MG Buehrlen is the author of THE 57 LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE and the upcoming THE UNTIMELY DEATHS OF ALEX WAYFARE (available Spring 2016). She is also the co-creator of YABooksCentral.com, the largest social network for YA book lovers. When she’s not writing or web developing, MG is a hillbilly hipster foodie who, some say, is way too picky about the quality of her coffee. MG was kind enough to sit down for a Q&A today:
What inspired you to write THE 57 LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE? I've always been a huge fan of time-travel and out-of-body stories. My childhood was filled with them: Doctor Who, Back to the Future, Bill and Ted's, and Quantum Leap, just to name a few. I loved stories where characters were thrust into the unknown and came away better people and more understanding of other cultures.
Name three things you love about writing. I love that writing is like time travel. It doesn't matter if you're writing a daily journal entry or the Great American Novel, you get to walk through your memories. You get to go back, slip inside those old shoes, and explore the moments that shaped you.
I love the freedom it gives me to create. My life motto is: Consume art, create art. As long as I'm doing those two things freely, then I'm living my dream. Writing helps me achieve it.
I love that each story I write stretches me somehow. I learn from all of my characters and their struggles. Writing is a way for me to explore motives, both sides of the fence, and it gives me more empathy for others and their struggles.
Name one thing you don't love. I don't love the deadlines. I'm such a free artistic spirit that having a timeframe to create is often stifling.
What is your current favorite book? The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Are there any specific writing rituals you use? Not really, although life with a toddler has taught me that focus is a precious commodity. Over the summer I got into a nice rhythm of coffee shop + headphones + playlist + my essential oil blend Focal Point that worked really well for productivity. It's my new recipe for success.
If you could offer one piece of advice to aspiring authors, what would it be? Study and learn what's currently on the shelf, what publishers are buying, and what top authors are writing. Writing for yourself is great, it's what fuels all of us, but writing to sell your work is a completely different beast. If you want to turn your writing into a business, then you have to treat it like a business. Study your competition, find what's missing from the shelves, what readers are longing for, and write that. Otherwise, if you only want to write for yourself, then just write, my friend.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
THE 57 LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE
One girl. Fifty-seven lives. Endless ways to die.
For as long as she can remember, 17-year-old Alex Wayfare has had visions of the past. Visions that seem so real they leave her breathless, feeling as if she really was onboard a ship bound for colonial America, or rising to the top of the first Ferris wheel at the Chicago World’s Fair.
But these brushes with history are not simple jaunts back in time, nor do they come without a price. Alex’s visions wrench her from her life in the present without warning, returning her with mysterious wounds and inexplicable, lasting effects. Desperate for a normal life, Alex wants to discover the meaning of her visions and get rid of them once and for all.
It isn’t until she meets Porter, a stranger who seems to know more about her than she knows about herself, that Alex learns the truth: she is a Descender, capable of traveling back in time to her fifty-six past lives by accessing Limbo, the space between Life and Afterlife.
With fifty-six lifetimes to explore, historical secrets to unlock, and hidden treasures to unearth, descending back in time becomes irresistible to Alex, especially when the same mysterious boy with blue eyes keeps showing up in each one of them. But the more Alex descends, the more it becomes apparent that someone doesn’t want Alex to travel again. Ever. And will stop at nothing to make sure her current life, her fifty-seventh, is her last.
Find MG Beuhrlen:
Web & Tumblr: http://www.mgbuehrlen.com/
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