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Double Reviews & Interview @ Tea, Daydreams and Fairytales & Silent Seasons

Today on the tour, first a review from Tea, Daydreams and Fairytales:

The premise of the world Durante has built was very interesting and while it incorporated many aspects that have shown in other post-apocalyptic novels none have woven so many different threads and ideas into one story in such a unique way.

Check out the rest at Tea, Daydreams and Fairytales, and don’t miss the author interview which touches on the inspiration for Stitch, why I self-published, and some juicy details about my upcoming wedding!  Thanks to Philippa for hosting!

Note: This interview was originally posted at the blog link above for the 2012 Stitch Blog Tour:

Stitch is pretty out there it terms of plot lines and it incorporates so many different genres - how did you come up with the plot of this book?

I was inspired a lot by the Samaria series by Sharon Shinn. I don’t want to spoil it if you guys if you haven’t read the series, but basically the first book starts out as a romance story in world where humans and angels co-exist (and it was a great story just on its own), but in the second book, there’s a huge sci-fi twist where you learn where the “angels” actually come from, and it just totally blew my mind, it was so unexpected and awesome. Besides that series, I’d never seen a genre-bending twist quite to that degree and I thought there should be more of them!

And with all of the hugely popular paranormal romance and science fictions books in the last few years, I thought that the young adult audience would appreciate a book that had those elements but brought them together in a different way. So that’s why I decided to combine paranormal romance and dystopian in Stitch, and target it for YA readers.

I'm really fascinated by the publishing process - can you tell us a bit about how things went getting Stitch to the masses?

I went back and forth A LOT on whether I was going to self-publish Stitch or go the traditional route. As background, I’m a freelance business writer by day and Stitch is my very first attempt at a novel, so I wasn’t going into this project thinking, “I want to be the next JK Rowling, so I’ve just GOT to break into the New York publishing world.” It was more like, “Well, I’d love to read this book as a reader and I bet some other people will like it too, so what’s the easiest way for me to get it to them?”

And yes, as unrealistic a goal as it may be, of course a part of me would LOVE to be the next JK Rowling, so I did strongly consider trying to find an agent and publisher the normal way. Especially since this was my first book, I was really nervous that the book was somehow horrible and I just couldn’t see it with my biased/newbie eyes, and I wanted validation from an experienced agent/publisher before I released it. Because, let’s be honest, it’s REALLY scary to put yourself out there like that…

But in the end, I was eager to get the book to readers, and it just didn’t seem worth the investment in time and effort that it would take to do it the traditional way. In addition to just taking months in general to get anyone to pick up your book, Stitch also has unique marketing problems due to the genre-bending elements we discussed above, which I expected would turn off publishers as well since it’s not a straightforward sell. And as an unknown debut author, even with a publisher you still need to do 90% of the work to market your book yourself (from what I’ve heard, at least) while giving up a good portion of the revenue, so I didn’t really see much benefit in doing the traditional thing.

So I took the plunge and self-published, and so far it’s been going great. That’s not to say there aren’t drawbacks to self-publishing – I actually did a long guest post on this yesterday at Every Free Chance Book Reviews (“Overcoming the Self-Published Stigma”) – and it’s certainly been A LOT of work, but at this point I feel like self-publishing was definitely the right decision for me.

I always loved that JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter in a cafe, what is your writing zone like?

I do the vast majority of my writing sitting at home on my couch/bed with my laptop on my lap and my cat napping beside (or on) me. But I’m pretty flexible – as long as it’s not terribly loud and there’s enough battery on my laptop (or an outlet nearby), I can pretty much write wherever. In fact, some of the big scenes from Stitch were written on a trip to Florida, including on the plane ride there, in the rental car to our friend’s house, and sitting on the deck overlooking the beach in the morning!

What authors and books do you love reading and draw inspiration from?

I love anything that draws me into another world, and the longer I can stay there, the better. Recently I read all the Game of Thrones books thus far, which are fantastic (though they are a little darker than I’d like – I wish there was more retribution, instead of just killing off every character I love and never getting anything in return – it’s very bleak), and of course I’m also a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, Twilight, Hunger Games, etc. This year I got into the Divergent and Delirium series, which I’m loving, along with Shiver and The Maze Runner. There’s just so much amazing stuff going on in YA sci-fi/fantasy literature right now that I can pick up almost anything and be inspired! It’s a great time to be a reader, that’s for sure.

I finished Stitch with so many questions - especially around the government behind the government in Paragon, can you give us any hints on what to expect from book 2?

Yes, expect answers! There’s SO much history that I wasn’t able to fit into Book 1, so Book 2 will have a lot more about how this society came about, who’s doing this to the people of Paragon and why, and how Alessa and Janie and Isaac and all the other characters have been affected personally – and what they’re going to do about it! And of course we’ve got a couple big twists coming, so it should be another fun ride. J

And finally a personal question, you’re getting married in just a few short days congratulations! Tell us a little bit about what you have planned on the big day?

Thank you, I’m so excited! First off, my fiancé is the most amazing person ever put on this earth – he’s kind and smart and funny and just so incredibly thoughtful and sweet and loving. And tall, dark, and handsome, so what else could a girl ask for, no? I just love him so much, I’m so lucky. (Isaac is based off him a lot, so if you like Isaac, you’ll understand why I feel the way I do!) So that is by far the best part of the wedding.

But the wedding itself is going to be incredible – it’s literally the wedding of my dreams, so I absolutely cannot wait. My fiancé’s family is first generation Indian-American and mine is Italian-American, so the wedding is all about bringing two families and two cultures together, and of course, the food! We’re doing two ceremonies, the first in a gorgeous old gothic Catholic church in our neighborhood in New York’s Upper West Side, and then later (at the reception site) a traditional Bengali Hindu wedding ceremony.

The reception is in Cortlandt Manor, NY (about an hour outside the city) at this amazing mansion on the Hudson, Monteverde at Oldstone. The grounds are just BREATHTAKING. We really wanted an outdoor wedding since we love the outdoors, and this place just has the most incredible view of the Hudson River and the mountains, and the house itself has so much history and character and is just bathed in elegance. So after the church, we’re busing all 250 guests up to Monteverde for the Hindu ceremony, followed by a dinner of both Italian and Indian dishes served family-style side-by-side (with all the ingredients sourced from nearby small family farms, since we’re into the local food movement), and dancing under the stars (well, under a tent). And all of our family and friends are coming, so it’s just going to be amazing to have all our loved ones there with us to celebrate our big day! We can’t wait!


We’ve also got another review at Silent Seasons!  Head over there to check it out.  Thank you to Ashwaq for hosting!

Stay with the tour tomorrow as we go to Lovey Dovey Books for a review and Reading by Kindle Fire for a guest post from Janie & Alessa AND a 3 e-book giveaway!

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