But, onto the good stuff! I have a SPOTLIGHT today! I'm very pleased to introduce you to Brodi Ashton. We've only recently met on the blog world (what am I saying? I've only been blogging for four months, so everyone's a recent friend!), so I'll be getting to know her too!
Me: Brodi, thanks for agreeing to go through this. Hee hee. I found you because you're also a writer, but I don't know anything about what you write. What books have you written?
Brodi: My first book, Echo, is on submission with my agent. Here’s a blurb:
Lane Maddux has just become an unwilling alien-hunter, and to save her small town, she just might have to kill the boy she loves.
High school reporter Lane Maddux thrives on independence and tolerates her outsider status. But when a recent crime wave turns out to be a supernatural declaration of war, Lane must rely on extraterrestrial skills she never knew she had, and a mysterious guardian she never thought she needed. With the Chief of Police tailgating her every move, the new boy in school playing hacky sack with her heart, and her dreaded stint as a weathergirl turning into an on-air yuckfest, Lane predicts some serious glitches on the road to fighting evil.
When love is on the line, Lane finds herself at a critical junction, caught between what she wants to do, and what she was born to do.
Me: Wow, sounds deliciously fascinating! Made me smile. Can't wait to read it. I'll be watching your blog for updates! What are you writing right now?
Brodi: I have a few novels in the works, and one finished first draft of a new one called Broken. It’s about a girl who’s been trapped in the Underworld for 100 years, and she gets to go back to her high school and relive 6 months. You can read the first page of it on this blog post: http://brodiashton.blogspot.
Me: Another fantastic premise. The paranormal theme is all hot right now. Where are you in the publishing process?
Brodi: I wrote Echo two years ago, found an agent (Ted Malawer of Upstart Crow Literary) revised the book with him for six months. Now, he is submitting it to publishing houses while I work on the next one. I try not to think about it and leave all the dirty work to him. I’ve discovered becoming an author means a lot of waiting. And waiting. And, oh yeah, waiting.
Me: Not only do I hear you, but I totally admire you. You actually had the courage/patience/stubborness to get an agent. I have a book series that I want to do that with, but I haven't even started that process. It takes guts and I don't have them. Yet. Where do you get your ideas for your books?
Brodi: Ha ha! Good question. My family will probably tell you I ran into a lot of walls when I was little. Head first. Maybe that has something to do with it.
Really, though, my mother was an English teacher, and she always told me there are no new stories, only new ways to tell them. She introduced me to all the good books, from classics like Dracula, to Jane Austen, to ancient myths to Shakespeare. She told me these were the latest things to hit the Young Adult market. I believed her. I thought the movie Taming of the Shrew was a kids’ show.
I guess I get inspiration from all of the books I’ve read and the movies I’ve watched. For instance, Echo is a little bit "Battlestar Galactica", a little bit Veronica Mars. Add a dash of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and a splash of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers".
For Broken, I turned to mythology. My favorite story was about Orpheus and Eurydice. Eurydice gets trapped in the Underworld with Hades, and so Orpheus plays music and convinces Hades to release her. Only he loses her again. Oh, the yearning!
Me: I always hated that story. But the intrigue is so there. I can tell I'm going to love your books. Can't wait! What audience do you hope to reach?
Brodi: Teens. Teens. Teens. Okay, and adults. I love writing for teens, and YA books are my favorites to read.
Me: Ditto that. But I'm not impressed with the caliber of writing. Most of the time. I hate sifting through to find something good to read. Sounds like your books will be perfect for me. Do you eat while you read?
Brodi: Sometimes. I mostly like to drink tea or inhale Diet Coke while I read. I don’t like sticky fingers on the pages of my books, so Cheetos are out. Okay, I admit sometimes I nab Cheetos with my mouth as if I’m bobbing for apples. It eliminates the “middle-man” of my fingers. That way, everyone’s a winner.
Me: Ha ha, that's hilarious. I'm trying to picture you reading and bobbing for Cheetos at the same time. What YA genres do you like?
Brodi: Um… I love paranormal, sci-fi, and literary/realistic fiction. Some of my favorite YA titles of late: Hunger Games, The Way He Lived, The Dark Divine, Once Was Lost.
Me: Huge thanks for the suggestions! What's your favorite thing to cook?
Brodi: Uh oh. I don’t cook. Hmmm… toast? I boil a mean pot of water.
Me: That's too funny. Totally reminded me of a conversation between my and my BFF in high school when she said she loved to cook. And I said, "What, spaghettios?" And she said, "No, I can make chocolate chip cookies too!" Anyway. What are you afraid of?
Brodi: Spiders, plants that grow too fast, weird dry spots on my arms and legs, the economy, politicians, the ocean, the things in the ocean, sushi, and ingrown toenails.
Me: I remember your hilarious blog post about the plant creeping into your house. I didn't know eczema was on your list. Too funny! What's your favorite physical feature on yourself?
Brodi: My ears. That one’s easy. It’s like the only part of my body I like. They are tiny, like a child’s ears. (as a side note, my least favorite parts are my cankles).
Me: Ears. Well, that's a first. Never heard that before. I loved getting to know you, Brodi. If your books are as funny as you are (I love a bit of dark humor), they're going to be great.Thanks so much!
today's goal: 140/172
tomorrow's goal: page 147/175