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Celebrating 2014, Awaiting 2015

What an amazing year 2014 has been! Thank YOU for your support of our books. You rock! Today on New Year’s Eve, come party with us and watch our video where we talk about our favorite moments and what we are looking forward to in 2015.

After teaching and traveling internationally, Christina Farley started writing about her adventures, tossing in a little fiction for fun. This inspired her to write GILDED, a YA about a Korean-American girl with a black belt and deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows published by Skyscape, March 1, 2014. Besides writing, Christina loves traveling, running, hanging out with her two Jedi warriors, and eating dark chocolate.
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Behind the Cover of GILDED

Today I am thrilled to be sharing with you the cover of GILDED over at YA Book Central. I hope you all will stop by to see the cover, watch my video, and say hello, especially since my publisher is kindly giving away a Kindle Paperwhite. YAY!!!

Before going through this whole publishing-a-book-process, I never understood how much goes into a book before it’s ‘born’. I did a vlog about it here where I talk about this in more depth.

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Today I thought I’d run through the process of behind the scenes of the making of GILDED’s cover. It’s important to remember that everyone’s process is different. Some books will have a similar process to mine, while others will be completely different.

Phase 1- Author Questionnaire

My editor had me fill out a author questionnaire form. In this form there was a section about my thoughts or ideas for the cover for GILDED. The thing is, I’m not an artist. I’m more of a stick drawer (and a bad one at that). But I do know what I like or don’t like. So I made a Pinterest page of covers I loved and then another Pinterest page of images and symbols that I thought represented GILDED.

Phase 2- Concepts from the Author

My editor asked for any other thoughts that I wanted to forward to Katrina Damkoehler, the cover designer, before she got started. I gave her some more ideas, and Katrina got to work.

Christina and Farley Katrina Damkoehler

Phase 3- Freaking Out

This was where I hadn’t seen anything yet and I worried, and freaked out, and then crossed my fingers that I’d have a good cover. It’s pretty common for authors to not like their covers or think their cover ‘fits’ their idea of the book.

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Phase 4- First Cover Concepts

Once Katrina was finished, my editor sent me the first outlines for the cover. Katrina had three rough sketches for me to look at. My agent and I were able to bring our feedback to these concepts. The biggest issue that we had was making sure the cover was accurate and represented Korea and the story correctly. My editor hired Cliff Nielson to do the artwork for the mythological bird on the cover. When she first emailed me to let me know that they hired him, I nearly had a heart attack.

 

Phase 5- Revised Comps

This was where everything started coming together. Changes were made and we got nitpicky. Do we like that font color? Is the bird too big, too small?

Phase 6- Final Comps and Jacket Copy

It was done! All the elements were in place. In this phase, I got to see what the spine, inside flaps and back of the book looked like. Let me tell you, even though I went through the whole process of watching this cover come into making, my heart still nearly stopped when I saw the final. It came out better than I could have imagined and I’m so thrilled to have this as my cover.

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And my sister and I just might have a phone with GILDED’s cover on it…

Sis and I

After teaching and traveling internationally, Christina Farley started writing about her adventures, tossing in a little fiction for fun. This inspired her to write GILDED, a YA about a Korean-American girl with a black belt and deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows to be published by Skyscape (Amazon Children’s) March 1, 2014. Besides writing, Christina loves traveling, running, hanging out with her two Jedi warriors, and eating dark chocolate.
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GETTIN’ LUCKY: An Interview with April Tucholke, author of BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA

Today on the blog we’re interviewing Lucky13 author April Tucholke, whose debut young adult gothic thriller, BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA, releases TODAY!

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

12930909Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town…until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery…who makes you want to kiss back. Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

 

I found BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA a creepy, heart-pounding story. It’s set in a sleepy seaside town that is unsuspecting of the danger that lurks among its borders. This book has a blend of horror mixed with romance, and penned with captivating writing.

1. I love all the food references in BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA. Reading your book made me want to whip up an omelet. If you would recommend 3 foods that would be perfect pairings for BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA, what would they be?

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Crispy Sweet Potato Fries & Sriracha Mayo Dip

Eggs In A Frame garnished with sea salt, olive oil, and juicy, diced tomatoes.

Sweet Potato Fries

Affogato. This simple, caffeinated dessert isn’t featured in DEVIL, but it should have been.

 

 

 

2. One of my favorite parts about reading your book is I felt as if I was whisked away to a real place. I could smell the sea spray and hear the waves crash. I wanted to creep into the attic and open all the old trunks. I’m curious whether Citizen Kane is based on a real estate or is it completely a figment of your imagination?

Creep into the attic and go through the trunks…god, yes. Me too. Me too.

Citizen Kane was inspired by:

A. This art deco mansion in Portland:

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Bitar Mansion

B. The decrepit Tucholke mansion from my childhood.

3. Personally, I think Citizen Kane would be an inspirational place to write a book. If you could start a writer’s colony, where would it be?

Quebec City. Yachats, Oregon. Lourmarin, France. Pienza, Italy. Bruges, Belgium. Salzburg, Austria.

4. What was your biggest challenge in writing BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA?

Separating myself from the main character, Violet. I also grew up a lonely, book-reading girl in a dilapidated mansion on the sea with neglectful artistic parents and a tyrannical older brother. *

The other difficult aspect, I think, was allowing River to do the terrible things he does, and yet still keep him likable. More than likable. This was a delicate balance.

*This may or may not be true.

5. I’m itching to read the continuation of Violet’s and River’s story. Can you give us any teasers of things to come?

Someone goes mad. Someone goes sane. Neely. Camping. Islands. Forests. Creepy small towns. Pig’s blood. More cemeteries. A girl named Pine. A boy named Finch. Wild horses. A frozen lake. Red hair.

Wow. I cannot wait to read this next book.

Find BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA at any of the following stores!

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April Genevieve Tucholke digs classic movies, red-headed villains, big kitchens, and discussing murder at the dinner table. She and her husband Nate Pedersen live in Oregon at the edge of a forest.
After teaching and traveling internationally, Christina Farley started writing about her adventures, tossing in a little fiction for fun. This inspired her to write GILDED, a YA about a Korean-American girl with a black belt and deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows to be published by Amazon Children’s spring 2014. Besides writing, Christina loves traveling, running, hanging out with her two Jedi warriors, and eating dark chocolate.
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YouTube- Acting Out a Scene from GILDED

This month’s YouTube topic is Act Out a Scene from our books. Today I’m acting out three scenes from GILDED: one is a reenactment at my main character’s international school and the other two are martial arts scenes set in Seoul, Korea.

You can also visit my YouTube page to watch the full playlist for GILDED. Don’t forget to add GILDED to your Goodreads page here.

If you could act a scene from a book, which character would you be and what scene would you act out?

After teaching and traveling internationally, Christina Farley started writing about her adventures, tossing in a little fiction for fun. This inspired her to write GILDED, a YA about a Korean-American girl with a black belt and deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows to be published by Amazon Children’s spring 2014. Besides writing, Christina loves traveling, running, hanging out with her two Jedi warriors, and eating dark chocolate.
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Announcing Our Winners!

Thank you to everyone who supported us as we launched our new look on our social media sites. 2014 is going to be an amazing year and we are thrilled that you are here with us as we embark on this journey toward publication.

And now to announce our winners! All winners will be contacted by their authors by June 15th. If not, please let us know in the comment box.

Congratulations winners!

READER PACK 1 (worldwide)
Winner: Ine

1. Copy of THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR by Mindee Arnett donated by Lori M. Lee (GATES OF THREAD AND STONE, Spring 2014)
2. Copy of REBOOT by Amy Tintera (worldwide) donated by Michelle Krys (HEXED, March 11, 2014)
3. Dragon charm and sticker + PROPHECY by Ellen Oh donated by Christina Farley (GILDED, Mar. 11, 2014)
4. $10 Itunes card donated by Jaye Robin Brown (No Place To Fall, Fall 2014)

READER PACK 2 (worldwide)
Winner: Kaniesha Winn

1. Copy of THE DISENCHANTMENTS by Nina LaCour donated by Dahlia Adler (BEHIND THE SCENES, 2014)
2. ARC of I HEART BAND (worldwide) donated by Michelle Schusterman (I HEART BAND, Jan. 9, 2014)
3. Copy of SIEGE AND STORM by Leigh Bardugo donated by Rachel Searles (THE LOST PLANET, January 28, 2014)
4. Copy of THE 5th WAVE by Rick Yancey donated by Meredith McCardle (THE EIGHTH GUARDIAN, Feb. 25, 2014)

READER PACK 3 (US only)
Winner: Robin

1. ARC of DARE YOU TO by Katie McGarry donated Mary McCoy (DEAD TO ME, Fall 2014)
2. Copy of DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE donated by Kelsey Macke (DAMSEL DISTRESSED, October 2014)
3. ARC of QUANTUM COIN by E.C. Myers donated by Elle Cosimano (NEARLY GONE, March 25, 2014)
4. ARC of IN TOO DEEP by Coert Voorhees + SEMV bookmarks donated by Julie Murphy (SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY, March 2014)

READER PACK 4 (US only)
Winner: Serena Oxymoron Lawless

1. Signed ARC of SOLSTICE by PJ Hoover + SEMV bookmarks donated by Julie Murphy (SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY, March 2014)
2-4. TWINMAKER by Sean Williams, ACROSS A STAR-SWEPT SEA by Diana Peterfreund, and CONTROL by Lydia Kang all donated by Emily Lloyd-Jones (Illusive, Spring 2014)
5. Signed paperback copy of GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers + SEMV bookmarks donated by Julie Murphy (SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY, March 2014)

READER PACK 5 (US only)
Winner: Jess Silverstein

1. Finished, autographed copy of Tessa Gratton’s THE LOST SUN (US only) donated by Natalie C. Parker (BEWARE THE WILD, Fall 2014)
2. ARC of IN TOO DEEP by Coert Voorhees + SEMV bookmarks donated by Julie Murphy (SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY, March 2014)
3. Signed ARCs of THE TESTING by Joelle Charbonneau + SEMV bookmarks donated by Julie Murphy (SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY, March 2014)
4. ARC of INDEPENDENT STUDY by Joelle Charbonneau + SEMV bookmarks donated by Julie Murphy (SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY, March 2014)

WRITER PACK 1
Winner: Prerna Pickett

1. One free entry to Critique Camp, nataliecparker.com/critique/ donated by Natalie C. Parker (BEWARE THE WILD, Fall 2014)
2. 5-page critique donated by Corinne Duyvis (OTHERBOUND, spring 2014)
3. Critique of first chapter donated by Patrick Samphire (SECRETS OF THE DRAGON TOMB, Fall 2014)
4. First chapter critique donated by Kate Kelly (RED ROCK, September 12th 2013)

WRITER PACK 2
Winner: Ruth Schiffmann

1. First chapter critique donated by Robin Constantine (The Promise of Amazing, Winter 2014)
2. First chapter critique donated by Rebecca Behrens (WHEN AUDREY MET ALICE, February 4, 2014)
3. Query and first chapter critique donated by Stefanie Gaither (FALLS THE SHADOW, September 2014)
4. Query critique 1st page critique donated by Stephanie Diaz (EXTRACTION, Spring 2014)

WRITER PACK 3
Winner: Kate Howell

1. Query and first 5 pages critique donated by Lauren Magaziner (THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN WITCHES, Summer 2014)
2. Vintage daisy necklace AND one chapter critique of a middle grade donated by Tracy Holczer (THE SECRET HUM OF A DAISY, May 2014)
3. Three chapter or 30 page critique donated by Erica Cameron (SING SWEET NIGHTINGALE, March 2014)

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Celebrating Our New Look!

We are super excited about our website’s new shiny look created by the talented Patrick Samphire and Grant Gaither. In fact, we are so excited that we’re throwing a party with awesome reader and writer prize packs donated by us!

We’ve made it simple to enter. Click on the Rafflecopter link here or at the bottom of this post. Earn extra entries by following us on our various social media sites and helping us spread the word. Contest is open until May 31st midnight EST.

contest

READER PACK 1 (worldwide)

1. Copy of THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR by Mindee Arnett donated by Lori M. Lee (GATES OF THREAD AND STONE, Spring 2014)

2. Copy of REBOOT by Amy Tintera (worldwide) donated by Michelle Krys (HEXED, March 11, 2014)

3. Dragon charm and sticker + PROPHECY by Ellen Oh donated by Christina Farley (GILDED, Mar. 11, 2014)

4. $10 Itunes card donated by Jaye Robin Brown (No Place To Fall, Fall 2014)

READER PACK 2 (worldwide)

1. Copy of THE DISENCHANTMENTS by Nina LaCour donated by Dahlia Adler (BEHIND THE SCENES, 2014)

2. ARC of I HEART BAND (worldwide) donated by Michelle Schusterman (I HEART BAND, Jan. 9, 2014)

3. Copy of SIEGE AND STORM by Leigh Bardugo donated by Rachel Searles (THE LOST PLANET, January 28, 2014)

4. Copy of THE 5th WAVE by Rick Yancey donated by Meredith McCardle (THE EIGHTH GUARDIAN, Feb. 25, 2014)

READER PACK 3 (US only)

1. ARC of DARE YOU TO by Katie McGarry donated Mary McCoy (DEAD TO ME, Fall 2014)

2. Copy of DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE donated by Kelsey Macke (DAMSEL DISTRESSED, October 2014)

3. ARC of QUANTUM COIN by E.C. Myers donated by Elle Cosimano (NEARLY GONE, March 25, 2014)

4. ARC of IN TOO DEEP by Coert Voorhees + SEMV bookmarks donated by Julie Murphy (SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY, March 2014)

READER PACK 4 (US only)

1. Signed ARC of SOLSTICE by PJ Hoover + SEMV bookmarks donated by Julie Murphy (SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY, March 2014)

2-4. TWINMAKER by Sean Williams, ACROSS A STAR-SWEPT SEA by Diana Peterfreund, and CONTROL by Lydia Kang all donated by Emily Lloyd-Jones (Illusive, Spring 2014)

5. Signed paperback copy of GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers + SEMV bookmarks donated by Julie Murphy (SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY, March 2014)

READER PACK 5 (US only)

1. Finished, autographed copy of Tessa Gratton’s THE LOST SUN (US only) donated by Natalie C. Parker (BEWARE THE WILD, Fall 2014)

2. ARC of IN TOO DEEP by Coert Voorhees + SEMV bookmarks donated by Julie Murphy (SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY, March 2014)

3. Signed ARCs of THE TESTING by Joelle Charbonneau + SEMV bookmarks donated by Julie Murphy (SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY, March 2014)

4. ARC of INDEPENDENT STUDY by Joelle Charbonneau + SEMV bookmarks donated by Julie Murphy (SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY, March 2014)

WRITER PACK 1

1. One free entry to Critique Camp, http://nataliecparker.com/critique/ donated by Natalie C. Parker (BEWARE THE WILD, Fall 2014)

2. 5-page critique donated by Corinne Duyvis (OTHERBOUND, spring 2014)

3. Critique of first chapter donated by Patrick Samphire (SECRETS OF THE DRAGON TOMB, Fall 2014)
4. First chapter critique donated by Kate Kelly (RED ROCK, September 12th 2013)

WRITER PACK 2

1. First chapter critique donated by Robin Constantine (The Promise of Amazing, Winter 2014)

2. First chapter critique donated by Rebecca Behrens (WHEN AUDREY MET ALICE, February 4, 2014)

3. Query and first chapter critique donated by Stefanie Gaither (FALLS THE SHADOW, September 2014)

4. Query critique 1st page critique donated by Stephanie Diaz (EXTRACTION, Spring 2014)

WRITER PACK 3

1. Query and first 5 pages critique donated by Lauren Magaziner (THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN WITCHES, Summer 2014)

2. Vintage daisy necklace AND one chapter critique of a middle grade donated by Tracy Holczer (THE SECRET HUM OF A DAISY, May 2014)

3. Three chapter or 30 page critique donated by Erica Cameron (SING SWEET NIGHTINGALE, March 2014)

Click on this link to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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YouTube: Music by Christina Farley

This month’s YouTube topic is MUSIC, and Christina Farley, author of GILDED, is at Disney’s Music resort today talking about the song that inspired GILDED’s first chapter, the emotions of her main character and the songs that would make a great fit for GILDED’s soundtrack.

You can also visit her website extra page to listen to the full playlist.

After teaching and traveling internationally, Christina Farley started writing about her adventures, tossing in a little fiction for fun. This inspired her to write GILDED, a YA about a Korean-American girl with a black belt and deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows to be published by Amazon Children’s spring 2014. Besides writing, Christina loves traveling, running, hanging out with her two Jedi warriors, and eating dark chocolate.
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GETTIN’ LUCKY: An interview with Emma Pass, author of ACID

Today, we’re interviewing Lucky13 author Emma Pass, whose book ACID hits the shelves on April 25!

Here’s the blurb:

2113. In Jenna Strong’s world, ACID – the most brutal, controlling police force in history – rule supreme. No throwaway comment or muttered dissent goes unnoticed – or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a bloody crime she struggles to remember.

The only female inmate in a violent high-security prison, Jenna has learned to survive by any means necessary. And when a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID – and to uncover the truth about what really happened on that dark night two years ago.

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Wow. Jenna seems like my kind of heroine and I’m dying to get my hands on this book. I’m intrigued in how you developed Jenna as a character. Do you see a little of yourself in Jenna or is she completely from your imagination?

Jenna stormed into my head more or less fully formed, demanding that her story be told. It was impossible to ignore her! I could see her in her prison cell, doing sit-ups, toughening herself up, and I started to wonder what she was doing there and why she had to be so tough.

As for seeing myself in Jenna, I’m such a wimp compared to her it’s not true! I could never be that brave or tough, which is why she was so much fun to write!

As you wrote ACID, which scene had the biggest emotional impact on you after writing it?

Hmm… probably the scene with Jenna and Jacob in the library – but I’m not going to say any more than that, because I don’t want to spoil it for readers! It was a creepy scene to write. Hopefully it will be a creepy scene to read!

On your blog, you mentioned your love for writing developed at an early age. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer and what instigated this?

I always loved writing stories, but until I was 13, I was convinced I was going to be an artist or a musician when I was older. Then I went to see the film ‘Jurassic Park’. Afterwards, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and started writing a sequel. 125 whole pages later, my first ‘novel’ was written, and I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life.

I love your pictures with your hound. Beautiful! Did he have any part of inspiring scenes in ACID?

We didn’t have a dog when I started writing ACID, but a year or so after starting the book, I decided I needed to do something to stave off the dreaded writer’s butt, so we got our first dog, The Hound, a gorgeous ex-racing greyhound. Sadly, he passed away last year, but we now have another greyhound, G-Dog, who makes us smile every day. Going out walking is a great cure for writer’s block, and there’s nothing like having a 60lb hot water bottle snuggled up to you on the sofa as you write on a cold winter’s day!

What was the toughest part of your publication journey for ACID and how did you overcome that obstacle?

The toughest part was trying to get published. I have a wonderful agent who loved the book and really got behind it, but getting rejections from publishers always knocks your confidence, no matter how hard you try not to let it. I did reach a point where I started to wonder if I was kidding myself, and was never going to get there. I dealt with it by starting another book (which is going to be my next novel, THE FEARLESS, out in the UK in 2014) so I had something to take my mind off waiting to hear from publishers! Even if ACID hadn’t sold, though, I would have kept writing. You never know – your lucky break could be just around the corner, but if you give up, you’ll never know.

As this community is All for One and OneFour KidLit, we’d like to know what two or three books inspired you as a kid.

That’s a hard question! I think everything I’ve ever read has influenced me in one way or another. But if I had to choose…

I loved Enid Blyton as a kid, especially her ‘Adventure’ series. One that stands out (because I wanted to be able to fly, and in the book a group of characters are developing anti-gravity wings which allow people to do just that) is THE MOUNTAIN OF ADVENTURE. OK, it’s not great literature, but EB was a cracking storyteller!

I also loved EMILY OF NEW MOON by L.M. Montgomery, because Emily was so feisty and independent. Perhaps she’s partly the inspiration for Jenna! I always found Anne Shirley (of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES) a bit too good to be true – Emily was much more realistic. Plus, she had violet eyes and wanted to be a writer. What’s not to like?

Finally, I’ll pick Robert Swindells BROTHER IN THE LAND, which is about a boy fighting for survival in the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust. I read it when I was about 9 or 10 years old, and found it utterly chilling. It also left me with a fascination for post-apocalyptic and dystopian scenarios that continues to influence my writing today!

Emma & The Hound 2
You can find Emma online here:
And you can buy ACID here:
After teaching and traveling internationally, Christina Farley started writing about her adventures, tossing in a little fiction for fun. This inspired her to write GILDED, a YA about a Korean-American girl with a black belt and deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows to be published by Amazon Children’s spring 2014. Besides writing, Christina loves traveling, running, hanging out with her two Jedi warriors, and eating dark chocolate.
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The OneFour KidLit’s YouTube Channel

YouTubeimage

As you probably remember, we have a YouTube Channel. We have put together a great line-up of awesome topics to talk to you about our books.

Here’s what we’ve got in store for you:

Apr.- Inspiration- What inspired you to write your book or what do you use for inspiration?

May– Music- music our character would listen to or soundtracks that would go with our books or playlists

June– Lights/Camera/Action- Act out a scene from your book.

July– Summer fun- What would your main character’s ideal vacation spot be?

Aug.- “It’s hot as hell out, who am I going to call to go see a movie or jump in the pool with?”

Sept.- Back to school- Talk about your character’s school.

Oct– Costumes- Discuss the clothing style of your book’s characters. Or come up with a Halloween costume for your book.

Nov.- Food! What are your character’s favorite foods?

Dec– Holidays- What type of holiday does your character celebrate?

As you can see from the list, this month is all about what inspired us to write our books.

Check out Stephanie Diaz’s vlog on the inspiration for EXTRACTION here.

Today, I’ve vlogged about my inspiration for GILDED here.

We hope you’ll subscribe and come hang out with us on our channel!

After teaching and traveling internationally, Christina Farley started writing about her adventures, tossing in a little fiction for fun. This inspired her to write GILDED, a YA about a Korean-American girl with a black belt and deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows to be published by Amazon Children’s spring 2014. Besides writing, Christina loves traveling, running, hanging out with her two Jedi warriors, and eating dark chocolate.
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Christina Farley: GILDED

We’ve got a great group of debut authors here at OneFour KidLit. Today we’re introducing Christina Farley, author of GILDED, coming to you from Skyscape/Amazon Children’s. One author, four questions. Here we go!

Hey, you’re getting published! How’d that happen?

korea mountains

Picture of Korean mountains taken by Jon Hill

Six years ago, I decided to work on my bucket list and writing a book was on it. I started writing for fun and got some articles published in Highlights and the Carus magazines. One day my hubby read one of my middle grades and said, “This is really rough, but you might be onto something with this writing thing of yours.” (Yeah, hubby is a tough critic.)

It never occurred to me to actually publish my book and I certainly had no clue what I was doing. I decided to get serious and enrolled in Jill Santopolo’s YA class through MediaBistro. That class changed the way I wrote. And it was Jill, the Writing Goddess, who helped me find my ‘voice’.

The book I wrote in her class was my first YA. I pitched it to agents and got lots of: “I love your writing, but it’s paranormal and that’s just not selling right now.”

So smart me went and wrote another paranormal. *Grin*

The thing is, I didn’t want to write for the market. I just wanted to write because I loved writing. Turns out, that paranormal, GILDED landed me my awesome agent, Jeff Ourvan of the Jennifer Lyons Literary. He sold it a few months later to Skyscape (Amazon Children’s) and it’s slated to release March 2014.

I’m still pinching myself.

What’s your debut book about? Can you share any cool details with us?

GILDED is about a Korean-American girl with a black belt, a deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows, and a chip on her shoulder the size of Korea itself.

It’s based on a Korean myth and since I was living in Korea at the time I was completely inspired to write this book. I knew my main character had to be a tough girl and martial arts was a component in the story.

I took taekwondo and archery classes so I could write the fight scenes in the book.
You can add it to your Goodreads list here or check out the longer version of it on my website here.

Here’s a mini-trailer for you:

What inspires you to write?

Traveling. Nearly everything I write is inspired by places I’ve visited or lived and people I’ve met. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always had a wild imagination. I still have the notebooks of all the worlds I created when I was in elementary school. I’d make up languages, maps of my imaginary lands, and my own characters.

When I’m drafting a book and I’m stuck with my plot, often I’ll go for a long run and just the movement starts spinning my stories into action.

Oh and chocolate. Dark and rich and creamy.

What cool facts might readers not know about you?

Indonesia hut

Picture of me in Indonesia

  • I’m a sucker for traveling. If it’s a cool place, I’m on the first plane out. After my two boys were born, my husband and I just started carting them along with us. I’ll never forget hiking the Great Wall of China pregnant with my husband carrying our one-year old in the backpack. We were loaded down, but those were awesome memories.
  • I’ve lived in Asia for 10 years.
  • Coolest places I’ve visited: fjords of New Zealand, terracotta warriors of China, castles of Germany, the Bali cliffs, Borobudur, Minoan ruins in Crete, the volcanoes in Sumatra, the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, and the burial mounds in Kyongju.

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Picture of me at Neuschweinstein Castle, Germany

  • I’m completely obsessed with Tolkien. I have to admit that’s why I even went to New Zealand in the first place. My husband and I rented a car and tried to sneak onto the set of Lord of the Rings. Crazy, right? We got lost on this dirt road in the middle of nowhere, and never made it. Still, we had a blast nearly getting stuck in the river and sleeping under the stars.
  • I danced on the castle stage of Disney. Can you guess which character I played?
  • I used to enter rock climbing competitions on the weekends during my first year of teaching. I’d come in all scraped up on Monday and the other teachers thought I was crazy. I guess they weren’t too far off.
After teaching and traveling internationally, Christina Farley started writing about her adventures, tossing in a little fiction for fun. This inspired her to write GILDED, a YA about a Korean-American girl with a black belt and deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows to be published by Amazon Children’s spring 2014. Besides writing, Christina loves traveling, running, hanging out with her two Jedi warriors, and eating dark chocolate.