Of course when your blogging buddy from years ago has a book release, you jump on board and you dig deep. You find out what got her from one book idea to the next. Especially for Sheri's newest novel - MARKED BEAUTY
1. Sheri, how did the concept for the story begin? Was it inspired by something?
It started out with the notion of a tumultuous romance between two young adult characters. I am a major sap for the push and pull of a good romance. But I didn't want it to be merely he-saw-her/she-saw-him and the chase. I wanted to show more resistance from both characters, internal ponderings that left room for each to grow. To accomplish that I needed a tumulus that would force the couple to snub each other, yet draw them together at the same time. That's how the story gave birth to ancient Rifters and the Lynceus people, and put Ana on the opposite because of her empath abilities. I guess you could say the star-crossed attraction between Ana and Viktor partially was inspired by the feelings I always get from reading Pride and Prejudice.
2. I really liked the opposition, the almost resilience to give into the attraction. You really root for them to fall in love. What did you find most difficult to write when creating Anastasia and Viktor?
Expanding on my answer to your first question, I'd say it was in establishing the balance of tension and conflict between Ana and Viktor without isolating one or the other, or irritating the reader too much. A character can only complain or resist for so long before they become annoying. But I had to push those boundaries to force both characters to take a risk they normally wouldn't.
3. I thought it was well-done! It always hard to please both the writer and reader. So, what was the easiest thing for you to write in this story?
Ooh, this is a give and take question. I have an equal affection for developing characters and for world building. With all the Celtic and druid research I did, creating the story world was a blast. But I think the easiest ingredient of the story to write was Viktor. He has a similar heart to Mr. Darcy of Pride and Prejudice. The deeper into the story I wrote him the more comfortable I became with him.
4. You wrote him with a natural affection. And I like the comparison to Mr. Darcy! For those who've never read MARKED BEAUTY, tell them some things to expect.
a. Mystery & danger
b. Dark romance
c. Friendship & family
d. Conflict from an eerie character or two
e. Amped up tension
f. Intriguing elements from Celtic mythology and astrology
g. Bits of humor
5. Yes! All of that! What comparison titles would you give MARKED BEAUTY?
It's been likened to Holly Black's Tithe series and Amy Plum's Die for Me trilogy. I also think fans of L.J. Smith's Dark Visions would enjoy Marked Beauty because it has a similar dark quality about it. And even though I'm playing more on Celtic mythology, astrology, and the history of the Druids, Meg Cabot's Abandon has a parallel feel with its mythological edge.
Thank you so much to Sheri AKA S.A Larsen for stopping by and sharing her newest YA release - MARKED BEAUTY - and letting us pick that beautiful brain of hers!! I read the book in less than a few days. It left you wanting to see what would happen between two unlikely love interests, and yet, take the world by storm. When they were together, I had a little Bella/Edward feeling - which I love! Five stars!
**BE SURE TO ENTER THE RAFFLES BELOW!!**
Title: Marked BeautyAuthor: S.A. Larsen
Publisher: Ellysian Press
Release Date: October 2017
Uncovering hidden secrets can sometimes kill you . . . or worse, steal your soul.
Anastasia Tate has a secret. She can feel the emotions of others through their life energy auras. Not a welcome gift for a teenager. Especially when a sinister presence begins stalking her.
Viktor Castle also has a secret. He’s tasked with protecting humanity yet cursed by an ancient evil to destroy it.
After Viktor saves Ana’s life, her abilities grow stronger. Drawn together, she senses Viktor has answers to lifelong questions. Only he shuns her at every turn, knowing he has saved her only to put her in more danger.
As Ana struggles with her attraction to Viktor, he tries everything to bury his unexpected feelings for her. But they must find a middle ground. For only together can they combat the dark forces threatening both their lives . . . and their souls.
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S.A. LARSEN is the author of the award-winning novel Motley Education, the first book in a fantasy-adventure series for middle grade readers. Her work has appeared in numerous local publications and young adult anthologies Gears of Brass and Under A Brass Moon by Curiosity Quills Press. Marked Beauty is her debut young adult novel. Find her in the land of snowy winters and the occasional Eh’ya with her husband of over twenty-five years, four children, a playful pooch, and three kittens. Visit her cyber home anytime at www.salarsenbooks.com.
Blog Tour Giveaway:
One (1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
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Release Party Giveaway:What better way to celebrate a book birthday then by a giveaway! There are many ways to enter, which you'll find below. You can win an iTunes, Amazon, or Starbucks gift card, an authentic Vera Bradley Little Crossbody in Cobalt Tile, an assortment of bookish swag, and even a KINDLE Fire HD 7"! The giveaway runs from release day, October 17, 2017 to December 5, 2017. Winners will be announced via social media December 7, 2017.
*No purchase necessary to win*
However, if you have read Marked Beauty or purchase it and read you can earn extra entries by posting a review on any major online retail bookstore and Goodreads! All the information you'll need is in the form below.
BUT there's more...FOR WRITERS! Writers who enter can WIN a first five pages critique!
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Love your guts,