Wednesday, July 19, 2017

COVER REVEAL: Deception So Deadly / Clara Kensie

It's cover reveal day for Deception So Deadly by Clara Kensie! This super-romantic psychic thriller will be released on August 15th by Snowy Wings Publishing. The cover was designed by Key of Heart Designs.



Title: Deception So Deadly
Author: Clara Kensie
Release Date: August 15, 2017

Publisher: Snowy Wings Publishing
ABOUT THE BOOK

Book One in Clara Kensie's YA paranormal thriller Deception So series, Deception So Deadly was originally published as the Run to You serial parts 1 – 3, and is the winner of the prestigious RITA© Award for Best First Book.


RUN. It’s all sixteen-year-old Tessa Carson has ever known. Hunted by a telepathic killer, Tessa and her family have fled home after home, hiding behind aliases to survive. Her scars are more than just physical, and as the only one in her family without a psychic ability, she lives a life of secrets, lies, and fear.

After the Carsons flee to a new hideout and take on new identities yet again, Tessa meets confident, carefree Tristan Walker. Their attraction burns fierce, but she runs from him too, knowing their love can never be true when she can’t even tell him her real name.
But Tristan has secrets as well—secrets that will either save Tessa, or destroy her. The only way Tessa can save her family—and uncover the real reason they’ve been hunted all these years—is to forget everything she’s learned from a lifetime of running away, and run straight into danger head-on.

Danger. Deception. Betrayal. It must be first love.

"A dark, suspenseful, and romantic ride!" - USA Today
"The perfect blend of mystery, romance, paranormal thrills, and danger." - Mundie Moms
"A well-written YA paranormal read, with welcome dashes of thrills and plot twists, Kensie has written a gripping and engaging series that features great family dynamics and the enormity of first love." - RT Book Reviews
“A thrilling story, packed with twists, secrets, and swoon-worthy romance. I couldn’t read it fast enough!” ~Erica O’Rourke, author of the Torn trilogy (Kensington) and the Dissonance series (S&S BFYR)

PRE-ORDER

**Special ebook pre-order price of only 99¢**
Pre-order Deception So Deadly now:
Amazon (Kindle)
Everywhere else*
(*new retailers added daily)
Add it on Goodreads
Paperbacks available for purchase on August 15th

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Clara Kensie, author of dark fiction for young adults
…don’t forget to breathe…


Clara Kensie grew up near Chicago, reading every book she could find and using her diary to write stories about a girl with psychic powers who solved mysteries. She purposely did not hide her diary, hoping someone would read it and assume she was writing about herself. Since then, she’s swapped her diary for a computer and admits her characters are fictional, but otherwise she hasn’t changed one bit.

Today Clara is a RITA© Award-winning author of dark fiction for young adults. Her debut, the super-romantic psychic thriller Deception So series, was named an RT Book Review Editors Pick for Best Books of 2014, and Deception So Book One: Deception So Deadly, is the winner of the prestigious 2015 RITA© Award for Best First Book. The first two books in the series, originally released as the six-part Run to You digital serial in 2014, are being released in print with new Deception So titles and gorgeous new covers, starting with Deception So Deadly in August 2017 and Deception So Dark in February 2018. The series continues with Deception So Dangerous in August 2018.

Clara’s critically-acclaimed novel Aftermath (Simon and Schuster/Simon Pulse), a dark, ripped-from-the-headlines drama about hope, healing, and triumph over tragedy in the tradition of Room and The Lovely Bones, is on Goodreads’ list of Most Popular Books Published in November 2016, and Young Adult Books Central declared it a Top Ten Book of 2016.

Clara’s favorite foods are guacamole and cookie dough. But not together. That would be gross.

Find Clara online:
Subscribe to her newsletter
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clarakensie.com

Monday, July 17, 2017

If the Jane Colt trilogy were graphic novels...

Two years ago, I released the third and final installment of the Jane Colt trilogy into the world. In celebration of the series' completion (and just because I thought it'd be cool), I commissioned these illustrations... a glimpse at what the books might look like if they were graphic novels :-)




Friday, July 14, 2017

BNG FRIDAY: The Verne Shot


Every Friday until its publication, I'm going to blog something about Brave New Girls: Stories of Girls Who Science and Scheme, a YA sci-fi anthology featuring tech-savvy heroines. The goal is to encourage more girls to explore Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math careers. Revenues from sales of the anthology will be donated to a scholarship fund through the Society of Women Engineers. 


Today, I'm spotlighting Brandon Draga's "The Verne Shot," a steampunk adventure set in 19th century Canada. Sadie Ross, the daughter of a Mountie who lives out in the cold woods of Canada, loves tinkering and Jules Verne books. So of course, when her dad gives her a broken revolver, she fashions it into a laser gun. Only one problem: she can't figure out how to power it. I absolutely adore the old-timey setting of this story. Sadie's world really comes to life, and though the tech is steampunk, it feels like historical fiction. When Sadie's dad goes after a dangerous criminal, Sadie fears the worst and goes out after him, hoping to help. Of course, adventure and mayhem ensue. Though Sadie's a quiet bookworm, she's bold when it matters, and I can't wait for y'all to meet her!


TITLE

The Verne Shot 

AUTHOR

Brandon Draga

STORY DESCRIPTION

​Sadie Ross, an inquisitive girl living in late 19th Century British Columbia, is a spirited inventor who is one breakthrough short of her greatest creation yet. When her father, a sergeant in the Northwest Mounted Police, vanishes on a mysterious manhunt, Sadie and her invention may be the only hope of seeing him home safe.

AUTHOR BIO

Brandon Draga was born and still lives just outside Toronto, Canada. Drawn to fantasy and world mythology at a young age, his interests segued into his pursuing a Bachelors Degree in History, only realizing years after the fact that he spent more time writing his own personal work than he did some of his papers. In 2014 Brandon released his first novel, The Summerlark Elf, as well as the fantasy children's book Dragon in the Doghouse (with illustrator Deanna Laver). When he isn't writing, Brandon enjoys skateboarding, tabletop games, and playing old punk songs poorly on guitar.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/brandondragaauthor

Twitter: @brandondraga
Instagram: @brandondraga
website: www.brandondraga.com

THOUGHTS ON BRAVE NEW GIRLS

I want to work toward a world where the "smart girl" is no longer a token trope, and where young women don't have to be reminded that they can be whatever they want when they grow up, because it is simply a fact.


BRAVE NEW GIRLS: STORIES OF GIRLS WHO SCIENCE & SCHEME will be released in August 2017!



SIGN UP FOR THE RELEASE DAY MAILING LIST: http://eepurl.com/bgBmvD

VISIT THE BRAVE NEW GIRLS WEBSITE: http://bravenewgirls.weebly.com/

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Behind the STARSWEPT book trailer

Whether book trailers do any good with regard to sales and marketing is perpetually up for debate. A few things are known for certain though: 1) They can't hurt 2) They're hella fun.

Big publishers sometimes produce life-action, cinematic trailers for their marquis titles. Those of us who don't have such resources and whose budget is determined not by a million-dollar marketing team, but by one's savings account and willingness to subsist on ramen, must find other solutions.

In my case, I decided to go abstract for the STARSWEPT book trailer. I didn't have the means to stage elaborate reenactments of the book's scenes... especially since it's space-age sci-fi. Besides, this ain't a movie. Showing things literally wouldn't do any good... it'd be a trailer for a film that would never be released. And it would limit readers' imaginations, since they'd be forced to picture the trailer's depiction of scenes instead of imagining them.

I wasn't aiming to illustrate scenes, but rather to capture the tone of the book... a mix of galaxy-spanning sci-fi, classical arts, and fairytale romance. Since the story takes place at a futuristic performing arts school, where students compete to gain alien patrons who sponsor their careers on a utopian planet, I knew from the get-go that my trailer would feature a combination of performing arts and space images. And while combing my book for ideas, I came across this bit:



It was then that I realized that I accidentally (I mean, intentionally after much pondering and a visitation from my muse :-P) illustrated this very concept with my book cover. On it, Iris is literally floating in a nebula... a star being created from colorful dust.


Symbolism completely on purpose. Not at all because I just thought it was pretty. I am an ARTISTE ;-)

As long as I had this concept going for me, I decided to expand upon it for the book trailer. I combed stock footage websites for videos that captured the tone I was going for... the grace and romance of performing arts and the beauty and futurism of nebulas. Then I faded the footage into each other to create the feel of performing artists appearing out of clouds of stardust. In addition, I tried to find footage depicting stage lights and bright stars, so I could blend them and have stage lights turn into stars... and fledgling suns turn into spotlights. After all, a big solo is a day in the sun.

The hardest part was finding the right soundtrack. I tinkered with the idea of composing something myself, but concluded that I just didn't have the right resources (my small collection of instruments and synths has served me well, but sadly, I can't turn myself into a full classical orchestra). So it was back to the stock libraries I went.

I knew right away that I wanted something orchestral, something classical-sounding without being actual classical music (though I did briefly consider using Mozart... problem was, it made the trailer seem like it was for a historical drama or that it was being played ironically). A lot of the stock music I found was epic, pounding trailer music, which was awesome, but totally wrong for my dreamy sci-fi romance... my fairytale in space. I filtered the results for slower pieces... I wanted something graceful and haunting.

Then, I found a choral and orchestral piece that gave me chills when I listened to it. Bingo: I had my song. As a bonus, the words the choir was singing (though hard to make out if you're not listening for them) matched perfectly; they sing "Come back to me" over and over, which is a common thought for my star-crossed lovers (who are separated by actual stars). 

After I had my pieces, it was time to put it all together. I opened with a shot of the camera approaching Earth... something that illustrates the arrival of the telepathic aliens that kick off the premise. Then, I added my performing arts school/nebula... performers appearing from stardust and stars turning to stage lights. I ended with a shot of a spaceship flying into the distance to illustrate the aliens taking the artists away... and Iris's eventual journey across the universe. Below is the final result, and I must say, I'm proud of it!





Friday, July 7, 2017

BNG FRIDAY: The Swiss Cheese Model


Every Friday until its publication, I'm going to blog something about Brave New Girls: Stories of Girls Who Science and Scheme, a YA sci-fi anthology featuring tech-savvy heroines. The goal is to encourage more girls to explore Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math careers. Revenues from sales of the anthology will be donated to a scholarship fund through the Society of Women Engineers. 


Today, I'm spotlighting T. Eric Bakutis's "The Swiss Cheese Model," which tells the story of a disastrous storm on a colony planet  and the young robotics programmer who keeps it from devastating her people. 15-year-old Jun Chang isn't supposed to mess with improvisation programs--which allow robots to act independently rather than just following commands--so she hides out in a cave to do just that. And she eventually creates three robotic pets: a large one on tank treads called Bear, a smaller one on four legs called Dog, and a little flying one called Gyro. First of all, how cute is that concept! Jun loves her robotic pets the same way any kid would love her dog or cat... especially since she "trained" them herself. When the storm hits, a sudden solar flare locks everyone inside the colony, leaving them unable to reach a dam in danger of collapsing and flooding their food supply. Only Jun--and her pets--are outside, so she takes it upon herself to face the storm's dangers. Jun's a great character--brilliant and brave yet also vulnerable and human. It's a fun adventure full of excitement and heart, and I'm excited for y'all to read it!


TITLE

The Swiss Cheese Model 

AUTHOR

T. Eric Bakutis 

STORY DESCRIPTION

A teen robotics programmer uses her wits, pet robots, and bravery to stop her colony's dam from collapsing and wiping out their food supply.

AUTHOR BIO

T. Eric Bakutis is an author and professional game designer based in Maryland. His first book, Glyphbinder, was a finalist for the 2014 Compton Crook Award, and he completed his first fantasy trilogy in March 2017. His short fiction has appeared in a number of markets including anthologies from Ragnarok Publications and Deepwood Publishing. He has been closely following developments in virtual and augmented reality for years and loves talking about how VR and AR will change our lives in the near future.

Website: www.tebakutis.com

Twitter: @TEricBakutis
Facebook: Facebook.com/TEricBakutis
Blog: 1500wordstories.wordpress.com

THOUGHTS ON BRAVE NEW GIRLS

I work in a field (videogame design) that would benefit greatly from more female voices, designers, and programmers. I want my daughter to be able to pursue any field that excites her without worrying about harassment or discrimination, and I’m happy to contribute to causes that support that goal.


BRAVE NEW GIRLS: STORIES OF GIRLS WHO SCIENCE & SCHEME will be released in August 2017!



SIGN UP FOR THE RELEASE DAY MAILING LIST: http://eepurl.com/bgBmvD

VISIT THE BRAVE NEW GIRLS WEBSITE: http://bravenewgirls.weebly.com/

Monday, July 3, 2017

Shore Leave Panel Schedule!

Say, who's going to Shore Leave in Hunt Valley, MD this week? I'll be there! Exhibiting in the dealer's room with my fellow Red Adept author, Elizabeth Corrigan, and speaking on a few panels. OH, and I may be popping into something I'm not officially scheduled for in order to make an announcement... ;-)

Anyway, here's my panel schedule. Hope to see you there!

Friday, June 7

7-8PM If I Had a Publishing Empire (Hunt Room)

Saturday, June 8

12-1PM Does Fiction Go Too Easy on Evil? (Chase Room)
4-5PM Women Don't Write Genre Fiction. Wait, What?! (Chase Room)
5-6PM Falling Out of Love With a Story (Derby Room)

Sunday, June 9
10-11AM Why We Love Sci-Fi (Derby Room)
2PM-3PM Representation is Key (Salon A)




Friday, June 30, 2017

BNG FRIDAY: Sweet Emotion


Every Friday until its publication, I'm going to blog something about Brave New Girls: Stories of Girls Who Science and Scheme, a YA sci-fi anthology featuring tech-savvy heroines. The goal is to encourage more girls to explore Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math careers. Revenues from sales of the anthology will be donated to a scholarship fund through the Society of Women Engineers. 


Today, I'm spotlighting Bryna Butler's "Sweet Emotion," one of the more contemporary story going in the anthology. From a distance, the setting of "Sweet Emotion" may look like an average modern-day American high school. But the heroine, Bridget North, knows better... unbeknownst to most, aliens live disguised among humans and are kept in check by a secretive government agency. Some are people-eating monsters who must be stopped, and others are harmless, friendly, even. Including Bridget's best friend, who disguises himself as a hot teen boy but in actuality has an outlandish appearance and is the source of the Mothman legend. I loved the premise right away, and loved how... teenager-y the whole thing felt, with its high school backdrop, garage band, and Spirit Week-driven plotline. And Bridget's irreverent, spunky voice is a delight to read. I also loved that she's just a girl who loves science class--a change of pace from a lot of our other heroines, who are prodigies. Hey, you don't have to be an uncommon supergenius to love STEM! She may be the girl next door and describe herself as unremarkable-looking, but she's no fool. When a group of strange benefactors sponsor the Spirit Week prizes, Bridget begins noticing their odd behaviors and uses her nerdy knowledge to figure out what's going on. It's tons of fun to read, and I love the imaginative yet grounded setting. Can't wait to share it with y'all!


TITLE

Sweet Emotion 

AUTHOR

Bryna Butler 

STORY DESCRIPTION

Bridget North's best friend may be an alien, but it's the school's new benefactors that has her creepiness meter humming. She must use her high school biology knowledge to get to the bottom of the mystery and save the school.

AUTHOR BIO

Bryna Butler is a journalism-trained writer who has authored dozens of articles and financial publications before taking the leap into teen mysteries in 2011. Her wonderfully unique books range from the Midnight Guardian series, which is a contemporary twist on the tooth fairy myth, to the Mothman Mysteries, featuring the adventures of the legendary Mothman of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, and the book-blogging girl-next-door. Butler believes the heart of teen fiction is in creating realistic relationships with strong teens who feel the full consequences of their choices. ​

Blog: www.brynabutler.com

Twitter: @mogdocnews
Instagram: @butlerwroteit
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorBrynaButler


THOUGHTS ON BRAVE NEW GIRLS

My stories tend to feature strong girls. How great is it to have one of them included in an effort that will make a very real impact for the next generation of strong, smart women? Thank you to Paige and Mary for this opportunity to pay it forward and pave the way through scholarship for tomorrow's strong girls as they show the world what they can do.



BRAVE NEW GIRLS: STORIES OF GIRLS WHO SCIENCE & SCHEME will be released in August 2017!



SIGN UP FOR THE RELEASE DAY MAILING LIST: http://eepurl.com/bgBmvD

VISIT THE BRAVE NEW GIRLS WEBSITE: http://bravenewgirls.weebly.com/

Thursday, June 29, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Different Worlds (Iamos Trilogy, #1.5) / Lyssa Chiavari

Title: Different Worlds (Iamos Trilogy, #1.5)
Author: Lyssa Chiavari
Publisher: Snowy Wings Publishing
Purchase Link: Amazon


GENRE
Young Adult - Science Fiction

REVIEW
LOVED this novella! I'm a huge fan of Lyssa's book, FOURTH WORLD, which I read last summer, and this companion novella really hit the spot for me. Let me start by saying that this novella should absolutely only be read after reading FOURTH WORLD, since it relies heavily on the events on the novel (plus, everyone should read FOURTH WORLD anyway because it's awesome). 


In FOURTH WORLD, the main character, Isaak, is whisked away from his life in a Martian colony, and we, the readers, follow him on an otherworldly journey. But before that happens, we get a full picture of his life... his home, his friends, his school, his family. So when he vanishes... what happens to them? DIFFERENT WORLDS answers that question by following his two closest friends, Tamara and Henry, as they grapple with his abrupt disappearance... and all the grief, anger, and confusion that accompanies it. There's a tragic sense of dramatic irony as we--knowing full well that Isaak's alive and well--watch the two teens try to figure out how to deal with it... how hard they work to figure out where he went, the danger they put themselves in when they suspect a government conspiracy, the tensions that arise because of that... DIFFERENT WORLDS takes place over the course of a year, and it's a fast-paced tale full of fraught decision-making and high emotions. I loved everything about it... it was so much fun diving back into Lyssa's Mars and experiencing the world. And the feels! Gotta love all the feels! The ending is absolutely perfect and left me with a mighty need for the FOURTH WORLD sequel (not that I didn't already have a mighty need... this just exacerbated it).

Anyway, if you like sci-fi with some amazing world-building and fantastically written characters, I HIGHLY recommend that you scoop up both this novella and FOURTH WORLD... and read 'em back to back :-D

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lyssa Chiavari is an author of speculative fiction for young adults, including FOURTH WORLD, the first book of the Iamos Trilogy, a YA sci-fi adventure set on Mars. She has also written several pieces of short fiction, and is the editor of PERCHANCE TO DREAM, a young adult collection of Shakespeare retellings. Lyssa lives with her family and way too many animals in the woods of Northwest Oregon.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

COVER REVEAL: The Reckoning / T. Damon

Today I'm helping reveal the cover for the third book in the Forest Spirit series, The Reckoning by T. Damon! The cover was designed by Lia Wayward of Free Your Words!

 
An ancient coven of sibling warlocks known as the Controllers has returned to the Forest, dead set on continuing the destruction of the spiritual balance among the kingdoms of beings and animals. Someone has released them to further implement the downfall of the Forest—but who? Once-protected portals are no longer being guarded, zombies roam freely at will, and more and more beings of light are succumbing to possession from the inescapable negativity that is now commonplace. The Forest has reached its time of reckoning, and it seems as though all hope to save the kingdoms may be lost forever. Unless, of course, King Felix, Queen Eleonora, and their multi-species army are able to stop the Controllers before they destroy the Higher Spirits once and for all, prompting the entire Forest to fall into complete and utter ruin. But will they succeed before the Forest descends entirely into darkness?
Title: The Reckoning (Book Three of The Forest Spirit Series) 
Author: T. Damon 
Release Date: August 22, 2017 
Publisher: Snowy Wings Publishing 
  Add it to your to-read list on Goodreads!

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Story Behind the Starswept Cover

Hey, everyone! A few weeks back, I revealed the STARSWEPT cover and promised a behind-the-scenes post to come. Well, that post is now written and posted over on Across the Board, the group blog I contribute to! Check it out for the who, what, and why behind the cover: http://atbwriters.blogspot.com/2017/06/how-starswept-cover-came-to-be.html



Friday, June 23, 2017

BNG FRIDAY: Skyris


Every Friday until its publication, I'm going to blog something about Brave New Girls: Stories of Girls Who Science and Scheme, a YA sci-fi anthology featuring tech-savvy heroines. The goal is to encourage more girls to explore Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math careers. Revenues from sales of the anthology will be donated to a scholarship fund through the Society of Women Engineers. 


Today, I'm spotlighting one of the stories that will be featured in the anthology: Skyris, a steampunk adventure by A.A. Jankiewicz. Except it's not steampunk in the way you might expect... rather than taking place in an alternate version of Victorian times, it takes place in another world entirely. A vast universe of interconnected planets. Skyris is a princess from an advanced space opera-esque world, but she's visiting the comparably ancient city of Aldamoor... a bustling, steampunk city full of aliens and humans alike. I fell in love with the worldbuilding at once; it reminded me a bit of Disney's criminally underrated Treasure Planet. Skyris is a smart, spunky teen who can't just sit still while visiting a fascinating new place. Eager to see Aldamoor's famed airships, she ventures off alone... and ends up in far more trouble than she could have anticipated. Full of excitement and some of the richest world-building I've read in a long time, "Skyris" was a true delight to read, and I can't wait for the rest of the world to read it too!


TITLE

Skyris


AUTHOR
A.A. Jankiewicz


STORY DESCRIPTION
In the ancient city of Aldamoor, a princess from another world and an airship pilot go on an adventure.

AUTHOR BIO

A.A. Jankiewicz (known to most as Agnes) hails from the city of Pickering, Ontario. Her debut novel, Q-16 and the Eye to All Worlds, was published as part of her thesis project at Durham College as part of the Contemporary Media Design Program. Prior to that, she graduated from York University with a BFA in Film Theory, Historiography, and Criticism. When she’s not busy plotting the next great adventure, tinkering in the Adobe Suite programs, or mellowing out with her friends, she enjoys walks with her four-legged companion Meesha. She is currently working on the next installment in the Q-16 series.

Website: www.aajankiewicz.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aajankiewicz
Twitter: @aajankiewicz
Instagram: @aajankiewicz

THOUGHTS ON BRAVE NEW GIRLS

As a fellow tech girl, I wanted a chance to give back to the extraordinary community I find myself part of. I could think of no better way than through sharing my skill of writing.


BRAVE NEW GIRLS: STORIES OF GIRLS WHO SCIENCE & SCHEME will be released in August 2017!



SIGN UP FOR THE RELEASE DAY MAILING LIST: http://eepurl.com/bgBmvD

VISIT THE BRAVE NEW GIRLS WEBSITE: http://bravenewgirls.weebly.com/

Thursday, June 22, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: A.A. Jankiewicz

An interview with Canadian sci-fi/fantasy author A.A. Jankiewicz.

 


Hi! Welcome to Zigzag Timeline. Can you tell us about your background as an author?

Absolutely, I am A.A. Jankiewicz though I also go by Agnes since referring to someone as the acronym for alcoholics anonymous can get a bit awkward in person. I am a Canadian science fiction and fantasy author and in my day job I am also a graphic and web designer for a group of construction companies.

What got you into writing?

I’ve always had a burning need to tell stories from as far back as I can remember being able to comprehend what storytelling was. Even before I could write my parents have videos of me drawing on the kitchen table and when asked what I was doing I answered with making a movie (In my head this was the equivalent of telling a story at the time, I believe I was about 3 or 4 at the time).

What was the first idea you had for your book, and how did the story grow from there?

The novel I just released, Q-16 and the Lord of the Unfinished Tower, already had some premade basis from its predecessor Q-16 and the Eye to All Worlds. I knew the story had to continue after the first book and would do so for some novels after. The idea for part of the plot though first came to me after digging through some books in the basement I came across a storybook of a Polish legend called The Two Brothers and Two Towers which was about the building of St. Mary’s Church in Krakow. For some reason, it just clicked and the ideas started pouring out like no tomorrow.

Among your characters, who's your favorite? Could you please describe him/her?

If I had to pick just one it would be Puc Thanestorm, though the truth is I love all of my characters, good and bad, for varying reasons. Puc is a Water Elf mage from the city of Aldamoor who is charged with teaching Annetta and Jason about their abilities, always with a large helping of sarcasm on the side. I enjoy writing him because due to his long life, there are many emotions and memories I can pull on from him, things that with a younger character like my protagonists are not as prominent yet. This is not to say my younger characters are in any ways less three dimensional but that they are just teenagers.

What's your favorite scene from your novel? Could you please describe it?

I would have to say the final battle in the book and I will try to describe it as best as I can spoiler free. There’s a lot going on both internally and externally for the characters which was very fun to write. The scene cuts from character to character as they fight what they realize mid-way is a losing battle but continue to do so. Elsewhere, a second set of characters needs to decide where they are going to help the first group or to continue to engage in political games.

What's your favorite part of writing? Plotting? Describing scenes? Dialogue?

I would say the plotting, watching an idea grow in my head, evolve and take shape into the story it is to be. Dialogue is another, due to my background in film.

How long does it take you to write a book? Do you have a writing process, or do you wing it?

The first draft took me about a year followed by a year of edits and additional drafts. I generally start with point form notes and go from there. Since I also do my own cover design I also take care of that which on average takes me about two weeks.

What is it about the genre you chose that appeals to you?

I think what appeals to me most about science fiction and fantasy is the world creation process. My imagination has always gone to the beat of its own drum, so when I’ve tried to write something without paranormal elements to it, it would want to leak in and defy the logic of the real world. This is not to say that my science and magic does not adhere to their own sets of laws, even if at times to reader it might not seem as such depending on through whose eyes the story is being told.

Are there any books or writers that have had particular influence on you?

There’s a few authors that come to mind; Brian Jacques, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, R.A. Salvatore and J.K. Rowling. Their mastery of character and world building inspire me to write in the manner I do.

One book in particular had a large impact on me when I was younger and that was Martin the Warrior by Brian Jacques because it was the book that got me into wanting to read of my own free will. Reading prior to this for me was a chore, something I couldn’t see myself ever enjoying (especially as someone who had unidentified dyslexia at the time so everything just moved on the page). I found the book on a fieldtrip from my school to a bookstore and was intrigued by the cover art. I really wanted to know more about what was inside so I bought it only to realize it was above my current reading level. I wasn’t about to give up so easily however and I spent countless hours reading a thesaurus and dictionary I had in order to understand the meaning of all the words inside (word meaning disassociation is one of the less well known symptoms of dyslexia). Needless to say, I succeeded in finishing the book and from there, my love of reading was born.

Did you ever surprise yourself when you were writing your book? Characters who took on lives of their own? Plot elements that took unexpected turns?

I’ve had multiple characters over the years take on personas of their own, or rather, take over a scene where if they deemed it not playing out how they would react to it. Generally, these decisions are for the better I find so I’ve learned to trust their instincts and just channel what they tell me to write. Usually, they come back to where I would want them to go anyways.

Thanks for stopping by!

ABOUT THE BOOKS

Q-16 and the Eye to All Worlds (Q-16, #1) 
Headstrong, tomboyish Annetta Severio and her cynical, sharp-tongued friend Jason Kinsman are two teenagers from Toronto, making the most of their mundane existence.

Their world is forever changed when they discover that their fathers were once the protectors of a castle called The Eye to All Worlds located where the fabric of the universe is weakest, creating gateways to other worlds, hidden within the bowels of an underwater base known only as Q-16. 

Learning of the threat of a warlord bent on conquering the multiverse, Annetta, Jason and their companions, Puc Thanestorm a cold, sarcastic Water Elf mage, Brakkus, a monstrous but kind hearted creature called a Hurtz, Puc’s apprentice Darius Silver, and a shape-changing young warrior named Lincerious Heallaws race to reassemble Annetta’s grandfather’s army, known as The Four Forces before it is too late. 

Q-16 and the Lord of the Unfinished Tower (Q-16, #2) 

"The lord of the tower has risen, and he is angry”

A year has passed since the events of the battle against Mislantus. Now, Annetta, Jason and their companions prepare for the end of their final year in high school. Dreaming of the future, they do the best they can to balance their time as the young commanders of the Four Forces and as teenagers.

Things are thrown off course, however, with the arrival of Annetta’s great-uncle and his proclamations which leave the members of Q-16 questioning their lives. Elsewhere, on Terralim, the home of the Water Elves, an evil amasses on the horizon, threatening to burn all in its path, forcing Puc Thanestorm away.

On their own and without the aid of their mentor, Annetta and Jason must navigate through a sea of decisions as they strive to come to terms with who they are meant to be.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A.A. Jankiewicz (known to most as Agnes) hails from the city of Pickering, Ontario. Her debut novel
‘Q-16 and the Eye to All Worlds’ was published as part of her thesis project at Durham College as part of the Contemporary Media Production Program. Prior to that, she graduated from York University with a BFA in Film Theory, Historiography and Criticism. When she’s not busy plotting the next great adventure, writing, doodling, tinkering in the Adobe suite programs or mellowing out with her friends, she enjoys walks with her four-legged companion Meesha. She is currently working on the next instalment in the Q-16 series.


Twitter – @aajankiewicz