Thursday, 24 April 2014

Blog Tour Author Interview & Giveaway - Justice Buried by Hilary Thompson




Justice Buried
Series: Starbright #1 
Release date: January 15, 2014

Book Description:
The people need Justice, but she's not listening. One hundred years before, the Great Sickness reduced the world to three cities. Now the community of Asphodel is trapped underground, waiting for the prophesied maiden of Justice to return and save them from their Fates. 

Sixteen-year-old Astrea is supposed to be this savior - too bad for them she isn't a believer. Trea fights against her false destiny: she rebels against her family and friends, then refuses her arranged marriage to the charming but deceitful Lexan. Learning her life is in danger, Trea is forced to trust Lexan - until she discovers a power she never knew she had, and one he already knew he did. 

As betrayal closes every door, Trea decides she must submit to her stars and accept her fate. Then a handsome stranger offers her an unexpected escape and the chance to create her own destiny.

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Author Interview

Tell us a bit about your writing background. How did you get started writing for YA?

The first book I tried to write was horrible: the plot was convoluted, the characters were cheesy. The next story I tried was historical fiction; I got bogged down in the research and in trying to be too “literary.” My voice wasn’t right or ready for that. Maybe I’ll grow into it later…never delete!

When I was a young adult, I read adult books - classics from the Official List of Important Books. When I graduated college and had more free time, I read all kinds of genres - anything with a cool cover (yes, I too am that shallow - designers take note).

Eventually I found new favorites, and nearly all were in that YA category I’d been hearing about. YA authors to whom I will always be indebted include: Maggie Stiefvater, Laini Taylor, J. K. Rowling, Veronica Roth, Brigid Kemmerer, Susan Kaye Quinn, and so many others.

Luckily, I also read some bad ones. This was excellent because it made me think “I could do better than that.” Which isn’t nice, but it’s fantastic motivation! So once inspiration struck me senseless, I wrote and wrote until the story left me alone long enough to order a cover and push my baby book into the world. I wouldn’t mind branching out into other genres eventually, but I credit YA with giving me permission to be the writer I am.

Who/What were your earliest influences?

My mom and dad always encouraged me in my love of reading and writing, so that early support was a huge influence that I was insanely lucky to have. I also had lots of encouraging teachers along the way, and friends, colleagues, etc.

But you probably mean writing influences. One of my absolute “formative” books was Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery. It’s old, and it was old when I found it. But Anne is amazing - I think she might be a great-grandmother to Astrea in Justice Buried! She even has red hair. Hence my love affair with the feisty red-haired heroine.

Did you face any early challenges to finding success in writing?

Without dissecting the concept of success, just finishing the book was huge for me! I tried so many times and failed because I wasn’t ready. My voice wasn’t ready, I hadn’t read enough in the right genre, and I hadn’t lived enough to make my characters realistic. I had to make myself just keep writing, even when I had nothing tangible to show except a slowly-growing word count.

So obviously, one of my biggest challenges is patience. I want everything to happen NOW. I wanted to snag the first agent I queried and get the six-figure book deal and movie rights…and on and on. But that just doesn’t happen. (If it happened to you, don’t tell me…please, for my own sanity.)

For me, that waiting game was the time I needed to step back and evaluate what exactly I wanted out of a writing career. Once I looked at ALL the options, I decided to go with self-publishing. I’m a bit of a control freak (okay, a lot of one) and this path allows me to succeed in the ways I want to, and in as many ways as I have time for!

What are your favorite books as a reader today? What qualities in them appeal to you?

There are so many writers I enjoy, and I’m so lame at favorites. Every new book becomes my new favorite! However, I adore Laini Taylor’s Smoke and Bone series, Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Boys series, and Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series. Those writers are my role models now - great, original stories with gripping characters and lyrical writing.

What do you do outside your writing life?

Right now writing occupies a small percentage of my hours - hopefully that will begin to shift soon! I also teach high school English, which I really love doing, even though it keeps me so busy. I try to spend lots of time with my babies, ages five and three, and my husband, when he’s not working too!

What encouragement helped you along the way?

I found a few good buddies to read my stuff - people who know their books, but still love mine! My editor is my best friend, and her daughters are my favorite beta readers! Their enthusiasm keeps me going when I get mad at my characters for making a mess of things.

What advice do you have for beginning writers?

Read and write, then repeat. Read widely, and write in a variety of styles and genres. Otherwise you’ll stagnate. I’m always suspicious when writers don’t read much. You wouldn’t aim to be a musician without listening to music. You wouldn’t expect to play a sport well without ever watching others play. To me, it’s the same thing. If you want to improve, you look at the masters, the ones who are doing well. If you want inspiration, you read outside your favorite genre. If you want to stand out, you need to know what’s already been done.

What's up next for your fans?

The second book in the Starbright trilogy, Balance Broken, will be out this fall. I have a lot of work to do over my summer vacation! I have a truckbed full of other ideas, too, but I want to finish this series before I start another!

What has been your biggest compliment?

I get so many warm fuzzies when people say they couldn’t put the book down, or that they stayed up late to read it. That means I did my job and held your attention - I entertained you. With all the stress of daily life, if I can make a few hours of a person’s day better (like many writers do for me) then I am supremely happy!

Is there anything you'd like to say to your fans and readers?

Thank you so much for reading and talking about the book, and everything else you do! I could write without you, but it just wouldn’t be any fun! <3


About the Author

Hilary Thompson is an independently-published author who released her debut Young Adult novel, Justice Buried, in January, 2014. Justice Buried is the first in a dystopian fantasy series incorporating mythology and astrology, with the second full-length title due later in 2014.

She also teaches high school English, which gives her some insight into her target audience, and helps her maintain a thick skin.

Author Links:



***Giveaway***

A signed copy of Justice Buried (U.S. only) and an Amazon gift Card (INT) up for grabs.

7 comments:

  1. This book would be great for my dystopian reading challenge!

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  2. Sounds intriguing. Love the cover too

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  3. sounds dystopian which is always good, love the genre - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

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