What Tomorrow May Bring – The Voight-Kampff Interview

Hey guys!  It’s my turn to answer the Voight-Kampff Questionnaire as part of our tour for What Tomorrow May Bring!

voight-kampff

The VOIGHT-KAMPFF* Interview
*(JFYI, this is a Blade Runner reference – don’t worry, I didn’t know either!)
Leon: Do you make up these questions Mr. Holden, or do they write them down for you?
Mr. Holden: They’re just questions Leon.
Subject: Kowalski, Leon

— ABOUT THE BOOK–

WHERE DID YOUR TOMORROW SPRING FROM? IN OTHER WORDS, HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE CRAZY WORLD?

Believe it or not, Stitch started off as a paranormal romance in a contemporary world.  Girl goes to college.  Girl meets ghost.  Girl falls in love.  Girl and ghost live happily ever after.  Except, I had no idea how to achieve that last part.  Was she supposed to go back in time to be with him?  Die?  Would they live together in some third plane of existence?  Everything I thought of seemed ridiculous, until one day a REALLY crazy idea occurred to me about how maybe this boy was not really a ghost at all, and in fact, maybe everything that the main character *thought* she was experiencing was only just scratching the surface of a much darker (and more dystopian!) truth.  I kept wishing that someone would write that book so I could read it, and soon resolved that it would have to be me. And Stitch was born!

WHO SHOULD *NOT* READ YOUR BOOK?

Anyone who’s looking for a straight-up paranormal romance (as the book initially appears to be) – they’ll just be like, “Whhhaaatttt is going on here, this is too crazy…”  But if you like big sci-fi twists and dystopian drama, Stitch is for you.

WHAT SORT OF BODY COUNT ARE WE TALKING HERE?

In the billions.  Seriously.

WHO WOULD PLAY YOUR MAIN CHARACTER IN A MOVIE?

Alessa would be played by Emmy Rossum – see more character dream castings here!

YOUR MAIN CHARACTER VS BATMAN, WHO WOULD WIN?

Ooooh… sorry Less, but I think this one is going to Batman.  (He just has a lot more experience than you!)

IF YOUR BOOK WERE RATED LIKE A ROMANCE NOVEL, THE HEAT LEVEL WOULD BE:

1) NONE
2) SWEET
3) MILD
4) HOT
5) WILD RIDE
6) BLOOD THIRSTY

3.5 (about the level of a PG-13 movie).  Nothing graphic, but there’s definitely some heat!

— ABOUT THE AUTHOR —

HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START AS AN AUTHOR?

I kind of came to writing fiction in a round-about sort of way.  I was a voracious writer as a kid and spent a lot of time in high school honing my skills, but I was a bit ambitious (read: greedy) as a young adult and decided to study business and engineering in college, earning a joint degree from Wharton and Penn Engineering.  I got a job in software out of school, working at Microsoft in Seattle as a program manager on a developer platform and later Xbox.  Though it was a great job (and, indeed, much more lucrative than writing!), I still felt like something was missing from my life.  When I realized that people kept telling me how well-written my technical specifications and emails were, a light bulb finally went on and I understood that I needed to write.  So I packed my bags, dragged my then-boyfriend (now husband) back to NYC with me (we’re from the NY suburbs originally) and started a new career as a freelance business writer.  A year later, I’d just finished ghost-writing a book for a client when I realized that there’s no reason I couldn’t do the same for myself – that’s when I started working on Stitch!  So though it probably *should* have been obvious from the beginning, it took me some time to come to terms with the fact that writing was what I was meant to do, but once I finally got here, I’ve never looked back.  :-)

DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER JOB BESIDES AUTHOR?

Yes, I am also a freelance business writer for my company Medley Media Associates.  I work with small businesses to produce basically whatever they need – website copy, marketing materials, blog/social media posts, etc.

WHAT IS THE FIRST SCIENCE FICTION BOOK YOU REMEMBER READING?

A Wrinkle in Time.  I think I was around 8 at the time, and it totally blew my mind.

DO YOU BUY A BOOK BY THE COVER?

Who doesn’t?

LAPTOP OR DESKTOP FOR WRITING?

Laptop, always.  I don’t know why they even make desktops anymore – who needs ’em?

DO YOU EVER WRITE IN YOUR PJ’S?

When DON’T I write in my PJs??  Haha.  (Hello people, this is why you become a writer in the first place!)

What Tomorrow May Bring - YA Dystopian Boxed SetDon’t miss interview responses from the other authors of the boxed set on the Hunt For Tomorrow blog: http://huntfortomorrow.blogspot.com/ 

And remember to sign up for the AMAZING prize-loaded scavenger hunt coming July 18th!  More details here.

The Dystopian Tour – MASSIVE GIVEAWAYS!

Do you love Dystopian Sci-Fi?  And Free Stuff??  Then I’ve got the tour for you…

BEHOLD: The Dystopian Tour from Prism Books!

Dystopian Tour Banner

This awesome tour features 7 incredible dystopian series, including (of course) the Stitch Trilogy, Terra, The Breeders, The Annihilation of Foreverland, and the What Tomorrow May Bring box set, among others!

Stitch and Shudder are featured today over at Nocturnal Predators Reviews along with two MASSIVE giveaways including signed paperback copies of Stitch and Shudder, tons of e-books, Amazon Gift Cards, and more!

Visit today’s stop to enter the giveaways and see the full tour schedule!

Huge thanks to the amazing Laura and Tressa at Prism Book Tours for putting this thing together!

My Thoughts on “Tomorrow”

What Tomorrow May Bring is on tour!  Today is my stop for a dystopia-themed post and I’ll be back in July with an in-depth interview.  Every author in the box set is participating, so keep up with the posts as they go up on the Facebook page!

my thoughts on tomorrow

I’ve always been drawn to dystopian settings. Not surprisingly, The Giver, Brave New World, and Fahrenheit 451 were some of my favorite books as a kid. But there’s one thing about my beloved dystopian books which has always driven me nuts, and it’s this: no one ever explains how the world came about.

You know what I’m talking about. There’s always some vague backstory about a war or a catastrophe a hundred-plus years ago that brought our current world to its knees, and then out of the ashes rose this wonderful new society where everything was neat and tidy and everyone accepted these crazy new rules just as they were.

But how does that really work? At what point in history have we ever seen one civilization transition into the next without some sort of fight? For the sake of enjoying the story, I always swallow this jagged little pill and accept that the society stands, but there’s forever a tiny voice in the back of my head saying, “Wait – how does any of this make sense? Why would these people allow this to happen? Why would they submit themselves to this kind of control when they knew freedom before? And who put these crazy leaders in charge, anyway?”

When I decided to write Stitch, I wanted to do things differently. I wanted to explore a society in transition – not one where the rules were in place, but one where the people in charge were still trying to figure them out. I wanted to try to understand how we could go from the world we live in today to something totally different, and who could have made that happen and, most importantly, why they would go to the trouble. (And I freely admit that it was impossible to address all of these questions in the first book – but this is what a trilogy is for, right?)

In the Stitch Trilogy, the characters are the first generation to rise from the rubble and start fresh in a new society. They’re young – only teenagers when everything happens – and you get to watch from their eyes how our world came tumbling down, to be replaced with something different, something which was shiny on the surface but quickly turned sinister underneath. In fact, for most of the first book – a blend of paranormal romance, new adult contemporary, and of course, dystopian sci-fi – the characters don’t even realize that they’re living in a world where nothing is as it seems. And you’ll be by their side as they uncover the truth and try to figure out what they can do to set things right.

Because, in the end, I think this is really the crux of the whole dystopian genre: when the world ends, and everything is terrible, and you’re forced to do things you don’t even want to think about just to keep on living, what do you have left? Hope. Only hope.

And it’s that inner optimism – the ability to remind ourselves that there’s something out there worth living for even when our world crumbles beyond our wildest nightmares – that best characterizes us as human beings. Dystopian fiction by its very nature asks us how we can solve our collective problems. How would you structure society to make things better? What could you change that would create a different outcome? After all, every dystopia is just a failed utopia – someone’s unsuccessful attempt at making the world a better place.

So with the Stitch trilogy, we’ll get to play “What If?” through the protagonist Alessa’s eyes – to see how she answers these questions, how far she’s willing to go, and what factors will push her to bend her own rules. And as we watch Alessa struggle to find her place in a transitioning society, we get to ask ourselves: what would I do?

What Tomorrow May Bring is available NOW at Amazon!  Just $2.99 for 10 highly-rated full-length YA dystopian books.

Available for a limited time run only, so don’t wait or you might miss out on this incredible deal!

Reminder – Grand Finale Giveaway Ends on Monday 9/16!

Please note the "Just Kidding" at the bottom!!!  Actual prizes listed at left.

Please note the “Just Kidding” at the bottom!!! Actual prizes listed at left.

Hey everyone!  Just wanted to post a quick reminder that the Shudder Blog Tour Grand Finale Giveaway is ending this Monday, September 16th!  That means you have 3 more days to rack up entries.  What could you win??

5 Winners. August 24 – September 16, 2013
  • Signed print copy of Stitch & Shudder for you and two friends (USA only)
  • Signed (via Authorgraph) e-book copies of Stitch & Shudder for you and two friends (Int’l)
  • Signed Stitch & Shudder bookmarks + e-book copies of Stitch & Shudder (Int’l)
  • $10 Amazon Gift Card (Int’l)
  • $5 Amazon Gift Card (Int’l)

Enter the Giveaway HERE!!!

Good luck!!!

Shudder Blog Tour Grand Finale Recap & Giveaway! + Bonus Post

So the Shudder Blog Tour is officially over.  WOW!  That was an action-packed summer, if I say so myself.  :-)

BUT the excitement isn’t done *quite* yet…  You may have noticed some Grand Finale Recap posts like this one at Colorimetry going up at your favorite blogs over the past few days (and coming to more blogs in the next couple weeks!).  These handy posts include links to all the awesome Highlight Posts that went up the last few weeks of the tour, and in turn link back to top moments and great content from tour stops all summer long.  So in case you missed anything, definitely check out the recap post to catch up on all the goodies!

The recap post ALSO includes the Rafflecopter widget where you can enter the Grand Finale Giveaway!  The giveaway is open for almost 2 more full weeks, so make sure to rack up your entries while you still can – more info below:

Tour-Wide Giveaway:

5 Winners. August 24 – September 16, 2013

  • Signed print copy of Stitch & Shudder for you and two friends (USA only)
  • Signed (via Authorgraph) e-book copies of Stitch & Shudder for you and two friends (Int’l)
  • Signed Stitch & Shudder bookmarks + e-book copies of Stitch & Shudder (Int’l)
  • $10 Amazon Gift Card (Int’l)
  • $5 Amazon Gift Card (Int’l)

Enter the Giveaway HERE!!!

Donnie Darko GirlAnd finally, don’t miss a bonus post from Donnie Darko Girl that includes fabulous 5-star reviews of both Stitch & Shudder (and of course, another opportunity to enter the big giveaway!).  Thanks so much to Jennifer for hosting!

“Absolutely LOVE LOVED this book” – Review, Tour Highlights (“Crushing on Characters” & Vile Villainy” Continued) + Giveaway

Second-to-last day of the Shudder Tour!  We’re rounding this out today with more highlights about your favorite characters and the villains you love to hate, plus an awesome review!  And of course two more chances to enter the grand finale giveaway!

Green Mountain CoupleHead to My Devotional Thoughts for “Crushing on (Main) Characters, Continued” highlights, then swing by Green Mountain Couple for a fab review (“I absolutely LOVE LOVED this book. It was one of those books that I picked up and didn’t want to set back down even after it was finished.”) and more highlights (“Vile Villainy, Continued”).

Huge thanks to Ruth and Kayla for hosting!

 

Tour Highlights: “Raving Fan Moments” + Giveaway

Literary MeanderingsVery excited today to share some of my FAVORITE moments of this summer’s tour… RAVING FAN MOMENTS!  Swing by Literary Meanderings to check them all out – not least of which is Sarah’s awesome review from earlier in the summer:

Can I just freaking say how much I LOVE this series?! Stitch was good. Shudder? AMAZINGLY AMAZING!!! I can’t even express how much I just LOVE LOVE LOVED this book. Everything about it was perfection.

As with it’s predecessor, Shudder is packed with mind-blowing twists and revelations. The thing that amazes me most is that Samantha hides these things from us so well!! I mean, seriously… had I not been sitting down already, I’d have been knocked flat on my ass. It’s jaw-drop surprising. And the best part? It’s not just one thing! Nope. Samantha delivers blow after blow in the way of plot twists. I’d seriously like to peek inside her mind. It’s got to be amazing in there! <continue reading>

Thanks so much to Sarah for hosting!!  Only 3 more days left…  Be sure to enter the grand finale giveaway while you still can!

5 Star Reviews + “Praise for Pacing” & “Painstakingly Plotted World” Highlights & Giveaway

T-4 days on remaining on the Shudder Blog Tour and we’re celebrating with 2 excellent 5-star reviews and tour highlights featuring “Praise for Pacing” and “Painstakingly Plotted World!”

First, the “Praise for Pacing” highlights and an awesome review from Mel’s Shelves:

Oh, my! Dystopia at its finest! … Shudder takes off right out of the gate and doesn’t stop. We get the perspective of different people. … I loved all the back and forth and it wasn’t confusing at all. I had a hard time getting anything done since I just wanted to keep reading to see what would happen next. Hearing lots of different perspectives moved the book along at a fast pace and I was engrossed in this story. … And then the ending–I was not happy that I didn’t have book 3, Stuck, ready to start (there is a sneak peek at the end of Shudder, and I think I will love this one, too). If you are looking for a fantastic dystopian series, this is one I would highly recommend!!  <continue reading>

Next up, swing by Fundinmental for another amazing review (which you might remember from earlier in the tour, since Sherry was also kind enough to post way back in July!) along with highlights about the Stitch Trilogy’s “Painstakingly Plotted World.”

Thanks so much to Melanie and Sherry for hosting today!  And don’t forget to enter the grand finale giveaway at both of these stops…

“Fantastically original, well written, engaging” – Reviews, Highlights (“POV Perfection” & “Writerly Wisdom”) & Giveaway

Start the countdown – only 5 DAYS left in the Shudder Blog Tour!  Where did the time go??

Anyway, three more great stops today, including two stellar reviews and two more awesome set of highlights!  First, swing by YA Book Addict for an amazing 4.5 star review:

What a fantastic follow up to book one in the Stitch trilogy!! I absolutely loved it, from start to finish!!  … I truly loved Isaac in this book. He remained caring and supportive at all times. I think there was only one instance where he lost his cool and that was due to Alessa’s attitude, and if I’m honest, I would have lost it with her as well. … I absolutely loved Nikhil. I could really feel what he was experiencing and my heart ached for him. I think I actually looked forward to his portion of the story the most. … The one constant thought that kept coming at me while I was reading Shudder was the originality of it. I remember feeling the exact same way while I was reading Stitch. Personally, I have never read anything like it before and I have to give huge applause to an author who can create such a fantastically original, well written, engaging piece of writing. <continue reading>

Next up, check out a fantastic set of tour highlights on the topic of “POV Perfection” over at Library of a Book Witch.

MommasezAnd finally, head to Mommasez for another fab review AND highlights of “Writerly Wisdom!”

After reading Stitch, Book 1 in the Stitch Trilogy, I raved about the book and was super excited about reading Shudder. I HAD to find out what happened. I. Was. Not. Disappointed!! If anything, Samantha’s writing got even BETTER! What?! Yeah, you heard me! <continue reading>

And of course, you can enter the awesome grand finale giveaway at any of these stops!

Thanks so much to Tracey, Jennifer, and Cindi for hosting!!

Guest Post: “Alessa’s Fashion!” + Highlights: “OMG Ending” & “Developing Deep Characters”

Whole bunch of awesome new content on the tour today!  First, head over to Kindred Dreamheart for a guest post featuring commentary on Alessa’s style and fashion choices, and some super-fun look boards with outfit selections!  Here’s a sneak peek:

In Paragon: Dystopian Conformity

Citizens in Alessa’s colony are given standard-issue gray jumpsuits, so in her day-to-day, she doesn’t have much of a choice about what she wears.  But hey, at least it’s comfortable!  And with a little tailoring, she might even be able to get it to look like options 2 and 3 below (as you can see from the excerpt below, Lizzie managed to make it work). <continue reading>

Kindred Dreamhart - Alessa Look 2

Also don’t miss more tour highlights at The Bookish Daydreamer (“OMG Ending”) and Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf (“Developing Deep Characters” with a focus on Alessa).  And at ANY of these stops, you can earn more entries into the HUGE grand finale giveaway!

Thanks so much to Katrina, Christine, and Melissa for hosting!