Thursday, January 2, 2014

Shine Blog Tour: Starts Friday!

Tomorrows marks the first day of the blog tour for SHINE! Hop on over to my BLOG TOUR page each day through January 17 and follow the links that are updated daily, as I receive them. You can enter the giveaway on each stop, and show support to the awesome bloggers who are hosting!

I decided I'd do a little something since it's the final book in the series. So, I opened the floor for Q&A. I also have a few questions in my files that haven't been answered. It turns out there were actually a lot and I didn't want to clog up the page, so I had to be selective, and I might save others for later. So, here we go!

Q: Favorite color to wear?
A: Black or grey

Q: Favorite alcoholic drink?
A: Either a daiquiri or rum and coke.

Q: Favorite season?
A: Kind of like picking favorite children. I love winter and snow, but I love all seasons because we only see them once a year. A whole season can encompass some pretty miserable weather, so I enjoy moments. The smell of fresh snow on the ground and the way it crunches beneath my boots; the feel of a cool breeze when Autumn leaves are fluttering overhead, ablaze with color; the heavy perfume of wildflowers in spring; early mornings in summer before the heat settles in and the squirrels are at play. I even enjoy a hard rain that goes on for days.

Q: Favorite Holiday?
A: Christmas!

Q: What lessons have you learned from when you first published your first series that made you improve with publishing of your current series?
A: In comparing the Mageri to Seven series, I don't know how much I'm doing differently. What I've learned about cover design is the importance of branding out a series ahead of time. I am also not working on the next book coming out (too much pressure) but am 1-2 books ahead of the game. I still have lots of deadlines, but it's reduced my stress immensely.

Q: Now that your first series under your belt - if you were given the chance to go back and change anything about the series or characters or your publication, what would it be?
A:  I don't know if I'd change anything, because it all brought me to where I am now. Whether those were mistakes or successes, they were all vital in the experience as a whole, and teaching me what I needed to know.

Q: How many post-it notes/scraps of paper do you think you\'ve transcribed into Word over the last year for your stories?
A: Dear God...LOL The number has dramatically reduced since working at home. But when I had a day job, I'd come home with a purse full of scraps. I had notebooks as well where I'd write in the car or at work. I destroyed those scraps as they were transcribed (but saved all my digital notes). The one scrap I did save is the final words to Shine I had written on a post-it note or something. I still have notes in a dish next to my couch, believe it or not.

Q: Quote/scene that is your proudest \"Ah Ha\" moment. Maybe you\'d been stuck and it came to you in the car or a TV commercial gave you inspiration, etc. Or maybe it\'s something that gave you warm fuzzies and knew it had to go in a book. Doesn\'t have to be from Shine. 
A: This will sound wacky, but someone might be able to dig up the post on my website or Facebook because I did mention this happening. I was at work in my chair and heard the words "She fell to her knees". Yes, that sounds really corny, but I couldn't get it out of my head and scribbled it down, and it ended up resolving a climactic scene I had yet to write in Shine. Perhaps the other was while writing Twist. I knew Logan and Silver's fate, so I enjoyed some of the things Logan said to her and did, without her realizing they were fated.

Q: Did anyone end up with a different ending then what you originally planned for them?
A: I try not to plan endings because characters have a mind of their own. I do have vague ideas early on and when it solidifies, I might begin dropping clues or working in that story in advance.

Q: My question is about Simon. Was his Mage ability ever revealed? I don\'t remember reading it, but perhaps missed it somewhere along the way. 
A: No, this hasn't been mentioned. Simon likes to keep his cards close.

Q: Some of the situations that occur in your books are so \"real\", it feels as if you have experienced the pain first hand. If your source for these moments is only research and not first hand experience, then you have an amazing talent. So are you a great researcher and storyteller or have you had some of this pain for real in your life?
A: Thanks so much for that. We've all experienced pain in our lives, and that helps shape who we become. I do take care to research anything I'm not familiar with (like fighting with knives..ha). Any experiences in my life I am careful as to how to weave those emotions into the scene to be true to those characters and that storyline, because authors should use their experiences as tools to create a richer story. Have I experienced some of the things I"ve written about? To some degree, yes. I'll admit that I was almost kidnapped by four men, and had a car not stopped at that time at my struggles, I don't know where I'd be. I've experienced a lot of things in my life - good and bad- and does that help me write better? In some ways, it does. I think those who have sat on a motorcycle and experienced the thrill can describe it better than those who haven't.

I do not project my likes/dislikes into books. This is sometimes done when an author might talk about foods they love or describe smoking too much because it's a habit they enjoy. Half the foods in the Mageri series I don't even touch. Chinese donuts? Yeah, they're my weakness, so that's a little bit of me in there. But you can forget about omelets. Death? Strife? Sorrow? Solitude? Friendship? Sacrifice? Family? These are all things we have experienced in lesser or greater degrees. I believe you can strengthen a story by tapping into the correct emotions, but also realizing that each character is their own personality and won't always do things the way you would. I wanted to create a series that is enriching, where there are many layers of experiences and struggles going on that every reader will find something to connect to that relates to their life. I think that is never more evident than how some of the stories play out in SHINE. Not everyone's ends the way we envisioned, but life is not without struggle, and sometimes we need to focus on not what we don't have, but what we do.

Q: Oh, and what is your favorite tooth paste? 
A: lol Ultra-brite ;-)

There were LOTS of questions about continuing the series. Novels, novellas, stories about Novis, Simon, Finn, Levi, etc. I love this because it shows how much you care. I could have wrapped it all up in the final book and written an epilogue, but I honestly believe when you love characters enough, you're going to want more no matter how tight that door was closed. I think you'll appreciate that had I laid out every conceivable ending and answered all questions, I will have painted myself in a corner where I couldn't revisit the books.

Will you get answers to certain things left semi-open at the end of Shine? I'm fairly confident you will. I've mentioned I'd like to explore Mageri world novellas or novels, and I'm currently writing one now, although I do have to finish up some primary projects first. They cannot be written from Silver's POV, so I won't publish anything until I'm certain this will enhance your Mageri experience and not the opposite. Aside from a few inquires, I'm not sure how many people actually want more. 2%? 80% ?  Keep posting your reviews on Sterling and other books in the series to show support. It's a huge investment for me to work on side projects that aren't part of my current series, so I need to know that the demand is truly there.

What I really want to do is talk about the spoilery stuff!
But I don't want to post it on a public page. I've had so many questions I'd love to address on characters and storylines. I'm not sure how to do this so I'll be thinking on it. Maybe a live chat room or something - if the demand is there. I don't know how to work that so yeah, let me think.

THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING MAGERI! This has been an amazing world to write in and I'm excited to continue writing in this universe with new stories, but the same familiar "Breeds". Seven Series fans are going to get a snippet at some point of something that connects to the Mageri Series. So I will have a little authory fun in connecting books in this way. Hope you enjoy the ride.

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