Thursday, March 16, 2017

Interview With Elodia Strain

I am so thrilled to be featuring my friend, Elodia Strain. We have been online friends since 2007 when I devoured her first book, The Icing on the Cake. We have read and blurbed each other's books through the years since then. She was one of the first to read my latest manuscript. Her support for this still-unpublished book has been enormous.

We were blog buddies, and with a few other awesome ladies, started the Ink Ladies blog several years back. We have been hanging out online for years, and I can't wait to meet her in real life one of these days!

I am excited to announce her newest book, The Dating Experiment. I had the pleasure to interview Elodia. Read our fun interview below. 

Here is a little bit about her new book, The Dating Experiment.
After losing her job, her house, and her guy, the last thing Gabby wants to do is be in a dating experiment--especially with her ex. Her only chance of making it through is with help from her best friend, Ian. As she participates in the study and its hilariously awkward dates, Gabby begins to wonder: can science lead her to her perfect match? Or will she have to find him all on her own?

What was your inspiration for this book? 
The idea for this book actually started at the grocery store. My husband and I were shopping and we saw an ad—for soap, I think it was—that said something like, “Now 50% Better!” We started talking about research studies and statistics and whether or not we should buy the soap, and then he said, “Maybe you could have a research study in one of your books.” You know you’re married to an author when you talk about plotlines while shopping for toiletries. So he gets all the credit.

Do you have anything in common with your main character, Gabby? 
Well…I share her love of Nancy Drew books, her fascination with the fifties, her soft spot for young people doing good things in the world. And on a larger scale, I share her questions about luck. I often feel terribly unlucky. I have a single C on my college transcript because I didn’t get the email where my professor explained he’d made a grading mistake and needed the entire class to re-send our finals. I have an extraordinarily overzealous immune system. I know way too much about cars because I’ve spent many a day of my driving life on the side of the road with an overheating radiator/broken clutch/shredded fan belt. But deep down, at the end of the day, as I’m thanking God for all I have, I feel so, so blessed.

How do you manage to bring so much humor to your books? 
I honestly don’t know. When my first book came out, my own brother said to my dad, “I didn’t know Dia was funny.” My dad and my brothers have this amazing stand-up comedian kind of wit where they can think of something hilarious right on the spot. I don’t have that. If I think of something funny to say, it’s hours/days/months after the moment has passed. The first drafts of my books have a lot of spots where I literally type in parentheses (think of something funny) and then hope something comes to me. And if it does, I am immensely thankful. Because infusing humor into my writing is something that has become very important to me. Life is hard. I want to make it a little bit less so for anyone and everyone to reads my books.

Who is your book crush? 
Sarah Mlynowski, hands down. I love everything she’s written. She crosses genres and audience ages and somehow it all just works. I remember reading an interview with her where the interviewer asked, and I’m paraphrasing here, “What is the biggest difference between writing Young Adult and Adult novels?” and she said that she didn’t notice much of a difference except for page length. That’s absolutely astonishing to me! Because my answer to that question would have been something like, “Well, there are hundreds of differences, starting with the fact that I have to eat a different breakfast when I’m writing YA and…” So, yeah, she’s awesome. 

Who is your favorite female book character? 
I love this question! It’s actually a tie. Ruby Oliver from E. Lockhart’s Ruby Oliver novels and Emma Corrigan from Sophie Kinsella’s Can You Keep a Secret?

Tell us about GLAs (Good Little Anythings) in the book
This was a really important part of the book for me. I feel like so much is bogging us down these days: Politics, food allergies, the cancellation of The Grinder. I have experienced first hand the miraculous power of a good deed. In fact, I have a Mylar balloon that I got from a dear friend on Valentine’s Day that is still clinging to the ceiling of my dining room, a whole month later. And every time I see it, it brightens me up inside. I don’t think it’s said enough how truly immense any act of goodness is—no matter what it is, and no matter how small it may seem.

Tell us about your next project. 
My next project….Well…I’m actually floating some ideas right now with a few of my personal favorite authors for some kind of collaboration, so that is super exciting. I’ve also started to write my next romance, but it’s still just a baby of an idea. I guess it’s time to head to the grocery store for a little inspiration!

Thanks, Elodia, for taking the time to answer my interview questions. Find out more about Elodia on her website I  want to read the book even more now. The Dating Experiment is on my Kindle, and I can not wait to read it!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Teen Bookfest by the Bay.

Monday, July 29, 2013

I Could Spot Cricket In A Crowded Room: How Stephanie Perkins Nails Characterization

I am a sucker for a book with good characterization. When I'm reading, I want to be able to visualize the characters, to imagine what they look like and how they carry themselves. Not every author can pull this off. Many times when I'm reading a book, I can't get a good visual of the character or the author doesn't do enough to help me really know the character.

Other times, authors do an amazing job of developing their characters so that I feel like I actually know them. In Young Adult literature, John Green and Stephanie Perkins are experts at this. Today, I want to focus on Stephanie Perkins.

In her novel, Lola and the Boy Next Door, Perkins marvelously develops her characters. This is evident in both, Lola and Cricket. I'd like to focus on Cricket.

Cricket Bell is Lola's neighbor and through Perkins' excellent descriptions, we learn that he is tall and lanky and also that his hair is tall. His hair is floppy, but also stands up, like a mad scientist. Cricket is particular about his pants. He wears slim-fitting, pin stripped pants and vintage shirts. Sometimes his pants are purposefully short to show off interesting socks. He wears rubber bands on his wrist. Cricket writes messages on his had, such as Carpe Diem or eggs to remember to buy eggs.

All of these characteristics help the reader really know and connect with Cricket. If I walked into a crowded room, I would easily be able to spot Cricket Bell.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Book Signing at Barnes and Noble

Last Saturday, I had a book signing at Barnes and Noble. I was signing with Nichole Giles, author of Descendant. It went really well. I had friends from work and church come. There were also young readers that came out to buy books. I even talked to a few young people who want to be writers themselves. 

In the past, all of my book signings have been solo. It was so nice to sign with Nichole there to sign with. I think I enjoy joint signings so much more. I hope to have more joint signings in the future. 

It was such a great day. Thanks to all the people that came out to buy books. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Fiction Fest

In anticipation of my book's release, my publisher has posted a sneak peek. Click on the link below to Cedar Fort's Fiction Fest to read an excerpt. Release day is May 14!

Monday, April 29, 2013

I will be doing a blog tour for my upcoming book, The Huaca. Click here to see which blogs will be participating. Also, let me know if you are interested in participating in my blog tour.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I love Barnes And Noble. My husband and I took two of our kids there last weekend to buy Legos and books. I was so happy to see that the promotional poster is up for the book signing that Nichole Giles and I will be doing on May 18th. 

Here is the information about our signing: 
Author Signing
Join us as we welcome authors Marcia Mickelson and Nichole Giles. Ms. Mickelson will be debuting her new book, a haunting mystery titled The Huaca. Ms. Giles will also be signing copies of her new book, a teen paranormal titled Descendant.
Saturday May 18, 2013 1:30 PM to 3:30

Corpus Christi
5129 Blanche D Moore Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78411, 361-992-1339

There is also a sign on the outside. So exciting.