Contests & Giveaways / Interviews

Jo Schneider Fractured Memories {Author Interview} & {Giveaway}

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It’s a new day, and that means we get to be involved in another exciting Blitz

Today we are going to be talking with author Jo Schneider about her new book…

Fractured Memories

 Welcome to the Party!

About the Book:

Fractured Memories by Jo Schneider

(Jagged Scars #1)
Publication date: May 20, 2015
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Science-Fiction, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Wendy never knew the world before the Starvation. She’s learned to put her trust in her knives, and her confidence in her fighting ability. When the Skinnies attack her compound, she’s the lone survivor.

Injured and near death, Wendy is rescued and nursed back to health by mysterious strangers. Her saviors offer her a place among them, but trust has never been one of Wendy’s strengths, and suspicion soon leads to evidence that these people might be the group who killed her family.

The decision to get her revenge, and take the settlement down from the inside out is easy. Keeping her distance from those she must befriend in order to make it happen proves to be much more difficult.

.FM

Aaah! I’m in love with so many things about this cover! The kick-ass heroine, the color scheme, the fractures in the font, with the point of light breaking through.

{Jo, we’d love to know who your cover designer is on this one!}

Ready to get comfy with

Fractured Memories?

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Interview with Author Jo Schneider

What does your writing process look like?

Imagine a desk, and at one end is a neat, little pile of papers. Next to that is another pile, this one not quite so tidy. Maybe one paper is slipping off the stack, which leads the eye to an array of notes that may have been, at one time, in a pleasing fan shape, but now looks like someone gave it a noogie. This is usually where you will discover the discarded wrappers of whatever snacks I could find. A glass with the glazed on remains of a Diet Coke will be sitting on a Dr. Who coaster, and the little cup for pens will be empty because the pens are now hiding under the papers. When your eyes reach the keyboard, you’ll see that everything has been pushed aside to make room for me playing on Facebook.

What book do you wish you could have written?

Ender’s Game. That book has captured so many people’s imaginations, I would love to have been the person to have written it. Plus, Ender’s Game sits somewhere in the middle of commercial fiction and literary fiction, a place I hope to venture someday.

What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Years ago, I was at a little, tiny writing/Sci-fi/Fantasy convention and I went to a class by a guy I’d never heard of. A guy named Brandon Sanderson. His first Librarians book was about to come out, and he was talking about magic systems. I don’t really remember what he said about that. What I do remember is one simple statement he made, “Don’t be afraid to suck.”

I’ve lived by this creed ever since. Don’t expect to be the best author in the room, don’t expect to get everything right the first time, and don’t expect to wow every reader you encounter. What all authors need to do is keep writing. Find some people who will help you get better and listen to them. It’s okay to suck, as long as you’re willing to try again.

What is your biggest failure?

I still haven’t received any death threats for killing off a character. This will happen.

What is your biggest fear?

The dark. No, wolves. No, the lack of toilet paper in the apocalypse.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

Okay, two things here. The mom of one of my best friends growing up wants this on hers, and I think it’s brilliant, “See, I told you I was sick.” I can probably talk my husband into this.

If not that, then something silly. None of the sweet, tear-jerking messages that people leave. Those are lovely, but not really me. I’m more like, “Did you turn the lights off before you left?” or, “Be good. There is no try.”

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Flying. Fast. Then I’d figure out some weapons and the bad guys would hate me. Buahahaha!

What super talents do you have?

  • I’m killer at writing dialogue.
  • I’m really good at making people feel stupid (the question didn’t say good super talents).
  • I’m good at diffusing tense situations. With either humor or logic.
  • Sometimes I think I’m around to look dumb, just so other people can feel good about themselves.

If you could have an accent from anywhere in the world, which one would you choose?

Hello, 10th Doctor British please.

Top five favorite titles (Not just books)

In no particular order:

  • Star Wars, the original trilogy. It’s nostalgic, I can’t help it.
  • Ender’s Game. I still love that story so much. It has to be the book, not the sorry excuse of a film they made.
  • Ever After. I don’t know why, but this show never gets old.
  • The Walking Dead the TV show. I’ve never read the comics.
  • Whole. E. Cow. I shouldn’t watch it, but I can’t stop!
  • The Elenium series by David Eddings. Not the most spectacular writing, but they drew me into fantasy as a teenager, and his characters are brilliant. It’s like going on a road trip with all of your favorite people.

When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head first?

Fantasy and Sci-Fi. Either adult or YA. Whichever I find first. Although if there is a cafe, I might get a snack before I start. Looking at books is both exhilarating and exhausting.

Describe yourself in four words.

Evil and easily amused.

Top ten snacks while writing.

  • Soda Stream Cola on ice. I can’t get enough
  • Pretzel Thins, they go great with the cola
  • Cold Water
  • Junior Mints
  • Bananas
  • Those little Cadbury crack eggs
  • Rice Cakes-Carmel Corn is preferred
  • In-N-Out Burger or Pace’s Dairy Ann, whichever is closer
  • Any innocent chocolate that doesn’t get hidden
  • Nothing

In reality, if there are snacks, I’m not writing, so usually I keep water or cola at my desk and that’s it. Mostly cold water.

When did you first start writing, and when did you finish your first book?

I started writing when I was a young teenager. Maybe 13. If you read the dedication in Fractured Memories, it mentions my dad watching Aliens with me. Once I recovered from being too terrified to move off of my yellow bean bag, I started writing myself into the tale.

Don’t judge, many a writer has started with fan fiction.

Those were awful, and after college my writing waned a little. Then a friend wanted to start a writing group and asked me if I would help her. A few months after that a member of the group mentioned something called NaNoWriMo. I’d never heard of it, and I was sure anyone who tried to write 50,000 words in a month was completely insane.

Two days before the month started, I scratched a loose plot on a scrap of paper while I was waiting to see the doctor about my knee that I almost took out in my Kempo class. That was the year I joined the insanity. I finished that novel and have done NaNoWriMo for a good 10 years. It took me three years to finish the initial story that I started. After that, I just kept writing. Most of the early stuff is craptastic, but all the suckage has to go somewhere, right?

Where do you get your ideas? Where did the idea for this book come from?

My brain is a bizarre place. I’ve gotten book ideas while driving on the freeway, while in church (and not light, fluffy ideas, which is strange), while at dinner, while trying to work on something else (that’s just mean, by the way) and in dreams.

The very first shadow of Fractured Memories that I had was while I was in college. Too many years ago to count. I had this dream. In it I woke up and found myself on a round bed in a cave. I had no idea where I was or who I was. There was a man sitting at a desk trying to do some paperwork by candle light. He looked like the guy who plays Goose in Top Gun. I said something and scared him half to death. When he turned to look at me, he asked if I was okay.

And that’s when I woke up.

The scene isn’t in the book. As a matter of fact, the only thing left of the dream in the story is Wendy (who is not me–I’m not nearly that cool or traumatized) waking up and not knowing where she is. The part that remains is the feel of the dream. It was dark and cold and felt so alone. Wendy gets all of that. Poor kid.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?

I’m an outliner. The more I wade through the story before I start, the fewer times I have to rewrite it. I have a whole list of things I go over as I plan, including plot points, a theme, the characters needs and desires, the main conflicts and as many other little things that I can think about before I actually begin writing.

However, things always, always, always change. It’s taken me a few years to realize that it’s okay to rewrite a story. Six times. It just takes a while. My process is getting better, but I suspect that I will always have a throwaway rough draft that ends up only getting about 20% of it into the final manuscript.

I’ve tried the “just write” approach, and for me it always ends in a spectacular temper tantrum by me and a shopping spree.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book? Why should anyone read it?

Fractured Memories is a kick a**, YA Post-Apocalyptic novel that ‘s one part action, one part horror, and one part fun.

I once heard an author say that when you tell people about your story, you should look and act as if you are telling them about the first time your baby said “mama.”. I totally feel this way about Fractured Memories. Wendy is a character that’s been rolling around in my head for a lot of years. Her friends have been lurking as well. They all have hopes, they all have dreams, they all have faced sorrows and horrors that hopefully none of us has to face. They’re scarred, but they’re still people, and they still care about others.

The world in the book has changed, but the ever-present need for friendship and trust will never die. That’s what this book is about. Wendy is alone, on a mission to avenge her family at any cost, when these pesky teenagers befriend her. Hard to plot revenge when someone is trying to make you laugh.

AUTHOR BIO:
Jo Schneider
Jo
Author of Babes in Spyland, New Sight-YA fantasy out April 2014, wearer of a black belt in Kempo and always in search of the next cool place to visit!

Connect with Jo Schneider:

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Giveaway TIme

We’ve got 1 e-book copy of Fractured Memories to give away to a lucky reader!

This giveaway is

OPEN internationally

(Ends 8/31/15)

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Good Luck!

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