starting to write more about the LGBTQ+ community, and my experiences being a nonbinary, pansexual, mixed race Arab American. I have been afraid to write openly about these things in the past because publishing hasn’t had the best track record with uplifting marginalized identity stories and the writers who are brave enough to write them. But things are changing. And I’m done being afraid. Right now I’m working on a story that is similar to You Were Here in tone and depth, only this time it’s about my experiences growing up in a rural conservative community that abhorred difference. We’ll see how it goes…and if I can convince anyone to publish it!

 

Do you have a go-to author, book, or activity that helps you destress from writers block? If not, how do you tackle writers block? (Feel free to answer both if time permits or inspiration strikes!)

Keep in mind that if you are a writer, you should always be writing. Every day. But if you’ve hit a wall, maybe you should be writing something else? I once heard Philip Pullman say, “Don’t write when you’re not inspired. That’s like looking for a shadow with a flashlight.”
If there’s something you’ve burned out on, move along to a different project. When I was worn down from the heaviness of You Were Here, I ended up writing a rom com and a picture book biography about Kahlil Gibran—both of which surprised me. So yes, always write, but don’t make yourself write one book at a time. This business is tough enough, and you might as well have fun while you’re doing it 😉

 

Fangirling aside, is there anything you’d like to share with the readers today?

I think this is it! Great questions! Thank you for reaching out, and I’m really hoping to meet you one day!

 

 

Thank you Cori for stopping by! Had a blast 🙂

Now A Motion Picture is out now!

 

Novus Blitz

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Novus (The Cresecren Chronicles #1)

by Crystal Marcos

Genre: YA Dystopian

Release Date: August 18th 2015


~”Official Selection” Winner in the E-Book Young Adult category, 2015 New Apple Book Awards!~

~Winner Best Books in the Young Adult category, 2016 Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards!~

~”Honorable Mention” Winner in the Sci-fi category, 2016 New York Book Festival!~

~B.R.A.G Medallion Honoree, 2016 indieBRAG!~

~”Honorable Mention” Winner in the Young Adult category, 2016 Hollywood Book Festival!~

~Bronze Medal Winner in the Young Adult – General category, 2016 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards!~

5 Stars -I would recommend not starting Novus (The Cresecren Chronicles, Book 1) by Crystal Marcos if you have anything planned for the rest of the day, as you will most likely not want to put the book down! . . . It’s the kind of book whose characters you miss when you finish the book. -Readers’ Favorite

Ideal for Hunger Games and Divergent fans, Crystal Marcos delivers Novus, a riveting novel set in a dystopian future of action-adventure, suspense, and romance. Intriguing characters and a gripping storyline keep the reader turning page after page.

 

Summary from Goodreads:

Being a teenager is hard enough. And what if your life’s path is predetermined? On top of that, you aren’t even Human?

Cayden was given life as a Cresecren. He expected to live out his days with the dysfunctional Human family he was assigned to serve. One fateful night, however, landed him in Gavaron, the home of maimed, elderly, or defiant Cresecren.

Beyond its borders is the Den, an area much more dangerous than he ever imagined. Now seventeen, Cayden unwittingly becomes involved in a conspiracy and is one of a handful of survivors fleeing a deadly attack. They set off on a perilous journey in search of refuge and the truth. Along the way, Cayden begins to comprehend the difference between fully living and merely surviving, while trying to balance his emotions and a forbidden love. 

 
The eBook is $0.99 thru Sept 30! CELEBRATING the NEWEST BOOK AWARDS during the AUTHOR’S BIRTHDAY MONTH!
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Check out an excerpt below:
I slid the door open to find Kayella standing wide-eyed. She looked shaken, beads of sweat covering her forehead. Her arms were crossed in a protective position, and one finger twisted a lock of her auburn hair.
“Kayella? What happened? Are you hurt?” I asked as I pulled her inside and glanced both ways down the seemingly deserted corridors. I slid the door shut.
“What is it, Kayella? Did Dahsie do something to you?”
“No!”
I waited patiently and offered her my rest pod. She remained standing, staring ahead.
She swallowed. “You have no reason to believe me. None at all. Ever since I can remember, my dreams have reflected reality. They are jumbled and I never remember the entire dream but something always stands out and I see it come true.”
“Why has this brought you here?”
“You can’t go into the Den to the Supply Depot. At least, I feel you shouldn’t go.” Kayella rubbed her forehead with the sleeve of her blouse.
“Let me get you a drink.” I pulled down a metal can and filled it with water.
Before I turned around, Kayella’s hand was on my arm. Her footsteps were so silent that she startled me. I pivoted to look at her as she spoke a single word hauntingly. “Death.” Kayella looked so serious that I did not speak my initial thought of “nonsense.” Instead, I handed her the can and asked her to tell me about her dream.
“It won’t make any sense to you. How can I explain something I don’t understand? They are bits and pieces of a puzzle.” Kayella became flustered, her hand began to tremble, and water sloshed to the floor. “I came because I felt I needed to warn you not to go tomorrow.” She grabbed my arm tightly. “Have someone go in your place. I have to go and warn Alecander.” She dropped the can into the sink, splashing water along the wall. Before I could stop her, she ran out the door and down the corridor. I stood there, taken aback. The Kayella I knew was timid and sweet. I knew nothing of this Kayella.
Death. Such an ominous word. Is it that I might die? Or Alecander? What exactly had Kayella seen? Did it even matter?
BOOK TRAILER:


About the Author
Award-winning author Crystal Marcos has been a storyteller her entire life. As the oldest of five children, she had to do a lot of entertaining. She lives on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State with her husband, daughter Kaylee, and infant son Jaxon. Crystal is the author of BELLYACHE: A Delicious Tale and HEADACHE: The Hair-Raising Sequel to BELLYACHE. Novus, her third book and first Young Adult novel, is Book One of The Cresecren Chronicles.
Author Links:
   
 
G I V E A W A Y:
One last excerpt:



“Thanks for the help,” I said, trying to be polite.

“No problem.” As she leaned in a little closer, my toes dug into my soles. Her whisper caressed my ear. “I slipped in a couple extra bags of oats and a jug of milk.” She winked. “Don’t tell.”

I was not used to a Human being that close or that generous before. I just stood there, staring back at her.

“There you go again, staring! If I wasn’t a confident person you would give me a complex.” Linnayah bent down, lifted up a box and handed it to me. I took it and loaded the last of the boxes into our cargo vehicle.

For the remainder of our time in the Supply Depot, I tried hard not to look for Linnayah but failed miserably. I could not help it, she fascinated me. Why would she give us anything extra to eat? Why risk getting in trouble? Where does she live? What is her family like? Where does she go to school? I would like to read her school report sometime. Would she get high marks for it? Will I see her again?

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Windrunner’s Daughter Promo

Blog Tour

windrunner's daughter

Windrunner’s Daughter
by 
Bryony Pearce

Genre: YA Sci-fi
Release Date: February 4th 2016
Xist Publishing

Summary from Goodreads:

A sabotaged colonization attempt leaves the last humans in the universe stranded on Mars. Braving a half-terraformed atmosphere, terrifying indigenous species, and a colony government that is openly hostile, a young girl named Wren must defy tradition to save her mother and perhaps, every human left.

It is forbidden for women to steal the wings that allow a select group of runners to carry messages and goods between colonies. It is forbidden to cross the wastes with a sand storm on the horizon and it is certainly forbidden to share the secrets of the windrunners with those who spend their entire lives in the biospheres.

But what choice does she have?

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Read the first chapters here

 

bryony pearce

About the Author

I am an author of YA thrillers and science fiction.

Angel’s Fury (winner of the Leeds Book Award and the Cheshire Schools Book Award),The Weight of Souls, published in 2013, Phoenix Rising, published 2015 (shortlisted for Cheshire Schools Book Award and Wirral Paperback of the Year), Phoenix Burning,March 2016, Windrunner’s Daughter, February 2016 and Wavefunction, April 2016.

Author Links:

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Guest Post from the Author:

Science fiction is fun by Bryony Pearce

The thing about writing science fiction, is that it is fun. When I decided that Windrunner’s Daughter and should be set on Mars, I did a lot of research into what it would take to terraform that planet. I found out really interesting facts about space mirrors, asteroids being diverted, algae, ethics, distances, climates, gases, rocks and all sorts of brilliant things.

I researched flight and wind patterns, biospheres and biology.

I put in exploding space ships, giant machinery, Martian snake monsters, a plague and a pyramid. I gave people wings.

Part of the book is inspired by events in Europe in the 14th century, when an English village found out that the plague had arrived and quarantined themselves, not letting anyone in or out, until the illness burned itself out. They all died, but the illness did not spread further, not from them.

Science fiction can be inspired by many different things, even things that happened hundreds of years ago.

There are serious issues in my book, but mainly it’s fun. It was fun to write and I hope fun to read. It’s filled with action, adventure and flying over alien landscapes.

I hope you like it.

 

First stop on Windrunner’s Daughter blog tour!

Check out the other bloggers for the rest of the week.

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Immurement Review

Blog Tour, Book Reviews

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Immurement Review

By: Rae

 

“I’m not afraid to kill him, not after everything I’ve been through.”

– Norma Hinkens, Immurement

 

Have you ever stopped to think about what the world would be like if disaster struck? What if the government was overrun by corruption? What if global warming caused the Earth’s core to explode in a fiery inferno? What if a super virus killed everyone? Today the end of the world is a popular topic. There are survival books available for those who want to be prepared. There are celebrations and familiar pop culture terms like Y.O.L.O. In literature, dystopian fiction, mainly in the YA genre, are appearing like populating flies, each author taking a new spin on how the world as we know it will self-destruct.

In Immurement, a series of events occurs leaving the world in a post-apocalyptic setting. Only a few remain, the survivors fractioned into different groups. There are the Undergrounders and the Subversives, both fighting each other to habit what little land remains on the Earth. Derry Connelly remembers the day world ended, now sixteen, she is still haunted by the loss of her mother and struggling to keep what family she has left in one piece. Like most teenagers she is often overcome by indecision and emotional turmoil. She wants to fight, to prove herself, and yet when given the chance she often causes trouble. Her attention span, lack of courage, and self-doubt put her on the bottom of the totem pole in the hierarchy amongst her group’s survivors. Derry herself fit her role well. With everything she was put through as the story progresses her internal conflict properly effected the plot and what was going on.

Immediately the plot and outline of the story is a nonstop action thriller with something happening to someone on every page. There are hints of the backstory, of the whys and hows of what happened, but mainly Immurement is bent on offering a turbulent ride of emotion and danger. I don’t remember a page that didn’t involve someone being hurt, someone being kidnapped, someone threatening someone, or Derry not self-doubting herself. While I saw what the plot was supposed to be and saw where the story was supposed to accomplish, I was somewhat distracted by trying to retain all the information being thrown at me amidst the action. I wanted more explanation and character development. The characters to me where the best part. I loved Mason. But, I wanted to see flashbacks of before and after the end of the world to see how the characters had changed. I was tantalized by what I didn’t know and felt cheated at the end.

Overall I did enjoy the book and the new spin on the end of the world series. I will have to read book two to see what happens, make my final decision on how I felt, and to get the answers to my questions.

To find out more about Norma Hinkens, check out her website here!

Don’t forget to check out the others on this tour here!

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