Sunday, June 9, 2013

Monster Blitz, Giveaway, and Author Interview!!!

So. Last year I mentioned a book. The best book I read in 2012. Brilliantly thought-provoking, heartbreakingly beautiful, and incredibly amazing, Monster was a gorgeous story that went straight to my heart. It is still there, and I am BEYOND EXCITED to say its release date is June 15!!! 

I begged to interview the author, Mirriam Neal, last fall, simply because I loved Monster so much, and now that the publication date is FINALLY HERE, I just had to do it again. She's an awesome person, as well as an awesome writer - go follow her blog and like/share her author page on Facebook and see for yourself, if you don't know already! XD

From the book's cover:

The year is 2053, and the world is recovering from Morbus, a plague that swept across the globe, destroying millions of lives. Eva Stewart is a promising young WorldCure scientist assigned to a facility in Alaska where she is made a Handler and given her own Subject for research and experimentation. What she believes to be a step up in her career becomes a nightmare when she discovers writing on her Subject's cell wall. 
I still have a soul.
Soon Eva is drawn into a horrific plot kept quiet by WorldCure, and as everything she knew collapses around her, she must discover the truth behind her Subject, her beliefs, and herself. 

Mirriam is doing a giveaway on the 14th on her blog, as well as posting all the details of where you can buy the book! Speaking of, Blitz = buy Monster on the 15th and get as many other people as you can to buy it also! Let's see how many sales we can make happen the day it comes out! :)    

And now for the interview. :) Welcome back, Mirriam! 

So, what is your one-sentence synopsis of Monster
“A dedicated young scientist must question everything she has worked for when her Subject begins to show signs of humanity.”
*shiver* Okay, just that was enough to send several of my favorite scenes running through my head…

Out of the stories you have written, why did you decide to publish this one first?
Honestly, because it was finished first. *grin* I think it’s a good first novel; I just hope people won’t think I’m going to stick to one genre. Every book I’m working on is totally different.
That is for sure! Your ability to cross genres and give every story a completely different feel has me awed. J

What was the hardest part about writing Monster as a whole? The easiest? Hardest/easiest scene? The hardest part about writing Monster was knowing it would eventually end. Writing the last few chapters was incredibly difficult, but physically, the hardest to write is a scene where Eva tells Pocky some important information about Mir. The easiest scenes were, interestingly, the ones where Mir and Eva talked to each other. Their dialogue and chemistry came very naturally, none of it was forced.

How many songs are on your Monster playlist? :) I actually would love to know what they all are, if you wanted to share that! :D Do you tend to listen to music while you are thinking about the story or while you are actually writing it? or both?
I love music + writing questions! My playlist wasn’t too long, but it was key in playing through emotions in the book. Big Bang’s “Monster,” DMTN’s “E.R.,” Tritops’ “Love Addiction” and “Bad Boy,” Owl City’s “Gold,” and MBLAQ’s “Cry” were replayed so many times they got moved up to my ‘most played’ category! I listened (still do, all the time) to music while writing AND thinking about it. It’s such a powerful mood enhancer.
It is!! So very cool to hear what songs influenced Monster... J  

Are you totally ready for this or does the thought of sending your characters out into the world scare you?
I know my characters can handle themselves; I’m more worried about their author! *laugh* I’m not as nervous as I thought I would be. I want to see them do well, because I want to feel like I’ve done right by Mir and Eva and the rest. They deserve it.

How did you choose the cover design?
I knew I wanted Mir’s face. (I’ll have you know that the face on the cover is not Mir’s face in my mind’s eye, but it was perfect because nobody else knows that!) Jessica Greyson, a talented graphic artist, came along and offered to make the cover – and she did a stunning job!
I see a different face in my head also, but the cover looks amazing! J

Is there anyone you really hope will read Monster? Anyone you would actually rather not read it?
If I’m going to shoot for the stars, I’ll say I would love Lee Joon of MBLAQ to read it, because he is Mir. His character, his personality (and his looks – he’s who I envision as Mir) – they are Mir’s heart. And I would love him to know how important he was (and is) to me. I can’t think of anybody I don’t want to read it – I want everyone to meet Mir!
That is so cool...and Yes!!!!! Everyone, go read it.

Is there anything in Monster that you thought people would ask you about that no one has mentioned?  Or a part/character that people loved/hated that surprised you?
I was pleased that everyone loved who I wanted them to love and hate who I wanted them to hate. I think everyone grasped the characters and their identities really well – sometimes so well that it surprised me! As for questions I thought people would ask, I can’t think of any. People are good at asking questions; they don’t tend to leave many out!

Did you hit writer's block anywhere in the story/how did you get through it?
I hit writer’s block before the trial scene and it took me almost a week before I was given inspiration again. As providence would have it, I went to a conference in South Carolina that gave me all the information and inspiration I needed to finish it up!
Awesome… J It was rough waiting to read; must have been dreadful waiting to write it!

Have you found there to be any occupational hazards to being a writer? The occasional growing of claws and the tendency to growl at interrupters. Also, sitting in a computer chair for an extended amount of time isn’t exactly comfortable. I also tend to lose sleep, but sleep can be forfeited.
J Just so long as you don’t burn yourself out…you need to keep writing until forever. XD

Did you start writing Monster right at the beginning or somewhere else in the story? Do you remember what was the scene that made you start?
The first sentence you wrote? I like to write chronologically; otherwise I get confused. I may start with a certain scene in my head and write up to that, but I don’t start with it. The scene that came into my mind was when Eva first sees the writing on Mir’s wall; I knew it would be pivotal, and so I sat down because I wanted that scene to happen.
Gah, I love that scene…You have no idea how excited I am to be able to hold this story actually in my hands and read it in just a few days instead of somedays…

Is there one scene that is your favorite/has stayed your favorite through any rewrites/edits? Can you share it? (without spoilers? :)
Oh, goodness. I love so many scenes…I really love The Kiss (I don’t want to say too much without spoilers) and the dancing scene, but here’s a conversation I also love that shouldn’t be too spoilery.

               In that moment, the carefully held-together pieces of Eva’s heart broke. “Love is…” her voice faded. How was she to explain something as complicated and foreign as love to this creature before her – a product of darkness and fear and abandonment, everything love was not? But Thirteen’s luminescent eyes watched her unblinkingly, waiting for an answer. She began again. “Love is when… when you feel strongly for someone in a good way. You want what’s best for someone else because their happiness is more important than yours.” She took a deep breath and rubbed her shaking hands together. “Love is when you’d give up everything you value if it would help the other person. You would die so they could live.”
            Thirteen curled his left arm around his stomach and Eva paused, waiting for him to speak. After several heartbeats, she asked flatly, “You don’t understand anything I’m saying, do you?”       
            When Mir spoke, his voice was thick and hard to make out. “You would die?”
            “Yes,” said Eva, swallowing past a lump in her throat, “if I loved them enough.”
            More silence, while Eva, growing uncomfortable on the hard, cold ground, shifted into a more comfortable position. She waited, and finally in a quiet, husky voice that Eva had to lean forward to catch it all, he asked, “You would live, too?”
            “Live?” Eva could feel her composure cracking. “Well, of course I’d live. Everybody wants to live.”
            Mir lowered his head and looked away, ghostly in the blue glow of her flashlight. “Not everyone.”

Kills me….every…time…thank you for sharing it here! *goes off to cry by myself*

Do you have plans to publish any other books in the near future?
Yes, I hope so! I’m working on several books that I would love to see get in other people’s hands. I’m the sort of person who wants everyone to love what I love, so I want to see my characters enthrall people. When someone cries or laughs along with my stories, it makes me the happiest person in the galaxy.
I can’t wait for the next one, whichever it ends up being! J

Is there anything in particular you would like to say to someone considering reading Monster?
Yes. I know, looking at the cover or reading the synopsis, this may not sound like your kind of book. But please give it a chance – I’ve had quite a few people read it and tell me, “I never read this kind of book, but I loved Monster.” So don’t judge it before you read it. You may hate it – but you may love it. Don’t waste the chance to meet Mir.

Yes, yes, yes. Don't miss the opportunity. Mir changed my life...let his story change yours. And no, I was not hired to say that. When I say buy Monster (on the 15th!!!) and read it, I'm saying it because I loved it and I want you to be able to love it too! So mark the 15th! And then come tell me what you think of Monster, because I would be absolutely delighted to hear! :D 

And if you want to read a little more about Monster while you're waiting for the 15th, check out these posts and be watching for more! :) 

Sofia (Great interview...I love Mirriam's answer to did writing Monster teach you anything - that's exactly what it taught me, which is pretty awesome. :) 

Ashley (Ashley's better at writing feels than I am...and gah, just the title of her post...leave me to my tears...)

Lisa (another great interview - but please don't explode, Mirriam. XD Though I think I might, if the 15th doesn't get here quickly. :P)

5 thoughts shared:

Tabitha said...

you should check out this:

I loved reading your beautiful people.

You should also do another story in gifs that made me laugh so hard!

Katherine Sophia said...

Aw, thanks, Tabitha! :) And haha, I had a lot of fun with the story in gifs. If I come up with another idea I will certainly do it. XD

Ooh, that looks fun! Hmm...I might have an idea for it... XD

Esther Kirkland said...

I loved Monster so much -- seriously thrilled to see this one in print. My library will be getting a copy ASAP. :D

Katherine Sophia said...

Me too!! :D My library has been waiting far too many months for a copy. XD

daysease said...

Have you been so happy for a relatively new stranger, that you were drawn to tears? Mirriam... I am so excited for you. This is such a neat time in your life, and I am blessed for and with you... I wish you much... :-)


mrsdayseye at gmail dot com


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