Monday, October 24, 2011

Interview & Giveaway with Belle Whittington

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Belle Whittington, author of Cicada, is stopping by Xpresso Reads today to answer a few questions about her debut novel, the first in a planned trilogy. She has also generously offered an ecopy of her book for giveaway.

Before we get started on the interview, let’s take a look at Cicada:
Cicada
Belle Whittington

Released July 14th, 2011
Add to your Goodreads to-read shelf

Purchase: Amazon / Smashword / B&N

For 17-year-old Blair Reynolds and her friends, being the bearer of secrets is getting really old. But it’s something she learns to deal with, because there’s no other option. If the people in her small town ever found out what she and her friends discovered in the woods and hid in the storage room, the whole town would be up in arms;literally. You see, folks here don’t believe in aliens from outer space. Besides, if they ever found out what two of those aliens did to one of their own, well, let’s just say what would follow would be all out war.

As the months unfold, their summer becomes consumed with secrets, puzzle pieces that don’t quite fit together, and a fight for their lives that leaves one of them at death’s door.

Interview with Belle Whittington
Q. Cicada has a very creative plot, what inspired you to write it?  
Thank you! 🙂  Actually, I passed by a ranch on the way to my house, and out in the middle of the pasture is a spooky, haunted wood much like the one in Cicada. For years I passed by the ranch and thought about how spooky that clump of forest seemed… especially at night. In 2009, I started having that urge to write something (besides research papers!), and I got to thinking about that creepy little forest and the crop circle I happened upon when I was a teenager… and voila! Cicada was born!
Q. Did you have to do any type of research?  
I’m a research junkie, so I enjoyed doing some research on cicadas. And a really enjoyed doing a lot of research on Cândido Godói, Brazil, which is a very important village in the trilogy.
Q. Do you believe in extraterrestrials yourself? 
I believe in the possibility of ETs. I think that the universe is so vast that there is a great probability that we are not alone. Besides, ETs make for terrific writing material!
Q. If you had to start the book all over again (don’t cry), would you change anything in it? 
LOL! I would cry! No… I love the way Cicada reads. I love everything about the book, and I’m very happy with it. It is written in a fashion of slowly building tension, like the old heroic Anglo-Saxon ballads, and it feels right to me. I wouldn’t change a thing! 🙂
Q. This is the first in a series, do you already know how it’s all going to end?  
Yes, it is the first in a series. I’ve planned for the story to be in a trilogy, but I’m already getting requests from readers to make it into a longer series. It’s developed quite a following already! And, yes, I know where and how it ends… and boy is it a great ending! The second book in the series is called Firefly. I’ve already written the last pages of that book, and readers will have about 98% of their questions answered by the end of Firefly. I haven’t named the third book yet. But I have an idea of what it will be called.
Q. When can we expect the next installment, Firefly, and how many will there be? 

That’s a really good question! I’m hoping to release Firefly no later than spring 2012. A lot goes into self-publishing a novel… well, at least it does for me. I hire an editor, and then a book designer so that the book looks great on e-readers and in print. Then the book cover is designed and created. It’s truly a labor of love to me. So when someone reads my book, they are reading my heart. And I hope they can see that and feel that as they read. 🙂

There will be three in this series, even though there are many readers already contacting me and requesting for me to extend it into a longer series. 🙂 Thank you to those lovely readers! You know who you are! <3

Q. There are quite a few interesting characters in this story, which was the hardest to write and why?  
I love this question, because I love all of my characters. Each and every one of them has a special and specific purpose in and to the story. However, I think the hardest to write was Andrew. And that is because of what is going on inside of his head and heart. There’s a reason Cicada began with Blair speaking about Andrew. And, in the end, readers will see what that purpose is.  Poor Andrew…

Q. If Cicada goes to the big screen, who would you want to see play the roles of Blair and Everett?  
If (hopefully when!) Cicada becomes a movie, the actors who would most resemble the characters are  Amanda Seyfried for Blair and Carter Jenkins for Everett 🙂
Q. What are some of your favorite books?  
Oh, now there’s an excellent question… and one that’s not as easily answered as one might think, especially for a Literature major! There are so many books! So many genres! Let me see if I can whittle them down into a short list… Beowulf, Canterbury Tales, Pride and Prejudice, Like Water for Chocolate, Inkheart (the series), Harry Potter (the series), Sookie Stackhouse (the series), Glow (just finished it and loved it!)… I could go on and on, but I tried to chose a variety of my favorites… 🙂
Q. What’s the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to you?  
Becoming a mother 22 years ago! 🙂  
Q. How many cups of coffee do you think you drank while writing Cicada? 
I probably drank enough coffee to fill the Grand Canyon while writing Cicada! I’m a shameless coffee addict! It’s my favorite vice! I can’t live without it, and I don’t even want to imagine what it would be like to! Oh! Wouldn’t that make for a great horror novel? I tried to get off of coffee once, and I’m sure that was the most miserable two weeks my family and coworkers ever lived through! LOL!
Giselle, thank you so very much for having me as your guest on your lovely blog! It has really great getting to know you and having a chance to start up a conversation with you and your readers! Many warm thanks for your hospitality! 🙂 And many warm thanks to all those readers who have and will read Cicada! <3
 

Belle resides somewhere north of Houston, Texas in a small inconsequential town with the smallest most inconsequential name. There, in the shady reaches of the pines, elms, and oaks, she daydreams of adventures and secrets that she weaves throughout her stories.

As a student of literature, Belle is earning her degree in English at the University of Houston. She hopes to teach literature at the college level some day.

I’m the one who needs to thank you, Belle, for dropping by Xpresso Reads and giving me the chance to read and promote your lovely book. It was a pleasure to get to know you. And I agree, life without coffee would be the scariest horror movie I have ever seen!! 
Giveaway
Belle has offered an ecopy of her lovely debut novel, Cicada to one lucky winner.

Details:
Open Internationally
Must be a GFC follower
Leave a comment with your GFC follower name and email address to enter.

Extra entries:
+1 if you follow Belle on Twitter @AuthorofCicada

+1 if you follow me on Twitter @Giselleco
+1 if you follow Belle on Tumblr
+1 if you like Belle on Facebook
+1 if you tweet about this giveaway (you can do this daily) 

Leave me the links and user names in your comment. Giveaway ends November 3rd, 2011 at 10pm AST.
Winner will be picked by random number generator.
Winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to reply before a new winner is chosen.
I am not responsible for lost or damaged winnings.

Contest is now CLOSED! Winner announced here.

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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43 Responses to “Interview & Giveaway with Belle Whittington”

  1. Mimi Valentine

    I believe in the possibility of ETs too! 🙂 It’s just so much fun to think that there are so many other types of things out there, you know?

    This book sounds so cool! I love the whole idea of aliens, and the cover is really pretty!

    Awesome interview! 🙂

  2. Belle

    Thank you all for stopping by to read about my little book and me…and for entering the giveaway! <3 I truly appreciate you all!

    And many warm thanks to Giselle for having me over for a chat and espresso! Giselle, your blog is lovely! It’s been wonderful to get to know you and your followers! 🙂

    ~Belle

  3. Shellie

    Awesome interview. This sounds like something I would love. It always amazes me what can bring a story to life =)

    +1 following author under deviantzangel
    +1 following you under deviantzangel

  4. Julie S

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    GFC – Julie S.
    juliecookies(at)gmail.com
    +1 if you follow Belle on Twitter @AuthorofCicada
    +1 if you follow me on Twitter @Giselleco
    (Twitter @juliecookies)
    +1 if you follow Belle on Tumblr (juliecookies)
    +1 if you like Belle on Facebook (Julie Smeltzer)

  5. Na

    I’m a research junkie too! I am very curious and like learning random and not so random facts.

    GFC follower: Na
    Cambonified[at]yahoo[dot]com