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Thursday, 19 January 2012

BLOG TOUR! Swirls by F.A Hershey + INTERVIEW

Swirls has been out since July of last year. So it's not your regular blog tour, but the next book in the trilogy, Threads, will be released later on this year. So, let's go back to Swirls and see where the trilogy began, before we get further on into the series with the release of the second novel....





At the Other End

Sixteen-year-old Julia finds herself leaving her London life behind to move with her parents to the Amazon jungle.

A native descendant, she becomes familiarized with her own roots for the first time in her life. However, she never imagines she is about to discover much more than her own past but also just how crowded our little planet is...



First Impressions Last


When I first saw the post for this tour, I immediately jumped on board. I hadn't read Swirls before, yet heard of it but it was very intriguing on the back cover and the blurb is amazing in the way that it doesn't give away too much information than what we find out in the first half of the novel.



Behind the 254 Pages



When we first find out that Julia is moving away from her life in London we instantly sympathise with her. The way that Hershey describes Julia's move and the feelings and emotions that terror her from day one get to us and we start feeling as she does when it comes to the move and we fight back with her to be able to stay in the country and in her home with her Grandmother. The first page completely and utterly pulls you into the story. I can't believe how many novels need to have this kind of beginning to their story. It was brilliant and gets us moving through the book. Although we know that she is going to move, the way that the first page/chapter was written makes us forget that we do actually know what is going to happen.

Her connection with her mother shows us why we need and love our parents. We don't want to end up in Julia's kind of mother-daughter relationship, where her mother doesn't help her through her times of need and where she needs support, she fails to show it and to be helpful. The character development that we had seen in the first few chapters of the novel, started lacking as we continued on. We lose our connection with Julia, even though it was only just beginning, we lose what we had with it. We start to get a little confused about different things within the novel as we don't really understand about some of the things that happen to Julia and about what other things mean. We could mostly relate to Julia and to Lola, but the other background characters lacked the development.

I love the getting-back-to-your-roots concept within the novel. Not many touch up on their roots, and this gives the novel a fresh and new concept. Also, the addition of a little romance (as every good YA novel needs) wonderful in this story, how could you not love Gabriel? I don't know why you wouldn't just fall in love with him straight away. We are used to the protagonist fighting and debating about who and what they are as they come to find out the truth, but not in this case. Julia accepts who she is and does not question or deny anything. Although this is a breath of fresh air, it does seem somewhat unrealistic in some degrees at the way that she completely accepts everything in her life and what she is.

An unexpected ending left me hanging for Threads. I cannot wait for the next novel to come out so we can see how Julia's world develops as well as her understanding of this world. Back to the homing origins of this novel, the tribal history and traditions and their connection to Julia's grandmother held us all, and we wanted to find out about Julia and her family. We get curious as to who the mysterious dream woman with the firey red hair is. She is a constant within this story and we want to find out more about her and as to why she is haunting Julia and her dreams.



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What's Next:
 
 At the Other End:

Months after Julia Ixel first moved to the Amazon forest, she never thought her life could have become so messed up. She now faced the challenge of putting back together the remainder of her family even if it came with a heavy cost. …
As she follows her path to unravel the truth about old alliances, Julia will get deeper and deeper into the hidden world of the Guardians.
She will find answers whether she wants to know them or not.
She will hold on to love if it’s the last thing she does.




Author Bio:

Of Italian background, I was born and raised in Brazil and had strong influences from my grandmother, who had always been an avid reader herself, and who first introduced me to the path of literature.
I created a lifetime bond with my great-grandmother, who gave me my first insights into philosophy (though neither of us knew there was a name for it).
The first book that made me officially an obsessive reader is called “My sweet orange tree” by Jose Mauro de Vasconcelos.
 After that, I could not put a book down.
I only started writing when I came to London in 2003. Ever since  High School back in Brazil, I’ve loved studying English like nothing else. But when I came to live in England there was that “click”, and I thought: why not?
I’m also studying for a BA Hons Degree in English Language and Literature (what a surprise…), while looking after my son of 6 years old, and my dear husband who always supports my ideals.



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Take A Seat. Get Strapped In. Let's Go For A Ride:

  1. Where have we seen you before? (previous projects/works)I’m a debut author. “Swirls” is my first novel and “Threads” will be my second. They are both part of The Outsiders Trilogy.
    1. What goes through your mind after your novel has been on sale for the first week?For the first few days I found myself in a state of stupor, wondering, hoping, feeling nauseated and happy at the same time, though I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of fear creeping in at the thought of nobody ever buying it. And when I saw the first copy going and then second, and so on, I felt I could breathe again. To keep my mind off sales in an effort to maintain a healthy level of sanity, I urged my mind to think about writing the next novel instead of biting all of my nails until they bled.

       

    2. What inspired you to write this novel?I’ve always been a bookworm. My writing adventures, however, started much more recently when I had a shocking dream of being abducted by a strange and mystifying red-headed woman. This dream was the starting point for a story that I unconsciously began to build inside my head, until I finally realised what I was doing: I was writing a novel. Not only one, but three.
    I had never dreamed of being a writer. Not right away like so many writers we see, writing stories ever since they were little.  
    I even thought it was silly of me at first, but I reached a point where I couldn’t lie to myself anymore. I wanted to write, and that was it. So I worked up the courage to open up a new Word file and start typing. 
    1. What do you think about when getting/seeing negative reviews?I avoid negative reviews like the plague. Books without negative reviews simply don’t exist, so I keep that it mind when I stumble upon negative reviews and don’t take it personally. However, I’m only human, and there is no way to be prepared and completely open to negative reviews.
    So, when my eyes betray me and read the whole thing without my consent, I try to learn from it and see it as constructive criticism and think of the awful experience as a hard way to make me a better writer. 
    1. How long was the writing/planning process?“Swirls” took a little while to write - about two years from planning to publishing. I was going through a lot of moving away from England and then back, so it was quite distracting. Also, I taught English full-time for a year, so there was little energy left in me by the end of the day to think about writing. However, the concept, plot and especially characters never left my mind
    “Threads” was much quicker. Just over six months.  It is currently undergoing revision and editing.
    1. What was your reaction to the cover art when you saw it for the first time? Did you have any ideas from the days of writing/inspiration?When I reached a point when I allowed myself to think about covers, I knew I wanted something dark and mysterious to reflect what Julia - the main character - was going through. The first step I took was to leisurely browse for fantasy artists over the net. When I accidently stumbled upon Claudia McKinney’s amazing work of art, I had no doubt I wanted her talent to be linked to the world of “Swirls.”
    2. Any plans for future writing projects? Any being worked on now?“Threads” (#2) is on final stages now and book 3 (nameless for the time being) is planned for autumn this year. 

    3. Top 5 books
  • A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
  • Shadowmagic by John Lenahan
  • The Harry Potter series by J K Rowling
  • The Study series by Maria V. Snyder
  • The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa


  1. Recommended booksAll of the above, plus I have recently read Divergent by Veronica Roth and enjoyed it immensely. Forgotten by Cat Patrick was a particularly unique read, as well as The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.
I always recommend the Harry Potter series because I think they were fantastically well written and its unique and imaginative world will suck you right in.
  1. Why read your novel?I am a great fan of Young Adult literature – although I know I should be reading grown up books by now, but I just can’t help myself – and The Outsiders Trilogy is, in my opinion, a good and unique addition to the genre. If you like a portion of paranormal, a handful of fantasy, a touch of romance, a spoonful of friendship and a dollop of drama, you should pick up a copy of “Swirls”.






    Want more of the tour? Check out these stops:

    19/01/12 – Dreamland: A Teenage Fantasy with Natasha – Character interview, great giveaway and review of Swirls expected for this day. :-)
    25/01/12 – Mostly Reviews with Veronica Morfi – Interview and giveaway planned for this day.
    02/02/12 – Fiction Fascination with Carly – Guest Post and fantastic giveaway! Pop over there!
    07/02/12 – All Things Books with Tanya – Special Guest Post
    09/02/12 – A Written Rhapsody with Preet – Review of Swirls and a great giveaway!
    10/02/12- A Bookalicious Story with Chia Yet Peng – Interview and giveaway on this day. Yay!
    12/02/12 – In Between Writing and Reading with Jude Henderson – For a great giveaway (international), exclusive excerpt from Swirls and review.
    13/02/12 – Splash of Our Worlds with YiotaSwirls review and international giveaway planned. Yuppy!
    14/02/12 – Book Spark with Ana – Swirls review and international giveaway!
    15/02/12 – Nightly Reading with Heather – Tour farewell with author interview.








    Thanks for stopping everyone! Hope you've had fun here at Behind a Million and One Pages! Show your support and get Swirls at Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Smashwords! Keep watching for Threads!! Can't wait to see you next time.

    1 comment:

    1. Hi,

      Great interview I enjoyed reading it, I loved the book and I am excited for Threads. I'm taking part in the tour too on the 2nd, should be fun. :)

      Carly :)
      http://fictionfascination.blogspot.com/

      ReplyDelete

    Thanks for leaving a comment, I love hearing what you have to say and talking to you all!