Thursday, July 5, 2012

Introducing author Rachel McClellan & Giveaway!

Hello guys,
I wanted to introduce author Rachel McClellan and her book "Fractured Light", which is one of the books I really enjoyed reading. Rachel has also been great in agreeing to provide me some copies of her book for a giveaway. Yes, you got that right! So, stay with us, in this short interview to learn more about her and her novel. Oh, and my review is available here.
Hello Rachel! It's so nice to have you here at YA Story Teller. How did you decide to become a writer?

When I was a girl I wanted to be a number of things. The first was a veterinarian. I loved animals. Then I wanted to be a lawyer. I loved to prove my point (though I often failed). Then I wanted to be a psychologist. I loved to get inside peoples heads. Then I wanted to be an actress. I loved pretending to be someone else. But then I realized that through writing I could be it all and more.
Did any experiences of yours influence the story in Fractured Light?
Oh, good question. I didn't share any of Llona's exact experiences, but we do share the same desire to be strong and not weak willed, especially when it comes to a dude. As girls, we should want a guy in our life, not need one.

Which scene/chapter was the most difficult to write?

The beginning for sure. I rewrote it several times. It's hard to know where someone's story begins, but it's easy to know where it ends. 
If you could step into the shoes of any fictional character, which one would it be?

I would love to be Anne from Anne of Green Gables. She lived a beautiful, simple life, but it was still filled with adventures. 
 
As readers, we enjoy knowing random facts about our favorite authors. What would be your answers to those?
Favorite book- Right now? Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. 
Fictional boyfriend - Odd Thomas 
Favorite place to relax - The dark forests of Maine
Favorite place to write - Graveyards, forests, parks, my bed 
Do you have a pet - Before my family and I moved, we owned a German Shepherd, a tarantula and a red tailed boa.

I'm also thrilled to share with you an excerpt of "Fractured Light", one that was actually among my favorite. Here it is, so enjoy! :)

Christian held my hand as he led me into the magically transformed high school gym. At least I think it was the gym. The walls had been covered in black material; bright lights peeked from holes like stars in the night sky. More lights covered the ceiling and in the corner of the room, a single bright light had been made to look like a full moon. Navy blue and white sheer material draped gracefully across parts of the gym and clusters of real pine trees were spread sporadically throughout. It was like walking through a setting of Shakespeare’s AMidsummer Night’s Dream.

“And the award for the best prom decorations goes to Highland,” I breathed.

“Someone sure went all out,” Christian agreed. “This is a hundred times better than my last prom.”

I stopped. “You went to prom?”

“Yeah.”

I waited a few seconds before I said, as casually as possible, “Who’d you go with?”

Christian grinned. “Jealousy doesn’t become you.”

“I’m not jealous, just curious.”

“Right.” We stood in silence for a minute, looking around the gym, until I couldn’t stand it anymore. “What did she look like?” I said. “Again, just curious.”

He laughed hard. When he finally stopped, he held his hand to my face. “You are the Taj Mahal and she was my grandfather’s shed. There is no comparison.”

This satisfied me, for the time being anyway. It wasn’t until just now that I realized how much I didn’t know about his past. He could’ve had lots of girls before me. I closed my eyes tight to get the image out of my mind.

“Let’s dance,” he said suddenly and pulled me onto the dance floor.

“Shouldn’t we wait for the others?” I asked.

“They’ll find us.”

The song playing was a fast pop song by a female singer I didn’t recognize, but that didn’t surprise me. This wasn’t my type of music, but it was much easier to dance to then my twisted, dark favorites. When the song ended and another began, a much slower one, Christian didn’t ask, he just pulled me close to his chest and wrapped his arms around me. Together our bodies swayed as one to the beat of the music. I raised my head until our cheeks touched. His five o’clock shadow scraped against my skin, sending a pleasurable chill up my spine. A sigh slipped from my throat just as he tilted his head. His lips grazed my neck and his hands tightened on my back, pressing my body against his.

At this moment I knew exactly what he wanted, for it mirrored my own desires. We wanted to be together, without feeling guilty, without having to worry about the rules, without having to worry about the consequences. Whether we’d admit it or not, we were two teenagers in love. My head lifted until our eyes met. He leaned his head toward mine and his lips parted just barely. I lifted on my toes to meet him halfway and closed my eyes.

“Hey guys!”

The words were like the sound of two trains crashing together, forcing Christian and I apart. We both opened our eyes and stared at each other. He gave me a weak smile. I didn’t return it.

Christian turned away from me, but kept his hand on my back. To Matt and Adam he said, “Where’s the girls?”

“Late, I guess,” Adam shrugged.

“You look great, Llona,” Matt said.

“Thanks. You look good too.” Matt was the type of man who was born to wear a tux. It looked natural on him, like a second skin. “So do the decorations exceed your expectations?” I asked.

Matt glanced around. “I must admit, it’s not what I’d expected.” He looked back at me and then to Christian. “Could I have one dance? Would you mind?”

Christian visibly tensed but, ever the gentleman, he said, “If it’s all right with her.”

“Of course.” I reached for Matt’s hand.

“Come on, Christian. Let’s get a drink,” Adam said, playfully shoving Christian forward.

“I can never tell what’s going on between you two,” Matt said, once we began to dance.

“That makes two of us.”

“So what are you going to do after high school?” he asked.

“Not a hundred percent sure, but I think I’ll go to the same school my mother went to.”

“Where’s that?” he asked.

“New York.”

He seemed taken back. “New York, huh? “

“Far, right? What about you? Are you still going into politics?”

“That’s the plan. And I won’t be too far. D.C. is only five or six hours away.”

“So you got the internship?”

He nodded.

“Congratulations! That’s so cool. Are you going to attend college there too? Or just do the summer intern thing and then come back?”

“I’m still trying to decide. I did get accepted to NYU.

Maybe I’ll come keep you company.” He smiled.

“That would be awesome.” The music, another slow song, was suddenly having a hypnotic effect on me. I closed my eyes and relaxed more fully into Matt.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

His voice sounded miles away. Before I had a chance to answer, he stopped moving, reached into his pocket, and pulled out a vibrating cell phone.

“It’s from Tracey.” He flipped open his phone and read the text message. “Odd.”

“What?”

“She says she’s at your house. And who’s Angel?”

“Huh?” I took the phone from him. The message read, “At Llona’s house. With Angel.” I read it over and over until I thought my legs might give out. My Angel. The letter. My mother’s letter. No—not my mother’s letter. Her killer’s letter. And now he was back for me.


And now, for the giveaway! Please just follow the rafflecopter below, and enter as many times as you like. Two lucky winners will be chosen in two weeks. So, good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway