Character Focus – Interview with Raita Jauhiainen #MondayBlogs

THE AUTHOR

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Raita Jauhiainen is the author of the Alliance.125 book series. She is an independent author who writes both in English and Finnish. The first books in the Alliance.125 series have received accolades in both the United States and Europe.

 

THE BOOK

51bsl98v7-lAlliance.125: Hirunda

Earth is deeply wounded by the Great War. Vast areas between the equator and the two tropics are uninhabitable due to desertification, environmental toxins and extreme weather. Mankind is, however, living in an era of progress and peace. The world is not, however, entirely united. Somewhere there is still a border separating people from each other. The border is closed and concealed and therefore crossing it is forbidden.

In the first book of Hirunda, Jani, a young man living in the biggest city in the world, Gavialis, unexpectedly receives an invitation to the inner parts of the city. This triggers a chain of events, which eventually leads Jani beyond the city borders.

 

“The set up of Hirunda is familiar to other dystopian series. A major war has led to a complete restructuring of society (see The Hunger Games, even Star Trek’s utopia started with WWIII). Though this is a familiar trope, Jauhiainen’s universe is completely original, and wildly ambitious.”

–Henry Baum, Self-Publishing Review

THE INTERVIEW

 

1. Tell me a bit about your character. Who are they, how old are they? What do they look like?
Jani 821771 is a young man (somewhere between 25 and 30) from the biggest city of the world, Gavialis (megacity shaped as heptagon). Jani is not heroic, or particularly courageous. In fact, Jani is an underachiever by any Gavialian standard as he lives on the First Circle of the city, and has only 43 Silver Wing marks. (And there isn’t much hope of him gaining more of them anytime soon.) Despite of his current situation, Jani is more or less at peace with his circumstances. Life is what it is, and to him it is often somewhat uneventful.

2. Do they have any strange or unique physical traits?
No, Jani pretty much blends in with the crowd. He is very much an Everyman.

3. Does the character have any quirks?
Jani 821771 is somewhat pessimistic by nature and he does not like change at all. Gavialis is all he knows and wants to know. He is Gavialian through and through. Ask Jani to leave the city and he would probably decline. As far as he is concerned, there’s nothing worth seeing behind the city walls.

4. Where do they live? What’s it like there?
Gavialis has seven circles, from which the first one is for the least accomplished. Jani lives in the First Circle, but it does not mean that his life would be a constant struggle. All his basic needs are met: Jani has an apartment, the meals are delivered to him, and his health and well-being are being monitored in regular basis. The First Circle, however, is the most ascetic in comparison to the other circles. It is a way to encourage men to compete and gain more Silver Wing Marks in order to move up through the ranks.

5. What is their role in the story? Are they the protagonist/antagonist, a supporting character?
Jani is one of the lead characters in the first book of Hirunda. (The Alliance.125 series as total of eight lead characters.) The story is about surprises and changes Jani faces once he receives an unexpected invitation to visit the inner parts of the city.

6. What do they do for a living?
Jani works in the Cold Pit control room, which locates in Linaria, one of the four suburbs of Gavialis. Cold Pit is a prison located on the Moon, so Jani’s days pass by somewhat slowly. He stares at the monitors and communicates with ships landing and departing from the Cold Pit.

7. What do they do for fun?
Jani loves the Fifth Circle. Fifth Circle is “the fun circle” dedicated to leisure and recreation. (It’s like Las Vegas on steroids.) The amount of Jani’s Silver Wing Marks, however, do not grant him many hours on the Fifth Circle on weekly basis. The best times for him are the days when his best friend Lu Talpa is in the city, and they go to the Fifth Circle together.

8. What is their greatest weakness, their greatest strength?
Jani’s greatest weakness is his pessimism and resistance to change. He also lacks the will to try harder and therefore he accomplishes more or less nothing. In fact, the Silver Wing Marks of his best friend are more important to him than the 43 of his own. In the world nation (made of ten world cities) his lack of trying can be a problem. The world nation is a meritocracy that values competition, winning,  merits, and success. From the viewpoint of the these values, Jani has a lot to improve.

Jani has strengths, however, even though they are not seen as strengths in the society he lives in. Jani is kind (kinder than many of his peers), he feels genuine empathy towards the less fortunate, and he is very loyal to his best friend Lu Talpa. Such a loyalty is a rare gift in a society where your worth is measured by the number of your winnings.

9. What is the best that ever happened to them? The worst?
The best that happens to Jani (in the first book) is an unexpected invitation to the Sixth Circle (i.e. “the luxury circle”). For him it is “once in a lifetime” kind of situation, almost like a lottery win for any of us.

The worst thing happening to him (in the first book) is his best friend Lu’s surprise. Jani, who likes things to remain the same, is suddenly shaken to the core of his being as his entire world shatters after his talk with Lu.

10. What do they want from life? What are their goals?
A part of Jani wants more our of life. Jani is able to see himself living on the Second Circle one day, but that’s about as far as his ambitions go. As a matter of fact he would rather see his best friend to succeed, because he genuinely believes Lu is better than him in every conceivable way.

11. And to wrap things up, does this character have a “theme” song (or several)?
If I understand the question correctly, I’d say The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony. That is a song that reminds me of Jani 821771.

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I am always up for a good dystopian story, and this one certainly has me intrigued. Adding it to my TBR as soon as I’m done with this post!

If you want to find out more about Jani 821771, be sure check out Alliance.125: Hirunda: the First Book today!
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Raita Jauhiainen can be followed via the links below.
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REBIRTH Cover Reveal & Preorder Campaign

I teased it on Instagram. I teased it on Twitter. Now, after slaving away on it over the past couple of weeks, I am thrilled to finally share TCP II: REBIRTH’s cover with you all!

The Calypsis Project II - Rebirth Cover.png

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Though the key is gone, the war is not yet over.

Three years following the loss of Pioneer and its passengers, Alana Carmen and her teammates continue their fight against the Drocain Royal Empire. The Calypsis Project has been unveiled. The Nephera have retreated to the edge of space, and the Leh’kin have joined forces with the UNPD.

For once, humanity finds itself on an even playing field.
But with the return of old friends, tensions are running higher than ever.

When Echo Team embarks on a mission to reclaim a stolen freighter from rebel forces, they discover far more than they bargained for. Now they must fight the Nephera head on, or face certain annihilation.

The culmination of a thousand centuries of planning is at hand . . .

Discover the thrilling conclusion to the Echo Alpha duology
OCTOBER 17, 2016
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I decided to include both Alana and Kenon on this cover, now that the pair of them have been established as equally-main protagonists — whereas the first book focused rather more strongly on Kenon. Overall, I’m really happy with the way this came out. So happy, in fact, that I think I’m going to give TCP 1’s cover a facelift when I release the second edition!

Now, I have just one more announcement to make!

PREORDERS ARE OPEN!

As of today, REBIRTH is just six weeks away! Can you believe it? I know some of you have been waiting for this since I released TCP 1 back in December 2013, but your wait will soon be over! I cannot wait to share this book with you guys. I hope it’s the conclusion you’ve all been waiting for.

So, without further ado, let the preorder campaign begin!

Preorders can help immensely in the first few weeks of a book’s life. So if you’re interested in this series, you can preorder your copy of TCP II: REBIRTH on Amazon now for the special early bird price of 0.99c. And once you’ve done that, be sure to email your receipt to brittanywillows@xplornet.com to claim your TCP swag pack. The swag pack will include a free copy of the first book, a sticker set (featuring the book’s main cast and perhaps some others, depending on time constraints), and a bookmark signed by yours truly.

Please note: swag packs may not be sent out until after the book’s release date.

Thank you so much for your consideration, and thanks to all my readers for your continued support.I love you guys! Stay awesome ❤

P.s, don’t forget to add TCP 1 and TCP II to your Goodreads lists!

Character Focus – Interview with Cynthia A. Morgan #MondayBlogs

THE AUTHOR

Cynthia A. Morgan is the creator of the mythical realm of Jyndari and author of the epic fantasy Dark Fey Trilogy, which is based, in part, upon the true-life events surrounding the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda and draws readers into a mystical realm of primordial forests, magic and the lives of Light-loving and Darkness-revering Feykind. Not to be confused with pixies or “Tinkerbell” type fairies, the feyfolk of Jyndari are winged beings the size of any human who live in a realm where tradition, magic, and spirituality are fundamentals of everyday life.

Dark Fey has earned many 5 stars reviews, including one of the leading industry review organizations, Readers Favorite. Compared to a fantasy version of a play by Shakespeare, Dark Fey is a brutally beautiful story of Love, Hope, and finding Peace in the Darkness. Published by Creativia Publications in January 2015, Dark Fey is already among the top #50 in several Fantasy genre categories on Amazon.

 

THE BOOKS

Reviled-Standing-collage1DARK FEY: THE REVILED

The Reviled begins the journey, introducing us to the Mystical Realm of Jyndari, the home of the Fey of the Light, winged beings with extraordinary gifts and abilities who live harmoniously in a close knit community where art and music, scholarly devotion to the ancient texts, and faithful adherence to tradition are all sacred. In Jyndari we meet a young Fey of the Light, Ayla who was discovered at a very young age to have the especially rare combination of gifts: empathic telepathy as well as discernment and healing.  She was dedicated to become a Guardian of Childfey and spent her entire young years in the seclusion of the Temple where she studied magic and the ancient rites; where she was taught about the mortal enemy of all Fey of the Light, The Reviled. 

We also meet Gairynzvl, a Reviled Fey who comes in shadows and silence; who lingers near Ayla trying to communicate with her.  He longs for freedom from his Captivity among the Dark Fey, but he needs her help to escape them. Through her extraordinary gifts she listens to him when no others will; she touches his pain and eases his suffering and she helps him in his attempt to escape The Reviled.

Known also as The Cursed, the Dark Ones or The Reviled Fey cannot love, are unable to abide peace or harmony, and do not admire beauty or talent without avarice.  Because of their cursed state, they also cannot bring life into the world in the form of Innocence.  In order to reproduce themselves they come to Jyndari in the shadows and abduct childfey, returning them to their own dark realm, the Uunglarda, where they are forced to endure The Integration.  The intentionally cruel process of neglect, abuse and deprivation is designed to turn childfey from the Light and twist them into monsters.

DARK FEY: STANDING SHADOWS

In Dark Fey: Standing in Shadows we discover more about Gairynzvl and why he wants to return into the dark realm of The Reviled.  He longs to attempt a rescue of the innocent childfey trapped there!

But it will take more than one fey to breach the borders of The Uunglarda and to slip past the legions of Dark Fey who abide there.  It will take magic and strength, courage and military strategy and it will shake the foundations of everything The Fey of The Light have accepted as truth for thousands of years.  Nevertheless, Gairynzvl knows the secret ways in and out of the dark realm; he is able to open portals and through his gifts of telepathic empathy, he can find the childfey standing, waiting, in the shadows.

Slipping into the darkness through darkness is easy.  Escaping out again with squalling, terrified childfey is another matter, but if they are captured his band of Liberators will pray for death long before it comes.  Worse, their success could spark full scale war and unleash the barbaric hatred and viciousness of The Reviled upon the peace-loving Fey of The Light.

Can Gairynzvl convince Ayla and The Temple Elders to allow him to return to the Uunglarda, the realm of The Reviled?  Who will join him to aid these Innocent Childfey, trapped in the realm of shadows and fear? And Will the Fey of the Light risk a savage war in order to rescue them?

THE INTERVIEW

evondar

1. Tell me a bit about your character. Who are they, how old are they? What do they look like?
His name is Evondair and he comes into the story in Dark Fey:  Standing In Shadows.  He is a youthful Healer just beginning his dedicated years of practice round about the age of 25, though I never do specify.  He is an average height for a malefey, standing 5’10”, and has a trim, powerful physique.  The golden-blond waves of his shoulder length hair accentuate the deep viridian of his eyes and his expansive white wings.  He is beautifully handsome, but far from arrogant about it.

2. Do they have any strange or unique physical traits?
Most Fey are either telepathic, empathic or have a gift of discernment and Evondair’s gift of discernment is exceptional.  He is able to understand another as completely as they know themselves and can usually tell truth from lies with relative ease.  Although he has no gift of magic, as some Fey do, he is also a skilled Healer of innate ability.

3. Does the character have any quirks?
In spite of his harmonious nature, he has an impishly mischievous side, as well as an unpredictably short temper, particularly for a Healer.

4. Where do they live? What’s it like there?
Evondair resides within the Temple Complex of Hwyndarin in simple quarters, but the Temple is the center of all learning and contemplation for the village, filled with lush gardens, tranquil devotionaries, vast libraries, and the Healing Wards where he studied and practices.  Peopled by artisans, scholars, Celebrants, and the Triune Elders, it is by far the most luxurious and beneficial place to live on the entire continent.

5. What is their role in the story? Are they the protagonist/antagonist, a supporting character?
Evondair stepped into the story of Standing In Shadows quietly, as his nature would dictate, but he has become a central, supporting character with a clear purpose.  His harmonious inclination leads him to make a choice that will ultimately guide many others; changing the entire relationship between the Fey of the Light and the Dark Fey forever (no spoilers here! 🙂 ).

6. What do they do for a living?
Evondair is a Healer, which is very much the same as a doctor, although the Fey of the Light practice holistic medicine, herbalism, and magic, for those who have such gifts.  Although he is a practicing Healer, Evondair is also a voracious reader and is seldom found not studying to increase his knowledge of the healing arts.

7. What do they do for fun?
Like many malefey, Evondair enjoys playing Vladokhyssum, a sport similar to Rugby and Kill the Carrier, though the entire match takes place on the wing.  It is a comparatively violent sport in which one team member tries to score, being defended by only his three teammates, while twelve others attempt to stop him by (nearly) any means possible.

8. What is their greatest weakness, their greatest strength?
Compassion for others and the confidence to do what he knows is right lies at the heart of Evondair’s nature, but his swift temper often leads him astray.

9. What is the best that ever happened to them? The worst?
The best thing to ever happen to Evondair comes in book three, Breaking Into The Light, when he meets Kaylyya, his true mate.  I cannot tell you the worst thing, as it would be too great a spoiler for book three.

10. What do they want from life? What are their goals?
As a Healer, Evondair longs for harmony and a calm, quiet life, not only for himself, but for all.  Although he is young, it does not take him long to understand that the only way to achieve the Peace he longs for is by becoming Peace.

11. And to wrap things up, does this character have a “theme” song (or several)?
Definitely Twilight by Delerium.

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Awesome song choice! I’m certainly intrigued by this guy.

If you want to find out more about Evondair, check out the Dark Fey Trilogy today!
Amazon (Book 1)
Amazon (Book 2)

Cynthia A. Morgan can be followed via the links below.
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Character Focus – Interview with Sam Reed

THE AUTHOR

authorphoto_1-229x300

Sam Reed is a born and bred southern girl who grew up reading Toni Morrison, Archie Comics, Christopher Pike, Octavia Butler, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King. When she’s not thinking of what to write, she is napping or eating, going to church, wishing she could sing, watching A Different World reruns, sitting in the sun, trying to perfect her Grandma’s biscuit recipe–or reading a book.

 

THE BOOK

3dbookimgv2FAIR TO HOPE

Velma had lived two lives: her first as a former foster kid, and her second as an unlikely recruit into a secret order that satisfied her need for retribution. Her fifteen-year-old self had given up on hope, but after three years with the Taram, she’d found her life’s purpose.

That is, until she is surprisingly named Kachina, the fabled chosen empowered to fight the last battle for the fate of the world. Having to kill someone she loves was never part of the bargain, even if it means saving everyone else from damnation.

Building a normal life free from the pull of the Taram–seems like the only answer to her prayers. Except her best friend, the other Kachina, is coming. The legend is clear that one of them must die

Velma will have to weigh the cost of her life against a world that’s constantly betrayed her and quite literally decide if she’ll be damned in dying, taking the whole world with her.

THE INTERVIEW

1. Tell me a bit about your character. Who are they, how old are they? What do they look like?
Velma is 18 years old, a former foster kid, who is just starting to realize her life has purpose. She’s not as tall as she’d like to be at about 5’6”, brown skin, perfectly kinky-coily black hair, full lips, black eyes . . . There’s also a character rendering of her on my Instagram page that helps bring this description to life.

2. Do they have any strange or unique physical traits?
She’s stronger than she should be, and she can sense the purity, or lack there of, of a person’s soul – it’s something that registers through her whole body

3. Does the character have any quirks?
Velma drinks way too much coffee, and due to a new friendship, she’s gaining an affinity for trashy reality television. Oh, and she almost always only wears the same grey beat-up chucks.

4. Where do they live? What’s it like there?
She’s just settled into Fairhope, a small southern town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. For her, it’s like living in Gilmore Girls’ Stars Hollow or Mayberry for the 21st century. People are kinder than she’s used to, and are open to getting to know her. At first it felt foreign but now, it’s starting to feel like home.

5. What is their role in the story? Are they the protagonist/antagonist, a supporting character?
Velma’s the main character, though if she had her way, she probably wouldn’t be; she’d be happy to hand the protagonist title over to someone else and play the supporting role.

6. What do they do for a living?
She works at a furniture store selling unfinished wood furniture and bookcases to the locals.

7. What do they do for fun?
Well, now she watches reality TV, attends the local sporting events, hangs out at the dinner, sits on her porch drinking lemonade with her friends or playing spades, goes to BBQ’s and neighbor’s house parties. She lives.

8. What is their greatest weakness, their greatest strength?
Her greatest strength is that she knows that she needs people, and she’s not ashamed of it. Her greatest weakness is that she has a hard time believing that other people need her in the same way.

9. What is the best that ever happened to them? The worst?
The worst thing that ever happened to her was the death of her mom, she was young when it happened, but her dad abaondoned her to the foster system soon after – and that led to years she’d like to forget. The best thing that ever happened to her was stumbling into Fairhope. That small town became her saving grace as much as anything else.

10. What do they want from life? What are their goals?
More than anything she wants a ‘normal’ life, a family, however she can build one, she wants to become comfortable with the abilities granted her because of who she’s supposed to be, and she really wants to find a way to escape a destiny that says she’s supposed to kill her best friend.

11. Does this character of a “theme” song (or several)?
I love this question! She has several songs that are important to her and so I think count as a theme song, Nina Simone’s Cry Me A River Erykah Badu’s Next Lifetime, Scenario by Tribe Called Quest.

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Oh, I love the sound of this character! And look at that cover. ❤

If you want to find out more about Velma, be sure to check out FAIR TO HOPE today! I know I’m definitely adding this one to my to-be-read list.
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Sam Reed can be followed via the links below.
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Character Focus – Interview with Mark S. Parker

 

THE AUTHOR

Mark Parker jI was born in Mexia, Texas, in 1955.  My formative years were spent in Waco and Belton.  I graduated from Belton High School and Texas A&M back in the 70’s.  This Central Texas boy met a West Texas girl named Ann.  We married in 1977.  In 1980 we moved to Midland, her hometown, with our first son.  There, I went to work for Gulf Oil as a landman and was just happy to have a job.  I’ve been a landman ever since.  Sometimes with a company and sometime independently.  I’ve always enjoyed books, literature, letters, words and wordplay.  My writing, until recently, has been for family, friends and church.  A few years ago, about the time my grandchildren started coming along, I started writing books and songs for children and young people.  Our four children grew up in Midland.  Now we have six grandchildren.  They are my muse.

THE BOOK

Shaky Man Cover FinalSHAKY MAN

STAY AWAY FROM SHAKY MAN! SHAKY MAN is the story of the unlikely friendship of two boys, one white, one black, growing up in Central Texas during the 1960’s. They are brought together by their common love of laughter, baseball and Star Trek. They come to deal with the racism, intolerance and turbulence of the times. There is even a murder and a trial. And, of course, there is the mysterious Shaky Man. All the kids in Tonkaway, Texas say he killed his wife and kids, eats little children and abuses his dogs. Did he? Does he? Top Parsley is the new kid in town and he has to find out for himself.

THE INTERVIEW

1. Tell me a bit about your character. Who are they, how old are they?
Thomas Oliver Parsley is a sixth grader.  He’s average height, average build.  He has sandy hair, blue eyes and big ears.  His friends call him “Top.”  His family calls him “Topper.”  Joe Ellis calls him “Topknot.”  Top doesn’t care for that very much.  He is eleven when the book starts and twelve when it ends.

What do they look like?
Top is left-handed.  Because of that, the only positions be gets to play in baseball or either first base or the outfield.

3. Does the character have any quirks?
Top is an open minded boy.  He takes people as they are.  That causes problems when he makes friends with a black boy from Waco named Mickey.  This comes to a head when Mickey’s father is accused of a murder on the Baylor campus.  They are exposed to the ugliness that was 1960’s racism.

Top is obsessed with thinking about how he sleeps.  Every chapter in the book ends with a report on how his night went

4. Where do they live? What’s it like there?
Top is the new boy in Tonkaway, Texas, a small town outside of Waco.  It’s a place built along Tonkaway Creek.  Everyone knows everyone.  Kids hang out at the Milk Barn.  John’s Farm-acy is the place to go for hardware and dry goods.  Youngsters ride their bikes or walk wherever they go.  They’re pretty isolated from the rest of the world.  Blacks go to different schools. Segregation is the norm.

5. What is their role in the story? Are they the protagonist/antagonist, a supporting character?
The story is narrated by the grown up Top nearly fifty years after the events take place.  Young Top is the protagonist.  The older Top’s vivid memories of the times and events give the story life.

6. What do they do for a living?
Since he is in the sixth grade, Top’s only job is the occasional yard mowing.  He grows up to be a doctor, just like Shaky Man.  His passions are for baseball and Star Trek.  Those things, and laughter, are what bring Top and Mickey together.

7. What do they do for fun?
Play baseball, fish, make birdhouses at Dr. Boone’s (Shaky Man) and swim.  Since Top and Mickey can’t swim together in public pools, they do it in the fishing hole on Tonkaway Creek behind Dr. Boone’s house.

8. What is their greatest weakness, their greatest strength?
Top’s greatest weakness is his sensitivity toward others.  It’s also his greatest strength.  Because of it, he becomes best friends with a black boy, accepts a girl with Down’s Syndrome, friends with a bully with an alcoholic father and friends with an old man with a tremor who is feared by all the other kids in town.  He is also faced with the prejudices these friendships lead to.

9. What is the best that ever happened to them? The worst?
The best thing to happen to Top was meeting Mickey Jackson, the happiest guy he ever knew.  That, and hitting the winning home run against Oglesby with a full count to send the Tonkaway All-Stars to Houston for the Little League playoffs.

10. What do they want from life? What are their goals?
Top wants to win the Little League World Series.  He’s twelve years old and doesn’t think too far beyond that.

11. Does this character of a “theme” song (or several)?
Well, It’s not “Daydream Believer” by the Monkees.  Top was tired of that within a week of it being released.  That was all the radio stations played.  The “Star Trek” will be his theme for life.  He and Mickey lived long and prospered.

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Want to find out more about Top? Check out SHAKY MAN!
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Mark S. Parker can be followed via the link below.
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Character Focus – Interview with India R. Adams

 

THE AUTHOR

india1India R Adams is an author/singer/songwriter who has written YA and NA novels such as My Wolf and Me, Blue Waters (A Tainted Water Novella), Steal Me (A Haunted Roads Novel), Rain (A Stranger in the Woods Novel), and Serenity (A Forever Novel) as well as music for the Forever series.

Being a survivor of abuse has inspired India to let others know they have nothing to be ashamed of. She has used her many years of professional theater experience to build characters and stories with dark undercurrents that stem from her personal life. She says, “I’m simply finding ways to empower perfect imperfections.”

Another thing India feels needs to change is the problem of sexual slavery. She has joined forces with jewelers to design beautiful ways to raise money for nonprofit organizations. Even though India writes about serious subjects such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, and human trafficking, she has a magnificent sense of humor as do the characters she creates. Her novels are perfectly balanced between laughter and tears, letting readers see how to empower their own perfect imperfections.

THE BOOK

blue waters_smallBLUE WATERS

The blue water I sank through was angelic, quiet, peaceful…

Whitney is a vivacious, highly spirited seventeen-year-old girl. Her motto, “Live life to the fullest,” is derailed when the young man who’s captured her attention turns out to be the son of the drug tycoon who provided the drugs that killed her brother. Whitney believes she needs to heal from her first heartache, not knowing she is a part of a devious trade—one that violates human rights, and she has been… since the day she was born.

Blue Waters is the first novella in Tainted Waters and begins a story of deception, corruption, self discovery, and love with all that it demands you sacrifice…

There was a beauty in dying that day…

THE INTERVIEW

1. Tell me a bit about your character. Who are they, how old are they?

Whitney, 17, is like so many other young adults. She’s merely trying to find her way through life, and feels as if up against the world at times. Her brother passed passed away, so she is now an only child.

Whit is a thinker but tries to ignore her families means and fame that comes along with her father’s position in politics because deep down she is very angry with how her parent’s handled her brother’s death.

To keep Whit’s hostility down, her parents allowed her to attend a high school that offers a dance program. They have no intention of her following her dream of being a dancer but are buying time before they force into an elite college. Whitney’s best friend, Reether Jones (aka Link), follows her to the private high school before, he too, is forced into law school instead of the football career he desires greatly.

What do they look like?
Whitney is a shorty! A little fiery, wavy hair redhead with beautiful green eyes.

3. Does the character have any quirks?
She loves to joke and play. If you can’t handle it, don’t hang out with her, hahaha…

4. Where do they live? What’s it like there?
A rural town in Connecticut. She lives in a rich, gated neighborhood that she thinks is ridiculous. She feels she doesn’t belong in such luxury, and is embarrassed with how important money is to her mother.

5. What is their role in the story? Are they the protagonist/antagonist, a supporting character?
Whitney is the lead character and is also very important in the sequel, Black Waters. Blue Waters, the first novella, appears to be about Whit’s inner struggles, her affections for the bad boy she meets, Crash, and her dreams. But as the story unfolds, readers start to learn there is much to Whit’s history. A background she was completely oblivious to. Black Waters takes readers even deeper into a world most don’t know about.

6. What do they do for a living?
Goes to high school, and keeps Link on his toes.

7. What do they do for fun?
Dancing is her favorite activity but she also swims daily, with Link, in the lake in between their homes.

8. What is their greatest weakness, their greatest strength?
Her weakness is running from her problems. Her strength is facing them head on when she chooses.

9. What is the best that ever happened to them? The worst?
Link. Link is hands down her saving grace. The worst? Her bother’s death. Timothy was her hero when it came to saving her from a father who ignores her, and a mother who seems to hate her for simply being alive.

10. What do they want from life? What are their goals?
Her ultimate goal is to escape her mother’s scrutiny. Whit wants to belong somewhere, loose her loneliness, and leave behind the feeling of only being in the way.

11. Does this character of a “theme” song (or several)?
Oh yes she does! Her creator, me, loves music. Singing is my release. That is why the Forever series (that will be released in July) was such fun for me. It has music along with the book.

I saw one of Whit’s favorite artist, Chasing Jonah, live, and I fell in love with her. My eldest daughter was with me and insisted on buying her CD. This artist is a sweet heart and writes from her soul. The Chasing Jonah song Whit dances to, for her big dance audition, is “How”.

http://chasingjonah.com

The song I consider to be Whit’s theme song is “All the King’s Horses” by Karmina.

There is also another Spotlight artist in this series, Tainted Water, I’d love to give credit to. Mieka Pauley. http://www.mieka.com

I saw her live also and begged her to be part of the Forever series which lead her to being a part of the Tainted Water series. Her song is for Crash, “Devils Got My Secret”.

These are great girls with original music and artsy lyrics! Please check them out 🙂

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Whitney sounds like a fun character! ❤ If you want to learn more about her, be sure to check out BLUE WATERS! The book is currently free on Amazon for Kindle.
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Character Focus – Interview with Shannon A. Thompson #MondayBlogs

THE AUTHOR

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Shannon A. Thompson is a young adult author, avid reader, and a habitual chatterbox.

As a novelist, poet, and blogger, Thompson spends her free time writing and sharing ideas with her black cat, Bogart, named after her favorite actor, Humphrey Bogart. Her other two cats bring her coffee. Between writing and befriending cats, Thompson graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing, and her work has appeared in numerous poetry collections and anthologies. Represented by Clean Teen Publishing, Thompson is the best-selling author of The Timely Death Trilogy and the Bad Bloods duology. When she is not writing, she is climbing rooftops, baking cookies, or watching murder shows in the middle of the night, often done with her cats by her side.

Visit her blog for writers and readers at ShannonAThompson.com.

THE BOOKS
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Seventeen-year-old Serena isn’t human. She is a bad blood, and in the city of Vendona, bad bloods are executed. In the last moments before she faces imminent death, a prison guard aids her escape and sparks a revolt. Back on the streets determined to destroy her kind, Serena is spared by a fellow bad blood named Daniel. His past tragedies are as equally mysterious as her connection to them. Unbeknownst to the two, this connection is the key to winning an election for bad bloods’ rights to be seen as human again. But Serena is the only one who can secure Vendona’s vote.

When the two unite, their accidental relationship becomes the catalyst for a twelve-year war to continue. Exposing the twisted past of a corrupt city, Daniel, Serena, and every bad blood they know will come together to fight and win, but very few of them will survive to see the day. Bad blood or human, a city will burn, and all will be united by catastrophic secrets and irrevocable tragedy.

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THE INTERVIEW

1. Tell me a bit about your character. Who are they, how old are they? What do they look like?
17-year-old Serena is the only bad blood to escape execution. Now symbolized for an election, she must prove her people are human despite hindering abilities before everyone is killed and a city is destroyed. But she is one of the lucky ones. From looking at her, you can’t tell she isn’t completely human. She’s tall, blonde, and a bit too thin after a stint in an executioner’s jail. Some say her gray eyes show she’s soulless. Other say her abilities let her steals souls. No one really knows. Not even her.

4. Where do they live? What’s it like there?
Serena lives in Southern Vendona, which is the countryside of a walled-in coastal town wrecked by a war that happened fifty years ago between bad bloods and the government. She’s living in the aftermath, and as a bad blood up for execution, she’s fighting to live every day. But she loves her flock—a group of 12 bad bloods who hide in a house together—and she strives to help her leader keep everything under control as an election for bad bloods’ rights approaches. Her best friend is Catelyn, and together, they share a nameless cat.

5. What is their role in the story? Are they the protagonist/antagonist, a supporting character?
Serena is one of two protagonists, but while Daniel and Serena tell the story, I’ve always felt that Bad Bloods: November Rain and Bad Bloods: November Snow is more about Serena in the end. Not only does she come face to face with her potential death but she also has to become the “face” of the bad bloods during the election. Between her bravery and her fear, Serena has to come to terms with who she is and what she wants to be throughout the story, even if it means losing everything she’s strived to protect.

6. What do they do for a living?
Serena survives for a living. Bad Bloods aren’t citizens, so they cannot work. They can’t go to school, go out in public, or be seen at all. So, Serena loves her flock and works every day at protecting them for a better future.

7. What do they do for fun?
Fun is a strange word for Serena, but she loves playing with Melody, a four-year-old bad blood Serena saved from the streets. She enjoys how free Melody is, and the little girl reminds Serena that they can still play games and pretend to be flowers in a world full of hate.

8. What is their greatest weakness, their greatest strength?
Serena is her greatest weakness and strength. While never explicitly stated, Serena has PTSD. She struggles with her traumas (including living in an execution camp for the few weeks before the book opens), and she has memory loss. But she finds strength in how her fears have pushed her into a harder determination to love and open up once again. She also wants to face the truth behind her childhood, and she wants to overcome the oppression holding her loved ones back, even if it means she has to put her feelings aside. Again. Serena might be more concerned about others’ feelings, but she works hard at understanding her own, too.

9. What is the best that ever happened to them? The worst?
The best and worst thing to happen to Serena has yet to happen, but up until the beginning, living in an execution camp is by far the worst part of Serena’s life. The best part was building her flock family together with her leader, Robert.

10. What do they want from life? What are their goals?
Serena wants to learn to read. Since she’s been living on the streets since she was five, she can remember reading a little (with her mother, who was a novelist), but she can’t recall how to read anymore. Her biggest dream is learn the power of reading and to help other bad bloods learn to read, too.

11. Does this character of a “theme” song (or several)?
The two main songs Serena listened to while Bad Bloods was in creation was “Black Crown” by Silent Rider and Camille Corazon, and “Murakami” by Made in Heights.

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Want to learn more about Serena and the rest of the cast? Well, BAD BLOODS releases today! Go grab your copy now – fresh off the press!
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