Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Day 3 of 31 books in 31 days-Lamar Giles book giveaway & kindle entry

Today's guest is Lamar Giles the author of Fake Id. Participate in his giveaway and gain another entry into the kindle giveaway.  Below is the information about his amazing novel. Check it out and then enter both giveaways.

Featured book of the day
Nick Pearson is hiding in plain sight. In fact, his name isn't really Nick Pearson. He shouldn't tell you his real name, his real hometown, or why his family just moved to Stepton, Virginia. And he definitely shouldn't tell you about his friend Eli Cruz and the major conspiracy Eli was uncovering when he died. About how Nick had to choose between solving Eli's murder with his hot sister, Reya, and "staying low-key" like the Program said to do. But he's going to tell you—unless he gets caught first. . . .



1.       What, if any, authors inspired you to be a  writer? Why?

As soon as I was able to read, I gravitated towards strange stories. I started with more age appropriate work by Roald Dahl (the Charlie books), Madeleine L'Engle (A Wrinkle in Time), and C.S. Lewis (the Narnia books) in the beginning, but quickly graduated to Stephen King, Robert McCammon, and other scary writers. The difference maker was IT by Stephen King, which I read at age 11. That book made me want to be a writer. The desire nearly fizzled in my teens, though. As much as I liked fantasy, horror, and science fiction, I became acutely aware that the genres rarely showed people of color in a positive light. It made me think maybe there was no place for me in fiction. In my late teens I discovered the work of Tananarive Due (My Soul to Keep) and her husband Steven Barnes (Blood Brothers). Seeing how they portrayed black people in otherworldly situations gave me hope and pushed me to pursue the craft, essentially following in their footsteps. 

2.       What role does reading play in your life? What type of novels do you read currently?

You can't write if you don't read. You can try, but you'll likely churn out tepid fiction, at best. I've met a number of people who attempt to write without reading, and they tend to think they're coming up with super original concepts that have actually been done a hundred times before. Reading widely allows for a simple understanding: there are no new tales to tell. But, what each writer brings into a given story is the nuance of their own lives, their own experiences. For me, reading is half of my job.

I read all sorts of things, though lately I've been doing mostly audiobooks. Since I'm travelling more, an audio book allows me to "read" while driving, or taking a cab from the airport to my hotel with relative ease. Lately, I've been reading a lot of Native American literature for a graduate class I'm taking. For leisure, I'm listening to book 3 of Neal Shusterman's UNWIND series. 

3.       On another interview, you mentioned the lack of diversity in YA books, when you read do you aim to read books with diverse main characters?

Yes. I'm not interested in reading homogeneous fiction that pretends only certain people's stories are worth telling. All fiction requires a suspension of disbelief, to some degree. And I can buy into a lot --superpowers, dystopian futures, magic. I refuse to buy into worlds where only one type of person is important. That's not me trying to dictate what other writers create, just me exercising my right to spend my money and time elsewhere. The great news is I have plenty of awesome choices. The only thing I'm lacking it time to read everything on my ever growing TO BE READ list.

4.       In your opinion, what makes a book memorable? What book would you recommend for our YA readers?  Why?

I think a book is most memorable if it can touch real world issues (large or personal) in a way you nearly miss because you're so entertained. I already mentioned Neal Shusterman, but I'll bring him up again. I think UNWIND is a perfect example of entertaining you while exploring (dark and large) issues. 

 5.       If you could be any hero or heroine from a YA series, who would it be?


 I'm trying to resist saying NICK from FAKE ID (hehe). Kira from Ellen Oh's PROPHECY series is pretty awesome. Also, Shy from Matt De La Peña's THE LIVING. I guess it's a coin toss between those two, since they're two of my favorite characters in recent years. 

6.       Why did you write Fake Id? Why did this story and theme speak to you?

 I wrote FAKE ID because I wanted to create a kick ass African-American boy, and the specific scenario was inspired by a book called INSIDE WITSEC, written by the man who created the Federal Witness Protection Program. Reading about all this true stories of criminals getting new identities, then having to be relocated AGAIN due to all sorts of bad behavior spoke to me because I couldn't stop thinking "what about their families?" I've compared Nick (the hero in my book) to children in military families, always moving, never planting roots. The difference with Nick is he can't say his transient lifestyle is due to something honorable, like having a parent who's protecting our country. What would that do to a kid? How would he feel? FAKE ID grew directly from those questions.

7.       What is your favorite part about being an author?

My favorite part of being an author are the REALLY good writing days. Any day I get to write, and I'm in a groove, it's awesome. But the REALLY good days are like traveling to a different world. It's harder to get into a true zone lately, as time gets divided more and more between "writing" (actually creating stories) and "writer stuff" (interviews, business concerns, appearances, etc.). But, when those great writing days do come around, when you're hitting on all cylinders, and your hands are flying across the keyboard like they're somebody else's.... there's no better job in the world. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No comments:

Post a Comment