Sunday, 1 March 2015

Book Blitz + Giveaway - Senior Year Bites by J.A. Campbell


Senior Year Bites (The Clanless #1)
Release Date: 07/07/14
Untold Press

Summary from Goodreads
Senior year is supposed to be fun: boys, dances and graduation. It’s significantly harder to enjoy it when you’re dead.

Thanks to an innocent game of Truth or Dare, I wound up sleeping in a graveyard. Probably not the brightest thing I’ve ever done, but thanks to a couple of well-placed fangs, I’m here to tell the tale.

Vampires might stalk pop culture, but they’re just myths, right? Yeah. Not so much…

Everything seems a lot more difficult when you’re a nocturnal creature of the night, especially school. I was managing, but couldn’t keep it hidden from my friends. Steph decided that we should be cool, like superheroes, and fight crime.

I’m a vampire, not a hero. Living in a sleepy New England town, crime is a little harder to come by. At least it is until a serial killer moves into the area. He’s got the authorities stumped, but then again, the cops don’t have a teenage, blood-sucking, non-hero on their team. It doesn’t take long for me to discover the world is full of monsters. I may be one of them…but will I turn out to be the hero, or the killer everyone is looking for.


Interview with the author

1: Where did you get the idea for SYB?
Way back in the day I had a dream about a girl who got turned into a vampire her senior year of high school. While chatting with a good writing buddy on IM I shared my fun dream. We had also been discussing the concept that two writers can take the same idea and write it, but what they come up with will usually be completely different. Both of us thought my dream was cool, and wanted to test the concept, so we both wrote a thousand words or so based on my dream. They did turn out quite differently, and I ended up continuing to write until the novel was finished.

2: Do you plan to continue this series and if so, how many will be included?Yes. The sequel, Summer Break Blues, is available from a different publisher in ebook format. The third, and final book, still exists only in my head but I have it on good authority that I’ll be writing it this winter.


3: Was there a particular reason or meaning behind SYB? Hmm, not persay. I did want to explore the idea of friendships, and I borrowed heavily on a friendship I had in high school.
4: I noticed that Meg, the main character struggled with being a "hero." Was there something personal to her need to save ppl? She wanted to be a hero like her father. He was a firefighter. She felt she’d lost any sort of ability to follow her dreams once she became a vampire. Turns out she just had to look at things differently.

5: The end was left open-ended, and while I loved the story, can you tell us hopeful romantics if Meg and Tad end up dating?
LOL, well, they do go on some dates. You’ll have to read the second book to see how that turns out.

6: Meg kicks serious butt! I loved her determination and vow to keeping her friends and family safe. I enjoyed the way you wove other mythical creatures into the your story. If the series continues, is it possible to see more Fey or Vampires or Elves?
More Fey, who are Elves in this world essentially, Vampires, a Werewolf, the Selkie.

7: Anything you'd like to add, or share with your readers about you or your characters? (Feel free to list anything you'd like. I want ppl to get to know YOUR characters. Make them seem like real ppl. Also, you can give insight to your life, like if what you do or did helped to bring life to the characters.)
Well, let’s see, I really like to write about strong friendships and not giving up on each other easily. I feel like the people you surround yourself with is very important and I tried to write some good friends for Meg. Friends I would have liked to have. Steph is totally secure with her life, well, as much as someone her age can be. She’s driven and very idealistic. Meg, she’s loyal, but really confused. Understandably. Ann is a good kid but she’s not nearly as secure in herself and doesn’t like to feel completely overshadowed. Alexander is actually fairly terrified of Meg, which is why he’s such an ass to her for a while.
 
Interview with the main character, Meg:
Thanks for stopping by my blog today! First of all, can you tell us a little about yourself?Well, I’m a senior at Banks high school. I like math and I secretly dream of being a hero like my dad. Oh yeah, and minor detail… I’m a vampire.

Once you got used to the idea, what became your favorite part of being a vampire? Your least favorite?
Hmm, I’m not sure I’ll ever really be used to the idea, but I have to say the super strength is really fun. The least favorite part? When I’m thinking about it, drinking blood. Of course when the vampire part of me takes over, drinking blood is my favorite thing. How gross is that?

How hard was it to keep from others your change? 
Hahahaha, I failed. So really hard. I only managed to keep it from my two best friends, Steph and Ann, for a short time. I didn’t manage to keep it from the guys for very long either. Alexander already knew – arrogant bastard.

For those who learned about you becoming a vampire, who do you think took it the best? The worst?
Steph took it the best. She’s all about this super hero idea. Ann took it the worst, and I’m still not sure why.

Is there anything you regret?
Yeah, a lot of things. Not getting to say goodbye to my dad properly before he died is a big one. That happened when I was much younger though, so it’s a distant ache. I regret spending the night in a graveyard. 

If you could change the past- what would you change?
Truth or dare… just take the bloody Truth! Who cares if you have a crush on a boy? Admitting it is better than getting turned into a vampire.

Do you have any advice for those newly turned?
Don’t let yourself get hungry. You don’t have to kill people to feed, but if you let yourself get too hungry, you lose control. Who knows what you’d do then?

What are your plans for the future?
Um, future? I’m not sure I have one. Lurking in the dark maybe? I’m still too shocked to have plans, but I know Steph does. She’s working on something and I’m sure she’ll drag me along for the ride.

Guest blog on character inspiration for SYB

People always ask authors where they get their ideas. Do they base their characters off of people they knew, that kind of thing.
I don’t directly base my characters off of anyone. I do draw from experiences though. Everyone does. In the case of Senior Year Bites, Meg, Steph and Ann’s friendship was drawn from a similar (without the supernatural elements unfortunately) friendship I had in middle school and high school.
I had two friends and we hung out together through most of middle school and part of high school. We did a ton of things together, especially when we were younger. I drew a lot from that friendship when I wrote Meg, Steph and Ann. Now, I didn’t say, oh, Steph is D, Meg is me and Ann is S by any means. There are elements of all of us in each character. And I did not base Meg off of myself at all. I also drew from other people and experiences when I shaped those characters. 
It was kind of fun to draw from that past relationship though. Some memories it brought up were great, some painful. Some were along the lines of ‘what was I thinking.’ My only defense was that I was young and had a lot to learn. Still do incidentally. 
Incidentally, the guys in Senior Year Bites are not directly drawn from high school people I knew. They were created the way I make most of my other characters. Little bits from here, little bits from there.
Anyway, that’s a brief insight into three of the main characters in Senior Year Bites.
 


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About the Author
Julie has been many things over the last few years, from college student, to bookstore clerk and an over the road trucker. She’s worked as a 911 dispatcher and in computer tech support, but through it all she’s been a writer and when she’s not out riding horses, she can usually be found sitting in front of her computer. She lives in Colorado with her three cats, her vampire-hunting dog Kira, her new horse and Traveler-in training, Triska, and her Irish Sailor. She is the author of many Vampire and Ghost-Hunting Dog stories and the young adult Tales of the Travelers fantasy series. She's the editor for Steampunk Trails and a member of the Horror Writers Association and the Dog Writers Association.

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