Friday, January 11, 2013

Feature Friday: Lenore Appelhans

Lenore Appelhans has been blogging about books at Presenting Lenore (PresentingLenore.blogspot.com) since 2008. She is the author of the Memory Chronicles, which includes Level 2 and the forthcoming Level 3. She lives with her illustrator husband Daniel Jennnwein, and their first picture book together, Chick-O-Saurus Rex, is being published in 2013 by Simon & Schuster. She splits her time between Frankfurt, Germany, and Benton, Kansas.

Website: www.lenoreappelhans.com
Blog: http://presentinglenore.blogspot.com
Twitter: @lenoreva

Interview:
A.L.:
What piece of advice would you give to a budding author?

Lenore:
Read a lot (reading is a great education in writing craft). Write a lot (learn by doing). Cultivate patience (you’ll need it in publishing). Live your life (and draw from your experiences to give your work authenticity and depth).

A.L.:
Where did you get the idea for Level 2?

Lenore:
It was a combination of two questions, really. “How might currency work in the afterlife – are some memories more valuable than others?” and “What would a dystopian afterlife look like?” Those were the jumping off points to exploring the story.

A.L.:
Did you hit any snags while writing Level 2?  What were they and how did you fix them?

Lenore:
I did wrestle with the soggy middle for a while. I knew where I wanted to end up, but it was a challenge to get there.  I had writer’s block so bad one day that I switched places with my illustrator husband. I asked him to type the next paragraph of my draft, and I’d draw something. His paragraph was completely off – wrong POV, wrong tense and way out of character (my illustration was equally horrendous). It made me realize I was doing something right and gave me new energy to press on.

A.L.:
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey as an author?

Lenore:
Back in 2004, my husband and I started working on our first picture book. That book was … not good … but it started me out on this journey. I joined SCBWI in 2007 and that was the best decision ever for my writing career. At the 2008 Bologna conference, I heard about book blogging for the first time and subsequently started a blog. My husband was discovered by an art director and got a two book deal with HarperCollins. And then at the 2011 New York conference, wheels were set in motion that led me to getting my agent and the book deal for LEVEL 2, and then eventually to getting the book deal for a picture book together with my husband (CHICK-O-SAURUS REX – S&S July 2103). I am immensely grateful to SCBWI for giving me so many opportunities and so much knowledge about the industry.

A.L.:
What are you working on now?  Sequel?  Something new?

Lenore:
I am working on revisions for the sequel to LEVEL 2, tentatively called LEVEL 3.  Writing the draft for this book nearly killed me, but I’m really proud of how it’s shaping up. I love how it puts into question everything you think you know after LEVEL 2.

I’m also putting the finishing touches on a new picture book with my husband and we hope to go out on submission soon with it.

...And the rest of the questions got lost in the fray!

The Giveaway:
Lenore is giving away a hardcover of LEVEL 2 plus a limited edition LEVEL 2 tote.

LEVEL 2:  Three levels. Two loves. One choice. Debut novelist, Lenore Appelhans has written a thrilling otherworldly young adult novel about a place that exists between our world (Level 1) and what comes after life (Level 2).

'I pause to look around the hive - all the podlike chambers are lit up as the drones shoot up on memories ... I've wanted to get out of here before, but now the tight quarters start to choke me. There has to be more to death than this.'

Felicia Ward is dead. Trapped in a stark white afterlife limbo, she spends endless days replaying memories, of her family, friends, boyfriend ... and of the guy who broke her heart. The guy who has just broken into Level 2 to find her.

Felicia learns that a rebellion is brewing, and it seems she is the key. Suspended between heaven and earth, she must make a choice. Between two worlds, two lives and two loves.


Read an excerpt of the first 50 pages of LEVEL 2
Book Trailer
Read Goodreads Reviews
Buy on Amazon
Buy on Barnes and Noble

How to Enter:
Enter the giveaway using Rafflecopter. Hit the arrow buttons, follow the prompts, and hit the enter buttons when you're done. (You may have to log in using Facebook to do this). There will be one winner (selected by Rafflecopter). I will contact the winner via email. This contest is open to US entrants only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway