Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Author Interview with Stacy Juba and Giveaway!!!

The fantastic author, Stacy Juba has been kind enough to do an interview and giveaway of her new paranormal thriller Dark Before Dawn. Below is my review of the book but be sure to keep reading for the interview and raffle for the giveaway!

Title: Dark Before Dawn
Author: Stacy Juba
Publisher: Thunder Horse Press
Date Published: September 24, 2011
Genre(s): Paranormal, YA, Mystery
My Rating:
Dawn has had psychic powers ever since she was a child. Like most of us at some point or another, Dawn feels like an outcast and is constantly picked on. But imagine not being fully accepted by your own mother, not knowing the secrets behind your father’s death, or being called a “witch” on a daily bases. Unfortunately for Dawn, this is everyday life. When she moves to a new town, with a new step dad, new step brother, and a new school, she feels lonelier than ever. Then, Dawn meets a girl who shows signs of physic powers like hers, and another friend who wants to learn how to be physic, and she finally fits in somewhere. They become involved with a local fortuneteller who mentors them and makes them feel special and powerful instead of like freaks. But everything is not like it seems, and when local teens start walking to their deaths (literally), it’s up to Dawn to figure out what’s going on.
I was truly taken with this book! Not only is it a real page-turner, but I had moments where I would stop and say to myself, “Oh no she didn’t!” Dawn may have psychic powers but there are parts of her personality and situations that everyone can relate to. As the plot came together I found myself on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what would happen next, and guess what? I couldn’t guess! It takes a great plot to really stump and throw the reader off and Juba did an awesome job of keeping me interested. This author is going on my favorites list and I can’t wait to read more of her books.

Keep reading for an interview by the author and a giveaway of the book every young adult paranormal lover should read!

Author Interview

1. Thank you for stopping by Shadow Kisses Book Blog! First off, how has your week been?

It's been fine, thanks! I've been catching up on my reading, wrote a scene for my new book, and have been planning for a party with a few friends.

2. Tell us about some of your most recent work?

My most recent books are the young adult novels Dark Before Dawn and Face-Off. Dark Before Dawn is about a teenage psychic who moves to a Maine town and gets involved with a fortuneteller who is teaching secret psychic classes to a small group of girls. Meanwhile, bizarre accidents are happening in town. Face-Off is a reissue of a book that I originally published when I was a teenager myself, and it's about twin brothers who don't get along and are forced to play on the same high school hockey team. These YA books are a change of pace from my adult mystery/romantic suspense novels Twenty-Five Years Ago Today and Sink or Swim, which are about adult heroines in their twenties.

3. Where do the ideas for your stories come from?

 Dark Before Dawn stemmed from my interest in psychics, and I'd also written a newspaper article about a local psychic. I wrote Face-Off because at the time, I was a huge hockey fan. My book Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, about a newspaper editorial assistant who stumbles across a cold case while researching her 25 Years Ago Today column on the microfilm, was inspired by my former job as an editorial assistant for a daily newspaper. The storyline is all fiction, but I had the same job as my character Kris. And Sink or Swim, about a reality show contestant who attracts a stalker after returning to her normal life, was inspired by the popularity of reality TV. When an idea occurs to me and it feels right, then I run with it.

4. Have you ever had any paranormal experiences of your own?

One time I attended a funeral for a close family friend. I hadn't spoken to him in awhile and hadn't known he was terminally ill. When I found out, I sent a note and then tried to call and speak to him, but he was too sick to take phone calls. I was devastated that I hadn't had the chance to say goodbye. About a minute after leaving the funeral home, a song came on the radio. I had never heard it before, and I haven't heard it since. It kept repeating "Goodbye. Goodbye." I also felt a warm presence around me. I truly felt some closure and that it was a final goodbye.

5. What was the most exciting thing about being a reporter?

It was fun knowing the news before other people did - witnessing big stories coming over the AP newswire or over the police scanner. I once got an exclusive interview with a prosecutor for a high profile case that was all over the news, so it was exciting seeing my byline and the huge headline on the story when I was in the supermarket.

6. What's the best part of being a published author?

The best part is doing what I love to do (making up stories that entertain people and that are fun for me to write) and being able to work from home in my sweats.

7. What's the worst?

The worst part is all the marketing and promotion. Sometimes I'm itching to write but need to work on marketing so that I have a steady income coming in while I'm working on the next book.

8. What's a mistake you made that you wish you hadn't, but are glad you were able to learn from?

Sometimes I don't take enough down time for myself, and over the summer, I got rundown and came down with a sinus infection, followed by a relapse of my hypothyroidism. I wish I'd taken better care of myself, but the silver lining was that now I make time to exercise or just relax.

9. Out of your many writing awards, which one(s) means the most to you?

The William F. Deeck Malice Domestic Grant , awarded annually at the Agatha Awards banquet during the Malice Domestic Convention, meant the most to me. It was a $1,000 grant for new mystery writers and it came at a time when I had been dealing with a lot of rejection. I attended the convention with my husband, and it was meant-to-be as the other grant recipient became one of my best friends.

10. In your young adult paranormal thriller, Dark Before Dawn, Dawn Christian has always been a misfit. Have you ever felt like that?

 Definitely, especially in high school. Dawn felt like a misfit because her psychic abilities made her different. I always felt different from other kids because I much preferred being in my bedroom reading and writing to social functions like school dances. Like Dawn, I was always picked last in gym class and gym was a big source of heartache to me from elementary school through high school. I never understood why gym teachers allowed the students to pick the teams, rather than dividing the kids into two groups themselves. I was always last or second-to-last, and the other kids teased me or got angry with me if I hit a volleyball into the net or struck out in softball. There's a scene in Dark Before Dawn where Dawn uses mind control on the kids in gym class. I blew off a lot of steam writing that scene!

11. What is one thing you like about writing children's books over adult ones?

I like writing for both audiences, but I think children and young adults are more shaped by what they read. I remember reading favorite books over and over again as a teenager. I don't think adults have time to read the same book over and over. I like the idea that a book like Face-Off, my children's picture book the Flag Keeper, or Dark Before Dawn, might be on a child or teen's bookshelf for several years and might even get passed down to their own children one day. I still have most of my books from when I was a kid.

12. Many people are closed minded and feel the paranormal world is a bad influence for others to read about. Do you ever get judged for writing in the paranormal genre?

Dark Before Dawn was my first paranormal book and just came out so it's too early to tell, but hopefully I won't get that reaction. I have an adult mystery novel in progress, featuring a psychic heroine, and that won the $1000 Malice Domestic grant, so the psychic aspect didn't hinder it in any way. There are lots of paranormal books out there, by new authors and bestselling authors, but if a reader knows he or she is going to hate the book because of the premise then they should choose another book.

13. What message from your books do you want to convey to your readers?

A lot of my books are about people finding themselves, finding the courage to be themselves and getting on the right path. Sometimes my main characters feel different from other people. But really, I'm sure everyone feels that way to some extent as we are all so unique. I'd love for readers to take these messages to heart.

14. What is an interesting quirk you have?

My office is pretty cluttered and I'm not the type that redecorates much. We have wallpaper in the kitchen from the previous owners and part of it is peeling off, but we haven't done anything about it yet as it's just low on my priority list. I'm so much in my own mind that sometimes I don't pay much attention to my surroundings!

15. Who is your hero?

I admire doctors, nurses and others who are healers and caretakers. I don't have the aptitude in science or math to be in a field like that, and I'm also squeamish. I admire people who are in those fields.

16. If you could pick to have a super power, what would it be?

I wish I could go back in time and respond differently to certain situations. Make less mistakes!

17. In most Young Adult novels the characters fall in love right away. Do you believe in love at first sight?

I don't believe in love at first sight, as how can you love someone until you get to know them, but I think true love can happen fast. When I met my husband, it actually popped through my mind "You're going to marry him someday." But I dismissed that notion and even forgot about it. We didn't start dating until over a year and a half later after months of just saying hello. But on our first date we talked for hours and closed the restaurant, and I knew right then that this was special. We fell in love quickly once we started dating.

18. What is your next project?

I'm working on an adult novel, appropriate for young adults also, that is a modern spinoff of the Cinderella story. It's a lot of fun to write. I also have an adult mystery novel in progress and need to work on polishing up the sequel to my YA novel Face-Off. I may write a short story in 2012 featuring Dawn from Dark Before Dawn, to introduce more readers to the book.

19. Is there anything else you would like to let the readers know?

I always enjoy interacting with readers on Twitter, Goodreads and Facebook. You can find all the address on my web site, http://www.stacyjuba.com . You can also sign up for my newsletter at http://stacyjuba.com/blog/contact/ to be notified of new releases and to be eligible for special drawings and contests. And thank you for reading this interview!

Now for some goodies! Stacy Juba is giving away an eBook copy of Dark Before Dawn to one lucky winner. The winner will be emailed a Smashwords coupon code so you can download it in any format you need.
So, you know the drill! Feel out the Raffle and I'm going to go read one of Stacy Juba's other books, Twenty-Five Years Ago Today!


Beesha said...

The book sounds great! I love anything paranormal. I also admire doctors! Always wish I could have been one but chemistry is just waaaaay over my head. Look forward to reading the book. Thanks for the giveaway!

Megan said...

Hi, I'm a new follower here!

I love your bio, you sound like an interesting person and a bit of a contradiction!

I'd love it you could also stop by blog.


Megan @ Storybook Love Affair


Stacy Juba said...

Thanks so much for the review and interview, Cassie, and thanks to Megan and Beesha for stopping by!