Status: Drafting the fourth book in the PERILOUS series!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Goodbye Camping and Hello Brodi Ashton

First of all, I woke up with an enormous headache today. I hate it when that happens. So I skipped my swimming class and went back to bed, letting my 3-year-old babysit while I slept until lunch time. Fun times! Then I took some more medicine, which as made me groggy but at least knocked out the headache. We're supposed to go camping tonight. I think I might have to let DH and my oldest do that alone.

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.com/2009/11/fbf-winner-and-presenting-first-page-of.html

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!

Sequel revisions:
today's goal: 140/172
actual: 137/175
tomorrow's goal: page 147/175


Jenilyn said...

Good luck with the headache! I hate those days.

Brodi Ashton said...

Thanks for the interview, Tamara! Fun questions. Now you'll have to stop by my blog for an interview.

Can't wait to hear more about Perilous.

Anonymous said...

"But I'm not impressed with the caliber of writing."

Ack! Then you're reading the wrong things. There are amazing YA authors out there. Look for the ones getting awards, like John Green, Laini Taylor (love, love, love her books), M. T. Anderson, Laurie Halse Anderson, etc, and also the ones getting starred reviews from Booklist, etc. Steer clear of the shallow high-school-is-such-a-drag YA. What YA is especially great at is resurrecting STORY, but of course not all YA is created equal as far as writing quality.

Thanks for sharing the interview!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Anytime, Brodi!

Thanks for stopping by, Jenilyn!

Niki--thanks for the suggestions! I'll recommend them to my local library. Until DH gets a better paying job, I'm pretty much limited by what they have. I grab up the new buys as soon as they come in, and I've not been impressed. I know there are good things out there. They're just not that easy to find!

lulabell said...

Great interview! And Tamara, good luck with getting published! I know it can be a long road. By the way, I'm stopping by from Brodi's blog!

Anonymous said...

How sad about your library! I can't buy many books either, but we're very lucky around here with the Salt Lake County library being so awesome. Hopefully you can talk your library into stocking the good stuff. :)

Cath said...

Linked to you from Brodi's blog. Congrats on your novel! That's a big deal!

Great questions for Brodi. Her blog (like her answers) keeps me laughing...

Where in the world are you camping this time of year?

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

thanks for stopping by, lulabell and Cath!

Nikki, right now I am heading over to the library website. They have a 'suggest a book to buy' page. I'll be making suggestions.

We're in Arkansas, Cath. It's not hot anymore, especially at night, but the days are pleasant, about 65 degrees. I wasn't up to it today, though.

Kasie West said...

Awesome interview! Her books sound great. It's fun to meet new authors in the blogging world.

Kim Reid said...

Tamara, thanks for interviewing Brodi!

Bro--I want you to write a scary book about the ocean. Things in the ocean are dang scary.

Alysa said...

Nice! Thanks for digging deep and revealing the true Brodi Ashton for us!

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