I am so excited about today's post. Over the past few months, I have become close with a few bloggers. While, we have never meet in person, we have learned a lot about each other through our blogs. I have had the pleasure of being a guest blogger on her blog, and today I am thrilled to announce that she is my guest blogger. The lovely and talented Britt from AlmostBritain has kindly answered some questions regarding her first book and what to expect next.
Aside from having the hand of a painter when it comes to eye shadow looks, healthy and motivating food and exercise posts, and great tips and tricks for healthy hair, Britt is also an incredible writer. Her first novel, Fooled to Death, was released in October 6th, 2011. I purchased the book a few days later and once I started it, I could not put it down. The story is full of mystery, fear, sadness, wonder, confusion, and deadly schemes.
After reading the book, I knew I wanted to get inside the author's head and find out more about her, as a writer, and the story behind the book.
1. Your book, Fooled to Death, could be classified as a mystery/thriller. Did you choose this genre because that is what you enjoy reading?
For the most part, yes. My mind is a little twisted (in a good way, I promise!) and I'm always thinking like I'm in a Criminal Minds episode, so the mystery genre just naturally calls my name. I enjoy the mystery/thriller genre immensely, and I try to make the bulk of my reading that genre, but I'm a total sucker for a good love story!
2. What was your inspiration behind the story line?
There were a lot of different things. I had all these scenes in my head that I wanted to put on paper. I wanted a twisted love story. I wanted two people to meet in a cemetery. I wanted a story with an unexpected ending. There are so many books out there that have predictable endings and I wanted to write one that had more of a 'realistic' ending. I took a few walks at night and watched a lot of mystery movies and TV shows and just let my imagination run free.
3. Did you put yourself in any of your characters?
I tried not to in the beginning because I wanted the characters to stand alone, but the more I wrote, the more I found myself doing it anyway. I took a lot of those similarities out in the final draft but the things I did leave in are Baylin's love of the dark and her untrusting nature. Both of those are parts of me.
4. What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Write a lot and read a lot!
Write even when you don't feel like it and don't edit as you go. Just write and don't worry about how good it is. All that matters is that you're writing. The more you write, the better you'll get. Find out which genre(s) you like to write and just start writing!
Read books from all genres, not just the one(s) you like to write. You'll come across so many different writing styles and story lines and these can inspire you in a lot of different ways. Sometimes books you think you'll hate reading are ones that surprise and inspire you. You never know, so read it all!
5. What made you want to be a writer? Who are your writing role models?
It's funny - growing up, writer NEVER came up on my 'What I Want to Be When I Grow Up' list. I wanted to be a vet, then an Olympic gymnast, then an artist, then a police dog trainer...Never a writer. Once I got into college I decided I was going to go into forensics. I got a degree in Criminal Justice and had plans to work for the FBI (I had the connections and I had the references all ready), but on the side I was writing fanfiction and they ended up being pretty popular. I loved writing them and found that making characters do things in stories that I wished I could do in real life was a really nice form of therapy. It was also an excellent form of procrastination from schoolwork.
As school went on, so did my writing and when the fanfiction thing had run its course for me I decided to try to write a novel. I found that I liked writing about my own characters even more than I liked the fanfiction and completely fell in love with the writing world. So I put my plans of joining the FBI to the side and pursued writing. So, really, I owe the world of fanfiction a huge thanks because without it, I never would have started writing.
As for writing role models, I can't just say one. I admire good, creative writers.
Neil Gaiman is one of my favorites for YA mystery. The worlds he creates remind me a little of Tim Burton, who I admire greatly.
Maureen Johnson is a recent find of mine. I love that she's written several different genres of YA books and they've all been successful.
As for my not-so-secret love of YA romance, Stephanie Perkins and Jenny Han are at the top of that list. Their books are easy reads, which I like (I don't like to think too hard when I'm reading - it should be an escape) but they paint a glorious picture in your mind and make you want to jump in their books and become a character.
6. What can we expect next from you?
Next up is a YA fantasy novel and it will have at least a sequel, maybe a third book! It's about a girl who has her soul stolen and after she leaves the town where it was stolen she ends up living with a mermaid, a half-vampire and a guy that can control the four elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water), and also seems to hate her guts. But then a human moves in and things get quite interesting! It's light on the fantasy and heavy on the mystery, drama and romance. Hopefully it'll be out late this year or early next year!
I cannot wait for Britt's fantasy novel to hit the shelves! If you want to find out more about the author, check out her blog.
If you want to buy her first book, Fooled to Death, check out these links!
My book on Amazon (for Kindles and whatnot): http://www.amazon.com/Fooled-to-Death-ebook/dp/B005TMND12/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325096544&sr=8-1
My book on B&N (for Nooks and whatnot): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fooled-to-death-brittany-severn/1106502368?ean=2940013257597&itm=1&usri=fooled+to+death
And (NEW!) my book in paperback: https://www.createspace.com/3779844
It will be available on Amazon.com in paperback next week and in 5-6 weeks schools, libraries, and Barnes & Noble stores will have the option to carry it!
Thank you so much Britt for your writing insight and sneak peak into your next novel!