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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Interview and Giveaway with Samaire Provost Author of Mad World

What inspired you to become an author?

For as long as I can remember I have loved to read. I just loved books. I loved marinating in them. It was a short jump from reading books to want to write books. I started at a very young age; I think I was 7 years old. I wrote a short story. It was ridiculous and I was fiercely proud of it. I continued to write stories, and when I was 12 I wrote my first fan fic story. Back then it wasn’t called fan fic, but that’s what it was.  It was a short story set in the “Star Trek” universe. I was a big-time trekker/trekkie …  
lol!!  It was about Kirk and Spock, and Spock’s dreams affecting Kirk’s waking hours.

 It was full of angst and emotion and tragedy. I sent it off to the editors of a fan magazine. Never heard back from them. I remember the story was written on notebook paper, in pencil, single spaced. Probably a nightmare to read. But I loved it and remember it to this day. I was a voracious reader, and was excited to write something that took place in the worlds I read about, so I guess you could say books inspired me to become a writer.

Books and Neil Gaiman. He’s one of my favorite writers. I went through a Gaiman phase where I had to read everything he wrote. Then I read about him and his life as a writer and I thought, “That is my dream, I want to do that for a living.”

I was working at a job I hated at the time, and it was at this time I decided to really give it a go. Instead of writing stories as a hobby, I decided to try and write for a living.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I’m not sure. I know that I write very fast-paced stories. Somewhat abrupt sentences. I like to write about odd things happening to real, everyday people. How would they react?

Do you write in different genres?

I mostly write YA paranormal/dystopian right now. But I’ve written in a lot of genres, including adult fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and children’s.

If yes which is your favorite genre to write?

Right now it’s YA paranormal and fantasy.

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

I was writing the beginning chapters and also looking for a song to listen to while I wrote it. The song had to capture the feeling of these teens I was writing about. My husband shared a cover song he loved. It was “Mad World” covered by Adam Lambert. I listened to it and I thought, “that’s it!” So I put it on a loop, lowered the sound way down and continued writing. The more the song played into my mood, the better the story got. After a few weeks I told my husband, “This book is going to be called “Mad World” because in it, the world’s going mad. Then I decided it was going to be a series of books. This first one was the beginning of the Plague in modern times. So I named the series “Mad World” and this first book was “Mad World: EPIDEMIC”

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

I begin writing it, and then the title comes to me. The book speaks to me, the characters tell me what it’s all about. They tell me. I just listen and write it down.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

It’s mostly an adventure to be enjoyed, with characters you care about. But if there’s one cool theme running through it, it’s courage in the face of adversity. Thinking quick on your feet in order to survive.

Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?

I was writing the first chapters of the book and feeling it out, when I read an article on the Internet about how scientists had indeed unearthed graves from the mid-fourteenth century, mass graves from the Black Plague. They were extracting the DNA from the bone marrow and trying to activate the Yersinia Pestis bacterial endotoxins, to study them. They were actually doing this. I read that article and then did some more research on their work and I thought, “That is a really stupid thing to do.” And then I thought, what could happen? So the science behind it is based on real studies by these scientists.

What books/authors have influenced your life?

I’ve been heavily influenced by many writers. Susan Cooper, Madeleine L’Engle, Stephen King, Terry Pratchett, and especially Neil Gaiman.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Gaiman. Definitely.

What book are you reading now?

I am re-reading The Dark Is Rising series. I’m also reading The Enchantress by Michael Scott, and Wake by Amanda Hocking
What books are in your to read pile?
Oh, goodness.  There are over fifty. I love books. Most of them are from the YA section of Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

I am finishing up the sequel to Mad World: EPIDEMIC. It’s called Mad World: SANCTUARY

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Well, I don’t want to give anything away… but it’s the continuing story of Alyssa and Jake, and the rest of the friends. They encounter even more horrific and terrifying situations, and have to think on their feet, make hard decisions, and survive. Above all, they must survive. I’m told by beta readers it’s even better than the first and definitely “unputdownable”

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Fighting everyday life and my own tendency to procrastinate. But once I get down to writing, and I do it for the better part of every day, it just flows. The story just pours out of me, for the most part. Every now and then I get to a point where I have to think something through. Then I get up and pace and think it through. How does this happen?  It has to be logical; the first rule of good writing is to tell the truth, in whatever universe you’ve created. Once in a while I have to sleep on something to figure it all out. Those nights usually end up with me dreaming about the story, working it all out in my head. I fall asleep with the story and I wake up with it. It infuses my entire being.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I have several authors that are my favorites. Susan Cooper and Madeleine L’Engle wrote stories I adore, and re-read every few years. Their stories were out of the ordinary. Odd, in a way. I love odd stories. I loved the Twilight Zone, and Ray Bradbury. More recently, Neil Gaiman. He writes very odd stories. Reading all of these odd stories helped my creativity. I like to write odd stories, just like they did.
I also just finished Fear by Michael Grant. Love that series! He can write scenes that are tough, and he writes them very well. I write tough scenes in my books. Reading Michael Grant’s Gone series, of which Fear is the latest, really helped me to write tough scenes well.

Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?

I do all my research on the Internet. But I also lived in some of the places my stories take place in. My husband grew up in Fresno and actually attended Bullard High. The neighborhoods where the story is set are real; they are in that school district and are intended to reflect that way that part of the city is in real life. I think this lends a touch of realism to the novel.

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

My husband and editor, Stephen Provost

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Read.  Read until it’s dripping out your ears. Then write. Pay no attention to your fears of any shortcomings. Write. Write some more. Finish.

Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?

Just one song. “Mad World” sung by Adam Lambert.

August 24 Interview and review
The Aussie Zombie 

August 25 Guest blog

August 26 Guest blog and review
How I see it

August 27 Promo
Mila Ramos, Paranormal & Contemporary Romance 

August 27 Promo

August 28 Promo Spotlight
Books & Beauty 

August 28 Promo
Read 2 Review 

August 29 Interview
Fang-tastic Books

August 30 Interview
Roxanne’s Realm

August 31 Guest blog and review
Mama Knows Books 

September 1 Guest blog
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

September 2 Interview and review
Books and Needlepoint – 

September 3 Guest blog
Captivated Reading

September 4 Review
Book on the Bright Side 

September 5 Guest and review
whoopeeyoo :D 

September 6 review
The Bunny's Review  

September 7 review
Reading It All 

By Samaire Provost

Mad World  Book One
Genre: YA Paranormal Dystopian

ISBN:  978-1478317371
ASIN:  B008PO969O

Number of pages:  160
Word Count:   44,700

Book Description:

The Black Plague is ancient history. It killed 100 million people nearly seven centuries ago, halfway around the world from the technologically advanced research center at Stanford University. Scientists there have recently begun examining samples of bone marrow from plague-infected corpses unearthed in Europe. All the necessary safeguards are in place. What could go wrong?

Alyssa and Jake are away with their class on a highly anticipated year-end trip to Broadway with their senior acting class when all hell breaks loose at home. Traveling back, and trying to find their families, they encounter deadly results. Riots are breaking out. People are being evacuated. And they have no idea what's happening to their families.

Horrific ordeals, heart-pounding tragedy, and chance encounters harden them for what lies ahead. Faced with tormenting decisions, they're forced to follow their instinct for survival at any cost - even when the cost is a heart-wrenching decision of life or death.

A harrowing adventure of frightening discoveries, horrifying confrontations and narrow escapes in Epidemic, the first installment of the Mad World series.
Find out what's got everyone so terrified.

Kindle      Paperback

About the Author:

Samaire Provost lives in California with her husband and son.

Her love of paranormal stories, odd plots, and unique tales as well as the works of Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Susan Cooper, Madeleine L'Engle and Stephen King has deeply influenced her writing. 

Mad World : EPIDEMIC her first novel. The second in the series is entitled "Mad World: SANCTUARY"

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Samaire Provost said...

Thank you so much, Roxanne, for featuring my book EPIDEMIC on your good blog! I hope I can return to talk about other books :-)
Thanks again!