Today I am excited to introduce our new monthly post Pre-Pub Adventure!
Every 3rd Wed of the month we will be following authors on their publishing adventure. Have you ever wonder how authors prepare for a book release or what they are working on while also getting ready to publish a new book? How do they multitask? Find out on Pre-Pub Adventure as we follow authors to publishing their books.
Today we check in with authors
Let’s welcome our authors on their Publishing adventure!
1. Welcome Nic! Please tell us a little about yourself?
For more on THE SANDCASTLE EMPIRE, check out www.kaylaolson.com to find full jacket copy, pre-order links, contact info, film news, and details about where the book will be translated/published outside of the U.S.
Well to start I am a YA author who’s been, among other things, a fashion designer, a filmmaker and a kickboxer (seriously). A few of my short documentaries which focused on LGBTQ issues in the military have been featured on CURRENT TV, and my recent novel THE WISHING HEART won first place in the paranormal category of the 2016 YARWA Rosemary Awards. When I was growing I wasn’t surrounded by positive images of queer people, so to be able to write stories for other LGBTQ+ young adults and show them they deserve to be the heroes and deserve a happy ending is a dream come true.
When not writing, I like to do archery or kickboxing. Because punching something helps me deal with everything happening in our country right now.
2. How did you come up with The Wishing Heart?
I wanted to write a story about an unloved girl who was searching for it through wishes, and eventually it blossomed into THE WISHING HEART. It’s F/F Young Adult Fantasy that follows a seven-teen-year old thief wishing to fix her defective heart, who steals a vase containing an enslaved jinni. Lots of magical mobsters, girls kissing, and heists.
And it will be debuting with Entangled Teen May 2017! Goodreads
1. Welcome Abby! Please tell us a little about yourself?
Let’s see…what else about me…
I have Chronic Migraine, which is a neurological and brain disorder and can be really disabling. I love to paint. I started in watercolor, but have slowly transitioned to working mostly in mixed media. I’m 26 and have an unhealthy obsession for tea (loose leaf) and popcorn (sea salt, lightly salted).
I have a husband and two dogs. One is a fluffy Irishdoodle and basically sleeps at my while I’m working, so he often wakes up with paint in his fur. The other is a goldendoodle who is obsessed with bringing in the largest stick she can find. The last, my husband, ha, is pretty studly and my college souvenir 🙂
2. Here’s the official synopsis for it:
Breaker’s home is cleaved by blood. The three tribes on the planet Scarlatti, whose only difference is their blood color, each want to exploit Breaker’s valley for themselves. The feudal tension has already claimed red-blood Breaker’s leg and his older brother. Now all this 18-year old wants is to maintain the tenuous peace in order to keep his little ‘stroid of a brother alive. Malani, a red-blood raised blue, is a kidnapped POW and only wants to return to her adoptive home with her dangerous blue secrets. Luka, a red-blood stewing for trouble, wants to right wrongs done to his family and bath his home in justice.
All three intersect when Breaker discovers a wrecked starship and is given seven days by the green-bloods to fix and hand it over as a weapon. Breaker must decide if aiding his enemies is worth the home he knows and his family’s life. War is coming. And war respects no boundaries. And war leaves no survivors.
It’s about brothers/siblinghood, home, and sacrifice. Maybe a touch of romance 🙂
I actually melded a couple ideas I had. One was a camp I attended in high school. The theme was around the idea of being “strangers in a strange land.” I’m pretty sure it’s from the Old Testament, though I’m not sure where. In college, I had to write a short story for school. I came back to this idea and wrote a 10 page story from it. Then, after querying a different novel that didn’t go anywhere, this short story kept coming back to mind. I played with it and it grew into WHEN PLANETS FALL.
I actually wrote a blog post about it here! (included some embarrassing photos of myself at that camp!)
Breaker’s amputation (and Luka’s migraines) were originally inspired by my own experiences with Chronic Migraine. I wanted characters that had to deal with body limitations to reach their goals, like I do everyday. The ending…let’s just say there’s a twist that was also inspired by my experiences with CM 😉
BRR is a historical fantasy–basically, mid 19th century Europe with magic. The slightly longer version is that it’s the story of a girl without magic who’s born into a society where magic defines the powerful bloodlines, making her an outcast. But while she can’t cast spells, she can break them–and a broken spell at her sister’s debut leads her to Hungary (where her mother’s family is from), where she begins to learn that her world’s magic isn’t what she thought it was and has to make a difficult choice: cling to the society she’s always wanted to join, or break a spell, trigger a revolution, and change her world’s magic.
I fell in love with books before I can remember and with teaching when I was just a teen. The writing books for teens part came a bit later. I jumped right in and haven’t looked back. These days when I’m not penning my own stories, I coach teens and nonprofits to tell theirs. In my free time (ha! what’s that?), I’m an explorer. I’ve been to six out of seven continents and I can just as easily get caught up in an adventure in my own city or kitchen. Like most writers, I get obsessively interested in things. Some of those interests–history, politics, social justice, art–are fairly normal. Others–saints, old-school music, murder–are a little more strange.
2. tell us about your book? How did you come up with A Psalm for Lost Girls?
A PSALM FOR LOST GIRLS centers on an abduction that forever alters the fates of three girls–one who’s been missing, one who is grieving, and one who is dead and rumored to be a saint. You can read a far better description from my publisher here, but at the core of the novel are two sisters: Tess, who struggles to understand a mysterious voice and her community’s belief that she is their savior, and younger sister Callie, who is determined to prove that Tess was far more than a saint–she was her best friend and a real girl.
The first seed for this story was planted during a trip to Portugal. I dragged myself away from Lisbon one afternoon on a bus headed to the Basilica of Our Lady Fátima. This little pilgrimage made no sense—I was no longer a practicing Catholic, and Lisbon is heaven (the music! the food!)—but a friend had sent me an article about the soon-to-be-beatified Lúcia dos Santos and the story triggered something in me. Sister Lúcia was the last surviving child saint of Fátima; in 1917, she and her two cousins saw apparitions of the Virgin Mary. Both cousins passed away quite young, leaving Lúcia to carry their story. She joined a convent as a young woman and remained a nun until her death at age 95.
I couldn’t stop asking myself what it would be like to be in her position, on track to sainthood at such a young age. What if, at age 16, she had a change of heart? What if all she wanted to live a normal life, make mistakes, fall in love, be a regular girl?
So many stories begin with that type of “what if” question—one that moves us from real events to imagination. In this case, the question spoke to something personal. You see, I was a labeled academically gifted at a very young age, and that became my main identifier. It was a label that weighed heavy at times and one I struggled to live up to at others. Sometimes, it felt like that was all I was. But, of course, no person can ever be reduced to one thing. I think that’s why Lúcia dos Santos’ story evoked something in me, something that gave birth to a fictional girl named Tess (still Portuguese, but struggling with the burden of sainthood in present-day Massachusetts). Here was a girl who would be forever remembered for her piety, but what if there was more to her than that? There was a lot in that question that I felt compelled to explore.