vineri, 19 octombrie 2012

Interview with Belle Whittington

First of all, I’d like to thank lovely Eveline for having me over for a cup of cappuccino and a chat! I’m so honored to be here and for the chance to get to know you all.

1.Please tell us something about you and your book Cicada?
I have been daydreaming stories for as long as I can remember. My first recollection of wanting to be a writer was when I was in the second grade, and my teacher, Mrs. Rambin, would have us lay our heads on our desks after lunch while she read us stories full of magic and imagination.

Most of my early writings were stories with a twist of science fiction…even my earliest poems. I remember sitting on the dam of a neighbor’s pond around the time I was eleven, writing a story about space travel. In fact, I still have that little handwritten story. It’s still bound in the same yellow notebook that I put it in way back in the sixth grade!

Growing up in Nacogdoches, the oldest town in Texas, afforded me summers full of adventure with my friends. I call on those adventures and memories a great deal for my YA stories. Cicada has a lot of the energy of those childhood adventures spun throughout. One of them is something that actually happened to me when I was thirteen years old. I was on one of my adventures in the woods with my dog, Dusty. We made our way through the woods to a neighboring pasture and crawled through the barbed wire fence. When we got to the top of one of the rolling hills in the grassy field, I realized I was standing in the middle of a giant circle imprinted in the pasture grass. No one had ever told me about crop circles at that time in my life, so I just thought it was an odd occurrence that there was a strange circle in the tall grass. Now that circle is forever memorialized in a YA novel, Cicada!

Cicada is a YA paranormal/sci-fi novel, which is set in Willis, Texas. Within the pages of this mysterious book, readers will meet Blair Reynolds, her brother Andrew, and their group of friends and follow their adventures as band together in a fight for their lives.

Would you like to see the book trailer? Check it out here

2.How did the story come in to your mind?
There’s not any one thing that inspired me to write Cicada. I find inspiration in everything around me, and there are a lot of cumulative memories of inspiration from over the years that all culminated in the Cicada trilogy! However, I will say that I did include a lot of actual places from the town in which Cicada is set.
For instance, I pass a ranch on my way home every day (and sometimes night!), and out in the middle of one of the grassy fields is a small forest of trees with a dense wall of tightly-grown underbrush. For years, I’ve imagined that something very mysterious was going on inside that forest, and sometimes at night I’d get creeped out while driving by it! Now readers can get a feel for that forest by reading about the “haunted forest” in Cicada!
Like most authors, I love listening to great music while writing. There are so many talented musicians that inspire me while daydreaming and writing my stories. I thought I'd share my inspiration play lists with your lovely readers. :-)

Cicada inspiration playlist
Firefly inspiration playlist
No. 3 inspiration playlist
There’s even a song for Everett
And as an extra bonus, here’s a song for a very important character readers will meet in Firefly. His name is Ash, and, boy oh boy, do I think readers will love to hate to love him!
Many of Horror
Well, I couldn’t help myself but to include this song, too! Without giving away any spoilers, let me just say that this song inspires a very special moment in book three… Hmmm… I wonder who this song could be about? Any thoughts? Post them below in the comments section!
Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop

I hope everyone will enjoy listening to the play lists while reading the books! And I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on how the play lists fit with my books.
And it must not go without giving many thanks to the awesome musicians whose songs have given me so much inspiration. Thank you for sharing your magic!

3.When did you realize you wanted to be a writer and who are the some of your biggest influences?
I suppose I’ve been writing stories for as long as I could put a sentence together on paper. Before that, I was daydreaming stories. Nowadays, I still daydream stories, weaving them in my mind and heart until they feel alive. Then they find their way through my fingertips and onto the page.

Part of my writing journey has been fueled by my love of literature. Reading a beautiful, ancient heroic ballad, such as Beowulf, or a well-written contemporary novel, such as Hunger Games, is like eating a large slice of the best chocolate cake in the world!

And so, with my love of weaving words and daydreaming worlds into reality, writing has become a natural part of my heart and soul.

What are you hoping to achieve with your book?
That’s a really great question … and one that I haven’t been asked before in an interview. I suppose the first thing I wanted to achieve with my book was something that was just for me … to take the story that was in my head and put it into words. Then I wanted to share it with others, because I felt it was a really good story! I feel it’s been well-received by readers and book reviewers alike, and that makes my heart sing.
Cicada has been out for a year, and I feel so honored that it has reached readers in beautiful Romania. Now my greatest wish is that Cicada will one day be published in Romania. Laura, Ramona, and Sabrina have been so wonderful as to create a publishing campaign for Cicada. You can find out more about it here:
4.Which is your favorite book and favorite author?

I’m not even sure I can answer this question, because I don’t have any one favourite! Of course I love Jane Austen! Who doesn’t? Getting past that, there are so many others! For instance, Suzanne Collins rocked my world with her Hunger Games trilogy! After I finished Mocking Jay, the characters stayed with me night and day until I picked the trilogy up and reread it!

Then there’s Beth Revis and her awesome Across the Universe series! I was completely engrossed with the first two books, and I cannot wait for the next one! Not only are her characters compelling, but the world she created aboard Godspeed is unique and fresh.

Likewise, Amy Kathleen Ryan’s Glow was enthralling. The twist in her story literally caused me to gasp out loud when I read it! I’m looking forward to reading the sequel to her novel!

It goes without saying that I love J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. I still wish I could have gone to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!

As you can see, I could go on and on… so many terrific authors, so little time And, just about with every book I read, I add another favorite author to my list!

5.Do you need some background when you write?

Since I write fiction, most of the story comes from my imagination. However, I’m a research junkie, and I did do some background research while writing Cicada. For instance, I researched Cândido Godói, and I re-read some of my history books on Latin American legends and folklore while writing Cicada.

6.Describe your idea of a perfect day?

My idea of a perfect day starts out with a visit with my mother for coffee and toast. Then a chance to spend the greatest part of the day writing and promoting my books. That means that I’d get plenty of times to get to know my readers, which I adore! And watching a favorite TV show with my daughter at the end of the day is the perfect way to end the ideal day.

7.Please tell us something about sequel?

The title of the sequel is Firefly. It’s an exciting sequel, because readers will see the main character grow and change. Also, readers will be shocked, and perhaps, pleasantly surprised at how many secrets are revealed. For just as the tagline for Cicada is “Can You Keep a Secret?” the tagline for Firefly is “Some Secrets Run Too Deep.”

8.If you could carry only three things with you to a secluded place, what would those three things be?

I would like to take my cell phone, laptop, and notebook. (I use my notebook to record ideas and thoughts for my books.)

9.Anything else you want to share with your readers?
To all my lovely readers, I’d like to say that I appreciate each and every one of you. Thank you so much for your support, your kindness, and for taking the time to read this interview and get to know me better. I’d like to invite each and every one of you to stop by any or all of my social networking sites and say hello. I adore hearing from my readers and I always respond. One last thing I’d like to say is that Romania readers are beautiful, and I’m totally enjoying getting to know you all!

Belle Whittington’s social networking sites:

Kindlegraph (for free e-book autographs)

Where is Cicada sold?

Barnes and Noble

Thanks for your interview Belle :)!

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