Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Good Morning, Bookworms!

Welcome to the second day of Abi Ketner's and Missy Kalicicki's blog tour. Branded is being released a second time in June with additional content and jazzed up cover. How about a little taste before you dive into the post today?
Fifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best.
Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home.
Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.
It is amazing to be a part of this mega event to spread the word about a uniquely great dystopia for young adults. I was given the opportunity to do an interview with both authors. Check out the fabulous results below.

Amy) The voice of your story is so seamless it amazes me that there are two authors. How do you go about sharing the writing load? Does one of you handle certain scenes and then mesh them all together, or is there another method to the greatness?

A & M) This is probably the most popular question people ask us. We have always talked about and shared books we enjoyed. We've also been close friends since 1999, so our friendship has already weathered a lot of changes. It was never really a choice to co-author... it was just something we did because it worked. We both have different strengths we bring to the table, and so capitalizing on those strengths came easy. There are definitely bonuses too. We can critique each other's writing, we spur each other on with new ideas for scenes and characters, and we get to share in the highs and lows of being writers. As far as our process, well, it's so intertwined sometimes you can't really tell who is writing what. We both have ideas and scenes and sometimes we hand things off to each other just because we know the other person might be able to write it better. Most of the time though, everything you read has been touched by both of us. :)

Amy) The rebranding (have to love a pun as writer) of your story has been pretty remarkable. What gave you the resolve to publish [yet another] young adult dystopian novel in today's market? --I have to admit I am very happy you did since your story is incredibly different in its disgusting reality. 

A & M) Honestly, it was never our plan to publish Branded. We wrote as a hobby, and enjoyed just having Lexi spill her story into our minds. So, we never thought about the market, nor did we worry about it. We love dystopian books and so we wrote what we love. We wanted Branded to be different. Unique. For one, 
we don’t use any sci-fi, which honestly makes it harder for us to write. We also wanted a stronger romance component. And as far as the violence… it’s real. We decided to self-publish when we sent the manuscript to an editor, and she wrote back this premise is amazing. So we talked about it and said hey why not, we can try to self-publish. It wasn’t until Michelle from Novels on the Run blog read the first chapter and told us it’s the best first chapter she’s ever read. Michelle gave us that spark. The spark we needed to believe,
maybe, just maybe, someone will like this book. Branded was only going to be a one book, not a series, but our editor talked us into making it into a series. So we had to go back and change the ending. Our series will be full of twists and turns and it is a dystopian novel, so you never know what’s going to happen next. We never plan ahead much we just write. We let Lexi lead the way. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true… you character really will tell you what they want to do. But, we write what we love and it doesn’t mean our readers will love everything we write, but again, it’s about Lexi and her journey.

Amy) How have your found the published route of writing different from your indie, self-published route? Do you prefer one method over the other? 

A & K) As of right now, we are still self-published. We were lucky enough to land the best agent around. We had hundreds of rejections, and most were because it was a dystopian. But when Stacey our agent read Branded, she fell in love with it and believed in our story. We couldn’t believe an agent wanted to sign us. We still can’t. And Stacey knows a how hard it is to sell a dystopian novel, but she wanted us. So all we can say at this time is, we are still self-published.

Amy) Do you have any exclusive, sneak-peek, leaked materials of Hunted for us hungry fans? 

A & K) Like we said before, we just write and let Lexi lead the way. We write the first draft as it flows out of our heads. After we are done, we go back and change things. So we can’t give a sneak peak because it might be there now, but we could always change it. We will say this, be prepared, it’s not fun being HUNTED.

I like being left on that note. Looks to me like we have some great things to be looking forward to in the next of the Branded series (that wasn't even supposed to be a series--good push by the agent there to get more of this great story!)

You can keep in touch with Abi and Missy at their website, follow them on Twitter, or check out their Facebook page. 

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