I'll be late in getting to your blogs today. It's the summer championship swim meet for Anna Li. It's her last year to be able to swim this so we're going to definitely enjoy it.
blog for more info.
And C. Lee McKenzie is sharing a cover reveal for her new YA contemporary Sixteen-year-old Hutch McQueen is a smart kid who can barely read. He makes one bad choice after another, trying to find a way to escape his rotten life at home and at school. Each time he gets into more trouble.
And a few links:
And I have a few winners to announce.
The winner of THE ACTUAL &TRUTHFUL ADVENTURES OF BECKY THATCHER is Tara Tyler!
The winner of ALL FOUR STARS is Jenni Enzor!
Congrats! E-mail me your address so I can send you your book. Please e-mail me before the end of Wednesday or I'll have to pick another winner.
Today I’m excited to have debut author Stephanie Diaz here to share about her new YA sci-fi EXTRACTION that released two days ago. I found the world building about a world where many people lived in different layers under the planet fascinating. And Clementine is such a sympathetic character desperately trying to rescue her friend Logan.
Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:
What she finds initially in the Core is a utopia compared to the Surface—it’s free of hard labor, gun-wielding officials, and the moon's lethal acid. But life is anything but safe, and Clementine learns that the planet's leaders are planning to exterminate Surface dwellers—and that means Logan, too.
Trapped by the steel walls of the underground and the lies that keep her safe, Clementine must find a way to escape and rescue Logan and the rest of the planet. But the planet leaders don't want her running—they want her subdued.
With intense action scenes and a cast of unforgettable characters, Extraction is a page-turning, gripping read, sure to entertain lovers of Hunger Games and Ender's Game and leave them breathless for more.
Hi Stephanie! Thanks so much for joining us.
1. Tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.
Hi there! I started writing stories pretty much as soon as I learned how to read. First they were short stories, sometimes only a couple sentences long, and gradually they grew into things shaped like books. I knew as early as second grade that I wanted to be a published writer. In seventh grade, I queried my first full-length novel. It took another nine years before I landed an agent and sold a book (EXTRACTION). But it did happen!
2. Wow! That was really brave for you to query in 7th grade. Where did you get the idea for EXTRACTION?
I wondered, really out of nowhere, what the world would be like if the moon were a giant, poisonous threat in the sky. Then I made up a planet, Kiel, in a distant galaxy, put the poisonous moon in orbit around it, and put Clementine on the planet's surface. The plot line for her story slowly came to me after I'd created most of the world.
3. Cool how the world building came first. I loved the idea of a planet where it wasn’t safe to live on the surface. And you took it to another level by creating different underground levels. Share about your world building process and some of the limitations you struggled with in creating a world underground.
I conceived of the different levels of the planet Kiel before I came up with the actual plot of the story. I wanted to create something almost like the Death Star, but make it part of a terraformed planet. It was pretty challenging to work out the kinks, and as I've worked on book two—and now book three—in the series, I've run across more questions I've had to figure out answers to. But hopefully I've managed to create a world that could potentially exist in some far-distant galaxy.
4. I’ll be interested to see if we learn about some of the other levels in Book 2. The plot is fast-paced and Clementine is constantly facing challenges. What was your plotting like?
I am a horrible plotter. When I sat down to write EXTRACTION, I knew the beginning, the midpoint, and
5. That’s similar to how I plot. I hope mine works as well as yours. Tell us about Clementine and some fun facts about her. Is she at all like you and if so, how?
Clementine is the clever, fearless heroine of EXTRACTION. An author friend of mine once said Clem reminded her of Arya Stark, which made me grin since I'm a huge fan of Arya. I did write some of myself into Clem; I gave her a number of my weaknesses. I wish I could say I'm as brave as her, but sadly I'm still working on it.
6. Ha! I’d need more than one life to get to her level. I read you wrote this in college. How did you juggle the demands of writing and planning your debut with the demands of school?
Luckily, my particular major in college (film production) was the sort that didn't require a huge amount of work outside of school, except on specific production days when I was on set for hours at a time. So I really had a good amount of free time to fit writing into my schedule, though it did conflict with schoolwork sometimes, especially on those production days. But I managed to balance everything and make it work. I also made use of lulls during certain class lectures.
7. You were lucky to have some days the load was easy. Your agent is Alison Fargis. How did she become your agent and what was your road to publication like?
Alison is fabulous. I originally queried another agent at her agency, Stonesong, simply because I ran across that agent's name before I found Alison's. The first agent already represented a book with subtle similarities to mine, so she passed off my manuscript to Alison, who loved it enough to make an offer. She won me over within a couple minutes of our first phone call, and she's been my rockstar champion ever since. We spent a few months revising EXTRACTION together before it went out on submission. It sold to St. Martin's about six weeks later.
8. What an awesome road to publication story. You make it sound easy. What’s surprised you about the process leading up to your book being published?
The support from bloggers and fellow debut authors has really astounded me, in a good way. I'd heard other authors say something similar, but it didn't quite hit me until I started experiencing it myself. Basically, there are a lot of awesome people in the sphere of booknerdigans.
9. Yes, it is a really supportive community. What’s your favorite social media platform and why? Do you feel you’re connecting with teen readers more easily because you’re closer to them age-wise and if so, how are you doing that?
Tumblr is my favorite, though twitter is a close second.
10. What are you working on now?
I'm currently drafting book three of the EXTRACTION trilogy, which I can't reveal the name for yet. Suffice to say, it's already giving me lots of feels.
Thanks for sharing all your advice, Stephanie. You can find Stephanie at:
Add Extraction on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16210411-extraction
Stephanie has generously offered a signed ARC of EXTRACTION 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 through August 2nd. I’ll announce the winner on August 4th. 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. This is for US and Canada residents.
Here’s what’s coming up:
Next Monday I'm interviewing debut author Julia Marie Gibson with a giveaway of her MG fantasy COPPER MAGIC. I really enjoyed the contemporary feel of it too.
Next Friday I’ll be participating in the Beach Reads in August Giveaway Hop. I’ll have lots of great book choices and will also be offering a $10 Amazon Gift Card.
The following Monday I’m interviewing debut author Lori Lee and giving away her YA fantasy Gates of Thread and Stone. I waited for ages for this and it was worth the wait.
And don’t forget Casey’s Thursday Agent Spotlights.
Hope to see you on Monday!