Friday, October 26, 2012

Something Of A Kind by Miranda Wheeler Blog Tour Interview

As a 17-year-old artist, Alyson Glass had her future mapped – she’d go to art school, study in Paris, and eventually make enough bank to support her single mother. The trouble is, things don’t always go as planned – especially a sneak attack of stage-four ovarian cancer.

Suddenly motherless and court-ordered to move in with her estranged father, Aly’s forced to leave behind her New York hometown for the oddities of Alaska. Ashland seems like cruel and unusual punishment – at least until her dad ditches her at a local restaurant and she crashes into a super-hot, guitar-playing diner-boy with a horrific home life.

Noah Locklear is used to waiting – waiting for his shift to end, waiting until his drunkard parents go to bed, and waiting for the day he can get his sister away from their dysfunctional family. The summer before senior year, the elusive researchers that ruthlessly pry into Ashland’s history.

About the Book:
Give me the blurb for the book in 140 characters or less:

Unable to meet expectation or make sense of their pasts, Aly and Noah fall for the forbidden, unraveling a town's secrets in the process.
Do you have a favorite character? Why is he/she your favorite? 

Saying I have a favorite character is like saying I have a favorite arm… but then again, I’m right handed. My favorite might just be Noah Locklear, with Aly Glass as an incredibly close second. I love that despite coming from a troubled background, he deliberately chooses not to follow the path that his parents and brothers took or are taking. I appreciate the way he sees the world, that he kind of follows the Robin Hood philosophy, and that he tries his best to seek the good in other people without letting himself get beaten down by too many second chances. I love that he’s strong and mature, and of course, likes to read and really gets into music. I love that he puts his everything into the people he loves or the hobbies he indulges in. I love that stands up for his sister and his friends, and he fights to protect Aly, even when he had to put himself on the line again and again. I love that he has something to believe in – that he’s filled with hope, even running through the dark. I love the most that he’s not perfect. He’s intriguing, and the character he became in my head still fascinates me to no end. Then again, Alyson and I are so similar – almost unintentionally – or at least, she holds a lot of values that I admire. I love that she’s a tenacious, strong heroine – but she doesn’t kick around her love interest or expect everyone to lay down and die (which is my personal pet peeve with many of the YA protagonists I’ve been seeing for a while – why is that a trend?) for her. She takes responsibility for herself and is independent, but she still deals with real life issues and has human faults.
What do you hope readers will get from your book? 

My story-people – characters deal with a lot of gritty, real-life issues: abandonment, grief, loss, divorce, coping with the terminally ill, abuse, poverty, et cetera. In that sense, I could only hope that those that are dealing with those things find hope or comfort for themselves, or find these characters relatable, and those that are fortunate enough not to gain some awareness. I always make a serious effort to avoid glorifying pain, instead guiding the characters through the process of overcoming it. I also have a lot of culture and legends, and though there are pieces that are entirely fiction (The Sun Thieves, for example), almost all of it are inspired by legitimate lifestyles or mythology. I think a better understanding of global values, and seeing things from another point of view, is an important part of growing as a thinking individual – and if the worldview I crafted could contribute to that growth, I delighted. Most of all, though, I’d like a reader to take away a sense of an open mind. My inner dreamer drew forth quite a lot of whimsical concepts for the novel, and I had every intention of trying to take something that has a lot of controversy and disinterest and put it into a setting where it could be real, and entirely less figurative. 

About the Author: 
What/Who inspires you?

I think, when writing is considered in its most artistic form, it becomes reasonable to say that any and everything inspire me. Two of my favorite things are easily movies and books, so much of my inspiration comes from what I’ve been watching and reading. Also, many of my interests branch off into pieces of my novels. For example: I love studying mythology and cultures, I have a passion for music, I’m extremely interested in sociology, et cetera. I invest a lot of time in documentaries and non-fiction (or more specifically, non-fiction that explores fictional concepts as possibilities in our non-fiction world), as well as the speculative series, and much of my “thinking cap” scrawls come from those. My biggest inspiration easily comes from my friends (most from the indie world) that write, and specifically my mom (Bonnie Erina Wheeler, author of The Erris Coven Series and Body of Ash). When I craft a premise, I automatically run it past her, and she starts asking questions until the thought explosion running from my mouth is an idea swelling in my brain. I live for those “What if?” conversations!
Hardest aspect of writing? Best/Easiest? 

There are three hard phases of writing: the first is forcing yourself to write it, the second is dealing with the post-novel depression (which looks something like: “throw it out, I never want to see it again, I’m internally crying myself to sleep write now, I can only describe this work with expletives…” – all with many exclamation points… not pretty!), and the last is dealing with the reviews and feedback people offer afterwards – which is more “constructive” in nature than praising, from what I can tell. The best part of writing is coming up with the idea and figuring out the plot – that’s where the majority of the satisfaction comes for me, personally – where I, by far, have the most fun. The easiest part of writing is closing one’s eyes and mentally asking the characters to step forward and pour their hearts out. The easiest part is that which comes naturally.
Who is your writing hero? 

It’s so incredibly difficult to pick a writing hero – even more so than a favorite character or a favorite book – because I have a hero for every genre. I love the political boldness of George Orwell and Suzanne Collins. I love the bittersweet ferocity of Joshilyn Jackson and Janet Fitch. I love the love stories from Stephenie Meyer and Sarah Dessen and Melissa Marr. I love the brilliance and deepness of John Green. I love the fun, quick read from Rachel Caine or Rachelle Mead. I love the classics from Tolkien to Jane Austen to Charlotte Bronte to Shakespeare. I love the shiver from Christopher Pike. I love the laughter from Molly Harper. In a way, I’m amazed by everything I read. Mostly, though, if I had to choose just one, it would be the one closest to me. My delightful, insane, aforementioned mother (YA paranormal romance author) defies an insane amount of work and medical problems to not only care for a struggling family emotionally, but still manages to hammer out something mind blowing and breathtaking on the page. While sometimes her romances are too sweet for words, the heart-singing and swooning types, I have to say my absolute favorite aspect of her writing is her devilish villains. They are so despicably horrible, and they weave mysterious and spellbinding plots. I can’t even dream of emanating it, but I do find it incredibly inspirational.

About the Future: 
What’s next for you?

In my personal life, next for me is graduating and going onto college, moving out, and trying to continue this insane writing obsession I have through all the “real life” stuff. In my writing world, I have so much coming up it’s hard for even me to fathom. I have two series that are beyond “in-development” stages: a YA science fiction series in a contemporary setting (it’s the works: filled with romance, psychological thriller, apocalypse, and the fruition of a dystopia, all eventually packing into four novels) and a YA paranormal romance series, five novels, the first of which being my next release. Afterwards, I have a YA horror and a few other separate paranormal romances planned, outlined, and tucked away. At some point, I am very interested in returning to indulge in more contemporary YA romances, and a sequel to Something Of A Kind.
One outrageous goal for the future? 

I think trying to fathom getting to the end of this to-be-written novel queue is outrageous! Aside from that, I have a definitive goal to make it to Europe someday – particularly Spain and France, since I’ve spent so much time investing in the languages. More fathomably, I’d love to graduate high school in the top five of my class, and go on to a BA, then a Creative Writing MFA program, and an eventual English PhD with plans to teach at a post-secondary level. I’m labeling it outrageous from the sheer horror of loans I have to look forward to in the present-day economy. I’m not looking forward to those dissertations either.

Do you have any advice you'd like to share with other aspiring writers?

Honestly, the best thing I can offer is to go for it! Forget everything that inhibits you, forsake doubts, condemn procrastination, and force yourself to write. Stop making excuses, stop thinking you need to “figure things out” or have a vacation or whatever you’ve been guiltily tossing at the BFF who demands updates on that old novel idea of yours. You said tomorrow yesterday – so just do it! Hold yourself accountable, make a schedule, build an outline – give yourself every reason to succeed, and then jump in with two feet. Fair warning: the water’s freezing. That’s what makes it worth it.

Sweet or salty?  


Beach, plains or mountains? 

Private, New England beach -- with mountains in the backdrop :) Online, letters or in person?  

Online! I’m a total techie. 

Ebook or print?  

Print! I own a Kindle Fire, but I’d rather stack a paperback on the shelf. 

About the Author: 
A current high school student, 16-year-old author Miranda Wheeler lives with her loving family in her hometown of Torrington, Connecticut. An avid reader, she’s been whipping through books and producing novel-length projects (though none published prior to Something Of A Kind) from the early age of eleven. Having previously released short stories, some published in magazines such as TeenInk and others via “indie” mediums, she has many plans of continuing to write, as well as pursuing other passions and an eventual teaching career. While the official cover is a work in progress and the title won’t be released until the promotional media is obtained, several other projects are in the works: a YA steampunk novella, a YA paranormal romance, and a YA sci-fi-series, in addition to unofficial talks of a Something Of A Kind sequel.

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Tour Schedule:
October 22nd – Tracey S. @ YA Book Addict
October 22nd – Buffy @ Buffy’s Ramblings
October 23rd – Flora @ From the Bootheel Cotton Patch
October 23rd – Avery @ Author Avery Olive
October 24th – Nely @ She Writes Again
October 24th – Delphina @ Delphina Reads Too Much
October 25th – Cameo @ Cameo Renae
October 26th – Brittany @ The Cover by Brittany
October 26th – Daniel @ Parenting from a Child’s Point of View

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