Archive for April, 2012

Interview with YA Author Shay Fabbro

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

 Hello friends!! Welcome back to the pub for another fantastic interview. This author is no stranger to the pub and was a featured author on Writing on the Rocks last year. Dr. Shay Fabbro is back to talk about her YA series that contains the books Dangerous Reflections and Twisted Reflections

KD:  Can you give us a brief synopsis of your Reflection series?

SF: Alexis Davenport is a teenage girl with a lot on her plate: deadbeat dad, forced to move away from her childhood friends, starting her freshman year in a  new school, being targeted by a bully on the first day of school…oh, and she is seeing the images of strange girls in the mirror. After being transferred to the body of the girl in the mirror, Alex soon realizes she must stop an man from changing the time line. Not an easy task for a teenager, but Alex has some gifts that will help her as she meets her destiny.

KD: Where did the idea for a time traveling teenager charged with saving the world come from?

SF: As I was getting ready for work one day, I imagined the reflection changing to someone else. And of course, rather than being scared of the notion, it sounded exciting! I think that’s pretty typical of writers ;)   During the course of the day, the idea started to grow and the idea of using the mirror to time travel solidified. When it came to creating the main character, I wanted to have a strong, smart, sassy female. The first series I wrote was adult scifi/fantasy so my original thought for the heroine was an adult, perhaps a stay-at-home mom. But I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and push myself a little. Thus the idea of writing a teen main character came to fruition.

KD: The main character, Alex, is teenager who absolutely loves history, reading, boys and the latest fashions. What was teenaged Shay like? 

SF: I was an awkward teen, that’s for sure. There’s a lot of me in Alex. However, most of the most awful stuff happened to me in middle school rather than high school but I was able to pull from those emotions and incorporate them into a main character in high school. I loved to read, loved science (I think I was born to be a biologist), had plenty of crushes, dealt with bullies, loved 80’s hair bands, used massive amounts of Aqua Net hairspray…ah, those were the days.

KD: In your guest post on my site you talked a little about getting into the mind of a teenager. How did you go about capturing the spirit of a modern day teenager?

SF: I did a lot of teenager watching while out and about. I also pulled a lot from my own experiences. Even though times may change, the things teens deal with are the same: boys, parents, trying to come into their own, finding their way in the world, schoolwork, making friends, the first kiss, gaining freedom in the form of a driver’s license.

KD: Thanks to her “gift” Alex has traveled to the South during the Civil War, to the times when the great pyramids of Egypt were being built and various other places and times. If you had the ability to control time travel, where would you go?

SF: I would go back and meet Jesus of Nazareth, listen to his words, perhaps witness his resurrection. It would also be awesome to go back and meet my ancestors, to actually speak to them, see if we have some of the same features, mannerisms, etc. Rather than having to rely on family trees and faded photographs, it would be so amazing to actually sit down and have a mug or ten of beer or wine and chat about their life.

KD:  What’s next in store for Alex Davenport?

SF: There is a LOT that’s going to happen in the third book. Alex is going to find an important ally, do some more traveling, and come face-to-face with Drifter. Does she have what it takes to save the world? You’ll have to read the trilogy to find out!

KD: What was your favorite part to write in this YA series?

SF: I loved writing the time travel scenes. I have never been much of a history buff so this was another area where I had to stretch myself and do a LOT of research. As a scientist, research is in my blood so I delved right in. I wanted to pick people from history that weren’t necessarily something everyone would know. I thought it might be educational and interesting at the same time!

KD:  What is easier for you to write, YA or Sci-fi? Why?

SF: Scifi for sure. I enjoy writing from multiple points of view. When writing YA, the only POV is the main character.

KD: Can you tell us a little about your Sci-fi novels?

SF: My scifi novels involve multiple planets, multiple alien species (which were fun to design!), gigantic mechanical beings that destroy entire worlds, heroes that must work together to fight the Mekans, romance, dark magic, good magic, advanced weapons, travel pods, portals that take the Chosen to various worlds (while changing their physical form to match the sentient species), and so much more!

KD:  Do you have anything exciting in the works?

SF: I’m currently working on the last book of my Portals of Destiny series. Once that is completed, I will begin working on the final Alexis Davenport series. I have some ideas for a series of crime/thriller novels.

 

Thanks so much for stopping by, Shay! We love to have you visit! Congratulations to Debbie S. George-Jones for winning one of Shay’s books! We’ll be in contact soon, Debbie!!

And thank you to all the patrons of the pub for supporting all these wonderful authors and for following my site. You guys are the best! 

 

GUEST POST: SHAY FABBRO ON WRITING YOUNG ADULT

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Oh happy day! My good friend and author, Shay Fabbro, stopped by my little pub for her blog tour! Check out her post and leave a comment and you may one of the TWO LUCKY PEOPLE WHO WILL WIN ONE OF HER TWO YA e-BOOKS! 

Now, without further ado, ladies and gents, please welcome Dr. Fab to the pub!!

 

When I ventured into writing, it made sense for me to stick to what I knew and loved: scifi/fantasy. My first novels were in this genre and while there were some tricky things to it, the ideas flowed naturally.

Then one day while getting ready for work and staring into the mirror, I had a thought. Wouldn’t it be cool to have the reflection change to someone else’s face? Of course the idea of being terrified never entered my mind. I stared at my reflection (which only had make-up on one eye, mind you) almost as if I could force my reflection to change. It never did. I thought about the idea all the way to work and by the time I got to my desk, the idea for Dangerous Reflections was taking shape.

Now, for this book, the heroine was going to be very different. Rather than being an alien from some distant world, or a magic-wielding elf from a forest, she was going to be an average, ordinary, human girl. And to add some depth, I decided to have her be a fifteen year-old girl rather than an adult.

Little did I know how out of my element I was heading!

I have never really read much young adult (YA). When I was younger, I tried to read Judy Blume and all that but it just didn’t hold my interest (epic fantasy was the only thing that kept me turning pages). When it came to starting on Dangerous Reflections, I tackled it like I did my scifi/fantasy novels.

And boy, was that the WRONG way to do it!

I had the opportunity to send several sample chapters to an agent (through someone’s blog) and she gave me some invaluable advice. I made the huge mistake of trying to write a YA book without understanding what elements make a YA book, well… a YA book!

The biggest thing I had to deal with was the point of view (POV). For my scifi/fantasy books, I had many different POVs since I had more than one main character. Each of them is important and showing the world through their eyes in a vital component in letting the reader catch a glimpse into their motivations and helps with empathy. Some of my characters seem harsh and despicable until you read things from their POV. I personally think the real world needs to take a lesson in POV; if we spent as much time seeing the world from an “enemy’s” eyes, we may find we have much more in common than we realize.

Now, in the case of YA, the POV is the main character and that’s it. I was making the mistake of adding the POVs of Alex’s mother AND aunt. This lovely agent pointed out that teens don’t care about what adults are thinking or feeling, in real life and especially in what they read. I had to use some creativity to let the possible adult readers (and they WILL care about what the adult’s motives are) know what makes the adults in the story tick. I ended up having Alex overhear (well, more like eavesdrop actually) a conversation between her mother and her aunt where she learns some very disturbing news about her father. And it worked brilliantly! The reader then knows what caused the rift between the mother and aunt, and they then get to read about Alex’s reaction to hearing an adult conversation that was clearly not meant for teen ears. Haven’t we all done that at some point? You get all hot and sweaty and can’t breathe. You don’t WANT to hear more and yet you can’t move from the spot.

I also had to really think about what motivates teens and think back to when I was that age (and it was a long time ago! LOL) and what things were important to me. And it was much different than what’s important to an adult character. I had to dredge up some painful memories of how I treated my folks and times when I hurt them deeply because I lashed out about some stupid thing or other. But that’s the thing! To a teenager, everything is the end of the world and it’s all about the drama.

What books have you read recently that really captured the YA voice and pulled you into the story? Two commenters will be chosen at RANDOM to win one of two e-books: Dangerous Reflections or Twisted Reflections!

Dangerous ReflectionsTwisted Reflections
Connect with Shay on her website, Facebook fanpage, or Twitter! She loves chatting with people about books they love, favorite fictional adventures you taken with a character, or anything else you’d like to chat about