Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tabula Rasa by Kristen Lippert-Martin - Interview and Giveaway

The Bourne Identity meets Divergent in this action-packed debut thriller with a Katniss-esque heroine fighting to regain her memories and stay alive, set against a dystopian hospital background.

Sarah starts a crazy battle for her life within the walls of her hospital-turned-prison when a procedure to eliminate her memory goes awry and she starts to remember snatches of her past. Was she an urban terrorist or vigilante? Has the procedure been her salvation or her destruction?

The answers lie trapped within her mind. To access them, she'll need the help of the teen computer hacker who's trying to bring the hospital down for his own reasons, and a pill that's blocked by an army of mercenary soldiers poised to eliminate her for good. If only she knew why . . .

What inspired you to start writing, and when?

I wrote a little as a teenager, you know, the usual angsty poetry and all that, but I didn’t ever think being a novelist could ever be my real profession. Like, who does that? Nobody I knew. I thought I had a better shot at becoming an astronaut than a writer. All the time, this notion went through my head: “People like me don’t become writers.”

After college, I went into journalism thinking that it was the closest thing to what I wanted to do as I’d likely ever find. Then I realized that journalism is so different. Like, SO different. It wasn’t until I went to grad school to get my MFA that I started to think Well, maybe people like me *do* become writers. But even then it was a hard thing to believe. I’d say it took a solid decade to publicly admit that I was an aspiring writer.

What is your preferred genre?

I’d say “mystery” because it crosses over into so many other categories. I love being pulled along and baffled by a good mystery. I also love sci-fi (obviously) and fantasy. The only genre I don’t read at all is horror, and that’s because I’m a big, giant, feather-covered chicken.

Are any of your characters based on real-life friends or acquaintances?

Gosh, I had to really think about that question, so I guess the answer is no! Although I would say that in terms of her physical characteristics—the way she looks and her eye color—there was a girl I knew in college who inspired my MC Sarah’s appearance.

Tell us about your cover. Did you design it yourself?

The cover is a big, beautiful green eye, and it was chosen because it’s a very important aspect of the book. I didn’t design it or even see it until late in the process. In fact, my editor tells me there’s a whole long story about my cover’s creation, but she hasn’t told me what that story is! We’re doing a presentation together in October and I’m going to twist her arm or ply her with drinks—maybe both—to see if I can get this intriguing tale out of her.

Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? 

I’ve learned the hard way: pantsing leads to peril!

So, yeah, I’m a reformed pantser, although I do return to my pantser ways when I’m still in the idea-generation stage. But after that, I do some hard plotting before I begin the first draft in earnest, lest I waste time wandering in the weeds. Of course I still wander in the weeds but maybe less than I might otherwise.

Do you have any advice for other writers starting out?

Remember that writing is ALWAYS there. It’s not going anywhere. You can take breaks when you need to and come back to it when you’re ready. Writing is a very hard thing to do professionally, and there are times—many, many times—when you’re going to feel discouraged or frustrated. Every writer I know has quit at least once, or twice, or a dozen times, myself included. One of the things that kept me going all these years was taking breaks because after I took a break of several weeks or months, I’d start writing again and see that I’d somehow gotten better. How? Why? I don’t know. But taking breaks, letting yourself off the leash a bit, helps immensely in keeping up your momentum and improving over time. We all need distance from our work in order to improve.

Ok, now some fun questions….

Coffee or Tea? Coffee, but only barely. My caffeine vehicle of choice is Diet Coke.

White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate? DARK chocolate. The darkest. We’re talking black hole levels of dark.

What is your favourite colour? Yellow

Winter or Summer? Summer, for sure. I grew up in Upstate NY. I’ve had enough winter to last me the rest of my life.

If you could have one superpower what would it be? FLYING! I also wish I could sing. Now THAT is a true superpower.

If you could be somebody else for a day who would you choose and why? J.K. Rowling. Because, well, duh. She’s J.K. Rowling and her brain must be a fascinating place.

What are three things you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)? Burt’s Bees Lip balm. Peppermint chewing gum. Sunglasses.

Are you a technology buff (i.e have every electronic gadget known to man)? I like gadgets and I *would* have every gadget known to man if I could afford them all! I really want a Roomba. Maybe it’s because I yearn for a house elf but would feel guilty if I actually enslaved a sentient creature to clean up after me.

What is a movie or TV show that you watched just recently and enjoyed? Guardians of the Galaxy! LOVED IT!
The next blogs on the tour:
Monday, September 29, 2014
Q&A and giveaway
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Guest post and giveaway

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