Contest Winners & New Author Interview

Waz up, ya’ll! Thank you soooooooooo much for making my first page critique blog hop a huge success! We had 24 total participants and most people had a total of 10-20 comments on their page so hopefully you got something out of it. OK, I’m no Ryan Seacrest so without further ado . . . *drumroll please*

The 5 winners for Heather’s Burch’s critique are: (chosen at random by my kewl Kagan selector tool at school:)

1. Lindsey Loucks

2. Shell Philhower

3. Angela Quarles

4. Sharon Baylis

5. Hope Roberson

*Waiting for applause to die down* YAY!!! Congrats! Please email me your first page to info@jamieayres.com I thought you may want to fix some things based on suggestions instead of just sending her your blog address. I will forward it to the fabulous debut author of Halflings. When she’s done with your critique, I’ll email her notes back to you.  And speaking of Halflings, I finished reading it early Saturday morning and I must say, I’m kinda ticked at Heather for that ending;) Seriously, great book and those 3 male Halflings are invading my dreams for sure (don’t tell Dan) & I can’t wait for book #2. Ok, I am channeling a bit of Seacrest because I’ve kept you in suspense about who won a copy of her book *evil grin* Are you pounding your desk in drumroll like fashion?

And the winnnnner is . . . Nicole Zoltack! Let’s show her some love and give her a ‘heart’ of applause for pretty much commenting on everyone’s blog. Thanks for playing, Nicole. You’re A*W*E*S*O*M*E! (channeling the ex-cheerleader in me now)

A big thank u again to Heather. Lucky me, I get to meet up with her at a writer’s conference this weeked so I’ll get a signed copy of her book for you Nicole and then send it in the mail on Monday, if you’d be so kind as to email me your address. If you missed Heather’s interview & so have no idea what I’m talking about, please check out her website: http://halflings.ning.com/

Now I have another treat for you, another interview with a terrific new author, Callie Kingston! YOu can CHeCk ouT hER blog at: http://calliekingston.blogspot.com

JA: Tell us how your book, Undertow, came about.

CK: To best answer this, I’ll adapt a post from my blog last fall:

. . . I have an easy answer: Twilight. It set the YA world alight with vampire lust. However, Undertow does not feature a vampire.

But the plot was very much inspired by the Twilight series, to the point where I started calling it Twi-not under my breath. The more I read the Twilight Saga, the more intrigued I became of the idea of a girl who falls in love with some mythical creature. I decided it was quite mad, really. And decided to write about a girl who experiences madness and becomes delusional. You see, Undertow is a realistic story, not paranormal. I suppose most of my stories fall under the contemporary umbrella.

JA: Wow, now you’ve got me intrigued. I’ve downloaded your novel onto my Kindle & can’t wait to read it (sidenote: Undertow is also available in paperback). Readers have commented about how Undertow’s plot is quite different than they expected. Do you worry about that?

CK: Not really. Undertow is Marissa’s story, and to tell it any other way wouldn’t be fair to her or to the thousands of teens like her. Besides which, I believe that diversity in books is important, especially in YA. In another post I wrote this summer, I observed:

Teendom is an amazing thing. At an age where everything is possible, the future is limitless, and you can try out anything you like, the tendency is to give all that up and just fit in. But does this mentality have to apply in literature as well? Certain trends are saturating the teen book market. It’s a real problem. Sure, there are titles available in lots of categories, but the offerings are heavily weighted in one direction. But that’s a mistake. Because it’s those risks that yield something rich and new. Think Harry Potter, people. Glad somebody finally took a chance on that. And Speak. Thirteen Reasons Why. The Adoration of Jenna Fox.

All of which inspired me in a major way, incidentally. Along with Wintergirls, also by Laurie Halse Anderson, who is hands down one of my favorite YA authors.

JA: Oooooh, 13 Reasons Why also helped inspire me to write my  book, 18 THINGS (which I’ll pitch at that conference this weekend I mentioned earlier so keep your fingers crossed ya’ll). And I just read The Adoration of Jenna Fox last month-LOVED it! What effect do you hope Undertow will have on readers?

CK: Above all, I hope readers will be entertained. That’s the main reason to read fiction, right? Beyond that, I’d love for readers to fall into Marissa’s plight and cheer as she surfaces into a powerful young woman unafraid to take risks. And they might fall for Jim a little bit, too. Then I hope they are inspired to write and share their stories, too. As an author, it lifts me up to know that I’ve connected with a reader this way.

JA: Sounds like a powerful read. Thanks for stopping by again, everyone *waves* If you leave a comment, Callie would be happy to interact with you on here & it’ll also automatically register you to win a free signed copy of her book when she does the grand prize drawing: http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/21250

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18 comments on “Contest Winners & New Author Interview

  1. Thanks so much for this opportunity, Jamie!!! Great interview, too, I am totally adding Undertow to my Goodreads TBR list. Awesome blog hop 🙂 Yay! I’ll do a few edits and send it over.

  2. I can’t wait to read this! I just got it on my Kindle. I love the story behind how it came to be. It should be easy for anyone who loves paranormal to get into this, since Marissa believes she is in love with one, even though there aren’t any in the story. I’m pretty sure any book you read, you’re like “frick yeah I would love to be a part of this world/scenario, how cool would it be!” or ya’know, book crushes. /swoooon Sam Roth (The Mercy Wolves)

    (I’ve already won a copy of Undertow, so count me out for that but in for the grand prize!)

    Thanks for the interview!

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