Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Author: Connie Smith

Connie Smith was here last year with book one of her young adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy series, The Division Chronicles: Essenced, and she was here in February with book two, Emblazed. I'm happy to have Connie back today to talk about Enscrolled (The Division Chronicles: Book Three).

About the book:

In the aftermath of the latest battle, the stakes are higher than ever before, time hardly an ally to Nicholai’s army of paranormal soldiers. The Tomes remain hidden, and the clock is ticking for the Essenced tainted with the demon’s incurable toxin. And beyond those worries, reason exists to suspect that magic might be vanishing, a twist that could insurmountably cripple the army’s capabilities prior to the war’s conclusion.

Never has the conflict felt quite as desperate, danger escalating and hope lessening with the slow drain of each issue’s hourglass.

Will the answers to these dilemmas surface in time, or will the efforts of the band of warriors fail to prevent the ruin of the world?

Interview with Connie Smith:

How long have you been writing, and how did you start?
I started writing song lyrics when I was a kid, but they were pretty plagiarized. Hey, I was a kid :) Other than that, I’ve been writing short stories and such through the years, even if it was for academic purposes, all the while keeping my distance from writing a full fiction book because the idea of it seemed so daunting. A couple of years ago, I decided to try my hand at it...and failed. That particular book is still unfinished, but less than a year later, I’d jumped into this Division Chronicles business. It’s been a big part of my life since.

What’s the story behind the title of your book?
I wanted it to follow the same pattern as the other two books of the series – one word that begins with “e” and ends with “ed.” That narrowed down my options, but it worked out, even if “enscrolled” is kind of a non-word. Part of the plot for this book is the search for angelic records to end a demonic war, so the notion of a “scroll” was fitting. In the end, it seemed the best option.

Do you have another job outside of writing?
I’m a graduate student, slowly preparing myself to be able to teach courses somewhere.

How do you get to know your characters?
These characters, for the most part, were shaped around their essences. What I mean by that is that the teenagers recruited to fight the demonic war have within them the essences of specific mythical creatures. AJ, for instance, is Werewolf-Essenced. Those essences bring to life powers – and quirky side effects. In a lot of ways, those aspects were the beginnings of these characters, and I kind of went from there.

Which character did you most enjoy writing?
Soo many of them were fun, mostly because of those side effects. There’s a thieving Dragon-Essenced, a balding Thunderbird-Essenced, a girl-crazy Incubus-Essenced… There was a lot of room for humor in these books!

What would your main character say about you?
That I’m a cruel, cruel person for making her fall for Julius :)

Are any of your characters inspired by real people? 
Not really, no, but certain things do sometimes find ways into my stories. As an example, I have a friend (former college roommate) who was a fan of Wheel of Fortune, and there’s a character in the story who has that same interest.

Is your book based on real events?
I really, really hope not :)

Are you like any of your characters?
I can relate to Bree quite a bit because she suffers from a substantial case of small man syndrome. I’m teeny, too, so yeah...

One of your characters has just found out you’re about to kill him off. He/she decides to beat you to the punch. How would he kill you?
Most of these characters have super powers and magically enhanced weapons. I’d be dead, quick, if I had to go against them one-on-one.

If you could be one of your characters, which one would you choose?
Lexia! She’s Fairy-Essenced! She has wings!

With which of your characters would you most like to be stuck in a bookstore?

Jack, the Anateus-Essenced alpha, is a pretty big fan of books, so he’s the one who comes to mind. Although it would be interesting, having to keep Isaac from stealing everything...

With what five real people would you most like to be stuck in a bookstore?

Probably just some friends. Or Sebastian Stan. He’s hot.

Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.
My favorite scene in the entire trilogy happens in this book! I won’t give too many details, but it may or may not involve a Rembrandt painting :)

What song would you pick to go with your book?
I’m using a soundtrack for a different blog post! For the whole trilogy, I’d probably pick “Countdown to Extinction” by Megadeth, but for this particular book, I’d most likely go with “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi. Can you tell that I like 80s rock?

Who are your favorite authors?

Recca Fitzpatrick has become a pretty big favorite of mine. I love her Hush, Hush books, and Patch is my number one book boyfriend.

You get to decide who would read your audiobook. Who would you choose?
Christopher Walken? Kermit the Frog?

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?
Nothing! How sad is that??? I’ve been working to get all of this Enscrolled business ready! But one of my more recent reads was How to Date a Nerd by Cassie Mae in ebook form. I was impressed enough to buy How to Seduce a Band Geek by her, which I’ll *eventually* *hopefully* get around to reading at some point.

What’s one pet peeve you have when you read?
I hate it when dialogue doesn’t sound like dialogue. I get that some characters sound really refined, but not all of them. Don’t make your fifteen-year-old sound like a sophisticated narrator. It’s annoying to me.

Do you have a routine for writing?
I usually just sit on my bed, fan running to drown out noise, and type. Boring, right? I might have a vague outline for the story, but I do go off the schedule at points.

Where’s home for you?
Harlan, Kentucky. My parents moved around a lot when I was a kid, but that’s the place I consider home – without question :)

Do you know Raylan Givens? Just kidding. You’re leaving your country for a year. What’s the last meal (or food) you would want to have before leaving?My mama’s chili. It’s amaaaaaaaaaazing.

Would you rather work in a library or a bookstore?


Where is your favorite library, and what do you love about it?

Can I count Belle’s? Sooo many books!

You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be? 

Rogue! The cartoon one. Not the movie one. Because that was Jubilee...

What’s your favorite candy bar?
Butterfinger :)

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Read, bake, watch TV shows I’m obsessed with...

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I’ll stick with Kentucky!

What are you working on now?
Besides all of these Enscrolled details, I plan to publish a NA Romance called Tail Lights in November of this year. So yeah. That’s on my soon-to-come agenda :)

Excerpt from Enscrolled

McKenna watched him leave before refocusing on Johnny, confused at the expression her boyfriend wore. “What are you smirking at?”

    He shrugged. “I’m just not sure how this could be such a bad memory. My girl glued to my side.” Wiggling his eyebrows, he continued. “Playing nurse…”

    “Well, you are poisoned,” she deadpanned. “That puts a damper on these types of situations for most people.”

    “Oh, you’re serious again.” His smirk broadened. “Are you gonna yell at me like you did when my leg was broken? That was attractive…”

    Though she fought against it, her smile emerged, spreading over her lips as she shook her head. “You’re impossible. You know that?”

    “Nah. I just learned along the way how to make my girl smile.”

    Her grin lingered until her attention descended to his leg, the spot of the poison’s initial contact. Then she frowned, her eyes filling with tears and her hands beginning to tremble. Just ten days, she thought.

    “Hey.” Johnny cupped her face, gentling bringing her gaze to lock with his. “We’re not gonna think about that because that’s gonna get taken care of.” Tobias again entered the medical room, moving directly to the corner reserved for the cure’s research to recommence his work. “See?” Johnny nodded his head toward the angel. “Look how dedicated he is to finding this. Think of all the soldiers around us who are perfectly capable of getting whatever weird ingredients he comes up with. If you do, ten days will seem like a lifetime, because it’s plenty of time.”

    And then she was the one smirking. “That’s quite optimistic.”

    He laughed, shrugging. “I told you that you’re rubbing off on me.”

    “And you’re trusting others. Like you finally flipped a switch.”

    “It isn’t like flipping a switch.” He smiled, revisiting the lecture she’d given him while stranded on a cliff. “It’s like deciding not to be in the darkness anymore. You take steps, and the light comes a little at a time until the darkness is gone.”

    She quirked an eyebrow, chuckling. “That seems vaguely familiar.”

    “Someone really smart once told me that.” Pulling her closer, he tapped the tip of her nose with his finger. “She was really hot, too.”

About the author:

Connie L. Smith spends far too much time with her mind wandering in fictional places. She reads too much, likes to bake, and might forever be sad that she doesn’t have fairy wings. And that she can’t swing dance. Her music of choice is severely outdated, and as an adult she’s kind of obsessed with Power Rangers. She has her BA from Northern Kentucky University in Speech Communication and History (she doesn’t totally get the connection either), and is currently working on her MA.

Connect with Connie:
Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Readwave

Buy the book:
Amazon | Amazon author page

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