Marci Jefferson’s passion for history was sparked while living in Yorktown, Virginia, where locals still tell Revolutionary War tales. She now writes about remarkable women in history who dared to defy powerful men. – See more at: http://marcijefferson.com/#sthash.JK0bvgtM.dpuf
Girl on the Golden CoinEnchantress of Paris cover
Marci Jefferson’s debut novel Girl on the Golden Coin caught my eye earlier this year and after reading it, I had some pressing questions about her mental state. I thought on them for a while and considered reaching out to Marci and offering her a psyche-eval pro bono but, after the release of her latest novel, Enchantress of Paris, St. Martin’s reached out to me in the hopes that I could make sure Marci’s brain was ready for the tremendous amount of fame and success Enchantress of Paris would garner her. I was more than happy to oblige and felt that Marci might benefit from this totally sneaky completely legit psychological evaluation. Remember- I’m sharing this classified information with you for learning purposes only! You can read Marci’s responses to my specifically formulated questions below. Proceed with caution.
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1. What female historical figure would you have been in a past life?
Edith Cavell, the British nurse who defied the Germans occupying Belgium during World War One by helping allied soldiers escape. I’ve been a nurse for seventeen years, and I can only aspire to be as selfless as Edith was, though I certainly am as stubborn.
2. Do you find men in Colonial dress or Edwardian dress more attractive?

colonial man                                                                Edwardian man

     Colonial Man                                                                   Edwardian Man
As pretty as a Colonial Man is in his lace and tights, an Edwardian man is—well—more manly!
3. One of my guilty pleasures is jumping out from behind things and scaring people. What’s one of yours? (Please be candid. Your secret is safe with me!)
70% dark chocolate. At least one square. Every. Day.
4. If BBC hired you to write an episode for Doctor Who, what would it be like?
Considering I write novels set in vicious royal courts, my episode might end up looking like a romp through the period costume gown department of a theater company. But in all seriousness, I’d use the TARDIS to intervene in some of the witchcraft persecutions of the past centuries.
5. So far, you have written about two strong, often overlooked, women in European History. Will you venture across the pond in an upcoming novel and write about an American woman?
I would love to write about an American, and actually have some ideas…top secret though!
6. Have you ever sniffed the pages of a book or magazine in a public place?book-sniffingOh yes, I’ve totally done that! How did you know?
7. If your significant other was harboring an epic secret, would you prefer it to be that they were a Vampire or a Werewolf?If it is not possible to hybridize the Vampire/Werewolf here, a la Klaus from The Originals, I’m going to invent a door number three and say…Warlock.
8. What is one monumental choice you would have made differently than Marie Mancini, your heroine in the Enchantress of Paris?I admit that in Marie’s place I would have been very tempted to jilt my Roman Prince at the altar and stay behind in France as the Sun King’s mistress (I mean, come on, he’s the most iconic king in history!). But Marie left King Louis because she believed his love for her wasn’t strong enough. You’ve got to respect a woman who respects herself!

9. Do you ever read Young Adult fiction and if so, would you ever consider writing a Young Adult novel?

I do, and I would!

10. If Betty Crocker asked you to create your very own signature frosting flavor for their brand, what would it be?

Salted chocolate caramel.

11. Are you a “by the seat of your pants’’ writer or a very methodical, “strict writing schedule” kind of writer?

I hate to admit that I still don’t know which I am. I do plot and plan and research a ton (perhaps more than I ought). But I write when, where, and however I must.

12. It’s 1776 in the Colonies and you find yourself struggling to flee the fire that has engulfed your farmhouse. When you make it outside, Ian Somerhalder, as a Colonial Rebel, and Chris Hemsworth, as a British Redcoat, are both reaching out their hands to you, offering you a ride to safety on their horses.

Who. Do You. CHOOSE?

Ian Rebel                                                                Chris Red Coat

            Rebel Ian                                                                                          Red Coat Chris

This has to be the hardest interview question I’ve ever been asked! Considering that I lived in Yorktown most of my childhood and am a rebel myself, I would probably opt for Ian Somerhalder. But I would do my darnedest to turn Chris Hemsworth to my side!

Now, it’s time for the Speed Round section of the interview. Please answer with the first word or phrase that comes to mind after reading each word/phrase. Ready? Set. Go!

Twilight

I started reading Anne Rice when I was in 7th grade. Louis and Lestat were my Edward and Bella.

King George III

Porphyria

Italian or Spanish?

Italian

Historical Author

The best kind

Kim Kardashian

Facial contouring

Favorite Actor

Too many to choose

Texas

Lone star

Spandex or Polyester?

Cotton, please.

Ding! Ding! Ding! Time’s up. Thanks so much for participating.

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After much inebriated and sanctimonious deliberation, I’ve gained much insight into the mysterious mind of Marci Jefferson. It is clear to me that she misses her childhood days practicing Wiccan Magic in her attic and her obsession with wild Historical women points to the Freudian-esque conclusion that she narrowly escaped having to go to Catholic school as a teenager. Marci’s interest in blood and anatomical ailments leads me to believe that she is outraged by how many times Kim Kardashion has gone under the knife, and that she is likely to have a barn of stray black cats in the future. Despite these troubling factors, Marci’s salty and sweet taste preferences and her willingness to admit getting high on book pages in public gives me hope for her extremely talented condition. I do not see Marci as a threat to society and believe that she will be able to keep her page sniffing and caramel eating propensities under control in the event of her mounting fame and success. I APPROVE Marci’s competency to continue writing about Historical women.

Stop by tomorrow, Tuesday, August 18, 2015 for my review of Enchantress of Paris and an GIVEAWAY!

You can check out my other Author Psych-Files HERE.

About Marci

Marci grew up in a nomadic Air Force family, inspiring her interest in culture and travel. But her passion for history sparked while living in Yorktown, Virginia, where locals still tell Revolutionary War tales.

Her friends found it odd when she was the only one who didn’t complain on field-trips to Jamestown colony, and collecting headstone rubbings wasn’t exactly considered a cool hobby. She’ll never admit to hopping the wall at the Colonial Williamsburg Governor’s Mansion after dark just to explore the moonlit gardens, but she did spend days roaming battlefields and visiting forgotten plantation homes.

Moving from place to place through the years, she kept a love of writing and scores of short stories to herself, eventually setting them aside to pursue the more “practical” path of becoming a Registered Nurse.

Marci survived learning drip-calculations and care-planning, graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, then applied her writing skills to hospital documentation. Soon she immersed herself in a Quality Assurance nursing career and wrote dry Policy and Procedure manuals. Years and a few children later, she decided such writing lacked the sweeping adventure she longed for.

Marci now writes about remarkable women in history who dared to defy powerful men. She resides in the Midwest with her husband and two children in a house full of books and toys.

– See more at: http://marcijefferson.com/about-marci/#sthash.TaG4PEHn.dpuf

Haven’t read Salt and Stone by Victoria Scott yet? WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?!  Now’s your chance! Join me and some other amazing blogs for a Galley Giveaway of Salt and Stone! Enter below to WIN a copy, and visit the other blogs linked up at the bottom of this post for more chances to WIN!
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So here’s the deal. I’ve been working closely with Victoria Scott over the past six months, and I recently realized that she might be the perfect candidate for a thorough psychoanalysis. Her recent strange behaviors such as becoming a mother and purchasing a car for her husband have led me to believe that there are some psychological issues with Victoria that need to be addressed, and that she might benefit from a totally sneaky completely legit psychological evaluation. Remember- I’m sharing this classified information with you for learning purposes only! You can read Victoria’s responses to my specifically formulated questions below in the BOLD print. Proceed with caution.
Do you have any secret tattoos?
​ No, but my husband has my name on his bicep. I know. Classy. ​
What was your first date?
It was to a shady restaurant with a dude who insisted I call him Vin, after Vin Diesel. He had a buy-one-get-one coupon. Also classy. ​
Do you have any strange writing rituals?
I look off into space a lot when I’m imagining characters’ reactions. Does that count?
If you were Tella in Salt and Sto​ne, what would you have done differently than her?
​ I never would have made it to Salt & Stone. Never. ​
I know you use some quotes from The Divine Comedy to open a few chapters in the Dante Walker trilogy, but have you ever read Dante Alighieri’s masterpiece? And if so, was it inspiration for Dante Walker?
I’ve only ever read Inferno, the ​first section. I borrowed a nugget about ice being used for torture from that fine piece of work. 
For all of us aspiring authors out there- How do you get over the feeling that your book idea might be ”dumb”?
​Ugh. You don’t? I’m working on line edits for a book now, and every day I think to myself, “Dumb. Dumb. Dumber. Also, maybe a little classy.” ​
How long did it take you to write the first Fire and Flood book once you conceived the idea and interest was expressed by the publisher?
​ It took about four months from plotting to turning in a first draft. ​
If you had auditioned to be in Saved By the Bell back in the day, I have a feeling you would have been Kelly Kapowski- Do you agree?
​ Kelly for the win. I guess I would’ve been since we were both cheerleaders and all.
What television show have you recently binge watched or are obsessed with?
Vikings. OMG, Vikings! ​
I know your mom and other family members read your books. Is it embarrassing or awkward knowing they are going to read the LOVE SCENES you wrote?! I must confess- as an aspiring author, I worry about this, LOL.
​YES! Not so much for my family members to read those scenes, because we’re a pretty open family. But for my mother-in-law? Kill me. ​
Okay, time for the speed round. This part is sorta like the Family Feud speed round. I’ll ask a question/state a phrase/word, and you answer the first thing that pops into your head. Ready? Set. Go!

Damon or Stefan?

Damon. ​

Spandex or Polyester?

Gross, no.

Editing or Changing diapers?

Diapers.

Italian food or Mexican food?

​ Mexican. ​

Cowboys or Texans?

​ Cowboys. ​

If you had to choose one to be your love slave: Dante or Guy?!

Dante, of course! ​

If you had to binge watch one or the other: Toddlers and Tiaras, Dance Moms, or Honey Boo Boo?

Dance Moms.

Edward or Jacob? 

Jacob. ​

Color of your soul?

Black, obviously. Yellow when I’m feelin’ it. ​

Favorite hobby?

Interior design.

Freud or Jung?

​Who the hell is Jung? *Googles* Okay, going with Freud. He seems classier.
DING, DING, DING! Times up! Thanks so much for participating in my interview. 🙂
After extensive inebriated analysis of Victoria’s answers to my deceptively shallow questions, I realized my worst fears about her psyche were, indeed, warranted. It is clear to me that Victoria suffers from early childhood exposure to Godfather’s Pizza and Michael Jackson music videos. Her obsession with the television show Vikings reveals an underlying desire to sing opera and change her name to Brunhilde. The fact that she can write such successful novels is truly perplexing. It is evident from daily observation that she is constantly fighting a glitter-pink demon inside that wishes to decorate stranger’s houses in rainbows and skulls. Writing her first Dante Walker novel helped calm this aspect of her personality.
Final Prognosis: Victoria is too cool for school. But only because she already went to school and discovered she was much cooler as an adult who writes Young Adult novels. I do not believe Victoria is an immediate threat to society.

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About Victoria Scott

Victoria Scott is a teen fiction writer represented by Sara Crowe of the Harvey-Klinger Literary Agency. She’s the author of the FIRE & FLOOD series published by Scholastic, and the DANTE WALKER trilogy published by Entangled Teen. Her first stand-alone young adult title, TITANS, will be published by Scholastic in spring 2016.

Victoria’s books have been bought and translated in eleven foreign markets including the UK, Turkey, China, Poland, Israel, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Taiwan, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. She currently lives in Dallas, and hearts cotton candy something fierce.

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Cristin Terrill is a young adult author and aspiring grown-up. She grew up semi-nomadic and graduated from Vassar College with a degree in drama. After getting her masters in Shakespeare Studies from the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, she lived in London, Austin, Boston, and Washington, DC while working as a theatrical stage manager. Now she writes and leads creative writing workshops for DC-area kids and teens. All Our Yesterdays is her first novel.

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Cristin Terrill’s highly anticipated debut novel, All Our Yesterdays, was released in September, and I’m probably the only blogger on the planet that could forget to post my interview with  her. So, this interview and giveaway are for those scant few who have yet to read her book.

Unbeknownst to Cristin, I was given the chance to pick her brain for a psyche test.  Because of the nature of a writer’s work, I find it is imperative to do a psychological analysis of each author I come across. I’m sharing this classified information with you for learning purposes only!

What inspired the unusual spelling of your first name?

My parents, bless them, didn’t realize at the time that they were condemning me to a life of spelling my name out and being called “Christine” anyway. I was named for my uncle Crisler (who, let’s face it, got a rawer deal than I did), so that’s where the spelling comes from.

Did you like the television show Sliders starring Jerry O’Connell when you were younger?

I actually never watched Sliders as a kid; I think it was a little TK before my time. But I did watch MANY reruns of Quantum Leap thanks to my sister’s mad crush on Scott Bakula.

All Our Yesterdays is one of the best, if not THE best book I have read all year. Is it a story that you have been writing in your head for a while, or did it just come to you on the fly and get written and published very quickly?

It was a little bit of both. I wrote a short story with the bones that would become All Our Yesterdays many years ago, but the story kept rolling around in the back of my head, becoming bigger and more complex. When I finally sat down to make it a novel, all the years of preparation I’d done in my brain meant I was able to write it quite quickly. I started the first draft in April of 2011 and we sold it in February of 2012.

Is there more in store for Finn and Marina? If so, when will the next book come out?

There is another book in the All Our Yesterdays universe, but that’s all I’m going to say about it! Barring any major hiccups, it should come out about a year after the first does, so probably Fall 2014.

Is reading AOY like reading your diary? Is there a lot of you in it, or are you completely separate from the characters?

There are definitely pieces of the characters, thoughts they have, experiences they go through, that are very personal to me, though I don’t know if anyone else would be able to pick them out. Occasionally a friend or family member will point out a line of dialogue that just jumped out at them as something I would say and made them remember it was me writing the book (usually it’s Finn). None of the characters are like me, although there are bits of me in each of them, which I think is probably unavoidable for any writer.

What’s your favorite Terminator movie?

Tough one. It’s hard not to love the first, because it was just such a new and unique premise for a plot (to me, at least, it’s pretty apparent now that James Cameron totally ripped off  TK). And I also find Kyle Reese to be a really fascinating character, and we don’t see him again until number four. But how can you beat Terminator 2 really?

I saw you lived in Austin, Texas for a while. What brought you to Texas and how did you like it?

I grew up mostly in Texas, although not the Austin area. I moved to Austin after leaving the UK because I was a bit lost in life and wasn’t ready to move to a strange new city on my own to try to restart my career. So I moved into the apartment above my dad’s garage and got a job with the US Census, which was one of the more bizarre jobs of my life, while I regrouped. Austin is a great city that I’ve always loved visiting, but I couldn’t stand the heat permanently!

Did you know you wanted to be a writer when you were studying Drama and Shakespeare, or did it just happen?

Being a professional writer was never an ambition of mine. I wrote short stories and fan fiction for fun but never expected to do anything more than that. My dream was to be a theatrical stage manager, which I was up until recently. I did my masters in Shakespeare on a bit of a whim. I’ve always loved Shakespeare, I was desperate to get back to the UK, and a part of me wondered if what I actually wanted to be was an academic. But doing my masters convinced me I didn’t! I spent a year studying something I loved and seeing plays a few times a week at the Royal Shakespeare Company down the street, and I got an extra three years in England out of it!

When developing a story, do you approach your book characters much like you do your acting?

Luckily for us all, I was never an actor, but I do think my drama training has helped me as a writer. The combination of studying drama in an academic setting and actually producing it in a theatre has given me a good eye for structure, motivation, subtext, blocking, and other things that are important in writing as well.

Do you like Opera? If so, what’s your favorite one?

I love opera! I stage-managed quite a few operas, and they were some of my favorite things to work on. I especially love the German expressionists, particularly Wagner and Strauss. But my absolute favorite is an under-appreciated modern opera by Jonathon Dove called Flight.

Favorite musical?

Tough one. My longtime favorite from childhood was Les Miserables, but my new favorite is probably Spring Awakening.

When you first knew you were going to be published, did the idea of all the touring and publicity that comes with being a famous author now-a-days scare you, or were you looking forward to it?

Well, I’m extremely not famous, so I’m not doing the whirlwind book tour or anything like that (although I am traveling more than I anticipated I would be, including a trip back to the homeland-of-my-heart,London,  for the launch of the British edition, which is both tiring and really fun!). I was definitely a bit intimidated by the idea of marketing a book because of all the pressure and expectations, but luckily I have a great team around me who’s really helping me shoulder that burden. I think it’s both harder and more fun that I was expecting when I sold the book.

Okay, time for the speed round! This part is meant to be sorta like the Family Feud speed round. I will say a word/phrase/question, and you answer with the first thing that pops into your head. Ready? Set. Go!

Red Rum

Christian Bale or Chris Hemsworth? Bale

London or Texas? London

Congress Sucks

Favorite book The Giver

Baby giraffes Cute

Italian or Chinese? Italian

Aliens Fun

Leprechauns Creepy

Ding, ding, ding! Time’s up! Thank you so much for participating in this psyche analysis interview! 

 

I twiddled my thumbs for a while over this diagnosis. Cristin’s brain seems to be a complicated maze of conundrums. After thorough analysis, it is apparent that Cristin has a fetish with cyborgs that has driven her to bury her true feelings for Arnold Schwarzenegger. She clearly has unresolved issues with Puck from a Midsummer Night’s Dream, and her love of London, Strauss and Wagner suggest repressed feelings of sovereignty. After assessing her speed-round answers, I have come to the conclusion that Cristin has a dependence on rum and coke, and could quite possibly be a threat to society if she chooses to run for Congress. (NOTE: This analysis was conducted in June, and Cristin’s issues may have rapidly evolved, thus voiding this diagnosis as non-threatening.)

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Magan Vernon is a Young Adult and New Adult writer who lives with her family in the insurance capital of the world. She is in a very serious, fake relationship with Adam Lambert and constantly asks her husband to wear guyliner. He still refuses. She also believes her husband is secretly an alien, disguised as a southern gentleman.
Her first book was independently published through an author cooperative in 2011; a YA Science Fiction book called How to Date an Alien that has consistently ranked int he top 100 in Amazon for Teen Science Fiction and Romance. Her first New Adult book, My Paper Heart, was published in 2012 and shot up the top of the Amazon best seller charts and surpassed expectations from all the people in 2009 that told her “A college aged character won’t sell.” Her next release is titled The Only Exception, coming in April of 2013. It’s political, New Adult, and everything that makes a girl swoon.


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Magan Vernon, or Mags as I like to call her, just might be the most famous person that you don’t know about. She’s been on the government’s radar since 2010 after possibly marrying an alien, but hasn’t let that keep her from writing some out-of-this-world fiction.  Unbeknownst to Mags, I was given the chance to pick her brain for a psyche test.  Because of the nature of a writer’s work, I find it is imperative to do a psychological analysis of each author I come across. I’m sharing this classified information with you for learning purposes only!

Have you ever been abducted by aliens? 

OMG. I’m deathly afraid of aliens. I slept with a night-light until middle school for this exact reason. Luckily none of them found me and my night-light protected me.

What inspired you to write the My Alien Romance series?

I was walking around Borders with my cousin in 2010. There were a lot of vampires and werewolves in the paranormal books, but nothing different. I said, “I haven’t read a good alien book in a while.” “She goes “Me neither.” So I said, “I’ll write one!” And I took the things I feared and somehow made them smexy.

Haha. My Alien Romance series=MARs. Am I really clever, or did you plan that?

 I totes planned that. I have a fifth sense.

What character are you most like from MARs?

Alex Bianchi has a lot of my attributes. I’m not as kick butt as her, but I have the whole Sicilian, quirky girl thing going for me.

Is there a specific reason you named Circe after the greek goddess of Magic?

 In The Odyssey, Circe was the god that seduced Odysseus and kept him away for his family for so long and hidden. Circe is supposed to be a place to keep aliens hidden and if there is seduction involved…

Did you a lot of research for this series, or is most of the technical stuff  b.s.? 

A ton, actually. There was a lot of watching Roswell, of course, for alien and human chemistry, but then there was technical research. I had to figure out what one would need at Circe for it survive as an alien operations center, how it should be laid out, and all of those details.

Do you have an extensive troll doll collection from your childhood?

 I despise trolls, too. They need to put some shirts on.

Have you developed a full Caltian language/alphabet? 

Not really. Most of the Caltian words are derived from Italian words or names of my family members. “Calta” is actually short for Caltagerone, which is a family name.

When did your obsession with ”guyliner” start?

 That one is hard to say. It probably was when I first saw Adam wearing it on American Idol…and the leather jacket with the spikes…and him singing Queen. Oh…um…sorry I need to be alone for a few minutes.

Would you still love Adam Lambert if he refused to dye his hair black, and left it red?

Me and Adam broke up recently. It’s been a very sad few months. He just never loved me back after I loved…or stalked…him for years. I’m with the Zesty Guy now.

I know that you’re a fan of the Roswell TV show. I was recently watching the episode The White Room (season 1, episode 21) where Isabel contacts Max telepathically and it seems as though she’s asleep when she does this. Did this episode inspire the “Sleep Creep” that your female Caltian are capable of doing in the Alien Romance books?

The sleep creep was actually inspired by Hunger Games. Katniss had all those nightmares that brought her to Peeta’s bed and I had this crazy idea like “what if the capital was actually controlling her nightmares?”

I know How To Marry An Alien is ”edgier” than the rest of the books in the series, but have you considered writing an all NA Alien themed series?

This has been suggested MANY times. There was actually a full-fledged “love scene” between Alex and Ace that was cut. And another heavy petting scene. I have a lot of young readers and I had to still keep it in that realm. That said, there may or may not be an Ace novella that would be New Adult.

What inspired the ”world’s worst rapper dream” in How To Break Up With An Alien?

Justin Bieber. I think that’s what he dreams about.

Do you think Aliens wear preppy clothes on their home planets, or does that just happen when they come to Earth? 

In my head, Ace is always naked when at home…I need a few minutes again.

How many licks ’til you get to the center of a blow pop? 

I never get that far. I’m a biter.

Have you read any of the recent YA alien themed books?

I feel like my own books get compared to them too much and that bugs, so I have not. Well, no, I take that back. I read I am Number Four a few years back.

Do you think Jason Behr would look hot with ‘guyliner”? 

This image requires me to spend a few minutes by myself. Carry On.

Would you like to see MARs turned into a television series or film franchise?

I think it would be cool to see some alien kick buttness on the big screen. If someone wants to make that happen I do have an entertainment lawyer, so hit me up!

If you were just now writing MARs, what would you do differently? 

I think I would go full-fledged science fiction, New Adult and make Alex in college like I originally planned her to be. When I wrote the book NO ONE wanted NA (that’s why my Paper Heart was shelved), so I couldn’t do that.

Ok, time for the speed round! This part is meant to be sort of like the Family Feud speed round. I will say a word or ask a question and you answer with the first thing that pops in your head. Ready? Set. GO!

Polar Bears SOCKS.

Fuschia BEAR

Pelican Breif TOM CRUISE

The 1990’s I DON’T CARE I LOVE IT.

Jason Behr or Adam Lambert? MAKE A MAGAN SANDWICH

Blue Spandex BELLY BUTTON

Star Trek or Star Wars? CHRIS PINE

Movie DOGMA

Chinese or Italian? ITALIAN

Gosh, I’m awkward, sorry about my awkward responses.

Ding, ding, ding! Times up! Thank you so much for participating in this psyche analysis interview! 

 

Diagnosis:

*Twiddles thumbs. Looks around office…Throws glasses on desk, and slams fist down on patient file. Runs hand through hair, and sighs* Out of all my case studies, this one has perplexed me the most. How can someone who is so obviously crazy, be secretly famous and attractive!? Magan Vernon is a mystery of science. According to her analysis, she buries her desire to work as a celebrity make-up artist, under her desire to sell cars, under her desire to interview male models! Her flamboyant fascination with attractive men, alien smexy times, and artificial light suggest she believes that ITALIANS do it better. Whatever “it” may be. This patient could be a possible danger because her results indicate that she tackles things. Writing books, and metro-sexual males included. In conclusion, as long as Magan is permitted to play out the strange and aggressive workings of her mind with pen and paper, she poses no immediate threat to society. 

I hope you enjoyed our last diagnosis interview for Aliens Abducting August! We are closing this EPIC month with an even more EPIC Giveaway. ENTER TO WIN below for a signed set of Magan’s My Alien Romance series. And don’t forget to check out our Guest Reviewer, Meredith’s, reviews of the entire My Alien Romance series!

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Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives just outside Cincinnati and writes adult contemporary romance as Macy Beckett.

If you haven’t heard of Melissa Landers yet, don’t feel dumb. Melissa’s highly anticipated debut YA  novel, Alienated, is set to release February 4, 2014. The mystical horse-shoe of luck must have been in my favor, because I received an ARC of Alienated a few months ago, and have had a  hard time keeping mum about it. The cover of Alienated is so pretty, I want to eat it. I definitely devoured the pages of this book, and I can’t wait for more of this series.  As requested by Disney Hyperion, I won’t be posting my review of Alienated until closer to the release date, but I was given the green light to post this psyche-file interview and giveaway! Unbeknownst to Melissa, I was given the chance to pick her brain for a psyche test.  Because of the nature of a writer’s work, I find it is imperative to do a psychological analysis of each author I come across. I’m sharing this classified information with you for learning purposes only!

Have you ever been abducted by Aliens? 

Only in my dreams, sadly.

What was your initial inspiration for Alienated?

It was October 2009, and I was brainstorming ideas for my very first NaNoWriMo. A few plots came to me, but I dismissed them because they were boring or they’d been done before. Then a thought hit me: “What if a high school senior had to host an alien exchange student?” Bam! ALIENATED was conceived.

Did you know you wanted the book to be funny from the beginning, or is it something that happened along the way?

The manuscript got a little bit funnier with each rewrite as I worked to draw out Cara’s “voice.”

Are you a fan of the old-school T.V. show Mork and Mindy?

I watched that as a little girl, but I don’t remember anything except “Nanu Nanu!”

Who have been your biggest influences  in the Sci-Fi genre?

I lived and breathed Star Wars throughout my childhood. In fact, I still have my big, gold C-3PO carrying case with my action figures inside it.

What was your writing process like for Alienated? Did you do a lot of research for this book?

More than anything, I researched nanotechnology to make sure the events that unfold toward the end of the book are plausible. Fortunately, my neighbors are both scientists with colleagues who specialize in such things, so the information was easy to access.

Have you developed a full alphabet/language for the L’eihrs?

No, but I wish I’d kept a list of L’eihr words. Then I wouldn’t have to keep referring to my manuscript for book 1 while writing book 2.

Do you believe Aliens communicate with Snow Owls?

Psh! Everyone knows chipmunks are the aliens’ favorite.

Do you feel like Alienated has ”Big Screen” potential, and would you like the idea of your books being made into films?

I’d love that! A lot of early readers have told me ALIENATED would make a good TV show, too.

Do you have an ideal cast for Cara, Tori, Eric, Aelyx, Eron, Syrine, Stepha if optioned for film?

Nope. It’s too hard finding real people to match the pretend people in my head.
 
Have you ever seen the late ’90s/early 2000’s television show, Roswell?

No, but I really want to.

While writing Alienated, did you imagine yourself as Cara?

No, but Cara and I have some similar characteristics. I’m ridiculously competitive and a little hot-tempered.

Would you participate in an Alien exchange program?

Heck, yeah!

I loved the contemporary aspect to Alienated. There’s a lot to be learned about love, tolerance, and human/foreign relations from this book. Do you think humans would indeed act hostile toward Aliens, even if they looked much like humans?

Absolutely. Look at how we treat other humans. All you have to do is turn on the news and you’ll see enough examples of prejudice and intolerance to make you want to change the channel. If that’s how we treat each other, why would aliens fare any better?

Have you always wanted to be a writer,or was it a default career choice?

It was an unexpected career change for me. I’d never wanted to write, but after spending a few years at home with my young children, I needed a creative outlet. That’s when I decided to give NaNoWriMo a try. I fell in love with fiction writing, and never looked back.

What advice would you give to book bloggers like me, that entertain the idea of writing a YA novel?

Writers write. Dabblers dabble. But you won’t sell a book by dabbling in the craft. If you want to be an author, you have to go all-in and write every day–no excuses–even when it’s hard and you feel like everything you produce is garbage.

Okay, time for the speed round. This part is sorta like the Family Feud speed round. I’ll ask a question/state a phrase/word, and you answer the first thing that pops into your head. Ready? Set. Go!

Pigeons: Poop

Amethyst: Necklace

Psyllium husks: Cornhuskers

Sirius: Black

Alf: Dork

Henry Cavill or Jason Behr? Yes!

Red: Bull gives you wings

1970’s: Disco

Daemon or Dante? Double yes!

Encino Man: Eminem (I have no clue why this popped into my head.)

Angels: And Demons

Ding, ding, ding! Times up! Thank you so much for participating in Aliens Abducting August on MEReadALot. I LOVED Alienated, and can’t wait for all of my friends to read it when it officially releases! Book two will be on my ”highly anticipated sequels list”. 

Thanks for including me. This was fun! 🙂

Diagnosis:
It is clear after thorough analysis that Melissa is blocking memories of a past life on an alien planet. Her answers indicate a possible fixation with small, fuzzy creatures, and a propensity to climb trees. It is highly likely that she masks a desire to be a lawyer, or director for Amnesty International with fictionalizing her past life experiences in her manuscripts. In conclusion, Melissa is clearly intelligent beyond the scope of the human intellect.

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jla

Jennifer L. Armentrout is the USA TODAY Bestselling author of the adult romance Gamble Brothers’ series, the young adult Lux Series and award winning Covenant Series. She pretty much writes everything—contemporary, paranormal, and fantasy. All of her books have one thing in common no matter the name or genre: kissing… and stuff. When she’s not busy writing, which is never, she’s usually hanging out with dog Loki, watching reruns of The Walking Dead, or procrastinating on the Internet.

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Jennifer Armentrout. We all know her as the chick who wrote the Lux series and the Covenant series, but what else do we know about this strange specimen of a woman? Unbeknownst to Jennifer, I was given the chance to pick her brain for a psyche test.  Because of the nature of a writer’s work, I find it is imperative to do a psychological analysis of each author I come across. I’m sharing this classified information with you for learning purposes only!

 Have you ever been abducted by aliens? 

Yes, yes, I have been abducted by aliens.

Do you believe extraterrestrials are out there?  

Absolutely.  Since I’ve been abducted by aliens I have firsthand knowledge of extraterrestrials.  But, seriously, I think there is definitely a possibility that aliens exist.

Which Lux book has been your favorite to write so far?  I think Obsidian was probably my favorite since it was the first book in the series and I was introducing Katy, Daemon and the Luxen to readers for the first time.

Did you feel like you were cheating on the Lux when you wrote about the Arum? 

I didn’t really feel like I was cheating because the Lux series is YA and Obsession is for adults.  If Obsession was a YA book, then I might have felt a little guilty writing about Hunter instead of Daemon.  But their characters are in very different places in their lives, so writing the two guys was vastly different.

If Daemon and Hunter were in a fight to the death, who would win?

  I’m going to go with Hunter just because he is older and more experienced than Daemon.

Will Shadows ever be published in paperback form?

  There aren’t any plans to publish Shadows in paperback right now.  That decision is made by the publisher, so it’s possible that it could be released in paperback at some point.

Did you plan on writing a story about the Arum (Obsession) from the beginning, or did it recently come to you?

  I actually decided to write Obsession after I started getting requests to rewrite the Lux series for adults.  I didn’t want to rewrite Daemon and Katy’s story, so I decided to write about an Arum.  I liked the idea of writing in the same world, but giving it a different spin by showing another side to the story of the Luxen and the Arum.

Is there more in store for Hunter and Serena in the future for your fans? 

 Obsession is a standalone novel, so there won’t be any more Arum books.  However, there is always the possibility that Hunter and/or Serena will make an appearance in the Lux series.

When I read the Lux series, I imagined a teenage version of you as Katy. Do you imagine yourself as Katy when writing the Lux books?

 I didn’t imagine myself as Katy when I was writing the books, but I do tend to be sarcastic like Katy.  That’s probably the biggest similarity between the two of us.

After meeting you and Pepe Toth at the Houston Daemon Invasion last year, I had a feeling that Pepe was secretly in love with you. Is this true!? (We won’t let your hubs read this interview)

  Oh, that’s funny.  No, Pepe isn’t in love with me.  But, he is a genuinely nice guy.  He’s also a hottie.  I was so excited to have him at the release party with me because I think the readers enjoyed the opportunity to meet him.

If Daemon and Victoria Scott’s Dante Walker ever met in real life, would they be friends or foes?

I think that Daemon and Dante could respect each other, but there would always be competition between them just because of their cocky and sarcastic personalities.

If enemies, who would win in a fight?

Daemon

When you officially became a published writer, were you scared of all the publicity/touring work that came with it, or did you look forward to it?

I wasn’t scared of all of the publicity and touring, but I was anxious to travel by myself at first.  Now, it doesn’t bother me because I’ve done it so much.

Do you ever act out dialogue scenes you have written with your husband or Loki to see if they flow right?

No, I haven’t even tried because I don’t think my husband or Loki would be very cooperative.

Ok, time for the speed round! This part is meant to be sort of like the Family Feud speed round. I will say a word or ask a question and you answer with the first thing that pops in your head. Ready? Set. GO!

Turtles —cute

Robert Pattinson or Henry Cavil—Henry Cavill

The 80’s–hair

Favorite Movie–don’t have one

Blue–pretty

Goats–weird

Black Leather–sexy

Thanks for asking me to do the interview. 😉

Ding, ding, ding! Times up! Thank you so much for participating in this psyche analysis interview! 

 

This diagnosis was difficult. I have been mentally debating over the outcome for two months now, and felt it was imperative to share the test and results with you because Origin, the fourth book in the Lux series, is coming out on August 27, 2013. Of course, in retrospect, there are many more questions I would like to have asked to determine the state of Jennifer’s psyche, but I will commence with the information I have already collected.

Diagnosis: Jennifer has quirky and curious tendencies that have led her to Borderline Bad-Ass disorder.  It is obvious from the test results that she has strange taste in men, and would have been close friends with Albert Einstein. The name of her dog, Loki, is an indicator that she has a dark side, and could quite possibly sympathize with those who are interested in invading and taking over Earth. Let’s hope Jennifer continues to use her cognitive functions for good, and keeps all world domination plotting to her novels. 

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