I have a most fascinating guest with us today. Sue Perkins is a fellow MuseItUp Author and I have been intrigued with her writing since her tween book Spirit Stealer came out. I hope you enjoy Sue’s interview and excerpts. And thanks for joining us here today, Sue!
Thank you CK for inviting me to your blog.
The New Year got off to a good start for me. I had two new releases over the Christmas period and have been blog visiting for many days since. I try to do something different for each blog as I don't want to disappointment my hosts by using the same words all the time.
I've always loved to read and write fantasy books with a hint of romance but now I've branched out into Middle Grade fantasy books. I like to believe I write fantasy for the young of all ages.
How do I get my ideas? I have to admit my brain is so full of scenarios I find it difficult to choose one to develop into a book. I love my novels being released in ebook format because I feel it reaches a wider audience. Instead of people having to make the time to wander into a bookshop and meander through the shelves, my readers can sit at their computer and browse books in the comfort of their own home.
On the 30th December MuseItUp Publishing released my Middle Grade novel "Reva's Quest". MuseItUp is a great home for Middle Grade books and my first one, "Spirit Stealer" was released by them in October 2011. Both are fantasies.
On the 1st January Desert Breeze Publishing released a Young Adult novel "Dragon Flame" so 2012 has definitely started with all things wonderful.
I've included an excerpt of each below.
Excerpt from Reva’s Quest:
Reluctantly Reva went out into the untidy garden. Their house had remained empty for months before the Martin family moved in, and the garden still showed neglect. Tangled creepers intertwined with the lower branches of the trees, the ground below a mass of overgrown weeds. The thorns snatched at her clothes, making her struggle though the undergrowth more difficult. Hopefully Mum will think I’ve gone for a walk. Within moments, the tangled mess hid the house from view. Plants and trees crowded close welcoming her into their midst.
Stumbling, she grabbed the branch of a nearby tree to prevent herself from falling into a scum-covered pond. A garden gnome dangled his fishing rod in the water, but a layer of green slime hid the colour of his clothes.
“I didn't know we had a pond.” Reva wrinkled her nose at the disgusting water before peering at the sadly neglected ornament. “Poor gnome, let's see if I can clean you up a bit.”
She took a handkerchief from her pocket and dipped it in the pond, shuddering as the scum parted to reveal tangled plants beneath the surface. A puff of spore-laden air escaped from the weeds on the bank. Reva coughed as it invaded her nose. Breathing shallowly, and working carefully, the gnome's face and hands soon revealed chubby pink concrete skin and rosy red cheeks. Painted blue eyes stared sightlessly at the fishing rod. Another dip to moisten the handkerchief helped her wipe off the rest of his body. Bright yellow trousers, green jacket, and red hat shone through at the finish.
“There, that's better.” Reva smiled at the painted figure. “Now you can see what you're doing. I doubt if you've got much chance of catching anything, but I hope you feel better now you’re clean. I'll pop down tomorrow and wash you properly.”
Reva rose from her knees, brushed muddy hands against her thighs, waved to the gnome, and retreated up the garden to the house.
Buy Link Reva's Quest: http://tinyurl.com/revasquest
Excerpt from Dragon Flame
Tears sprang to Talei's eyes, but she forced herself to watch. Harmless animals were roasted where they stood, running people became pillars of fire, and buildings razed to the ground in the blink of an eye. If only they'd managed to get here earlier to warn Deen, so much could have been saved. The adults at the settlement would have found a way. Eventually, with nothing left to burn, the dragons turned and flew back the way they had come.
"Keep down," Talei warned the others. "Don't let them see us."
She noticed the huge, black dragon leading the group. It resembled the one she'd seen in the party field in Maass. Could it be the same beast? A group of boys and girls erupted from the bushes at the bottom of the hill, firing laser guns at the huge animals. Their efforts were in vain, and the shots bounced harmlessly off the armor plated hides.
"Get away, you fools." Talei said this more for her own comfort than to warn the group.
The huge triangular head turned toward the source of irritation.
A young man urged the others on but seeing the futility of the attack, he waved his troops back under cover. Unfortunately the lead dragon decided to follow the group, and within seconds their bush cover erupted in a ball of flame. Talei saw the teenagers had not stopped in the bushes, but gone straight through to the fast moving stream on the other side. Before the dragon could draw breath to flame again, the entire group jumped into the water where the strong current swept them downstream. The dragon roared and swung back to follow the other beasts.
Cautiously Talei and her group emerged from the trees. As the last of them crept out into the open the boys and girls reappeared at the bottom of the hill. They had only gone a short distance before climbing out of the water and hurrying back upstream. Anger darkened the face of the dark-haired young man who led his companions toward Talei.
"Well thanks for your aid." He came close enough for Talei to hear him, and she saw his black eyes sparkling with anger. "What did you think you were doing? You stood and watched our homes and family being destroyed without even trying to help."
Buy Link Dragon Flame: http://tinyurl.com/dragonflame
Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UI44FEElYmg
Sue Perkin's Website: http://www.sueperkinsauthor.com Blogsite: http://sueperkinsauthor.blogspot.com Thanks again for joining us here today, Sue. You are a gem and a wonderfully talented writer. C.K. Volnek
Today MG/YA Blog Tour takes us to visit Sue Perkins, author of the MG novel Spirit Stealer. I hope you enjoy her delightful post.
Where has the month gone? This is my last visit on the MuseItUp Young Adult/ Middle Grade Blog Tour. I’ve visited a lot of lovely people and so many different blogs and enjoyed every minute of it. I’d like to thank CK for inviting me to visit her blog today.
Who am I? My name is Sue Perkins and I live in the South Island of New Zealand. I love to read and write fantasy books. Reading favorites for adult fantasy are David Eddings, Anne McCaffrey, Terry Pratchett and Naomi Novik. For Young Adult or Middle Grade I love Brian Jacques, Jenny Nimmo and Terry Pratchett. I know Terry’s in twice but his Wee Free Men series on Discworld is hilarious as is his Bromeliad about the world of the gnomes.
My writing career has encompassed contemporary and historical romance and I have had several adult fantasy books published. I am now stretching my wings and Spirit Stealer my first Middle Grade fantasy will be released by MuseItUp Publishing in October.
Spirit Stealer is set in the nighttime world of a library. After the library closes the characters emerge from the books and float around the library, scaring any children who have been accidentally locked in. These phantoms are playful but the evil green Spirit Stealer lurks in the basement. He takes control of the nighttime world, using the phantoms to drive the children into his evil clutches.
The clock in the market square struck half past eleven. Fader stopped reading as a whooshing noise welled up the stairs. He shivered when he heard an eerie wail. Something invisible brushed past him. He heard groans and clanking of metal from further along the back wall. He crept from his hiding place, keeping the last bookshelves between him and the rear of the building.
Fader stuck his head round the final barrier, ready to pull back. Swirls of white mist appeared and disappeared in the air. He’d forgotten about the book in his hand. A misty vapour shot from the pages to join the other swirls of white. Fader dropped the book with a gasp.
The clock in the square struck midnight, and the mist vanished. A hollow groan heralded its departure.
Fader shook his head. The mist and noises appeared harmless. They showed no recognition of his existence. What were they doing? A new library building shouldn’t have the ghosts found in an older building.
He watched the same thing happen night after night, but the mists grew denser and the noises more intense. They sharpened, allowing Fader to see the shapes making the noises. One night a fascinated Fader watched a Viking stomp down the aisle, his axe held high above his horned helmet, the metal links on his leather armour clanking loudly.
A huge Tyrannosaurus Rex rushed through the cross aisle, mouth open as it roared, head swaying from side to side, searching for prey. Fader shrank back into the shadows when he noticed a large striped cat creeping along the top of the bookshelves.
Thanks for hosting me for my last blog stop, CK. It’s been great fun hasn’t it?
Don’t forget to leave a comment. You’ll find several of my fellow MuseItUp authors have visited. See you there.
http://sueperkinsauthor.blogspot.comhttp://www.sueperkinsauthor.comhttp://museituppublishing.blogspot.com/p/muse-bookstore.htmlYes, this has been great fun Sue. Thanks for joining us here today. It's been a joy having you.
Today we have Author Sue Perkins with us. Sue grew up in Devon, England, but after she married my husband she spent some years traveling the world, then started a family. They emigrated to New Zealand with their two children in 1986 and subsequently became New Zealand citizens. Her son and daughter have flown the nest and her, her husband, dog and live on a three acre property at the top of New Zealand’s South Island. She works part time as a graphic artist for a local trade paper. Like all writers, she loves reading, but other interests include genealogy and zumba.A contemporary romance Broken Heart is available as a FREE READ from Desert Breeze Publishing. This is a prequel to her contemporary sweet romance Three Hearts which is also available from Desert Breeze Publishing.
Hi, Sue. Please tell your readers something interesting about yourself AND/OR your favorite character.
My favourite character is always the main character in my current Work In Progress which at this time would make it Reva. She's a young girl who's father's job moves them around a lot and she finds it difficult to make new friends. Reva retreats into writing a fantasy. One night her garden gnome commands her to follow him into the fantasyland she has imagined. Here she is accused of bringing evil to the land. Only she can make things right.
Something interesting about myself. I lived in Kuwait for two years. A very good experience learning about other cultures. Most of the friends I made there came from other countries. Germany, America, Spain, Malaysia, India, Kenya. I wish I'd kept in touch with them, but everyone moved on. I also travelled the world with my husband when he worked at sea with the Merchant Navy. Went to many different places and viewed so many different ways of life.
What was your favorite book as a teen? Tell us about it and how it affected you as a person.
Foundation by Isaac Asimov. It started me on the science fiction trail and I later found myself drawn toward the fantasy genre as written by Anne McCaffrey and David Eddings. Isaac Asimov definitely became my favourite author at that time. Although I have to admit A.E. van Vogt's Slan was definitely a favourite too. All these authors were responsible for my journey into writing fantasy books
Tell us about the genre you have chosen to write for. Why do write specifically for them?
I love to write Fantasy books both for adults, young adults and middle grade. There's something about building your own world, putting people, animals and aliens into the world then weaving the story around them. I find when I sit down to write this genre the words flow with no hesitation.
Tell us about your new book. How did it come about and share your favorite excerpt/scene.This book won't be released until October 2011 by MuseItUp Publishing in their MuseTween line, but I love it. It's my first Middle Grade book to be published. The setting is a library and the book is divided into three parts. The first part concerns the grand opening. A street urchin takes the opportunity to sleep in the warmth and comfort of the library. He gets trapped by the Spirit Stealer who steals half his spirit. The second part is set in modern times with another boy shut in the library. He tries to help a girl recover half of her spirit which has been stolen by the Spirit Stealer. The third part is centred on ridding the library of the Spirit Stealer. How has writing affected your life? And what’s your favorite part of being a writer?Writing has enriched my life. I find I am far more interested in what is going on around me. It might give me and idea for a novel. I also try to give back to the writing community, but time often prevents this. My favourite part of being a writer is writing the words "-end-" and then starting the editing. I love editing. Does that make me weird?
What advice can you give regarding the writing process?To learn how to format and submit manuscripts I attended a creative writing course. There I learned that the secret of writing is re-writing. Don't give up on your first draft, edit and hone the words as many times as it takes until they are ready for submitting to a publishing house.
Regarding publication and marketing, what advice can you offer aspiring writers?Keep trying. I don't want to put anyone off, but it took me 17 years from when I seriously began to submit to publishers and when my first book was published. Perseverance is the name of the game.Then of course the hard work starts with marketing your book. Accept advice from other authors. They know how hard it can be.
How can your fans find, follow or friend you?My webpage is http://www.sueperkinsauthor.com and my blog is http://sueperkinsauthor.blogspot.comNot sure if this will work but this should connect you to my Facebook pagehttp://www.facebook.com/suepernz - I think you have to be signed in to Facebook before you can find this otherwise it tells you not available. Thanks for joining us today SueC.K. Volnek