Author Christina Hoag Discusses her book Girl on the Brink

Various microphones aligned at press conference.

 

 

Interview with Christina Hoag – Girl on the Brink

 

Do you consider yourself locked in to one genre?

I write both adult and YA. What they have in common is that I write contemporary realistic stories about social/moral dilemmas and issues. My adult title “Skin of Tattoos,” where the protagonist is barely out of his teens at age 20, is a gritty tale about gangs, sort of an LA twist on “The Outsiders,” that seeks to delve deeper into the reasons kids join gangs and the consequences of choosing that life.

 

Did Girl on the Brink begin with an idea, theme, or factual events?

This novel was born out of my own experience in an abusive relationship. I really wanted to write about it because being a former journalist I know a good story when I see one and I knew this was a good story, despite the fact that it happened to me. Also, I felt strongly that I wanted to write sort of cautionary tale to alert girls at the beginning of their dating lives to the red flags of dangerous relationships, such as a fast ramp-up of a romance and being pressured quickly to making a commitment. These signs can be easily misinterpreted if you don’t know what they mean. Using the aforementioned example, that can be interpreted as a “whirlwind romance,” like something out of a movie, but it can be someone looking for control. This stuff isn’t taught in schools or anywhere else so girls and women aren’t trained to look for these signs.

 

 

Warning sign red image

 

 

Did you get emotional while writing this title? 

I had enough distance from the actual events not to get emotional, but it did bring back a lot of memories. However, I found that helped me write faster because I just wanted to get through reliving this stuff and have the project done!

 

Who is Chloe?

Chloe is a 17-year- old who wants to be a reporter so she gets a summer internship at the local weekly newspaper, where she meets Kieran on an assignment. She is smart and empathic, but she’s also going through the split of her parents and feels very alone. That makes her lean on Kieran all the more.

 

Who is Kieran?

Kieran is a 19-year- old aspiring actor. As a child, he suffered from an abusive stepfather and a father who left and never returned. So he is torn between loathing his real father for deserting him and desperately wanting his love and approval. This has created a huge insecurity in him, which is reflected in his desire to control and dominate Chloe. Although it’s never stated in the book, Kieran has borderline personality disorder, which is characterized by sudden, terrifying Jekyll-and- Hyde type rages.

 

 

Rage emotion image

 

 

Is Girl on the Brink a standalone or will you write more YA novels?

I’ve got two more YA projects on the burner. Both are realistic contemporary stories that revolve around social issues, teens getting in trouble and learning from their mistakes. Both are also set in the same fictional town of Indian Valley, New Jersey, as Girl on the Brink, and involve some of the same characters.

 

What’s next for you?

I’ve been working on a few short stories and then will likely plunge into a YA novel. I’ve also got two half finished adult novels sitting in my proverbial drawer so I may dust one of those off. But my gut is feeling I should do one of the YAs so that’s what I’ll likely pursue next.

 

 

Girl on the brink audio image

 

 

 

“An engrossing tale of a dangerous teen romance.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Girl on the Brink is a must have for every high school and public library.” – Isabella Kane, author & school librarian

The summer before her senior year, 17-year-old Chloe begins an internship as a reporter for a local newspaper. While on assignment, she meets Kieran, a quirky aspiring actor. Smitten with Kieran’s charisma and his ability to soothe her soul, torn over her parents’ impending divorce, they begin dating.

But as their bond deepens, Kieran becomes smothering and flies into terrifying rages. He confides in Chloe that he suffered a traumatic childhood, and Chloe is moved to help him. If only he could be healed, she thinks, their relationship would be perfect.

But her efforts backfire and Kieran becomes violent. Ending the relationship is hard for Chloe and Kieran pursues her relentlessly to make up.

Now Chloe must make the heartrending choice between saving herself or saving Kieran, until Kieran’s mission of remorse turns into a quest for revenge.

 

Amazon | Goodreads | Audible

 

 

Christina Hoag author image

 

 

As a journalist, Christina Hoag had her laptop searched by Colombian guerrillas and phone tapped in Venezuela, was suspected of drug trafficking in Guyana, hid under a car to evade Guatemalan soldiers, and posed as a nun to get inside a Caracas jail. She’s interviewed gang members, bank robbers, gunmen, thieves and thugs in prisons, shantytowns and slums, not to forget billionaires and presidents, some of whom fall into the previous categories. Now she writes about such characters in her fiction.

Her noir crime novel “Skin of Tattoos” was a finalist for the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award for suspense, while her thriller “Girl on the Brink” was named to Suspense Magazine’s Best of 2016 YA list. She also co-authored “Peace in the Hood: Working with Gang Members to End the Violence,” a groundbreaking book on violence intervention used in several universities.

Born in New Zealand, Christina grew up as an expat around the world. She resides in Los Angeles and teaches creative writing at a maximum-security prison. She has also mentored at-risk teen girls in creative writing in South and East Los Angeles. She has been a speaker at numerous writers’ conferences and groups, bookstores, and libraries.

 

Amazon | Goodreads | Website | Facebook

 

 

 

Old steam train

 

Advertisements

Author Interview with YA Fantasy writer Jenna Morland

Revived Jenna Morland

 

 

 

“A fast-paced, mystical adventure mixed with heartbreak and hope that will keep you turning the page well into the night.”

Brenda Drake, New York Times bestselling author

 

 

 

Swayzi is dying, there isn’t a specialist anywhere who can tell her why. Deemed a “medical anomaly” and given only two months to live, she is destined to live out the rest of her short life in the small town of Rowan, Alaska. That all changes when Swayzi bumps into Daylan, a handsome stranger only she can see. Around this new mysterious arrival, Swayzi feels healthier than she has in years, an improvement not lost on Tyler, her best friend and the boy next door. With Tyler and Daylan both vying for her heart, Swayzi struggles between what is familiar and the magnificent unknown world Daylan represents. But what Swayzi doesn’t know is that with her growing strength comes a new destiny, one that could force her to leave those she loves behind.

 

 

 

 

Interview image Jenna Morland

 

 

 

 

 

*Who were your main influences in the genre?
Influences… definitely JK Rowling. She’s a huge reason why my imagination thrived at a young age. Stephanie Meyer for sure, she showed me that there is a place for romance in fantasy. John Green, he’s given me many tears and I love that. When a book can affect you to the point of crying—like your life will never be the same again. That’s what I strive for.
*What made you want to be a writer?
I never considered myself a writer. As a kid, I never had a diary, and I dreaded English class. Not once did I dream I would one day write a book. Until I did. It was winter. The nights were long, and I was fighting a hint of postpartum depression. Really, all I wanted to do was cry… a lot. Instead, every night, once the kids were in bed, I wrote. As women, we are taught to always give, and never told to take time for ourselves. So, I stopped thinking what kind of mother I should be and started thinking of what kind of person I wanted to be. By taking the time and letting my creativity loose, I not only healed myself, I discovered a part of myself I never even knew I was missing. When the time came to make a decision on pursuing publication, I doubted my ability. I never studied writing. How could I be a writer? “By writing,” the answer came. And in the end that’s how simple it was. In writing Revived, I didn’t work from any preconceived notions of what novel should be. I simply wrote a book I wanted to read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Write Jenna Morland

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Is Revived your first book?

Yes, Revived is my first novel.
*Why do you write YA Fantasy?
I love YA. There’s a certain innocence to it that attracts me. Falling in love for the first time, discovering who you are, the start of the rest. I enjoy writing fantasy because I love the freedom. There are no rules. No one can say, “that’s not right”, or, “it’s supposed to be like this”.

 

 

*How do feel about writing your first book?

I feel… satisfied. In the beginning this book was just something to keep me busy. It turned into so much more than that. I fell in love with writing and creating this world and these amazing characters. Now, I can’t imagine my life without it. It was 2 years ago this month that I began writing Revived. There has been a lot of sacrifice, rejection, and hard work to get to this point but I wouldn’t change a thing. I just finished my second round of editing which means I’m so close to seeing it in print and no other word describes how I feel better than satisfied.

 

 

 

 

 

*How do you personally benefit from writing?

Writing is a distraction, an outlet to channel my imagination and creativity. Writing has seen me at my worst, and at my best. There’s no judgement or expectation and I thrive when I’m in that safe place. Some days I question my sanity, I created these characters from scratch and now I speak about them as if they’re real. Nothing like a little crazy to keep things interesting! But mostly, I write because I love it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joy Jenna Morland

 

 

 

 

 

*Have you ever cried while writing?

Yes I have. I’m a very emotional person so there are many different reasons I’ve cried while writing. A song from my writing playlist that fits perfectly with a scene can make me tear up. Out of frustration—this happens more than I like to admit. I’m so attached to these characters that killing one of them is absolutely gut wrenching and cry-worthy for sure.

 

 

 

 

teardrop Jenna Morland

 

 

 

 

*What is the Imagination to you?

The imagination to me is the ability to step outside of yourself, to challenge the rules society has demanded we follow and embrace our creative side. The imagination allows us to be free. It gives us the ability to dream.

 

 

 

The imagination allows us to be free. It gives us the ability to dream. –Jenna Morland

 

 

 

 

*Tell us about who Swayzi is.

Swayzi is someone you’ll root for, she’s relatable, loveable, and so unaware of how amazing she is. When you first meet her, she’s in an impossible situation. She has been given 2 months to live and a huge part of her wants to give up. You start with her at her absolute lowest and follow her on a journey of discovering her self-worth. She finds love, experiences betrayal and heartbreak, but the most important and defining part of the book, well—you’ll have to read it to find out!

 

 

 

*What does she want the most?

Swayzi loves her family more than anything and would do anything to protect them. I would say their safety is her first priority. Beyond that, what she wants most is to shed all the insecurities, and doubt, and embrace her fate on her terms.

 

 

 

courage Jenna Morland

 

 

 

 

*Who are Daylan and Tyler?

Tyler is and always will be my favourite character to write. He is without a doubt the heart of this story. A quote from the book describes him best: “Tyler was glaringly human. He would hold my hand during the scary parts of a horror movie, not for me, but for him. He felt pain, I could see it written all over his face when I was sick. He was constantly digging himself a hole, never saying the right thing at the right time. He was simply imperfect, flawed even, but that’s what made him—him.”

Daylan is quite the opposite of Tyler. He is eloquent and knows exactly who he is and what he wants. He is the epitome of tall, dark and handsome and of course, very mysterious. Daylan has answers to questions Swayzi didn’t even know she had. Tyler may be the heart of this story, but Daylan drives it.

 

 

 

*When is the publication date for Revived?

Publication date is not official yet but it will be August or September. There’s a ton happening behind the scenes right now, cover design, release date, and some exciting extras that will be announced very soon. Keep an eye on my social media!

 

 

 

 

Thanks Jenna!!

 

 

 

Jenna Morland image works

 

 

 

 

Jenna Morland is the author of Revived published by Oftomes Publishing, set to release in 2018. Jenna is a Canadian born author, song writer, and mother of two that lives under the Northern Lights. Slytherin to the core, Jenna’s ambition to write her debut novel happened somewhere between training for a triathlon and putting her kids to bed. But it was her determination to follow through that landed her a publishing deal. Growing up, her wild imagination thrived off of reading and her most desired hobby was to let a book completely consume her. Unlike most writers, Jenna never wrote in a diary. She dreaded English class and she never dreamt that one day she would write a novel. Until she did.

 

 

 

Jenna Morland
Website: www.jennamorland.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/jennamorland
Twitter: www.twitter.com/jennamorland

 

 

 

YA Bound Book Tour: The Row by J.R. Johansson

 

the-row-tour-banner-1

 

 

 

 

**THE ROW BY J.R. JOHANSSON**

 

 

 

jr-2-johanssen

 

 

 

About the Author
J.R. Johansson’s books have been published in a dozen languages and more than twenty countries worldwide. She has a B.S. degree in
public relations and a background in marketing. She credits her abnormal psychology minor with inspiring many of her characters. She lives in Utah with two sons, a wonderful husband, three cats, and a hot tub named Valentino.

She is represented by the stellar Kathleen Rushall of Andrea Brown Literary Agency

Blog Tour organized byYA Bound Book Tours

 

Author Links: 

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook 

 

 

 

 

 

row-2

 

 

The Row by J.R. Johansson

Genre: YA Mystery

Release Date: October 11th 2016

FSG/Macmillan

 

 

Summary from Goodreads:

A death sentence. A family torn apart. One girl’s hunt for the truth. Seventeen-year-old Riley Beckett is no stranger to prison. Her father is a convicted serial killer on death row who has always maintained that he was falsely accused. Riley has never missed a single visit with her father. She wholeheartedly believes that he is innocent.

Then, a month before the execution date, Riley’s world is rocked when, in an attempt to help her move on, her father secretly confesses to her that he actually did carry out the murders.

He takes it back almost immediately, but she cannot forget what he’s told her. Determined to uncover the truth for her own sake, she discovers something that will forever change everything she’s believed about the family she loves.

Add to Goodreads

Buy linksAmazon |  B&N | Kobo | Google Play | Books-a-Million | Indiebound | Indigo | Overstock | Powell’s | Target

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fence-690578_960_720

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Who’s your favorite football team?

I’m an absolute freak about the Green Bay Packers. I never miss a game. I usually go out to Green Bay for several games a year, I own stock in the organization, and I helped my son decorate his entire room green and yellow. 😉

Cheesehead, eh? I’m a 49er’s fan!

 

 

 

 

 

football-42348_960_720

 

 

 

 

 

 

*What initially drew you to write?

The first time I sat down and started writing, I did it as an escape. My life was stressing me out and I had this idea in my mind that just wouldn’t go away. I thought maybe if I wrote it down, it might help, so I did. Not only did it help my stress, but I found something I loved more than I ever would have imagined.

I had the same experience. Beginning with simple escapism in poetry then morphing into full blown fiction. 

 

*Why have you chosen to write YA?

Teen years are so formative. They are one of the first times we all start trying to identify and establish ourselves and our independence. We begin to figure out who we are and create and define ourselves. I think we continue to do that again and again at various points for the rest of our lives and so it’s easy to identify with. I love writing characters in that kind of flux and transition. It creates beautifully poignant conflict and tension.

Wonderful! Conflict and tension is the name of the game.

 

 

 

 

pair-707508_960_720

 

 

 

 

 

*How do you craft your characters?

I try to start with someone real and flawed and then try to get into their heads. I create their backstory and try to figure out what having a history like the one I gave them would do to these people. I basically just work to make them whole and breathe life into them.

We all love real and flawed characters. You can’t go wrong there!

 

 

 

 

grunge-1467467_960_720

 

 

 

*What is it about psychology that you enjoy employing in your writing?

I think this ties into the characters question because my psychology background helps me analyze the way a background would make a character who they are. It also helps me get into flaws and communication skill sets and all kinds of stuff to make both characters and relationships well rounded.

I love this. Your way of crafting characters is very fascinating.

 

 

 

 

stress-391658_960_720

 

 

 

 

*Who’s your favorite character you’ve ever created?

Wow…hard choice. I’m going to name a couple and say why because picking one is just too hard. Finn (Night Walkers’ Series) is the most fun. Piper (Cut Me Free) is the toughest. And Riley (The Row) has the biggest heart.

Awesome. I can’t wait to read all of your books!!

 

 

*As a reader, who are your top 3 favorite characters and what do you appreciate about them?

Peeta – (The Hunger Games) because he was vulnerable in a position that made everyone else hard.

Caymen – (The Distance Between Us) because I don’t know if I’ll ever find a better depiction of my ideal sense of humor anywhere else.

Adelina – (The Young Elites) because she’s the absolute best anti-hero I’ve ever seen and I love her for it.

Vulnerability, humor, and the anti-hero. 

 

 

 

 

head-1597546_960_720

 

 

 

 

 

*Tell us about the protagonist in your new book.

Riley has walls up pretty high. She’s spent all her life defending her father and having people slander him and her whole family in front of her (and behind her back). She loves her father and believes that he’s innocent. This situation has flipped her perspectives in some interesting ways. She doesn’t trust police or the justice system. She has nightmares of the police coming to her house at night to steal her parents away. She’s very close to her father, but has more normal growing pains in her relationship with her mother. Her whole life was put on hold when her father went to prison and she and her mother have spent years with their lives in limbo as they fight to set him free. So when Riley starts to doubt her father, it sends her whole world spiraling out of control. She’s good, and loyal, and fierce in a situation where no one expects her to be. I loved writing her because it gave me a chance to expose and explore some things in our society that I don’t agree with. Often children and families of criminals are treated like they are guilty too, that they should’ve known and are somehow also responsible. I also got to ask some questions about how we can really be sure that we truly know anyone—or what they’re capable of. These topics fascinate me.

Totally agree. The story has a great premise and very interesting protagonist. 

 

 

 

 

jail-cells-429638_960_720

 

 

 

 

*You seem to write with powerful themes in your stories; I suspect you’re a very passionate person. What’s your process for selecting theme?

I do tend to gravitate toward powerful themes and I am a passionate person. I’m afraid my process for selecting a theme is far from scientific though. I like to expose myself to as much life as I can. I watch tv, movies, travel, go to the park and watch people, read the news and books. Then I wait for something to strike a particular chord. When it happens and I find myself really wanting to dive into researching a topic or issue more than normal, then I know it’s one I might want to write about.

LOVE IT. These are the best stories written by the best kinds of authors.

 

 

 

shoes-1246691_960_720

 

 

 

 

*Have you ever cried while writing? If so, what was your experience?

Yes, actually. The last two books: Cut Me Free and The Row. With both, it has been in a part of the story near the climax where I’m particularly connected to the characters and they’re at their lowest point. I also get a little choked up when I’m writing the end. The most emotional moments for my characters set me off a bit, but I think it usually means I’m getting that emotion to come through on the page in a good way as well, so I’m happy about it.

You gotta love emotion, it’s the currency of all fiction. 

 

 

 

 

valentine-1150948_960_720

 

 

 

*What have you experienced or learned in writing this book as opposed to your other series and stand-alones?

The experience with this book has taught me to be flexible because I basically went through three different editors over the course of working on it. That’s unusual for me, so it took a bit of adjusting. I’m really happy with the way it turned out though. It was also my first mystery, which meant the tension changed a bit as opposed to my thrillers. The main character was in less danger than I was used to, so it forced me to run the story a little differently. I think I’m a better writer for the experience.

I like the idea of being a flexible writer. Crafting these kinds of stories are great exercise.

 

 

*I can tell you enjoy writing about the deep complexities of human life. Can you bring us into your mindset on this?

People fascinate me. They always have. I remember as a kid looking at a stranger walking down the street and thinking that it felt so random that I was in my body, in my life, and they were in theirs. I used to imagine being in their body. Would I be taller, would my arms be longer, what would the world look like from their perspective? I use this in my writing constantly. We all have struggles. We all have our own pain and triumph. I like to dig around in that and try to see the strength in human flaws and frailty. Through that lens is where we really capture the beauty of humanity.

We must be twins separated at birth!! People fascinate me as well. I love to connect with people on different levels. FUN!

 

 

*What do you have next coming down the pike?

I’m currently working on another standalone thriller and a couple of middle grade projects, so watch for news on those soon!

We’ll put out a BOLO for all of your upcoming projects. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

 

 

 

 

 

 

~~BETWEEN THE PAGES OF A BOOK IS A LOVELY PLACE TO BE~~

 

 

 

 

 

book-1291164_960_720

 

 

 

 

 

 

THANKS FOR JOINING THE YA BOOK BLOG TOUR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.thewritingtrain.com

YA Bound Book Tour: Petrified by Olaf M. Solstrand

 

 

 

Petrified tour banner

 

 

 

ENJOY THE YA BOUND BOOK TOUR

Featuring Petrified, written by Olaf M. Solstrand 

 

 

 

 

 

 

forest-868715_960_720

 

 

 

 

AVAILABLE IN BOTH DIGITAL AND PAPERBACK

 

 

 

Petrified Amazon

 

 

Print Length: 143 pages

Publisher: Solstrand Publishing

Publication date: August 15, 2016

ASIN: B01G72GITG

 

 

***

PETRIFIED 

by Olaf Moriarty Solstrand

Genre: YA Fantasy/Sci-fi

Release Date: September 2016

Summary from Goodreads: 

Gunhild is a private in the Royal Army. She’s headstrong and reckless, but she’s also the best troll hunter in the country, and when a troll gets away with a national treasure, she’s the only person with any chance of getting it back. Kirabo was on his way home to Aberash after a fulfilled research mission, but he managed to enter the wrong coordinates into his spaceship. Now he and his PA robot are stranded on a far-off planet, and they don’t have enough fuel to get back home. As genres collide on Troll Island, Earth, the troll hunter and the space explorer have to overcome their differences and work together if they want to survive this fairytale.

 

Add to Goodreads

Buy Link (FREE this week!): Amazon

 

 

 

Olaf

 

 

About the Author

 

Olaf Moriarty Solstrand (1982-) is a Norwegian writer and librarian, currently living in Ski, Akershus with two lovebirds, one wife and a hyperactive Twitter account. Since 2001, he has written scripts for more than sixty Donald Duck comics, and his stories have been published in 29 countries. His first novel, Trolløya, was self published in 2013. In 2010 he received the Raptus Award for the work he’s done for Norwegian comics.

 

Author LinksWebsite │GoodreadsTwitterFacebook

 

GIVEAWAY:  Rafflecopter giveaway

MY RATING:

Five golden stars isolated on white background

I was completely captivated by this story on many levels!  First, the setting, feel, tone and characters gave me a lasting impression of great fantasy. Gunhild is a bold and reckless troll hunter sent on an impossible mission. Kirabo an unsuspecting traveler; is brought along for the journey and fight for his life, learns a thing or two in the process. These two suddenly meet, and under extreme circumstances, are forced into an improbable interdependency which makes the story much more compelling.

There’s also a good element of suspense, anticipation, and theme that made this read worthwhile. This author has great skill in crafting a story. Highly recommended!

shield-895808_960_720
YA Bound Book Tours

 

 

Blog Tour Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours

This was fun! Thank you to YA Bound Book tours for Organizing this event. Much appreciated.

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.thewritingtrain.com