Friday, November 15, 2013

Feature Friday: J.A. Souders

Sorry this is a little late guys!  My new job is eating my soul!  I'll have the giveaway up ASAP, I'm just waiting on an email from the author!

J.A. Souders was born in the heartland with an overactive imagination and an over abundance of curiosity that was always getting her into trouble.

Because she never grew up, she decided she’d put her imaginary friends to work and started writing. She now lives in the land of sunshine and palm trees with her husband and their two children and is an active member of the RWA, SFWA, YARWA and SCBWI. 



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

J.A.:
Never give up. The road to publishing is long and winding, but if you just keep pushing forward you'll eventually have your dreams come true. Also a good crit group never hurts. ; )

A.L.:
What's your favorite book and why?

J.A.:
This list is always changing, but today that answer is A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers.

A.L.:
Where did you get the idea for The Elysium Chronicles?

J.A.:
A bunch of things, and a really long story involving SeaQuest and me being in the Navy, but basically I was watching a documentary on people's perception of perfection and it's effect on history. I was at the point in the documentary where they were talking about Hitler and his perception of perfection and what it changed. At the same time, my son was playing the video game BioShock. Somehow they meshed in my head and The Elysium Chronicles were born.

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

J.A.:
LOL. Yes! A ton! I think the hardest was the corner I wrote myself into at the end of RENEGADE. And...since I can't answer how I fixed it without spoilers, you'll just have to read REVELATIONS to see the answer for yourself. :P

A.L.:
Which one of the characters in The Elysium Chronicles is your favorite and why?

J.A.:
I'm not sure what this says for me, but I'd have to say Mother. She's so deliciously evil that she's so fun to write. Besides, I guess knowing more about her story than everyone else, I feel sorry for her. She's done horrible things. Unforgivable things. But the reasons for those decisions was and is truly heartbreaking.

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

J.A.:
Well, I've been extremely lucky and blessed that there really isn't that much to tell. :)  I loved to read as a kid and I was lucky enough that my parents indulged my addiction to books. In high school I had a really awesome teacher named Mrs. Carly who completed supported me in my writings and even pushed me to keep writing, maybe even choose writing as a career path. While I loved it, I figured that I should get a "real" job, so I went to college, then joined the Navy to pursue my dreams of being a marine biologist. Then after I left the Navy, and became a stay at home mom, I realized I missed writing so I started writing again. This time with the intention of being published traditionally. 9 months and 3 books later, I had an agent. A year and two more books, I had my first publication offer for Renegade and The Elysium Chronicles. :)

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

J.A.:
I just finished writing book 3 in the Elysium Chronicles and am awaiting edits from my editor. In the meantime, I'm working on two super secret projects. A science fiction adult manuscript and a contemporary book that has yet decided whether it wants to be new adult or young adult.

A.L.:
When you first started writing The Elysium Chronicles, did you set out to write a thriller?  How did you handle it?

J.A.: 
I didn't. I actually went in with almost no expectations. I had things I wanted to incorporate in a loose outline, but I let Evie tell me her story. It just happened to be a thriller. I don't even think I considered it a thriller myself until my editor said they were marketing it as one. LOL. Genre lines, I guess, aren't all that important to me. I just care about writing an awesome story and let the experts (i.e. my publisher) decide where it fits.

A.L.:
Have any of your own life experiences influenced your writing The Elysium Chronicles?

J.A.:
The navy and my medical and science background were huge influences on my writing. Even though I was writing fiction, I wanted as realistic of a story as I could get in the time and technology that are available. Plus, having all the connections I did, helped a lot with research, so of course, that was a huge influence on how I wrote the story.

A.L.:
Revelations, the next book in The Elysium Chronicles, just came out and Evelyn is no longer in Elysium.  Do you miss your under water world or does it make a special cameo in the new book?

J.A.:
I love Elysium, so yes, while writing Revelations, I did miss the relative simplicity of writing a story that takes place in a relatively small confined space, but the adventure of really showing off the Surface and what War and people and nature have done to what we know as home was really fun and I'm so glad that I was able to write that part of the story. As far as a special cameo for Elysium, I can't say, but the series IS called the Elysium Chronicles. ; )

The Giveaway:

To be Announced

RenegadeSince the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie.

Her memories have been altered.

Her mind and body aren’t under her own control.

And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb... and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.


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Revelations:  Six weeks after her arrival on the Surface, Evelyn Winters is no closer to unlocking the memories lost in her subconscious than she was when she first came. Isolated in a strange new society, Evie has only Gavin Hunter to remind her of who she once was.

But even with a clean slate, it’s easy to see that Evie doesn’t fit in on the Surface. And as her differences make her feel more and more alone, she can’t help but yearn for that place she doesn’t remember: the isolated city hidden in the depths of the ocean. Elysium. Home.

But she can’t exactly tell Gavin what she’s feeling. Not when he’s the one who helped her escape Elysium in the first place, and has the scars to prove it. Though the doctors say otherwise, Gavin believes that Evie just needs time. And if her memories don’t come back, well, maybe she’s better off not remembering her past.

But the decision may be out of their hands when Evie’s ever-elusive memories begin to collide with reality. People and images from her past appear in the most unlikely places, haunting her, provoking her…and making her seem not only strange but dangerous.

Evie and Gavin can’t wait around for her memories to return. They’ll have to journey across the Outlands of the Surface to find help, and in the end, their search may just lead them back to the place it all started…


Read Goodreads reviews.
Buy on Amazon.
Buy on Barnes and Noble.

How to Enter: 

TBA