I'm so honored to be part of this tour and representing Jennifer Bosworth, the amazing and gorgeous author of Struck. She's as amazing in person as she is on paper. Here's a little about Jenn:
Jennifer attended college at the University of Utah, where she later taught continuing education classes on writing horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Jennifer is also half of a writer/director team with her husband, Ryan Bosworth. Struck is Jennifer's first published novel.
Learn more about Jennifer Bosworth on her website.
I had the pleasure of meeting Jenn at one of the Fierce Reads tour stops and she is such a great person and just so cute! She has a quirky personality, and I love that about her. Her writing is phenomenal and I felt like she really put a lot of herself into Struck, and that takes a lot of guts. It also helps that she lives in LA, and so we're pretty close to each other.
Anyway, I'll have her tell you more! Here's the interview:
My first burning question is if there's going to be a sequel any time soon to Struck?
Ack. I want to tell you yes, but I simply don’t know. Struck sold as a standalone, but now everything is a series, so you never know. Luckily, I wrote in some threads into the story that could lead to a sequel, so if my publisher asks for one, I’m ready. I already have a title and everything. AFTERSHOCK. You want?What was it like getting your debut novel published?
The whole thing has been kind of surreal. I still don’t believe it actually happened. And the weirdest thing of all is that my brain child is just . . . out there. Being read. Like, at the moment I’m answering these questions, someone might be reading Struck. That’s incredibly strange to me.What is your favorite character to write?
Villains! I love villains because of their complexity. Why did they become the bad guys or bad girls? That’s what I want to know, and that’s what I like to explore. My heroines also tend to be extremely flawed. I don’t understand “good” people. I’m not one of them, and I’ll never get them.
Do you have any writing quirks?
I do enjoy my vices. Coffee, whiskey, beer, wine. Coffee is my everyday fuel. The rest are for difficult writing days. Oh, lemonheads (the candy) and kettlecorn are also great writing sustenance.What was the hardest part about writing Struck?
There’s so much going on in the story. I felt like I was juggling chainsaws trying to get the plot right. If I dropped one I’d lose a hand.
What kind of research did you do for Struck?
My research centered around lightning, earthquake, and cults. Here are a few interesting things I learned:
•Lightning doesn’t strike the ground. Energy on the ground reaches up and meets the lightning halfway. If you watch slow motion lighting videos, you can see what’s really going on.
•There is an 8-mile deep fault that runs right beneath downtown L.A. It’s the fault I write about in Struck. So, yeah, great place to construct a lot of really tall buildings.
•Cult leaders usually don’t start out with bad intentions. Power corrupts.
What made you choose Los Angeles as your setting?
A lot of people want to destroy L.A. because they hate my city. I actually destroyed it because I love it, and I figured that would raise the stakes for me. Struck is, in a weird way, my love letter to Los Angeles. You always hurt the one you love.
Why did you decide to incorporate religion into Struck?
That is a dangerous question. I’ll try to give a dangerous answer worthy of the question. I was brought up in an extremely religious community, and as a “youth” I didn’t feel like I was free to think for myself. Once I left that community and discovered that I was actually free the whole time, I realized I’d been a bit brainwashed. But the truth is, I didn’t incorporate religion into Struck because I wanted to create a metaphor for how I felt as a teen. It just kind of . . . happened. I had something to say about that subject, and it slipped out in a metaphorical way. Now I’m suffering the consequences, because a lot of people are offended by Struck. But the truth is, I’d rather put out a book that pisses people off but challenges people to think for themselves, than put out a book that says nothing.
In the end, I wish that, instead of telling young people, “This is what you believe,” adults asked young people, “What do YOU believe?”
If you could do anything differently with Struck, what would it be?
I’d focus a bit more attention on Mia’s brother, Parker. He’s one of those “good” people I mentioned, the ones I don’t understand. I’ve gotten a few reviewers calling me out on his character not being fleshed out enough, and I get where they’re coming from. I’d go back and give him some more dimension.
Have you ever been struck by lightning?
I have not, and I don’t think I’d want to be. It really messes people up. But I was one of those kids who liked to stick things in light sockets, so I’ve had a few shocks in my day.
[Like my play on words there? Eh?]
GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn.
Kettlecorn. I could eat my weight in kettlecorn.
Vampires, werewolves, or other?
Harpies never get any love.
Would you rather have the ability to read minds or be invisible?
Be invisible. I’d steal so much s*#t.
Winter or summer?
Can I choose fall? I’m a Halloween fanatic, so October always wins!
Interested yet? Well, here's a synopsis of her book and my review of it:
Goodreads rating: 3.72
Hardcover, 373 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux BYR
Series: Struck #1
Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.
Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.
Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.
I'm not sure why this novel has a lower rating. Out of the Fierce Reads books, it was one of my favorites. And there were a lot of good books in there. When we're introduced to Mia, we have no idea who (or what) she is. I mean, really, who wants to be struck by lightning? Well, Jen does but we won't tell. She's living with her younger brother and her ailing mother in their home after a massive earthquake rocks LA. If you've ever been to Santa Monica, you've seen the homeless people. Now imagine more of them, all in white, and following a strange cult leader that supposedly predicted the earthquake. Because that's what's happened in the aftermath of the quake. But their leader is not at all what he seems. And neither is the creepy yet hot stalker Jeremy.
I loved the dynamic between Mia and Jeremy. At first, Mia thinks Jeremy is a stalker. Which he is, admittedly, but it's for a good cause. He wants to protect her, not hurt her, but Mia doesn't trust very many people. Her mother has been catatonic since she almost died during the quake, and her brother feels helpless. The white cult with the prophet ends up getting their claws into both of them, and Mia has no one to turn to but Jeremy. And finally, Mia begins to trust Jeremy and begins falling for him. Oh, and he rides a motorcycle, so already he's pretty hot. You just can't help but love him and how he's always trying to do the right thing but goes the wrong way about it. I'm hoping to see a lot more of them in the next book.
There was so much in this book to be suspicious of. We're even meant to be suspicious of Jeremy, and just when you think you can trust him, it turns out he's still not who we thought he was. Everyone's intentions are so messed up and almost always unknown in this book. It's not so much mystery as being suspicious of everything and everyone, and there were big twists I was not expecting. Bosworth has written a unique story that turned into a truly beautiful novel. The fact that Mia has these physical flaws, yet Jeremy still finds her attractive (he hasn't seen all of the lightning scars, but he's seen some), made their romance real to me. Mia is super relatable because we all have scars, whether they're outward or inward, and Mia has some of both.
And now, it's time for the giveaway
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