Thursday, October 24, 2013

Megan Cundy Interview


This month I’d like to share an interview with another newly published author.
Welcome Megan Cundy, author, writing under the name M. Cundy, of the Young Adult Serissa series.

1. Book one in the Serissa series is out now. What, or who, was your inspiration for the series?

I have always believed music could genuinely heal people, and maybe even the world. Music is a universal language and what a better way to convey a message, and doing so with a tinge of anonymity to the bigger picture.

There isn’t a specific person that inspired Serissa, but much of remembering how awkward it was to be a teenager caught between adulthood and childhood. I wanted to create a story that gave purpose to big dreams and believing in the impossible in a time when big dreams are typically about growing up and moving on with our lives. In Serissa, she gets to grow up, hold onto the past she loves, and still dream big, but she has to choose to take the opportunity.

2. As a singer/songwriter, I imagine the leap to Serissa being a singer was a logical one, but did you find that your character took the story in unexpected directions?

Absolutely! I actually began with something far more YA contemporary, and ended up with something between YA paranormal and fantasy. That aside every character has their secrets, some I know, some I’m waiting to unravel. There’s a lot more mystery wrapped around my characters than I initially intended, but each book in the series will reveal more of who each character is, and how they all tie into Serissa’s life. It’s probably one reason the series has been in the works for so many years. They keep changing the game on me.

3. How do you plan out your series? Do you already know what the next book will be about? Or how many books we can look forward to?

I have four books as of now planned out. Two are written, two are partials, I’m getting ready to finish up on the second book in the series, Serissa’s Song, to hopefully release it soon.  I may have other spinoff books as well down the line, I’ve spent over four years with my characters, and I’m not ready to let them go yet. I also have a couple other books started.

4. Can you share a bit about your path to publication?
I took the typical route initially. I sent query after query to numerous agents. After almost two years, I realized I’m fighting a current, and decided I have no choice but to self publish. The Paranormal genre is completely oversaturated, and agents realize this. They aren’t going to pick up something if they can’t pick up immediately how unique it is, but it all boils down to opinion. I had a great experience being rejected however, most just gave me simple no’s or even sent nice comments on what they liked but it wasn’t a right fit. No horror story responses.

After that, I did my research and put my book out on Amazon.

5. eBook vs. Traditional?

I like the accessibility of the eBook, not to mention as a person who still likes the paranormal/fantasy YA genres, it’s easier to locate books I like and even get the occasional freebie. I still have a private library of my oldies though, and books that I’m certain I’ll reread again and again.

6. Pen & Paper or a Computer?

Both. I do tend to favor the computer, but there have been times when I’m at my day job on a slow day or the electricity is out and all I have is pen and paper.

What do you think is the most important thing a writer can do, aside from write well, to increase their odds of a successful career?

Be patient. Everything takes time from writing a quality book to getting it out there and recognized. With all the work it takes you can’t afford to rush. And with that patience advertise anywhere and everywhere.

7. What secret talent do you have, which everyone reading this blog will keep secret? Or, what’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of research?

Writing was my secret talent! I didn’t know I was going to put a book out there. I always thought I was going to be a professional singer or something in entertainment, but I grew up and had a family instead.  But I’m weirdly talented at whistling, painting crazy things on my nails, and I even used to juggle to entice people into my store.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, and I look forward to more Serissa books in the series!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Author Interview

Everything you ever wanted to know, but were afraid to ask.... well, not everything.

Author Interview with E. Lynn Hooghiemstra

Today’s Page to Page interview is with E.  Lynn Hooghiemstra. Welcome E. Lynn!
A Little on the Personal Side:
  • If you weren’t an author, what would you be? I wouldn’t be.
  • What is your all-time favorite book?  There isn’t just one, but a few stand-outs are: Kim by Rudyard Kipling, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis, Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham, The Void Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton.
  •   What types of books do you read? I read a wide variety of books ranging from historical fiction, to mysteries all the way out to science fiction and a little about quantum physics. I’m a very curious person and enjoy a well-written book regardless of genre, though I won’t read horror or true crime; I just don’t have the stomach for it.
  •   Books and writing aside, what’s one of your favorite things about your life or yourself? The beautifully agonizing joy of raising my son and being able to see the world through his eyes as he grows up . I feel I’m given a chance to learn again as a child and see things I might otherwise have missed. Especially since he’s growing up in a culture different from the one I grew up in.

A Little on the Professional Side:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October Book Review


Kim by Rudyard Kipling       

This month I thought I’d reread a classic and a personal favorite. Though Kipling’s not widely read anymore, or so it seems, he is a wonderful author with a good grasp of humanity and the times of empire that he grew up in.

Kim is no exception. His mischievous street urchin playing the game to stay alive and get ahead in colonial India is a very endearing protagonist. Through a series of events he goes in search of a better future, armed only with the two documents conferred on him by his father, a former Irish regimental soldier who fell on very hard times and ultimately succumbed to drink and drugs.

Along the way young Kim meets a variety of characters, such as the Tibetan Lama on a pilgrimage to free himself of ‘the wheel of things’. And then there’s the horse trader,  Mahbub Ali, a native operative in the British Secret Services playing in the ‘great game’.

The time is between the second and third Afghan war in the late 19th century. A time when both Britain and Russia had designs on the mountainous Afghan region and were each trying to establish dominance across Asia. A time when espionage and intrigue ran high.

By chance Kim is recognized as the son of a regimental soldier and sent to school. After three years there he must choose between a position in the great game or to rejoin his Lama friend on his quest. This is not an easy choice for a young man who’s head’s been filled with the romance of intrigue and espionage.

The characters are drawn with great care and Kipling uses different forms of English, from the more modern speech to the archaic to indicate the different types of people Kim meets. The modern language is obviously spoken at the school and in the regiment, but the archaic, which almost adds a frailty to the speaker, is spoken by the native peoples he encounters.

Kim is a book that appeals to me on many levels; as an historical commentary, a coming of age story and as an almost spiritual tale of longing and redemption.