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/
Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | Amazon | Google Play | Kobo | iTunes | Powell’s
Combine two parts young adult author, one part Marian the Librarian and add a generous dash of modern day smart-chick cool. Mix liberally with a flair for gripping stories full of vividly real characters. Brighton, Michigan author S. J. Lomas has mastered the art of drawing the reader into the story, offering us characters we feel like we know as we follow them on their journey riddled with danger, romance and adventure. Lomas' recently published Dream Girl is a great read. The only downside once you've devoured Dream Girl? Waiting for the sequel (yes, there is one in the works!). Kiss of Death, a creepy young adult short story, might sate your appetite until then.
S.J. Lomas is a cheerful Michigan girl who writes strange and somewhat dark stories. She has a special fondness for books by Michael Lawrence, Beth Revis and Eve Marie Mont. Lomas admits her writing fulfills a secret wish she has to live an extra life in a dreamworld, especially if she could dream her way to England. Like many writers, S. J. Lomas embodies several characters herself in the course of any given day: Mother, Librarian, Author, among others. She finds that late nights are prime writing hours and her commute to and from work is perfect for working out plot points. Lomas is also of the pen-and-paper ilk, feeling most connected to her fiction when she begins longhand in a notebook before transitioning to the computer once the story is really up and running.
And then there's the music. Like me, Lomas works best when her characters have a soundtrack for their story. The author's playlist varies greatly depending on scene, tone and what exactly is happening at the moment. One Republic, Owl City, Christina Perri, Moby and Paul McCartney are a few of the eclectic mix in the background while Lomas is crafting intriguing young adult plotlines.
Dream Girl Teaser:
So many stars shone overhead that I could see our arm of the Milky Way extending from beyond Earth and into the vastness of space. I raised my arms to the sky, letting the universe wash over me. It was so dark it was easy to imagine I was floating in space, not unlike another wonderful evening I'd had. If I hadn't been so absorbed by the beauty around me, I might have realized where I was.
"I wondered if you'd be back."
Dream Girl (Amazon): http://tinyurl.com/AmazonDreamGirl
Dream Girl (Barnes & Noble): http://tinyurl.com/BNDreamGirl