Authors Who Rock My Socks Off: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Today I’m super happy to present an interview with one of my favorite authors: Jennifer L. Armentrout!

Author’s Bio (taken from website)

# 1 New York Times and International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.
She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Contact her at:
Twitter / Facebook

1. What is your favorite series that you write? Why?

I don’t have a favorite series that I’ve written because I enjoyed writing all of my books for different reasons. My favorite book is usually the one that I’m writing when I’m asked the question, so Scorched is my favorite right now.

2. If you could duel one of your characters who would it be?

Can I chose a turtle? I doubt I would beat any of my actual human characters in a duel, but I think I’d have a shot at beating Michelangelo or Raphael from Wait for You.

3. If you could sum up your whole life into a single flavor, what would it be? What do you think
your life would taste like?

I think it would taste like a 5-hour Energy drink, or maybe coffee, but that’s mainly because I’m always drinking one of them.

4. How long does it take you to decide on your characters names? Have you ever had to change any of them half way through the writing process?

I’m terrible at choosing names for my characters, so I usually chose the first name that I can come up with that seems to fit the character to me. I’ve had to change the name of a character before for various reasons, but I’ve always ended up liking the new name better anyway.

5. You write a lot of romance, if you could pick one of your heros to date, would you? And if so, who would it be?

I think I’d find it hard to turn down most of my male characters, but if I have to chose one right now, I’d probably want to go on a date with Jax from Stay With Me.

Authors Who Rock My Socks Off: Nikki McCormack

Today I’m happy (and lucky enough) to present a debut author and fellow lover of tattoos and the Japanese language. I was really impressed with her first novel The Girl and the Clockwork Cat. Don’t forget to checkout my 5/5 star review.

Bio: (taken directly from her website)
Rising author (and optimist apparently) represented by the fabulous Emily Keyes of Foreword Literary. Wine and tea lover. Slave to my cats. I enjoy horseback riding, kayaking, caving, cycling, gaming, good anime, etc. I am learning Japanese and Iaido because they enrich my writing and my world. Above all, I love to write. I live to write. I write fantasy and science fiction. Watch for my YA steampunk novel, The Girl and the Clockwork Cat in Spring 2014 from Entangled Teen.

Follow on Twitter: @Author_NikkiMc

Summary:
Feisty teenage thief Maeko and her maybe-more-than-friend Chaff have scraped out an existence in Victorian London’s gritty streets, but after a near-disastrous heist leads her to a mysterious clockwork cat and two dead bodies, she’s thrust into a murder mystery that may cost her everything she holds dear.

Her only allies are Chaff, the cat, and Ash, the son of the only murder suspect, who offers her enough money to finally get off the streets if she’ll help him find the real killer.

What starts as a simple search ultimately reveals a conspiracy stretching across the entire city. And as Maeko and Chaff discover feelings for each other neither was prepared to admit, she’s forced to choose whether she’ll stay with him or finally escape the life of a street rat. But with danger closing in around them, the only way any of them will get out of this alive is if all of them work together.

Add to Goodreads

Q & A

1. If you had to fight one of your characters who would you pick? Why?

Do I get a katana? I actually have training with that. If so, I’d be happy to take on a villain. Without it, I’d rather have a match with either of the boys. Neither Chaff nor Ash would be inclined to hit a girl without good cause and they’re both attractive.

2. If you could sum up your whole life into a single flavor, what would it be? What do you think your life would taste like?

Magic tea. Okay, it isn’t magic as in one sip and you can fly or anything, but the one time I forgot it and left it brewing for 10 minutes, it still tasted great. That’s magic enough for me. It’s a blend of chai oolong and chai maté teas with subtle spice and good complexity. It nicely represents the various experiences and emotions I tap into when I’m writing (and it often helps wake me up to do so).

3. How did you decide to use a half-Japanese character for the staring roll in a London setting?

This was one of those ideas that started with a character showing up in my thoughts who had a story to tell. She looked Japanese (which wasn’t too surprising given my interest in the culture), but it made more sense, once I started drawing out her story, that she wasn’t 100% Japanese living in London in that era. I did like that her appearance added one more challenge for her to face while trying not to draw too much attention living in the streets of London and also offered some conflict between the culture her mother brings to her life versus the London culture she’s grown up with.

4. If you personally had to pick between Chaff and Ash who would you pick?

That’s actually a little hard even for me. I really like both of them for different reasons. I might lean toward Chaff personally because he is self-sufficient, not coddling, and has a sense of playful humor about him. Ash has some great qualities as well, including those lovely eyes and willingness to learn along with the ability to recognize when he might have been wrong. As for which one I think Maeko would choose, well, that’s a different question.

5. Are you planning a sequel or will The Girl and the Clockwork Cat remain a stand-alone?

The book was never intended as a stand-alone (that would be a horrible way to end an only book). I’m currently editing book two and have book three partly plotted. It’s mostly a matter of getting it in front of my agent and publisher so we can make sure we are all happy with it. A recent move to a new house slowed me down a little, but I’m excited to be settling in and getting back on track.

6. How long have you been studying Japanese and why did you choose it?

I’ve been studying on my own for a couple of years. I’ve always enjoyed Japanese anime, cinema, and have discovered a recent love for some of the music and food, but studying the language came about because of a series I was writing (hope to get that one out soon too). My main character ended up in a situation where she needed to learn the language and culture of a neighboring country and I didn’t have a good concept of how hard it would be, so I decided to start studying a language. Given my interest in so many things Japanese, it was the logical choice.

CLOSED GIVEAWAY: Authors Who Rock My Socks Off: Stephanie Guerra

I hope you all are as excited for our honored guest and author, Stephanie Guerra, as I am. As usual, our guest star has answered five semi-ridiculous and hopefully fun questions for all of your amusement. Then at the end there will be a giveaway. Instead of just one digital book from me, Stephanie has also put up one book to be sent out to our winner so we will have two winners.

Words about Stephanie’s Novel from School Library Journal:
Starred review Gr 9 Up–Guerra’s gritty novel (Amazon Children’s Pub., 2012) is a spectacularly realistic portrait of a teen torn between her former friends and the new girl in school, running the family household and having fun in high school, and being a friend who goes along with anything or one who really cares. Often stories like this are moralistic, with the good girl celebrated and the bad one shunned. But sometimes the choices aren’t so clear-cut… This is a wonderful story with real characters in real situations…–Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

Q & A
1. In Torn, there is a fight on the quad, have you ever gotten into a school fight?
No, but I’ve seen plenty of them. My closest experience to a fight happened at age fourteen. I was surrounded by girls threatening to beat me up, and a friend intervened and talked them down, allowing me to escape. It happened at night in an isolated spot, and was very frightening. It was also a great life lesson about the power of sticking up for others who are being bullied.

2. Did you draw on any personal experiences when writing about Stella’s rough but wonderful life?
Yes. I drew on my memories of strong high school friendships. I had a very dear friend who was different from me in many ways, but a source of constant moral support. She and I helped each other through some challenging situations. More than anything, that friendship inspired Ruby and Stella by giving me a sense of the ways that very different girls can love and support each other.

3. If you could sum up your whole life into a single flavor, what would it be? What do you think your life would taste like?
I think it would taste like black coffee: an acquired taste, but delicious and energizing when you’re used to it.

4. If you could meet one author, dead or alive, who would you meet and why?

I’d meet Dostoevsky. He’s my hero. He dove into some of the toughest, strangest aspects of the human psyche. I love his grasp of madness and intensity and drama.

5. If your book were to ever become a movie who would you pick to play your characters?

Ruby would definitely be Emma Stone. Stella would be Francia Raisa. Kenneth would be George Clooney. The others are all up for grabs!

Stephanie’s next book – Don’t forget to check it out!


Chance to win a digital or physical copy of the book (2 winners)

Click the rafflecopter link to take you to giveaway!

RAFFLECOPTER LINK

Authors Who Rock My Socks Off/Giveaway: Tessa Gratton

Yes it’s time for another Authors Who Rock My Socks Off! This is another author that I’m extremely excited to have my questions answered by. I had a ton of questions but only limited it to five…maybe someday she’ll let me have a reprise 😀

The author I’m talking about is the very talented Tessa Gratton!Tessa is pictured on the left, that’s your’s truly on the right. (Duh, I’m going to post a pic where I’m with her) Why does she rock so much? She’s very unique in a world where books are very similar. I found that when I read Blood Magic I had read the most original work since I’ve been back in America. I got back in July 2011 and that still holds true.

Awesomeness Written by Tessa Gratton
Novels
Blood Magic (Blood Journals #1)
The Blood Keeper (Blood Journals #2)
The Lost Sun (The United States of Asgard #1)

Anthologies
THE CURIOSITIES: a collection of stories.
DEFY THE DARK
GRIM: An Anthology of Dark Fairy Tales
WEREWOLVES AND SHAPESHIFTERS: Encounters with the Beasts Within
CORSETS AND CLOCKWORK: 13 Steampunk Romances
TALES FROM THE FAR WEST

There are also several of her Merry Fates short stories on her website

Q & A of Awesome

1. If you could duel one of your characters, who would it be?

Do I get a gun, or is this a sword duel? If I get a gun, well, probably Josephine from Blood Magic because she deserves it, and also I don’t trust her aim. If it’s a sword… Mab from The Blood Keeper. She doesn’t have the patience for sword work. I can’t duel any of the characters from The Lost Sun, because they train in combat their whole lives.

2. If you could sum up your whole life into a single flavor, what would it be? What do you think your life would taste like?

Spicy salsa! It’s a staple in most places, but complicated and varied, but also easy to make.

3. You’ve said before that you had to cut some awesome ideas for Blood Magic. What kinds of things had to go?

Whew, this is a very spoilery/interesting question. I’ll say this: in the original drafts, Josephine stabbed Silla, but Reese saved her by switching bodies with her. So Silla survived, but was trapped in her brother’s body. I changed it because it was a very complicated new theme of gender and sexuality, and it distracted too much from what the book was actually about.

4. If you could meet one author, dead or alive, who would you meet and why?

Kit Marlowe, and hopefully get him to admit if he was a spy or not.

5. How long does it take you to come up with your characters names? Do you use name meanings or do you just pick names that you like how they sound?

It depends on the character, but all of them are named for a REASON. Either culture or parentage or a combination of both. Silla got her name bc that’s what her father would have named her, whereas Reese CAME with his name. Mab was named by Josephine (who is a little crazy, but loves poetry and Shakespeare), Will I needed a very strong, normal name. In The Lost Sun, there are some very specific cultural naming conventions because of the world-building I did.

GIVEAWAY TIME
All you have to do is leave a comment with your email address!

What do you get?
A copy of The Lost Sun (hardcover, kindle, or nook format) and some swag from Tessa herself! I don’t know what it is yet so we’ll all have to wait in anticipation.

Giveaway ends on July 4th (10pm CST)! As long as the book depository or ebook store delivers to your country you may participate! Enjoy!

UPRISING BLOG TOUR/GIVEAWAY: Interview with Jessica Therrien

Hey guys! Guess who got another chance to have Jessica Therrien the author of Oppression and Uprising answer a few questions? Yep, that’s me 😀

This is another addition of Authors Who Rock My Socks Off

1.Who is your favorite character in Uprising? Why? Did it change from the first book to the second?

I think my favorite character will always be Elyse, simply because I relate to her so much. Aside from her, I love Alex & Mac. They were so much fun to write. Much like Kara was in the first book, Alex & Mac were very loud/clear voices in my head.

2. If you could pick a special ability for yourself, what would it be? What would your bloodline be?
I’d pick Alex’s bloodline. He’s of Aether, god of the upper air of heaven. I love his ability.

3. When Kara is teaching Else to fight, she really seems to know what she’s talking abou. Have you taken some sort of fighting lessons?
Not at all! I wish though. I did a ton of research on fighting techniques. I watched videos & read about it before I wrote the scene.

4. Did it take you a long time to come up with a dart gun or was that instant magic when you knew Elyse needed a weapon?
It was “instant magic” as you put it, haha! I knew she needed a way to utilize her power, and the dart gun was the perfect weapon for her.

5. In Uprising you addressed something I had been wondering about since the first novel:

“Sometimes I feel like I should be wiser,” I said. “I mean I’ve lived ninety years. Why do I feel so naive?”

“I think everyone’s different. There are old souls and young souls. For a lot of us we act as old as we feel. Who wants to walk around acting like a grandpa, right?”

Was this your plan all along? To have them act as young as they feel/look?

You know, when we were going through content edits with Oppression my publisher mentioned the “act your age” issue. I made the argument that they should act the way they look. I tried putting myself in their shoes. I just couldn’t imagine looking young and acting old. It didn’t fit. Besides, I honestly believe that there are young souls & old souls despite how many years we’ve lived. As for addressing it in the second book…apparently not everyone saw it my way, haha…so I added in that explanation.

Thanks again Jessica for answering my many questions. (I actually had to pick and chose my questions so I wouldn’t have over five ^.^)

Jessica is collecting comments throughout the blog tour. So leave a comment to have a chance to win a poster, notebook, and signed copy of Oppression