It’s blog tour time! Today I’ve got another fun, unique YA title to share with you guys! The sudden, uncontrollable urge to break into Shattered by The Rolling Stones is also killing me, but that has nothing to do with the book.
Title: Shattered Memories
Author: Susan Harris
Published: June 16th, 2015
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Genre: YAm Dystopian Thriller
Content Warning: Adult language, graphic violence, and sexual content
Recommended Age: 16+
Synopsis: A terrible tragedy forced Alana McCarthy to forget a year of her life. Now she is to be executed for a crime she does not remember committing—the murder of her entire family. Lost and alone, Alana is terrified of unlocking secrets buried so deep inside her mind that she’s willing to forget the one person who could set her free.
Daniel Costello hasn’t forgotten about Alana, and he will do anything and everything to protect the girl he loves. But first, Alana needs to unlock her memories and find out the truth about what happened the night her family was killed.
The day of her execution is set. Together, will Alana and Daniel be able to uncover the truth behind her family’s deaths before it’s too late?
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Susan is here with us today in interview form, so let’s hear what she has to say about her book and the writing world!
SJ: Every writer has some sort of process. Give us a glimpse into yours. Do you meticulously outline? Do you write depending on what calls are out there?
SH: When I have an idea for writing I do a lot of planning and prep before I actually start writing. First I do a book outline of what goes into each chapter. I also do character profiles where I jot down everything from eye color to height. Then once I know what kind of characters are scenes are going into the books I spend ALOT of time working on a playlist. Writing and music come hand in hand for me..I couldn’t do one without the other.
SJ: Bonus question – Do you put on a cape and do a chant before hunkering down to work? Sacrifice anything? Along with your process, what’s your quirkiest writing habit?
SH: I think my quirkiest writing habit is I have to set up my laptop, notebook and pens in a certain way. And I have a card with my word count where I have chapters with each individual word count as well as combined word count. I also have like mini figurines of Loki, Legolas and transformers that I have to have near me! Atm I’m doing up my office area so it’s weird to be working without all of them!
SJ: Are you a meticulous planner or do you believe in the muse? Where do your ideas come from? Do they filter in through your dreams? Do they show up at inopportune times and whap you upside the head? Do they result in a shady deal with a dark power?
SH: No matter how much I plan and want a story to go in a certain way, the voices in my head will constantly change the outcome as I write. And yes it does haunt me in my dreams so much so that I will more often than not wake up during the night and have to go write so that I can get a little restful sleep! Maybe I should make a shady deal with a dark power! I wonder if I made a deal with a crossroads demon would Crowley himself appear? It’s worth a shot right?
Note from SJ: Susan gets all the bonus points for the Supernatural reference.
SJ: bonus question – If your muse had a physical manifestation, what would he or she look like and how would she or he act? Is it a sexy superhero version of Callisto? A sharp-tongued rogue? A reptilian alien? Do they have a catch phrase?
SH: If I could picture my muse I think she would be like Charley Davidson from Darynda Jones series. Smart as hell but with the attention span of a goldfish!
SJ: What’s the book/story that’s closest to your heart? Is there a piece that you clearly feel is a piece of you? Do you play favorites?
SH: Crave the Darkness by Amanda Bonilla stands out for me with that question. When I was reading the book the main character had panic attacks and anxiety die to something that happened to her. (Aiming for no spoilers!) and I related to it because I was going through the same thing at the time. Despite being a writing I found it hard to put into words what I was feeling and this book did that so beautifully.
SJ: If you could only write one genre ever again upon pain of being sacrificed to Cthulhu, what would it be and why?
SH: Paranormal/ fantasy! I love reading the genre and writing it too because you have the freedom to be as creative as possible and even invent some creatures that haven’t ever been done!
SJ: What’s your biggest frustration as a writer? What do you consider the downside, or is there one? Is there any cliché that makes you want to wring people’s necks?
SH: Writers block and people who think it’s easy to be a writer and anyone could do it. Plus I am not a fan of cliché rom coms! Not bashing anyone’s taste but I just find them predictable and boring….but paranormal romance ..that I don’t have an issue with!
SJ: Do you think it’s possible to develop a sure-fire recipe/formula for success as a writer? Would you want to, or does that compromise the art or the fun of it? I have a phrase tattooed on my arm that read “Better to write for yourself and have no public then to write for the public and have no self.” I think if you write something just ‘cause the industry finds something ‘in’ and the moment then you’re not doing yourself any favors. I want to write stories that spark something in me and not conform to a certain mainstream idea.
SJ: Everyone has words of wisdom for young writers, so I’m not going to ask you about that. With a few unknown writers becoming success stories, a lot of people seem to think it’s an easy career choice. What would your words of wisdom be to these people?
SH: It’s not as easy as it looks. Writing is sometimes a very solitary job over extended periods of time. And that book might not make it. We authors spend a lot of our time researching and writing and re-writing before it’s even ready to submit. There is an impression that because of the overnight success’ of some authors whose books, in my opinion aren’t my cup of tea, makes our creative process seem easy. I wish it was as simple as people think but it’s most definitely not!
SJ: It seems like everyone likes to gang up on certain genres as being inferior, less meaningful, or cheap entertainment (especially if it’s speculative in nature). Make a case for the genre you write.
SH: It really makes me angry when other authors or readers bash certain genres. Like people, not everyone is going to like a particular genre. I love paranormal or dystopian books while others love romantic contemporary. It should be more important that people are reading no matter what they read.
Note from SJ: Word
For my genre, dystopian at this time, it allows you to see what the world could be like if we continue on in the way we are going. Most of us won’t get to see the future in 100 years. But with the Dystopian genre we can paint a picture of life unknown and create characters that will forever be changed by the events of that future.
SJ: What do you want people to instantly think of when they hear your name or your work mentioned?
SH: I would like to be known for the worlds I create. Most of the authors that I read are renowned for their fantastic world building. I would love to have even a sentence of my work stand out for someone, like a memorable quote. Like when we think of The Fault in our Stars, I immediately think of his quote “That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt.” If even one line in my book sticks in someone’s head like that then I know I’ve done a good job!
SJ: Please tell us about your latest/favorite work or a little bit about what you’re working on right now. It’s plug time, so go for it!
SH: I’m currently working on a new series but we are in the early stages atm. It’s called Skin and Bones and I would describe it as a mix of Supernatural vs Criminal minds. It will also introduce a creature that hasn’t really been written about before and a variety of different characters who I hope will get their own books as the series progresses.
About the Author:
Susan Harris is a writer from Cork in Ireland. An avid reader, she quickly grew to love books in the supernatural/fantasy genre. When she is not writing or reading, she loves music, oriental cultures, tattoos, anything Disney and psychology. If she wasn’t a writer she would love to be a FBI profiler or a PA for Dave Grohl or Jared Leto.
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