Friday, June 28, 2013

Breaking Glass Tour: Author Interview

BREAKING GLASS by Lisa Amowitz 

Published Date: July 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Genre: YA

The Story: On the night seventeen-year-old Jeremy Glass winds up in the hospital with a broken leg and a blood alcohol level well above the legal limit, his secret crush, Susannah, disappears. When he begins receiving messages from her from beyond the grave, he’s not sure whether they’re real or if he’s losing his grip on reality. Clue by clue, he gets closer to unraveling the mystery, and soon realizes he must discover the truth or become the next victim himself.

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Author Bio:

Lisa Amowitz was born in Queens and raised in the wilds of Long Island, New York where she climbed trees, thought small creatures lived under rocks and studied ant hills. And drew. A lot. When she hit her teens, she realized that Long Island was too small for her and she needed to escape. So she went to college in Pittsburgh. Go figure. 

 On leaving college, Lisa became a graphic designer living in New York City. She eventually married her husband of a zillion years, had two lovely children, and was swept away to a fairy tale life in the Bronx, where, unbelievably there are more trees and wilderness than her hometown. She can see the Hudson River from her kitchen window. 

 Lisa has been a professor of Graphic Design at her beloved Bronx Community College where she has been tormenting and cajoling students for nearly seventeen years. She started writing eight years ago because she wanted something to illustrate, but somehow, instead ended up writing YA. Probably because her mind is too dark and twisted for small children. 

 BREAKING GLASS which will be released in July, 2013 from Spencer Hill Press, is her first published work. VISION, the first of the Finder series will be released in 2014, along with an unnamed sequel in the following year. LIFE AND BETH will also be released in the near future, along with graphic novel style art.

Author Interview:

  1. Where did you come up with the inspiration behind the book? 
    I guess I wanted to write something creepy and full of secrets. Now that I think of it, the horse farm that we stayed at one summer about three years ago played a large part in inspiring Breaking Glass. The landlady both irritated and intrigued me and it got me thinking about secrets; about a town where everyone had a secret. The tree on the property there is definitely the tree in the book where Jeremy digs up the first clue in the mystery. But the basic idea had been percolating long before that. 
  2. What inspired you to write your first book? 
    There were a few reasons I started writing in earnest some years back. Part of it was Harry Potter and how it awakened my sense of wonder, part of it was my desire to illustrate a children’s book. Another part of it was a need to process my distress over raising young children in the aftermath of September 11. 
  3. What books/authors have influenced your writing?
    Marcus Zusak—The Book Thief, Maggie Stiefvater—The Raven Boys, Anne Spollen—The Color of Water, Cassandra Clare—The Mortal Instruments Series, Libba Bray—The Gemma Doyle Trilogy, Suzanne Collins—The Hunger Games, and of course J.K. Rowling—Harry Potter. 
  4. What was your favourite scene to write? 
    Without giving any spoilers, I enjoyed the part where Jeremy interacts with a medical professional who thinks he is the funniest kid he ever met. 
  5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
    Making sense of my very intricate plot without turning the whole thing into a soap opera. 
  6. How do you overcome writer's block?
    The best way I know to overcome writer’s block is read. It always inspires me to write. 
  7. What are your current projects? 
    I am working on a young adult murder mystery with no paranormal elements. 
  8. What book are you reading now? 
    I’ve got a huge haul from BEA, so I am working my way through that. I’m reading three books at once at the moment, EXTRACTED by Sherry Ficklin and Tyler Jolley, THE DREAM THIEVES by Maggie Stiefvater, and PRODIGY by Marie Liu. Next up I am going to read PODS by Michelle Pickett and STORM AND SIEGE by Leigh Bardugo. 
  9. If you could have dinner with any fictional character who would it be and why? 
    Jem from Cassie Clare’s Infernal Devices series. Why? Because he’s awesome, that’s why and I think he’d be quite interesting to speak to for various reasons I won’t divulge because of spoilers. 
  10. Do you have any advice for other writers? 
    Don’t write for the sole purpose of getting published. Write because you love it. And don’t be in such a hurry—and please, above all, find people you trust and listen to their advice.

Review: Ink

Ink by Amanda Sun

Synopsis (From Goodreads): On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

The first thing that drew me to Amanda Sun's debut, Ink, apart from the gorgeous cover, was that it's a story set in Japan and I'm a sucker for all things Japanese and I was not let down. After a family tragedy Katie is forced to move to Japan to live with her aunt. She barely knows the language and the culture, and she never even wanted to move to the country. When she sees Tomohiro, the star of the school's kendo team, with his drawings that start moving, Katie soon learns that Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan and being near Katie is causing his abilities to go haywire. If it's not the drawings coming to life that's going to endanger Katie's life it's going to be the Yakuza who is trying to prove that Tomo has some sort of power. Now Katie might not get out of Japan alive, especially if she continues sticking with Tomo, but can she really stay away from him?

The best thing about this story was the setting. It was good to see a story take a different culture and setting and describe it perfectly in the story. Sun shows a deep understanding of the Japanese culture, and it was good to see that the Japanese language was thrown in to emphasise some dialogue. It should be warned that there is quite a bit romaji thrown in, although there is a glossary (but I didn't find the glossary until after I had finished reading the story so I found the glossary pointless or else it would have been time consuming).

The mythology behind Ink was interesting and something different as I had never read another story with Kami and it was great to learn about another paranormal creature.

The only problem I had with this story all came from the characters. Although I liked Katie, a lot of her choices I found as idiotic like why she keeps following Tomo around when he threatens her, I can understand wanting to solve the mystery of his paintings, but there's also a fine line between detective and stalker and she actually crosses over to the stalker area and I have no idea why she can possibly like Tomo because his attitude for the majority of the story is that of an arse, even if he's just putting it on to get people to stay away from him. For me the characters were full of cliches and were not fully fleshed out.

Other than that, I actually enjoyed this story quite a bit. I could get past the characters and delve into the culture and the mythology and I will give the second one a go to see how the story plays out. I recommend this for anyone who loves paranormal romances or stories set in Japan.

Source: Netgalley
2013 Debut Author Challenge: #7 of 12

Thursday, June 27, 2013

MIA... Let me explain

It's been a long, hectic week and I've had a lot of things going on at home which has caused me to not be able to get around to blogging for the past week. I'm trying to get on top of things, as well as finish the first draft of Shadow Embrace's sequel (which is going great and I'm enjoying getting back to Scar's world), I'm also throwing myself into plenty of horror as I plot for my YA horror The Making of Amber Wright.

I'm planning to get around to blogging a lot more, and you'll be seeing a lot more of Shadow Embraced as I've got a big book tour being planned that's due to launch July 15th.

How has everyone else been? How are your writing goals going? What are you currently reading?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Goodbye Google Reader, Hello Bloglovin'

At the end of this month it is a very sad time when we have to say goodbye to Google Reader. I still use Google Reader to make keeping track of all the blogs I follow easy. Since it's getting close to Google Reader's demise, I know it's time to find an alternative and that's why I'm saying hello to Bloglovin'

Are you upset that Google Reader is ending? How do you keep track of all of the blogs you follow?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Motivation slump...

Yep, that's exactly what I feel like at the moment. I've been going through a slump where all I want to do is either stay in bed, wrapped in the warm blankets (hey it's Winter here) or just procrastinate which means hours on end playing Facebook games... I can actually waste most of the day with those pointless games.

I can force myself to sit in front of the computer and just stare at the blank page, but that's not going to get my WiP written. One thing I have found that has helped get me out of this motivation slump is throwing myself into an editing course to give me something productive to do. I'm going to go back to my WiP once I'm sure I can productively add to the story.

Have you ever gone through a motivation slump? How did you get out of it?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Cover Reveal: The Ferryman's Wife

I am pleased to be a part of the cover reveal for Georgina Merry's 'The Ferryman's Wife' today organised by Dark World Books.

The Ferryman’s Wife
(Devils Light #1)
A spoilt heiress is propelled into a dark world of lost souls where she is taken prisoner by powerful being known only as The Ferryman.
Lady Madeline Farrington has what most girls want: money, beauty and a string of handsome and wealthy admirers. From a young age she’s had everything she asked for. Getting what she wants has become an expectation. At sixteen both her and her cousin are of age, and are welcomed into adult society at The Duke of Angledin’s ball. There she meets the mysterious and enigmatic Laurie de Bufort. She decides that she wants him too, even if it means hurting her cousin and best friend, Celia. But Madeline is about to learn that having everything you want can be dangerous, and that knowing Laurie de Bufort comes at a terrible price…
Add The Ferryman’s Wife to your Goodreads list!

Georgina Merry
Born in Scotland, Georgina Merry has been actively involved in both writing and the performing arts from a young age. This led her to study a drama degree with playwriting as her specialist subject. After graduating she’s juggled full-time work as well as having numerous articles & reviews published in local entertainment publications. She currently resides in East Lothian with her incredibly supportive husband and their young daughter.
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