I'm so excited to be able to be a part of the blog tour for this amazing festival once again this year! And I was actually luck enough to get 2 amazing authors to feature. My first is Jessica Cluess, author of A Shadow Bright and Burning.
But first! Here's a little about the event:
- When: Saturday March 3rd , 9am to 5pm
- Where: Colony High School 3850 E. Riverside Drive, Ontario, CA 91761
- The Ontario Teen Book Fest Website: http://www.ontariotbf.org/
- THIS IS A FREE AND UNTICKETED EVENT! There is also a FREE lunch provided by Panera Bread!
- If you want to post about it on social media, use the hashtag #ontariotbf!
I'm not the only stop on the blog tour! You can find the rest of the authors featured here:
FEB 19thSpotlight on Jennifer Brody - What A Nerd Girl SaysSpotlight on Abdi Nazemian - Read Now Sleep Later
FEB 20thSpotlight on Anthony Breznican - Starkiller ReadsSpotlight on Lilliam Rivera - Movies Shows and Books
FEB 21stSpotlight on Jessica Cluess - The Readers AntidoteSpotlight on Cindy Pon - My Fangirl Chronicles
FEB 22ndSpotlight on Keynote Speaker Ellen Hopkins - Germ Magazine
FEB 23rdSpotlight on Aditi Khorana - Nite Lite Book ReviewsSpotlight on Mary Pearson - Adventures of a Book Junkie
FEB 24thSpotlight on Emily Ziff Griffin - Nite Lite Book ReviewsSpotlight on Brandy Colbert - Read Now Sleep Later
FEB 25thSpotlight on Keynote Speaker Josephine Angelini - The Readers Antidote
FEB 26thSpotlight on Isabel Quintero - What A Nerd Girl SaysSpotlight on Amy Spalding - My Fangirl Chronicles
FEB 27thSpotlight on Jonathan Maberry - Seeking BazingaSpotlight on Keynote Speaker Jeff Garvin - Movies Shows n Books
FEB 28th:Spotlight on Ava Dellaira - Book Lovers Book ReviewsSpotlight on Kim Turrisi - Starkiller Reads
MAR 1st:Spotlight on Jessica Brody - Adventures of a Book Junkie
MAR 2nd:Spotlight on Robin Benway - What A Nerd Girl SaysSpotlight on Lindsey Summers - Seeking Bazinga
Who is Jessica?
Jessica Cluess is a writer, a graduate of Northwestern University, and an unapologetic nerd. After college, she moved to Los Angeles, where she served coffee to the rich and famous while working on her first novel. When she’s not writing books, she’s an instructor at Writopia Lab, helping kids and teens tell their own stories.
About the first book in her Kingdom on Fire series:
I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?
Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she is brought to London to train with Her Majesty's sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she's the true prophesied one. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city--and the one she loves?
How did you come up with the idea for A Shadow Bright and Burning, and was it your first book idea?
A Shadow Bright and Burning came to me because of Nicholas Nickleby, the Charles Dickens novel. In that story, Nicholas is a young man who is very honorable and takes action instantly. In my favorite scene, he physically stops an attack on a defenseless boy. I wondered how a young woman in the Victorian era would have handled that—would she have gotten a knife, or a gun? Then I had this image of her opening her hands and shooting flame out of them, and I realized that might be a very fun character to write. And no, ASBAB was definitely not my first book idea. I had about five “trunked” novels when I finally started writing ASBAB. It was a lot of work to get there, but very
Who’s your favorite character of your series so far?
I suppose on one level it’s got to be Henrietta, since she’s my protagonist and I see everything through her eyes. However, I’m a big fan of supporting characters who offer comic relief, and in that sense Henrietta’s magician mentor, Hargrove, is probably my favorite. He’s sort of over everything when we meet him, and can be snide and sarcastic.
What’s your writing process?
I like to start with what I call a beat sheet. I have an idea for the overarching story, then I write down a loose outline. I only have about six or seven “beats”, including the catalyst, i.e what sets the story in motion, the midpoint where everything shifts, and the climax. Then I write down some large character shifts, and just start writing. If I don’t plan anything, I wind up lost, but if I overplan I start clashing with giving the story its natural way. After I rough draft, I read over the book, take notes, and do another draft to make the story more coherent. Then a polish, then I hand it over to my beta readers for advice.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Flying. I’m a kid in that way. I’d probably have to drive out somewhere more secluded to fly, though. I live in the middle of a city, and people would be bound to notice.
Besides finishing up the trilogy, what else are you working on?
I have a secret project that I cannot talk about right now. It may involve dragons. That’s
all I can say.
What was your favorite book of 2017?
That’s tough. It might be Stephanie Garber’s Caraval. I’m a sucker for dark, fantastical circus books, and Caraval is all of that and more. I highly recommend it.
If you could sort your main characters into Hogwarts houses, what would they be?
Henrietta: Ravenclaw, because of how much she loves to learn. If she had her way, she’d be in a quiet library the rest of her life.
Blackwood: Slytherin. This was the easiest one to sort. He may be honorable, but he’s highly ambitious.
Magnus and Rook flip flop for me. On the surface, Magnus should be Gryffindor because of his bravado, and Rook should be Hufflepuff because of his modest ambitions and sweetness. But Magnus is also fiercely loyal to his friends, and as the series goes on focuses less on his own fame and more on other people. Rook, meanwhile, has to battle a terrible disease with stoicism. So I’d say they go back and forth between the two houses.
What fantasy world would you most want to live in?
I think the default answer to this is Harry Potter, only because most fantasy worlds are horrible. They make for great drama, but you wouldn’t want to live there.
THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE INTERVIEW, JESSICA!
The Giveaway: It's a rafflecopter giveaway! The prize for the giveaway is an Ontario TBF poster signed by all attending authors (please make note that authors can cancel, or be missed in the signing of the poster…though that is all VERY rare!). You can find it on Rafflecoptor here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/8952c82035. Or enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway