Category Archives: Interviews

Kerry Schafer Interview and Giveaway!

Author Kerry Schafer joins us today to talk about her latest book, Wakeworld!

For those who haven’t read Between, can you tell us a bit about Vivian and Weston and catch us up on their story?

Vivian has been handed rather a difficult destiny – with dreamshifter, dragon, and sorcerer blood in her veins, she’s got all sorts of conflicts and challenges to sort out. In Between she has a pretty sharp learning curve trying to get her mind around realities beyond what she had ever dreamed. Since there are already dragons running amok in the waking world, she doesn’t have a lot of time to figure out what dreamshifting is all about and is always running to try to keep up. In Wakeworld she’s starting to get a handle on the dreamshifter business until a powerful dragon locks her out of the Between with Zee (the man of her dreams) on the other side. As much as she hates her inner dragon, she’s going to have to come to terms with it in order to find a way to get to Zee and save the worlds from destruction. She also has to figure out how to work with Weston.

Weston Jennings makes his first appearance in Wakeworld. He was designated as his father’s heir to the dreamshifter role when he was only a child. However, he didn’t want this and resisted, which precipitated a devastating family tragedy that drove him underground. Now he’s being forced to face up to his past and has to make a choice whether or not to finally embrace his power and help Vivian with her quest.

What is a dreamshifter?

A dreamshifter is tasked with the responsibility of guarding the doors that lead from the Between, populated by all manner of dream creatures, and Wakeworld (what we think of as reality). Dreamshifters can also enter dreams and alter them. This is a dangerous proposition, as for them the elements of dream are real and they can be wounded and killed as surely as in the waking world.

Urban fantasy/paranormal novels are popular right now. What is different about The Between series that makes it so unique?

For one thing, The Between books have a rural, small town setting, rather than the usual city. The characters’ adventures in the Between and in Dreamworld involve dragons and sorcery and other elements that tend to be associated more with Fantasy than with UF or paranormal books. There are no werewolves or vampires, although we do have dragon shifting going on. And, of course, the dreamshifter and dream worlds are unique.

How many books do you have planned for The Between series?

I’ve planned the series as a trilogy, but the developing plot of the third book keeps telling me it thinks we need four, so we’ll see.

What’s next for you, after Wakeworld? Any other stories on the horizon?

I really want to write a follow up novel to my Dream Wars Novellas. But first I need to finish up Between 3, plus I’m in revisions on a fun Paranormal Mystery/Thriller called Dead Before Dying.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your experience in writing.

I’ve been writing ever since I was a little kid. Back then it was mostly poetry (very BAD poetry, but I thought it was lovely.) Writing has become a habit I can’t break, and something I would do even if I weren’t being published. That said – I am so excited to be finally living the dream of seeing my books on shelves and websites. Sometimes I’m not entirely sure I’m awake.

Who are some of your favorite authors? What books do you love?

Oh, that’s a dangerous question. Let’s see: Anne Bishop – I first discovered her through the Black Jewels books, but her new Urban Fantasy series is wonderful. Carol Berg – especially the Collegia Magica Trilogy, but everything I’ve read of hers is brilliant. Alex Bledsoe – both the Eddie Lacrosse and Tufa novels. Alex Hughes – her Mindspace Investigations are this awesome mix of police procedural and SciFi. And, oh – The Harry Dresden books, Ursula LeGuin, everything by Guy Gavriel Kay, Madeleine L’Engle, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien – yeah, I’ll stop now but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Books rock my world.

Thanks for your time! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you so much for inviting me over to your blog! I love to talk to readers, so feel free to hit me up on Twitter where I’m @kerryschafer, or at my FB page –


Courtesy of Ace Books, I have a copy of Wakeworld for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends February 28. I’ll draw a name on March 1, and notify winner via email.


Good luck!

Continue reading Kerry Schafer Interview and Giveaway!

James Dashner Blog Tour and Giveaway!

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James Dashner joins today on his latest stop along his blog tour. I gave him some topic ideas, but instead of just talking about one, he gave short answers to all of them. So we have a bit of a Q&A instead!

What’s your vision of the future – Roddenberry-esque or apocalyptic?

I hope, sincerely hope, that it’s Roddenberry’s way of things. I like to think that at some point, before we reach a place where humans are about to destroy one another, we’ll finally learn our lessons and spiral the other direction. Clean up the Earth, stop the wars, venture into space, explore the universe. I certainly don’t think we’ll ever get rid of all our problems, never come close to a Utopia, but I also think it’s really stupid to just keep killing each other. I do, however, think that if we want to avoid an eventual apocalyptic scenario, we’ll have to figure out how to leave this planet eventually. Star Trek, here we come!

On writing for YA/children rather than adults

I often get asked how different my books would be if I wrote them for adults instead of teenagers. I honestly think they’d hardly be different at all. I never, ever think about the age of my audience as I write. I just want it to be a cool story with cool characters. To scare and surprise and thrill. To pull out some emotions. I guess I naturally fit in with the young adult audience because that’s when I truly fell in love with reading, the closest it’s ever been to true “magic.” When I write, I go back to that.

Worldbuilding for a scifi series

This is a really tough one for me. I try so hard to be patient, and make outlines, and develop my characters beforehand, and build my world, and all of that, before starting a draft. But it’s all in my head, and I get so excited that I can’t take it anymore and jump in. Writing a first draft is by far my favorite part of being an author. I have so much fun. And a lot of the worldbuilding comes organically as I move through the story. And a lot of it is also instinctual, whatever seems to make sense and jives with my vision. I rely on my brain to fill in a lot of the blanks that perhaps I should have thought out and written down at some earlier point. I don’t know. I do my best. Thankfully, I have a spectacular editor at Random House who helps me where I fail.


Courtesy of Random House, I have a paperback copy of The Kill Order and a hardback copy of The Eye of Minds by James Dashner for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends January 31. I’ll draw a name on February 1, and notify winner via email.


Good luck!

Continue reading James Dashner Blog Tour and Giveaway!

BITTEN Q&A with Laura Vandervoort and Kelley Armstrong!


The series premiere of Bitten airs Monday, January 13th at 10pm on Syfy. Bitten stars Laura Vandervoort. And the series is based on the bestselling author Kelley Armstrong‘s novels.

How you begin your involvement with Bitten? Kelley, what was your inspiration for the book series? And Laura, how did you first get involved in the TV series?

Kelley Armstrong: Okay. For the books, Bitten actually came out of an X-Files episode. I was in a writing group. And as part of a writing group you’re expected to actually write new stuff. I was trying to come up with an idea, sat down and watched X-Files. It was way back in their first season. Their one and only werewolf episode. It was your typical big guy who changes into some beast like thing and goes around slaughtering people under the full moon. And I said that’s not how I would do werewolves. And for a writer, that then sparks how would I do them? And I wrote a short story with this character named Elena and I loved that world so much that I wrote a book.

Laura Vandervoort: I had no idea it was the X-Files. That’s really cool for me to know as well.

Kelley Armstrong: Which goes to show you how long ago I started writing Bitten. It was the first season of the show. It is old stuff.

Laura Vandervoort: I actually – yes, I love the X-Files. Like I was watching that as well. So that’s cool to know.

Laura Vandervoort: I actually received an offer for the role. Which was amazing, first of all. And ended up speaking to J.B. on the phone just to get an idea of the premise of the show and how it would look and how the wolves would be done.

And so we spoke for about an hour. And I heard how passionate he was about the project – he’s our executive producer. And it just sounded like something I’d really been looking to do—such a layered thing—and the character who is both flawed and strong.

And so I read the books. I read Women of the Otherworld and Bitten and did a bit of research. And as soon as I realized the amazing quality of what was there I jumped on. And we did some auditions and chemistry reads with the guys and we just sort of hit the ground running—no pun intended.

And I mean it was the most challenging six months I’ve had thanks to Kelley and the writers. Every day was a challenge for me. And there were days where I didn’t know if I’d be able to handle the emotional side of it or the physical side of it or just being in every scene. And I did. And I’m so grateful for the experience.

Since one of you created Elena and one of you plays Elena, kind of tell us a little bit about her and does your interpretation of her kind of differ from each of your versions of her? Continue reading BITTEN Q&A with Laura Vandervoort and Kelley Armstrong!

Author Interview: Gregg Rosenblum

Fugitive X rosenblum Author Gregg Rosenblum joins today to talk about his upcoming release Fugitive X!

For those who haven’t read Revolution 19 yet, can you give us a brief synopsis?

I’ll steal some “marketing” language, because it does a pretty good job:

In the year 2051, the robots designed to fight our wars abandoned the battlefields. Then they turned their weapons on humanity. Though most humans were either killed or enslaved in the robot revolution, siblings Nick, Kevin, and Cass spent their entire lives in the wilderness, in a Freepost, hiding from the robots. But when the bots discover their community’s location, the three barely make it out alive as their home is destroyed and everyone they love captured or killed.

Now on a risky mission to infiltrate one of the robot’s cities and find their parents, the three come face-to-face with a perfectly monitored new order, where citizens are microchipped and “reeducated” under the robot regime. Anyone who doesn’t abide by their laws faces severe punishment, even death. But as the siblings move stealthily about the City, with the assistance of covert sympathizers, they soon realize they’re not just
fighting to free their loved ones anymore—another revolution is underway.

Where are we when Fugitive X begins? Has any time passed since the end of Revolution 19?

It picks up right where Revolution 19 left off.

Why do you think dystopic and apocalyptic films and books have become so popular recently?

To some degree, Hollywood is of course chasing the success of The Hunger Games. But I do think there’s something deeper going on. We’re in a real time of uncertainty, and change, in our world right now.

Dystopian/apocalyptic novels and films tap into this atmosphere, amplify it, focus it in a way that is cautionary but also thrilling and escapist, all at the same time. We recognize the faults in the real world in these fictional dystopias, and we think, are we headed down this path?, but it makes it palatable in a way that nonfiction could not.

Do you think the popularity will wear off after a while, or is it here to stay?

As long as we have pollution, war, repression, totalitarianism, poverty, etc., we’ll have dystopian and apocalyptic fiction and movies. They’ve been around for a long time—think Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, Nineteen Eighty-Four—and they’re here to stay. I do think, however, that popularity and Hollywood are fickle, and the degree to which this type of fiction is “hot” will wax and wane, like everything else.

What is it about science fiction that inspires you to write for this genre?

I grew up devouring science fiction and fantasy fiction. I couldn’t get enough. But when I began to focus seriously on being a writer, I avoided writing “genre” fiction. For a number of years, I worked on “literary” fiction, and it wasn’t bad, but it was mostly joyless. Finally I came to my senses and realized that I needed to tap into that sense of joy and excitement and wonder and danger and thrill that I had felt from good sci fi and fantasy. Science fiction and fantasy allow me to tackle serious stuff while still having fun.

Do your books reflect your vision of the future?

They’re a reflection on the relationship I see between humanity and technology, and a dramatization, and exaggeration, of where I think we could be headed. No, I’m not arguing that we’re literally headed for a robot revolution in 40 years, but I do think that our ever-evolving relationship with our tech is just as unsettling as it is exciting.

What’s next for you, besides your Revolution 19 trilogy? Any other stories on the horizon?

I’m working on Book 3 right now. Once I wrap that up…I’m not sure, but I want to start something a bit more on the fantasy side, I think. Maybe an urban fantasy, on the dark side, but with a sense of humor? I’ve got some ideas kicking around…

Gregg Rosenblum works at Harvard, where he wages epic battles against technology as an editor/webmaster/communications/quasi-IT guy. He graduated from UC San Diego and has an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College. He lives in Boston with his wife and daughter.

Christopher Paolini Interview and Giveaway!

Eragon Author Christopher Paolini joins today to promote the 10th Anniversary of Eragon. And keep reading for a chance to win the beautiful new Collector’s Edition with impressive illustrations by Paolini!

With the incredible success of Eragon, did it affect your writing of the rest of the Inheritance saga?

It didn’t change how I wrote the series, but it did make me more aware of my audience. When I started Eragon, I didn’t really think anyone outside of my family would read it. Once the series began to sell, all that changed. For a time I struggled with what could only be called anxiety performance or stage fright. It’s hard to write what will always be a rough and imperfect first draft if you start worrying about what every one of your readers is going to think about every one of your words. It may sound strange, but in order to write with any degree of confidence, I had to effectively ignore my audience.

Of course, when the time came for editing, I could think about them all I wanted. During editing, you want to embrace your doubts and insecurities, because they’re probably based in sound instinct if you have any sense for how your book ought to be written.

In the end, I’ve learned not to worry what people will think of my writing, while at the same time keeping in mind the importance of respecting the expectations readers have for the story (even if I don’t always fulfill them the way people would want).

Eragon was such an ambitious first novel. How did you find the motivation to keep going? Especially at such a young age?

There were plenty of times when I nearly gave up. However, I persisted for two reasons: (1) my parents were enormously supportive. And (2) I tend to be both obsessive and overly-determined. Once I start a project, I see it through to the end, no matter how hard it is. A useful trait for an author. Of course, the reason I had that determination in the first place when it came to writing is because I love stories more than anything else (besides my family). Stories have given me enormous amounts of pleasure and have enriched my life in innumerable ways. If not for the books I read growing up, I would have ended up far worse off than I am today.

What are you working on now? Any other stories on the horizon?

At the moment I’m working on a sci-fi project, but I can’t say much about it without spoiling it. However, it does have spaceships, lasers, aliens, explosions, and all sorts of other fun things.

Are we going to get to see Angela’s story soon?

Readers will certainly see more of Angela the herbalist when I write Book V in Alagaësia. However, after spending over ten years on the Inheritance Cycle, I need a break!

Do you have a favorite place where you like to write? Continue reading Christopher Paolini Interview and Giveaway!

Exclusive Interview: Sarah Beth Durst

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Author Sarah Beth Durst joins again to talk about her latest fantasy release, CONJURED!

Can you tell us a bit about CONJURED in your own words?

CONJURED is the creepiest and wildest novel I’ve ever written. It’s basically a psychological thriller. With magic. Lots of magic. It’s about a girl in the paranormal witness protection program, who, haunted by visions of carnival tents and tarot cards, must remember her past and why she has strange abilities before a magic-wielding serial killer hunts her down.

Who is Eve? Why is she in the witness protection program?

Ooh, look, shiny bird!

*dodges question*

Seriously, those are the key questions. Who is Eve? She has no idea. She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know who to trust. But the novel isn’t precisely about her discovering the answer — it’s about her creating the answer. The heart of the novel is her journey from no one to someone, from a pawn to someone in charge of her own destiny.

How did you approach writing a character with complete memory loss?

I wrote CONJURED using a very tight point-of-view. The idea is that the reader goes on this journey with Eve and feels all the claustrophobic chaos of being such a blank-slate kind of character. To compensate, I tried to make the world around her and all the secondary characters as vivid as possible, and I kept very careful track of everything that happens that Eve doesn’t witness or remember so that those things could inform the words and actions of those other characters.

[SPOILERISH] Why is the killer to be tried in our world’s courts versus the place where he committed the crimes?

This world has no magic. So it’s the only safe place to try a magic-wielding serial killer. (Note: the judge is not from this world so the trial is fair.) Plus it’s really Malcom’s case, and this is his home.

CONJURED is by far your darkest novel. Has this been a progression of your writing style? Or is it just how your stories have developed?

Continue reading Exclusive Interview: Sarah Beth Durst

The Planet Thieves Blog Tour: Dan Krokos Interview and Giveaway!

About the Author:
After pumping gas for nine years to put himself through college, DAN KROKOS, now twenty-six, writes full-time. He enjoys watching TV, playing MMORPGs, and drinking coffee. His YA novel, False Memory, debuted from Hyperion in Fall 2012. Currently, he’s hard at work on the next book in the Planet Thieves series. Find him online at


Can you tell us a bit about The Planet Thieves in your own words?

It’s a story about a kid named Mason Stark who doesn’t like the world he’s living in, and decides to do something about it. He’s a cadet, a child soldier basically. He and his friends are forced into an incredibly adult situation when their spaceship is boarded by their sworn enemies, and this story is how they deal with it.

There are also space wizards.

Who are the Tremist? What can you tell us about this alien race?

I can’t say much without giving things away, but I can tell you what humans think the Tremist are like.

Tremist wear this high tech armor that looks close to what knights used to wear back in the middle ages. No one has seen what a Tremist looks like. They are assumed to be blood drinking vampyres or possibly shape shifting werewolves. Or it’s possible their suits are man-shaped, but just filled with ectoplasmic energy.

We’ve been at war with them for sixty years, mainly because the Tremist are just like humans—hostile toward things they don’t understand.

How does Mason assume leadership of rest of the cadets during the crisis?

Mason is a natural leader, so they kind of follow him to start with. But after most of the crew is either captured or killed, he’s given command by a gravely wounded officer. Mason officially becomes the youngest captain the Earth Space Command has ever seen.

Is this the start of a new series or a standalone novel?

Right now it’s two books. But there is definitely more story after the second book, so I hope I have the opportunity to share that. I’d love to follow Mason through his teen years.

What’s next for you, after the release of The Planet Thieves? Are there any other stories that you’re working on currently?

This year I have The Planet Thieves and False Sight, which is the sequel to my first book False Memory. Next year is the final False Memory book, and the Planet Thieves sequel. Just working on finishing all those up at the moment, then it’s on to the next thing!

Tell us a bit about yourself and your experience in writing.

I hated English and writing during my teen years. It wasn’t until I turned twenty-one that I decided to try it. And that was after reading a ton of fantasy novels and falling in love with reading again. Before that, I didn’t have much skill at all, and it was a slow process. I wrote four books before I decided to try querying agents. It wasn’t until the fifth book that I got one.

I wrote a lot of adult stuff, and was worried I’d be one of those writers who would write the same kind of books for the rest of their lives. So I decided to step outside my comfort zone and challenge myself by writing from a female POV. The Hunger Games had just come out around this time, and it was a huge inspiration. I can’t remember reading a book that tense. I wanted to write that kind of book.

Who are some of your favorite authors? What books do you love?

My favorite author is actually an adult writer named Josh Bazell. I love his book Beat the Reaper. I love Hunger Games, naturally. A Song of Ice and Fire is one of my favorite series of all time.

What do you do for fun, when you’re not writing?

I play World of Warcraft with my friends, who currently live in Cleveland and LA (we’re all originally from Cleveland, but I’m in New York now). We all got webcams so we can Skype while we play and it’s ALMOST like hanging out in the same room.


About The Planet Thieves:
Two weeks ago, thirteen-year-old Mason Stark and seventeen of his fellow cadets from the Academy for Earth Space Command boarded the SS Egypt. The trip was supposed to be a short routine voyage to log their required spacetime for summer quarter. But routine goes out the airlock when they’re attacked by the Tremist, an alien race who have been at war with humanity for the last sixty years.

With the captain and crew dead, injured, or taken prisoner, Mason and the cadets are all that’s left to warn the ESC. And soon they find out exactly why the Tremist chose this ship to attack: the Egypt is carrying a weapon that could change the war forever. Now Mason will have to lead the cadets in a daring assault to take back the ship, rescue the survivors, and recover the weapon. Before there isn’t a war left to fight.


Courtesy of Starscape, I have a copy of THE PLANET THIEVES for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends June 14. I’ll draw a name on June 15, and notify winner via email.

Good luck!

Continue reading The Planet Thieves Blog Tour: Dan Krokos Interview and Giveaway!

Author Interview: Jessica Day George

Author Jessica Day George joins today to talk about her new release WEDNESDAYS IN THE TOWER!

Tell us a bit about Wednesdays in the Tower in your own words.

Something’s up with the Castle. Strange new rooms are appearing, old rooms aren’t going away, but Celie’s almost too busy to notice, because in one of the rooms she finds a giant egg, and has to take care of what hatches out!

What is the relationship between Princess Celie and the Castle?

If man’s best friend is his dog, a girl’s best friend is her Castle. At least, it is for Celie!

How did the Castle become a sentient character?

It just sort of came to me one night, but one thing that’s always bothered me about “magic castles” in stories is that it’s usually just a regular ol’ castle that has a wizard living in it. I wanted the Castle to have its own magic, which meant that it had to be alive enough to use that magic.

How many books are planned for the series?

I’m writing #3 right now . . . but I’m keeping mum on anything after that!

Who are some of your favorite authors? What books do you love?

Oh, so many great books in the world! I became an author because of Robin McKinley, I’ve read The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword over and over again! I love Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern, and Patricia Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles! I love Frank Herbert’s Dune, and Guy Gavriel Kay’s Sarantine Mosiac (Huge, HUGE fan of all Kay’s work, really). And Diana Wynne Jones! Howl’s Moving Castle! Archer’s Goon! Dogsbody!

About the book:
When her brother Rolf dares her to catch magical Castle Glower creating a new room, Princess Celie takes the challenge! No one knows the Castle better than she does. But as usual, the Castle has ideas of its own. Celie finds the new room first, and inside it is hidden a giant egg. Does the Castle want Celie to care for the egg and whatever creature it hatches?

Celie hadn’t bargained for a pet, and caring for this one will prove to be especially tricky, once Celie and her siblings realize what else the Castle is hiding.

About The Author:
Originally from Idaho, Jessica Day George studied at Brigham Young University and has been a movie store clerk, a bookseller, and a school office lady before becoming a writer. Jessica lives with her husband, their three young children, and a five-pound Maltese named Pippin who often makes cameo appearances in her books. She is the author of Tuesdays at the Castle, as well as the Twelve Dancing Princesses series, and Dragon Slippers series Visit her website at