Genre: Fantasy,Young Adult Publication.Date July 16th 2014 Pages: 179 Published By: Elephantine Publishing Website SaraJean Panek Between The Layers Goodreads My review copy: I received a copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review.
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I’ve always been on the run. From my guilt about the things I couldn’t change, and from the voice in my head that won’t let me be normal. But yesterday Tommy and I were in a car accident on the way home from school. When I woke up, Tommy was gone, and so was the world I grew up in. Now I’m running less in a metaphorical way, and more in a “pick up the pace if you don’t want to die” way. Why? Because my eyes are blue, and I’m lost in a fantasy world where that means I’m different. It means I might not be human. It means I should already be extinct, and someone called “The Regent” is determined to make me that way.
I need to find the way home, and before I do that, I need to find Tommy. He’s only in this mess because of me. I can’t do it on my own, but it’s hard to know who to trust when everyone keeps trying to kill me.
I couldn't shake the feeling that I seemed to be caught in the middle of something very strange and very dangerous, with a very "Toto, I don't think we're in south-eastern Maine anymore" vibe.
These people, I muttered, annoyed. If they don't even have decent writing tools, what am I going to do when I have to go to the bathroom? I glanced back at the tub in the corner and looked again at the bowl that sat next to it. The realization that it was a chamber pot slapped me in the face.
There were dozens of them, maybe more than a hundred, who were floating around inside my head and making me remember things I had never experienced. I was certain that they had taken the oath, and I could feel their deaths like notches on my bones.
The Midnight Forest, he began, known before the Vanishing as the Fae Forest, stands at the top of the world. No ship sails past it, no map shows any land beyond it. No one knows how far it extends or how many secrets it conceals. We know only that it hides a core in which the Source of all magic lies. the magic radiates out from their core, soaking into the very land around it, transforming everything. The farther the magic travels from the core, the more diluted it becomes, until it doesn't even manifest.
When and why did you begin writing?
Honestly, I've been writing as long as I can remember. Before I even knew how to write, I would scribble on pages and pages of yellow legal pads and then "read" my stories to anyone who would listen. I've just always been very imaginative.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Pretty early on. Probably 3rd grade. I've been fortunate enough to have some amazing teachers in my life, several of whom saw a talent for writing in me and encouraged it. In 3rd grade, I was selected to go to special workshop for gifted writers, and I've thought of myself as a writer ever since.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Tamora Pierce. I absolutely love the Tortall books, and the first novel I ever began (not published) was very much inspired by them.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
No, I'm not trying to spread a message or get a point across. Writing for me is an escape, and I want my story to be the same for my readers.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
There were some secondary characters that were based on my friends, but they didn't survive the revision process. But Serendipity's family is loosely based on my own, especially her two older brothers.
What books have most influenced your life?
Again, Tamora Pierce is a huge influence on me. Also the Fall of Ile-Rien series by Martha Wells. Tremaine is an awesome character, and I wish I had written her.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Heather Hildenbrand IS my mentor. She's such a talented writer, and so driven. Everything I know about the business, I learned from her.
What book are you reading now?
Brood of Bones by A. E. Marling. I love it so far!
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I've recently heard great things about S. M. Boyce, and I'm excited to begin reading her Grimoire Saga.
What are your current projects?
I'm in the early stages of a New Adult urban fantasy novel. It's like a look at the civil rights movement, but with wizards.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Hurting my characters. I love them, and I just want them to be happy. But that's not good storytelling.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Such a difficult question! So many authors come to mind--J.K. Rowling, Martha Wells, Kristen Britain, George R. R. Martin. I think the common thing that I love about all of these writers is their excellent character development. They create real, believable characters, and stay true to them. I feel like I honestly get to know their characters. I love them, I hate them, I care about what they do and what becomes of them. The ability to create empathy in total strangers for a figment of your imagination is the mark of a true storyteller to me.
Who designed the covers?
My cover was designed by one of my oldest friends, Samantha Roque. Between the Layers was her first cover design! The locket on the front was a photograph taken by another good friend of mine, Lydia Young.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Starting and finishing are the absolute hardest. The middle flows easily, but I never know where to begin or how to wrap it up.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never lose sight of why you started. Writing is a passion, an expression, something that you love. Never forget that.
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