First before I get to our fantastic interview, I want to share an exciting new feature I announced on Wednesday to help our author followers. On Mondays, I'll be shouting out about your good news! If you have signed with an agent, signed a publishing contract, decided to self-publish a book, have a cover reveal or book release to announce, I'm happy to give a shout out about it for you. And I'm not limiting this to MG and YA books. Please note this is for regular followers. This doesn't mean you have to stop by for every post, but it is for regular followers. If you have news, e-mail me at email@example.com.
And be sure to check out all the 10 awesome books I'm giving away by followers that I also shared in Wednesday's post and enter the contest. The link is at the top of the blog.
My first follower news is for Christina Lee. I interviewed her when her debut NA story ALL OF YOU released this Fall. She just sold a new NA book to NAL (Penguin Imprint). A huge congrats to Christina! You can go HERE to congratulate her.
Next I have a few winners to announce.
The winner of THESE BROKEN STARS is Crystal Collier!
The winner of DREAM GIRL is Danielle H!
Congrats! E-mail me your address so I can send you your book. Please e-mail me by the end of Wednesday or I'll have to pick another winner.
Today I’m thrilled to have debut author, follower, and friend Crystal Collier here to share about MOONLESS, her fantasy she describes as “Jane Eyre meets supernatural.” It was released on November 13, 2013. I loved Jane Eyre as a kid and can’t wait to read this.
Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:
In the English society of 1768 where women are bred to marry, unattractive Alexia, just sixteen, believes she will end up alone. But on the county doorstep of a neighbor’s estate, she meets a man straight out of her nightmares, one whose blue eyes threaten to consume her whole world—especially later when she discovers him standing over her murdered host in the middle of the night.
Among the many things to change for her that evening are: her physical appearance—from ghastly to breathtaking, an epidemic of night terrors predicting the future, and the blue-eyed man’s unexpected infusion into her life. Not only do his appearances precede tragedies, but they are echoed by the arrival of ravenous, black-robed wraiths on moonless nights.
Unable to decide whether he is one of these monsters or protecting her from them, she uncovers what her father has been concealing: truths about her own identity, about the blue-eyed man, and about love. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with the man of her dreams and risk becoming one of the Soulless.
Hi Crystal! I’m so excited to have you here. And congrats on your book!
Thank you, and I brought cheese platter to keep us company while we chat. *grin*
1. Yum! BTW, for those of you who aren't friends with Crystal, she loves cheese. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became a writer.
When I was little, I told stories through pictures, and eventually with words, gradually with music too. I’m a cheese lover with an overactive imagination. *shrugs*
2. Fun that you have three different ways of telling stories. Where did you get the idea for your story?
*rubbing hands* After a Dickens reading binge, I had a dream. A week later I was staring at a girl’s coming of age story based on two words: blue eyes. But that was only the beginning… *dun, dun, dun*
3. Wow! That’s an awesome way to come up with a story idea. MOONLESS is set in 1768
Do I ever! If you want to write for a time period, read era-written books. Period. The details of how people live are almost as important as they way they would think. I studied numerous essays, pamphlets, and novels from my time period, supplementing with JSTOR, Pinterest/google images for visuals, etymology dictionaries, and a thousand other online resources.
4. That’s a great idea to read books written in your time period. Sounds like you did a lot of research.
What was the hardest part of writing your story—plot, voice, or character development? What did you learn craft-wise from the experience?
Stopping. But in all seriousness, there is so much story layered into Moonless that I had a difficult time deciding which parts to reveal, and which to keep for sequels.
5. That's great you could think it out while writing the first book in the series. Share three things you love about Alexia.
1. Her big heart. As an only child, she values life and how others feel. (Except the nasty old men trying to win her over.) Granted, she’s still young and learning how to see through other’s eyes.
2. She’s got moxie. She’s not the type to hide when the boogeyman is just around the corner—especially if a loved one is in danger.
3. She assumes the best of others.
6. I love that she’ brave. How did Rayborne Publishing become your publisher? What’s it been like working with them?
Raybourne is a newer publishing house with a unique model. They approached me after my success with Pitch Wars 2012, and I love their flexible structuring.
7. That must have felt incredible when they contacted you. It is becoming much more common for authors to decide that small publishers are a good fit for themselves and their books. What advice do you have for others considering a small press?
Look at what they’ve published. If it’s the caliber of work you hope to produce, they’re probably a good fit. Have open discussions about what will be expected, and where they’re willing to compromise. Remember you’ll be giving away significant amounts of your profits and control, so choose wisely.
8. Those seem like really important considerations. I want to talk about marketing for a bit. Wow! You’re in the midst of a 52 stop blog tour in 19 days. How did you set it up and decide on the blogs for your tour? Do you recommend other debut authors doing a big tour like yours?
Organization is the key. I started 2.5 months early and never anticipated so many blogging friends would want to participate. People just have to be asked. (And most are honored by the request.)
For debut authors, only take on what you can handle. As the president of a children’s organization, a home schooling mom, a freelance composer and an author, I have some pretty broad shoulders. As long as I can calendar a project out, it’s doable.
9. I agree that it’s best to keep it to what you personally can handle. Are you planning to share about your book on any book review blogs? If so, how are you deciding on which ones are a good fit for your book?
Moonless will appear on review blogs over the next many months. As a voracious reader, I look for places with books I adore and reviews that reflect my own feelings on the material.
10. I hope you’ll keep us posted on the book review blogs you find helpful. What are you working on now?
The blog tour. Oh, you mean book wise? ;) I’m in the middle of revisions for SOULLESS, book 2 in the Maiden of Time trilogy with an anticipated release of spring, 2014.
Good luck with it. Thanks for sharing all your advice, Crystal.
Thank you for having me!
You can find Crystal at:
Crystal has generously donated an e-book for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment telling me what book you’d like through November 30th. I’ll announce the winner on December 2nd. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, please leave it in the comments.
If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. You must be 13 or older to enter. International entries are welcome.
And Crystal has a big blog tour giveaway. Enter the Rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here’s what’s coming up:
On Wednesday I’m interviewing Jean Alicia Elster and giving away a copy of THE COLORED CAR, a historical novel about an African American girl’s journey from the North to the South one summer in the Depression era. It sounds like a fantastic story.
Next Monday I’ll have a guest post by Martina Boone, a blogger friends who blogs at Adventures in YA Publishing, a fantastic blog. She’ll be talking about a new Tumblr blog being started by her and other YA authors. Her debut gothic YA story BEHOLDEN will be released Fall, 2014.
And then the following Monday, I’m interviewing Lydia Kang and giving away a copy of CONTROL, her fantastic YA dystopian story about kids with powers because of gene mutations. Lydia is also a doctor and it adds a whole fantastic element to her story.
And don't forget our Tuesday Tips and Casey's Thursday agent spotlights.
Hope to see you on Wednesday!