sábado, 15 de junho de 2013

Indie Author of the Month #1 + Shudder Blog Tour (Review + Interview with the author)

I decided to create a new feature called Indie Author of the Month, where I will interview a self published author and showcase their work! 

Therefore I am honored to introduce Samantha Durante as my first Indie Author of the Month since I love her books and she is one of the nicest authors I have ever met (not that I have met a lot of them, but stil...)

Besides, today is both my birthday and Shudder's release date so it seems like the perfect day to start this feature!

So, without further ado...

Shudder (Stitch Triology #2) by Samantha Durante
Publication Date: June 15th, 2013
Pages: 348
Age Group: Young Adult/New Adult
Genre:  Dystopian, Paranormal Romance, Post-Apocalyptic
Source: Got for review
Where you can find it: 

Haven’t read the first book in the series? Check out my review here. Just $0.99 at Amazon!

It’s only been three days, and already everything is different.
Paragon is behind her, but somehow Alessa’s life may actually have gotten worse. In a wrenching twist of fate, she traded the safety and companionship of her sister for that of her true love, losing a vital partner she’d counted on for the ordeal ahead. Her comfortable university life is but a distant memory, as she faces the prospect of surviving a bleak winter on the meager remains of a ravaged world. And if she’d thought she’d tasted fear upon seeing a ghost, she was wrong; now she’s discovering new depths of terror while being hunted by a deadly virus and a terrifying pack of superhuman creatures thirsting for blood.
And then there are the visions.
The memory-altering “stitch” unlocked something in Alessa’s mind, and now she can’t shake the constant flood of alien feelings ransacking her emotions. Haunting memories of an old flame are driving a deep and painful rift into her once-secure relationship. And a series of staggering revelations about the treacherous Engineers – and the bone-chilling deceit shrouding her world’s sorry history – will soon leave Alessa reeling…
The second installment in the electrifying Stitch Trilogy, Shudder follows Samantha Durante’s shocking and innovative debut with a heart-pounding, paranormal-dusted dystopian adventure sure to keep the pages turning.

This one definitely moves at a faster pace than the last one and it's more action packed as well. I did miss the big twists that existed on Stitch (even though there are still some twists...which depending on the person I guess can be more or less surprising). 
I also liked that you can see another side of the main characters, a more humane side. We see Isaac's insecurities and Alessa's fears which gives them more depth and makes them seem more real.
I thought the changing POV's were very interesting and brought new sides to the story. I know that some people don't like when there are many point of views, but in my opinion they work well here.
The writing is very easy to follow and the world that Samantha created is very believable and creative. I think that this series is great both for lovers of dystopian fiction and for people who, like me, had never ventured into the genre. All the other elements from other genres (paranormal, sci-fi, even a little horror) make this book absolutely unique! Can't wait for the last one!


Interview with Samantha Durante, Author of the Stitch Trilogy

1) Hi Samantha! Thank you very much for being here! First of all, what was the main reason that led you to choose to be a self-published author?

Hi Joana!  Thanks so much for having me!  I’m SUPER excited to kick off the tour today.  :-)

I decided to self-publish for a variety of reasons, which basically boil down to the fact that I am an impatient control freak, haha.  I knew going the traditional route would take time (like years, probably), and I just *couldn’t* wait that long to share this story with readers!  In addition, I really liked the idea of having complete control over every aspect of my book, from the writing, editing, and plot, to the cover, blurb, pricing, and even the marketing.  It’s a LOT of work (more work than I anticipated, I’ll be honest) but it’s extremely rewarding – when my book does well, I know it’s because I worked hard and made it happen.  Not to mention it’s just really fun because I get to interact directly with readers so much, and I have total freedom to take their feedback into account and work it into the story however I see fit.  Talking to readers is always the best part of my day!

2) When you are writing, do you already have a plan in your head or do you just let the story surprise you?

I’m *definitely* a planner.  I’m super organized with everything I do (endless lists!), and writing is no different – it’s just the way I operate.  I take a lot of time before I sit down to write to really think through the story and plot it out, starting first with major turning points, climax, resolution, character arcs, etc., and eventually getting down to an actual chapter-by-chapter outline.  Of course, things tend to evolve as I write and get new inspiration and hear feedback from my beta readers, but having that outline helps me to write productively – I’ve never struggled with writer’s block because I always sit down knowing what I need to accomplish in the story and I just get it done!

3) Is there any character in the trilogy based on someone you know in person?

Actually, almost EVERY character in the trilogy is based on someone I know, or more likely a combination of people I know.  Alessa is a lot like me, for better or for worse, and Janie is a combo of a bunch of my good friends (Joan’s good sense and keen observation, Vanessa’s bubbliness and charisma, Diane’s courage and undying loyalty, amongst others).  Certain aspects of Isaac were drawn from my husband (his analytical-mindedness and just overwhelming kindness and thoughtfulness), and the Engineers (the bad guys) are based on a variety of people I’ve met and disliked over the years for their general arrogance and lack of ability to connect with people (though I’m not naming names, haha).  I tend to write what I know, so many elements of the story are somehow based in truth.  :-)

4) If you were a character in the Stitch Trilogy and with your background in software engineering, how do you think you would help the rebels?

You know, even though I worked in software, I don’t have any crazy hacking skills or anything, which is probably what would be most useful to the rebels.  What I did at Microsoft was actually a lot of project planning (keeping a big complex multi-person product creation effort on track) and customer/partner relations (understanding what our customers and internal partners needed and finding a way to make everyone happy while ensuring our product would deliver).  So that would actually translate pretty well into a leadership position within the rebels, kind of overseeing day-to-day missions and managing the team to make sure we’re on track to achieve our goal of taking down Paragon in a timely manner.  I would be the person that’s anticipating risks, putting processes in place to overcome them, and generally making sure the team is happy and well-cared-for so they can do their work most effectively.  It’s not a glamorous job exactly, but from a practical standpoint, it’s pretty useful.

5) In the end of Shudder, the fate of the rebels is still uncertain, is there any hint that you can give out about the last book?

All I can tell you right now is that the leaders of Paragon have some *major* tricks up their sleeves, so it’s not going to be an easy fight for the rebels…  Expect some BIG developments pretty early on in the final book that will turn everything on its head and require Alessa and the rebels to really think out-of-the-box to achieve what they’ve set out to do.  :-)

6) And finally, are there any other plans for you in the future?

Lots of plans, actually!  We’re expecting our first child (a girl!) in October, so on the personal front, I’m immersed in baby gear purchasing and nursery decorating and all that fun stuff.  And from a professional standpoint, I’m just gearing up to figure out how to adapt my writing process to the demands of motherhood so that I can finish up this trilogy and get Book 3 out to fans (aiming for a release sometime next summer, though don’t hold me to that just yet!).  After that, I’ve got a bunch of ideas lined up for future books that I’m dying to get to – I think my next will likely be a standalone since that will be a different sort of challenge for me after doing a trilogy.  But who knows!  I guess we’ll see how things go.

All I know is, I’m really enjoying everything we’ve got going on right now and I’m looking forward to all the goodness that’s yet to come.  :-)  And that includes another 12 WEEKS of this epic blog tour, running all summer long!  We’ve got tons of great original content and ~150 stops at other awesome blogs like this one planned, so definitely hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, or my blog to follow along with all the excitement!  Thanks again, Joana!

Author's Biography

Samantha Durante lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband, Sudeep, and her cat, Gio. Formerly an engineer at Microsoft, Samantha left the world of software in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and a lifelong love of writing. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, Samantha is currently working full time for her company Medley Media Associates as a freelance business writer and communications consultant. The Stitch Trilogy is her debut series. Learn more about Samantha at www.samanthadurante.com.

So, what do you guys think? Have you read Stitch (if you haven't then I highly reccomend it) :)

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