INTERVIEW WITH: Huntley Fitzpatrick :-D

As part of this whole interviewing a series of AWESOME authors thing, we are continuing with the one and only HUNTLEY FITZPATRICK. (author of My Life Next Door)  I mean, are we lucky or what? Let’s get this thing goin!…

So, Huntley, let me ask, what was your inspiration for My Life Next Door? 
I’ve always been a people-watcher, and I guess always a story-teller too. My father and I used to play a game when we were waiting in the car for my mom outside various department stores (she loved to shop—a gene that missed me completely), imagining the life-stories or relationships of people we saw walking by or leaving the store.  Some images stick in your head, and one that stayed in mine was a couple I saw walking on Boston Common. She was blond and pretty, he kept ducking his head down to listen more closely to what she was saying. They looked happy to be together, like friends as well as boyfriend and girlfriend. When I started to write a book about a girl who watched and wondered about other lives than her own, I wanted to be sure she found a boy who “got” that, who watched and wondered back.  And I’ve always rewritten, if only in my head, stories that end sadly.  So there’s a little Romeo and Juliet in there, too.
Did the story turn out how you originally had it plotted inside your head?
I can’t think of any story I’ve ever written that’s turned out the way I originally thought it would.  It’s one of the most fun things about writing, taking an unexpected turn and thinking, ‘Wait, how’d I wind up here?’ and then realizing that was where you were always meant to be.
Jase.  He’s pure amazingness.  Who do you see him as in a movie version? What about Samantha? 

This is a tough one for me. I have this clear picture of both of them in my head,and they don’t look like anyone else. When I had to cast it a while back, I had Jared Padelecki and Amanda Seyfried (in her Mamma Mia phase). But now, I guess the closest I can get is Brenton Thwaites and Imogen Poots.

What kind of family did you grow up with?  More like the Reed’s or the Garret’s? 
Neither, and both. I had a very warm, talkative and close family growing up but it was more on the Samantha end of the scale ‘socially’, I guess.
How has it felt to get such glowing reviews of your debut novel?
You know how when you see the Oscars, actors always say “it’s an honor just to be nominated” and you wonder if they are telling the truth or if they will be really cranky and kick their dog if they don’t actually win an award? Now I know they’re telling the truth, because being published is like that for me. Unbelievable. Being published and knowing people are actually reading it?  Surreal. And far enough beyond my wildest dreams to be completely satisfying.
What are some things people don’t know about you? 
The essay that got me into the college of my choice described my outstanding talents as making an awesome tuna melt and giving a great massage. Am still wondering why that worked.  I once kissed a stranger on a train.  Other than that, like Jase in MY LIFE NEXT DOOR, I’m pretty much a ‘what you see is what you get’ person, rather than a creature of vast and alluring mystery. (MY thought: Oh my God, too funny! And I love that what you see is what you get persona!)
Do you have any plans for your next book? (Oh please, please say yes!)
 I do. My next signed book, now called WHAT I THOUGHT WAS TRUE,  is set in the same general area as MLND, but takes place in an Island summer community, where the heroine thinks she will be able to spend the summer forgetting about the boy who was her Biggest Mistake, only to find he’s working right on the Island as the local Yard Boy. And that he has no intention of being forgotten. (MY thought: Uh, sounds amazing!)
So, Massachusetts.  How does your hometown compare with the setting of My Life Next Door?
Well, I live in Massachusetts in a small, coastal town now, which is similar to the setting of the book. But I grew up on the Connecticut shore. Stony Bay, where My Life Next Door takes place, borrows a little from both, but is more like my old hometown, especially in the slightly touristy-preppie atmosphere.
Ever see yourself writing something crazily, insanely different, like .. zombies eat boy and girl in love while a mermaid watches and an angel hangs overhead deciding their fates? (Yes, this is how my brain works!) 
Whoa. What a great idea. I would love to bust out of my comfort zone like that…I’ve experimented around with writing a mystery, and a historical romance set in the time of Richard III and a New Adult romance…but YA, at least for now, fits me like Cinderella’s slipper. (MY thought:  I sure do agree!)
Connect with Huntley: Twitter | Web | Goodreads
View My Life Next Door on Goodreads HERE.
Purchase My Life Next Door: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Author Interview: TRISH DOLLER :)

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce to you today, Trish Doller!  Trish is the author of Something Like Normal and she has generously agreed to answering all of my insane questions today!  Let’s give her a warm welcome, shall we!?
Trish: Thanks for having me. I’m honored!
Trish, may I ask where it is you got the idea for Something Like Normal?
Trish: Back in 2003, I was working as a reporter for my hometown newspaper and was assigned to interview a Marine home on leave after being deployed to Iraq. When I met him, it struck me how young he was and that he’d experienced a lot for a nineteen-year-old…sleeping in the desert with a rock for a pillow, wearing a special uniform to protect against chemical weapons (which also meant not showering for a month), and having to kill someone. I found that out because I plowed right ahead and asked. Only later did I learn that it’s not always something Marines want to talk about. In any case, he stuck with me for a long time and I remembered him when I started writing Travis.  

Did you need to do much research for this book? (because there were some CRAZY details in there!)
Trish: I did quite a bit of research. I read books on war, Afghanistan, the Marine Corps, and post-traumatic stress disorder. I also watched a lot of YouTube videos–most of which were shot by the Marines themselves–of Marines in combat and goofing around, downloaded a ton of pictures that I used as reference, and printed up dozens of articles about the 3rd Battalion/6th Marines, who were in Afghanistan while I was writing. Also, I joined an online forum for Marines, where I was able to ask questions about the Marine Corps and Afghanistan. 
Pretend real quick we’re filming the MOVIE for Something Like Normal (swoooon!) who would play your ideal Travis and Harper?
Trish: There is a stuntman named Riley Harper who looks almost exactly like the Travis in my head. I don’t know if he acts, but he’d be my first choice. If not, I think Bobby Campo would be a great Travis. As for Harper, Brie Larson is the only actress I’ve ever pictured. 

So when you are not writing, what can we expect to find you doing?
Trish: Well, I have a day job, so you’d find me working in a Very Large Bookstore in the teen/kids department. I also spend a bit of time in the Florida Keys, and I’ll be taking diving lessons in August, so look for me underwater! 
What is your every day must have? (Mine is coffee, I’m an addict!)
Trish: I need a Coke (or Pepsi) in the morning to get me jumpstarted. And I have to spend some time on tumblr every day or I go through withdrawal.  

What do you enjoy reading, and who are some of your favorite authors?
Trish: I like reading YA best, and my favorites include Melina Marchetta, Kirsty Eagar, and Cath Crowley. I recently did a book swap with Kirsty and I totally fangirled out when I received a signed copy of her book, Raw Blue, which is probably my favorite YA novel. I also love Neil Gaiman, Megan McCafferty’s Jessica Darling series, and Diana Peterfreund’s Secret Society Girl series.  

What do you have in store for us next? We are WAITING on more! (And I for one, can’t wait!)
Trish: My next book is called ALL THAT WAS LOST and hopefully I will have something official to say about it soon. What I can tell you is that it’s about a seventeen-year-old girl named Callie, who returns to her home in Tarpon Springs, Florida, after being away for a long time. That’s very vague, but it includes Greek culture, sponge diving, and a very hot guy.  

You brought a very realistic feel to the life of a Marine, and what it is they experience; do you have personal experience with the Marines?
Trish: Aside from the Marine I interviewed back in 2003, I didn’t really know any Marines. But I’ve gotten to know quite a few via the forum I mentioned, including the Marine to whom the book is dedicated. He was a huge help in answering questions about Afghanistan–because he is a member of the 3/6 Marines–and his real life experience as a bomb dog handler directly inspired a part of Something Like Normal. 

Your writing is amazing, and having a male lead in YA is very rare! Was there ever a point when you were not going to write Something Like Normal from Travis’ perspective? (or even switch narrators)
Trish: Thank you! The book I originally started writing was going to be about a girl who was an outcast after having been branded a “slut” when she was younger. Travis was meant to be the boy who trashed her reputation, now grown up and kind of an outcast himself after being wounded in Afghanistan. Her story stalled out, so I attempted to write from both perspectives. When Travis took up residence in my head, he made it very clear it was his story, not hers, so I switched to his perspective and never looked back. And while some of her story carried over into Harper’s life, the original main character never made it into the final book.

You’re on an island, right.  You can only bring three things, what do you bring?
Trish: I suppose it would be cheating to bring a boat, right? So I’ll bring a fishing pole, a book (probably Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman), and my husband. (And I’ll hope he thinks to bring a boat.)

TRISH, thank you SO SO much for being here today! As a thank you to our readers, I am going to be giving away a copy of Something Like Normal!  I hope you will come back soon Trish, it was a pleasure having you!
Trish: The pleasure was mine. I’d love to visit again, and good luck to everyone who enters!

Connect With Trish: Facebook | Twitter | Web
Buy Something Like Normal! : Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Seriously, Something Like Normal made me cry, made me happy, and then it made me want to dive right in and help Travis! If you haven’t pick it up! Or enter to win a copy below!

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AUTHOR Interview/Giveaway – Rebecca Rogers!

We are VERY fortunate to have Rebecca Rogers, author of the Silver Moon Series 
and Last Summer here with us today.

Hey Rebecca, it is wonderful to have you here with us today! 
Thank you so much for agreeing to an author interview!

Firstly, after looking around your website (which is awesome, by the way) I see that you went the self-publishing route. How has that been for you?
It’s been great! I was a little apprehensive at first because of the stigma self-publishing receives from the general public, but I think times are changing, and it’s becoming easier for writers to achieve their dreams, especially in the new digital era. I’m glad I took the plunge, because I’ll never have to ask myself, “What if?”

I also see that Last Summer was very different than anything else you have written. Where did you get the idea for this novel?
Originally, Last Summer was going to be a paranormal book in which a girl finds a ghost in an abandoned cottage. Creepy, right? Later, I decided I wanted to branch out from paranormal books and try contemporary. So, instead of finding a ghost, the main character finds a ghost of a boy. I added the drug addiction and homelessness, and voila! The idea for Last Summer was born. 🙂

Before I read Last Summer, you informed me it is not YA, it is New Adult. What made you want to try out the New Adult genre?
I wanted to see how far I could push the envelope with a book. All of my previously published novels had a minimal amount of language, sex, and violence, but with Last Summer, I didn’t want there to be any boundaries. I knew that if I wrote a book with drug addiction as a main theme, I wanted it to be raw and edgy. Also, considering the ages of the main characters, they were slightly too old for Young Adult, yet too young and less mature for Adult. Thank goodness someone dubbed a genre titled “New Adult”; otherwise, I might still be questioning what genre Last Summer fits into.

Did you have to research much to write about addiction as in depth as you did in Last Summer? That was some pretty heavy stuff!
I did, actually. I’ve only watched a few episodes of Intervention here and there, and I could see how tough it is for someone to give up their addiction. I know it doesn’t happen overnight, but at the same time, I couldn’t pack years worth of addiction into a novel; it would never end! So I lessened the length of time Logan (one of the main characters) actually used drugs, hoping he could hop off that wagon sooner than, say, drug addicts who have been using for years and years. I researched what the symptoms were for withdrawal, but really, it depends on the person, what drug they’re addicted to, and how long they’ve been using their drug of choice as to how severe their symptoms become once they stopped. It was very tricky finding a balance, and I’m sure plenty of people will disagree with the way I wrote it.

I love that on your website, you not only promote yourself, but others as well, but reviewing other books. What are some of your favorites?
Thank you! I love reading; it helps with writing, too. 😉
I’ve read so many great books, it’s tough to choose just a few. Some of the best YA books I’ve enjoyed so far this year are Red Heart Tattooby Lurlene McDaniel, Don’t You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, and Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley. They’re definitely worth a read.

Continuing on that note, let’s hear it! Top three favorite authors, and top three writing inspirations:
Tolkien and Rowling are my top authors. I wish I had the ability to dive into their imaginations for one day, just to see what it’s like to be that gifted. They’re very inspiring, along with authors such as R.L. Stine, Annette Curtis Klause, and Lois Duncan, whose books I read growing up. I think they’re what inspired me to press forward with my writing.

What do you have coming up next? And what is your favorite TYPE of book to write?
I plan on finishing the Silver Moon series. I have the prequel lined up for release in late September, and I plan on releasing the final book the beginning of next year.
My favorite type of book to write would have to be paranormal. I just love dark and eerie books; there’s something otherworldly about them.

If you weren’t a writer, Rebecca, what would you be doing?
Probably sitting behind a desk somewhere. I was a legal secretary for six years before I quit to write full-time. It wasn’t a dream job, but it definitely paid the bills. 😉

Any plans you want to tell us about coming up in the next year or so?
I’ll be finishing up the Silver Moon series, and then I’ll start two new series to be released hopefully next year. I have one or two more standalones in mind, as well. 🙂

When you’re not writing, what do you love to do?
Read, read, read, or watch TV. I’m also shamelessly addicted to reality television. Don’t judge! 😛

Rebecca, thank you so much for being here today, and also for giving our readers a chance to win LAST SUMMER! You are super awesome and I can’t wait to dive into some more of your books! Last Summer was so different, and raw. I just fell in love with it. Despite the heavy subject matter, I thought it was a breath of fresh air from the typical contemporary. (Although those are nice sometimes as well!) I think the New Adult genre is going to begin to explode, I personally love it! Anyway, thank you again and I hope to have you back here soon!
Thank you so much for having me, Cass! 😀

Rebecca can be found a few places, find her:

Want to win Last Summer? 

Enter the Giveaway!

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Interview With Loretta from BETWEEN THE PAGES!

I chose to interview Loretta for several reasons.  Firstly, she is the reason I started blogging.  Her blog is the first one I started reading, and it inspired me.  Secondly, upon embarking on my blogging journey, Loretta has been EXTREMELY supportive.  She is a wonderful person and I am very fortunate that I have had her to not only guide me but become a friend as well!  I hope everyone can find someone so easy to connect with, and that is so patient and helpful! 

Loretta owns Between the Pages and can be find on Twitter as well.  She also has a YouTube channel!

Loretta, what made you start your book blog?

 Reading has always been something that I have loved. I have never heard of “book blogging” until a couple years ago. My (in real life) friend, Angela @ Reading Angel had some a read-a-thon going on. She told me about it, and this is when I was introduced to a whole new world of book lovers!! I was hooked. I looked and found new blogs every day for a while. Found and read books I had never heard of. It was then about 6 months later that I became a book blogger myself!!

What made you make the jump into not only blogging, but making YouTube videos as well?

 Youtube was something that came a long time after I started the blog. I posted pictures before. Then I saw how a couple people were videoing them. I loved that idea. So, I wanted to do it too! Now I have a very successful youtube channel, and I am also a member of TotallyBooksessed which is a separate youtube channel where we talk all things books. I am Tuesday!

What is your FAVORITE genre of books?

It is always hard for me to pick ONE genre. Because there are SO MANY that I love.

If I had to choose one it would have to be YA. ALL that is included in YA!!

Is there a type of book you dislike?

Oh yes. I do not like biographies, the ONLY ones I will read are about Marilyn Monroe!!

I do not like classics. BESIDES Jane Eyre.

War book, No thanks.

I gotta know, what’s your ALL-TIME favorite series?

ONE? Just ONE?

A Need So Beautiful & A Want So Wicked by Suzanne Young.

These two books stand out to me so much. Anything that Suzanne writes is amazing. The characters, the plot, just everything about these two books are amazing. Bottom Line.

Pssst. The Paranormals by J.L. Bryan too 😉

Cliffhangers. Love ’em or hate ’em? (& why!)? & What sequel are you most excited for?

I have a LOVE/HATE relationship with them suckers. Lauren Oliver is GOOOOOOD for them! Oh my!! Delirium, Pandemonium & Hanaeach had a cliff hanger that had me picking my mouth up off the floor. So I am soooo ready for Requiem (Delirium #3)!!

I am excited to read, Insurgent. Even though something happened to take away from it for me… BUT I am still very much excited to read that one!

Between The Pages is such a cute name! How’d you come up with it?

I sat and looked through The Blogger Directoryforever to make sure that I did not take any ones blog name. That was important to me. I could not figure it out. Then one day I was trying to read and hubby was annoying me. I told him I was going to throw my bookmark at him, and he said “No you better just stick it between them pages” When I jumped up, he thought I was Coo-cooo because I shouted BETWEEN THE PAGES!!

So Between The Pages started out of hostility towards the husband! Hahah!

Do you have a favorite author?

A? Like as in one?

I cannot pick one. So how about the top 5?

Suzanne Young

J.L. Bryan

Matthew Merrick

Lauren Oliver

Rhiannon Frater

Ok… top 10?….ha!

I read ALLL THE TIME about how much you LOVE Jenny Pox! Can you tell me why this book (series) stands out so much to you?

Jenny Pox which is the 1st book in the series by J. L. Bryan touched my heart, ripped it out, then fixed it back all in one sitting. Jenny is such an amazing character, and everything that she has to go through and is PUT through all because she is different is heart breaking. But to see her grow, fall in love, which she never thought she would ever have that, and just become this person who yes has this problem, but no she knows there is a way around it, a way to live.

It was just something that moved me as a reader. The characters and everything are amazing. I wish there were more books in this series.

Also, these books are not YA. They are books with young adults in them… they are … grown up/epic!

You have so many things going on, how do you do all of it, with two kids!? (Btw, awesome that you can manage all of that!)

Coffee!! No, really.

Last year was worse. Because I was in school, and working. Then I was like there is NO WAY I can do this anymore. So I quit and focused on school. Now I can finally take this test, yippee, and I am ready to work again. I have no schedule or anything like that. They tend to get messed up. But I have a daily “this is what I have to do today” list that I go by, no matter what order it happens do I care as long as it gets done.

Kids come 1st though. Before reading, blogging, or studying. My time with them is something I take very seriously. =D

Anything you’d recommend other readers do? Whether it be join GoodReads or start blogging, any advice?

Yes! Definitely have GoodReads. Twitter. Join meme’s. Comment. Make your blog pretty. Eye appeal is everything.

Just be you. Be honest. & have fun!!!!!

Thank you for having me Cass. Happy Reading
I would like to thank Loretta for doing this interview!  Be sure to follow her on Twitter and read her blog!  And don’t forget about her YouTube channel!  (all links above!)