Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Author B.F. Simone Guest Post!

Today author B.F. Simone has stepped in to provide us with a little insight into her book The Keeper's Vow! Stay tuned for a review, it will be coming soon! 
Hello, I’m B.F. Simone the author of The Keeper’s Vow (Guardian Series) a YA paranormal novel. I live in Japan with my seven-month old son and my best-friend/husband. I work at a high-school teaching English during the week and exploring our quaint city on the weekends. I spend most of my workday writing and promoting my book. For shame, I know but in my defense I have a lot of free time between classes, and with a new born at homes it’s impossible to get things done when I’ve spent eight-hours away from him. 
Lizzie has been gracious enough to let me guest blog about my debut novel! (Thank you Lizzie!!!) I hope you all enjoy reading about The Keeper’s Vow and check it out. It’s available on Amazon and very soon, in iBookstore.  
What Inspired The Keeper’s Vow?
The truth? I was looking for something to read; when I didn’t find what I wanted, I decided to set aside other projects and write what I wanted. Now, I didn’t end up writing what I wanted because—well it would have been a terrible book filled with cliches and terrible coincidences (haha). I ended up writing what my characters wanted me to write. The story Katie and Tristan wanted to tell. It was full of real love and a darkness I didn’t even knew existed in them. 
So I guess, what inspired me to write a book: the genre. What inspired me to write The Keeper’s Vow: the characters. 
What is the story about?
From the day he showed up on her front porch, he desperately needed three things: a new beginning, a place to belong, and someone to stand beside him. 
By the time she figured that out, it was too late. 
In a world where being half-vampire is a dark secret that tears families apart, 16 year-old Katie Watts must untangle the web of lies that is her so-called life. No one is who she thought they were. Her father is keeping secrets, and everyone knows the darker truth except her. She has no direction, no answers, and—when she searches for the truth—no home. 
As the web untangles, the truth pulls Katie and Tristan closer together, and they find themselves connected in more ways than she can believe. But—is honesty worth more than blissful ignorance? Can she live with the truths that begin with her dead mother and end with The Keeper’s Vow? 
I don’t know if I can honestly say this story is about the plot; it’s about so much more. A running theme in the series is the idea that there is a monster inside of us; how our fear feeds it; and how, when we feed it, it is more powerful than love. Every character in my book is affected by this monster, they all live their lives either running from it or letting it ruin them. Fear is a very powerful emotion, especially when it’s the fear of losing what/who we love.  
What is your writing process?
It took me three years to write The Keeper’s Vow. It was my first book from start to finish. I had a HUGE learning curve. I had to figure out what worked for me as a writer, what type of writer I wanted to be, and I had to shed all of my insecurities. 
The first step in finding my process was ignoring everyone else’s process. I hear all the time the only way to be a great writer is to write. That’s true—to an extent (for me). I don’t just write a bunch of junk until I find something good. That would be exhausting and discouraging for me. In my opinion story comes first. I have to know the story and every emotion that charges it, before I can write. How else will I know what to write? 
For example, Katie and Tristan can hear each others thoughts, but Tristan—through years of practice—can hide his feelings from Katie. He’s got a lot of dark stuff that Katie calls “The Black Void” trapped in his mind. At first glance it may seem like he is being gallant in shielding her from his darkness, but in all honesty he’s ashamed. If I didn’t know that he was ashamed and scared of his own mind, it would have changed the way I wrote him. The looks he gives her—especially in the beginning when he’s torn between wanting to have a normal life and hating that he would have if he wasn’t all but abandoned and neglected his whole childhood. 
I don’t think any amount of writing would have made that surface. I needed to think about him as a character, I needed to ask why he was distant with everyone, yet why he showed up in the first place. For me, that only comes from listening to music that makes me see what my characters are feeling. Then, I play big emotional scenes over and over in my head until I know how and what everyone is feeling and why they feel that way. I never have to go back and edit those types of scenes when I write them (except for grammatical errors). Those kind of scenes always surprise me. I always stop in the middle and think, “Omg—that’s why.” 
For instance, I never knew Katie had a childhood of mild neglect until I was writing her big emotional fall out with her father. She just started thinking of these dark memories. I saw a glimpse into her childhood that I still haven’t been able to unlock completely—and know that I think about it, I’m sure this is why Tristan opens up to her from that moment on. 
If I ever had to give an Up-And-Coming writer advice, it would have to be: find your own process and don’t let anyone tell you it’s not right. I write when I know what I’m writing. That challenges me to get the picture right, to find the right words and that’s when my most unique writing happens. Not when I’m just pouring words on the page to see what sticks. 
What authors/books inspire you?
I always answer first and foremost, J.K. Rowling. I grew up reading her books as they came out, starting in 1999. It wasn’t until I really started to dissect her work that I realized I wanted to do what she’d done. She writes with Truth. That’s why her stories are so real and that’s why so many are affected by them. It isn’t the “magic” or the “fantasy”. It’s the Honesty in each and every word on the page. Her world is real because it is based on Truth and real emotions. I will forever love her work. 
Any Up and coming projects?
I am currently working on the second book in the Guardian series. It has no working title yet, but I can give you a small glimpse into what it’s about. Because of the events in the first book, Gray City is struggling from a power vacuum. Vampires, Werewolves, and Guardians are all scraping for power as they fear what the others will do with it. The fights between them spill out into the streets of Boise and depending on what happens when the dust settles, the whole world may be in for a surprise. Tristan and Katie are still together and closer than ever, but what they are, puts them on the fringes. They won’t be treated kindly by either vampire or guardian communities. In fact, they will receive help and sanctuary from some very surprising new characters. 
Stay Tuned and Happy Reading,
B.F. Simone

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