Author Spotlight: Caryn Lix Talks About Sanctuary

sanctuary | Author Spotlight | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com
Today I’m
shining the Author Spotlight on Caryn Lix and her debut novel SANCTUARY.

Title:     SANCTUARY

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Age Range: 14-99 (YA)

Launch Date: July 24 2018

 

Please tell us a little bit about your book.

Alien meets Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds in this novel about prison-guard-in-training, Kenzie, who is taken hostage by the superpowered criminal teens of the Sanctuary space station—only to have to band together with them when the station is attacked by mysterious creatures.

Kenzie holds one truth above all: the company is everything.

As a citizen of Omnistellar Concepts, the most powerful corporation in the solar system, Kenzie has trained her entire life for one goal: to become an elite guard on Sanctuary, Omnistellar’s space prison for superpowered teens too dangerous for Earth. As a junior guard, she’s excited to prove herself to her company—and that means sacrificing anything that won’t propel her forward.

But then a routine drill goes sideways and Kenzie is taken hostage by rioting prisoners.

At first, she’s confident her commanding officer—who also happens to be her mother—will stop at nothing to secure her freedom. Yet it soon becomes clear that her mother is more concerned with sticking to Omnistellar protocol than she is with getting Kenzie out safely.

As Kenzie forms her own plan to escape, she doesn’t realize there’s a more sinister threat looming, something ancient and evil that has clawed its way into Sanctuary from the vacuum of space. And Kenzie might have to team up with her captors to survive—all while beginning to suspect there’s a darker side to the Omnistellar she knows.

What inspired you to write this story and/or these characters?

I love space. I love aliens. I love messy decisions and blurred moral lines and romances that transcend boundaries. I wanted to put all of these things together with that sense of claustrophobic horror you get from the very best creepy movies and video games, and that was why I decided to write about an alien attack on a prison – and one on a space station. You can’t get more trapped than that.

As for my characters, I love them all. I really do. They start as these vivid dreams and become my best friends and worst enemies, taking on a life of their own until I really don’t have much choice about getting them down on paper. They sneak out of my brain onto the page.

Everyone says writing is a process. Could you share a little about your writing and/or research process?

Everyone has such a unique perspective on this, and I love hearing how other people write. For me, I often start with a rough outline, but before long that goes out the window, which means there’s usually a point halfway through where I’ve written myself into a corner and am curled up on the couch under a blanket yelling plot ideas at my dogs. Eventually my husband convinces me to go write some more, at which point I write a truly terrible chapter that has to be deleted later, but that’s enough to propel me back into the story and get things moving again. In this way, bit by bit, an idea becomes a plot.

We know no writer is created in a vacuum. Could you tell the readers about a teacher or a   librarian who had an effect on your writing life?

I had so many amazing teachers. I mention three in my acknowledgements. The first teacher who ever told me I could write was Ms Rochester, my grade 8 creative writing teacher. It had never occurred to me before that. In high school, my English teacher Mr Feschuk and my drama teacher Mr Montalbetti both had huge roles in encouraging me to write. I really don’t think I’d be where I am without them.

What makes your book  a good pick for use in a classroom? Is there any particular way you’d like to see teachers use it with young readers/teens?

As a teacher myself, I think I have a pretty strong connection with what kids like to read. This is a great classroom pick for reluctant readers who want page-turning action, but will still appeal to a wide audience, making it a good whole class read. I’d love to see teachers use it to explore themes of isolation, of corporate entities and their control over the world, of what we can trust in terms of what we see and hear in the world around us.

I’m a little dog obsessed here at www.patriciabaileyauthor.com. Would you tell the readers about  your favorite dog (real or imaginary)?

Um, YES. I have two dogs. Aleiah is a nine year old rescue. She’s a black lab with three legs. We think someone kicked her as a pup and her leg grew in crooked. The rescue organization had to amputate it before I adopted her. She is my very best friend and is always at my side. Archer is a three year old Boston Terrier. He is 50% adorableness and 50% nightmare. When he’s not curled up being the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, he’s attacking a wall because it looked at him funny. They are my constant writing companions.

Caryn Lix Aleigh | Author Spotlight | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

Caryn Lix and Archer and Ali | Author Spotlight | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comarcher-anbd-ali

Caryn Lix and Archer | Author Spotlight | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

 

 

 

 

Caryn Lix | Author Spotlight | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comCaryn Lix has been writing since she was a teenager and delved deep into science fiction, fantasy, and the uncanny while working on her Masters in English literature. Caryn writes novels for teens and anyone else who likes a bit of the bizarre to mess up their day. When not writing, Caryn spends her time obsessively consuming other people’s stories, plotting travel adventures, and exploring artistic endeavors. She lives with her husband and a horde of surly and entitled animals in southern Alberta. Visit her online at www.carynlix.com or find her on Twitter and Instagram: @missrithenay

You can pick up SANCTUARY at your local indie bookstore or online July 24, 2018.

Thanks, Caryn!

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Author Spotlight: Adrienne Young Talks About Sky in the Deep

Sky in the Deep | Author Spotlight: Adrienne Young Talks About Sky In the Deep | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comToday I’m shining the Author Spotlight on Adrienne Young and her debut novel SKY IN THE DEEP.

Title:  SKY IN THE DEEP

Genre:  YA Fantasy

Age Range:  14+

Launch Date:  April 24, 2018

 

Please tell us a little bit about your book.

Sky in the Deep is the story of a young warrior named Eelyn who was raised to fight in a generations-old rivalry against an enemy clan. But in the midst of battle, she sees her brother fighting alongside the enemy – the brother she watched die five years ago. The story follows her journey as she confronts what she has always been taught and decides for herself how she wants to live.

What inspired you to write this story and/or these characters?

I’m a huge lover of history and the Viking-age is always a time that has fascinated me. I was also going through a significant evolution personally when I wrote it and I think that a lot of that worldview shift is reflected in Eelyn’s story.

Everyone says writing is a process. Could you share a little about your writing and/or research process?

I am a research junkie and often spend a lot of time on it, even for things that are not writing related. I usually go overboard because I really enjoy it. As far as writing, I feel like every single story has been different for me. Sometimes they need to marinate before they ever get on the page and sometimes they hit my like a train and I can’t write them fast enough. That was the case for Sky in the Deep.

We know no writer is created in a vacuum. Could you tell the readers about a teacher or a librarian who had an effect on your writing life?

I had a high school literature teacher who had a huge impact on me as a teen. He treated me like an adult and like an intellectual equal, and that was transformative for me. I am so grateful for the influence he had on me. It made me a better, more confident writer.

What makes your book  a good pick for use in a classroom? Is there any particular way you’d like to see teachers use it with young readers/teens?

I think there’s a lot of Viking culture to take away from it, even if its fantasy, but what I think is the real takeaway is the fierce female main character and her willingness to push against what is widely accepted as truth in order to discover a new way of seeing the world. I think we could learn a lot from her.

I’m a little dog obsessed here at www.patriciabaileyauthor.com. Would you tell the readers about  your favorite dog (real or imaginary)?

My brother has a dog named Savvy who was found on the side of the freeway and she is the most human-like dog I’ve ever met. She’s like a little baby and every time I see her I just want to hold her!

 

Adrienne Young | Author Spotllight: Adrienne Young Talks About Sky in the Deep | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comAdrienne Young is a born and bred Texan turned California girl. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, scouring antique fairs for old books, sipping wine over long dinners, or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun.

 

You can find Adrienne at her website or on Instagram and Twitter.

You can pick up a copy of SKY IN THE DEEP at your favorite indie bookstore or online on April 24.

Thanks, Adrienne!

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Author Spotlight: Sarah Nicole Smetana Talks About The Midnights

It’s a brand new year in YA and Children’s Literature – which means it’s time to pass the debut author baton to a new group of writers. It’s a pleasure to welcome the Class of 2k18 and their debut novels into the world this year, and I’m extra pleased to get to feature some of them on my blog.

Author Spotlight | Sarah Nicole Smetana Talks About The Midnights | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comToday I’m shining the Author Spotlight on Sarah Nicole Smetana and her debut novel THE MIDNIGHTS

Title:  THE MIDNIGHTS

Genre:  Contemporary YA

Age Range:  14+

Launch Date:  March 6, 2018


Please tell us a little bit about your book.

Taking place in Southern California, THE MIDNIGHTS is about an aspiring musician struggling to hold onto herself and her music after her father’s unexpected death uproots more than just long-buried family secrets.

What inspired you to write this story and/or these characters?

The simple answer is that the book was inspired by my experiences in the music scene as a teenager, as well as California in general. But as a coming-of-age story, I’d also say it was inspired by the process most teenagers go through of trying to figure out who they are, where they belong in the world, and how to best pursue their passions.

Everyone says writing is a process. Could you share a little about your writing and/or research process?

The writing process was… long. I began this book, in earnest, about six months before I started my MFA program, and then it went through two years of writing and scrapping and rewriting and tearing apart the insides just looking for the real story. After figuring that out, it took a few more years to write the darn thing. And, all in all, I probably wrote hundreds of pages that were eventually deleted or reconfigured entirely. Seven years passed between the time I started really working on THE MIDNIGHTS, and now, when it’s hitting shelves.

We know no writer is created in a vacuum. Could you tell the readers about a teacher or librarian who had an effect on your writing life?

Ms. Kim, my AP English Lit teacher in high school. She’s married now and has a different last name but I will forever call her Ms. Kim. I had her class for 0 period my senior year, which was pretty rough because it was so early in the morning, but Ms. Kim was such an incredible teacher, so passionate and so fun. I didn’t actually do any creative writing there, but the class definitely expanded my love of reading. We tore apart these complex novels that I never would have understood or appreciated otherwise, and I think working like that—really isolating and assigning meaning to all the pieces in a work of fiction—helped guide me when I decided to start writing fiction of my own.

What makes your book a good pick for use in a classroom? Is there any particular way you’d like to see teachers use it with young readers/teens?

Wow, this is a great question, and one I’ve never thought about! Other than it being a story about growing up and trying to figure out who you are (which I hope teen readers can identify with!), I think it would be a fun exercise to look closely at the setting as a literary device, and explore how it affects the protagonist and the story. The setting (and the weather in particular) was a big factor for me when writing, and it plays a very important role. We are, after all, a product of where we are raised. And sometimes, a place is really quite different from how it appears to an outsider.

I’m a little dog obsessed here at www.patriciabaileyauthor.com. Would you tell the readers about your favorite dog (real or imaginary)?

I have two favorite dogs, but I’ll just talk about one: Juno, the white German shepherd that my parents got a few years before I was born. When I came into the family, Juno was already part of it—and this, I’ve always thought, was really special. I never knew the world without having a big, loving dog by my side. She was my best friend until I was about twelve, when she passed. I still miss her.

 

Author Spotlight | Sarah Nicole Smetana Talks About The Midnights | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comSarah Nicole Smetana grew up in Orange, California, where she wrote songs, played in a few bands, and successfully pilfered all of her parents’ best vinyl records. She received her BFA in Creative Writing from Chapman University and her MFA in Fiction from The New School. Currently, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their three-legged cat. The Midnights (HarperTeen/HarperCollins) is her first novel.

You can find Sarah at her website and on:

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

Goodreads

You can pick up a copy at THE MIDNIGHTS at your favorite local bookstore on March 6, or pre-order online now.

Thanks, Sarah!

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