Friday, May 29, 2015

Thunderlight by: Adrienne Woods w/ Interview

Title: Thunderlight
Author: Adrienne Woods
Series:  The Dragonian Series (#2)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher:  Fire Quill Publishing
Release Date: Nov 24 2014
Editions/Formats: eBook & Print
Vibrant, scale swathed wings… Abilities that can be harnessed by a chosen few… Dragons…

All this may seem like old news, but for seventeen year-old Elena Watkins the world of Paegeia is not finished revealing all its secrets. During a summer break intended for relaxation, she discovers that her harrowing adventure to retrieve the King of Lion sword wasn’t the destiny foretold by the cryptic Viden, a dragon with the ability to see a person’s true fate. The words inked onto the page of the mysterious Book of Shadows remains black and Elena must return to Dragonia Academy to discover their true meaning.  
Upon her return to the magnificent castle she has to face a challenge of a different kind, keeping her boyfriend Lucian McKenzie, the Prince of Tith and love of her life, away from the dangerous new student, Paul Sutton. As a Wyvern, Paul has made it his mission to claim Elena as his rider but he is proving to be more perilous than at first glance.  
Everyone knew that Wyverns were bad news, and just as evil as the darkness that lurked inside Blake Leaf, the Rubicon forced to fight against his inner nature every day. But Elena can see a small light lurking in the darkness, a destiny still unfulfilled; to prove that Wyverns can be claimed. 
Will Lucian’s dark secret about Wyverns and Elena’s need to prove their true nature cause their love to be torn apart? And which of Elena’s friends will be sacrificed this time if she is wrong?

  As we continued to look for the jerseys and get ready Isabel came up to give us a five minute warning. Blake had vanished around five, simply saying that he would meet us there. Sir Robert had given him his ticket before he disappeared so he would be able to find us.
  Ever since that night at camp when he got wasted and he put me under some sort of hypnotizing spell which almost made us kiss, which was seriously ridiculous as he despised me, he’d been acting like his old self; arrogant and a total dick. Something about Blake being wasted and for some reason always wanting me, was really freaking me out…but it also made me wonder about a lot of things he was hiding and maybe that those things only came out when he was truly drunk.
  I shook my head and the thoughts of Blake washed away as I grabbed my bag and followed Sammy to Sir Robert’s old Sedan.
  The drive wasn’t that long and I gasped when Sir Robert pulled into the parking area in front of a giant mountain. There were at least a million cars already parked in neat rows and the noise coming from inside the mountain told me that it must be the location where the Warbel games took place.
  Crowds of people wearing different colored jerseys, caps and scarves huddled around. Some even carried flags and I saw a yellow flag with a huge hornet on top of what looked like a raider.
  Raiders were flying objects that made me think of an enhanced skateboard.
  Everywhere in Paegeia’s parks, and ports, people flew on them. You needed a special license for one and I tried so hard to suppress my laughter when Becky told me that her next try would be her fiftieth or so to get hers. Becky wasn’t one of the safest drivers out there. I still wondered every time I was her passenger if the inspector that gave hers hadn’t been smoking weed or something.
  We climbed out of the car and a feeling of excitement rose inside my chest as I followed the Leafs into the opening at the bottom of the mountain. It was dark as the only light came from tiny globes mounted in the wall. It took a while for my eyes to adjust to the soft glow of the lights as we piled into another tunnel.
  People pushed and shoved us as we tried to make our way to our seats. The pace we moved was reasonable for such a big crowd, but it was still too dark and too cramped up for my liking. We finally stopped when the people in front of us didn’t move. I hated every second we had to wait for whatever held up the crowd to pass. I was feeling jumpy and took huge breaths as the heaviness on my chest came back, mixed with a shot of adrenaline.
  “Are you okay?” Sammy asked softly and I realized that I was squeezing her hand really tightly in my own.
  “Sorry, just crowded. What’s happening at the front?”
  “It’s normal, we are close to the check-in point.”
  I flinched as a huge horn blew right behind me. It echoed off the wall and sounded like an archangel announcing doomsday.
  The crowd barely moved now, and I felt like punching the guy when he blew on it a second and third time. The other people thought it was funny, and I wished that I felt the same spirit inside of me, but this dark passageway seriously was starting to creep me out.
  After a few minutes, I could finally see the outline of what looked like five cubicles and people moving into rows. We took the one closest to us and waited until it was time to present our tickets. Ours had blue dots on them and I still had no idea what I was going to find myself at tonight.
  It took a couple of seconds for my eyes to adjust as we entered toward a lighter room. Six black elevators, three on a side opposite one another, made my heart jump a bit faster.
  In Paegeia, an elevator wasn’t just an elevator. It was how the people of Paegeia traveled around the world, if you were a dragon, and inside Paegeia, if you were human. I hadn’t experienced it myself and had only seen them once inside their funny looking tubes when we went to fetch George at the Wall when he’d come back from the other side. 
  “Are these the same elevators they have at the Wall?” I spoke softly.
  She laughed at the small shake in my voice. “No, Elena. They are normal elevators.”
  People surged forward again as they maximized the elevator’s weight limit and I saw Sir Robert pushing the blue button. He wore a black t-shirt with a pair of jeans and a baseball cap. Wrapped around his neck was a green and black stripped scarf.
  Sir Robert Leaf was Sammy and Blake’s father and, The Greatest King That Ever Lived, King Albert’s dragon. He looked nothing like the figure inside the museum of Etan, and he was nothing like I’d imagined. He was kind, always friendly and no matter how much Blake pissed him off, he would give me a soft look and a friendly smile. It was hard to imagine that he was Chromatic, a Night Villain, and one of the vilest dragons that roamed this world. The people of Paegeia didn’t address him as Sir Robert anymore. Some of them even thought that he’d had something to do with betraying the King, but I knew better. He missed his Rider every single day; he missed his Dragonian.
  His wife, Isabel, stood next to him with her arm wrapped in his. She wore a parka with a green and black striped beanie. A huge smile, along with pure excitement, was written all over her face. She was the spitting image of her sister. She had a twin sister who I was very familiar with. The first time I saw her I’d thought for a second that Constance, the doctor at the Infirmary was Sammy and Blake’s mom.
  Sammy had doubled over with laughter when she saw the expression on my face when I first met Isabel. She was a Swallow Annex just like Constance and I was sure if you put them together, you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart just by looking at them. She was also just as kind as her twin and made me feel at home the first moment I stepped inside their house.
  The elevator screamed as we ascended into the peak of the mountain. It felt like forever and a million things that could go wrong filled my head. The door finally opened and we all had to get out so that a couple at the back could exit.
  When the door opened for about the fifth time, we spilled out.

Where were you born and where do you call home?
South-Africa, and Germiston, Gauteng is where I live.

What or who inspired you to write?  And how long have you been writing?
My love of reading and my big imagination. I’ve been writing now for six years.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In 2013 when I actually sold my first novel and it kept on selling.

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?
Dream Casters. It’s a fantasy created on the idea of the Sandman, I just modified it and made it into an entire race living in the Dream World called Revera.

I love reading the warnings on the blurbs for many books. If you could write a warning label for yourself as a person or an author, what would it say?
Beware, too many personalities, hahahaha. I have like four pen names which I write under, and I feel sorry for my hubby as each of these women has a different persona to deal with the novels they write. See, I’m speaking about them as if they are real.

Which character speaks the loudest, to you? Do any of them clamor to be heard over the others?
I have a couple, Becky for one. She always gives her two cents comments, whether you want them or not. Then there is Chasity Blake, another character of mine who is extremely sarcastic and Calista will be another. All three characters are from different series. I’m glad they weren’t in the same, otherwise the novels will never end, hahahahaha.

Do your characters try to make like bunnies and create ever more convoluted plots for you? Or do you have to coax them out of your characters?
Oh no, mine does have a mind of their own so when they reveal it to me, I sometimes cry or laugh for hours. But if it’s the way they want to do it, then who am I to argue. I just tell their story.

Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life?
All of my characters are based on someone I know. You need some sort of a platform to build on, so my hubby is in many of them, even my daughters. They may be little, but they have magnetic personalities.

Do you have a specific writing style?
Nope, I have many to be honest, as I write in many genres under different names.

How did you come up with the title?
Oh I love titles. The novel does have to be finished though before I can choose a name. I like the one /two word titles, it’s easier to remember and it will usually be something that fits with that novel.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There are so many but if I have to choose, it would be choice. Elena makes so many choices in this series, most of them are bad and she is left with really traumatic consequences that she has to deal with, but she deals with them, which is the message I like the readers to take with them. Life is filled with choices and we make them on a daily basis, but sometimes the consequences are minimal and other times it is life changing. The important thing is that you shouldn’t let your choices get you down. Deal with them and move on. They do make us stronger.

Do you have plans for a new book?   Is this book part of a series?
Thunderlight is part of a series. It’s the second novel of The Dragonian Series. Then I have another series called Dream Casters, the first novel, Light, will release soon.

How did you come up with the title and cover design?
The cover design is like the title. It’s a picture that pops up in my head when the novel is finished. I like my covers to tell a story and must mean something to the readers. Then I send it to my talented designer, Joemel, and he creates it for me. He is so talented.

Who designed the cover of your book?
Joemel Requezza, he lives in the Philipines and will be well known one day. He is so talented.

Where do you see yourself in five (5) years?
Well hopefully with a couple of series out there, and half of my stories on paper. Most of them are in my head and I just don’t have enough time to get them all on paper.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
No doubt, Scotland. I love the accent and I’m crazy about castles.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?
There are many, I would love to have a dinner with J.K Rowling and just speak to her about Harry Potter. Would love to have high tea with Stefanie Meyer and ask her how it is going with Bella and Edward, will have lunch with Suzanne Collins and speak to her about dragons, and how is Katja and Peeta. And then if I can speak to another author who is no longer with us, it would be Anne McCafferty, creator of Dragons of Perth.

What books have most influenced your writing most and why?
It’s not really a book, as there are so many stories that I truly love. It could be a bunch of them mixed together.
Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?
Paperbacks, I love the smell of a new book.

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
Dream Casters - Adrienne Woods
The Jack Panning series - Adrienne Woods
The forever series - Isabella White
The Guardian of Monster Series - By Kristin Ping
The Aswang Series by Kristin Ping
There are my horror novels by Judith Hollstrom, the first one is called the Banshee Curse, and many more that are still just ideas that need to be developed into full length novels.

How do you market/promote your books?
Virtual tours, Twitter, any other social media, through all my Facebook pages. Publicist.

What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
It’s not just one thing, it’s many. Your cover and back blurb needs to speak to the people, they absolutely need to buy the book just for the cover. Then it’s the interior. Everyone loves looking at a well formatted novel with beautiful pages, do something special with your header or something nice with your drop caps. Like I asked Joemel to design me drop caps for The Dragonian Series, the entire alphabet with dragons around them.

Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
Not with novels but with another project that is a secret. The best way to get over it is to put it aside for a couple of weeks, when you pick it up again, you will not believe how easy it is to take it further.

What was your favorite  chapter (or part) to write and why?
In Thunderlight, I think it was Chapter Thirty-six. It was such an emotional chapter and something huge happened that did not just throw Elena off her platform but everyone around her. It’s a very sad chapter but also a very powerful one.

What has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as an author?  What has been the best component?
Toughest is when someone said they can’t relate to Elena as she is too weak or cries a lot. I know plenty of people that cry when they get angry or sad, it’s like their tear ducts are connected to their emotions. Elena is one of those people, and I really tried to keep her real, and not some supernova queen that can do everything. I love characters that you can learn with in a novel. But I did make her a bit stronger with the third edition of Firebolt, the first novel of The Dragonian Series and took out most of her weaknesses.

What do you do to unwind and relax?
Watch my favorite series. Spend time with family, read a good book and have fun with friends.

Have you ever read a book more than once?

Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?
Not a movie but a series. I loved the Vampire Diaries based on the Vampire Diaries my Mrs. Smith, but for some reason I couldn’t even finish the first novel. The series id amazing, but the novels weren’t my cup of tea at all.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (ebook/paperback/hardcover)?
The Creepy Hollow Series by Rachel Morgan, a fellow South African author. She is very talented.

Are there any new Authors that have seized your interest and why?
I’m not so more in touch with new authors probably because I don’t get as much time to read as I want to. So new authors to me, are the ones that aren’t new at all but whose novels only reach me now by mouth of word.

Is there anything you would change in your last book and why?
No! Nothing. I love all my novels and everything in them happens for a reason.

Do you have a book trailer? And if so, do you want it included (need info to plug in)?
I have one, but it’s not a really good quality, however I am working on a new one that is going to be super amazing, it’s not ready yet.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Yes, everyone says never give up, which is extremely important, but once you have finished with your novel, take that extra time and effort to get a good editor and to get an amazing cover designer as books do get judge by their covers. Make sure that you have the perfect package before sending it out to the world. I’ve read amazing books by accident which I would normally never pick up just by the way they look or what the back blurb says. Spend time on all these things as I know there are pretty amazing stories out there that doesn’t have the amazing cover or that super enticing back blurb.

What is the best advice that you have ever been given when it comes to writing?
Grow a thick skin and handle those negative reviews, there are plenty negative reviews that you can actually take something from and become a better writer. Don’t let negative reviews get you down, it’s only one person’s opinion, but if many say the same thing, it’s something that you have to go and change then.

Do you write under a pen name?
Yes, all my names are pen names, my real name is actually Erika, which I don’t write under at all.

 Just For Fun

Cats or dogs?
Love cats but for some reason they don’t like me, so I go with dogs.

White Wine or Red?

Coffee or Tea?

Favorite  Food?
Meat, steak, strips, any kind of meat.

Vanilla or Chocolate Ice Cream?

What are 4 things you never leave home without?
Phone, hand cream, money, and makeup bag.

Laptop or Desktop for Writing? Or Old School Pen and Paper?

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
At my dining room table, all day, hahahaha. I’m a writing freak.

If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?
Elvis Presley - for music, 
Trevor Noah - South African Comedian, as you need to laugh about something when stranded on an island.
Pink - because she’s freaking Pink, who doesn’t want to be stranded on an island with her?
One of your favorite quotes - From Steve Jobs, it’s not quoted word by word but he said life is too short to be someone else. So true.

List 3 of your all time favorite books?
Harry Potter
Game of Thrones
There are plenty, but if I have to put them in order, this will be it.

List 3 of your all time favorite movies?
Wild hearts can’t be Broken - oldie, but I love it so much.
Speed  - for some reason I cannot get enough of Keanu Reeves
Mrs. Doubtfire, one of Robin Williams’ best movies ever.

An actor you have a crush on?
Gerard Butler.

What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
How to get away with Murder - I am a sucker for series like that, and Stalker.

Adrienne Woods was born and raised in South Africa, where she still lives with her husband and two beautiful little girls. She always knew she was going to be a writer, but it only started to really happen about four years ago. In her free time―if she gets any because moms don’t really have free time―she loves to spend it with friends, whether it’s a girl’s night out, or just watching a movie. She’s a very chilled person. Her writing career started with Firebolt, book one in the Dragonian series. There will be four books in total, including a further two to three books, which will be stories that take place within the Dragonian series. Her other series, Dream Casters, will be released mid-2015. She also writes in different genres, and her woman’s fiction, The Pregnancy Diaries, will be published under a pseudonym. And then, she has a paranormal series by the name of the Aswang series, which will consist of about ten novels. And if that wasn’t enough, there is another series, Guardians of Monsters, which will be released in 2016.

Moon Breeze - coming fall of 2015
Dream Casters Light

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