Interview | D. G. Driver | “Cry of the Sea” + Giveaway

Erin Elliott, author of the upcoming fantasy series. “The Sword of Lumina,” stopped by to interview the oh so talented D. G. Driver about her new novel “Cry of the Sea.”

Juniper Sawfeather is choosing which college to attend after graduation from West Olympia High School next year. She wants to go to San Diego to be far away from her environmental activist parents. They expect her to think the way they do, but having to be constantly fighting causes makes it difficult to be an average seventeen-year-old high school student. Why do her parents have to be so “out there?”

Her feelings on the subject are changed when she and her father rush to the beach after a reported oil spill. As they document the damage, June discovers three humans washed up on the beach, struggling to breathe through the oil coating their skin. At first she thinks they must be surfers, but as she gets closer, she finds out that these aren’t humans at all. They’re mermaids!

Now begins a complex story of intrigue, conspiracy and manipulation as June, her parents, a marine biologist and his handsome young intern, her best friend, the popular clique at school and the oil company fight over the fate of the mermaids.

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Erin: Where did you get the inspiration for this story or when did you get the idea for it?

D.G.: When I originally wrote this book, I was in a writing frenzy, coming up with more ideas for books than I had time to write. I had been working on screenplays, novels and doing articles. The 10 year anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill was all over the news, and the idea just kind of sparked into my head. It took a long time to go from there to the finished product. Interestingly, I originally called the oil company in the novel Effron, but I was told that was still too similar to feel safe, so I changed it.

Erin: Is conservation something that you personally feel strongly about?

D.G.: Yes. I like to keep my personal footprint small by conserving water and electricity. I don’t litter; I do recycle. I use a refillable water bottle. Stuff like that.

Erin: Everyone has a different image when they hear the word mermaids, what made you choose the description for yours in your book?

D. G.: In this book I wanted to represent mermaids as if they were real creatures, not those of fantasy. If mermaids had actually evolved under water, they wouldn’t be white-skinned girls with beautiful hair, wearing shells over their breasts. They would be a lot more like fish, I think. I also decided that they wouldn’t be able to talk. That would hardly make sense, would it? So, I made my mermaids communicate more like dolphins with a touch of telepathy.

Erin: Are there plans for a sequel?

D. G.: I’m toying with it. My original plan was to create a series where Juniper Sawfeather encounters a different kind of mythological being in each book, rather than sticking with further adventures with the mermaids. I kind of liked the idea of it being an X-Files, Fringe-ish series for teens.

Erin: When did you decide that writing was something that you wanted to pursue?

D. G.: I’ve been writing since I was a child. I did it only as a hobby, as I really wanted to be an actress. I majored in Drama and was a professional actress and singer throughout my twenties in Los Angeles. I still do community theater here in Nashville. I wrote my first book, a horror novel, when I was in college and took both a playwriting class and a short story class in school. Soon after college I was asked to write a play for a children’s theater, and that sparked my interest in writing for kids. I began seriously submitting my work after that and eventually started selling some. Once I turned thirty, I decided to focus on writing more than performing.

Erin: Is this your first published novel? If not, what are some of your other works?

D. G.: I published 3 middle grade novels around the turn of the century under my maiden name Donna Getzinger. That very small press was located in Florida and suffered some major losses after hurricanes in 2006. They couldn’t recover, and those books are now out of print. Still in print are 3 of the 5 award-winning biographies I co-wrote about classical composers Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel and a nonfiction work called The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. I have also published a couple plays, many short stories, articles, and I’ve had 4 of my plays produced. Cry of the Sea is my first Young Adult novel and the first one I’m publishing as D. G. Driver.

Erin: Do you have other stories in mind for new books along the way? If so, care to share any blurbs about it?

D. G.: I have more ideas than time to write. Currently I am cleaning up two novels. One is a middle grade fantasy novel about a young surfer who encounters a dragon hiding in a cave on the North California shore. The other is a novel about a girl who is mistaken for a boy when she goes to visit her grandmother in rural Tennessee. She is invited to go along to the annual camp-out on an island in the middle of a vast lake. She gets lost trying to get there and then finds out that the boat she is in might be haunted. I originally wrote this as an upper middle grade book for boys, but I am reworking it to a younger end young adult and changed the main character from a boy to a girl to make it more interesting.

Erin: What advice would you give a new writer just starting out in this adventure through the publishing world?

D. G.: My main advice is to read a lot of the kind of book you want to write. Read the blockbusters as well as the little books to see what makes them different and try to evaluate why. I’m a big supporter of joining Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators. They have lots of resources, wonderful support and great conferences both locally and nationally. I highly recommend Ray Bradbury’s Zen and the Art of Writing and Stephen King’s On Writing. These books were very motivational for me when I first started out. Most of all, write. Write junk. Write quickly and blast those stories out. Then put what you’ve written aside and go back and fix it later when you have fresh eyes. I’m doing a blog about rewriting on my web site. It’s just started up, but I will be adding ideas, advice and examples of how to do it every week or two. www.dgdriver.com

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About D.G. Driver

D. G. Driver grew up in Southern California only 30 minutes from the beach. As a girl, she used to dream that magic would change her overnight into a beautiful mermaid. Alas, that never happened, but her love of the ocean never diminished. Even though she is landlocked in Tennessee now, she still only needs one whiff of sunscreen to bring her imagination alive. Thanks to the support of her husband and a sweet drawing of a mermaid done by her daughter that was taped on the wall above her desk to keep her motivated to finish, Cry of the Sea is now her first published Young Adult novel. A dragon picture hangs there now, so we’ll see what happens…

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donnagdriver
Website: www.dgdriver.com
Twitter: @DGDriverAuthor 
Tumblr: d-g-driver.tumblr.com

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About Erin Elliott

I’ve been a preschool special education teacher for the last ten years. I’ve always wanted to be a writer and started writing stories and “books” when I was in high school. I have three books coming out, The Sword of Lumina series. I love spending time with my family, reading, summer and the sun. My lifelong dream is to live in Hawaii someday.

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GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment below and you’re automatically entered to win a free ebook copy of “Cry of the Sea” by D. G. Driver!

Winner will be chosen on or soon after April 6, 2014.

And don’t forget, there’s still time to enter to win the $10 Amazon gift card as well over on THIS post!

Interview | Laura Kennedy | “Double Take” + Giveaway

Alice J. Black will be releasing her paranormal novel “The Doors” from Fire and Ice in the fall of 2014. She took some time to read Laura Kennedy’s brand new release “Double Take” and ask Laura some questions. Read on to get the inside scoop on “Double Take” and leave a comment to win a free ebook copy of “Double Take!”

When sixteen-year-old Brooke Bentley’s green convertible and cell phone conk out during a tropical rainstorm, she believes it’s just bad luck. But when she darts through the dark to a dilapidated Victorian she thinks is the home of a friend and is invited in by a butler in a faded black tux, Brooke knows it must be karma. Because how often do you meet a reclusive 1950′s movie star who thinks she’s actress Terry Moore? And how often does someone as charming as eighty-year-old Laura de France insist on transforming you into a movie star, too? How can something as simple as a dress control your life? It can if it’s the famous green toga worn by actress Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra and you’ll do anything to wear it.

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Alice: What inspired you to write Double Take?

Laura: Two things.

First is the movie Beneath the 12-Mile Reef that was filmed here in the sponge diving town of Tarpon Springs, Florida in 1953. Starring Robert Wagner, Gilbert Rolland and Terry Moore, it’s a Romeo and Juliet love story I weaved into the plot.

Second is my friendship with the sister of ninety-year-old actress Sharon Randall who became my inspiration for Double Take antagonist Laura de France. I was fascinated with stories of Sharon’s years as a child star. Known as Janice Chambers, she was signed to MGM during the 1930s where she worked with other child actors such as Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney.

Alice: Your main character, Brooke, refers to her friends as The Sisters. Which of the Sisters would you say you’re most like and why?

Laura: To begin, the Sisters label came from the fact all four girls in Double Take work at Surf’s Up, the coolest surf shop in Coral Cove. I am definitely Brooke, the novel’s protagonist. Brooke is basically positive and happy, and always tries to do the right thing. She screws up, of course. As she says in Double Take, “Why does everything have to happen to me? I’m a good person, sort of.”

Alice: Do you think you would have liked to wear that stunning green toga yourself?

Laura: Of course I’d like to wear it!

Alice: Was the toga based on a real dress?

Laura: The green toga is real. When writing Double Take, I rented the film Cleopatra starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, then viewed it carefully. Ms. Taylor wore a dozen or so gowns in the film. I chose the toga because it was one of the more modest, making it a realistic probability that Miss de France could own it.

© IMDB

© IMDB

Alice: Who was the easiest character to write?

Laura: When is writing easy? Just kidding. I’d have to say Brooke. Actually, all of my characters were relatively easy since they’re so real to me. Charles Dickens said that sometimes when he wasn’t writing, his characters would tug on his coat sleeve, begging him to get back to work.

Alice: Who was the hardest character to write?

Laura: I wouldn’t say James was hard, but I thought about him a lot. He is a complex character in a complex world.

Alice: Do you know anyone like Laura De France in real life?

Laura: Even though I modeled Miss de France after Sharon Randall, it was only because of her background as an actress. Sharon is far too sweet to be controlling. As for controlling people, we all know a few.

Alice: Do you think all/many girls of her age would do something like Brooke does just to get to wear that dress?

Laura: We all do things to get what we want. And it isn’t just teenage girls. Brooke was guilty of making poor choices. Her parents knew about her relationship with Miss de France, they just didn’t know about the Patent Leather Room.

Alice: Do you know any teenager who would give up so much time to be with someone like Miss de France?

Laura: At present, I don’t know many teenage girls. Guess I’ll have to hang around the Tastee Freeze more.

As for spending so much time with Miss de France, I think there are girls who would. Remember, Brooke initially went to Miss de France’s every day after school out of a sense of guilt because she felt responsible for Miss de France’s heart attack. Miss de France then created enticements so she’d continue to come. For Brooke, it’s all a matter of vanity, beginning with the Cleopatra dress. What girl isn’t vain? “But I wanted the dress!”

Alice: I felt sorry for Laura and James not really being able to strike up a relationship, how did it make you feel to write about the differences in the way people view different races?

Laura: The relationship between Miss de France and James was both beautiful and sad. Obviously, they loved each other very much, but as James told Brooke, “We live in an unforgiving world of black and white.” James met Miss de France in the 1960s, an era when interracial relationships weren’t just frowned upon, they were often illegal as demonstrated in miscegenation laws in many states that prohibited marriage.

Alice: Nick seems like a genuinely nice guy despite what he did with her mother. Do you think Brooke is really in love with him?

Laura: Nick. Nick is genuinely a nice guy. He’s made his mistakes and regrets them. He’s twenty-four now and is maturing.

Is Brooke really in love with him? As much as a sixteen-year-old going on seventeen can be. However, Brooke is also a realist. She knows that for the present, there’s no chance of a romance between them.So being ever hopeful, she’ll move on.

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About Laura Kennedy

LAURA KENNEDY lives in Tarpon Springs, a Greek sponge fishing town on the West Coast of Florida. She grew up in Minneapolis where her mother was a romance writer who helped her father support the family. By the time she was twenty-two, she lived in Southern California, was married, had a baby, and was broke, the perfect Petri dish for the beginning of a writing career. Encouraged by her mother’s writing success, Laura borrowed her mother’s portable typewriter on which she concocted her first story that sold for the staggering sum of $225.

Fire and Ice Page: http://www.fireandiceya.com/authors/laurakennedy/index.html
Blog: http://laurakennedy17.wordpress.com

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About Alice J. Black

Alice J. Black was born in the Northh East England and even as a child had more fascination with books than the outside world. She writes in the supernatural young adult genre and likes to experiment with other genres. She’s an avid writer on her second home, writing.com. Her debut novel, The Doors, is due for publication in September 2014 from Fire and Ice YA Books. She has had other short works published previously in the Writing.com Anthology 2013.

Giveaway

Leave a comment below and you’ll automatically be entered to win a free ebook copy of “Double Take” by Laura Kennedy!

And don’t forget, there’s still time to enter to win the $10 Amazon gift card as well over on THIS post!

New Books || March 26, 2014

So many great new books for you today! (AND the chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card!)

I’m personally excited for all of them, but especially “A Strange There After,” which is the sequel to “Happily Never After” and the second book in Missy Fleming’s Savannah Shadows series. It’s a modern day Cinderella…. with ghosts!

Fans of contemporary fiction will be interested in “Love You to Death” by Melissa March about a young woman running from her stalker – just reading the prologue has me excited to start reading this one.

For the contemporary romance fans, check out “Finding Hope in Texas” by Ryan T. Petty. Can Hope find love and acceptance after the loss of her entire family? I know I’m dying to find out.

Another contemporary fiction release is “Double Take” by Laura Kennedy. When Brooke’s car breaks down and she seeks refuge from the rain, she meets a reclusive woman who believes she’s a movie star from the 1950’s.

Finally, for the historical fans, we have “White Pine: My Year as a Lumberjack and River Rat” by Caroline Akervik. When his father is injured it’s up to Sevy to take his place with the Lumberjacks in the white pine forests of Wisconsin. Will he have what it takes?

Keep reading for more info on each book.

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A Strange There After

(Savannah Shadows #2)

by Missy Fleming

Ghosts exist. Quinn Roberts knows this because she is one – kind of. The spirit of a dysfunctional ancestor, Catherine, has evicted Quinn from her own body, forcing her to live in a world with the paranormal. No one can see, touch or hear her, except the ghosts she grew up with and the bane of her existence, a self-centered paranormal investigator named Boone.

Forced to watch the growing bond between her boyfriend, Jason, and the body snatcher, Catherine, Quinn delves deeper into the history of her family in search of a way to reverse what’s been done. What she finds is a dangerous entity more terrifying than anything she’s encountered before. He’s willing to grant all her desires…for a price.

As Quinn faces painful decisions and makes unlikely alliances, she learns how far she will go to get her life back. Desperation is a wicked thing and she soon realizes that recovering her body may only be the beginning of her end.

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Love You to Death

by Melissa March

Seventeen year-old Arden Elliot is alone, barely surviving life on the streets. All she wants is a place to call home, somewhere she can be safe.

After meeting Det. Cass Bateman, surviving is exactly what she will need to do. He dominates her world, steals her spirit and breaks her body. All in the name of love. She knows if she stays, one day he will love her to death.

On the run she meets Gideon, a Kentucky cowboy. She tries to resist the power of her heart, knowing she doesn’t have the luxury of falling in love, but just when she thinks her life is finally secure, her past comes calling. Now she will have to decide whether to confess everything to her new family or leave them safely behind to run again.

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Finding Hope in Texas

by Ryan T. Petty

How do you move on in your life after a horrible tragedy?

That’s what Hope Kilpatrick must ask after losing her family in a horrible car accident right before Christmas. Unable to deal with the pain, she leaves the haunting memories of her New York home behind and escapes to Texas with an estranged aunt that is her only family.

Still reeling from her loss and the culture shock of her new home, she must also deal with a school bully that has set her sights upon her. Hope’s only solace is the quiet girl at the vacant lunch table, an eccentric history teacher, and the introverted handsome young man she meets at a Texas parade. Finding Hope in Texas deals with the tragedy of loss, the sardonic struggles of teenage life, and the sanguinity in finding a special someone that will help her discover the strength to live again.

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Double Take

by Laura Kennedy

When sixteen-year-old Brooke Bentley’s green convertible and cell phone conk out during a tropical rainstorm, she believes it’s just bad luck. But when she darts through the dark to a dilapidated Victorian she thinks is the home of a friend and is invited in by a butler in a faded black tux, Brooke knows it must be karma. Because how often do you meet a reclusive 1950’s movie star who thinks she’s actress Terry Moore? And how often does someone as charming as eighty-year-old Laura de France insist on transforming you into a movie star, too? How can something as simple as a dress control your life? It can if it’s the famous green toga worn by actress Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra and you’ll do anything to wear it.

“Reading ‘Double Take’ reminded me of my teen years at MGM studios where I had the good fortune to go to the Little Red School House with such young talent as Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney.”

– Sharon Randall, formerly Janice Chambers, ninety-year-old singer/actress.
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White Pine

My Year as a Lumberjack and a River Rat

by Caroline Akervik

After Sevy Anderson’s father breaks his leg in a sawmill accident, the fourteen-year-old must take his place with the rough and tumble lumberjacks and river rats who harvest the white pine forests of Wisconsin. The men of the Northwoods live hard and on the edge, and Sevy must prove his courage and his worth in the company of legends.

Will he become the man he so longs to be?
Will the other men ever accept him?
And will he even survive his first winter in the Northwoods?

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