Friday, October 10, 2014

Sucked In

Hello all, I hope you all had weeks that were more fantastic than the thought of Conan the Barbarian singing "Let It Go!"

So this week I have two excitingly rad things for you all.

First, "Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor" was given a five star rating and review by Gary Stout of Readers' Favorite!

"I highly recommend Life is a Pirate Ship to anyone who can read. Seriously, whether you need an emotional lift, have nothing better to do, have something better to do but want to put it off, or you're just wondering if you're the only person in the world that seems to be a magnet for the bizarre, then you have to read this book."

For the full review go here

The second is that my good friend, Charissa Dufour, has released her first book, "Sucked In!"

For anyone who loves fantasy, vampires, humor and not taking things too seriously, you should grab a copy of this book! Of course, don't take just my word for it. Take it from Charissa herself who I snagged for a quick interview!

1. What inspired you to write this story? 

My husband and I were sitting on our back porch, making fun of Twilight, and one of us said “what would happen if Stephenie Meyer was suddenly turned into a vampire only to learn that vampires don’t sparkle.” A half hour later we had the bare bones of the plot. Many years later I had a finished book.

2. What sets your vampire story apart from other vampire stories? 

I think the main thing that sets my vampires apart from others is that they don’t take themselves very seriously. In many books, vampires are high drama, life-or-death sort of creatures, and while my characters find themselves in life-or-death situations, they generally laugh at their foes and smack them with car parts. This will be even more prevalent in Sucked Away, the second installment in the series.

Another key contrast between my story and others vampire stories, is that it’s not all about sex with these guys. They even talk about it. In fact, in Sucked In, there is not a single sex scene. This is a big change from most urban fantasy novels out there today. In our generation, sex sells. The saying is cliché because it’s true. I wanted to see if I could break that trend. But enough time has been spent on my soapbox.

3. How much of your character’s personalities are modeled after living people, and how much of them was fiction? 

I wish I could say something like “fifty-fifty” but that would be a lie. Pretty much any character worth mentioning is based after someone in real life. There are a few exception, but I leave that to the reader to figure out which ones are real and which are total figments of my imagination.

Even Ashley is a mix of me and our lovely Allison Hawn (hence the last name being shared).

Perhaps one of my favorite characters who is based off a real life person is Jordan. Jordan was my best friend in high school and supported my writing since the very beginning. I remember in high school, he would ignore the teacher so that he could read the latest chapter of whatever novel I was reading at the time. *shshsh, don’t tell my teachers* There was no question that he would appear in my book. Though the character Jordan doesn’t look anything like the real-life Jordan, there are some very key character traits taken directly from the amazing man I’ve had the honor of knowing.

4. You write a fiction-based blog. Can you tell readers a bit about that?  

So the wonderful Allison Hawn pushed and pushed me to start a blog. She can be a bit naggy. I tried a tradition look-into-my-life-and-opinions blog and hated every minute of it. I didn’t find my blog posts interesting, so why would anyone else? Much sooner than I’d like to admit, I gave up.

Insert more nagging.

Finally I took a plot line that had been simmering in the back of my mind ever since I took it out of an old draft of a book and turned it into a series of journal entries. Sometimes it is tough to write these journal entries in a way that bridges normal, descriptive fiction and how people actually write in journals—all feelings and emotions and whatnot—but I think it is working. Sometimes I struggle with holding myself back. I want to just spill all the plot out at once, because it is such a great story. Someday, I may turn it back into a book. We’ll see how things go.

5. If you had to pair your book to a song, what song would you choose? 

I know it’s lame to say “I don’t know,” but I really don’t. I even broke down and asked readers what they thought. Didn’t get many responses. So how about a song that I associate with myself, which sorta works since this book is a lot of me!

"Dirty Minds" by Here Comes the Mummies:

6. If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?  

Anytime I asked for advice, everyone just said “write what you know,” which I think is a bunch of baloney. Obviously, being a human who lives in the real world, I don’t know any actually vampires or werewolves or medieval knights or kidnapped women being sold into marriage with foreign princes (that’s my blog!).

So here’s my advice: write what you want to read! A book I hope to have out this summer started because I didn’t like how another author finished their plot. Through many rewrites and much hair pulling, I ended up with a creative, original plot. This coming book is now one of my favorite, best written pieces of fiction. It didn’t start with a very noble beginning, but beginnings seldom are. 

7. How does it feel to have your first book out and available? 

Unlike most authors, I didn’t have a build up to it, I didn’t do the week of “it’s almost here” or “coming soon.” I went to poke around the Amazon self-publishing options and the next thing I knew I was hitting the “publish” button. It was kind of a shock for me and everyone else, and therefore I think I’m still in shock.

It just hasn’t set in that people are actually out their paying to read my words, fabulous as they are!

8. If you had to choose between fighting a rabid wolverine using only a block of cheese or being stuck in a room listening to nothing but the sound of iced tea being stirred for thirty-six hours straight; which would you choose and why? 

While fighting a wolverine with a block of cheese would make a better story after the fact, I think I’d choose the iced tea. The clinking of ice isn’t that annoying. It is survivable, even if it would give me a headache. Fighting a wolverine could be dangerous. What if it chewed off my fingers and I couldn’t write anymore—no thanks!

Don't forget to pick up your copy of "Sucked In" today! 

As always, if you need to track me down, I can be found on Facebook, Twitter (@Allison Hawn) and Goodreads!  

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