Jera’s Jamboree : Neverland Blog Tours ~ Author Interview Stephanie Keyes

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JJ is delighted to be interviewing Stephanie Keyes.

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Stephanie Keyes grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and spent years traveling and working as a Corporate Trainer before she made the decision to pen her first novel. As a teen, her family always accused her of having an “overactive imagination.” Now, she’s encouraged to keep her head in the clouds and share her world with readers.

Still a resident of the ‘Burgh, Steph is now Mom to two little boys who constantly keep her on her toes. In addition, she’s best friend to her incredible rockstar of a husband. She is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), as well as a featured author for Love a Happy Ending Lifestyle e-magazine.

Keyes is the author of the YA Fantasy series, The Star Child, which currently includes The Star Child, After Faerie, The Fallen Stars, and The Star Catcher, all from by Inkspell Publishing. The Fallen Stars was a 2013 semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Awards. The Star Child has topped the Amazon best-seller list several times since its 2012 release. Steph writes YA novels because she’s a hopeless romantic who lives to believe that Magick truly does exist. She is hard at work on a new YA novel.

Website: http://www.stephaniekeyes.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephanie-Keye…
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/StephanieKeyes

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Hi Steph,

Did you travel to any places or undergo any new experiences while you were writing The Fallen Stars?

I packed my entire family (my mother included) into a rented minivan and drove sixteen hours to Bar Harbor, Maine for research. Now, keep in mind, I’d already been there ten years ago, but I wanted a refresher. So I went everywhere in the area. We drove to the top of Cadillac Mountain, had breakfast at Jordan’s (which I call Jacob’s in the book), hiked through the woods by Jordan Pond. I even went on the spooky Compass Harbor Trail and climbed the steps to the remains of the Old Farm estate—the inspiration for the Compass Harbor chapter in this book. It was a great trip and really helped me get into the Maine frame of mind for the book.

Do you have a most creative time of day?

Yes. Early morning. I’m usually up and writing by 5am. I have the house to myself and I can be as grumpy as I like. This usually requires copious amounts of coffee, but it works.

Are you a panster or a plotter?

Oh, God. I am a serial plotter. I probably need help. I can’t write anything valuable without an outline! Of course, once I have an outline, I’m happy to throw it out the window in order to follow where my story needs to go.

Which authors have influenced your writing?

OR Melling, JK Rowling, Cate Tiernan

What are you reading now? Opinion?

Mist Walker by Saundra Mitchell. I am inly about ten pages in, but loving it so far.

Being a writer can be lonely.  Do you have a support network?

Yes, it can! My husband is my number one supporter. He reads everything, listens patiently as I bounce ideas around, and makes me banana and Nutella crepes. I am also a member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and participate in a critique group. That Monday night writer’s group is a big part of what motivates me every week. Those guys and gals are the best.

Does your book tackle a social barrier?  How have you incorporated it into the story?

It’s not contemporary, however, there are several underlying themes throughout the series. I think the most important is that, no matter who you are and where you come from, no one else defines you. YOU define you. I believe in that message wholeheartedly. That’s something that applies whether you’re in a fictional world of Faeries or deciding whether you’re ready to have sex for the first time. We all make our own destiny.

Do you make use of local resources for promoting your book?

Absolutely. I’ve appeared at local bookstores and many of the libraries in the Pittsburgh area. This fall, I’ll be presenting at the Three Rivers Romance Writers retreat and at the Peters Township Library, as part of the PA Speak Up For Libraries! program. Details are on http://www.stephaniekeyes.com

What has been the worst part of your writing journey so far?

Finding my way back to writing. This is, without a doubt, the hardest job I’ve ever had. Keep in mind that I came from a decade in the corporate world with 60+ hour workweeks. That being said, this is also the most rewarding job. I’ve not only found myself in the hundreds of pages I’ve written, but I’ve discovered friends I’ll never forget. The best part is I get to share them with the world. 🙂

Finally Steph, what tips do you have for other aspiring writers?

Embrace critique. Be hungry for feedback. It will only make you better. Hunt down a good critique group and become an active participant. You’ll be a better writer for it.

Thank you for sharing Steph.

Wishing you success with all your writing projects.

17293205When all is lost, he will have to make the ultimate decision.

Kellen St. James was just your average seventeen-year-old prodigy, until he eighty-sixed the Lord of Faerie and proposed to the Celtic Goddess, Calienta. But then everything in Kellen’s life gets turned upside-down when he and Cali end up on the run from a seriously irritated group of faeries. The worst part? They have zero idea why they’re being hunted.

Suddenly, Kellen is stuck in the middle of another prophecy that foresees him turning away from Calienta and embracing the dark. He’ll be forced to take sides in a struggle to claim his birthright, while discovering secrets about his father’s past. Meanwhile, his passion for Cali grows stronger, even as the prophecy threatens to tear them apart.

In the end, will Kellen and Cali survive the fates? When the ultimate power is within reach, which side will he choose?

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Goodreads

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Jera’s Jamboree : Locks Blog Tour ~ Rapunzel Unhinged ~ Author Interview

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JJ is delighted to welcome Sarah J Pepper to the blog today, hosted by Neverland Blog Tours.

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I specialize in dark, paranormal romance – think “happy ever after” but with a twisted, dark chocolate center. Real-life romance isn’t only filled with hugs, kisses, unicorns, and rainbows. True-love can be more thoroughly described in times of darkness and tribulation. It’s in those harsh moments where you see what a person is truly capable of – both the good and bad. Sometimes prince-charming isn’t always on time, and the glass slipper is a little snug. However, it doesn’t mean Charming is not Mr. Right, and who says every shoe is the perfect fit?

www.twitter.com/sarahjpepper

www.sarahjpepper.com

www.facebook.com/sarahjpepper.author

www.goodreads.com/author/show/5762464.Sarah_J_Pepper?from_search=true

www.goodreads.com/book/show/21527375-locks

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/locks-sarah-j-pepper/1119628809?ean=2940045968096

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Hi Sarah,

Welcome!

Please summarise Rapunzel Unhinged in 20 words or less.

 Rapunzel went badass and got overhauled with a wicked hair dye job. Her white knight is anything but charming and is gun-crazy. Love be damned if these two actually find their “Happily Ever After.”

Did you do any research for your book?  What resources did you use?

With fairytales I try to follow the original story as much as possible. Now, my characters tend to hijack the story in places so it’s a general overview. Internet is my friend, and since everything online is true, I’m positive my stories are spot on 😉

Who designs your book covers?

Josh Wilocoxon is my photographer, and if you have a chance to check out his work, I’d got for it. His fine arts selection is mind-blowing.

How do your characters come into existence?  Do they have a bio?

I create new characters when there is a need of a “plot twist.” And since my plots are twisty, I tend to have several secondary characters. However, here are my bio’s for Rapunzel and Flynn

Rapunzel’s Bio:

Name: Rapunzel

Alias: Zel, a Theurgist, Master of Remedy

Career: Socialite

Physical Characteristics: Signature hair and Brand Mark on skull

Significant Attributes: Dauntless

Affiliations: Iconoclast Rebels

Voted most likely to: Suffer a “tragic” accident

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Flynn’s Bio:

Name: Flynn

Alias: The Mercenary

Career: Hit man

Physical Characteristics: Tattooed-covered-body (yes, everywhere ladies)

Significant Attributes: Schemer

Affiliations: Unknown

Voted most likely to: Kill you

 

Are you a panster or a plotter?

plotter–lol, yeah right. Anytime I try to follow and outline my characters scoff at me and plot their own ending.

If your book is part of a series, what is in the future?

Locks is part of a fairytale collection, but not a series.

What is your WIP?

lol, which one. I have to finish the Fate Trilogy, and Tinkerbell is having a love affair with Captain Hook in another story of mine. I’m also working on this novella series about soul hunters and I keep picturing this Snow White diddy in my imagination…. so yeah, I guess I have a few WIP.

Which authors have influenced your writing?

Confession: Twilight.

What are you reading now? Opinion?

Just finished The Immortal Circus (Great Faerie novel) and Cress (YA fairy tale) Both were GREAT!!!

Being a writer can be lonely.  Do you have a support network?

I have too many characters in my head bugging at me, I’m rarely lonely. I also make it a point to keep an active lifestyle outside my “book work.” It can easily overtake your life, so I make sure I have a healthy balance….. one year I have 5 books come out. Yes, I was a wee bit stressed.

Who is your targetted audience?  Have you written for other genres or plan to in the future?

This novel is New Adult, but I write YA and Adult as well.

What tips do you have for other aspiring writers?

 Metaphorically bubble-wrap yourself. you are going to get bad reviews, hate mail, negativity, etc…. be prepared!!

 Wishing you success with all your writing projects Sarah!

finalcoverGunned down by the hottest killer in the history of the Badass Archives wasn’t exactly Rapunzel’s end-game. But when her reputable extraction skills fail, she uses unorthodox methods to gain her freedom from the Mercenary, whose icy blue eyes have serious panty-dropping capabilities. Even though most girls wouldn’t fall for their would-be assassin, Rapunzel isn’t like most dames. Her major girl-boner for the Mercenary is so pathetically intense it verges on cliché.

Regardless, Rapunzel’s hands are tied. Love chooses its victims, not the other way around. She isn’t the stereotypical Damsel in Distress. Her Bad-Boy Prince Charming is a renowned mercenary, and her “Happy Ending” plays out like a bad movie. However, she is determined to find her freedom—love be damned—and she’ll do it in a fabulous pair of heels.

Follow the tour!

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