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?

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Jera’s Jamboree : Trailer Reveal ~ Stephanie Keyes ~ The Fallen Stars

I am very excited to be hosting the Trailer Reveal today for author, Stephanie Keyes’ second book, The Fallen Stars.

Read on for more information about the trailer and the book!

The Trailer

The Book

The Fallen Stars by Stephanie Keyes

The Fallen Stars by Stephanie Keyes

Release Date: April 12th, 2013 |

Pre-order Your Copy | Add to Goodreads

When 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?

Giveaway

There is a great giveaway happening for this event! Check out what you can win.

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Get Hooked on The Star Child

Interested in The Fallen Stars? Why not check out the first book in the series, The Star Child?

The Star Child CoverAmazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

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The world is about to be cloaked in darkness. Only one can stop the night.

Kellen St. James has spent his entire life being overlooked as an unwanted, ordinary, slightly geeky kid. That is until a beautiful girl, one who has haunted his dreams for the past eleven years of his life, shows up spinning tales of a prophecy. Not just any old prophecy either, but one in which Kellen plays a key role. Suddenly, Kellen finds himself on the run through a Celtic underworld of faeries and demons, angels and gods, not to mention a really ticked off pack of hellhounds, all in order to save the world from darkness. But will they make it in time?

About Stephanie Keyes

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Author, Stephanie Keyes

Stephanie Keyes has been addicted to Fantasy since she discovered T.H. White as a child and started drumming up incredible journeys in her head. Today, she’s still doing the same thing, except now she gets to share those ideas with readers!

When she’s not writing, Stephanie is also a graphic designer, international speaker, teacher, musician, avid reader, and Mom to two little boys who constantly keep her on her toes. In addition, she’s best friend to her incredible husband of eleven years.

Mrs. Keyes holds an undergraduate degree in Business and Management Information Systems from Robert Morris University and a M.Ed. from Duquesne University. She is a member of the Society For Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), as well as a featured author in the global group of writers, Love a Happy Ending.com.

Keyes is the author of the YA Fantasy series, The Star Child, which currently includes The Star Child (September 2012) and The Fallen Stars (April 2013), both released by Inkspell Publishing. She is currently hard at work on the third book in the trilogy, The Star Catcher.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Love A Happy Ending

Shaz’ Stars interviews author Stephanie Keyes

In the hot seat today Iwould like to welcome:


STEPHANIE KEYES


Hello Stephanie, thank you for letting us have a peek behindthe scenes.  Your sun sign is CANCER.
Q.   For a Cancerian, home is a secure base, a place to retire towhen in need of respite from the stresses and strains of life.  Do you write at home?   How does it feel to compromise your feelingof security with the insecurity of writing? 
I do write at home almostexclusively.  I have a nice sunroomwhere I can look out on my decaying garden that deserves a better owner thanmyself.  So that’s generally where I domost of my writing.  Sometimes I getcrazy and branch out to the living room. It’s funny, but writing doesn’t generate any insecurities in me.  I suppose it’s because I am constantlyinterested in new ideas and new approaches. My overactive imagination is always in overdrive, so it’s a relief tohave an outlet for this constant stream of ideas.  It’s probably a relief to my husband as well.


Q.   The moon is the ruling planet of Cancer.  The moon fluctuates as it waxes andwanes.  As a personality trait, thisrepresents changeability with moods.  Doyou have a strategy that calms your mood before you write so that you are inthe right mindset to attempt your writing? 

Absolutely.   My strategy is always music.  When I was writing the Star Child, Ilistened to a lot of British Alternative. Not only did it set the right mood but it made me feel as though I wasactually in another place.  Most of mybook takes place in Ireland and the landscape in Pennsylvania is very similarin many ways.  The music helped totransport me. 
  

Q.   One of the things Cancer sun sign people are known for is areaction to emotions first and then reasoning afterwards.  Have you written anything from the heart andthen on proof-reading had to change it because it didn’t make sense? 
I’d have to say that as I havedeveloped as an individual, emotions don’t have the luxury of the front seatmuch anymore.  However, for the pastfive years, my father was suffering from prostate, lung, and brain cancer, sowriting was my outlet.  It really droveme to get through everything that was going on.  I’m also a hopeless romantic, so that comes through a lot in mywork.  I don’t know that I necessarilyhave to go back and scrap those parts but they definitely come across in mywork.
  
Q.   Cancerians are collectors – of all sorts of things includingclutter!  Do you have any bookcollections on your bookshelves?   
I am not a collector, butinstead a purger.  So there are very fewbooks in my house because I give them to my public library when I’m done.  However, I do have a few basic series.  The Potter Books, of course, the Twilightseries, and the Chronicle of Faerie series. Ironically I didn’t read the latter until I’d finished my book but Ivery much identified with her writing. I think what had the biggest impact on my writing has been reading anybook that I truly enjoyed.  I hated thatthe writer had control over when the next book would come out!  So I wanted to create a world where I couldbecome completely absorbed and what better way than to create my own.
(Ed.  Purging is aVERY Plutonian word.  Pluto co-rulesScorpio alongside Mars.  Stephanie mayhave Scorpion Ascendant/Moon.  Watchthis space!)
 Q.   The Cancer energy can express itself as an intense desire forharmony and sometimes the Cancerian will find an artistic medium to expressthemselves through.  Is writing acathartic experience for you?  Does itfulfil an intense desire for harmony? 
Yes, it’s very calming forme.   Again, I’ve adapted this throughthe years so that feeling that I have to make everyone feel happy isn’t as muchof a priority.  The reason being, I’verealized that I have to be happy too! However, I lead a fairly stressful life.  I work 50 hours a week and have a four-year-old and a baby on theway.  So my writing time is my time tode-stress.
   
Q.   Cancer is the most family oriented sign of the zodiac.  It is a need to have emotional support fromthose close to them, from loved ones. Have you always been a writer? If not, did you have support from thoseclose to you when you changed your career? Do those close to you support you now? Is that important to you? 
Sadly I haven’t changed mycareer!  Still working every day!  However, my husband is my best friend andsupports me in every way possible.  Iwrote my first novel at fourteen, which was nonsense, and then couldn’t find astory line that I could fall in love with until I was thirty-five, so I haven’talways been active as a writer outside of work.  However, I can say that if it wasn’t for my husband, I neverwould have sat down and started writing about that idea I had in the showerthat turned into my first book. 
  
Q.   Cancerians feel there is a time for socialising and a time tobe solitary.  Does this follow throughinto your writing?  Do you have a clearcut time for writing?  Do you have awriting schedule? 
Absolutely.  I only write when my son is sleeping or notin the house.  It was very important tome that I didn’t stop being a parent when I became a writer.  So I wrote The Star Child in nine months ofnap time.  I still reserve my writingmostly for weekend afternoons, although if I feel as though I have the time andwon’t be interrupted it could be a week day.

Thank you for sharing with us today Stephanie.

Stephanie is a showcased author with Loveahappyending which is an interactive reader/author website.  Visit Loveahappyending to find out more about this brilliant project and how you, as a reader, can support them.


Author Biography

StephanieKeyes is a Corporate Employee Development employee by day and an aspiringauthor the rest of the time.  She’s also a wife to a wonderful husband often years and a mother of three: one four year old, one on the way, and acockapoo princess, named Riley.  In her spare time when she’s not writing,Stephanie loves reading, singing, and is a classically trained clarinetist andjazz saxophonist. Stephanie writes Young Adult Fantasy and her first novel, TheStar Child, is due out this fall.

Author weblinks:

Author’s Website: www.stephaniekeyes.com
Twitter Account @StephanieKeyes: http://bit.ly/jjneXg


Debut Novel


Kellen St. James is just your average seventeen-year-old prodigy, but with a Yale degree, a photographic memory, and an addiction to 80s music.  But what’s not so average about Kellen is the girl who’s been haunting his dreams for the last eleven years.  When the sudden death of his grandmother takes him from the East Coast to the Irish Coast, he finds himself face to face with his own personal ghost and finds out that she’s just as real as he is.  Plus she’s come spinning a tale about an ancient prophecy in which Kellen plays a key role.  Together they will travel through an underworld of faeries and demons, angels and gods, not to mention a really ticked off pack of wild dogs, all in order to save the world from darkness.  But will they make it in time?