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Interview Time! The Sanctum by Madhuri Blaylock

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If you read my review of The Sanctum though it wasn’t all confetti and cupcakes, it was still and enjoyable read with an awesome cover and a cool author who agreed to do an interview (Yay! Interview time!). So while you’re waiting for Harm to hit the shelves be sure to lend your support and check out The Sanctum by Madhuri Blaylock!

Kayti Nika Raet: How would you describe The Sanctum to those who haven’t read it yet?

Madhuri Blaylock: It’s a fast-paced, paranormal story that begins as one girl’s simple quest for revenge and evolves into a complicated tale of trust, friendship, honor, and love.

KNR: How did the idea for The Sanctum come about?

MB: The real catalyst for The Sanctum trilogy is Dev. She’s the reason I created the story. I had been reading a lot of fantasy and paranormal books and felt as if I kept meeting these amazingly powerful and fierce girls who only became that way because a boy clued them into whatever aspect of themselves made them so awesome and fierce in the first place. I wanted to create a girl who knew she was the sh*t from jump. She didn’t need anyone telling her about herself. Of course, Dev can’t do everything on her own and needs help from others, but she’s very self-aware, which was really important to me.

Once Dev was outlined and thought out, the rest of the characters and story fell in around her.

KNR: Who are some of your writerly crushes? 

MB: Zora Neale Hurston

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Jorge Amado

George R R Martin

Laini Taylor

Rosalind Miles

Toni Morrison

David Sedaris

Cassandra Clare

(KNR: Laini Taylor! OMG I looooooooove her! *ahem* back to the point. . .)

KNR: When did you first realize that writing was something you wanted to do?

MB: Since I was a kid, I’ve always loved writing. I remember keeping a notebook of stories about living in New York City with my friends and that notebook making the rounds so everyone could read my latest installment of our super-fab life in our Manhattan loft.

I think I realized it was my passion during a creative writing class in college. We were working on a short story exercise; mine was called “Seattle Sunshine”. I remember reading my work to the class and feeling so gratified by their comments and reactions. Everyone was so moved and the story led to quite a bit of discussion. It was a very powerful moment for me, one that has stayed with me all these years.

KNR: What’s you’re usual writer’s schedule like? Are you an Outliner, or do you let the characters lead you where they may?

MB: These days, I write whenever the chance arises. Early morning, during my commute, late at night. It’s tough, balancing writing Book Two with marketing Book One with being a lawyer with being a mom and being a wife, but I’m doing my best to write as often as I can.

This trilogy is very loosely outlined, which kind of goes against my nature, but I tried it anyway. I have notebooks full of notes and ideas and interestingly enough, I find myself going back to those notes here and there, so it’s actually been useful. I think I’ve strayed a bit from my original outline, but I’m still glad I took the time to organize the ideas.

KNR: Movie time! Who would you want cast for The Sanctum movie?

MB: This is hard to do and loads of fun and would never happen in real life, but here goes nothing…

Dev: Yaya DaCosta

Wyatt: Logan Lerman

Ryker: Kendrick Sampson

Jools: Emma Stone

Darby: Dakota Fanning

Sam: Angelina Jolie (totally not happening, I know, but a girl can dream)

Josiah: Clive Owen

Ava: Kate Winslett

Carter: Michael Kelly (we went to high school together and I actually thought of him right away when I was creating Carter Breslin; I’m confident he can pull off the perfect combination of good looks and pure evil)

Maya: Lisa Bonet

Philip: Jamie Foxx

Wouldn’t that be an epic movie? Be sure to tell her how much you enjoyed The Sanctum as well as Madhuri’s other books.

http://madhuriblaylock.wordpress.com/

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Interview with Paige Daniels Author of Non-Compliance: The Sector

You know how they say don’t judge a book by its cover? Well, you’re fully allowed to judge Non-Com by it’s cover— it’s just as awesome as its insides.

An electrical engineer, (a percentage of Non-Com will be donated to Southwest Central Indiana Chapter of Society of Women Engineer Scholarship Fund http://www.sweetengineers.wordpress.com ) who owns a farm, Paige Daniels was gracious enough to take some time from her busy schedule (not to mention writing book 3) to answer a few burning questions. So while you’re waiting for book 2 of Niko to come out go give Non-Com a try and check out this loverly interview. You won’t be disapointed. XD

Kayti Nika Raet: How would you describe Non-Compliance to those who haven’t read it yet?

Paige Daniels: Non-Compliance: The Sector is a science fiction novel set in the near-future where citizens are forced to wear a government provided chip or be ushered into a gritty mafia run Non-Compliance Sectors. The novel follows one woman and her struggle to survive in the sector.

K: How did the idea for Non-Compliance come about?

P: The idea of Non-Compliance came about early in my college years. I heard or read some story about The Mark of the Beast coming in chip form and those who were implanted would be allowed to live in normal society and those who didn’t would be put in some ghetto. That really intrigued me. So literally for the next 15 years I would think of the story on and off then put it aside, because I thought I wasn’t good at writing or I was just too busy. But I would think about the characters I would have in my story and the plot lines. Then finally after 15 years I got off my butt and wrote it 🙂

K: When did you first realize that writing was something you wanted to do?

P: I came to writing later in life. I wasn’t one of those people who “always wrote”. As a matter of fact I thought I sucked at it. Then after I got my Masters Degree and a Professional Certification, I was kind of bored. I was in the habit of sitting around at the computer after the kids went to bed and there was nothing good on TV so I decided to work on this hair-brained story idea I had running through my head. Mind you the only fiction writing I did was for a creative writing class in 1987 when I was like 12. So I had a HUGE learning curve. That was about four or five years ago.

K: I love how smart Shea is. How did your background as an electrical engineer help with shape how Shea was written?

P: Yes my engineering background did help me write Shea. Obviously, the techno-geek stuff comes kind of easy to me because I have a background in it or I know a lot of people I can ask questions to. But one of my motivations in writing the story wasn’t just the plot, but the characters. I think we’re getting better at having strong females in the entertainment industry, but we’re not quite there. It seems to me that in stories if female character is smart she can’t be kick-butt too or if she’s kick butt she’s street smart, but not tech savvy. I wanted a character that was little bit of an awkward dork, tech savvy, and could kick butt when it was necessary. And I thought hey wouldn’t it be cool if the geek girl landed the hunky dude?I personally have never seen that before and I thought it would be a cool twist. I know some of the female engineers I work with were kind of excited to see an female engineer portrayed not as a quirky weirdo, but as a real person.

K: I also love that Shea is of Latin descent which as a reader you don’t really encounter that much in dystopian/post apocalyptic fiction. I know there are a lot of readers who would be very happy to discover that. Are you planning to showcase more of her heritage in book 2?

P: Actually I’m half Mexican. I wasn’t really trying to make a statement or anything or trying for Shea Kelly to be the first Latina main character in science fiction. I just wanted to mix it up a little, I was tired of seeing the same old faces. You’re exactly right. We don’t see many Latinas in science fiction. I’m sure there are some, but none come to mind right now. So I thought hey what the heck lets stir stuff up a little. In Book 2 (Non-Compliance: The Transition), we see a little more of Shea’s heritage or lack of it anyway. Her mother died when she was young and she was raised by her Irish-American farmer father. So she kind of had this mish-mashed upbring of having to slug it out on a farm with her dad fixing tractors and taking care of animals. But we will learn how her dad met her mom. We’ll also learn how clueless she is about parts of her heritage.

K: What’s you’re usual writer’s schedule like? Are you an Outliner, or do you let the characters lead you where they may?

P: Usually I write best at night. I carve out tiny pieces of time from 9pm-12am and write just about every night. Some nights I’m more productive than others. I’ve kept to that same doing-my-homework-after-the-kids-go-to-bed schedule that I’ve had all along. I can’t really write when I alone and secluded. Usually, I write as my husband watches TV sometimes I’ll put in earphones. Sometimes I’ll yell over to my husband, “Hey, honey what would you do if…” or he’ll yell over to me, “Hey, you gotta stop writing and watch this Sharknado show it’s totally awesome!” It seems to work for me. I’m an outliner I have ten pages of notes for book 3 (yes there is a book 3 and yes that’s the last one). But I don’t stick to it like it’s gospel. If in the midst of writing I come up with a better idea or a plot twist I didn’t originally think of I’ll run with it.

K: Last but not least who are some of your writerly crushes?

P: By writer crushes, do you mean writers I have crushes on or crushes that I have as a writer? Well, as for writers I really like Kim Harrison a lot I say her novels have inspired me greatly in my writing. But I wanted to get away from the whole urban fantasy thing. I have a pretty broad scope on what I’ll read if it looks like an interesting story I’ll read it. Like now, I’m reading “Undaunted Courage” by Stephen Ambrose a book about Lewis and Clark’s travels across America. The bad thing is I’m a slow slow reader. But as for crushes I’ll tell you that Quinn had some very real inspiration by my secret Hollywood crush, Adam Baldwin. His characters in Chuck [Colonel John Casey] and Firefly [Jayne Cobb] really inspired Quinn and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention there is a lot of my husband in Quinn. Funny, story I met Adam Baldwin at a Con in July and I had my book there and totally chicken out and didn’t tell him about it. So if you’re reading this Mr. Baldwin give me a call 🙂

K: Here’s a little peek at Book 2 Non Compliance: The Transition!

“Three months have passed since Shea Kelly and the rest of Boss’s crew eliminated Danny Rose from the non-compliance sector, but their troubles are far from over. A new, more dangerous opponent has emerged, causing those once considered enemies to strike a tenuous truce. Secrets about the vaccine, the chip, and the past threaten Shea’s budding romantic relationship and even the very existence of the crew.”

Non-Compliance: The Transition will be out some time in late September or early October, be sure to check out Ms. Daniels’ site (http://nerdypaige.com/) for all the lastest info.

Be sure to check out my video review of Paige Daniels’ first novel, Non-Compliance: The Sector (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nNSG0djg-Q&feature=share&list=UUvfWBNXRH8nKQJRR6k8mb8w)