Saturday, January 19, 2013

Series Spotlight, Message from & Interview with the Author : The Premonition Series by Amy Bartol

Series Spotlight, Message from Amy & Author Interview
The Premonition Series
By Amy Bartol
YA Paranormal Romance
 
 
First off guys & gals, I'm super stoked to be posting this information for you. Amy Bartol is one of my fave finds of 2012 for sure! I LOVE the Premonition Series!! So today, I'm going to share a little bit about the series & how you can grab your copy to start reading them TODAY!
Plussssss I have a message from Amy & she answered a few questions for me! Eeek!! Happy Happy!

This post is REALLY long BUT I want you to read every single part of it - K? ^_^


 
 
Here we go! First off, Let's look at the entire series thus far!
 
 
 
Synopsis from Goodreads:
"My name is Evie Claremont and this was to be the making of me--my freshman year of college. I had been hoping that once I had arrived on Crestwood's campus, the nightmare that I've been having would go away. It hasn't. I may be an inexperienced seventeen-year-old, but I'm grounded...sane. Since meeting sophomore Reed Wellington, however, nothing makes any sense. Whenever he is near, I feel an attraction to him--a magnetic kind of force pulling me towards him. I know what you're thinking...that sounds fairly awesome. Yeah, it would--if he liked me, but Reed acts as if I'm the worst thing that's ever happened to Crestwood...or him. But, get this, for some reason every time I turn around he's there, barging into my life. What is the secret he is keeping from me? I'm hoping that it is anything but what I expect: that he is not exactly normal...and neither am I. So maybe Crestwood won't be the making of me, but it could be the breaking of me. I have been left to wonder if the dark future my dream is foretelling is...inescapable."
  
 
Synopsis from Goodreads:
"I don’t open my eyes so I can’t see him, but I can smell him. He thickens the air I breathe, choking me with his scent…his aroma. I shiver. I have to resist. If I’m not strong, then I will be relegated to the same fate as this predator whose sickness infects me even now. But now, I crave him and he knows that; he has been counting on my need to end the gnawing pain. How he would savor my surrender. I’m alive, but how much longer will it take until I beg him not to be?"

    
 
Synopsis from Goodreads:
"I hang my head in sorrow for just a moment when I know I am truly alone. I feel like I’m going to my execution, just as he had said. Then I move forward again. I hop a fence of fieldstone and cross a field dotted with Queen Anne’s lace. Goose bumps rise on my arms as I pass the cluster of windmills that I have seen in a dream. The scent is sweet in the field though, not the scent of heat, like it had been when it was forced upon me in visions. I gaze down the hill, beyond the small, whitewashed house that I knew would be there. The church looms dark and grim with its rough-hewn, timber façade, capped by tall, oblong spires reaching to the sky. Black, ominous clouds have collected above the roofline, as if Heaven is showing me the way."




Synopsis from Goodreads:

'Cold, fine drops of rain fall softly on my cheeks as I emerge from the darkness of the ship's interior to the gray, overcast sky of the main deck. Pulling my dark pea coat tighter to my body, the wind lifts red tendrils of my hair. I walk slowly to the railing overlooking the water.

I catch my first sight of the Irish coastline; its craggy landscape makes me shiver in dread. I find it difficult to imagine now how the Gancanagh had made this their home for so long without anyone realizing it. The cold, moss-covered edifices practically scream their presence. As I study the shadows between the falling-down stone, I imagine creeping shapes of undead Faeries grasping the rock, waiting for our ship to draw nearer to their position.

Tipping my face up, I let the rain wash over me. It bathes away the frigid sweat of fear that has broken on my brow. "You don't know how fiercely beautiful you are, do you?" A quiet voice behind me asks, causing me to stiffen and fix my eyes on the rocks along the shoreline.


Next Up:
Iniquity
The Premonition Series #5
A cover hasn't been released just yet but I can't wait!!!
 

Want to get a copy of one or all of these?? Go Here:
 



*note - not all of them are available on B&N but you can buy them on Smashwords & download the epub version for your Nook*

 
Now that you know alittle about each book based on the synopsis, let's learn about the author of this AMAZING series!

 
Who Is Amy Bartol according to, well, Amy Bartol:
I live in Michigan with my husband and our two sons. My family is very supportive of my writing. When I’m writing, they often bring me the take-out menu so that I can call and order them dinner. They listen patiently when I talk about my characters like they’re real. They rarely roll their eyes when I tell them I’ll only be a second while I finish writing a chapter…and then they take off their coats. They ask me how the story is going when I surface after living for hours in a world of my own making. They have learned to accept my “writing uniform” consisting of a slightly unflattering pink fleece jacket, t-shirt, and black yoga pants. And they smile at my nerdy bookishness whenever I try to explain urban fantasy to them. In short, they get me, so they are perfect and I am blessed. 
 
Want to connect with her? Find here in all of these places:
 
 
A Message From Amy 

I’m an indie author, but I started my career by querying agents. There’s a very good reason why I self-publish my manuscript. It has to do with a dog.

When I first wrote Inescapable, I had a different working title for it: The Evolution of Evie. Evie was 170,000 words, more or less, and for about the first three or four months I sent out query letters to literary agents touting this. (A query letter is like a résumé for a manuscript.) Needless to say, I rarely got a response and when I did, it was a form rejection letter.

Then one day, an agent sent me a rejection letter stating that my manuscript was “way too long.” I did some research and discovered that, unless you are a previously published author, you have a better chance of winning the lottery than getting your book published with that word count. (Naïve thy name is Amy.)

By this time, I was almost finished with my second book that was longer than the first. (Lucky me.) Anyway, I did a few rewrites and got my manuscript down to around 135,000 words, but I still wasn’t getting any interest. Finally, I pared my book down to 105,000 words. I sent out about 20 queries and I had an almost immediate response. One of the agencies asked for a query, twenty-five pages of the manuscript, and a brief synopsis. I sent it. A week later, this agency requested the entire manuscript. So, I’m totally geeked, right! You bet your ass right! Someone was finally reading my novel!

Furiously, I researched this agency that was considering representing me and found that one of my most favorite authors (I mean, he is a book-writing machine) is a client of this agency. You notice that I haven’t named this author or the agency; this is because I respect the author and his work and do not wish to taint it. I also do not bear the agency any ill will, so they will remain anonymous, too. Anyway, it’s really not about this amazing author, it’s about his dog. You see, this author has a dog; I think it’s either a yellow lab or a golden retriever (sorry, I don’t have a fact checker) and this author’s dog is also a client of this agency. A client…as in: the dog is an author. (I am so not making this up, if I was, I would have to make it more believable, but because it is nonfiction, it doesn’t have to make sense.)

Apparently, this talented canine has penned a manuscript that reveals the “true spirit of Christmas.” Good for her! At this point, I’m super psyched, right, because these people are giving book deals to dogs! (I can’t lose!) They have to give one to me, too! (Naïve, thy name is Amy.)

About a month later, I received my rejection letter stating that I was not a “good fit for the agency at this time,” which left me to think: I must be the worst writer in the world if a dog can get a book deal and I can’t. That was my first thought. My next thought was: maybe I’ve been too harsh with my criticism. Maybe this dog is really talented and mystical and has discovered some insight on a holiday that most of my relatives manage to screw up annually and with aplomb. (Ha, ha.)

Mystical dogs aside, it was for me the deciding factor in my decision to self-publish. I could have sent out more queries, but I didn’t like my book at 105,000 words and I was trying to please people I don’t understand. At the end of the day, I want to like what I write and it took a dog to teach me that. So, maybe it is a mystical dog after all.

I never thought that I would get this far in my writing career. I have only one explanation for my success and that is that it comes at the hands of my readers. You have been so generous to me. Since I’m an independent author, I have no publicity machine driving my work. That has been you. You tell your friends, your sisters, your mothers, and your grandmothers to read my stories. I’m so grateful for your support. Never in my wildest dreams could I have conceived of you when I was sitting alone in my room with my computer, dreaming dreams of other worlds. So thank you for being incredibly generous with your time, with your praise, and with your enthusiasm. I am humbled by it and by you.

 
A Few Questions for Amy
 
I'm so excited that I had the opportunity to ask Amy a handful of questions! I enjoy getting to know authors & I LOVE having the opportunity to "interview" them. It really makes blogging even more fun!

Who would you consider to be your role models when it comes to writing? Have you had the pleasure of meeting them in person?

Amy: I can name so many authors whom I admire, but the three core writers that I consider my role models are: Markus Zusak, Ray Bradbury, and Diana Gabaldon.

I Am The Messenger, by Markus Zusak, is a story told from the point of view of the main character, Ed Kennedy, an underage cabdriver who has a coffee-drinking dog named The Doorman and a secret crush on his best friend Audrey. Written in the present tense, it’s funny and heart pounding and sad and euphoric. It reads like you can step into Ed’s shoes, breathe his air, see what he’s seeing. I admire that so much. I want to write characters that, when you read them, make you feel as if you’ve stepped into the pages, assumed their life, and are now breathing their wild air. Zusak is a master at the first person present tense.

If Markus Zusak is a master, then Ray Bradbury is a writing demigod. Something Wicked This Way Comes is pure genius. Ray Bradbury not only allows you to live in his world, he paints it with wisdom of experience so that you feel as if you’ve learned something about life and human nature when you’ve finished one of his stories.

As far as romance goes, I bow down to Diana Gabaldon. She created Jamie Fraser and Claire Beauchamp in the Outlander series. Outlander is my favorite book. I’ve had to buy several copies of it over the years because they’ve all fallen apart; I’ve re-read them too many times. No one conveys raw emotion like Diana Gabaldon. No one.

I have never had the pleasure of meeting any of these authors, but that’s okay because I think I would have a fangirl heart attack and drop dead on the spot if I did.


Me: Okay, I feel totally crazy saying this but I haven't heard of any of them so thank you for introducing me to them! I'll have to go pick up the Outlander Series! Ha - I'm in a constant state of fan girl craziness these days because I get to interact with fabulous authors like you! *Happy Dance*


What would you say was the most difficult part to writing The Premonition Series? Easiest?

Amy: There have been a couple of hard scenes for me to write. I think the hardest, so far, has been the second half of “Copper Mining,” which is chapter eleven in Intuition; it’s the part where Brennus locks Evie in a cell in the caves of Houghton. I had to live down there with Evie in that cell for a few days as I wrote it and she went slightly mad. It was difficult for me because I sometimes feel like I’m in the room with my characters. When I have to leave them, and subsequently leave their world to go back to my own, I still feel like I can’t transition back to my life fully. I still linger there with them until the bad part is over. So it leaves me straddling two worlds, not fully in either one of them.

The other hard scene to write was chapter ten of Indebted; it’s called “Survival.” I had to torture Russell and Brownie. I hated that. It was tantamount to the same thing; I get stuck there with them until the scene is written.

The easiest scenes to write are the ones I don’t write; they’re the ones I let my characters write. Chapters written in Russell’s point of view and scenes with Brennus in them practically write themselves.

Me: I definitely understand how those scenes would be difficult to write. I know, as a reader, we're right there with them and it's awful. I always end up feeling like I've been put through the ringer myself whenever I read through rough scenes. I see where it would be ten times more emotional actually writing and working through those scenes as the author. >_<

I love knowing that characters evolve all on their own. Ha - I can see Russell especially having a mind of his own. I'm sure he had something to say about everything ;)



What made you decide to write Urban Fantasy / Romantic Suspense? If you had to choose another genre to jump into, which one would it be?

Amy: I've been a really avid reader of the paranormal fantasy genre for a while now. I was obsessed with Odd Thomas, Twilight, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter to name a few, so I knew I wanted to write a story that took place in the “real world,” but which also had supernatural elements to it.

If I had to choose another genre, I’d have to say dystopian because I’ve recently written an unpublished novel in that vein.

Kricket is a working title for a manuscript I wrote in 2010. I wrote it in tandem with Incendiary. I’d write a couple of chapters of Incendiary, and then toggle over to Kricket and write a few chapters of it. I did that because I was afraid that after writing three Premonition Series books the storyline would get stale if I didn’t mix it up. I had also been interested at the time in trying to find an agent to represent my work, so I wrote it with word count in mind. It’s only 90K, which is 50K less than Inescapable. Essentially, Kricket is a dystopian novel with sci-fi and supernatural elements intended for the young adult market.

Seventeen-year-old Kricket Hollowell’s only wish is to find a home where she belongs. An expert at dodging the Chicago Department of Social Services caseworkers who want to force her back into foster care, Kricket is unprepared to avoid Trey and Kyon, soldiers from opposing factions sent from another world to remand her back to their own. Desperate to avoid capture and remain in the city, Kricket trades one cultural prison for another when Trey takes her beyond this reality to an entirely new one. With her uncanny ability to discern truth from lies, Kricket will need every instinct, all her street sense, and the gifts that she has inherited from her priestess mother in order to avoid being controlled and sold to the highest bidder. And...she’ll need Trey.

The thing I really love about this character, Kricket, is that she’s not like Evie. She’s completely ready to smack the taste out of your mouth if you back her into a corner, so she’s fun to write. I have written one book in this series and I plan to make this a trilogy.

Me: Ooh I love Kricket's character already. Based on the synopsis, it sounds like a great story! I hope it hits the shelves soon ;)

Since your trials of obtaining an agent and subsequently deciding to self-publish, what words of advice or encouragement would you give to others who are going through this exact same process right now?

Amy: Never give up. If your dream is to be a writer, find a way because there is one...in truth, there are several, but you only need one. Oh, and never let anyone tell you that you can’t do it or that you shouldn’t do it. Live it, be it—pretend until you can make it real.

Me: Definitely words of wisdom! "Pretend until you can make it real." Love that!

I love how Brownie & Buns were based off of real friends of yours from college. Is there a crazy story that you can share with readers that really happened during your adventures in the Golden Goose?

Amy: The Golden Goose was in far too many misadventures to name. It was in the “Ketchup And Syrup War”(and, yes, it was a war with the Delts wherein the weapons were ketchup and syrup.) It was our tank. After the war, the smell in the Goose was ungodly after it had baked in the sun for a few days. We tried to clean it, but in the end I think the Goose had to be professionally cleaned. Poor Mr. Longbons (Buns’ dad). He was sort of our financer of fun.

Me: Hahahaha eweee.... >_<

Do you have a funny quirk that readers don't know about you? A certain chair you have to sit in to write, a certain shirt you have to wear, etc.

Amy: I like to wear yoga pants when I write, not because I might do yoga at any point, but because they’re damn comfortable.

Me: Ha. I'm jealous! I wish I could wear comfy clothes to work!

Was there a character in The Premonition Series that you connected with the most out of everyone? Someone whose Point of View flowed effortlessly while you were writing?

Amy: Writing from Russell’s POV (point of view) is by far the easiest. Okay, this is going to sound strange. I just want to say upfront that I am completely sane and I do realize that my characters are imaginary. Russell and Evie are the easiest to write. Russell “talks” to me the most—he's chatty—he likes to tell me his story and he makes me laugh out loud sometimes with what he says. He’ll wake me up in the middle of the night talking about where the story should go next and I usually have to get up and write it down to shut him up.

Brennus is only second to Russell for “talking.” Brennus would completely take over if I let him write the story. I’ll probably have to write from his POV soon, but I’m afraid he’ll “kill all da aingeals” if I do. He’s sort of a tyrant.

I was afraid to write in Reed’s POV because I didn’t think that I could do him justice. I didn’t think that I could convey his intelligence. He “talks” to me the least. He is my most mysterious character, but when he does speak, I hang on his every word. Now that I have written from Reed’s POV, I’ll probably do it more often.

Me: Ole Russell - I can just imagine him chattin' it up. I'm sure he's probably woken up several times with ideas - probably several involving taking Reed out of the picture ;) I enjoy reading from all of their POV and I love that each character's distinct personality shines through. Ha - Brennus would probably wreak a world of havoc if you gave him the reins. There's no telling where the story would go but I'm pretty sure he would definitely have "his heart" back under his roof & bed.

Looking back, is there something that you wished you would've done differently during the series? Any outcome or event you'd like to change? Why & how would you have changed it? 
Amy: If I changed one thing, it would be to soften Russell’s accent so that it’s not so strong and prevalent in Inescapable and Intuition. I think that if I had put less stress on it, maybe readers would’ve found him more likable in the first two books. I began to soften Russell’s accent in Indebted and I really gave it a polish in Incendiary. Russell gets less criticism in the latter books than the former ones. I’m pretty sure it’s mostly because of the accent.

Me: Coming from Louisiana, I'm pretty used to the strong accent so I really didn't notice that his was really strong unless I compared him to everyone else. I had a few friends in mind when I would read Russell's dialog. LOL I can see where that would be something to soften though. I'm sure people who aren't used to that type of accent would say "whoah - wait, what did he say?" hahaha I can just imagine people trying to sound it out ;)

Amy: Thank you for this incredible opportunity to be on your amazing book blog, Kayla! I am truly grateful.

Me: Oh my gosh! Thank you! I'm so excited that you were able to take some time and chat. I'm honored to have your series spotlighted on my blog! I absolutely <3 the Premonition Series & can't wait to see what you come up with next!!!
 


 
 
 
 
 
 


4 comments:

  1. Thank you for being completely awesome, Kayla! I had fun chatting with you! <3

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    1. Thank YOU for being totally fabulous!!! I had so much fun & enjoyed being able to spotlight one of my fave series & an amazing author! ^_^

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  2. I love this series....Amy is an artist.

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    1. Definitely!!! Thanks for stopping by!

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Thanks for stopping by & chatting with me! I try my best to respond to every post but it does take me a few days! Don't think I'm ignoring you - I promise, "non-fiction" life just gets me bogged down sometimes. :) Thanks again!!! I <3 my followers