Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Interview and Giveaway with . . .CJ Gosling

Debut novelist CJ Gosling has written a YA Fantasy that blends the Chronicles of Narnia (IMHO), modern teenage angst and a splash of Harry Potter. Below is an interview with CJ and a chance to win a copy of her book The Guardian.

CJ, why did you decide to start writing?

There was no why in the beginning. I've always been a storyteller, it's just who I am. When I was a kid, I would invite friends over for sleepovers and then tell them ghost stories to keep us up all night. In the daytime I would write my stories down.

It was my husband however, who encouraged me to take my work seriously. I guess you could say I started writing professionally about three years ago.

Who is your favourite character in your book? Why?

Ahhh! You can't ask me that. I love them all. My favorite character changes with my mood and the time of day. Right now I guess my favorite character is Tavin's grandmother. I love the sharpness of her tongue and the deep unquestionable love she has for her family.

You went with a small publishing house, Brighter Books, as opposed to going a more traditional route, why did you chose to do this?

For several reasons. I guess I was eager to begin to build my career as an author. I was also impressed by my publisher's genuine love for my book. She has given my manuscript more TLC than I believe a bigger publishing house ever would.

What are some of the upsides of going with a small publishing house?

The publisher is accessible and willing to work with authors on their manuscripts. There were no changes to my book that I didn't like. I even got to pick the artist that designed the cover and the chapter headings inside.

Are there any downsides that you care to share with us when going through a small publishing house?

The lack of resources in a small publishing house means I spend a lot more time marketing and promoting my book than I'd like. It is a daily challenge to balance the promotional needs of my book with the need for time to work on my next manuscript.

You are a multi talented lady, painting, singing and song writing as well as published author. Do you have a preference for any of these?

I've learned that creativity goes in cycles. Sometimes all I want to do is paint, other times I can't stay away from my guitar. I've learned to let these things happen and not to force it when it doesn't. At this stage in my life however, being an author is my foremost passion, I see art and music as an extension of my love for storytelling.

What can we expect next from you as a writer?

I am working on a series of four YA adventure fantasy books. The first one was just released. The next three should be coming at a rate of about one a year.

What advice would you have liked as an aspiring writer that you can now pass on to others?

You need friends. I would have never have made it without other writers, authors, industry people and of course, my husband. You need to attend literary events, conferences and join a writer's group. Without writing friends, my writing would have never improved, and I would have never connected with my publisher.

Thank you CJ for taking the time out of your busy schedule to share a little with us about yourself and your book! Below is more about CJ's debut novel and how to win a copy!

After the fire that killed Tavin’s mother, his grief-stricken father disappeared, abandoning him and his sister Moreanna. Tavin and Moreanna share a secret psychic connection. Sometimes, her presence is the only thing that keeps Tavin sane. When a mysterious sickness threatens Moreanna’s life, Tavin's connection to his sister begins to fade. With the discovery of a magical universe through a hidden door in his grandfather`s attic, Tavin desperately hopes a cure may be within his grasp.

“No trespassing” becomes an easy rule to break.

Shadowlands: The Guardian blends mages and magic into a traditional German backdrop for a book about overcoming prejudice at the cost of personal sacrifice. Shadowlands: The Guardian is an entertaining read for teens and adults alike.

If you'd like to win a copy of The Guardian, make a comment about your favorite YA fantasy. For an extra entry, follow my blog :) The random winner will be drawn on Saturday, February 19th and you can make an entry up till 12:00pm PST. Open to Canada and the USA only.


Margie said...

Nice interview. Lately I've really enjoyed the books of Rick Riordan, having just finished the The Last Hero not too long ago. And Across the Universe, but I'm not sure if you'd consider that Sci fi, Fantasy, or Dystopian--which is actually my genre of choice.

Roney Photo said...

I know it sounds silly but I like the later Harry Potter works as far as YA fantasy goes. The themes of growing up, especially with such life-and-death issues burdening oneself, make the kid wizard books a good read, despite the series having begun as middle grade.

caitpeterson said...

Favorite YA Fantasy? Gotta go with the classics - Robin McKinley's Hero & the Crown and The Blue Sword. Brilliant stories that never get old. I reread them every year!

Vicki said...

I like Harry Potter, too. I am currently reading Margo Lanagan's Tender Morsels and liking it.

Eileen Schuh: said...

I like winning books and have been quite lucky that way. I just finished reading Kelly Komm's "SACRIFICE" . It had elves and monsters and humans. A fun book--that I won.

UniquelyMoi said...

This sounds right up my teenager's alley!

Siddy said...

My all time favorite is the Immortal Series by Tamora Pierce but my most recent favorite is White Cat by Holly Black. The ending was absolutely INCREDIBLY.

;) I read a lot of YA fiction and fantasy. Most of the books on my shelf are YA fiction and fantasy.

Patricia Lynne said...

My all time favorite YA fantasy is Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater. Harry Potter definitely comes next. Usually I stick w/ YA paranormal. Love me some fangs and fur.
Great interview congrats on getting your book out there!