Before I get to my interview, I have lots of winners to announce. Yay!
The winner of THE COLORED CAR is Akoss!
The winner of MOONLES is Carina Olsen!
The winner of BUTTERMAN TIME TRAVEL, INC. is Nicole!
The winner of GRAVITY is Johanna Garth!
The winner of A CHANGE OF PLANS is Sara Bowers!
The winner of MISTAKEN is Pachi!
The winner of THE SECRET OF SPRUCE KNOLL is DMS!
The winner of CHAMPION is Medeia Sharif!
The winner of THE FAIRY GUARDIAN is Karen Lange!
The winner of A SPY LIKE ME is Tammy Hudson!
The winner of ALLIGATORS OVERHEAD is Jocelyn!
The winner of A GUILTY GHOST SURPRISED is Marie!
The winner of THEY ALL FALL DOWN is Stephanie Garber!
And the winner of my Gratitude Giveaway is Cherry who picked THE CROWN OF MIDNIGHT!
Congrats to all the winners! Please e-mail me so I can have your books sent to me. Please e-mail me by the end of Wednesday or I'll have to pick another winner. And thanks to you all for being such great followers!
Today I’m so thrilled to have debut author and one of our followers Lydia Kang here to share about CONTROL, which releases on December 26, 2013. It’s always so awesome to have a blogger friend here to celebrate their new book. And I loved CONTROL. As I read the first 50-60 pages, I kept on being amazed on how much was happening that was major. And the plot kept moving forward without a dull moment. And right away we know what Zel’s problem is, which helps draw you into the story. I loved the emphasis on gene mutations and the fact that while the characters had an inner beauty, outwardly they wouldn’t be perceived as hot, great looking kids. It gave the book a much more real feel.
Here’s a description from Goodreads:
When a crash kills their father and leaves them orphaned, Zel knows she needs to protect her sister, Dyl. But before Zel has a plan, Dyl is taken by strangers using bizarre sensory weapons, and Zel finds herself in a safe house for teens who aren’t like any she’s ever seen before—teens who shouldn't even exist. Using broken-down technology, her new friends’ peculiar gifts, and her own grit, Zel must find a way to get her sister back from the kidnappers who think a powerful secret is encoded in Dyl’s DNA.
A spiraling, intense, romantic story set in 2150—in a world of automatic cars, nightclubs with auditory ecstasy drugs, and guys with four arms—this is about the human genetic “mistakes” that society wants to forget, and the way that outcasts can turn out to be heroes.
Hi Lydia. Thanks so much for joining us.
1. Tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.
Hi Natalie! Wow, it’s weird to be on this blog after being a reader for so many years! Well, I’ve always wanted to write, but I didn’t know what to do. I simply couldn’t comprehend the how of idea generation. Where did authors get these clever premises from? How did they create characters? A few years ago after I got my feet wet writing poetry and non-fiction, I came up with an idea for an urban fantasy. I wrote a tiny outline and just went for it. That was June 2009, and I wrote the book in a month. (It’s now sitting on my hard drive.) I haven’t stopped writing fiction since.
2. OMG! I’m so impressed you wrote a book in a month. Where did you get the idea for your story?
It started with this blog post:
I could almost see this girl with this affliction and wondered...how could I make her into a hero? I knew I’d been wanting to write sci-fi, and soon this got me thinking of mutant teenagers and before long, the idea for CONTROL was born.
3. Funny how a blog post could inspire a story. I loved the gene mutations and the scientific
I’m a fan of superheros and X-men and paranormal books, but one thing that always irked me was the believability of all those special powers. So when I created these teens, I decided very firmly that I would do my best to root the origins of their mutations in real science. It wasn’t that hard to dream up, to be honest. That’s where having a background in science came in super handy!
4. Yeah, I bet it really helped you and saved on having to do extensive research. I’ve read that Zel is your favorite character. Me too, though I loved Cy too. Share three things you love about Zel. Are there parts of you in her?
I love her crazy hair. I would love a head full of frizzy hair. No joke.
I love her intense devotion to her family. Her life and her own identity is so entwined with family, and it was fascinating to have her change as these relationships changed through the book.
5. Okay, I used to have terribly frizzy hair. Trust me, you don’t want that part of her. Your plotting is fantastic and I’ve read you’re a plotter. What’s your plotting process like? Do you have any tips for the rest of us on how to keep our plots moving like you have?
Pantsers, I bow down to you. Because I would love that freedom to let go and just let the story happen, but I can’t do it. I have to know exactly where things are going before I lay a finger on the keyboard. A few words of advice: every chapter has to reveal something pretty major about the story or character, and never do fake cliffhangers. If you leave a reader hanging at the end of a chapter, it had better be for a significant reveal. Or else!
6. That’s great advice on what your chapters must do for your story. Your agent is Eric Myers. How did he become your agent? What was your road to publication like?
CONTROL was my third novel written (though I’d plotted a 50 page outline of a dystopian before CONTROL). Once my first draft was done, I’d sent to my betas who told me unequivocally that I’d finally written a shelf-worthy book. So I knew I was going to query until I dropped. I’d received two offers of representation when I finally chose Eric. He was experienced and wise and I felt like I was in very good hands.
7. I’ve seen that you’ve done some pre-release interviews with ARC giveaways and have been going to some conferences like ALA. Share a bit about how you decided where to set up these interviews/giveaways and what conferences to go to. What’s your experiences been going to these conferences?
The ALA panel was set up by members of the Class of 2k13 so I was happy to be included. To be honest, most of the interviews and giveaway opportunities have just fallen into my lap. The good thing about having blogged for several years and finding lots of Twitter friends is that people have just found me. I’m really bad with saying no, so I basically do every interview that’s asked of me. I’m pretty generous with offering swag giveaways when asked. My Goodreads giveaway last month was set up by Penguin. Next year, I won’t be as accessible though—I’m getting swamped with promo work and it’s only going to get busier!
8. That’s awesome how the interviews have just come to you. And great to hear that Twitter can help with that. What are your plans for marketing your book now that it’s being released?
I’ll be doing several school and library visits in the midwest, along with select conferences, like RT and some book festivals. As for online promo, I’ll just be out there. Twittering, Tumbling, and blogging as much as I can handle. One thing I’d like to concentrate more on next year is gathering more subscribers to my newsletter (which I have yet to send!) and Tumblr more often.
9. I’ll have to watch what you do to learn from you. What are you working on now?
I’m in between projects, but I have an idea for another sci-fi that’s very tempting. :)
Thanks for sharing all your advice, Lydia. You can find Lydia at:
League of Extraordinary Writers: http://leaguewriters.blogspot.com/
The Class of 2k13: http://classof2k13.com/
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.
Here’s what’s coming up:
Next Monday I’ll be off. I’m going to Florida to see my mom for a few days the weekend before so will be offline for a few days.
The following Monday I’m interviewing our follower and debut author Lexa Cain and giving away a copy of SOUL CUTTER, her YA romantic horror story set in Egypt. I'm excited for this book for the setting alone.
The next Monday I’ll be participating in Anna Staniszewski’s blog tour for the last book in her series, MY SORT OF FAIRY TALE ENDING. She’ll be doing a guest post on marketing a series and there will be a giveaway of all three of her books in this series.
Then on Saturday, December 21st I’ll be participating in the Midwinter Eve Giveaway Hop. I’ll have lots of great YA book choices. This will be my last post until January 6, 2014.
And don't forget our Tuesday Tips and Casey's Thursday agent spotlights.
Hope to see you in two weeks!