Today’s Wednesday’s Guest is novelist, A.B. Whelan, who is currently on a short blog tour to let people know about her young adult novel. As part of her tour, she is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and a goodie bag with a copy of the book, a necklace and a magnet. Visit the tour starting spot, I am a Reader Not a Writer
, for all the details. Now, I’ll let A.B. take the stage.
I’m so glad to have you as my guest today, A.B. Could you tell the readers just a bit about yourself before we get to the other questions?
Thanks for having me here today, Maryann. I’m an author, reader, movie fanatic, and a soccer mom. I have a big mouth and a big heart. I speak Hungarian, English, German, some Spanish and a little Greek. I love adventure, challenge, cooking, and baking. I dislike shopping, being bored and junk food. My latest novel Fields of Elysium
is a YA science-fiction romance, but I like to call it a romantic fantasy. I have written contemporary fiction, and I’m working on more YA books. But doesn’t matter in which genre I write, my stories always revolve around love and life-changing decisions.
Just for fun, what is your family’s favorite story to tell on you?
As newlyweds my hubby and I bought a house near Tehachapi in a private mountain community. I’m a city girl so I had a hard time getting used to all kinds of creepy crawlies around the house. One night I was home alone with our newborn when a mouse crossed the bedroom floor. I freaked out and called my fireman husband at his station. He jokingly told me to call the police and I did (only the community one, though, but I know exactly what you’re thinking). Two officers showed up and searched the entire house to hunt down the intruder, barely able to conceal their amusement. After a few more encounters with spiders, snakes, and rodents, we sold the house and moved back to the city. I’m still listening to this story at every family gathering.
What is the most unusual or interesting research you have done for your books?
I’m reading Adolf Hitler’s biography for City of Shame (Fields of Elysium, #3). In that installment I’ll introduce the Terraka emperor and I need him to be a despicable human being.
What gives you the most pleasure in writing?
When I read a five-star review. Then I know that there are other like-minded people out there, and I know I’m not alone.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Staying within yourself and not trying to change to suit everybody. It’s very easy to lose your voice when your head is filled with criticism.
What other creative things do you do?
I used to be a marketing director in a shopping mall in Hungary, and whenever I organize a party or bake a cake, I decorate to impress. I actually learned how to frost cakes professionally by watching videos on YouTube.
Where do your stories begin? With character or plot?
With the character, an approach some readers find boring but if you don’t get to know the main character why would you care about her struggles or triumphs? I don’t like books or movies that start out with a very hyper scene and then slow down tremendously.
Do you have a pet?
Yes. We have a dog. We got her from a shelter in Crete and she is the most amazing and obedient and loving animal ever.
Here is a short excerpt from the book to whet your reading appetite. This is from chapter ten.
“I began falling rapidly in full consciousness, my eyes open. A black growth under me drew frighteningly closer, while the world seemed to slow down around me. Astonishingly, I understood that I was going to die in a matter of seconds. Dying without pain sounded better than being ripped to pieces.
When I was only yards away from the black plants, I could clearly see that they were enormous mushrooms, towering above the ground. Thousands of long, skinny and curvy stems supported colossal umbrella heads, creating an immense fungus carpet. The most bizarre image I’ve ever seen.
Once I dropped on the edge of a mushroom’s head, I smashed my face onto the spongy matter. It cushioned my landing but the stem collapsed under my weight and lowered me. A fine black powder started to spread from the nearby mushrooms and soon I could hardly breathe. As I desperately struggled for air, the top of the mushroom tilted. I rolled off and crashed down onto a shorter mushroom. Then hit another. And another. Until I reached the ground. Squirming in anguish, I gasped and coughed, and finally blacked out. After all the pain and anxiety I was finally at peace.”