June 4, 2013

Wonderstruck Anthology Author Interview + Giveaway!

Series: N/A
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication Date: May 31, 2013
Prepare to be Wonderstruck! Join us in celebrating the launch of Clean Teen Publishing's first Young Adult Anthology: Wonderstruck. Wonderstruck is a YA anthology with works of inspiration based on five images. Authors around the world were invited to submit their interpretation of these five images and compete in a writing competition. The categories for the Wonderstruck anthology include: a Drabble (A story told in 100 words. Not 99, not 101, but exactly 100 words,) a Short Story, a Novelette and a Novella. 

Radeyah H. Ali (Drabble) Magically Fitted, 
Gabrielle Arrowsmith (Drabble) Joah and the Beacon of Light, Beau Barnett (Short Story) Into Eternity, Jennifer Bull (Short Story) A Wizard's World (Drabble) Life in a Jar (Drabble) Round and Round I Go (Drabble) A Lady's Revenge (Drabble) Once In a Blue Moon, Liana Chau (Drabble) Ahead and BeyondMeMe Collier (Short Story) The Fairy Jar, Leah D.W. (Short Story) Watery Grave, Maren Dille (Novella) Pastiche, Katie Ellis (Short Story) The Silent Man, Julie Gilbert (Drabble) Keio and the Farsight Fire, Lisa Goldman (Short Story) Oafish Me, Dominique Goodall (Drabble) Fairy Capture, Brenna Harden (Short Story) A Warriors Journey, Sandra Havriluk (Drabble) Jedidiah, Sacha Hope (Novelette) Glass Heart, Erin Liles (Novelette) Outside the Walls, B.T. Lyons (Novella) Heartkeeper (Short Story) Peace, Julie Marcinik (Short Story) The Executioner, Mia Marin (Drabble) A Note To My Traveler (Drabble) A Dear Dalliance, Miranda Maurin (Short Story) The Dance of Time, Jon Messenger (Novella) Wind Warrior, Veronica Morfi (Drabble) Shine, Ifeoma Ofuani (Drabble) He Would Be Great, Paula Phillips (Short Story) Skye in High School Wonderland, Jocelyn Sanchez (Novella) A World Unlike Mine (Drabble) Night (Drabble) Darkness and Light, Clemy W. Thompson (Drabble) The Truth, Dana Wright (Drabble) Fairy Lights

Q- From what I understand, you each wrote a story based on a photograph. How on earth did you pick which one to use? 

Dana Wright- I chose the photograph I did for the whimsical ideas it brought to my head. What was in the jar? Was it wild magic? Perhaps a fairy? Give it a twist to unlock it's secrets.

Erin Beth Liles- Actually, I had had a story idea in mind for some time.  When I looked at the images, I could really see my main character in number 5, so I chose it!

Dominique Goodall- I chose the one that 'spoke' to me the most- I'm very visual which meant that this was simple to do!

Jennifer Bull- I guess you could say I cheated on this one - I just wrote a story for each of the photographs. That way I didn't have to choose!

Mia Marin- In my case, it felt like it was the pictures that chose to be written about.You see, the ones I ended up choosing weren't really the ones I planned to work with. But somewhere down the line - and between storylines - inspiration seized me and the stories just HAD to be written.

B.T. Lyons- When I saw the pictures that were the inspiration options for the “Wonderstruck” anthology, I instantly gravitated toward the one of the boy holding the illuminated jar; the look of wonder on his face was spectacularly captured, and I knew that was the one that I had to write for. Originally I had planned on simply writing a short story, and “Heartkeeper” would have ended at the conclusion of Chapter One. The more I wrote though, the more the entire world started building in my mind until it became a whole society and history that had a story that was screaming to be told and it ended up becoming an entire novella that I had to really push myself on keeping concise.

I also wrote a short story called “Peace” for another picture, the one of a girl in a bubble being screamed at by a very angry looking fellow. I had never intended on entering another story to the contest, but the publishers happened to mention that the image had not received as many entries as the others. I took another look at it and decided to treat it as a challenge; what would I do with this picture for a story, since the image itself was something that was really outside of my normal “comfort zone” for writing? “Peace” ended up being in the steampunk genre, something I had not only written before but something I had never even considered working with, and while it was challenging it was immensely fun to write.

Ifeoma Ofuani- I will admit that it was difficult at first to choose a picture because they were all quite inspirational, but I do flash fiction challenges on my blog so it made it easier for me to tell which one would enable me make the best use of my imagination.

Lisa Goldman- My favorite image is number one. It reminds me of June when fireflies dot the countryside close to my home. It’s an enchanting time of year that only happens for a few weeks. When I began writing, I thought my main characters, Misty and Drake, would end the story in this image but instead, they ended in image number five. The image depicts a girl—Misty—walking barefoot into a grassy tunnel with a light shining from the other end. The possibilities of what Misty and Drake find are infinite, perhaps even magical. Once you read Oafish Me, you’ll understand why it became the perfect fit.

Radeyah H. Ali- After perusing all the photos, I think the photo I chose struck me as both intriguing and captivating. I saw a myriad of situations of what could happen to the girl walking through the lush greenery all around her. Mostly, it struck me as magical, which led me to write my Drabble, "Magically Fitted." For me, there was no choice in the matter, because I knew that photo was the one for me. :)

Veronica Morfi- I am not really good with anything abstract, so I decided to only focus on the first image, like it was the only one given. Once I looked at it the characters just materialized and took their places in it. So there was no picking for me.

Maren Dille- I purposely picked the photograph that I thought would be the most popular--the globe. I wanted the one that had the most detail already, the one that put a story in your head without a lot of thought. Then I built a story that I hoped would make the reader do a double-take once they put the story and photograph together, something unique and creative.

Jon Messenger- I looked over the photos for a while as I tried to figure out which one to pick.  The biggest incentive for me was picking one that sparked my creativity.  I picked the fourth photo (the one with a woman trapped in a bubble) because it was the only one that didn’t immediately remind me of fairies (and I REALLY didn’t want to write a story about fairies!).  Once I was fixated on picture four, the story of Wind Warrior flowed pretty smoothly.

Gabrielle Arrowsmith- I was drawn to the picture of the boy much like he is drawn to the beacon before him. The image was magnetic for me. I saw in it a small, inspiring moment that I wanted to write about.

Sandra Havriluk- I was drawn to the picture of the girl in the tunnel because of the mysterious nature of the setting and my fear of being in such a place! It prompted memories of how I always tagged after my older brother and wanted to do whatever he did, even if deep-down I was petrified! Though we didn't have any tunnels or caves around to explore, if we had, he would have "double dog dared" me to follow him into them. From these memories sprang my story idea of a brother with an adventurous spirit and his little sister who who doesn't want to believe his wanderlust could have resulted in him being lost forever.

Julie Gilbert- I worked with picture #2, the little boy staring deeply at fire in a jar. I liked that picture the best, so I wrote a story based on what I was seeing. The kid looked like he was making a tough decision, so I just went with it. That's often how I write anyway, just start writing and see where the story wants to go.

Meme Collier- If I had picked a photograph based solely on which one interested me, it would have been a very difficult choice indeed, as all five intrigued me. However, I also looked at them to see which one inspired me. Each picture gave me at least one seed of an idea, but some of them did not follow through or would have made a better novel than a short story. I looked at the photo of the boy holding the light-filled jar, and I liked how it emanated a sense of mystic, childlike wonder. I assumed that fireflies were the source of the light, but then I thought to myself, what if it was a fairy inside the jar? Now, that could open up an entire world for me to explore—literally.

Sacha Hope- The picture of the woman in the glass ball drew me. Started to wonder why she was in there and why was the leaning against the glass ball. The more I wondered about that the more I wanted to write their story.

Leah D.W.- I chose a picture that really spoke to me. pictures give a lot of inspiration and the one with the mushrooms was perfect for Watery Grave.

Clemy Warner-Thompson- I chose the image that drew my attention. The books I write are always based on the elements of Light and Darkness, and so i chose the image which best reflected my interest.

Julie Marcinik- For me, it was easy to pick a photograph. As soon as I saw the pictures we were allowed to use, two of them caught my eye. I tried to think of possible stories for each one, and the fourth image won! From there, I expanded my idea into a bigger story. I had the scene and main idea down, but I didn’t know where the words would take me. I was happy with where it ended. It felt right. Starting from a photograph or prompts inspires me to create something. If we’d been permitted to write anything, it would have been much harder to narrow down all of my ideas and choose one.

Q- Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what are your favorite bands/genre of music?

Dana Wright- It depends on my mood and what I am writing. I am a music reviewer and tend to listen to a lot of classical based New Age releases, so that fits right in with my writing most of the time. When I am writing something in the horror genre, I like a little something with an edgier quality. 

Favorite bands: Florence and the Machine, Imagine Dragons (Radioactive), Loreena McKennitt, Evanescence, Nine Inch Nails (Amy Lee's voice is so pretty!)

Lovely musicians: Peter Phippin, Isadar, Danny Wright, Lia Scallon, Cynthia Chitko

Erin Beth Liles- I sometimes listen to music when I write.  The type of music depends on the type of mood I am trying to cultivate in my story. For intense action scenes, I might listen to the soundtrack to The Lord of the Rings movies. For slower, more contemplative scenes, I might go for singer song writer type music. But sometimes, I just need pure quiet!

Jennifer Bull- No, I like it as quiet as possible. Any noises usually lead to me procrastinating...and I am already far too proficient in the art of procrastination. (You and me both, girly.)

Mia Marin- I think listening to music is an important element to my writing process. However, I have to admit that I only do it some of the time while I'm doing the actual writing. On such occasions, I stick to instrumental (usually from anime official soundtracks) or classical music that fits the mood of what I'm writing. That way, I keep the flow of my ideas and I don't unconsciously include lyrics into my piece. Otherwise, I listen to indie/not-so-popular-but-definitely-inspiring-songs (usually from the "Narnia of YouTube") before I start writing.

B.T. Lyons- My “music” while writing is actually movies playing on the T.V. In the background. I have a huge DVD collection of favorites that act as enjoyable white noise whenever I'm on a creative streak. While I worked on “Heartkeeper” there was a constant stream of Disney movies going – with me singing along to all the musical numbers, of course – and while I worked on “Peace” I was listening to anime movies by Mamoru Hosada.

Ifeoma Ofuani- I used to listen to music while writing but sometimes I get distracted so I stopped. I enjoy rap, sometimes strictly Eminem and Rihanna but now I'm trying to listen to all genres of music including Jazz, which I heard is soul food.

Lisa Goldman- Yes, although the music is on low for background noise. I can often be found at country concerts but at home, while I’m writing, I usually listen to pop hits from Music Choice off the television. I don't pick certain songs for certain scenes because when I'm in my writing zone, I block it all out, something I became quite good at when needed as a mother.

Radeyah H. Ali- I don't always listen to music when I write, but if there's too much going on around me at the moment of writing, then I'd plug in my headphones definitely. While I enjoy a wide variety of genres, Avril Lavigne is my favourite. 

Veronica Morfi- I love listening to music while writing and I always pick songs that are fitting to each scene. I am a punk/rocker in heart but can listen from Britney Spears to ONE OK ROCK (that's a J-rock band) while writing. My favourite band as of the past few years is All Time Low. I love those guys!

Maren Dille- I listen to music before I write, to set the mood. Once I start typing, I need total silence. Good music is way too distracting. I find one song for each project, then listen to that several times over the days/weeks/months of writing. For "The Pastiche," I chose "Shackled" by Vertical Horizon.

Jon Messenger- I’m a big alternative music guy, but I’ve become hooked on some classics lately.  For most of Wind Warrior, I was listening to Billy Joel and the Beach Boys.  Eclectic, I know, but it was relaxing.

Gabrielle Arrowsmith- I don't listen to music while I'm writing, but I do have favorite artists and bands! My top three are Relient K, Lifehouse, and Jason Mraz. (My sister listens to Relient K!)

Sandra Havriluk- Right now on my long walks I take to ruminate on my WIP, I listen to the soundtrack of Les Miserables  (the PBS 25th anniversary one, not the movie one!) The deep emotions and universal themes of that story move me so much emotionally and help me write from a much rawer place.

Julie Gilbert- Yes, I listen to a lot of movie or video game soundtracks as I read, write, or do lesson plans. Some of my favorites are Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Inception, Harry Potter, and Kingdom Dance from Disney's Tangled.

Meme Collier- Sometimes I listen to music while writing. Mostly, I listen to music while thinking about writing: coming up with plot ideas, creating and adding to characters, planning scenes, etc. I create a playlist for each of my viable story or novel ideas; my iPod has about fifty of them so far! I listen to pretty much everything but rap and heavy metal; the music just has to fit the story in tone or actual lyric content. For example, one of my stories is set at the beach, so I listen to instrumental music with ocean waves in the background. I like a variety of songs from artists such as Arrows to Athens, The Fray, Five For Fighting, Rob Thomas, Switchfoot, Keane, Vanessa Carlton, OneRepublic, Nickelback, Paramore, and, yes, Taylor Swift. Usually, the deeper or more unique songs especially stay in my head. (Do you mind if I hug you??)

Sacha Hope- Sometimes I'll listen while writing, but most of the time it proves distracting to do so. I'm particularly fond of Linkin Park, Nickleback, Queen and some older songs from the 70's. (I like your taste in music!)

Leah D.W.- At times yes. I usually listen to Pink, Kelly Clarkson, Christina Perri and Lady Antebellum. (Good, upbeat choices. )

Clemy Warner-Thompson- Sometimes i listen to music whilst i write, but other times i like to completely put my focus on the story at hand. Depends what mood i'm in- if the music i want to listen to is slow and calming, then i usually have that running in the background, but if i'm in a mood for rock or really loud music, i tend to write OR listen to the music, not both!

Julie Marcinik- Definitely! I love Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, Taylor Swift, Breathe Carolina, Evanescence, Adam Lambert, P!Nk, Nickelback, Rascal Flatts, and Kelly Clarkson. I could go on forever, but I won’t. I listen to a little bit of everything :)

Q- Which of your characters do you relate to the most, and why?

Dana Wright- The child in this story is inquisitive. I was one of the ones poking into places better left alone when I was a kid, so I can identify. It remains to be seen if opening that jar is going to bring some good magic or something a bit wilder.

Erin Beth Liles- I think I relate to the boy in my story, Outside the Walls, most. He is intensely interested in justice and voicing what he truly believes, but he thinks about what he wants to say before he says it. Jenna, on the other hand, is more impulsively outspoken and argues sometimes just for the sake of arguing.

Jennifer Bull- I was originally going to write the 'A Wizard's World' story around Georgia, but for some reason Lottie jumped into my head and she just would not leave me alone until I had changed my mind and made sure that the story focused on her; so I'd have to say Lottie! I'm also very fond of the wizard in 'A Wizard's World', who is scatty, short-tempered, and completely loveable.

Mia Marin- I don't think I can choose between my two nameless narrators. Since my drabbles have different themes, I think both "narrators" represent parts of me from different points in my life.

B.T. Lyons- Fenjine, the mouse spirit in “Heartkeeper”, is definitely my favorite character and one I really relate to. He's snarky, sarcastic, honest to a fault, relies on his sense of humor to build relationships, and is truly devoted to good people. While I can't say he's actually “me” in a fuzzy little body, there's a lot of qualities in him that I admire and I'm so happy that he turned out the way he did.

Lisa Goldman- Hmm, I’d have to say Misty. Her peers taunt her by calling her an oaf, tripping her, and taping mean messages to her locker. Her life is miserable. She considers herself an outcast. Then Misty meets Drake and despite her pushing him away, he befriends her. My story takes the ridicule to the extreme but as a mother of four, one of who is mentally and physically challenged, I have seen prejudices, sometimes in the form of bullying. Misty, like my challenged daughter, only wants to fit in, that if you get to know either Misty or my daughter you’d realize you have common interests. It takes one person to go against the norm in a crowd. For Misty, that person is Drake.

Radeyah H. Ali- Even though in my Drabble I haven't named my character, her name is Adara and she has a really fascinating story. I feel compelled to write about her new life, one which she isn't the slightest prepared for. Maybe if you keep tabs on my Facebook Page and Blog you'd get to read about all her awesomeness! So stay tuned!

Maren Dille- Elise, the main character's love interest. In a less dramatic sense, I sympathize with watching someone you love destroy themselves because of resentments that would be better left forgotten.

Jon Messenger- The easy answer is Xander.  I wasn’t all that great of a college student because, like Xander, I was just a slacker.  He found his focus when it was revealed that he was a Wind Warrior.  I found my focus when I joined the Army.  The real truth, however, is that I’m probably closer to Sean.  I’m sarcastic and a huge geek.

Gabrielle Arrowsmith- There are two characters in my Drabble. I hope I relate more to the courageous boy than to the evil wizard! :) Like the boy, I have times when I know what needs to be done, but lack the immediate courage needed to follow through. Sometimes, I have to find inspiration to push myself to act.

Sandra Havriluk- In my drabble, I relate to Mikey, who is an obedient daughter to her mother (as was I), yet she has within her the strength and mettle to not give up on her brother, whom she idolizes (as did I). In these 100 words for the drabble, I have started to "peel" back a story hidden inside me - I don't think I'm finished with Mikey and Jedidiah yet!

Julie Gilbert- From this story, I'm intrigued by Keio. He's got some cool powers that are only alluded to due to the brevity of the story. At the time I wrote the story, I was in a bit of a fantasy kick. Someday, I may return to the tale and expand upon it. The idea of being able to see pieces of the future is an intriguing one. Heroes and their choices are also fun things to explore. I want to know what choice Keio will ultimately make. Who will he chose to save? Can he change his fate or is it sealed as the flickering flames of the Farsight Fire seem to want him to believe? Everybody makes choices. Not all of them are life and death, but as a teacher, writer, daughter, and friend, I can relate to Keio's sense that his choices will affect those he loves.

Meme Collier- If you mean characters from my short story, I definitely relate to Gracie the most. She’s at that stage where she’s not a kid anymore, but a part of her wants to be; or, at least, she wants to still believe that life can be simple and good, that magic can and does exist. Her life isn’t an endless tragedy, but it isn’t a walk in the park, either, which I can respect and sympathize with. Even though she doesn’t always do the best thing, Gracie acts out of love for her brother; I think that’s admirable, and it’s a part of who she is. I like a character that has flaws, but takes great steps to overcome them. It makes them noble yet believable—an everyday hero who, at the end of the day, is one of us. 

Sacha Hope- In Glass Heart it would be Wolt. He desperately clings to his lost wife. Its something we all have experienced on some level, to cling to something which is lost and not knowing when to let go.

Leah D.W.- I let out my darker side writing Watery Grave so I connected mostly with the evil creature lurking in those muddy waters.

Clemy Warner-Thompson- I didn't really write enough to relate to either of my characters. Originally, my small drabble was going to be about an angel, but something inside of me chose to keep the two characters human, separated by years of the unknown. I'm not sure why.

Julie Marcinik- I relate the most to Caine. I see him as being the optimistic one who always jokes and makes light of the situation. I try to be like that; I’m not very serious. I can be, but I love teasing people. I like to make people laugh.

Now that we're finished with the longest interview ever, we can proceed to the giveaway!
This giveaway is International. It's for one digital copy of the WONDERSTRUCK anthology, as well as a WONDERSTRUCK bookmark and a magnet. (:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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