Sunday, September 22, 2013

Author Interview & Giveaway: Laura Bickle

If you have been reading in the UF/paranormal genre for awhile like me, it is sometimes hard to find authors who are able to introduce new ideas. That is why I was very happy to find today's author and her first novel Embers as it had some ideas that I had never heard of or read before, something new is always refreshing. Please welcome to Blood Rose Books today:
Laura Bickle
I like how you merged elements of your background in criminal justice and library science within Embers, do you find  that you background has helped you as an author? Why or why not? 
Thank you so much! I hope that it did. I studied criminology and worked in criminal justice for many years. I think having some knowledge of law and criminal procedures has helped me more create realistic worlds. Whenever I see a show on television or read a book with mistakes in criminal procedure, it really kicks me out of that world fast!  

My background in libraries has helped me research the many, many things I don’t know. Having access to buildings full of books has been one of the most wonderful parts of my career.  

You write in both the adult and YA age groups, what are some additional challenges that you faced when writing a YA novel? 
The funny part about THE HALLOWED ONES is that I didn’t set out to make it YA. It just came out that way…I knew that I wanted to tell the story from the perspective of a young Amish woman who was dealing with issues of conformity and autonomy. I was completely unaware that it was YA until I
turned it in to my agent.  

So I guess…the answer is that I didn’t consciously adjust my writing or seek out YA as a special challenge. The story just developed on its own in a YA way. 

Why did you choose to write under the pseudonym Alayna Williams for your Oracle series? 
I had books coming out in alternating series and we wanted to try and keep things somewhat simple.   

The Urban Fantasy / Paranormal genres appear to be the genre that everyone is writing in these days (even authors that are well established in other genres) what do you think the draw to these genre is? How do you believe your novels and series stand out from the rest of the crowd? 
I think readers like to ask the same “what if” questions that writers like to putter with: What happens to ghosts – do they fade or linger? How does having a magical power make a person psychologically different from the rest of us? What would happen if a salamander laid eggs in my heroine’s bathtub?  

Okay. I’m pretty sure that nobody but me wants to know the answer to the last question. ;-) 

But I try to ask “what if” questions that I haven’t seen addressed before. It’s like daydreaming on paper.   

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why? 
I think UF is very challenging right now, because it is a very full market. There are a lot of great stories out there, and the competition is stiff. 

In your Oracle series, Tara has the ability to see into the future with her Tarot deck. Would you ever want to have Tara’s ability? If yes what would you want to know? 
I think it would be interesting to have the ability to see the future in Tarot cards. If I had Tara’s accuracy, I’d be very much interested in her line of work, criminal profiling. Or possibly playing the stock market. Maybe a little bit of column A, little bit of column B… 
One of my favorite parts in your novel Embers was Sparky and his glow worm (I remember those from when I was kid); a salamander is a very unusual familiar therefore, what inspired Sparky? Did you have a salamander pet growing up? 
When I was a little girl, I loved trying to find salamanders. I lived in a pretty rural area, and I’d always be turning over rocks in clear streams, searching for them. When I saw one, it was a rare and wonderful thing, and it felt like magic. 

And I did have a Glow Worm growing up! It was my absolute most favorite toy, since I was quite afraid of the dark. I still give them as gifts for baby showers.  

Can you give us a hint of what additional powers are in store for Anya in future novels? 
Fingers crossed that there will be additional books someday. I would love to explore Anya’s relationship with Charon further. He hasn’t been entirely honest with her about who he is and what he’s up to. And I love that he gets under her skin. 

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share? Another Trilogy perhaps?  
My latest releases are a pair of YA thrillers. My agent describes them as Witness meets 28 Days Later, which was a lot of fun to think about! 
The first book in the series is THE HALLOWED ONES. Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the outside world. But the outside world comes to her when a helicopter falls out of the sky near her house. Katie must confront not only a massive disaster unfolding in the world outside her community, but also the threat of darkness in her own increasingly fragile society. 

The sequel, THE OUTSIDE, was released September 3. Katie has been exiled from her Amish community for failing to follow the new rules of survival. As the title to THE OUTSIDE suggests, Katie must confront the devastation in the world beyond her community. Her chief challenges will be her own survival and protecting those she loves from a plague of vampires. 

What is one book on your shelf that you cannot wait to read (can either be a new or old favorite). 
It’s not on my shelf yet, but I can’t wait for Lauren DeStefano’s PERFECT RUIN. I love the idea of a city in the sky and a heroine looking down at forbidden ground. 

Thank you once again Laura for being part of my blogoversary and I hope that more novels are on the way in all of your series as I am very excited about them. Laura has very nicely offered a giveaway to go along with her interview, a SIGNED copy of the second book in her Anya Kalinczyk series Sparks (open INT), so please fill out the rafflecopter app below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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