Friday, 20 September 2013

Interview with Connie L Smith, author of Essenced #YA UF

Please welcome author Connie L Smith to the blog, on the release of her UF YA novel Essenced.

Please tell us a bitt about yourself: First off, I’m pretty terrible and writing descriptions of myself! My name’s Connie (obviously), and I live in Kentucky. I have my BA in Speech Communication and History, and my music collection is severely outdated. And I make great peanut butter rolls.

Tell us about Essenced: It’s the first book of a trilogy (The Division Chronicles), and it’s basically about the human population – a select few – having to prepare for a demonic war. Centuries before, there was a war between evil (demons) and good (mostly creatures that are mythical – mermaids, sirens, vampires, fairies, etc.), and when the good guys won, they banished the others from the realm, opening a divisional door to send them elsewhere. Unfortunately, the last demon through the portal tore it. The portal would never fully close, and would slowly reopen as time passed. Since magic was draining from the universe, and magical creatures were dying off, their essences were placed in humans, and what remained of magic was bottled away. When the portal grew too open to ignore, the magic would be released, and the essences within humans could be brought to life. This book focuses mostly on the initial changes and training.

What inspired you to write this particular story?: I have a habit of adding characters in when I’m watching or reading fiction. AJ came about like that. Eventually she jumped out of that context and a story sort of built around her.

Which comes first for you – a character's looks, personality or name?: Typically the name, I’d say. I might change a name after the character description’s been created, but I don’t usually struggle picking them.

Any tips for aspiring authors?: This is my first book, so I’m not exactly an expert. All I’ll say about it is to make yourself write, and get ready to do some major work to get your book exposure. It’s a time consuming process, but knowing you’ve done it and people are reading it is a pretty amazing feeling.

Questions for fun:
If you had the power of time travel, is there anything you would go back and change? Why/why not?: Wouldn’t do any good to try to change anything with the whole grandmother paradox thing. I wouldn’t know to change it if it had never happened, so I wouldn’t have stopped it, so it would’ve still happened. But if I could go back in time, I’d probably go to the 50s, buy a poodle skirt, and go see Elvis. As for why… Because he’s Elvis!

What super-power would you choose?: Jedi!!! (Yay, me too!)

Which fictional universe would you like to live in and why?: Most likely, I’d either be thrown into a Drizzt novel in hopes of running into Jarlaxle, or Wonderland. There’s something so awesomely quirky about that place…

If you could have three wishes, what would they be?:  I’d want my school loans paid off, my life to temporarily become a musical (with Hinder as my own personal band), and a chicken fajita.

Which fictional mythical creature would you like to own, and why?: Well, I’d love to be a fairy, but to own… I’m gonna go with Pegasus. It would be beautiful, it would fly, and it *probably* wouldn’t make me into its dinner. (I hadn't considered that aspect... *eyes dragon nervously*)

And to finish:
What is your favourite book? (aside from one of your own!): Small Gods by Terry Pratchett is my favorite fiction book. A story about a one-eyed turtle god is my kind of novel. (ooo, another Terry Pratchett fan!)

Favourite genre and why?: Fantasy!!! My first reading love was the Drizzt series, and I’ve never been able to get it out of my system. Everything is so magical as compared to real life. Although I won’t lie. I’ve been getting pretty heavy into YA and contemporary books lately.

Favourite colour?: Purple or Turquoise. I argue in my own mind over this sometimes.

Upcoming news and plans for the future?: I’m currently working on a prequel novella for The Division Chronicles that will be out in a couple of months. I’m hesitant to give you a title just yet, but you’ll be able to find it on my web pages. It’s Paranormal Romance, through and through. Other than that, book two of the series (Emblazed) should be out *hopefully* early next year, with book three (Entwined) following in the months after.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us, and the best of luck!

Blurb: Years ago, demons were forced out of the earth’s realm by a band of supernatural fighters, banished from the place and its people in the aftermath of a horrific war. It should’ve ended there – would’ve – if not for the final demon’s claw snagging on the open portal. What felt like victory became only a reprieve, the winning warriors understanding that the tear would spread, and the demons eventually would escape exile. It was only a matter of time, and a need for future defense – a question of genetics and essences, magic and power.

Now centuries later, a new army must bind together – one of teenagers with inhuman potentials and abilities…

AJ went to bed Sunday night an average teenage girl, clumsy to a fault and athletically lacking. So when she wakes up Monday morning with super-strength, she does what any rational person would do: She goes into denial. When a smoking hot guy in a suit shows up, rambling about the end of the war and demons spilling through some kind of rift, she refuses to listen, telling herself he’s insane. Except weird things just won’t quit happening, and the guy keeps popping up in her life, trying to explain the changes suddenly happening within her. Is she crazy, or is this guy… not so crazy after all?

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Connie L. Smith spends far too much time with her mind wandering in fictional places. She reads too much, likes to bake, and will be forever sad that she doesn’t have fairy wings. And that she can’t swing dance. When she isn’t reading or writing, there’s a good chance she’s goofing off with her amazing, wonderful, incredible, fabulous nieces and nephew, or listening to music that is severely outdated. She has her BA from Northern Kentucky University in Speech Communication and History (she doesn’t totally get the connection either) and likes to snap photos. Oh, and she likes apples a whole big bunch.

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