Showers of Books Giveaway Hop
April 20 - 25
Welcome to my stop on the Showers of Books Giveaway Hop! There are over 175 blogs participating in this hop - so make sure you visit them and enter to win their giveaways! A linky list of all the blogs participating is at the bottom of my post.
Author M. Clifford was kind enough to agree to an interview for the blog. Read what his answers are to my questions & then keep reading to see the awesome giveaway!
Is anything in your books based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
I'd say that an author can't write a book without inserting a piece of himself or herself, be it through their personal walk through life or by observing and interpreting someone else's life experience. All of my books are me, if that makes sense. Even if the details are minute, I can't help but make every book about me, in some way, shape, form, etc. That said, my stories (thus far) are derived from my imagination.
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I first started writing when I was young - maybe eight or nine. I was a very creative kid because my neighborhood growing up was hiding in a forest preserve and I was one of only a few people under the age of thirty-five. I spent a lot of time alone in the forest, keeping myself occupied with my imagination - and was never bored. I finished my first story around age eighteen somewhere between '97 and '98. Haven't stopped writing since.
Where do you get your ideas?
"Getting ideas" is a skill, and not one that is ever really discussed. I think all kids have it. It's not something you're born with, but rather something that dies as you get older. IMHO. Welcome to the finite "real world" where imaginary friends don't exist. As you age, you're forced to "grow up" and leave a part of yourself behind. I believe that ideas come to me so quickly (and I now have more ideas than I can produce books for in a lifetime) because I never got rid of that part of myself. I am influenced by everything because I never turned off that child-like characteristic of constantly interpreting the world around me.
How long does it take you to write a book?
If it's something I'm really passionate about, like my novel THE BOOK, I can write it in a matter of two months. With the FELINIAN series, each book has taken me four to six months, sometimes longer based on my editor's notes.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That being a novelist is a heart-wrenching career. You love your characters so much. They feel like a part of you. I never would have imagined myself crying because a character died or got their heart broken - - but when it happens, and the words flow onto the page from your fingers, you realize how much it guts you. I don't think there are many careers in the world where you are forced to be so liberal with your heart.
How do you come up with the titles?
Titles are never a problem. It's like seeing an old friend from across the room at a party and recalling their name. It's sort of instinctual. Other authors probably hate me for saying that, but it's true for me. Sometimes it's as fast as the idea for the story. "Oh, and it's called THE MUSE OF EDOUARD MANET." Done.
What books/authors have influenced your life most?
What boy learning how to read in the 80s wasn't influenced by Stephen King...? I know he can be crass and graphic, but King has always been an inspiration because of how naturally he can showcase an idea and how real the characters feel. My tastes have changed over the years, but I still read King when he comes out with a new book.
What book are you reading now?
A suggestion from my wife. My first *real* paranormal romance. Not too bad, actually.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I like to play tennis, read, go down to the beach, bike the coastline, see movies with my wife, and play Call of Duty - - yes, yes, I know. It's my secret sin.
If you couldn't be an author, what would your ideal career be?
A interior architect at Gensler who designs his own furniture on the weekends. Specific enough? It's what my degree is in, before I decided to exchange corporate creativity for writing novels.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Yes, and it's not what they want to hear. Just do it for fun. If a story gets finished, great. If people want to buy it in book form, cool. Maybe there is a future in it for you. But don't do it if you want to be the next <insert favorite author here>
. It does not happen
overnight and the publishing business is not what it used to be. The
future of publishing will be a grueling lifestyle for you and your loved
ones, as you juggle much more than pulling inked pages from an antique
typewriter. Don't look to be a career novelist if you aren't willing to
split your awesome self into three unequal parts - 85% businessman, 15%
genius writer, and 30% insane person. Yes, it's possible that you are
the next great American author, just as it is possible that you're the
next American Idol. Things could take off for you once your voice is
heard, but it's unlikely. My advice is that if you enjoy novels and
want to create your own stories, keep writing until it isn't fun
anymore. Don't sacrifice things that should be more important. And try
to find a way to love what you do, even if it isn't writing.
Be sure to check out M.'s website for more details on his books! www.m-clifford.com
Now for the giveaway! My giveaway for this hop is being graciously donated by author M. Clifford. We are offering (1) one paperback copy of Felinian, (1) ebook copy of Felinian, and (1) ebook copy of Fertile Crescent (Book of the Felinian #2). **Please note that Fertile Crescent does not come out until next month, so the winner will have to wait until the release day to receive their copy.** SO - that is (3) three prizes for (3) three different winners!!
Here is a brief description of Felinian (from Goodreads): Katherine Luna lives in Sleepy Hollow. And she is upset with her life. She is being forced to go to a different high school than all her friends, the creepy cat lady who lives in her neighborhood is getting stranger each day and she has just been humiliated at a senior party on Halloween in the worst way possible for a teenage girl. As her body suddenly begins to change in the most unexpected way, forcing all the boys to fawn over her, she is confronted with the realization that she can communicate with cats and that a mysterious man is now following her. All starts to make sense when she learns that she has become a Felinian and that she has been quickly gifted with the fabled nine-lives of a cat, tied somehow with ancient Egyptian lore, and empowered with the ability to control the passions and minds of men. As Katherine fights her lustful, Felinian nature, attempting to stop herself from stalking the boys of her school, the man stalking her begins to reveal his purpose. With the help of her neighborhood friend Hector, a boy that seems more connected to this haunted world than he lets on, Katherine tries to manage her new life and struggles to strike a balance between monster and girl, all the while hoping and wondering, will she ever be a regular girl again?
1. Paperback copy available to U.S. entries only. Both ebook copies are INT.
2. Must be 13+ to enter.
3. Fill out Rafflecopter to enter giveaway.4. Must be a follower of my blog. Other entries are optional.
** REMEMBER: 3 PRIZES FOR 3 WINNERS!**