Enjoy reading the interview with the author and make sure you check the book out! Manifest was really good and I am looking forward to the next in the series. Oh and make sure you enter the contest! Artist is giving away some cool stuff!
Amber - Welcome to Amberkatze's Book Blog! It is great to have you here as a guest ! Could you start things off by telling my readers a little about your debut book, Manifest?
Artist - Manifest is the first book in the Mystyx series and takes readers through Krystal Bentley’s journey to acknowledging her clairvoyant powers and connecting with two other students who share the same birthmark as her and powers of their own. In addition to the supernatural power trying to take over her life Krystal is adjusting to living in a new, small town with her mother and her even newer step-father. She’s also crushing on the ghost who needs her help to find out who murdered him.
Amber - I have been lucky enough to read Manifest and really enjoyed it. How did you come up with the idea for the book? Was it a long process or did it just come to you?
Artist - It wasn’t a long process at all. My oldest daughter, who is fifteen, and I started brainstorming one morning. She tossed out character names and I gave them their powers. I knew I wanted to incorporate paranormal into my YA story, along with teen social and emotional issues. My daughter is very intrigued by weather patterns and I love Greek mythology. The rest, as they say, is history.
Amber - Are you like any of your characters? Or are any of your characters based on people you know?
Artist - I don’t think I’m personally like any of my characters. But there were a couple of teenagers in my life that definitely influenced the cast in the book. I sort of took traits from all of them to create the personalities of Jake, Sasha and Krystal.
Amber - You must have done a lot of research for the book? Especially on the weather. Did you do any other interesting research?
Artist - I have tons of books on Greek mythology because that’s just a deep interest of mine. The weather research was cool—the Weather Channel is not as boring as it looks.
Amber - Did you always wanted to be an author? Did you pick Young Adult or did it pick you?
Artist - Yes. For years it was my secret dream, then when I married I shared one of my stories with my husband. He liked it and that kind of gave me the push to keep writing. It was when my daughter was sick and I had to quit my job to stay at home and take care of her that I got serious about writing, perfecting my stories and submitting them to publishers.
I’ve been asked why I wrote a YA book a lot in the past months. I’ve been writing professionally for about seven years now (mainly romance). And while I thoroughly enjoy telling the story of men and women falling in love, I was often told that I should write for teens. A firm believer in signs, I took the advice from a notable editor, my little cousin, two young people in my church, and my Bishop’s wife and let it all marinate. Then one day my daughter said it and I was like okay.
As I do when I take on any new endeavor, I researched. By this I mean, reading lots of YA books to get a feel for what teenagers were interested in. When that wasn’t enough I began talking to teenagers, going to bookstores and standing in the young adult section just watching what they picked up and what they put back down. As I read I realized that the story I wanted to tell had to be different. I wanted teenagers of all ethnic backgrounds to have a character within my story that they could relate to. I also wanted the story to be well rounded, covering all aspects of a teenagers life, i.e., family, school, friends, life in general.
Amber - I am sure that being an author has its ups and downs. What experiences have you had so far?
Artist - I’ve had a lot of experiences that I’m so very thankful for. I’ve had the opportunity to travel to different states for conferences and meet lots of interesting people. The industry is not what I first dreamed, but now, years later, I realize it’s better—the rewards are so much more than just the payday.
Amber - What about the more supernatural elements of Manifest? Is that something you have always been interested in?
Artist - Yes, weirdo that I am, I have. Some powers that are billed as supernatural are just natural to some people. For instance, I know this woman who is very intuitive. Sometimes it’s almost scary how right she is in her predictions or assessments. I’ve always been interested in the differences among people, exploring supernatural elements just seems to be an extension of this examination.
Amber - Is Manifest the first in a series? When can we expect more?
Artist - Manifest is the first book in the Mystyx Series. Mystify is the second book and will be released in Feb 2011. At the moment the series is planned for five books.
Amber - What are you listening and watching lately? Is there any music or other media that influences your writing?
Artist - I’m a re-run junkie. I can never seem to stay awake long enough to watch shows during their original airing so I catch them in syndication. Currently I’m ensconced in Charmed, Bones, Law & Order and Angel.
I love to write to music. While I was writing Manifest I listened to Taylor Swift’s Fearless CD just about every day. Mystify had more of an adventurous and energetic feel so a lot of Lady Gaga, Rhianna, Black Eyed Peas.
Amber - If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you be and why?
Artist – A shapeshifter—not a feline, because I’m afraid of cats—but something more graceful like an eagle. I like shapeshifters because they have the ability to be two people, have two totally different personas built into one body. I think that’s cool.
Amber - Thank you for being a guest! Good luck for the book and come back soon!
Buy yourself a copy of Manifest at Bookdepository by using the banner below!
Artist has two prizes to give away! That means there will be two lucky winners!
One of the prizes is a mouse pad and key-chain!
The other prize is a tote bad with books!! There are apparently 4 really cool YA novels in the bag but Artist is keeping them a surprise :)
How To Enter
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The contest will stay open until Sunday 22nd of August 2010 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.