By- M.A. George
Genre- YA Paranormal
Publication Date- April 16th, 2014
Meet Layla McKelland:
Novelist (unpublished, but cut her some slack…seventeen is a bit early to despair),
Slightly neurotic introvert (Alright, let’s be honest…there’s no “slightly” about it),
International Woman of Mystery, and…
Okay, just scratch the bio.
The only real “mystery” in Layla’s life is why her father has never been on the scene. Or why her mother drags Layla to a new coastal home every year.
Nothing about the latest hometown seems too newsworthy…until a routine day at the beach leaves Layla questioning whether she’s read one too many paranormal fantasy novels. The plot thickens when a random guy claims to know things about her father—a bizarre claim he backs up with an equally impossible stunt. And Layla soon finds herself on the wrong side of a mysterious attempted drowning…on her own kitchen floor.
When all is done, Layla will attest that fact is far stranger than fiction. And nothing in real life is ever as transparent as it seems…Not even water.
Especially not water.
1. Where do you come up with the ideas for your books, they are so different than anything else out there?
Thank you, Kj! I suppose it’s a testament to the bizarre inner workings of my brain. These images just pop up somewhere in the back of my mind—almost like little snippets of a movie trailer—and I’m compelled to play through “the rest of the story” in my head. Who are these characters? What are their names? Why did that guy just turn into a puddle, and is he really a psychopath or just misunderstood? Once I have a premise in mind, thus begins the mad frenzy of typing to put the story into words.
2. You make me want to write because I adore out of the box thinking, what advice would you give a beginner?
Best compliment ever. Thanks! Out-of-the-box thinking is definitely a great place to start. I would say, don’t be afraid to run with your imagination. Before I truly began writing novels, I spent far too long waiting for The Perfect Plot Idea to arrive. I thought I needed to have the whole storyline brilliantly conceived before I began word one. Now I realize that just taking an idea and running with it sparks off so many more creative ideas, and the story will take shape as you go along. In other words, don’t wait for all the details to fall into place before you start. Just start. You might surprise yourself at how quickly the wheels start spinning. And if you realize something just isn’t falling into place, you can always go back and ax it later.
3. Did you see the story in your head before you started writing or did it just blindside you one day?
New story ideas very randomly pop into my brain, usually when I’m not necessarily trying to think of a new premise. I have absolutely no idea where they come from. The idea for Aqua brewed in my head for a good while; because at the time, I was still working on completing my Proximity series. I typed up a very rough outline with random thoughts, then shoved the file it into the “new projects” folder on my desktop until I was ready to turn my full attention to it. We’re not going to talk about the initial working title for Aqua. So bad. Beyond bad. Ridiculous, way-too-long, not-even-a-real-word bad.
4. Are you a water baby, do you need to be near water?
I love the water and love to swim, but sadly I’ve never actually lived near a body of water (unless you count the dried-up creek behind my childhood home). Nor have I ever lived in a home with a pool. Scandalous, really. I’m working on moving the fam to a quiet, secluded island somewhere in the Pacific. All I have left to do is buy a winning lottery ticket and pack our bags. Plus find an unoccupied island with magical access to a grocery store. And an avocado tree. I love avocados.
5. Was there a lot of research with this book or did you wing some of it?
Plenty of winging it (that’s the joy of paranormal fiction), but actually a surprising amount of research went into Aqua too. I read quite a bit about the Earth’s oceans—depth, temperatures, sea life, the history of deep sea exploration—and even wound up delving into biology and physics (I can actually quote the meanings of “homeoviscous adaptation” and “terahertz radiation”, but I’m pretty sure I’ll forget them by next week). When I was looking for the right way to describe the language spoken by several of the characters, I listened to YouTube videos of people speaking Brazilian Portuguese and Ukrainian. Sadly, I still cannot speak a lick of either. And Google maps are the best thing ever. LOVE the satellite images and street-level views. While some of the locations described in the book are familiar to me, I’ve never actually visited Greenland. Tried to talk the hubby into a field-research trip, but he didn’t go for it. Maybe once I pick up that winning lottery ticket…
I want to take a moment and thank M.A. George for the wonderful interview and the terrific new book! Next up, my review of Aqua.
*** Kj Says ***
Layla is just your ordinary 17 year old who just happens to move every year on her birthday. She is a book lover & writer, oh yes did I mention her homes are always near water? This year the move includes a cute boy, water, some questions to her sanity, water, and then full blown amazement. Come join the ride that is Layla’s life!
M.A. George has a knack of writing her books so you feel like you are in the grasp of a warm loving friend. You sink into the storyline to absorb the words and you are almost unaware that you feel like you are living them. Finishing her book feels like something wonderful has ended and you really need it back…now. This book is absolutely awesome and I will gladly recommend it. Many thanks to the author for supplying me with her book to read and review.
About the Author-
M. A. George is part proud mother of two adorable children, part super top secret agent…Oops, probably just lost that job.
Writing is what keeps her up into the wee hours of the night. Fortunately, she has a lot of energy (Read: caffeine is her friend). She has a bit of an obsession with music (It does a fantastic job of tuning out rambunctious children while she attempts to focus).
She sincerely hopes people out there enjoy reading her work as much as she enjoys writing it. And if anyone hears of work for a super top secret agent, she’s now available (Discretion guaranteed…).