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Happy Monday Everyone! I’m excited to have debut author Lindsey Klingele here to share about her YA fantasy THE MARKED GIRL. One thing that really excites me about this book is that Cedric and his friends come from another world into modern Los Angeles.

Here’s a blurb from Goodreads

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (Los Angeles)…

When Cedric, crowned prince of Caelum, and his fellow royal friends (including his betrothed, Kat) find themselves stranded in modern-day L.A. via a magical portal and an evil traitor named Malquin, all they want to do is get home to Caelum—soon. Then they meet Liv, a filmmaker foster girl who just wants to get out of the system and on with her life. As she and Cedric bond, they’ll discover that she’s more connected to his world than they ever could’ve imagined…and that finding home is no easy task…

Hi Lindsey! Thanks so much for joining us!

1. Tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.

Hi! Thanks so much for having me. I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. I stapled together my own stories as a kid, read everything I could get my hands on, and studied creative writing in college. After school, I worked as an assistant and then an associate editor for some trade publications in Chicago before moving to Los Angeles to become a TV writer. I was fortunate enough to work as an assistant on some teen TV shows, and it was during that time I wrote, revised (and revised, and revised), and eventually sold THE MARKED GIRL.

2. Awesome that you work as an assistant for teen TV shows too! Where did you get the idea for THE MARKED GIRL? And what made you decide to have Cedric come to our world? Usually a main character goes from our world to a new one.

I’ve always loved portal stories (many of those early, stapled-together books I wrote as a kid were portal stories), and the idea of doing a portal story in reverse intrigued me. I also loved the idea of taking these characters from a fantasy world and putting them not just in our modern world, but in a city that many people think of as kind of a fantasy place in itself – Los Angeles.

The very first kernel of an idea for this story came about when I was showing my family around LA for the first time. I was excited to see all of these cool parts of the city through their fresh eyes, and it was almost like I was seeing them for the first time again, too. A lot of people have preconceived notions (often negative) of LA, but I love it, and I wanted to share what I loved about it with people who were unfamiliar with it, or even wary of it. Liv in THE MARKED GIRL tries to do the exact same thing, although in a much more heightened situation. It’s a powerful feeling, to love a place enough to call it home, and that’s a lot of what this book series is about.

3. Ha! Ha! Los Angeles does seem like a fantasy--maybe a scary one for someone who doesn't like big cities like me. Since much of the story is in Los Angeles, what world building did you do for Caelum? How much if of did you need to know even if it wasn’t in the story and why?

I did want to have a strong understanding of Caelum – how it operates, how old it is, how it’s
connected to our world. Even though most of THE MARKED GIRL is set in LA, it’s important to know where Cedric and his friends came from so we can better understand who they are. I wanted to use a lot of very well-known, established fantasy-land tropes to build Caelum (for instance, it has a castle and royalty, swordfights and monsters), because I think there needed to be that kind of short-hand to establish that these are traditional fantasy characters coming to a modern world.

4. Who was the most challenging character for you to develop? How did you overcome it?

The most challenging character for me was the main villain, Malquin. I wanted him to be traditionally evil in the vein of many fantasy stories, but interesting villains aren’t evil just for the sake of being evil. They have reasons that make a lot of sense to them – they are the heroes of their own stories. So giving my villain a relatable back story that propelled him, without taking away all of his mystery, was a difficult line to walk.

5. Yes, villains are real people too, not just evil. You live in Los Angeles, and I read you’ve been a writer’s assistant for ABC Family’s The Lying Game and Twisted. I’m curious about what that job is like. Also, did it help you at all in writing YA stories and/or THE MARKED GIRL?

I loved being a writers’ assistant! On most TV shows, all the writers sit together in a room every day and come up with, or ‘break’ stories. My job was to write down and organize everything the writers said so everyone could keep track of the various storylines being created. You have to listen hard and type fast, but it’s incredibly rewarding to be around smart people who are making things up all day for a living.

I learned a lot about writing YA while working on those shows. I learned how to keep story flowing, how to write to act breaks, and how to create emotional and plot-y cliffhangers. All of those things translate well to YA. I think (or at least, I hope) that learning from those writers and watching them work also taught me how to give information well in dialogue and visual cues, rather than just through internal narration.

6. Your job sounds so fun. Your agent is Reiko Davis. How did you obtain representation, and what was your road to publication like?

I reached out to Reiko in the traditional way – through a query. Previous to that, I had revised THE MARKED GIRL a LOT. I had close friends read it and give notes, I reached out to other writers who were friends of friends of friends to get notes (thankfully, they were kind enough to do so), and I absorbed those notes into many, many drafts until I felt strong enough to start querying. Then, working with Reiko, I revised some more, and she sold the book to HarperCollins just a few months later, because she’s a rock star.

7. You did your cover reveal on YA Book Central. I’ve seen other authors have cover reveals there too. What was your experience doing your cover reveal there? How would an author set up one of these?

It was an excellent experience! I follow YA Book Central on Twitter, so I knew that they did cover reveals and I always thought they did a good job with them. I created an account there and contacted them directly, letting them know the details of my book’s publication and when I was hoping to do a cover reveal. They set everything up from there and were incredibly easy to work with.

8. That's good to know they do a good job with cover reveals. How are you marketing your book? Do you feel that it’s helping you to live in Los Angeles in terms of opportunities?

Living in Los Angeles has been really helpful in terms of marketing my book. There is a great YA community here, which makes it easy to meet people, participate in panels, go to events, etc. I think being here is also an automatic benefit because it gives me access to a lot of other creative people, many of whom are helpful and have great ideas. For instance, I was able to get some great people on board when it came time to make my book trailer. Because my main character, Liv, is an aspiring director, I really wanted to trailer to be cinematic, almost like a movie trailer. Living in LA made that a lot easier to pull off.

9. Yes, I think you're at an advantage living in Los Angeles. What are you working on now?

I’m working on the sequel to THE MARKED GIRL. It’s called THE BROKEN WORLD, but I’m not sure what else I can share about it yet…except that it will be out next summer!

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Lindsey. You can find Lindsey at:


Lindsey has generously offered a signed copy of THE MARKETED GIRL 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 June 4th. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter either contest.

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.

Here's what's coming up:

I'm off next Monday for Memorial Day. My first Monday off since the first of the year!

Next Wednesday I have a guest post by Fauzia Burke, who has spent her career working in book promotion and marketing and has worked with authors like Sue Grafton, Tim Burton, and Deepak Chopra, and a giveaway of her book, ONLINE MARKETING FOR BUSY AUTHORS: A STEP BY STEP GUIDE.

The following Monday I have a guest post by Cassandra Brown, a freelance editor, with a query, synopsis, 10 page manuscript critique, or 30 minute consultation--winner's choice.

Thursday that week I'll be participating in the Debut Author Book Giveaway Hop. I'll have both YA and MG debut books to choose from.

The following Monday I have a guest post by debut author Jen Bishop and a giveaway of her MG contemporary THE DISTANCE HOME.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend! Hope to see you next Wednesday!


Beth said...

Sounds like a fun book, and Lindsey's background is so interesting. Congratulations on the publication of this book!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Like the idea of doing a portal story in reverse. Congrats Lindsey!

mshatch said...

Love the idea of a reverse portal book! Clever that.

Kristin Lenz said...

So interesting - I know very little about TV writing and didn't know there was even a "writers' assistant" job. Congrats on your novel, and best of luck with the sequel too!

Greg Pattridge said...

Lindsey certainly has the background to write this powerful story. LA is a perfect setting for her and this book. Best of luck. (I'll pass on the giveaway as my summer reading is already overflowing)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

A big city like LA would be great for book marketing, and even more so that the story is based in that town.

The Chronicles of Narnia series is one of my favorites as I do love a good portal story.

Christine Rains said...

Congratulations to Lindsey! I love the idea of a portal story in reverse.

Have a terrific long weekend! :)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Ooh! Ooh! How exciting! I definitely want to read this one!

Julie said...

Sounds like a great read! Thanks!

Patchi said...

I love portal stories, and THE MARKED GIRL makes me think of a non-Disney princess version of the Enchanted movie. I'm adding it to my TBR.

cleemckenzie said...

You can never have too many portal stories. They offer amazing opportunities for super tales.

S.P. Bowers said...

How interesting to have a portal story told here. Reminds me a little of that movie Enchanted. Love the twist on portals.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Cool she works on television shows. And had help with her book trailers.
Congratulations, Lindsey.

Suzanne Warr said...

This sounds super intriguing, and makes me wonder what misconceptions I have about LA. Probably a lot! I think I'll have to read Marked and see what I can learn. :)

Have a great Memorial Day, Natalie!

Unknown said...

I haven't read many portal books but none so far has disappointed. This was interesting. Thanks!


jean602 said...

Congratulations on your book.Love the sound of this book. jean60212@gmail.com

jean602 said...

Congratulations on your book.Love the sound of this book. jean60212@gmail.com

Chelly Writes said...

Congrats! I love your different take on the portal story. Sound like a great read.

lindalou said...

I enjoy portal stories! This one sounds really good! Thanks for the giveaway!
AND I tweeted about it for an extra entry!
lindalou (at) cfl (dot) rr (dot) com

BranwenOShea said...

Congratulations Lindsey! Sounds like an interesting premise. We have many YA readers in our house so I'm sure we'll be getting it soon. Best of luck!

Danielle H. said...

Thanks for the post today. I always love reading about authors and new books. I shared on tumblr:

Anonymous said...

Very informative interview! I enjoyed it. Congrats to Lindsey on her new book! I love portal stories, and this one sounds intriguing.

Carl Scott said...

This sounds like a fun story, I'd love to see how the visitors make out in such a foreign world. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
I follow by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com
I shared an cover image and a link on Pinterest: https://es.pinterest.com/pin/336573772133690785/

Chaotic Karma said...

This sounds like a fantastic book, thank you for the chance to win a copy!

Sarah said...

Such a cool idea!

finnthefearless said...

I wish I had a magical portal. Nice job! finnthefearless(at)gmail(dot)com

Nicola said...

Great interview. I love the idea of the story. Congratulations Lindsey. Great cover.

Crystal Collier said...

The book sounds fabulous! I think villains are the best when you loved and hate them at the same time. It's such a tentative balance.

DMS said...

Sounds like a wonderful read! I loved the interview too! Wishing Lindsey the best.

Enjoy your time off for Memorial Day!

Sayomay said...

I've been following u via email xeno_turtle(at)gmail(dot)com!!

Unknown said...

I enjoyed the interview. The cover is awesome! Wishing Lindsey success!

Anonymous said...

I only visited LA once and didn't get a chance to see everything. I hope to visit again. I love books with magical portals. Great interview.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing all this info!

Joanne R. Fritz said...

Just catching up (I was away last week at the Highlights Foundation workshop on novels in verse). What a fun interview, as always. Love that Lindsey works for TV and got a solid background there for writing YA.

Happy Memorial Day! Glad you're taking a day off. You deserve it.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

What an interesting interview. I love the idea of a portal story in reverse. It sounds like Lindsey is in exactly the write place to pursue the stories she loves. Hope you are having a great Memorial Day.

Natasha said...

Great interview!
This book sounds like an amazing read!
Thanks for the chance to win!
natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

Carrie Butler said...

Oo, I love that cover. Sounds like a great book! :)

Unknown said...

I loved your powerful story Lindsey. I believed LA is a big city for selling your books. I admire your interesting answers on your interview. I also love the reverse in your portal story. I think your book sounds an amazing thing to read. You know, sometimes I also try to look on AdvancedWriters.com prices to help me out with my paperworks.