I'm so excited to have author and fellow Kentuckian Connie L. Smith on the blog today! Her debut novel, Essenced just hit the shelves this summer and is quickly gaining momentum. Here's a little more about this YA Urban Fantasy with a hint of Paranormal Romance:
Essenced (The Division Chronicles: Book One)
Now centuries later, a new army must bind together – one of teenagers with inhuman potentials and abilities…
Sounds fabulous, right?! Here's more about the brilliant mind behind the magic!
* What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
I read a lot, bake, sew, and listen to a bunch of music that’s outdated.
* What was the inspiration behind Essenced?
I don’t know that there was an actual inspiration behind it. I mentally add characters when I’m watching TV or movies (or reading books), and sometimes those characters develop a story all their own. That’s pretty much what happened with AJ and the beginnings of this story.
* How many books are in the series, and what can we expect in book 2?
There are three books in the actual trilogy, but I’ve already written a prequel novella, and you can probably expect at least one spin-off book. Once you finish book one, it’ll be obvious where book two starts off. I think of Essenced as more of the building blocks for the rest of the series. You’re getting to know the characters, and the characters are changing from average high school/college students to warriors. There’s action involved, but Emblazed (book two) has more in the way of physical altercation and battles. Though, as I mentioned, Essenced isn’t without those things. It’s more intense, and it’ll get even more intense into book three, physically and emotionally. I don’t want to give out too many spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read Essenced, so I’ll just leave it there.
* What made you pick YA?
I’ve really gotten addicted to it, to be honest! A good amount of what I buy and read these days is YA/NA. With this plot, and the transition that these characters have to go through, it seemed more interesting to have them be in high school or early college. They’re not even finished growing into human adults, and now they have to change into something entirely different. Not to mention high school can be a pretty dull place. It’s good to pretend fictional characters can lead more exciting lives than I had back then. Or now, really…
* What authors inspire you and why?
R.A. Salvatore is the author that got me into reading. I fell in love with his Legend of Drizzt series, and have been hooked on reading and fantasy since. He has a way of telling a story that’s just so fluid. I also like Terry Pratchett, and the humor in his books. Becca Fitzpatrick is a newer one that I like, along with some other contemporary authors. I like writers that can pull me into a story, and who create characters that I still think about after I close the book. I’d like to think that all of those different influences show up in my books, but I guess every reader will have to make that call.
* Some authors gear up with their favorite tunes or choke down large quantities of caffeine before tackling a writing session. What, if anything, does your ritual consist of?
Mine’s actually really boring. My ideal writing time tends to be around 1-3 in the afternoon. I’m an aunt, and my nieces and nephew could come barreling in after school any time after that :) I turn on a fan to block out any noise away from my room, and I start typing. I do have a Diet Dr. Pepper or a bottle of water somewhere near. Thirst is no fun. I multi-task though, so don’t be surprised if you see a tweet pop up when I should be writing.
Rapid fire questions:
* Favorite book character – Of all time? Wow… Probably either Patch from Hush, Hush or Durzo Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks. At least those are the ones that come to mind. I might decide differently later!
* Plotter or Pantser – More of a plotter, though I didn’t have an outline for this novella I recently finished. And I tend to veer away from the outline from time to time.
* Choice of superpower – Jedi!!!
* Your life's theme song – Currently “Too Much Month at the End of the Money” by Billy Hill.
* Top 5 favorite reads this year –
A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang was good, though I haven’t had a chance to read the second book.
Abel by Elizabeth Reyes, but I could’ve easily said Hector. I’ve been addicted to Elizabeth’s books since I read Forever Mine.
Boundless by Cynthia Hand. I loved this trilogy, and the ending (mostly) was pleasing. I won’t go into my Christian Prescott ramblings on this blog :)
The Last Threshold by R.A. Salvatore. I’ve been a little iffy about the last few of his books based on Drizzt, but I thought this one was much better than some of the others over the last few years. Plus it sets the readers up for such good things!
Ripple by Mandy Hubbard. I can’t guarantee that I read this one in 2013 – it might have been late 2012 – but I liked this book. A siren in love? Yes, please.
I feel like I should give you honorable mentions! So many were left out!
***Essenced will be free on Amazon September 19-20th, so don't forget to grab your copy!!!
Connect with Connie here: