Author Interview: ‘Legal Crime’ by Samiksha Bhattacharjee

About the Book:

This exciting and captivating page-turner transports you into the fascinating story of sixteen-year-old aspiring singer Fiona Watson who runs away from her family, oblivious to the dangers outside her shielded comfort zone. As she journeys through her new world, leaving her past behind and determined to find a new identity, she uncovers surprising secrets buried deep within her long ago…How do her new friends link to her past? What secrets are they hiding behind their misleading smiles? How much of herself has she really left behind? And how will she cope when she realises that she has made a huge mistake… one that could ruin her forever?

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

My name’s Samiksha and I’m thirteen years old. I’ve always loved reading, so I think that’s what got me interested in writing. When I was younger, I always wrote short stories – in fact, I wrote my first little book when I was five! My writing has got better now, and I really hope that this skill progresses as I get older. 

I started writing Legal Crime when I was seven years old, but the story has developed a lot since then. It’s been a really long journey and I’m so happy that I am able to share it with the world, and I will definitely be continuing with writing; I love it as much as reading!

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I have insomnia (meaning I don’t actually get a lot of sleep) and so I would say that around 75% of Legal Crime was written and thought of in my bed! Other than that, I would say the living room table as that is where I do all of my other work – homework, classwork (because of Covid-19), art and of course, writing! This is because it helps me to stay closer to my family, which I think is very important especially in this digital age. 

I work better during the evening and the night. For some reason, my brain feels more awake then! The majority of Legal Crime was written during this time, so I think that my favourite time to write would be twilight. Firstly, I think that the transition between day and night is really pretty, and secondly, I love the book (and movie) series! 

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Well, I usually take inspiration from a bunch of things – nature, art, an important issue in the news, etc., but I think that what really drives me is things that happen in my own life, or things that I have seen happen to other people with my own eyes. 

The idea for Legal Crime actually came to me in the bathroom when I was seven years old (I don’t know how; I was trying to think of an idea for a short story!) I wanted to write a story about a runaway, who, through her experiences, comes to appreciate her family. The story as it currently stands is very different and far longer than it originally was, but I still wanted to remain true to the first idea that sparked the beginning of this story. At this time, seven years old and naïve, I never expected my book to be any longer than ten pages, let alone be published!

Many people have asked me how I came up with the title Legal Crime. To be honest, it only came into my head very recently. Before then, I had experimented with countless other titles, some too cheesy to even mention. I was going to be happy with ‘I don’t want need you’ (inspired by a note in the story) before the name came to me. I was sitting in an English class next to my friend, and the lesson was about oxymorons. I was scribbling down notes about my story at the back of a scrapbook when I was asked for an example of an oxymoron. Looking up at the board, I saw ‘Cruel Love’ and ‘Freezing Fire’ staring at me and started considering them as potential titles before I thought of ‘Legal Crime’. When my friend told me that that was a really good example, I knew that I had chosen the right title for the book!

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

At first, I had no plan. I don’t particularly like plans – I find them very time-consuming (but that could just be me). I know that a lot of authors usually plan excessively before even starting to write their book, but I didn’t. I was adding to the story as I went along and had zero planning at first. Then, I realised that the story was not going to make any sense, resulting in me making drastic changes to the storyline and creating a family tree, alongside an extremely vague chapter plan. For other stories, I just let my pen flow with whatever comes to my mind, then edit afterwards.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

In my opinion, at this current time, Young Adult is the best! That may change as I get older, but when I decided that Legal Crime had the potential to be a novel-length book (this was when I was eight years old), I had to do YA! I started reading Young Adult fiction at this time (some people may argue that this age is too young to start reading YA, but I was getting bored of middle grade!) and was very interested in it, as I still am. 

Currently, I love dystopia and fantasy (and if I start another universe of books, this will probably be the genre that I write in…) but at that time, I loved contemporary. I still do, but I read it a lot less than dystopia and fantasy. I suppose I just write whatever genre I have an interest in reading, so that I target people my own age (and older, or even younger!).  

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Hmmmmm… well, I would say myself as I love acting… but I don’t think I look (or am the right age) to play any of the characters. I would love to encourage newcomers to play the parts if I ever got the chance to turn Legal Crime into a movie/TV series! The film and TV industry has suffered a lot because of this Covid-19 crisis, etc., so ensuring that new budding actors who haven’t got the chance to shine on screen yet, but have got so much potential to do so, would be what I want to happen. 

7: Do you read much and if so, who are your favourite authors?

Yes, I love reading! Choosing a favourite author is… very tricky. I can’t even count how many favourite authors I have! Let’s name a few… I like Karen M. McManus (One of Us is Lying etc.) and also would like to thank her for wishing me the best of luck on my launch for Legal Crime. J.K Rowling is a must. Veronica Roth (Divergent series) and Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games series) are amazing authors! Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments, The Dark Artifices etc.) is awesome, I love her work! Stephanie Meyer (Twilight series) is good, as is Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy series). Lauren Oliver (my favourite book by her is Before I Fall) and Gayle Forman (If I Stay) are fantastic authors too! I like Kendare Blake (Three Dark Crowns series) too, her work is brilliant and would also like to say thanks to her for her advice and well wishes. 

Actually, I think that every single author in the world is amazing!

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

Sadly, I don’t have that much time to read lately. That being said, I still am reading some books, just not as quickly as I would like to. Usually, it takes me a day or two to finish each book but with the added pressure of schoolwork and lockdown, etc., it’s taking me slightly longer.

Currently, I’m reading Sister, Missing by Sophie McKenzie and I’m also looking forward to reading The Gilded Ones. 

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Being asked to choose your favourite book is like being asked to choose which one of friends is your favourite! I can’t choose! I love most YA fiction – anything with some good dystopia and fantasy is currently amazing for me! 

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

I feel that there are so many people out there, especially teenagers and young adults, with such great stories that are simply unheard of because they don’t feel that they have the ability to write a book that can be published. You can write an amazing book that might even be better than you would ever expect it to be! Age is just a number attached to you, don’t be afraid to start writing what comes to your mind. I would say that you should look for inspiration in anything, and the story will blossom in your mind. You might surprise yourself! 

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

You can find out more about Legal Crime by visiting my website: www.legalcrime.co.uk and by subscribing to my newsletter at www.legalcrime.co.uk/subscribe. Also, you can follow the FB page for the book by going to www.facebook.com/legalcrimeuk. And, of course, if you have any questions/comments, feel free to drop me an email at author@legalcrime.co.uk and I’ll try my best to answer ☺

About the Author:

Samiksha Bhattacharjee is a thirteen-year-old British author living with her parents and younger brother. She started writing ‘Legal Crime’ when she was seven, and hopes to inspire other children to start creative writing too. She also enjoys acting, singing, drawing and talking (a lot). Find out more information by visiting www.legalcrime.co.uk

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Author Interview: ‘Star Eater’ by Kitty Shields

About the Book:

Enter a different kind of L.A., where mobsters are daemons, high school students are possessed, and frozen yogurt is the first step to solving every problem.Kai is possessed by his demon, Akuma, and has been for eleven years. And for eleven years he’s managed to keep that tidbit of information a secret. His parents think the strange side effects of having a pet demon are due to a physical disability, but boy and demon have reached a happy equilibrium, and leaving Kai’s parents in the dark is essential to that.

Life is, well, not grand but serviceable until a mobster recognizes Kai and Akuma for what they are, and he needs Kai’s power to break out a very dangerous criminal. As Kai gets sucked into the L.A. supernatural underground, he finds that the mob knows more about his demon than he does and what he doesn’t know is very, very dangerous.

As Kai and Akuma try and navigate through the sea of other monsters in the dark, they have to do it while pretending to be the most mysterious creature of all: a normal teenager.

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I got into writing in my teens, first as a fanfic writer, then to help deal with depression. A lot of the fanfic my friends and I wrote were of high fantasy books and graphic novels we were reading—Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, even some Anne McCaffery and her Pern series. As we got older, my friends grew out of writing and found other outlets for creativity, but I always returned to it as a source of comfort and escape. My dad passed away suddenly when I was in college and I would not be alive today without writing. It was the only thing that kept me sane while I trudged through grief. 

Beyond that, I’m a huge geek. I like Miyazaki films and gender bender manga, iced chai, old fashioned chocolate chip cookies, and a good, dry, clever turn of phrase. A few years ago I went to a trade school and learned hand bookbinding. I make mead in my closet and try to avoid my cat’s plots against me. His name is Jinx. It’s my fault for naming him that. 

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

It’s a luxury to have a writing space and time. I have a desk set up in my bedroom, but I’m not glued to it. I’ve learned to write anywhere. During my Masters, the only time I had to write was during lunch at work. At the time, I worked at a warehouse, so my writing space was a bench between lockers staring at a conveyor as tools and machinery floated by. That’ll set off some ideas in your head, let me tell you. 

3: Where do your ideas come from?

The basis of every story is planted in what city and job I’m working. My first book, Pillar of Heaven, is based in Boston and Kate, the main protagonist, starts out as a barista. I went to college in Boston and worked for Starbucks for four years. The beginning conflict, her inability to find a job post-graduation, is all autobiographical. That story was a product of months of fruitless job searches, a situation I think a lot of postgrads can relate to. The telepathy portion of the story came into play just because coffeehouses attract the strangest people and I found myself wondering what they were thinking. Why did they take off their shoes in the middle of the cafe and eat lunch like that? Why did they run five miles every morning and come in and get a venti Americano afterwards? Why did they think green tea frappucinos tasted good? People’s behavior just baffled me. From there the tale spun itself.

The next book coming out in April 2021, Star Eater, is based on a few years I spent in L.A. where the book is based. The roots of it come from a variety of sources. Kai, the main protagonist, is loosely based on an old roommate of mine who is biracial and struggled with reconciling that part of their identity. And so that became one of the themes. The star-eating aspect came from Howl’s Moving Castle, the scene when Howl ingests a fallen star, which was such a specific image I couldn’t shake it. I thought, who would eat a star? Like seriously? And then I thought of my cousin’s toddler, always sticking things, especially shining things, in their mouth and I thought, yup, a kid would. Again, the rest of the book just grew from there.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

I’m a pantser, so I typically fly off the seat of my pants. The few times I’ve tried to really plan ahead, the characters seem to laugh at me and then switch directions mid flow. I have a general idea of where the story is going, and I edit while I daydream. I’ll go over a scene again and again in my mind, trying to fit the dialogue and see which outcome feels correct, before moving on.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

My books are mostly urban fantasy. I have a couple in process that cross other genres, like historical fantasy, etc., but I tend to stick to this category pretty tightly. When I wrote fanfic, it was all high fantasy, other worlds, other people’s worlds, and that was awesome but the more you put yourself in those stories, the more you come back home after the tale is done. Then the story follows you home. After a while, I wondered the “what if” too many times. What if stars fell and you could swallow them? What if telepaths had corporate jobs and what if seers hung out at coffee shops and told the future? What if Boston got taken over by fairies? Then I needed to know the answers.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

This one’s on my website: www.kittyshields.com/star-eater-casting-call

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

Yes, I read a ton. It’s really important to read as much as possible. So much sinks into you while reading, I think it keeps your writing dynamic and you as a writer informed. Regardless of what you’re writing, you should be reading as much as possible and I mean everything—nonfiction, fantasy, literature, biography—it all helps polish. 

Every year I participate in Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge and that helps me break away from my normal habits. I’m a fan of titans like Neil Gaiman, David Eddings, and Jeanette Winterson, whose writing has made me physically flinch more than once. But I also love me a good steampunk adventure a la Gail Carriger or Honor Raconteur. I’ll take a smutty romance by Rebekah Weatherspoon or comic book novel by Drew Hayes anyday. I’m the kind of reader that once I find an author I like, I’ll consume their entire catalog of books. The Challenge forces me to break up my typical reads and pepper in more diverse material.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

  • How to Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
  • The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan
  • A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourne

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Ha! There is no answer to this question. I couldn’t fit it on a list of a hundred. There are too many books that have changed me, that have left imprints, made me better, made me worse, made me lose sleep. I have Dylan Thomas and Jeanette Winterson’s words tattooed on my body, but probably more physical copies of Neil Gaiman books on my shelf, but I have rebound Stephen King in leather because that was important. There is no answer to this question.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Finish what you start. For beginning writers, that’s the hardest part. They get frustrated, bored, feel like they need to be writing the exact, meticulously perfect word every time and when they can’t they quit. They struggle and imagine that ‘real writers’ don’t struggle, which is absolutely not true. Nanowrimo is an amazing tool. Use it. Write and read, maybe read Stephen King’s On Writing and Steering the Craft by Ursula Le Guin, and Bird by Bird by Ann Lamont if you want actual directions or exercises. But do your best to ignore doubt and finish your story. People need to hear it.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

Website: www.kittyshields.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kittyshields

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/20635303.Kitty_Shields

 

About the Author:

Kitty Shields lives outside Philadelphia, where she writes to overcome the fact that she was born a middle child with hobbit feet, freckles, and a tendency to daydream. In her spare time, she binds books, takes terrible photos, and tries to avoid the death traps her cat sets for her. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Arcadia University in 2015 and has been published in several journals including The After Happy Hour Review, Furious Gazelle, and Sick Lit.

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Book Blitz: ‘Dizzying Depths’ by Lance Manion

Title: Dizzying Depths

Author: Lance Manion

Genre: Humour

About the Book:

They say that good writing comes as a result of introspection. Events unfold in such a way that you are required to unflinchingly stand in front of a mirror, look yourself square in the eye and take stock of who you are and where you’re going. When those moments happen a funhouse mirror will do nicely. Look at how big my head is.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

About the Author:

Lance Manion looks exactly how you want to him to look. Disappointed there isn’t a picture of him looking at you smugly, perhaps wearing a heavy cardigan and clutching a pipe? Life is full of disappointment.

In your head there is a perfect Lance Manion. Where he lives, what his hobbies are, his political or sexual affiliations.

Go with those.

(from Merciful Flush)

Author Interview: www.readingnook84.wordpress.com/2019/06/09/author-interview-next-by-lance-manion

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Author Interview: ‘Hive’ by Jeremiah Ukponrefe

About the Book:

The Collective military has spent its years destroying the last remnants of The Hive, an alien force which devastated the old world, bringing forth the apocalypse , and ushering a new age of warring factions.Alexander King is a Collective soldier who during a mission monitoring the outskirts of Zone 6, discovers evidence that The Hive’s presence is stronger than commonly believed. With his new information it becomes vital that the Collective acts fast, for if they don’t the world will be brought to it knees again in a second wave of destruction that will end humanity forever.

Astonishing, complex, and character driven. Hive is the first in a saga that will leave you begging for more.

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I am both an author and comedian nearing my mid twenties. When I was really young I would write stories, and I did it on and off for a while, then when I was 19 I decided to commit, and I’ve been writing everyday since. 

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I usually write mid-morning, in my room.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

I come up with a lot of stuff while I am writing. Like all fiction, a lot of it is twists of things that I’ve seen before that exists both in our own world, or inspired by other creations. 

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

It’s a mixture of both. I usually have a few pages of plot figured out to start with.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

This first novel in ‘The Arcane Volumes: Hive’ is Sci-Fi. The next three will be high fantasy, after that there will be a Psychedelic Horror Duology, and finishing it will be a superhero trilogy. So I have a long ways to go. 

In terms of what draws me to the genres I like being able to come up with things that don’t exist. 

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Nobody comes to mind right now.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I do read a lot, but surprisingly as a fiction writer I don’t read too much fiction. I read mostly non-fiction and because of that I read a wide range of authors, meaning that I don’t really have any specific favorites. 

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

Right now I’m re-reading ‘Mistborn’ by Brandon Sanderson.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

I honestly don’t have one. 

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Discipline is key. It does not necessarily matter what your writing process is, or how quick you write, but you just have to find a way that your work gets done through discipline 

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

I’m pretty active on twitter – @jeremiahuauthor

 

About the Author:

Jeremiah Ukponrefe is a Vancouver based author and stand up comedian. He has written articles for The Runner, The Reel Anna, and Envie Magazine. His debut novel Hive is releasing January 2021, the first of The Arcane Volumes Series.  As a comedian his style is a mixture of clever observations with a subversive darkness, all performed under a veil of innocence. He has performed in the Comedy Ring,Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy , and Yuk Yuks. He is really hoping this comedy thing works out.

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Release Blitz: ‘Bad Crush’ by Rebecca Jenshak

Bad Crush by Rebecca Jenshak is now live!

Reasons not to crush on Adam:
He’s my best friend’s brother.
He’s my neighbor.
He’s the captain of the hockey team.
He’s a serial monogamist who’s sworn off dating.

Reasons not to fake date Adam:
See above.
He has no idea I actually like him—like really like him.

But do I listen to any of those really great reasons? Of course not.
Now, thanks to my amazing and convincing acting skills, one fake date ends with him being my fake fiancé (oops!).
My bad crush has gotten me in way over my head.

  Download today!
Amazon: https://smarturl.it/2ck82e
Apple Books: http://bit.ly/BadCrushbook
Nook: http://bit.ly/BadCrushbookNook
Kobo: http://bit.ly/BadCrushbookKobo
Google Play: http://bit.ly/BadCrushbookGP

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/BadCrushGoodreads

Meet Rebecca

Rebecca is a new adult romance author, sports lover, and caffeine addict. When she isn’t writing, you can find her hanging with family and friends or with her nose buried in a book.

Connect with Rebecca
Website | www.rebeccajenshak.com
Goodreads | https://bit.ly/3eddaaw
Amazon | https://amzn.to/3v694HB
Facebook | www.facebook.com/rebeccajenshak
Facebook Group | https://bit.ly/3ebGOgs
Instagram | www.instagram.com/rebeccajenshak
Twitter | www.twitter.com/rebeccajenshak
Bookbub | https://bit.ly/3eebgXs
Newsletter | https://bit.ly/3eiLzVL

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