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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Author Interview & Contest with Mara Purnhagen

My author guest this week has already visited Amberkatze's Book Blog before!

Mara Purnhagen is the author of the Past Midnight series. I found the series totally by accident and have been a fan ever since! The blend of 'ghost hunter debunkers' and Young adult paranormal is just amazingly unique and the series has been a must read for me.

Now the third part in the series, Beyond the Grave, is out this week and I couldn't resist asking Mara some questions about the series and what the future holds.

I hope you enjoy the interview and will enter the contest! Mara is giving away a signed book to one lucky entrant!


Amber - Welcome back to Amberkatze's Book Blog! It is great to have you here as a guest! Beyond The Grave is due out. What can you tell us about your upcoming release?

Mara - Beyond the Grave is the final book in my Past Midnight series. I think it’s a solid conclusion to the series, and everything is wrapped up. It’s bloodier than the previous books. We also get to see Bliss Reynolds in a new light. I’ve had a plan for her since I began writing the books, and I’m happy that her story really comes out in this novel.

Amber - Charlotte has already had a few paranormal experiences so far. How do you decide what to throw at her in each book?

Mara - I remember thinking, what would truly scare me? And the first image that came to mind was a grown man crawling down the middle of a street. I don’t know why that popped into my head, but it was weird and creepy and I thought, I just have to have this. I try to think about events or images that would scare me, and I go with those.

Amber - You have two novella's out that fit into the series. Is it harder to write a full novella or easier?

Mara - Writing the novellas was much, much harder than I expected. The novels had been completed, so I had to write stories that could stand alone and not affect the major plots. They are intended to be more character-driven than paranormal-driven. What’s nice about the novellas is that they are offered for free during the month they are released. Haunting the Night comes out on August 1 and will be free! I love that. I think it’s a great way to say thank you to the readers.

Amber - Are any of the ghosts/hauntings based on 'real' stories?

Mara - Not really. I read about a lot of common types of sightings (such as ghosts seen on staircases) and tried to make them my own. In One Hundred Candles, I mention a ghost dog. The story is very loosely based on a cat I had. After he died of old age, my kids (who were toddlers) kept saying they saw the cat sitting beneath the dining room table. I never saw him, but I loved the idea of pet coming back just to say hi.

Amber - What kind of research have you done for your books? Anything interesting or is the research boring?

Mara - Some of the research was very technical. In Beyond the Grave, I wanted to show Charlotte getting back to work in a different way, so I have her and Shane editing footage for a DVD. I was lucky to be able to rely on the expertise of my younger brother, who works as local news anchor in Dayton, Ohio. He took me through the detailed process of how a DVD would be put together, and I double-checked with him to make sure those scenes made sense.

Amber - What comes next? Are there going to be more books/novella's in the series? Are you working on anything else?

Mara - There is one more novella, which will be released on August 1 online. It’s called Haunting the Night, and it takes place a few weeks after the events of One Hundred Candles. Charlotte returns to Charleston for a few days to visit her sister—and to get away from something that has been stalking her.

Amber - How much say do you have in the book publishing process? Eg. Do you get to pick the covers?

Mara - I think a lot of people assume that the author chooses his or her cover. Not true! I’m lucky that I’ve gotten covers that I love. So far, Beyond the Grave is my favorite, though. I love the shades of orange and pink, and the design on the gate is lovely.

Amber - What made you want to be a writer? Were there any books or authors that had an influence on you?

Mara – I’ve always been a story teller, ever since I was young. And I’ve always loved books. I began writing stories in elementary school. It’s hard to pinpoint a single author who had the greatest influence on me. Instead, I think years of reading helped me to form my internal voice, the one I hear when I sit at my computer.

Amber - Would you ever be able to write a book together with another author? If yes, which author would you like to work with and why?

Mara – What I’d really love to do is work on an anthology with lots of other authors. It’s always interesting to read what different authors do with the same general concept. I’m a big fan of anthologies.

Amber - I saw on your blog that CBS bought the TV option to Past Midnight! Any news on that? You must be really excited!

Mara - I’ve known about the deal for a long time, but couldn’t say anything until recently. Lots of books are picked up for TV options, but only a handful make it through to the pilot stage. That’s what I’m hoping for now—to see a pilot. If that ever happens, I’m going to throw a huge party. Huge as in epic. But I’m not holding my breath. It was a nice pat on the back, though.

Amber - So I have to ask! Which actors/actresses would you like to see playing the main characters from your books?

Mara - So many actors and actresses have the same look. I’d want someone totally different—an unknown to play Charlotte would be nice. But I hear some of the cast of Glee will be “graduating” and looking for work—maybe they’d like a change of pace on a paranormal show?

Amber - What have you been reading and watching lately?

Mara - I enjoyed reading Gayle Forman’s Where She Went, , Matched by Ally Condie, Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer, and The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott. As far as TV, summer is all about reruns. I am eagerly awaiting the new season of The Walking Dead, but I have to wait until October!

Amber - I know you told me in our previous interview that you have never seen a ghost but if you did get to see one, is there any particular one you would like to see and why?

Mara - I think it would be cool to tour a castle and catch a glimpse of a former king or queen. It would be like witnessing a paranormal piece of history!

Amber - Thank you again for being a guest on Amberkatze's Book Blog!

Mara - Thanks for having me!


Past Midnight Series :

#1 - Past Midnight
#1.5 - Raising the Dead
#2 - One Hundred Candles
#2.5 - Haunting the Night
#3 - Beyond the Grave (Releases this week!)


Contest Time!

Mara is giving away a signed copy of Beyond the Grave to one lucky entrant!

How To Enter?

What is your favourite YA series?

No Answers = No Entry

Thank you to Julie S for suggesting the question. You have an automatic entry to the contest!

Earn more entries for each link you place about this contest on the net. You can post on Facebook, Twitter & MySpace but make sure you add links here for me to confirm your entries! However please do not make individual postings for each entry. Please post all your entries in one post.

Advertise Amberkatze's Book Blog on your site and get an extra entry for this and every other contest!

Amberkatze's Book Blog

Have you 'Liked' Amberkatze's Book Blog on Facebook?

You can also earn extra entries by emailing your friends about the contest. Just make sure you send a copy of your email or receipt to me at Amberkatzes_book_blog at gmx dot net.

Make sure you post your links here so I can confirm your entries.

Keep the contests going by using the Bookdepository.com and Amazon.com links/Banners below and around the site!

The Book Depository

The contest will stay open until Sunday 28th of August 2011 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.


Anonymous said...

Great interview! I picked up Haunting the Night from Harlequin Teen's FB page the other week.. :)

My favourite YA series.. some (including myself) might not necessarily say it's YA, but I'd have to say Harry Potter series is definitely my fave!

Aurian said...

Great interview, I want to read those books, as they sound fun and original.
I read almost no YA whatsoever, so my answer shall have to be the only YA book so far that I liked, and that is Jennifer Estep - Mythos Academy series.

Anonymous said...

Awesome interview. Haunting the Night is on my reading list.

My favourite YA series is the Vampire Academy series.
Thanks for the giveaway.

AmyS. said...

My favorite YA series would be House of Night by PC and Kristin Cast. I love that series plus it was the first book series I was ever able to get my nephew to read. He hates reading.
Awesome interview.

Amethyst said...

Great interview ^_^

My favorite YA series is L.J. Smith's Nightworld series. I really loved her books as a kid (excluding her VD books). Glad they reprinted her books.

Victoria said...

OMG how can I pick just one. I love so many. I think I'll go with the MORTAL INSTRUMENTS by Cassandra Claire.


Vickie said...

Thanks for bringing this series to my attention. First book is in the B&N shopping cart and the series is on the WWBL.

Favorite YA series? I concur with justalillost about Harry Potter. I can read or listen to that series at any time.

Barbara E. said...

My favorite YA series is Rachel Caine's Morganville Vampires. I just got Jennifer Estep's Touch of Frost, so her Mythos Academy just may move up to first place on my favorites list.

Sniffly Kitty said...

My favorite series is The Immortals by Tamora Pierce.


WhatBriReads said...

My favorite YA series is the Study series by Maria V. Snyder.


Cheryl said...

Thanks for the interview and giveaway.

I'd have to say my favorite YA series is the Strange Angel series by Lili St. Crow.

Alicia0385 said...

Thanks for the interview. MY fav ya series is the vampire acadamy series.


Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

My all time favorite would have to be Harry Potter. My current one is The Hunger Games.


alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

donnas said...

The Mortal Instruments followed by Vampire Academy is my favorite.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

minervabcn said...

I agree with both vickie and with justalillost about Harry Potter been my fave YA series in English.

In my own language, Spanish, my fave one is the War of the Witches trilogy by Maite Carranza (one of my teachers back in highschool). I'm not sure if the 3 titles have been tanslated into English, but at least the first one was pusblished by Bloomsbury 2-3 years ago, if anyone is interested.

As always, thanks for sharing, Amberkatze!


debbie said...

I haven't read many YA series, but I did read the hunger games.

Jessica @ a GREAT read said...

OOh that's a loaded question! Since going back to reading YA I have now found lots of series that I enjoy! Some have been completed and some are still on going! Of my completed faves was Vampire Academy!

An ongoing fave is the 13 to Life series by Shannon Delany! I totally LOVE that series!!

email subscriber
have blog button in blog roll on sidebar


Anonymous said...

Very tough question!
I love The Immortals by Tamora Pierce but I think it ties with Carrie Jones' Need books


Jade said...

One of my ultimate favourite YA would be The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa! :)
Thanks for this chance!!


Julie S said...

I really liked the Vampire Academy series :)

ang said...

My favourite YA series is Rachel Cain's Morganville Vampire series.

angeila (at) cox (dot) net

Unknown said...

I love the Twilight series and Mercy Falls series. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this series. Tore923@aol.com

Dovile said...

My favorite is Harry Potter.

Thanks for the chance!

spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

tetewa said...

Mine is The Morganville Vampire series, I've read them all! tWarner419@aol.com

Stephanie said...

My favorite YA series is the Morganville vampire series.


Ironstrangeprompts said...

The Maximum Ride series by James Patterson and the Stravaganza by Mary Hoffman are both tied as my favorite series.


An intriguing interview.

Kristin said...

I would love to say this one but I haven't read it yet (though I've seen it before, I couldn't remember the name of the book or author and recently stumbled across it on Goodreads).

There are so many awesome YA series that it's hard to choose just one but I'd have to pick Lili St. Crow's Strange Angels series.

Amy said...

My favorite YA series are: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Night World by L.J. Smith.

Anonymous said...

Harry Potter

dwarzel at hotmail.com

Karen said...

Harry Potter :)

Karen Gonyea
ktgonyea at gmail.com

StyleVamp said...

I Have quite a few favorites..
The House Of Night By PC Cast, Dead Is Series by Marlene Perez, Blue Bloods By Melissa De La Cruz

Audra said...

Harry Potter Series

Tammi said...

My favorite YA series right now would have to be the Vampire Academy series. It changes when I read new books in different series.


smilekisses said...

Love the Harry Potter Series.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the interview !

My favorite series would be The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa !
thanks 4 the giveaway :)


Starr K said...

Right now my current favorite series is a toss up between the house of night series and the immortal instruments series

trichie said...

Would have to be Harry Potter


clynsg said...

I haven't read many of them recently, but Harry Potter would probably be the best in quite awhile.

cgclynsg0 at gmail dot com

Tara W said...

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare is my favorite YA series.
mizztuts AT bellsouth DOT net

michelle said...

My favorite series was the Harry Potter series.


erma2164 said...

My fav YA series is the Vampire Academy series.

Eternal Night said...

Love the interview. Some of my favorite YA series are The Morganvile Vampire Series by Rachel Caine and The House of Night Series by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast. Those are just the two out of many.

Thanks for the giveaway

Bonni said...

My favorite young adult series is the Chronicles of Narnia. My kids and I really enjoyed reading these togethe.

Bonni said...

My favorite young adult series is the Chronicles of Narnia. My kids and I really enjoyed reading these togethe.

Unknown said...

MY favourite YA series are the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent and the Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead :-)

Thank you for the chance!

stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

Deborah Wellenstein said...

My favorite YA series is The Hunger Games. Thanks!

dwellenstein at cox dot net

Unknown said...

My favorite YA series is The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. garrettsambo@aol.com

LuckyTJG said...

Harry Potter is my fave. Just couldn't put those books down.
LuckyTJG at cs dot com


I've read The Hanging Hill: A Haunted Mystery Chris Grabenstein
Chris Grabenstein (Author)
I know he has other books in this seris starring Zack a young boy who see's & talks to ghost.
I have been wanting to read the rest because this was a delightful & exciting read..fell of supsence & humor too!

Cassandra @ Book & Movie Dimension a Blog said...

My favorite YA series The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare.

Facebook posted:http://www.facebook.com/groups/BookGiveaways/?view=permalink&id=206029122792347

Twitter posted:https://twitter.com/#!/BookLoverC/status/107935244426022912

E-mail: hernandezcassandra50@yahoo.com

Thanks for the giveaway!

Cherry said...

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare :) AWESOME!