Friday, March 14, 2014

Blog Tour: The Wolf's Cry by Natalie Crown - Interview & Giveaway



Thanks for stopping by my tour stop for The Wolf's Cry by Natalie Crown. This is a YA Fantasy book that released in January 2014. This is the first book in the The Semei Trilogy.  This tour will run March 10th-21st and consist of reviews, author interviews, guest posts, top tens and a giveaway.  Stop by the tour page for the full list of tour stops.

The Wolf's Cry
Book One in the Semei Trilogy

Natalie Crown

YA Fantasy
December 15, 2013

She is his weakness.
And she will ruin everything.
Kammy Helseth's idea of adventure never amounted to more than getting a boat across to the mainland and finally escaping to London. That was until she stumbled through the mouth of the forest into a world beneath our own, the world of the Semei.

Her only wish is to find her way home but when Jamie, her best friend, is taken into this new world of shapeshifters and Crystals she has no choice but to stand up to her fear and to remain beneath the surface. Hunted by Bagor, King of Alashdial, and those that are loyal to him, Kammy finds herself in the company of a group of outlaws led by Jad, a Prince with a bitter past and a similarly bitter demeanour.

They overcome age-old prejudice to find a way to work together. But Bagor knows a secret about the Crystals that threatens to change everything. Kammy and Jad must find a way to thwart the king and to save Jamie, but that is just the beginning. For Kammy is in possession of a Key and the fate of countless lives, both human and Semei, may rest in her hands.

Book Links:  
Goodreads | Amazon 


Interview with Author Natalie Crown

What inspired you to write The Wolf's Cry?
 Honestly, I don't think I can pinpoint one particular thing. I've actually been working on this series, on and off, for about ten years. So there have been all sorts of influences and all sorts of experiences that have impacted on it.
I've been writing for as long as I can remember, as cliché as that sounds, so I don't remember a particular time when I decided to do this. I always knew that I would write fantasy though, and my influences there were Raymond. E. Feist and Tamora Pierce. Then, a little later, J.K Rowling and Philip Pullman.
I discover new sources of inspiration every day. I like to think each source is a building block. I piece each block together, one by one, and I'm left with a creation that I hope people will enjoy.

Tell us about your main character. Who is Kammy?
 Kammy is a girl that is searching for her place in the world. She hates being stuck on her island, but she also can't quite force herself to find the courage to step away from the routine of her life.
That said, she never considers that 'her place' might be in a different world altogether. Nor does she ever imagine that her best friend's life will be endangered, forcing her to find courage from deep within.
What I love most about Kammy is that she isn't special because she has any secret power, or because she picks things up quickly. She's special because she tries and because she grows. She's terrified to start with, but that doesn't mean that she won't fight, or that she won't do everything she can to save her friends. I really love that about her. 

Are any of your characters inspired by people in your life, past or present?
 A bit like the inspiration for the book in general, I can't really think of any specific character inspirations. I'm rubbish at this! Ha.
Every person I have ever met has influenced me in some way, I'm sure. I think that's something that is kind of essential to writing. You should soak up every detail around you. Whether it's a person, a place or a feeling. Soak it up, write it down. You never know when it will pop up again.

Do you listen to music while writing? Is so, what music inspired The Wolf's Cry?
 I absolutely do. I don't really think music inspired The Wolf's Cry so much as The Wolf's Cry inspired what music I would listen to while writing.
I have a lot of soundtracks saved on Spotify for when I settle down to write. I think the most popular ones when writing TWC were Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Gladiator.
Harry Potter, particularly the earlier soundtracks, is perfect for the more light hearted sections. Lord of the Rings was good for when they were travelling. And Gladiator is my go to soundtrack for confrontations and action.
That said, I sometimes get so sucked up into my writing that I'll just listen to a soundtrack on a loop. I don't write scene by scene. I write what I write, and then the structure comes into it later. So in that sense, maybe the soundtracks influenced my writing more than I realised!

The Wolf's Cry is the first book of the Semei Trilogy. When can we expect the next book?
 The Lion's Pride will be released in December of this year and I am incredibly excited about it. It was hugely refreshing to work on, as it had been planned in detail for so long. I have recently finished the second draft so I am taking a short breather. Then I will look back over it with fresh eyes and start the slog again.
My cover artist is going to start working on it in March which is exciting because pretty covers.
But yeah, December 2014 for sure.

Describe your writing routine? What do you have to have nearby in order to get into the zone?
 I can write pretty much anywhere as long as I have music and headphones, but I definitely have a preferred scenario.
My first step is to tidy the space that I'm writing in, normally my room. I'll then force myself out of my pyjamas and into the shower, because feeling fresh helps. Who knew? I make a cup of tea, because what's the point in writing if I don't get to drink gallons of tea? Typically, I write by hand so I get one of my pretty notebooks out, and one of my pretty pens (when I say pretty, I mean it. I'm fussy about pens and notebooks. Oops), and I light a candle. Yes, even during the day.
The final step is the most difficult. I load up Spotify to pick a soundtrack, then I force myself to leave my laptop of the other side of my room so I don't get distracted.

What’s the hardest challenge you face as an author?
 I think the hardest thing is maintaining belief. I'm very up and down with this. Sometimes I am incredibly happy with the choices that I have made, in the book directly, but also with publication choices and the like. Other days I obsess over every line I have written and I convince myself I could have written something ten times better, and that I suck. I'd assume this is a pretty common issue for writers.
I also struggle to find time. I live in London and I work full time. I enjoy all aspects of my life at the moment but it's pretty hectic and it can get stressful. And then there are my attempts at having a social life...

What do you do when you’re not writing?
 It's all a bit boring without the writing!
I read?
I love spending time with friends and family and I try to put aside weekends for this, as it's almost impossible in the week. I also love travelling. I love seeing different cultures, and I am obsessed with history and with natural sights. I have Italian family so I am lucky to get to visit there a lot. I am also going to China in July which I cannot WAIT for.
I hope to save some money so that I can take a year out from work (not from writing) to go travelling properly.

Do you have any advice for new writers just entering the shark infested waters?
Hmm, what can I say that isn't completely obvious?
Don't rush.
Yeah, I actually think this is really important. If writing a book takes you years, then it takes you years. Churning something out in a few months isn't always the way to go. And this advice doesn't just apply to the writing process, but to the post writing stages as well. Don't rush publication. Check out all your options first. Get involved with the online book community because everybody is so helpful. Any little bits of advice that you can soak up will be worthwhile. 

This or That

Chocolate or Vanilla?
Vanilla. Especailly if it's creamy.

Sun or Moon?
Sun please.

Dragons or Griffins?
Dragons, duh.

Cats or Dogs?
Dogs. I am DESPERATE to get a dog. (I love cats too though)

Coffee or Tea?
TEA. TEA. TEA. I am a very stereotypical Brit in this regard. We really do drink tea ALL the time.

Salty or Sweet?
Salty, grazie.

Oceans or Mountains?
Mountains. My incredibly talented artist friend is currently painting me a mountain landscape and I am drooling with anticipation.

Paper or ebook?
Paper will always be number one for me. (But ebook is super handy)

Hero or Villain?
A great hero is more essential, but a great villain is a bonus.

Country or City?
I think I will always be a country girl at heart, and I'll end up in the country again one day. But I am loving the city life for now.


About the Author

I grew up in a village called Swilland, in the countryside of Suffolk, England. There wasn't much around, other than farms and fields, but for the most part I loved it, and I still do. I’m a passionate person by nature. I don’t just LIKE things, I LOVE things. Whether it’s a book, a film, or a sports team. Once I decide to enjoy something, I enjoy it to the MAX.

I’m a terrible cook. I prioritise essential social media work over keeping my flat tidy, because I know best. I

Onto my love of reading and, consequently, writing - it was my dad that played a big role in encouraging me to read. He didn't push me towards books necessarily; he simply read a lot himself. Then I would pick up his books and read them after him. I was reading high and epic fantasy from a very young age. I guess that might explain why I have always loved adventure stories with magic and intrigue and princes and princesses in.

I was aware that I wanted to ‘be a writer’ from a very young age. I was convinced I would be the first best seller that hadn't reached double figures in age yet! I wrote about the Danshees, furry creatures that lived through a mirror. I wrote about a Sand Bottle that transported a boy into a world of magic. I wrote about a sick girl finding a music boy that healed her, but transported her back in time. (Wow, I always have loved alternate universes…)

When I was eight I wrote my first novel called The Land of No Return. Despite the title, I am determined to return to it one day. I feel like I owe it to my past self. So, as you can see, I have always been writing. There have been times when I have gone weeks without scratching down a word. Then there are days where I churn out multiple chapters and only my body’s silly desire for sleep and/or food can stop me.

I write because I enjoy it. I write fantasy because I enjoy it. I try my hardest to put something of myself into my writing. I like to think my characters have depth, I like to think that my fantasy worlds reflect upon the real world in some way. You guys will be the judge of that but even if you don't agree I know that I at least try and I can do no more than that.

These days I live in North London and I love it. I work full time and London is a hectic city. Juggling work, writing and a social life is tough but nobody is forcing me to do it so I can't complain. The dream is that writing will be my career one day but it doesn't matter if I never quite make it. I love writing too much to ever pack it in.

I am desperate to get a dog. My mum suspects I miss my cats at home more than I miss her. I am a devout Arsenal/Ferrari/Rafael Nadal fan. I get all mad when confronted with a case of social injustice and then I get all mad when people take the fight for social justice too far. I mostly keep those thoughts to myself and simmer with rage. I watch good TV and bad TV, because I can. What I can’t do is enjoy bad books (subjective opinion of course). I just can’t.

Find the author:
2 $50 Amazon Gift Cards (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This tour was organized by CBB Book Promotions
 

11 comments:

  1. When I read your This and That interview I thought I had answered the questions since they were my answers. lol

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. I love this or that interviews! We get to see how much of the little things we have in common.

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  2. Poor Nat, she really does need a dog! Thanks for hosting a tour stop Kimber Leigh!

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    1. My pleasure! Dogs are wonderful. I have three (including an 80 pound goldendoodle0 lying on my legs right now. Can't feel my feet.

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    2. Ahhh I'm so jealous.

      I had a dog throughout childhood and he passed away when I was at uni. Bless him, he was 16 years old! I've wanted another for years now but I just can't right now :((

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  3. I'm looking forward to reading your book. I really like the cover :)
    I enjoy tea and paper will always be my first choice as well.
    Thanks
    Lori H

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  4. Thanks for taking part in the tour :) Hope you enjoy reading!

    And I really enjoyed answering the interview questions!

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    1. It was my pleasure, Natalie! BTW, I love the wolf on your cover!!

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