April 21, 2014

The Rabbit and the Raven by Melissa Eskue Ousley #Interview #Giveaway

Darkness is beguiling…and power always comes with a price.

Adopted by loving parents, David Corbin had no idea his life was a lie. Then he met a girl. Abby Brown freed David from the spell keeping him from the truth, that he was the lost heir to the throne in a magical realm.

Even though he got the girl and gained a kingdom, David had no clue about the unfathomable power he would inherit, nor did he realize how much he would have to sacrifice to keep the throne.

If there is any hope of winning the war against the deadly Kruorumbrae, David and Abby will have to journey to the outer edges of the realm to secure the loyalty of the four Oracles. Along the way, they will learn just how seductive darkness can be.

Genre: Young Adult
Length: 276 Pages
Release Date: March 15, 2014

Thanks so much for stopping by the Authors' Cafe today, Melissa. I'm very excited to host you and your new YA book, The Rabbit and the Raven!

Okay, I see you've got your hot cocoa and croissant, so let's get right to the interview.

Where do you write?

I have a home office, although I often find myself writing at the kitchen table. I keep a journal with me so I can jot things down whenever I get an idea, even waiting in linewhile running errands.

Do you have any “rituals” you go through before you write?

Not really. I’m always thinking about the story I’m working on even when I’m not writing, so when I get my butt in the chair, it’s go time.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) of The Rabbit and the Raven to write and why?

I really enjoyed writing the parts with Tierney. It’s always fun to write the villain. While everyone else in the story is fretting about the chaos Tierney creates, he’s having a marvelous time breaking the rules. Tierney is a sociopath, but he’s also handsome and charming, and that’s what makes him so dangerous.

What is your favorite quote?

“Books are uniquely portable magic.” – Stephen King

I believe this is true.

What genre of books do you read for pleasure?

Mostly young adult, fantasy, and horror.

What music are you listening to {While your write}?

My tastes are eclectic, but lean toward rock. I often listen to a mix that might include songs from The Ramones, Neko Case, The Black Keys, The White Stripes, Pete Yorn, The Wallflowers, Green Day, Imagine Dragons, The Courtyard Hounds, The Clash, or many other artists.

Live to write or write to live? Day job?

Both—writing is my day job and my passion.

First person you call when you get a sale?

My husband is usually first to know.

Solo muse or critique partner(s)?

My writing is mostly a solo journey—I’m the first reader as the story develops. I do ask for critical feedback from a few trusted friends, and I rely heavily on my editor—she is brilliant and makes me a better writer.

When can we get the next book in the series, and what’s it going to be about?

The Sower Comes is the third book in The Solas Beir Trilogy, and it will probably be available early in 2015. The third book is the big showdown between David and Tierney, and some big themes are evil, sacrifice, and redemption. If you’ve done horrible things, can you ever be forgiven?

I’m also working on a new young adult book, unrelated to this series, but similar in the sense that there is a paranormal twist. It is set in Astoria, Oregon.

What’s on your Bucket List?

I’ve done a lot of traveling, but I’ve not make it to the U.K. yet. I would also love to do more scuba diving.

Fiction hero you would run off with?

If a madman in a blue box materialized in my front yard, I’d be game for an adventure. I’ve fallen in love with many a fictional character, but I’ll narrow it down to books I’ve read in the last year. I fell hard for R from Warm Bodies. Sure he’s a flesh-eating zombie, but he tries really hard to hold on to his humanity. He meets a girl, and together they change their world. Amor Vincit Omnia. R is great character, and Isaac Marion’s writing is stunning. My favorite part is when the humans retreat back into their compound to regroup, and Marion writes this:

A brief respite, a quick suck of breath, because I know they aren’t quitting, they can’t quit, they’re just gathering their strength, their weapons, their brute-force determination. And well they should, because look at us. We are several hundred monsters and a hundred-pound girl, standing on the edge of their city with fire in our eyes. Deep under our feet Earth holds its molten breath, while the bones of countless generations watch us and wait.
Your first kiss . . .

Oh dear. Middle school, and it was kind of…awkward. My love life has improved drastically since then.

What’s the most amusing thing that’s ever happened to you?

I’ve been married for almost fifteen years now, but something amusing happened on that first date. He took me to see a show, and afterward we drove around and talked. It was nice. He walked me to my front door and as we were saying our goodbyes, he took my hand in his. I wanted to see him again, but I wasn’t sure how he felt, and I didn’t want to seem overly eager. So I shook his hand. He stared at me, a little shocked, and then said, “Actually, I was going to do this.” Then he lifted my hand to his lips and kissed it. After that we were pretty much inseparable.

Do you have any other creative outlets?

I like to paint, and I love interior design. One of my favorite chairs is one I found by the side of the road and refurbished with black paint and pretty aqua fabric with a coral print.
Party dress or blue jeans? My go-to uniform is jeans with boots, but I like the edge boots give to a dress. I also have shark tooth studs that would contrast well with a dress—very edgy.

Broadway or museum? Both! But if I had to choose, a museum. I could spend hours in the Metropolitan Museum of Art or MoMA.

Print or e-Book? Print, but if ever I move to a smaller place, I’m in trouble.

Coastal walks or extreme sports? Well, much as I love coastal walks, I’ve always wanted to go cage diving with Great White sharks.

Cookies or cupcakes? Cookies. Fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookies….

Super hero or super villain? Super villains have all the fun, but I’d try to use my powers for good. No promises.

If I had a free afternoon I’d . . . Take a hike or go swimming. Then I’d eat a grilled cheese sandwich and read a book.

Peanut Butter: Crunchy, Creamy, or I hate peanut butter and am addicted to Nutella. Mmmm, crunchy.

The taste of _____ takes you back to your childhood. Piecrust. When my mom made pies, she’d always save some of the dough, sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar, and make treats for me and my brothers. She made pretty good tortillas too.

Five words you use to describe yourself: Creative, Unconventional, Intuitive, Loving, Self-deprecating (I try to see the humor in most everything, and not take myself too seriously).

Melissa Eskue Ousley lives in the Pacific Northwest of the United States with her family and their Kelpie, Gryphon. When she’s not writing, Melissa can be found hiking, swimming, scuba diving, kayaking, or walking along the beach, poking dead things with a stick.
Before she became a writer, she had a number of educational jobs, ranging from a summer spent scraping road kill off a molten desert highway, to years spent conducting research with an amazing team of educators at the University of Arizona. Her interests in psychology, culture, and mythology have influenced her writing of The Solas Beir Trilogy.

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