Sunday, September 22, 2013

Debut Authors Bash and Giveaway Anne Applegate

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Anne Applegate was born in Chico, California.  Most of her childhood was spent moving across America with her family, nomad style.
When Anne was fourteen, her parents sent her to boarding school so she could spend
four years in a single educational system.  As it turned out, her family then promptly settled into a small mid-western town and lived there for the next sixteen years.  Anne still hasn’t figured out if this means something.
After graduation, she went on to Tufts University in Medford, MA, where she had a wicked good time. Eventually, she  wound up back on the west coast, where she married a fantastic Californian guy.  Together, they have three children.
For the last twelve years, Anne has lived  in San Luis Obispo County.  This is by far the longest time she has stayed in any one place her whole life.  She immensely enjoys living  where 1) the sun always shines and 2) she isn’t the weirdest person in town.

When you started writing this story did you have an outline or did you just let the characters story come as you wrote?? 

I’ve  heard people say writers are either Outliners or By-the-Seat-of-Their-Pantsers.  I’m such a pantser, I’m probably lucky I even have pants.  

Who are your favorite paranormal authors? Did any of them inspire you to write this story?

Growing up, I loved THE YELLOW WALLPAPER, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and anything by Stephen King.   
As I’ve gotten older, I’m more influenced by bits and pieces of books.  In HOUSE OF LEAVES by Mark Z. Danielewski, the story included a coded note from one character to another.  The reader was required to count lines and mark letters to reveal the true message.  When I glanced at my transcription and saw this CREEPY letter, written in my own penmanship, I had to stop reading for a day or two while I got over my heebie-jeebies.  That’s the sort of thing I love – when a story is so creepy you throw the book across the room, but so intriguing you are forced to pick it up again, desperately curious to read a little more.

If you could sit down with 3 authors to discuss your story line, where you saw it going and to see what advise they could give you who would they be and why?

I’d choose John Green, Audrey Niffenegger, and Neil Gaiman.  Since I’m a pantser-type writer, I’d have no idea where my story was going or what advice to seek.  I’d mumble incoherently and blush a lot.  It’d be like that nightmare where I show up to class, on test day, in my jammies.  But since it’s my dream, we’d all end up playing foosball over beers.  Then I’d ply them with other, equally important questions like, “How did you get to be so awesome?”  

Do you have a play list you write to? Do you have a play list for this book?

OK, this is total spoiler music.  My play list for this book included Secure Yourself, by the Indigo Girls; Help, I’m Alive by Metric; Cruel Summer by Bananarama; and of course Don’t Fear the Reaper, by Caesars.  

As a first time author, what was your biggest fear before you hit the publish button?

In the beginning, the story belongs to you, a secret thing.  Hitting the publish button is like getting a tattoo – taking what you really think and putting it out on the surface, for anyone to see, for the rest of your life.  That’s fairly terrifying.  

Now that you have hit that button and have published, how do you feel?

Whatever emotion it is when you fall face first into a box of chocolate and giggle-weep until you pass out.   

What words of wisdom do you have for new authors out there??  

Trust yourself and keep going.  

The Last Academy

The Last Academy
There was no one milling about in the hallway this time. In fact, it seemed even more dark and deserted than usual. I knocked.
“Come in!” Nora yelled. She was sitting out on the patio. Already, Jessie’s stuff had a dusty, pharaoh’s tomb look to it. I hurried through the room and out to the patio.
“What really happened to Jessie?” I asked. “Did she…”
Nora said in a loud voice, “I don’t know. When I woke up, she was gone.”
“People were talking about an ambulance. They said she killed herself.”
“Look, I don’t know anything about that.” Nora enunciated every word. I wanted to shake her or something. Jessie had been my friend, too.
“But what about all her stuff?”  I demanded. “Are you telling me she just got up in the middle of the night and walked out of your room and … disappeared?”

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