October 28, 2010

Blog Tour: Judith Graves Interview (Under My Skin)

Today as part of the Under My Skin tour, Judith Graves has been gracious enough to participate in an interview.

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A little about Judith (from her website): Judith really digs words. She writes them, she sings them, she wants kids to read them – and sometimes her own writing doesn’t suck.

She’s got a few projects in the works. The Skinned series: Under My Skin, Second Skin and Skin of My Teeth. As well as, Witch’s Shadow, a tale set in a pseudo Salem town called, Origins – part of a series with YA author, Kitty Keswick.

Judith Graves loves tragic romance, werewolves, vampires, magick and all things a bit creepy. Thankfully, her sidekick, and lick-the-boogy-man- to-death labrador retriever, Weeping Willow, is always nearby.

Residing in a northern Alberta community, similar to the fictional town of Redgrave, where Under My Skin is set – Judith unhappily endures snow in the winter, and runs away from bees in the summer. A firm believer that Canadian teen fiction can be sexy, action packed and snarky as hell – Judith writes paranormal stories with attitude.



Kate: What do you think about the current paranormal market for teens? How did you try and make your book more unique from the rest?

Judith:
I think the YA paranormal market is just catching up with the adult market. Paranormals have been hugely popular with adults for years. There have been some YA in this genre, but as more readers seek it out, more authors appear to fill the gap.

With UMS, I set out to have a strong female lead character – I wanted her to be full of conflict and couldn’t think of a better creature than a half human / half shapeshifter. The Skinned series as a whole features many paranorm beasties, which spreads out the monster love and is a bit more involved than the standard vamp / human thing. All of my creatures have interesting back stories that come more to the forefront as the series unfolds.

Kate: Did you use any type of media (music, other books, visual aids, etc) to draw inspiration from while writing?

Judith:
I love listening to tunes when writing and being surrounded by stacks of paranorm fiction / mythology texts. I’ve also been known to have a horror movie on in the background – something about the screams perhaps? J For me music, movies and writing kind of make one world.

Kate: How did you find the publication process for this book? What is one thing you enjoyed?

Judith:
I loved working with my illustrator, Val Cox (www.valcox.ca). Having visual elements in UMS was an added bonus and working with Val to bring my characters to 2D life was an experience I’m looking forward to repeating for Second Skin and Skin of My Teeth. Val’s gothic style melds well with my writing….in fact, she made Eryn’s hair so cool, I had to go back and weave (pun intended) the style in.

Kate: Do you think having an "online" presence as an author helps your book succeed more than more old fashioned methods?

Judith:
I sure do. With publishers no longer investing as much moola in newbie (or even established) authors, us world-building pencil pushers have a ton of techy work to do. Without my website/blogs (I write for three)/Facebook page/Twitter account – I would have missed out on numerous opportunities. Developing an online presence was one of the main reasons I joined the Class of 2k10 (www.classof2k10.com), a collective of 23 debut YA and MG authors. We cross promote each other, we blog together, we tweet, and shout out, and it’s been a blessing.

Kate: What books have you read recently that you absolutely love?

Judith:
I just finished The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay all within a week. It took me a while to get to this series, but I’m so in love with it. The action, the internal conflict, the horrid rules of the Capital – it’s a story that makes me want to get up and protest something....anything….it makes your wishy-washy backbone want more backbone, ya know?

Thanks Judith for stopping by!

For more blogs participating in this tour, check out Teen Book Scene

Under My Skin (Skinned, #1)
From Goodreads. All her parents wanted was for Eryn to live a normal life...

Redgrave had its share of monsters before Eryn moved to town. Mauled pets, missing children. The Delacroix family is taking the blame, but Eryn knows the truth. Something stalks the night. Wade, the police chief's son and Redgrave High's resident hottie, warns her the Delacroix are dangerous. But then so is Eryn--in fact, she's lethal.

But she can't help falling for one of the Delacroix boys, dark, brooding--human Alec. And then her world falls apart.

A normal life? Now that's the real fairytale.

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