Monday, 16 February 2015

Ebook Sale & Interview with Giveaway: The Black Mage Series by Rachel E. Carter

I know I missed Saturday's post, but I have a lot of amazing things coming today which more than makes up for it! <3, the origin of this post, which is to notify all you lovely readers about the ebook sale for First Year (The Black Mage #1) by Rachel E. Carter which is available in all formats for only 99cents! If the cheap price isn't enough to convince you (and it totally would be for me; just saying), I wrote a review a couple weeks back that can be summed up with "this book is awesome, you must read it so we can fangirl together!"
The sale ends February 28th so you've got a couple weeks left...
Here's the links:
The sale is to commemorate Rachel's newest release: Apprentice, the sequel to First Year which I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of. Again, I have written a review, with again the same idea of "you need these books in your life". It releases tomorrow, and I can't wait for you to read it!

Here's an interview with Rachel herself about both books:
1) Hi Rachel, thanks for sparing some time for this interview, can you tell us a little about your book First Year which is the first in the Black Mage series?
To keep the summary short and sweet I’d say it’s like if “Harry Potter” and “Divergent” had a book baby with a guy as arrogant & hot as Damon Salvatore for a love interest. That’s not to say it is exactly like those books/that character, but it’s the easiest way to describe First Year (the sequels are definitely a bit harder to describe).

2) What was your inspiration for First Year (ideas, particular authors etc)?
My true inspiration came from a song I listened to in 7th grade (yea, that’s right, over 10 years ago!). I always get my favorite book/scene ideas when I listen to music. Anyways with the song I envisioned a guy & girl who were dueling in a huge arena with magic. They were rivals but you could tell there were some feelings involved that made it difficult to fight one another. Thus the concept of the Candidacy (a gladiator-style tournament with magic) and Ryiah/Darren were born.

AUTHOR-INSPIRATION: There are four authors that really formed the base of my early YA reading years and because of that and because of them my writing kind of formed a melting pot for my own style.
Tamora Pierce does medieval fantasy and strong female protagonists like no other –she is the reason I fell in love with that time period while everyone else is reading dystopia.
LJ Smith gave me my first dose of hot bad boy syndrome so I always knew in my first series I wanted a love interest that you spent alternating between wanting to punch the lights out of & make out with. I really liked the idea of a prince but I hate the whole “prince charming, first-in-line to the throne” concept so I decided to make him an arrogant jerk that was the “un-special non-heir” with a bone to pick.
Meg Cabot of course gave me my love of first-person narration & sarcasm.
JK Rowling is the queen of making me fall in love with magic.

3) What scenes were your favourite and least favourite to write?
My fave: ANYTHING WITH DIALOGUE!!! & Of course any scene with Darren:D
My least fave: The battle scenes –I suck at choreography and I’m not a weapon expert so why I picked a book all about fighting… le sigh. I spend a lot of time watching fight scenes in movies or youtube to help me get an idea, and of course wiki/”how to fight with an axe”/etc. are constant google searches on my computer. I never want the same fight to happen twice so it’s a lot of research!

4) How much of your characters are based on your traits or someone you know personally?
I think some of Ryiah’s sarcasm is the equivalent of my inner thoughts, and I certainly felt her struggles in college, but she is so much more determined than me. Plus she always has a comeback and I only have them on paper ;P I’ve never met anyone that remotely resembles Darren , and I think Alex/Ella remind me of my favourite qualities of my close friends. I think the masters remind me of my professors in college, only I took them to a whole other level of intense.

5) Which faction would you choose to join: combat, alchemy or restoration? Do you think you’d actually make it past the first year... or first week?
I’d pick Alchemy hands down! When I was reading “Harry Potter” potions was always my favourite class & I always wanted more scenes like that. Plus I’m squeamish around blood and hate PE so there’s no way I’d want the other factions anyway.
Would I make it past the first week, or first year? I’d leave after the first week – that environment is way too intimidating for me plus Piers’ conditioning would kill me. I do not do boot camp.

6) You originally quit your job at an insurance company to pursue writing full time (every author’s dream I imagine), how has that worked for you?
Well I work part-time now so I have two full writing days to myself (which is nice because before I was always too burned out to write after a full day and rush hour or the weekend since we always had errands)! The bummer is money, which obviously is very tight right now (unless I can NYT bestseller famous, haha) but honestly I’d rather be happy & broke than miserable & rich! I’m living my dream every day now and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

7) How and when did you first realise you loved writing and wanted to be an author?
I fell in love with reading in 6th grade with Harry Potter and Tamora Pierce’s fantasy books but I didn’t fall in love with writing until I did a short writing assignment my freshman year of high school and literally couldn’t stop writing it (it was supposed to be a scene for one page & I wrote 20 pages without sleeping) which gave me the idea to write mini-short story fanfics with my best friend about Julian & Damon from LJ Smith’s books. I tried to write a couple books (I always had a million ideas) but I would get bored/give up about 30 pages in. I wanted to be an author but I just didn’t think I could finish a book... It wasn’t until after college in that insurance job that I finally decided to get serious –after I wrote half of First Year I begged my fiancĂ© to let me quit and there is nothing like the pressure of  no money/letting the person you love down to make you get serious about writing.

8) Do you have any more projects in the works or can you share some ideas for future ones?
After The Black Mage series is done I have like 30 project ideas but five I’m really serious about. I want to do a couple standalones before I write my next series – just because series take so much energy & I don’t trust myself to work on more than one book at once (Jennifer Armentrout rocks that but I can’t!). My first book would be either a YA thriller that takes place over the course of one night with a murder (think similar to the concept of “House on Haunted Hill”) or a YA contemporary (I’ve got a couple diff. ideas).

9) What can we expect from the sequel Apprentice and the rest of the series; which looks nice and long with a total of 4 books *happy dance*? Is it already planned?
“Apprentice” is coming out 2/17/15 (WOOT)!!!! “Candidate” (the third book) which I am almost done with should be around Nov 2015 or Jan 2016 depending on how fast I can get it finished! “Final Stand” should be around next summer (July/Aug 2016), we shall see. I’ll be honest every book was outlined/planned from the beginning so I already know every major scene for books 3 & 4. I always knew how I wanted this series to end and what would be the outcome for the major players. Trust me when I say the best is yet to come.

10) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors in the Young Adult genre?
Read, read, read all your fave books/authors and study what works. Invent a style of your own and write what you always wanted to read. Don’t write because you want to make money/write the next big trend, write what you are passionate about because readers will be able to recognize that and hopefully share your passion!

Quick Questions
Fan fiction yay or nay? Yay. Honestly that’s how a lot of authors started out!
Ebook or paperback? Paperback! I like ebooks for taking a chance on new authors & then when I find books I love I buy a physical copy for my eventual Beauty & the Beast-style library.
Tea or coffee? COFFEE! Iced coffee with 2% milk, no sugar –from Starbucks, to be exact.
Zombies or vampires? Vampires because of Spike (from Buffy). the Author
Rachel E. Carter lives in Placerville, California with her fiancĂ© and their two spoiled pets: a feisty feline named Charlie, and Zoey, an Australian Shepherd who gets jealous of her own shadow. She loves to organize –and when she is not color-coding her closet she is always looking for the next good book. She grew up reading about magic, hot bad boys, and lady knights. The Black Mage, her debut series, is a tribute to all the things she never stopped loving. Facebook * Blog * Twitter * Instagram * Goodreads

Last not least, an amazing international giveaway that will have not 1, not 2, but 3 winners!

1st prize is an ebook copy of First Year + a signed bookmark
2nd prize is a signed bookmark
3rd prize is a signed bookmark

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