AUTHOR CHAT ~ Sasha and Sarena Nanua

I recently got the honour interview the young authors of The Pendant Trilogy, Sasha and Sarena Nanua!

This is how the interview went,

What inspired you guys to start writing The Pendant Trilogy?

I (Sarena) was reading a book called The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong when I came up with the idea for our books. The cover of this book has a ruby on it–and I remember looking at the ruby and getting a strange image in my mind. The image was roughly something like three gemstones connected together to make the shape of a heart. When I’d come up with this, I thought it was something random–I didn’t think anything of it. This was in July 2010. In August that year, Sasha and I were coming up with ideas for a new book we wanted to write. I brought up that strange image, and at first Sasha thought I’d stolen the idea from someone else (which I did not!). After that, we started fleshing out a story, and came up with our first published YA novel The Gemstone, a tale of fantasy and magic!

What are some tips you would give to others wanting to write their own book someday?

I suggest that you read as much as possible. You’ll find that a lot of authors (if not all) say the same, because it’s true! We really learned how to write by reading lots and lots of books. You start to shape your writing and understand how to write well by reading a variety of books! After that, try writing a first draft, and don’t be discouraged if you find it difficult. First drafts are not easy for ANY author, no matter how experienced they are.

What other hobbies do you guys have other than writing?

Reading (obviously), and watching TV. We love shows like Once Upon A Time, Arrow, The Flash, Survivor, etc.

Were any of the characters inspired by people you know?

None of the characters are based off people we know; however, we did put a lot of our own family relationships into the books. For example, there are twins who have an older brother (just like us!). And Arica’s cousins come from England because we also have a lot of family who live there!

If you had to pick the actress that got to play Arica in a movie who would you cast?

That’s a tough question! I could never imagine anyone playing Arica. But in August, someone did suggest they thought Chloe Grace Moretz would be the perfect Arica! 😀

How long did it take you roughly to write your book?

The first draft took about six months for The Gemstone (August to February 2011). The book was published May 2012!

Do you have a special place that you like to sit and write at?

We like to vary up where we write (sometimes writing in different places provides more inspiration, rather than the usual!). Most of the time we write in our rooms or our dining room.

Who are your role models?

Good question! I’d say a major role model for us is J.K. Rowling. She’s gone through so much in her life, and to write Harry Potter is pretty amazing. Her work is inspiring to us, and in that way, she’s an inspirational figure for us as avid writers and readers.

Favorite Book?

Sasha: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Sarena: Harry Potter

Favorite Movie

Monster House! (And during Christmas, Elf!)

Favorite Singer/Band?

Arctic Monkeys/Imagine Dragons/Bastille/Destiny’s Child (and many, many more)

Dream place to visit?

Paris!

Favorite Food?

Pizza or Chinese

Celeb Crush?

Colin O’Donoghue? Haha

I want to thank the authors for giving up their time to do this interview, I recommend you check out their books!!

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AUTHOR CHAT ~ Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki

I was lucky enough to be able to interview the lovely and sweet authors of Branded, Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki!

Here’s how the interview went,

How did you guys first meet each other?

We met back in 1999 during college orientation.

What inspired you guys to start writing Branded?

We would meet every month and talk about books that we were reading. But, there was always something about the book that we always said we would have done differently. And we always agreed on what it was. So joking around we said the only way we would ever be 100% happy with a book, would be if we wrote it.

What are some tips you would give to others wanting to write their own book someday?

Write for yourself; write what you love and not what you think others would love. Take your time and let your imagination run wild. The first draft doesn’t have to sound or look pretty, just get the story out. When you go back again to start the next draft, then you can start to work on the details and things. But pressure will kill your imagination. So write for FUN!

What other hobbies do you guys have other than writing?

We read obviously when we can find the time. We are both mothers to young children so obviously that takes up a lot of our time. We both love weightlifting, hiking, and target shooting.

If you had to pick the actress and actor that got to play Lexi and Cole in a movie who would you cast?

This is a tough one. Because we would almost want to have an unknown or an up and coming actor and actress, because we think that would be neat to give them a chance like our agent and publisher did for us. But being in our 30’s, Josh Hartnett is always who we pictured as Cole. Lexi, could go so many ways.

How long did it take you roughly to write your book?

The first draft of Branded about 3 months.

Do you have a special place that you like to sit and write at?

Abi- I sit in my bedroom in my recliner.

Missy- I like to sit in my bed with the windows open for natural light.

Who are your role models?

For Abi- my father.

Missy- I’d say both of my moms and especially my Dad. My first/biological Mom was a strong, smart, person who was full of laughter. She passed away too young. My step-mom (although I don’t like to call her that) took us on, even though she was really young when she married my dad. I talk to her every day, she’s my best friend now. And my Dad, who has been through so much in his life, is my hero. He is my rock.

Here are some quick answer questions, where you can say the first thing that comes to mind:

Favorite Book?

Abi- The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Twilight, Eclipse, Outlander.

Missy- This one is tough. I read a lot of different genres outside of young adult so I’ll try to narrow it down. How Soccer Explains the World by Franklin Foer, The Game of Thrones series by George RR Martin, Shake Hands with the Devil by Roméo Dallaire, The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer, The Last Silk Dress by Ann Rinaldi, and Blood and Vengeance by Chuck Sudetic. 

Favorite Movie

Abi- The Hunger Games, Catching fire, Twilight, Titanic.

Missy- Transformers

Favorite Singer/Band?

Abi- Skillet and Ellie Goulding

Missy- Linkin Park, Third Eye Blind, right now I’m loving Coldplay’s newest album, and Skillet.

Dream place to visit?

Abi- St. John United States Virgin Islands (LOVE IT THERE)

Missy- I love Germany- the food and the people. I think the place I most want to visit now is Montana. I want to see big sky country and go for a run there. ☺

Favorite Food?

Abi- Italian food, coffee and eggs lol.

Missy- sushi. I could eat it every day.

Celeb Crush?

Abi- Sam Heughan at the moment.

Missy- I don’t celeb crush too much, but I do love Sam Heughan as well. I’ve always really liked Josh Hartnett & Eric Bana too. 

That concludes the interview! it was an honor to interview Abi and Missy, they are such lovely and inspiring people and I recommend you check out their book Branded now!!

GIRL ONLINE REVIEW

I give Girl Online by Zoe Sugg 5 stars

Girl Online tells the story of Penny. Penny has a hard time being herself around her friends and only with her best friend Elliot. Feeling this way, Penny makes a blog and goes by the anoymous name of ‘Girl Online’. On her blog Penny feels she can be herself and ask her blog followers anything. That is until she meets Noah. Meeting Noah changes Penny’s life for the good but also for the bad and could blow her cover as Girl Online.

From reading the book you really can’t really tell that this is Zoe’s first novel and seems pretty much like other authors I’ve read books from.

The story was different to anything I’ve ever read before, it had unique characters and it was good to have a new setting that I’ve never read about before (since most books I’ve read in this genre have been set in America but Girl Online is mainly set in Brighton)

The character Penny reminded me so much of myself. When I read I felt like I was her, I could feel everything that she went through in the book and really connected with her.

Girl Online was a cute and relatable book, definitely for lovers of Stephanie Perkins!

Can’t wait to read more of Zoe’s work

THE GEMSTONE REVIEW

I loved reading The Gemstone! It fitted perfect as an October read that was close to Halloween.

The Gemstone tells the story through the protagonist Arica Miller’s point of view. Arica is starting her Sophomore year at a new school. When she is given a gemstone necklace, her whole life is changed forever. Arica must protect her gemstone no matter what. Arica will soon find out more about her family past and the hidden secrets of her mysterious new school.

Arica Miller was an interesting character to read about, I loved how much her character developed and became really strong and independent.

The plot was unlike anything I have ever read before and made me not want to stop reading.

The Gemstone overall was a fast paced, exciting read that’s full of surprises!

BRANDED BOOK REVIEW!

By Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki

Plot: 50 Years ago, The Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In the Commanders mind the 7 deadly sins were the down fall in society.

To punish those guilty he created The Hole, a place sinners go once they were branded according to their sin.

More plot info:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17402117-branded

I liked this book so much because I felt that it  was new and I was exploring a place that was so unlike other dystopian novels. The writing style was awesome, you wouldn’t even be able to tell that two people wrote it (you know how some books you can tell when the authors change over? this book isn’t like that). I felt that the characters made really good development and left me thinking about them non stop.

Things I didn’t like. Nothing. Maybe just the time I have to wait until I can get my hands on the next books.

Star rating: 5/5
I hope this book becomes a movie its so so good!

To buy this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Branded-Sinners-Series-Volume-Ketner/dp/0989527417/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407748023&sr=8-1&keywords=branded+abi+ketner