Stephen Tremp recently released his new book, SALEM'S DAUGHTERS. Here's a blurb: A four
hundred year old evil is unleashed when souls of the daughters of those killed during the Salem Witch Trials find a new generation of people to murder at a popular modern-day bed and breakfast. And here are a few links: For a full synopsis and to download a copy of Salem’s Daughters for $2.99. Click Here.
I have a few winners to announce.
The winner of THE BLACKTHORN KEY is Leandra Wallace!
The winner of LOCK & MORI is Danielle H!
And the winner of HOODO is S.P. Bowers!
Congrats! E-mail me your address so I can have your book sent to you. Please e-mail me by the end of Wednesday or I'll have to pick another winner.
Today I’m excited to have debut author Laurel Gale here to share about her MG fantasy DEAD BOY that releases tomorrow. It sounds like something that will really appeal to boys too.
Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:
Just because you’re dead doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a life.
Crow Darlingson died in the 4th grade. But he’s still alive. And growing, actually. He can’t eat or taste anything, his body parts sometimes fall off (mom always sews them back on, though), and he’s only allowed to leave his house once per year, on Halloween.
Crow’s parents are separating, and despite their reassurances, he’s pretty sure it’s his fault. After all, having an undead son can’t be much easier than being one. Sneaking out at night only makes things worse, but he can’t resist the chance at a real friendship with Melody Plympton, the new girl next door, who loves mystery more than she minds the stink of his flesh or the maggots that sometimes crawl out of his nose.
Together they investigate the mysterious Meera - a monster living in the nearby park. Logic and fear tell Crow to stay away, but fuzzy memories lure him on. When Crow and Melody venture into its underground lair, Crow’s not just risking the half-life he clings to. He’s also risking the only friend he’s had in years.
The importance of friendship is crystallized as Crow and Melody face tests of loyalty, courage, and honor in this macabre middle grade novel by a debut author.
Hi Laurel! Thanks so much for joining us.
1. Tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.
I’ve always loved writing and reading. When I was a kid, I wrote (really bad) poetry and short stories. Later I got busy with college and then work and stopped writing fiction. One day, my husband suggested I try to write a novel. I dismissed the idea as silly, but a seed had been planted in my mind. A few months later, I became obsessed with the idea of becoming a novelist. After a little trial and error, I settled on children’s speculative fiction as my favorite thing to write.
2. That's awesome that your husband got you going on this. Where did you get the idea for DEAD BOY?
The story started with Crow Darlingson, the main character. I imagined him as this lonely little dead boy who just wanted a friend. Normally, I like to write a synopsis before I start a novel, but with DEAD BOY, I kind of just developed it as I went. It was a lot of fun to write.
3. Your book takes place in contemporary times. Share why you decided on a contemporary time period and about your world building process.
I enjoy all types of fantasy and science fiction, but I especially love fantasy that blends elements of reality with magic. I think it’s the idea that there could be a fairy lurking in my local park or a portal to another world hidden somewhere in my own home. I want this to be true! So I tend toward contemporary settings. A lot of my magic is inspired by myth and folklore, but I like to do my own thing with it, make the legends my own.
4. I want a fairy or portal too! Tell us about your main character, Crow, and how he grew as a character as your story developed.
The story started with Crow, so I always had a pretty good sense of who he was: sad and lonely, but still
5. It is easier when you start out with a vision of your main character. You write middle grade and YA. Do you find differences in your writing for these age groups?
Right now, I’m focused on middle grade, but I enjoy young adult, too. I think there are a lot of differences between the two age groups, with some overlap. Middle grade can be dark, but it’s still innocent. To me, middle grade has this wide-eyed sense of adventure that’s just a ton of fun. Young adult still has the optimism and idealism of middle grade, but it allows for the gritty exploration of more mature themes, and there tends to be a lot of romance.
6. What was your road to publication like?
Not as easy or fast as I would have liked! I wrote several novels before I wrote DEAD BOY. I kept churning them out, improving each time, until finally things fell into place. There was a lot of rejection along the way, but I always had the next project to keep me motivated. And once I signed with fabulous agent David Dunton, things moved really quickly.
7. That's such great advice to keep going with new projects. What have you learned about the year leading up to a debut book release from watching other debut authors go through the process?
The year leading up to publication is really emotional and stressful. For so long, getting a book deal was the goal, but really it’s just the beginning.
I joined a couple of debut groups (the Fearless Fifteeners and the Fall Fifteeners) and I think this was a smart decision. It’s great to have other debut authors to talk to about writing the next book, organizing events, and developing social media. It’s especially helpful to be able to discuss some of the difficulties writers face. Because authors tend to broadcast only the positive developments in their writing career, it’s easy to think that everyone is doing better than you are. Being able to share the ups and downs makes a difference. I’ve found the writing community to be incredibly supportive.
8. Yes, having other authors to talk about the hard parts of being an author would be really helpful. What are you working on now?
I always have a few projects in the works. Right now, I’m focused on my next middle grade novel. I’ll post more details to my website when I can.
If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. This is for U.S. and Canada.
Next Monday I have an interview with debut author Jennifer Jenkins and a giveaway of her YA fantasy NAMELESS.
Next Wednesday I have a guest post with debut author Kim Liggett and her agent Josh Adams with a query critique giveaway from Josh and a giveaway of Blood & Salt, Kim's YA fantasy.
The following Monday I have a guest post by long-time follower and debut author Carol Riggs and a giveaway of her YA science fiction THE BODY INSTITUTE.
Wednesday that week I'll be participating in the Spooktacular Book Giveaway Hop.
Hope to see you on Monday!