Monday, September 2, 2013

FEATURE: AUTHOR OF THE MONTH.. (9)

Hi Blurbies! This month, I will be featuring an awesome author whose book (I have only read book one so far) I fell in love with! As soon as I read it, I immediately asked for her permission to be featured on the blog and without hesitations, she said yes! I adored her writing style, the plot..everything about this fantastic book! Let's all welcome for the


C.J. Redwine.
OMG. I dont even know where to start! Defiance is so good and for that, here's a virtual hug for you! ;) how and when did Defiance start? What was the inspiration behind this awesome novel?
Thank you so much! I love virtual hugs from my readers. :) Defiance actually started with the Cursed One. Years ago, I had the idea of a Leviathon-like beast who lived underground, but I didn't have a world or a story to go with it. I just put it on the back burner and let it sit there, waiting for a story that could encompass it. Then one day I was browsing online and I saw a picture of a fortress that reminded me of an ancient city-state. I was immediately captivated by the idea of living in city-states again, and I asked myself, "Why would we do that? What would be so dangerous that we would abandon our former way of life and choose city-states instead?" And the Cursed One collided with the picture of the fortress and became Defiance.
How was the writing to publishing journey for you?
Long. :) I've wanted to be a published author since I was in second grade. I used to start novels all through middle school, high school, and college, but I never knew how to get past the first few chapters and actually finish writing a book. I was thirty when I finally decided I was going to push past the shiny beginning and do whatever it took to finish writing a book. That book sucked rocks, but I had to write it so I could learn how to do it. My second book was much better, and it gained me my fabulous agent. But then it didn't sell. So I wrote another book. And that didn't sell either. Two years after I signed with my agent, I still hadn't sold. I was writing adult urban fantasy, and editors didn't quite fall in love or know what to do with my stories. I loved risky story-telling, genre blending, and taking out of the box obscure ideas and shaping it into a modern story. I finally realized that I should be writing YA. That's what I love to read most of the time, and that's where my stories fit. I sat down and wrote Defiance in two and a half months while working a thirty hour a week job, homeschooling two of my three boys, and mothering my infant daughter whom we'd just brought home from China. I basically didn't sleep, but I was driven. Determined to write something that would sell. I turned Defiance in to my agent, figured I would hear a bunch of "no's" again just like I always had, and had already pulled another idea off the shelf to start writing it when she called to tell me four editors wanted to buy it. I just sat there and cried. And then celebrated. And then cried some more.
Rachel rocks!!! Could you tell us also what's the inspiration behind her character? She definitely symbolizes women empowerment!
I can't explain what inspires my characters because they show up in my head fully formed. I just have to take the time to get to know them and uncover what they love, where they've been hurt, and what drives them. Rachel is so bold, impulsive, and transparent emotionally. She's different from the other girls in Baalboden because her father quietly defied the Commander and educated his daughter. He taught her to read, to think for herself, to fight, and to do the right thing no matter what it costs her. He educated her, and she changed everything. There are so many places across the globe where girls are sold into marriages or into slavery, where they are denied an education, where they have no rights at all. I wanted to show through Rachel's world and through her father's choice to give his daughter the tools to make her own mark in the world that we must fight for education and equality. We must be vigilante for ourselves and for our sisters because giving one girl a voice and the tools to use it can change everything.
I really adored Logan's ability to strategize under pressure and his Worst Case Scenarios. Was it difficult to write his character?
His voice came much later than Rachel's. I'd actually written half of the book from her perspective alone before I realized that Logan had an equal stake in the story and needed to be heard. He is much more guarded emotionally than Rachel, so it took me a long time to peel back the layers and figure out why he turned Rachel down, how he feels about living in Baalboden, and why he's so driven to protect those he loves at any price. Once I understood him, the real difficulty for me was thinking in terms of logic, strategy, and science every time I wrote a chapter from him. That boy did his best to break my brain.
What is your favorite dessert? ;)
It's a toss up between lemon bars (ones that are more tangy than sweet) and peach pie.
Any other hobbies you might want to share with us?
I love movies. I go to the theater 6-8 times a month usually. I'm lucky because my husband does a morning radio show, and he's responsible for doing movie reviews so we get to go see sneak peeks for free. Otherwise, my habit would drain my bank account! But yes, I'm addicted to movies. And I love the previews. Woe to the person who talks to me during the previews! My favorite movies are speculative fiction (fantasy, comic book, sci fi, paranormal). No surprise there since that's what I write!
What's the worse thing a fan gave/said/did to you and the best?
I don't think I have an example of "worst." My fans are pretty much full of win. I've met so many amazing book lovers who are lovely people through and through. I have a lot of great moments to choose from, but the best was the teenage girl who told me she understood Rachel's anger and her deep depression, and that it scared her because she felt the same way and didn't want to fall apart like Rachel did so she was going to get help. If no one else ever reads Defiance, I will still be so glad I wrote it because of that one moment.
If you could go back and change something in Defiance, what would it be?
Oh, man. That's a dangerous question! No book is ever perfect, and I could revise and edit forever and still find things I want to improve or change. I try not to go back and beat myself up over things I know I could do better now as my craft continues to grow. Instead, I focus on doing a better job with every book I write.
Any pet peeve?
Definitely. I can't stand it when people are rude. Seriously. How hard it it to just be decent and respectful to others?

Also, I wish a pox upon anyone who doesn't flush after using a toilet. Especially a public toilet. Gah!
Message to your Filipino fans!
I am SO excited to have Filipino fans!!! You have no idea. My roommate in college was from the Philippines, and one of my best friends lived there for years and then married a Filipino man. Through them, I experienced the lovely Filipino culture, including the delicious food. (I'm still trying to figure out how to make a perfect pan of sticky rice.) I have nothing but love for the Philippines so the fact that you are reading my books is like a gift to me. Thank you so much for reading!! (Anyone have the perfect recipe for sticky rice?)

About C.J.
C.J. Redwine loves fairy tales, lemon bars, and any movie starring Johnny Depp. She is the author of the Defiance trilogy, a post-apocalyptic fantasy from Balzer + Bray/Harper Collins. C.J. lives in Nashville with her husband, four kids, two cats, and one long-suffering dog.
Follow her:
About Defiance Series

Defiance

Trailer
Goodreads
Indie Bound
Barnes and Noble
Books a Million
Amazon
Book Depository

While the other girls in the walled city-state of Baalboden learn to sew and dance, Rachel Adams learns to track and hunt. While they bend like reeds to the will of their male Protectors, she uses hers for sparring practice.

When Rachel's father fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the city's brutal Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector: her father's apprentice, Logan—the boy she declared her love to and who turned her down two years before. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.
Deception

Goodreads
Indie Bound
Barnes and Noble
Books a Million
Amazon
Book Depository

Baalboden has been ravaged. The brutal Commander's whereabouts are unknown. And Rachel, grief stricken over her father's death, needs Logan more than ever. With their ragged group of survivors struggling to forge a future, it's up to Logan to become the leader they need—with Rachel by his side. Under constant threat from rival Carrington's army, who is after the device that controls the Cursed One, the group decides to abandon the ruins of their home and take their chances in the Wasteland.



But soon their problems intensify tenfold: someone—possibly inside their ranks—is sabotaging the survivors, picking them off one by one. The chaos and uncertainty of each day puts unbearable strain on Rachel and Logan, and it isn't long before they feel their love splintering. Even worse, as it becomes clear that the Commander will stop at nothing to destroy them, the band of survivors begins to question whether the price of freedom may be too great—and whether, hunted by their enemies and the murderous traitor in their midst, they can make it out of the Wasteland alive.

In this daring sequel to Defiance, with the world they once loved forever destroyed, Rachel and Logan must decide between a life on the run and standing their ground to fight.

Defiance is a stunning debut novel that captures one's full and undivided attention! It is magnificently laid out and gravely consuming! I let it give me emotions I never thought I would ever feel again and the adrenaline rush every page turn is terrifyingly addictive! I was at the edge of my seat the whole ride!
THANK YOU EVER SO SO MUCH C.J. AND JULIE FOR THIS AWESOME INTERVIEW! OMG AM STILL FANGIRLING AND I WILL DEFINITELY SEND YOU A RECIPE FOR STICKY RICE! VIRTUAL HUGS AND KISSES!

2 comments:

  1. I think she just saved that girl. Wonderful interview, I wish I could get free movie tickets too... or I could hook up with a movie blogger!

    ReplyDelete