I host two amazing YA authors today. Heather Cashman’s book Perception, part of the Tiger’s Eye Trilogy, has received amazing reviews and Amy Maurer Jones, author of the Soul Quest Trilogy, keeps confounding us with a powerful message in her fantastical world. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have fun learning a little more about these wonderful YA authors.
The wonderful writers Fisher Amelie, author of The Understorey and Heather Cashman interview me today here [where you'll read about my most sensational moment] and here. [where you'll find out what I'll eat when the world runs out of chocolate!]
I’m thrilled to let you know about our GIVEAWAY! [for people over 13, internationally]: Winners will be announced Sept. 16 at the next YA Indie Carnival. Just comment [incl. your email address] on any Q & A post ALL DAY TODAY and tweet the carnival [#yaindiecarnival] to enter to win ebooks from the carnival authors plus a special surprise! Full list of 21 books available for giveaway is here. [including Winnemucca, of course:)]
L.A.H.E. : What was the biggest struggle you had to overcome while you were writing Perception?
H.C. : I suppose it was myself, my belief that I could write something that people would enjoy or relate to. I wrote it completely for myself, so I figured everyone else would think it was cheesy. I can see now that it’s not cheesy, or lame. But I still get criticism and am thinking of adding small tidbits here and there without changing the storyline that would make people like it even more. Which proves that my real problem is that I am a perfectionist and want it to be flawless. I doubt that’s actually possible.
L.A.H.E. : What was your most agonizing moment [you’d like to share] in high school?
H.C. : I was a freshman, new to campus, and much prettier than I thought at the time. The Captain of the football team (and a senior) was talking about how he wanted to date me with all his friends. I could hear everything. I was terrified and ran away because I thought he was making fun of me. He wasn’t. I found out later that I had hurt his feelings. He never spoke to me again.
L.A.H.E. : When you were a little girl what was your favorite childhood game?
H.C. : I remember playing jacks and hopscotch. We played a lot outside, rode banana-seat bikes, rode horses, played softball, and ran a-muck among the cactus and creosote.
L.A.H.E. : What are you writing now, and can you share an excerpt with us?
H.C. : Right now I am writing Deception (Book 2 of The Tigers’ Eye Trilogy). It is coming along nicely, and I plan to begin passing it out to my beta-readers by the end of September. I wouldn’t want to share any of it just yet, but thanks for asking.
L.A.H.E. : Can you share one story you have from when you drove the dusty roads of Marana in the first five years of your life?
H.C. : It was an old, red Ford truck, the kind that looks almost round. We didn’t wear seat belts at the time. No one did. My cousin, six months older than me, always got to go first. She would have been about four-and-a-half. (Of course we did this many times, so it’s all relative.) In any case, she was closer to getting her license, which she used to justify going first. Being older held a lot more stock in those days. Life didn’t have to be fair.
The dirt would billow behind us, and if it was really dry, which happens a lot in Arizona, it would often come in the open windows and leave the taste of clay on your tongue. My uncle would never stop driving. One of us would hang out of the passenger window cutting waves through the air with our flat hands or pushing our noses into the wind while the other scooted over and onto my uncle’s lap. We never could touch the pedals, so we would steer the wheel. His hands would drop to his sides and we would think the world was ours to command. Those days ended quite abruptly when my aunt hit a cow on the road to town. We paid the farmer for it and had it butchered for meat, but it totaled the truck.
L.A.H.E. : What’s your favorite Linkin Park song?
H.C. : That’s a hard one. It depends on my mood. Overall, I would have to say . . . Numb. But I really like New Divide. And Valentine’s Day. And Shadow of the Day. And . . .
L.A.H.E. : [did u hear that Mike? hee-hee] Where do you like to write?
H.C. : In bed. It’s terrible, but that is where I tend to be most productive.
L.A.H.E. : What are you reading right now?
H.C. : At this very moment, I am “In Between” (another LP song I love) books. And no, that wasn’t planned, but I had to take advantage of it. I just finished One Shot Too Many, by Maggie Bishop last night, recently read The Hobbit for my book club, and have read a few other books in the last two weeks like Solstice by PJ Hoover, Identity by Betsy Love, and Coexist by Julia Crane. I have so many things on my TBR list, and I’m not sure which is next. I believe it is Wormwood by Danielle Harding, soon to be published. But I’ve really been wanting to revisit a classic like Pride and Prejudice. It’s been a couple of years since I read Jane. I miss her.
L.A.H.E. : What’s one of your favorite memories of your childhood pet?
AMJ : Wow, it is so incredibly hard to choose just one. My mother used to breed Persian cats so several times a year we would have a new litter of kittens pitter pattering around the house. I always enjoyed playing with them and helping to take care of them. They were the cutest little puff balls with their long, fuzzy hair and flat faces. My mother would allow my brothers and I to name them. I remember silly names like Cookie Monster and Yoda.
L.A.H.E. : What is one of your most vivid dreams?
AMJ : Unfortunately my most vivid dreams are always nightmares. In my most recent horrible dream I had taken my students on a field trip and the bus we traveled on broke down (this isn’t the scary part). When I realized I would return to school late I attempted to phone my husband and the office of my children’s school to inform them I would not be able to wait for them at their bus drop off location. I could not reach anyone and immediately envisioned my eight and ten year old children standing alone, in the dark, in an abandoned high school parking lot (their bus drops them off at the school where I teach). When they were younger I would dream about forgetting to pick them up from daycare. I guess this is part of the aftermath of having such a busy life.
L.A.H.E. : Did you keep a diary in high school? Did anyone ever get a hold of it?
AMJ : I actually did not keep a diary but I kept a sort of treasure box. In this box I kept keepsakes; notes from friends, boyfriends, newspaper clippings, friendship bracelets, dried flowers from my homecoming corsage, poetry, pictures… anything that memorialized a special moment. There was one instance where my mother read a note that was written by one of my friends. We got into a huge fight about it. I remember feeling very angry about the invasion of privacy and from that moment on discontinued saving notes. Looking back on the situation my mother was probably right to have read the note. Still, to this day, I remember how violated and betrayed I felt. It really hurt my feelings.
L.A.H.E. : If you could meet anyone from the past, who would it be and why?
AMJ : Edgar Allan Poe; I find his work incredible. I just think it would be amazing to have a conversation with him, to be able to ask him what inspired him to write his master pieces (especially The Raven). I became drawn to and fascinated with his work when I was in middle school. My grandmother once suggested that our family is somehow related to him. Who knows, maybe it is from him that I have inherited my love for writing.
L.A.H.E. : When you need a little inspiration, what’s the DVD you like to play to help cheer you up?
AMJ : Now and Then – Childhood is a time of innocence, adventure and friendship… and then we grow up. This movie helps me to uncover the kid inside when adult life gets to be too much. It helps me to remember my friends, family and those I hold dear to my heart.
Ready to take another ride? NEED MORE? Swing by these wonderful YA Indie writers and reviewers for more Q & A fun and be sure to comment to win!
The Fuji Mermaid Dani Snell’s Refracted Light Reviews
Leopard Girl Patti Larsen Author of The Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House, The Hunted Series and the Hayle Coven Novels.
Fire Breather Courtney Cole Author of Every Last Kiss, Fated, Princess, and Guardian. Also a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
The Magician Wren Emerson Author of I Wish and a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
Strong Woman Nicole Williams Author of Eternal Eden, and Fallen Eden. She is also a contributing author in the Glassheart Chronicles.
Champion Sword Swallower Fisher Amelie Author of The Understorey, as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
Snake Charmer Amy Maurer Jones Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
Pretzel Woman Rachel Coles. Geek Mom. Book Reviewer Author of Diary of a Duct Tape Zombie, Whistles, Beergarden, Plagues, Bees of St. John, and Mushrooms.
The Giant T. R. Graves T.R. Graves: Author of Warriors of the Cross.
Woman With A Song That Hypnotizes Cyndi Tefft Author of Between
Jungle Woman P.J. Hoover Author of Solstice, The Emerald Tablet, The Navel of the World, The Necropolis.
Shape Shifter Alicia McCalla Author of the upcoming science-fiction novel Breaking Free
Tarot Card Reader Heather Cashman Author of Perception
Fortune Teller Abbi Glines Author of Breathe, and the upcoming Existence and Vincent Boys
Knife Thrower Cheri Schmidt Author of Fateful, Fractured, and Fair Maiden