It’s 2016! This is the year my young adult fantasy novel, Fear My Mortality, releases!
There are so many things I’m looking forward to sharing with everyone this year: kicking off with the cover reveal soon, sharing the book trailer I made, some special swag giveaways I have planned and, ultimately, seeing Fear My Mortality out in the world. It’s a story about believing in yourself, being who you are, and having courage in the face of adversity and I can’t wait to share it with you.
I am so excited to have on my blog Jenny Martin who is the author of the awesome YA science fiction novel TRACKED (recently released from Dial/Penguin).
Jenny Martin is a librarian, a book monster, and a certified Beatle-maniac. She lives in Dallas with her husband and son, where she hoards books and regularly blisses out over all kinds of live and recorded rock.
Everly: There is so much to love about TRACKED. For me, the fast pace and action were perfect. What’s your process for writing action scenes?
Jenny: Wow, thank you so much, Everly! True confession: Believe it or not, the action scenes are actually the easiest for me to write. And the most enjoyable! I think a lot of it boils down to voice. In every scene, I’m always trying to tap into that character’s voice. I’m trying to get under the skin and filter everything through that unique perspective. Usually, I’m not even focusing on what’s actually happening, blow by blow. Instead, I’m interpreting the experience of it. I think that’s the key. I’m always chasing that sense of really being there, and trying to conjure what it would be like for the character. And when that character is strapped in, and blasting off at top speeds…it can be pretty fun!
Everly: I fell in love with Phee’s voice right from the start. I’d love to hear about her evolution from an idea into the fearless character that she is.
Jenny: Great question, and one of my favorites! I’ve written about this quite a bit, but Phee’s voice was really strong, from the beginning. I’d gotten the idea for Tracked, after watching Death Race: 2000 with Jason Statham, and a documentary on out of control corporations, and Phee popped into my head soon after, pretty much fully formed. From the get go, on the page, she was impatient and reckless and headstrong. And above all, fearless—a Han Solo girl with smart mouth and a stubborn, loyal heart. Basically, she was everything I’m not! And I think that’s no accident. Phee came to me during a really tough time in my journey. Writing her was almost therapeutic. She was so good for my spirit, and she helped me face a lot of my own fears, and move past them.
Everly: I also really loved the world of TRACKED and how you brought it alive with culturally diverse characters like Cashoman Dradha, Grace Yamada, and Auguste de Chevalier. What part of the TRACKED world did you most enjoy writing about?
Jenny: Thank you! I really enjoyed writing each of these characters, especially Cash. It was also a lot of fun to dream up the histories of these two planets—his and Phee’s. While Cash’s planet is lush and unyielding, corporations from Earth colonized Phee’s world, and I borrowed a little bit of my home state’s history in writing it. I grew up in dusty, windswept Oklahoma, which was settled in a series of wild, claim-staking land runs. And naturally, I made sure that Phee’s planet was settled that way, too…through breakneck races. Then everything fell into place. I knew why rally racing had to be the most popular interplanetary sport. Suddenly, that history became important to Phee and Cash’s story.
Everly: Please tell me there’s going to be a sequel? (Because I kind of want to read it, like, now!) If so, when can we look forward to seeing it on shelves?
Jenny: Hurray! Thanks for asking. So glad you enjoyed! Yes, there is a sequel under contract, and I’m actually finishing up edits on it right now. It will be out next year, and I can’t wait for readers to see what happens next. Phee has been through so much, but oh boy, she has a long road ahead of her. All I can say is…these characters have become so dear to me, and it’s going to be thrilling to see the finish line at last.
Everly: In the spirit of fast and furious, some quick questions:
Red car or black car?
Black car! Just like Phee’s Talon, of course.
Hero or villain?
Hero, all the way. (I’m Jedi and House Gryffindor, through and through.)
Muffins or cupcakes?
Cupcakes. Especially if they’re frosted with salted caramel!
As the weather cools down here in Australia, it’s summer overseas. This season I want to fill my bookshelf, both real and virtual, with debut novels that will keep the winter chills at bay and remind that somewhere the warm sun is shining.
I’ve kicked the season off with two amazing 2015 debuts:
TRACKED by Jenny Martin, described as “Star Wars meets Speed Racer, in which a daring, street-racing girl transforms from rebel to revolutionary”. Yep. And it was AWESOME!
IN A WORLD JUST RIGHT by Jen Brooks, which I’m halfway through and loving: A boy who creates alternative worlds gets his worlds mixed up and tries to kiss the real version of the girl he loves, after which his worlds begin to collide.
Currently on my MUST-READ list (not all debuts, but authors I’ve never read before):
LIFER by Beck Nicholas: The Bourne Identity meets Under the Never Sky? I want it. Now!
THE BODY INSTITUTE by Carol Riggs: not releasing until September, but I can’t wait: A girl “Reducer” takes over other girl’s bodies to get them into shape–until her own identity is threatened.
NOBODY’S GODDESS by Amy McNulty: A village of masked men, a magic that compels them to love only one woman, and one girl’s search for freedom and true happiness. Bring on the good chills!
DON’T FALL by Rachel Schieffelbein: A retelling of Rapunzel. Ah, happiness!
THESE BROKEN STARS by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner: A luxury spaceliner crashes from hyperspace, leaving only two survivors. My first space story in a long time and I’m hoping for a fabulous read.
CROWN OF ICE by Vicki L. Weavil: The young Snow Queen kidnaps a boy to help her reassemble the shattered enchanted mirror that is the difference between life or eternity as a wraith.
ZEROBOXER by Fonda Lee: Weightless combat sport, romance, action. This one had me at the title!
I love reading book reviews and writing them too, but I also know that most people are super busy just keeping up with everything else going on in their lives, so I like to keep my reviews short and simple.
This week, I’ve reviewed two books and I’d love it if you checked out the reviews and also checked out the books (they are AMAZING). I don’t review anything that doesn’t make it to five stars, because after all, these are going on my favorite list.
This book. How can I describe it? Beautiful. Agonising. Uplifting. Hopeful and devastating at the same time.
Of Breakable Things by A. Lynden Rolland is one of the few books that actually made me cry. And yet I also found it comforting, like greeting an old friend, the kind you can sit with quietly, without needing to speak to be understood. It’s beautifully written from multiple points of view and has an otherworldly feel about it that completely drew me in and wouldn’t let me go.
I highly recommend this book. In a five star world, I would give it six stars if I could.
EF: Hi Jaymin! I want to start with the Walker Saga and can I just say that Abby is the definition of a kick-butt YA heroine, but what really sets her apart for me is her personality. How much fun have you had writing this series?
JE: Hi! I love Abby too, she is the heart of the Walker Saga and it has been so much fun to write in her ‘voice’.I love a heroine who has no problems with taking risks, is kick-butt, has a smart mouth and yet can be vulnerable. Abigail is as flawed as she is perfect and that in my opinion is what makes her so multi-dimensional. She makes mistakes, she owns them and then tries her best to fix what she has created. This series is full of girl-power and the true bonds of friendship and love.
As a whole the Walker Saga is a big story and world. There are layers upon layers, seven different worlds, different creatures, different landscapes. All so vastly alien to anything humans know of. The series incorporates facets of the various genres I love: fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal, romance, drama, action. It really has it all, and in that way it has been more fun than I ever imagined to write. Never boring that is for sure.
EF: I love all your covers, but particularly the cover for your latest Walker book, Nephilius. Can you give us a sneak peak into the next book in the series, Dronish?
JE: Dronish is a world full of vampiric creatures that have razed their world to the ground. Their need for energy has drained the once vibrant world to a shell of itself. They are a dying race, and their half-Walker female is hunted for the masses of energy which resides inside of her. It is a dark and cold world, almost the exact opposite of Crais. One world has too much heat and sun, the other not enough.
EF: I can’t wait to read it! And the final book, Earth. What’s in store for Abby and Brace? I am dying to see how the Walker Saga ends!
JE: Wow! Well Earth is the final chapter of this epic saga, we will discover the Earth half-Walker and try and race the clock to imprison the free members of the Seventine. The date for the convergence will draw closer and they know that if all seven of these power hungry creatures are released, then the entire star-system will be destroyed. I foresee plenty of drama in this final chapter. Fingers crossed Abby and her girls come out on top.
EF: Now to your new series, Supernatural Prison, and the first book: Dragon Marked. I didn’t think I could ever love a male lead more than Brace, but the Compass brothers in Dragon Marked are serious competition. Tell us a bit about the story.
JE: I have a special place in my heart for all of my leading men and Brace and Braxton are at the top of that list. Everything you want in the man in your life, tall, protective, alpha-as-all-heck but still vulnerable when it comes to their loves.
Dragon Marked is our first venture into the Supernatural Prison world. There are jails hidden across the globe and contained within these fortresses are some of the deadliest criminals from the five supernatural races: vampire, shifter, fey, magic users and demi-fey. Bordering the prisons are communities filled with supernatural creatures that protect the borders.
We follow Jessa, her sister Mischa and the delectable Compass quadruplets as they navigate the secrets of their world. Plenty of supernatural creatures, lots of drama, sexual tension and crazy love abounds. There are plenty of humorous moments woven throughout also.
Thank you so much Everly for chatting with me today, I have had a blast 🙂
EF: Me too! Thanks Jaymin!
UPDATE: As at 16 February 2015, Dragon Marked is sitting at No. 7 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in Science Fiction and Fantasy. Congratulations, Jaymin! 🙂