This Week's Interviews
The Lens and the Looker by Lory Kaufman
- From Goodreads: It’s the 24th century and humans, with the help of artificial intelligences (A.I.s) have finally created the perfect post-dystopian society. To make equally perfect citizens for this world, the elders have created History Camps, full sized recreations of cities from Earth’s distant pasts. Here teens live the way their ancestors did, doing the same dirty jobs and experiencing the same degradations. History Camps teach youths not to repeat the mistakes that almost caused the planet to die. But not everything goes to plan. In this first of a trilogy, we meet three spoiled teens in the year 2347. Hansum almost 17, is good looking and athletic. Shamira, 15, is sassy, independent and an artistic genius. Lincoln, 14, is the smart-aleck. But you don’t have to scratch too far beneath the surface to find his insecurities. These three “hard cases” refuse the valuable lessons History Camps teach. But when they are kidnapped and taken back in time to 1347 Verona, Italy, they only have two choices; adapt to the harsh medieval ways or die. The dangers are many, their enemies are powerful, and safety is a long way away. It’s hardly the ideal environment to fall in love – but that’s exactly what happens. In an attempt to survive, the trio risks introducing technology from the future. It could save them – or it could change history.
Oh boy, oh boy. This is my first published novel, so a loooong time. Believe it or not, I have computer files and pieces of scrap paper with the words History Camp going back to 1989. That’s over 20 years. But in those years I had kids to help raise, I had a business to run, then a divorce, a business failure, and then a struggle to rebuild my fortunes. But all through it, I retained this compulsion to create, to write. I don’t know why, but I never stopped. And then came the breakthrough. I found out I had A.D.D. and dyslexia and how began realizing how they had influenced my life. Within six months of this I was able to make some changes and get back, able to fulfill my potential. It was understanding a problem, and then taking whatever steps necessary to succeed, that got me on the road to where I wanted to go. I really got serious about my writing in 2005, starting to work almost full time on it. My kids were, more or less, grown, and I had a business that could support me by then. So, this is now 2011. I’ve just turned 60 years old and my first book, The Lens and the Looker, is coming out in March.
“Ta da! Pat, pat, smell the roses.”
How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
Rejections? You’re asking me if I got rejections. If you look in the dictionary under “rejections” you’re going to see a picture of me! I put out over 150 queries to literary agents and got back about 75. Now-a-days, many agents don’t even bother to reply. But that’s one thing about people with A.D.D. We don’t give up.
Finally, Lou Aronica, the famous, the wonderful, Lou Aronica, he had faith in my work. He invited me to publish with his new imprint, The Fiction Studio. I’ll be ever grateful to him. (that man has good taste)
What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Read, Write, Read, Write, Read, Write, Take a seminar, Read, Write, Read, Write, Read, Write, Take a work shop, Read, Write, Read, Write, Read, Write, Take another seminar, Read, Write, Read, Write, Read, Write, Read, Join a writers group, Read, Write, Read, Write, Read, Write, Take a seminar, Read, Write . . . got the picture?
But seriously, sometimes I think it’s impossible to give people advice. A person who is going to make it is going to succeed no matter what anyone says. That’s true, not only for writing, but anything in life.
What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
People look at you like you must be smart . . . and then they get to know you. But really, I’m surprised by the fact that I actually have less time to write now than I did before. With all the promotion and marketing an author has to participate in now-a-days, it really does make it hard to get down to work with an opened and calm mind.
Miles From Ordinary: A Novel by Carol Lynch Williams
- From Goodreads: Thirteen-year-old Lacey wakes to a beautiful summer morning excited to begin her new job at the library, just as her mother is supposed to start work at the grocery store. Lacey hopes that her mother's ghosts have finally been laid to rest; after all, she seems so much better these days, and they really do need the money. But as the hours tick by and memories come flooding back, a day full of hope spins terrifyingly out of control....
Chime by Franny Billingsley
- From Goodreads: Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment. Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He's as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she's extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn't know.
Steel by Carrie Vaughn
- From Goodreads: When Jill finds a rusty sword tip on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued—and little expects it will transport her through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Will a dark enchantment, salty kisses, and a duel with an evil pirate captain leave her stranded in the eighteenth century forever?
Midnight (The Vampire Diaries: The Return #3) by L.J. Smith
- From Goodreads: In Midnight, golden girl Elena Gilbert is back from the Dark Dimension, having successfully freed her vampire boyfriend Stefan Salvatore from imprisonment. Saving Stefan had an unlikely consequence: his vampire brother Damon Salvatore has become a mortal. While the trio reels from this latest twist, they must still deal with the demons that have taken over Elena's hometown, Fell's Church. As in every L.J. Smith novel, no matter how dark the night, there is always a happy ending. MIDNIGHT takes Elena, Stefan, and Damon to their darkest moments yet...Danger, romance, and paranormal mystery will keep readers fascinated with this captivating finale to the New York Times bestselling series.
- From Goodreads: After throwing dozens of quinceaneras for strangers, friends, and plenty of quince-zillas, Alicia, Carmen, Jamie, and Gaz could use a vacation. Unfortunately, with all their time spent planning, they've forgotten to make their own plans--for Spring Break! So when Alicia's mom mentions she has a friend who wants to throw a quinceanera for her daughter--in Texas--the group figures they can combine fun and business. Soon they are heading South. Alicia is excited to meet her new client, Jamie is pumped she can see her boyfriend compete in a big golf tournament, Carmen is looking forward to hanging with her cousins, and Gaz is psyched to be attending the South by Southwest music conference and concert. But with so much going on, it is hard to stay on task. Will Alicia be able to rein in the group or will the drama have her heading for new pastures?
Shimmer by Alyson Noel
- From Goodreads: Having solved the matter of the Radiant Boy, Riley, Buttercup, and Bodhi are enjoying a well-deserved vacation. When Riley comes across a vicious black dog, against Bodhi’s advice, she decides to cross him over. While following the dog, she runs into a young ghost named Rebecca. Despite Rebecca’s sweet appearance, Riley soon learns she’s not at all what she seems. As the daughter of a former plantation owner, she is furious about being murdered during a slave revolt in 1733. Mired in her own anger, Rebecca is lashing out by keeping the ghosts who died along with her trapped in their worst memories. Can Riley help Rebecca forgive and forget without losing herself to her own nightmarish memories?
- From Goodreads: From the moment he sees Amy on a Hong Kong subway, Simon wants to talk to her. But when he finally works up the courage, he finds out he can’t. Because Amy doesn’t speak Chinese, and Simon is failing English. But despite their language barrier, Amy and Simon connect, and they discover they understand each other.
We'd love for you to win THE LENS AND THE LOOKER, MILES FROM ORDINARY, or CHIME. To enter, fill out the form below and leave a comment on this post. The contest is open to US residents and winners will be announced on Thursday morning. Good luck!
The Ladies of ACP