Published by: Ig Publishing
Publication date: October 11th 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
October is an ordinary girl. From her plain looks to her average grades, there seems to be nothing special about her. Then, three days before her eighteenth birthday, she develops a strange itch that won’t go away, and her life is turned upside down. Suddenly, she can hear dogs talk, make crows fly, and two new and very handsome boys at school are vying for her affections. After she starts “transplanting” herself through solid rock, October learns that she is not ordinary at all, but the daughter of a troll princess and a fairy prince, and a pawn in a deadly war between the trolls and the fairies. Now October will have to use all of her growing powers to save her family, and stop a mysterious evil that threatens to destroy the fairy world.
In the fantastical vein of authors such as Julie Kagawa and Holly Black, Extraordinary October takes us on a magical journey from the streets of Los Angeles to the beautiful and mythical underground fairy kingdom.
Hi Two Chicks on Books! Thank you so much for having me. You have a wonderful blog, so much interesting stuff and all about the books I love.
For the readers: can you tell us a little bit about EXTRAORDINARY OCTOBER and the characters?
EXTRAORDINARY OCTOBER is about a high school senior who thinks she’s absolutely ordinary and average in every way. The only thing unusual is her name, October, and that just makes people laugh. Then, days before her eighteenth birthday, she develops a strange itch that won’t go away and her life is turned upside down. Suddenly, crows are after her and she can understand animals, she sees things she never saw before and a strange mark appears on her leg. On top of that, a couple of handsome guys at school are vying for her affections. October learns she is not ordinary at all, but the daughter of a troll princess and a fairy prince, and a pawn in a deadly war between the trolls and the fairies. Suddenly she’s extraordinary, and that just might get her killed.
Is this a standalone or a series? And if it’s a series do you have a title for book 2 yet? And if it’s a standalone what are you working on next?
I wrote it as a stand alone, but friends have been pushing me to write another eleven (!!) books. One for every month: Superlative November, Confounding December, Tumultuous January, etc. As yet I don’t have a plan for that, although if anyone wants to send me title ideas, maybe it will inspire me. I’m currently working on a mystery about a dogcatcher – oops, they hate that term -- I mean an animal control officer.
Were any of the characters in the book inspired by people from your real life?
I think all the characters I’ve ever written contain bits of people I know. October has a kind of wiseass voice that my daughter sometimes uses. She was the inspiration for this book; she was horribly teased in elementary school about her belief in fairies and magical beings and when she was about 14 she said to me, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could turn into a fairy now and show all those kids?” The idea was born! So there is a lot of her in it. In the book there’s a boy at school who teases October who is based on one of those elementary school bullies.
Who was your favorite character to write? What about your least favorite?
My favorite character to write was October. I loved being inside her head, figuring things out, becoming aware—with her—of her power and strength and intelligence. The hardest character to write was Trevor, one of the two boys after her. It was easy to make him a bad guy, but I wanted him to be more likeable, more complicated than that. He wasn’t a bad guy, only misguided.
What is your favorite passage/scene in EXTRAORDINARY OCTOBER?
It’s short, but I’m partial to the scene with the fireflies. October sees them out the window of the bus and gets out a couple stops early to look at them up close. They make her happy – as they do me whenever I see them. We don’t have fireflies in Los Angeles and I miss them. Seeing them out the bus window is as rare and magical as as if it had snowed in LA – in just that one empty lot. October’s never seen fireflies before and she is entranced. Later they come to her aid, but that first scene always makes me smile.
What kind of research did you have to do for the story?
Kind of embarrassing to say, but I did go to a hypnotist a couple of times. I heard it would help my insomnia and I thought I’d try it, plus I was so curious. I guess I could call it research. It helped me come up with Madame Gold, although it didn’t help with my insomnia! And I spent time hiking the LA River and thinking about the entrance to fairyland. Parts of the river are beautiful and lush, but there are homeless encampments under the trees and lots of trash. I saw an egret, a stunning white crane-like bird, standing on a rusty shopping cart surrounded by garbage.
Who is your ultimate book boyfriend?
Oh jeez, do I have to say Mr. Darcy? Of course, of course Mr. Darcy. But actually King Arthur always did it for me. Not Lancelot, the elitist creep. I always thought Guinevere was an idiot to fool around with him when she was married to King Arthur. And I had a little thing for Merlin too, but the young Merlin of course. It’d be handy to have a magical boyfriend.
What inspired you to write YA?
As I said above, it was my daughter. Because of her experience, I wanted to write a story about a girl who sees magic where others don’t and who doesn’t listen to the naysayers and realizes her own self-worth. She gains confidence. I also wanted it to be about accepting other people for who they are, and being open to new things. I wanted her to be a young protagonist so these discoveries would be extraordinary.
Lightening Round Questions
What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re dying to read?
I am really looking forward to Lilliam Rivera’s The Education of Margot Sanchez. It’s not a fantasy or magical, but Rivera is a great writer and this is a story about a girl whose father grounds her and she will do anything to get out of it.
What Hogwarts House would the Sorting Hat place you in?
Twitter or Facebook?
I like to read Twitter, but rarely does someone like my tweets! I have more active friends on Facebook. As a countdown to the Extraordinary October launch, I’m doing an alphabetical listing of a magical creature a day on Facebook. That has been so much fun. Finding a creature for “J” was really difficult.
Poison Ivy! She’s a supervillain and an environmentalist. Love that she uses plant toxins to destroy her enemies – while trying to save the earth.
Favorite TV show?
I loved Braindead – but it’s over. The politics and ridiculousness (maybe those two things always go together?) made me laugh out loud.
Sweet or Salty?
Salty. I will eat popcorn any time of the day or night. Right now!
I don’t know how to swim and I’m kind of afraid of water over my head. Swimming pool? Okay. Ocean? Not so much.
Song you can’t get enough of right now?
Can’t Feel My Face by The Weekend
Fall Movie you’re most looking forward to?
“La La Land” with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. It looks romantic and absolutely magical. Just watching the trailer made me cry.
I have always written and always wanted to be a writer, but didn’t think I could make a living at it. So I became a mime. (You can imagine what my father had to say about that.) I worked on the streets of NYC with two partners, stopping traffic in front of the Met and annoying tourists. When, to my great surprise, that didn’t work out, I returned to school in film–thinking screenwriters made a living. And when I had ten scripts and my agent had stopped returning my calls, I wrote a novel. I did it just because I wanted to love writing again and not think about selling or casting or marketability. That novel was Skin Deep, and it’s a testament to writing from your heart that the first person to read it, bought it. I’ve been trying to write from the heart ever since.
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