Blog Tours, Question, Sci-Fi, Young Adult

Blog Tour: Jennifer Brody

Guys. My life has been a mess the last couple weeks and I missed the date to post this and I feel so bad, BUT here’s an AWESOME little interview and some information on an AMAZING author!

So without further ado, here’s some awesome stuff about Jennifer Brody! 🙂



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This is the lovely Jennifer Brody!

Bio:

Jennifer Brody’s award-winning novel The 13th Continuum sold to Turner Publishing in a 3-book deal and is being packaged into a feature film. Return of the Continuums and The United Continuums (July 11, 2017) complete this epic trilogy. She is a graduate of Harvard University, a creative writing instructor at the Writing Pad, a volunteer mentor for the Young Storytellers Foundation, a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. She founded and runs BookPod, a social media group for authors. She lives and writes in LA. After studying film at Harvard University, she began her career in Hollywood. Highlights include working for Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes and New Line Cinema, most notably on “The Lord of the Rings” films and “The Golden Compass.”

You can find her here:

Her Website | Her Facebook |Her Twitter | Her Linked-in | Her Goodreads

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CHECKOUT HOW COOL THOSE COVERS ARE!! 😀

Synopsis:

One thousand years after a cataclysmic event leaves humanity on the brink of extinction, the survivors take refuge in continuums designed to sustain the human race until repopulation of Earth becomes possible. Against this backdrop, a group of young friends in the underwater Thirteenth Continuum dream about life outside their totalitarian existence, an idea that has been outlawed for centuries. When a shocking discovery turns the dream into a reality, they must decide if they will risk their own extinction to experience something no one has for generations, the Surface.


Now, I’m a sucker for Sci-Fi, but I recently picked this series up because of this opportunity to talk to Jennifer, and I was hooked right away. So, check it out before it gets released as a TV series!

Where to find it:

Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Indie Bound | iBooks | Goodreads



And, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the interview! 🙂

 

  1. Who’s one author that you greatly admire and did their writings have any influence on your own?

This is a tough question, like naming your favorite band. I’m such an avid reader—and would not be the writer that I am without the countless amazing authors that influenced me and paved the way for my book series. A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L’Engle had a huge influence on me, not only for its groundbreaking narrative, but also for its portrayal of science fiction that blends into fantasy. Conceptually, Isaac Asimov’s FOUNDATION series had an influence on the core of these books, as did THE LORD OF THE RINGS in terms of the trilogy structure.

  1. Aside from other books or authors, where did you draw the most influence for your books?

The idea for THE 13TH CONTINUUM was originally inspired during the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Like everyone else, I was watching the news coverage of the oil coating the surface of the ocean and killing marine life, and I had the thought—what if we had to go really deep to survive a manmade catastrophe? The ideas unfolded from that initial spark of an idea.

Other influences, especially on the underwater colony include James Cameron’s amazing film THE ABYSS and 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, as well as real science about our ocean trenches. Did you know that we know more about the surface of Mars than our own oceans? I also draw from a lot of historical allegory. The outer space 2nd Continuum was a military society modeled on ancient Sparta. In essence, I draw from anything and everything. I’m a very curious person in general, and I find that’s an amazing trait for a speculative fiction author.

  1. Have you always known you were going to be a writer? If not when did you realize you wanted to write a book/ when did you start writing?

No—I didn’t think I would be a writer at all! I grew up in a small town in Virginia, and somehow, I didn’t realize that you could become a writer, especially as a young person. This was before the explosion of YA and MG fiction. I did however latch onto the idea of being a filmmaker, which I studied at Harvard. After graduating, I moved to LA and spent the first many years of my career working in the entertainment industry on many amazing films, including many adapted from books like THE GOLDEN COMPASS and THE LORD OF THE RINGS films.

After spending years working on other writer’s books and films, I started to feel like I wanted to explore writing my own ideas. However, I was more interested in longform fiction to tell a story, especially for big speculative fiction concepts. I was about twenty-eight years old when I first started teaching myself how to write a novel, which began a long journey, but being a big reader helped me a lot. I’m really grateful that I decided to gamble on myself and start writing. Eventually, I sold my debut in a three book deal and that became The Continuum Trilogy!

  1. Were you ever given any advice for writing that helped you in your writing? Can you share what helped the most?

The first piece of advice that I really don’t like—write what you know! As a science fiction writer, it’s my job not only to write about what I don’t know, but also to write about things that haven’t even happened yet. The best advice for writing is to read a lot. The second best piece of advice is to not give up when you hear your first NO. Writers get a lot of rejection all the time—you only see the good parts! You have to be willing to believe in your vision, keep learning and improving your craft, keep reading and keep writing, and keep knocking on doors.

It only takes one YES!

  1. Do you ever listen to music while you write? What bands or genres do you listen to?

Yes, I almost always listen to music when I’m writing, whether on my Sonos at home, or my big noise-cancelling headphones when out at coffee shops. For the Continuum Trilogy, I found myself drawn to a lot of EDM and electronic music—Deadma5, Com Truise, Tycho, Pretty Lights, How to Destroy Angels, Boards of Canada, Bonobo, Trent Reznor, and more. The music is often instrumental and has good beats and energy. One day, I’d love to have an artist like Trent Reznor score the TV adaptation of my books (I can dream, right?).

  1. What was your biggest inspiration for writing sci-fi?

I’ve always been a huge sci-fi and fantasy fan from a young age. I devoured everything, including Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars books, Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series, Harry Potter, and more. I’m also a huge fan of both STAR TREK TNG and STAR WARS. I love the ability for SFF to take an allegorical approach to examining contemporary issues through a speculative fiction lens.

  1. Your Continuum trilogy is being packaged for TV, which is absolutely AMAZING! What’s that like? Is it nerve-wracking at all wondering how everything is going to be portrayed?

Far from nerve-wracking, it’s exhilarating! Having worked in Hollywood, I know that nothing is guaranteed and the project can always fall apart at any time. We’re still in the process of closing some deals. However, the idea of seeing an adaptation of my work is incredibly exciting. It’s also really amazing to see other people taking my work seriously and being as excited about it. And to hear some of the huge names being mentioned. So, please send all the amazing vibes my way that we get to make the TV series.



Hope you guys enjoyed and do me a favor and go check Jennifer and her amazing trilogy out! Then you can get psyched for the TV series too! 😀

-Laurenxx

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Contemporary, Fantasy, Question, Sci-Fi, Top Ten Tuesday, Young Adult

TTT #13: TBR Books I Need Help Deciding On

Hello, dearies! Hope your morning/afternoon/ evening is going well! It’s Tuesday, and you know what that means… Top Ten Tuesday time!

For those of you who haven’t come across this yet, it started at The Broke and the Bookish and they handed the torch off to That Artsy Reader Girl and she’s been absolutely fantastic.

Not sure if any of you are like me and have some books that are just sort of… chilling on your TBR list but that you haven’t bit the bullet on to either read or remove them. So, if any of you have read these, let me know what you think! 🙂



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1. 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne


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2. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding


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3. From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon


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4. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson


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5. Zero Repeat Forever by Gabrielle Predergast


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6. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by McKenzi Lee


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7. Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman


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8. Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde


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9. Crazy House by James Patterson


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10. Generation One by Pittacus Lore



Anything you see on here that you’ve read? Any on your TBR as well? Let me know down there in the comments! 🙂

-Laurenxx

Blog Tours, Informative, Question, Young Adult

Blog Tour- What They Don’t Know by Nicole Maggi

One of my best friends knows this author personally and has whole-heartedy vouched for this book since day one. Yesterday was the release of the book and the beginning of this blog tour, and Sara kicked it off with this lovely post, so go check it out:

What a Nerd Girl Says

Without further ado, here’s my interview with Nicole and some information about the book!



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BOOK INFORMATION:

What They Don’t Know by Nicole Maggi

Release Date: 10/2/2018

Synopsis:

Synopsis:

Mellie has always been the reliable friend, the good student, the doting daughter.

But when an unspeakable act leads her to withdraw from everyone she loves, she is faced with a life-altering choice―a choice she must face alone.

Lise stands up―and speaks out―for what she believes in. And when she notices Mellie acting strangely, she gets caught up in trying to save her…all while trying to protect her own secret. One that might be the key to helping Mellie.

Told through Mellie and Lise’s journal entries, this powerful, emotional novel chronicles Mellie’s struggle to decide what is right for her and the unbreakable bond formed by the two girls on their journey.

You can find the book at these places:

Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Book Depository


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nicole Maggi Author Photo

Nicole was born in the suburban farm country of upstate New York, and began writing at a very early age. Of course, her early works consisted mainly of poems about rainbows and unicorns, although one of them was good enough to win honorable mention in a national poetry contest! (Perhaps one of the judges was a ten-year-old girl.) Throughout high school, her creative writing was always nurtured and encouraged.

Nicole attended Emerson College as an acting major, and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Post-college, she worked as an actress in New York City for over a decade, focusing mainly on Shakespeare and the classics.

Nicole is the author of the Twin Willows trilogy, The Forgetting and now, What They Don’t Know.

You Can Find Her At:

Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads


THE INTERVIEW!

1. Who’s one author that you greatly admire and did their writings have any influence on your own?

A: When I was in middle school, I read the Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce and I just wanted to live in that world. It was the first time I realized the power that an author has, to create other worlds and make people want to live in them. I just knew that I wanted to do that, too.

Pierce is a master of world-building and character. I wanted to be Alanna; I wanted to be friends with all of her friends. So when I think about world-building, I think about how she created Tortall, and when I think about character, I think about how much she made me care about Alanna and her circle. It’s my goal to give a reader a world they can truly escape into, and characters they can fall in love with.

 

2. Aside from other books or authors, what else do you draw inspiration from for your book

A: Honestly, I draw inspiration from the world around me. There is just so much going on in the world, and most of it would make a fascinating book. The trick is to be open, and to pay attention. For example, the idea for the sex-trafficking subplot in my previous novel The Forgetting came from a billboard that I passed every day on the way to pick up my daughter from daycare. The idea for my Twin Willows Trilogy came from going down the Wikipedia rabbit hole. I landed on the page for European Witch Hunts and there was a footnote for something called the Benandanti. I clicked it, and that trilogy was born. I have an idea in my idea file (which is really just a page in my Scrivener program) that is from a tiny news story I saw buried on some website somewhere. Inspiration can come from anywhere.

 

3. Has the YA community always been your intended audience, or did you think you’d be writing for someone else?

When I first started writing seriously, I actually thought I would be writing romance. At the time I was obsessed with the Outlander novels by Diana Gabaldon. My first novel was intended for an adult audience, but when we sent the book out on submission, we got a lot of feedback that it felt like YA. This was just at the start of the Twilight era that sparked the Golden Age of YA that we’re in now. That book wound up not selling, but my agent encouraged me to lean into that advice and write YA. So when I started writing my next book in a teen voice, it just felt like coming home. It brought me right back to all those books I’d loved reading when I was growing up–Tamora Pierce, Judy Blume, Lois Lowry, Jane Yolen–and I knew this was what I was supposed to be writing all along. Also, my teenage years were difficult and traumatic. I think when you have that experience as a teen there’s a part of you that still lives in that place, and it was very easy for me to access it. Incidentally, that book wound up being Winter Falls, my debut novel.

 

4. Were you ever given any advice for writing that helped? Can you share what that was?

I’ve been given so much great advice over the years! Truly, it takes a village of a lot of other people to create one author. Okay, here’s one of my favorite pieces of practical advice. This comes courtesy of agent-extraordinaire, Donald Maass, author of Writing The Breakout Novel. I’ve taken a few master classes with him and gotten so much out of them. Here’s one thing he said:

When you’re done with your book, done with editing and even fine-tuning, print out a copy of your manuscript. Take that copy and throw it in the air. I mean it. Actually throw the pages in the air and let them fall down on the floor. (This is very cathartic). Then gather the pages back together–but make sure they are OUT OF ORDER. Once you have your out-of-order manuscript, read through it. You’re thinking, Whaaaa? Yes. Read through it, out of order. What this does is keep you present on the page. When you read your book in order, you get lulled in by the story. You miss things, like the fact that you used the word “sluiced” on every other page. You catch all of that when you read it out of order, because every time you turn the page you’re jolted into another part of the story. You don’t have time to get lulled. The first time I did this I caught a paragraph that referred to a character I’d cut out of the book 3 versions ago. I know it sounds like a crazy thing to do, but trust me on this. Pro-tip: make sure you have the pages numbered before you print it out! I speak from experience.

 

5. What’s your favorite quote from literature and did it ever help you or influence your writing?

Rumi is my favorite poet, and in his Quatrains poem there’s a line that reads, “The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want. Don’t go back to sleep.”

I remind myself of this a lot. There is always more to discover in the world. Don’t go back to sleep or you might miss it. If you want something, you must use your voice to ask for it. Stand up for yourself. Speak your truth. Don’t go back to your small, sheltered comfort zone and miss out on getting what you want. Step out into the light.

Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog!



Thank you, lovely readers! And a big thank you to Nicole and Sara for this opportunity as well. I wish Nicole and her book all the success in the world!

-Laurenxx

dystopian, Fantasy, Question, Sci-Fi, Top Ten Tuesday, Young Adult

Top Ten Tuesday! (#2): Books I Could Re-read Forever

Hello, dear readers! It’s that time of the week… Top Ten Tuesday!

For those of you who haven’t checked out this meme previously, checkout where it started at The Broke and the Bookish and then checkout whose good hands it’s in now over at That Artsy Reader Girl !

So, this week’s Top Ten is actually Favorite novellas/ short stories, but I’m honestly not big on either, and aside from reading The Assassin’s Blade for the backstories, I really haven’t read any and I intend to keep it that way, so here’s #379, Books I Could Re-read Forever.



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1. The Mortal Instruments and

2. The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

I’m a sucker for these. The Infernal Devices will always be my go-to when it comes to wanting to revisit the Shadowhunter world. Especially because I absolutely ADORE the characters. I love the time period, and I like the villain and the plot a lot more than The Mortal Instruments. BUT, that being said, I do still love The Mortal Instruments. It’s the series that started it all and I adore the introductions to the world. Clare has always just been an auto-buy author and I love the world that she created and the characters in it.


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3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Honestly, I’m a sucker for this book. Did it have its issues? Sure. But I fell in love with these characters when I read it for the first time YEARS ago, I immediately loved it. Then the movie came out and I was SO EXCITED. Then I got a phone call from my mom asking if I was interesting in a book signing and Q&A with Stephen Chbosky at a screening of the movie. I jumped on that opportunity and it was probably one of the most incredible nights of my life. Getting to hear his thoughts on the movie and the changes he approved was amazing and he told his story and his inspiration for the book. Then, getting to meet him was probably one of the best moments ever. He’s the most humble, down to earth author I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet and is to this day my favorite author moment. Thank you, Chbosky for this book. For your story. For your writing. For Charlie.


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4. Percy Jackson and the Olympians and

5. The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan

He’s another auto-buy author for me. I’m a total sucker for anything that has to do with pretty much any mythology. Greek and Roman have always been two of my favorites, so when I read these I immediately fell in love. I’ve re-read PJO several times already and read HO a couple times in the last few years. The characters. The humor. The adventures. I just adore these books and the strong characters. Even writing this is making me all nostalgic and I want to read them all again ASAP.


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6. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

I mean… I mean… seriously. The world building alone in these books is enough to make me want to read this series over and over. But I love the whole angels vs. demons thing where you’re actually rooting for the demons. I love how creative she is with the chimaera and the lore behind the world. Karou is probably one of my favorite protagonists ever. With her blue hair, kick-ass attitude,  amazing best friend, and everything else that makes her who she is, it was impossible not to fall in love with her. And Akiva… ugh. I loved Akiva so much and I just absolutely love reading their story over and over again.


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7. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Again, I loved the world-building in this series. Juliette was such an awesome main character. And then you factor in the supporting characters. Kenji, Warner, Adam, and everyone else, it makes it so easy to get into it time and time again. Plus you factor in those gorgeous covers and you can’t go wrong. I haven’t read the most recent book in the series yet, but I plan on reading it soon, which may call for a re-read! xD


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8. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

One of my favorite books ever, hands down. I mean, nothing will ever beat that first read, as is the case with a lot of books. But, my goodness. This book. I literally read through this book in only a couple sittings and actually finished it at work. It’s been a while since I cried that hard during a book. I had zero expectations when I went into this book a few years ago and I’m so glad that I picked it up. The movie was good, but I definitely LOVED the book a million times more and I have already re-read it multiple times. I mean, who wouldn’t want to continue to visit the Oasis?


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9. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

I mean… this one’s obvious, right? Literally started reading this series when I was only 8 years old and it’s honestly what got me into reading. My parents bought me the boxed set of the first 4 books for Christmas when I was 10 because that’s all that was out at that point and she wanted me to have my own copies. Now they’re beat to shit, but I still adore those copies because they were some of the first books that were mine. Now I own several copies and have read the series at least once a year since 2000. The nostalgia is real when it comes to these books. I love Rowling so much.


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10. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

I love these girls. I love these books. I love the setting(s) and the school and everything else. The girls are all so unique and I love them all for their own things. I love how REAL these books were. They literally make you feel like you’re right alongside these characters and seeing how much they grow and how their stories develop. I read these books any time that I’m in a slump because they never fail to do the trick!



Any of you guys re-read any of these or have your own you like to read?

-Laurenxx

Question

Slumping

I’m sure no one likes them, but reading slumps are the absolute worst. I’m struggling to finish a book right now, even though I’m enjoying it immensely and I’m super excited to see how it all plays out.

I’m currently reading Pendragon #10- The Soldiers of Halla and I am loving it. I’m about 300 pages in, and we’ve finally got some answers to questions I’ve been waiting for through the entire series. But for whatever reason, I’m still struggling to read.

Does anyone have any tips they use when going through a slump? I tend to pick up a book like Anna and the French Kiss, something easy to get through and that won’t take me more than a day or so to get through, even if I’m reading slowly.

Anyone have any tips they use to get through their slumps? Anyone lucky enough to not suffer from these slumps? :p

-Laurenxx