Friday, June 29, 2012

Moon Dwellers Blog Tour Finale!



Thank you so much, David for popping over to Dark Obsession Chronicles!  I know you've been on your travel adventure, lounging at the beach, and working on your next book - and I'm just tickled pink you could find a few moments for me.   
*Alana takes a moment to look up from her notes, and her jaw drops open.*  
Wow, you really are Mr. Blue Eyes... what were we up to again?  Oh, right, blog tour... blue eyes... I meant interview.  I thought it might be good to warn you, I scattered some of my favorite quotes from The Moon Dwellers in the interview.  Just thought I'd sprinkle some great little nuggets I found during my read of the ARC.

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"The stallion in me wants to jump up, say, 'I'm here, and I'd love to meet you!' but thankfully my mind's black hole implodes upon itself, evaporating and returning clarity of thought."

So, I thought I'd get some of the thoughtful questions out of the way first, and then finish off with some fun stuff!
Why were you drawn to write a YA dystopian novel? 
*Alana stares with rapt attention*
*David tries to answer without getting freaked out by Alana’s staring*  Thanks so much for taking the time to interview me, Alana!!  As many of my readers and friends know, I tend to be rather excitable, so please don’t get annoyed with the multitude of !!!s that will surely be included in my responses.  As another disclaimer before we get into it, I’m just a smidge sarcastic (don’t give me that look Alana, it’s a pinch at the most), so please take very little of what I say seriously.  Except for the really good stuff, that is!
Hmm, well that’s a great first question.  My interest in YA dystopian really goes all the way back to 2008, when I first read The Hunger Games.  That was before everyone had read it and I was being a major book pusher (which is pretty normal for me), trying to get all my friends to read it.  My the time I’d written and published my first trilogy (The Evolution Trilogy), the YA dystopian revolution was in full swing and I was pretty much obsessed, reading every dystopian book I could get my hands on.  One day I thought to myself, “Self, you could write a pretty darn good dystopian book,” so I got started right away, which is what I do.
It’s well documented that I have serious OCD, such that when I dive into a project, I am all the way in, to the point of crazy, my-wife-wants-to-strangle-me obsession.  So I finished the book in about thirty days, let’s call it a month just to be conservative. *winks, yep, that was my sarcasm*  I dove into the beta stage with a fervor, and to my utmost delight, my early readers came back with extremely positive feedback, along with some awesome constructive feedback.  I edited, rewrote, revised, edited, added a prologue, changed the tense, and edited some more, and finally the book was ready! 

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"No matter how much I try to wish it all away, my past is the zit that you pop, watch bleed, watch heal, only to see poking from your skin again a week later."
I've only read a small number of dystopian books and I did notice some parallels with City of Ember.  Have you read that book, and if so did it provide any inspiration for your work?  If not that book, then what books, or movies proved to be muses for the Moon Dwellers?
I’m actually so glad you mentioned City of Ember, because I had a bit of a freak out moment when I was in the beta stage for The Moon Dwellers.  I was bored, because I wasn’t currently working on any projects and I was just waiting for feedback from my beta readers.  So I was trolling through potential dystopian books to read and I found City of Ember.  When I read what it was about, I freaked out, thinking my idea had already been done.  I purposely haven’t read City of Ember, as I don’t want to be accused of copying, and I truly hope my book stands on its own and doesn’t seem to similar, but I’ll have to leave it up to the readers to decide as I still haven’t read City of Ember. 
So to answer your other question, City of Ember didn’t provide any inspiration for The Moon Dwellers, but I definitely drew inspiration from some of the other dystopian books I’ve read, like Divergent (omg I love that book so much), The Hunger Games (one word: awesome), and The Maze Runner (cooler than Dairy Queen ice cream cakes).  

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"For just a moment I am scared of her and not the men.  I hate myself for it."Do you have a set number of books planned for the Moon Dwellers series? Or do you prefer to let the story flow and dictate how many books are written?
Awesome question.  I prefer series that finish after three books.  Anything more than that and, in my opinion, it gets a bit long.  There are obviously some notable exceptions, namely Harry Potter (Ms. Rowling, you can write as many books in the series as you want, I promise I won’t stop you) and The Mortal Instruments (love it!).  I am also thinking Ms. Roth can stretch Divergent into four books if she really wants to, but I’ll be very angry at her as I absolutely cannot wait two years to get a conclusion!
In the case of The Moon Dwellers, I planned on the standard three book trilogy, but then an awesome idea popped into my head, which will require a fourth book, so I may just stretch it out.  Don’t hate me though, I promise to have all 3 or 4 books published in less than a year!


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"My heart is alive again.  Because I see her."
Tristan first believed in his Dad's philosphy of "no fate but what you make" but seemed to be unable to ignore the serendipitous way that his and Adele's destiny crossed paths.  Do you personally believe in fate? 
You are just full of insightful questions, Alana.  *strokes chin thoughtfully*  I do believe in fate, in a way.  I don’t think fate takes decision-making away from the individual, but I do believe we are meant to meet certain people in our lives that have the potential to change us and make us better people, but it’s our choice whether we allow them to.  For example, I truly believe that my wife, Adele, and I were brought together at the perfect time, in the perfect place, when we had both recently gotten over bad relationships.  We could have chosen to swear off relationships, to run in the other direction, but we both took a risk and opened our hearts.  It’s the best choice either of us have ever made, as we were married 9 months later and have been happily married ever since.  Call it luck, fate, good timing, but the truth is, there were greater forces than just us at play.

___________________________________________________________"Me, the queen of sarcastic comments - self-declared - has been outsarcastified."
David, have you ever been outsarcastified?"
Never!  Or all the time…it’s definitely one or the other.  I consider myself reasonably good at reading when someone is being serious, but there have definitely been a few occasions when I meet a very sarcastic person but I can’t tell right away and I look kind of silly when I say “Really?” and they’re totally kidding.  My wife can also trick me with a sarcastic comment every now and again, because she’s not that sarcastic and has a good poker face.  But that’s just another reason I love her!

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"I'm not sure what everyone's been smoking, but I want some - clearly it's good stuff."

For other aspiring writers out there, if you could give ONE piece of advice, what would it be?
Darn you, Alana!!  You even capitalized every letter in ONE because you knew I would want to list about ten things.  If you’re making me pick just one itsy bitsy piece of advice, it would have to be…*drumroll*…seek out as much constructive feedback as possible and view it as helpful not hurtful. (I know, I know, I kinda sorta connected two pieces of advice with my favorite word: and.)  When I first started writing, I was hugely afraid of negative feedback, and that was exactly the problem: I viewed it as negative feedback, when really (in most cases), it was constructive feedback, aimed to make me a better writer, to give me insights into what readers like, and to allow me to grow.  Once I changed my attitude, I grew to love getting constructive feedback. 


Ooh, ooh, I’ve got a great story that’s even relevant!  Okay, so when I published Angel Evolution I started reading each and every review that came in.  I got one really negative review from a teenage girl who was right in my target audience for the book.  At first it hurt, but when I actually read the feedback, it was extremely constructive and balanced.  I wished I’d used her as a beta reader.  Sooo, I sent her a message on Goodreads, not to dispute the points in her review or to ask her to take the review down; rather, to thank her for the feedback and to ask her to be a beta reader for my next book, which happened to be The Moon Dwellers.  Well, sure enough, she said she’d be happy to be a beta reader and a few weeks later I got her feedback.  In short: she LOVED it, called it “epic” and vowed to tell all her friends to buy it when it came out.  She also threw in some incredibly valuable nuggets of constructive feedback which I implemented, earning myself a five-star rating from her.  To me, it’s all about trying to win over each and every reader you can by taking them all seriously.  That’s what your readers deserve.
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Time for some fun!
"Belly flop time."
You sound like a sci-fi fan (just a guess on my part), so
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Wars, but I enjoyed the latest Star Trek movie!

X-Men or Justice League?
X-Men rock!  But I like me some Justice League sometimes too J

ketchup or mustard?
Tough. On hot dogs or sandwiches, spicy brown mustard.  On a burger or fries, Heinz Ketchup (is there any other brand?  Sorry, I’m from Pittsburgh the home of Heinz)

Coke or Pepsi?
Coke I suppose, although I don’t drink much soda (pop as we call it in Pittsburgh)



Have you ever danced with the devil by the pale moonlight?
It was kind of cloudy that night so I couldn’t really see the moon, so I guess technically it’s a no.  But I do dance all the time and adore Ellen’s Dance Dares.

How do you take your coffee or tea?
I’m a sugaraholic.  Two sugars in my English Breakfast and two sugars in my lattes!

Why did the chicken cross the road?
To escape my archenemy, an evil, maniacal, always-naked stuffed teddy bear named (appropriately) Teddy.  Don’t ask.  No really, just don’t ask.


And finally, the question to end all questions, and sadly (I'm know I'm crying, too) it's the end of the blog tour... *Sniff*  Just a moment, gathering my wits about me... *Blows nose loudly*

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What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?
To be happy and to share that happiness with others while striving to do good whenever possible.  At least that’s my take.  If I can spread just a little happiness and fun with my books, then I can go to sleep satisfied at night. 

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"I've had some strange requests in my life, but this one takes the cake (if we had any cake, that is)."

You've been such a gem to put up with me, David.  Thanks so much for allowing me to read your book, and be part of your blog tour!  And the dreamy blue eyes....
Thanks so much, Alana, you’ve been awesome and it’s been a true pleasure.  I’d love to hear from all my readers, feel free to contact me at any of my favorite social networking sites:
My Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/davidestesbooks
 

7 comments:

  1. Thank you so much Alana, I had an absolute blast with this interview, you are hilarious!! I hope your readers enjoy the interview and The Moon Dwellers!!!

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    1. I had alot of fun with it, too! I knew I could get away with being a little goofier than usual because it was you! And you still have dreamy blue eyes...

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  2. fun interview,Alana! best of luck with the tour,David!

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  3. Totally awesome interview! Thanks to both of you for making it so fun. :)

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    1. At least from my side, it was a total pleasure.

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  4. Do you drink Pepsi or Coke?
    PARTICIPATE IN THE POLL and you could get a prepaid VISA gift card!

    ReplyDelete