I am so pleased to host Catherine Stine, brilliant author of many books. She is one of those versatile authors who have written in a variety of genres. Today, she is here to talk about her latest release, “Fireseed One”, a futuristic thriller involving lots of twists and turns. When asked where she got idea for this book, she said, “From pain can come beauty and soulful meaning.” To know more about the ideas behind this book and her writing journey so far, read on! Oh yeah! Also look out for the surprise giveaway at the end of this interview, great news...right? :-)
RG: Why did you become a writer? Did some person or incident in life inspire you?
I was always writing stories and illustrating them. In fourth grade I decided to write a novel. I got to the third chapter and couldn’t figure out how to do the rest. But by sixth grade, I’d written my first fantasy, called "A Better World" about kids who escape from an attic window to an exotic jungle world. My teacher Xeroxed copies for all my classmates!
RG: Why did you choose to write a futuristic thriller?
More and more, I love to write suspenseful page-turners. I love plot twists and turns; a book that keeps you up at night. And I love speculating on the future. But it has to have romance. Fireseed One does! Varik and Marisa have a very fire and ice love affair.
RG: What books have you published so far and what are they about?
My young adult novel is called Refugees. It’s about two modern refugees: Dawn, a runaway from San Francisco and Johar, a boy from Afghanistan, and how their paths connect in unexpected ways. I’ve also written middle grade fiction: A Girl’s Best Friend, a choose-your-own-adventure for girls.
RG: If you could be a character from your books, who would you be? Why?
I’d choose Marisa from Fireseed One because she’s beautiful, rich, and pretty wild. She joins a terrorist organization and gets into big trouble, but in the process she gets to hang out with a famous and handsome marine biologist’s son, Varik, and travel with him into exotic desert lands in search of a magical hybrid plant. She changes in shocking ways, but I won’t say how! You have to read "Fireseed One" to find out.
RG: Where do you get ideas for your stories and characters?
Everywhere! From people I meet, from odd articles, from parts of myself, from issues that upset or fascinate me. One of the inspirations for Fireseed One came from a dark place: the shocking news that a very old friend had been murdered while snorkelling. I dedicated the novel to her. From pain can come beauty and soulful meaning.
RG: Would you like to give some writing tips for those who want to venture into writing fiction?
Writing is revision! In your story, make the stakes high. Do lots of free-writes and outlining before you even start that novel, it’ll save you time and big headaches. Get into a committed writing group with people whose writing you respect, and workshop. Read a ton of good novels, you learn so much about writing that way.
RG: Do you think book blogs play a vital role in getting books across to readers?
For sure! Some of the most avid readers are online book reviewers, and readers flock to good review sites to look for novels. The online community is great, very generous and helpful about paying it forward. You do need to find your proper audience though. If you write nonfiction, don’t approach a reviewer who likes mysteries. On the other hand, you never know who might fall in love with your novel. It can be quite surprising.
I love them both! I have a Kindle Fire, fully loaded with all kinds of ebooks. On the other hand, I still enjoy holding a paperback in my hands. And as an author who has published both traditionally and independently, I feel as if the future trend is not towards one or the other, but toward an author who can go fluidly from one to the other, depending on the project.
RG: How much time does it take you to complete a novel? What was your routine?
"Refugees" took me two years, as I was new at writing a novel, and it involved research. My first children’s book for American Girl was a manic write. I was under contract to write the darn thing in one month! I wrote a chapter a day. "Fireseed One" took me a year, but the revision, forever and a day. I’m getting faster though. I go to a writing space, and I also have a home office-full of photos of my characters.
RG: How do you balance your family life and your writing commitments?
My two boys are off in college. Glorious, I feel like a teenager again, with all of the writing time I want between teaching gigs. My hubby and I both love to work, and then have a late dinner out.
So many! Cherie Priest is the queen of fantastic suspense. I love Nancy Werlin, who does YA thrillers. And then, the classic authors like Cormac McCarthy and Camus. It’s all good! Favorite author? Ray Bradbury, the king of lyrical tales about Mars.
RG: Among other author’s books, any character you relate to and you’ll always remember?
I adored Briony Larkin in Billingsley’s Chime. She was made to believe she was a witch who caused her twin’s terrible accident. I won’t say what happens, but it’s a real surprise. Billingsley works this idea of dreadful guilt, kneading it like taffy.
RG: I believe that there are only two categories of books: good books and bad books. In your opinion, what are the qualities of a “good book”?
A great book is one that haunts you way after you read it, one that makes you see something in a new way, one that makes you cry and laugh and gasp.
Now, time for some fun questions:
RG: Share with us three favourite childhood memories.
Making a lending library with all of my books, getting a pearl bracelet from my dad for Christmas, selling my handmade paper dolls at school!
RG: Tell us about the craziest thing you ever did in your life.
I painted the walls of a half-built apartment building that I really hated with tar. (It was being built right behind our old house) My father made my friend and me scrub it all off. Ick. I also locked my teacher in a closet-by mistake!
RG: How do you relax when you have free time?
I go to a spa and get a massage, go to a movie with a friend or read. Oh, I also love bad TV shows.
RG: Complete these sentences:
· Love is... all around if you know where to look.
· Life is... such a gift!
· Writing is... a rollicking adventure.
RG: Thank you so much for stopping by my blog during your virtual book tour. I wish you all the best for your books!
Komal, thanks for hosting me on Review Girl!
About the Author:
I’m Catherine Stine and I write novels for teens and new adults. I love suspenseful page-turners of any kind. I am published both traditionally and independently. I’m also a professional illustrator. Fireseed One, my new futuristic thriller, has nine of my drawings in it.
Goodreads Author Page:
About the Book:
What if only your worst enemy could help you save the world?
Fireseed One opens onto a near-future earth of floating island farms, people zipping around in amphibious boats, and 18 year-old Varik hanging out with his dolphin, Juko by the water’s edge. All Varik really wants to do is to party on SnowAngel Island with his fashion-hound friend, Audun, and flirt with the college girls he dreams of joining next year in his quest to become a doctor. Instead, he inherits a vast sea farm, following the drowning of his marine biologist father. Things turn treacherous, when a beautiful and shrewd terrorist named Marisa Baron, breaks into Varik’s father’s secret underwater vault that stores the world’s food supply.
Varik is forced to take Marisa, who knows way, way too much about things that are none of her business, to scorching desert lands in search of a magical hybrid to try to save the food source. Problem is, the Fireseed plant Varik’s father envisioned may not have ever existed off the drawing board! Things get truly daunting, when Varik and Maria are captured by a cowled cult who worships Varik’s drowned father. Will the cult chop up Varik, the founder’s son and eat him to gain magical Fireseed powers? Will Varik and Marisa ever get back to Ocean Dominion?
Fans of Divergent and Feed will likely enjoy this YA thriller, as well as those who like a generous dash of romance with their page-turners. Illustrated by the author.
All eBook formats, $2.99
Collectible illustrated paperback, $7.99
Purchase links for “Fireseed One” are given below:
For Amazon Kindle and Paperback, click here.
B&N Nook and Paperback: click here.
iTunes for iPad or iPhone: click here.
Sony Reader: click here.
To “LIKE” the Fireseed One Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fireseed-One/160174947415366
To see complete list of FireSeed One’s Virtual Book Tour Stops, Feb 20 through March 19, click here. or Simply click the banner to know which blogs are hosting Catherine.
Open worldwide till 11th March, 2012
Prize: Fireseed One (E-Book) to THREE winners!
To enter, simply do the following:
“Like” Fireseed One Facebook page, here.
Follow Catherine’s blog, here.
Join “The Review Girl” Official Facebook Group, here.
Now, once you follow these three simple rules, just write your Facebook name and valid e-mail address in the comment section below, so the author can contact you, if you are one of the THREE lucky winners.
That’s all! Pretty simple, right? :-)
Good Luck everyone!
The winners will be chosen through Random.org.
They will be notified through e-mail by “The Review Girl”.
It is the responsibility of the author to send books to winners.
Last but not least, a BIG thanks to the lovely author for offering 3 copies for this giveaway!