Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Blog Tour: Rachel O'Laughlin COLDNESS OF MAREK

                     Hey friends! Today on the blog I have the lovely Rachel O'Laughlin as a guest.

 Obsessed with all things history, Rachel O’Laughlin grew up writing adventure stories and only recently fell in love with fantasy as a genre. She lives in New England with her husband and children, grows roses and tweets often. She adores lattes, The Fray, long drives in the country, and any dark story with a good twist. Coldness of Marek is her first novel.

                                         and her brand new book COLDNESS OF MAREK.

                                                            COLDNESS OF MAREK
                                                                     Epic Fantasy
                                                      The First in the Serengard Series
                                                                     Available now
Serengard has been under Orion rule for centuries—centuries of insufferable adherence to laws and traditions that its people no longer believe in. Raised by her scholarly grandfather in the fiery southern city of Neroi, Trzl is dedicated to turning the monarchy into a free society where knowledge is king and no one has to be subject to the whims of an Orion.
As the rebellion escalates, her choices have an eerie impact on the revolution at large, elevating her to a position of influence she has only dreamed of attaining. But there are downsides to her new power that entangle her in a dangerous web of emotions, appearances and alliances. Even as she plays to the attractions of Hodran, a rich nobleman who wants to aid her cause, she is drawn to Mikel, a loyalist farmer who hates the rebellion but just might be winning her heart.
By the time Trzl realizes she is in too deep, she has an infant son and a dark mess of betrayal and lies. She runs to the furthest corner of the kingdom in hopes that she will be left alone with her child, but she has created too many demons. A figure she once trusted will take her captive in the chilling Cliffs of Marek, throw her back into the political upheaval she helped create, and leave her at the mercy of a man she never wanted for an enemy.
Here's the interview: 
1. Tell us a bit about you.
I’m a TV addict. My favorite show ever is Firefly. I love coffee, especially hazelnut lattes, and when I’m having a bad week (or month), my cure is to go shopping. Even if I can’t buy anything, just walking into the mall makes me smile. Yeah, I’m that girl.

2. Tell us about COLDNESS OF MAREK.
It's the story of a young woman who is at the forefront of a rebellion against the monarchy of her native kingdom of Serengard. But things start to get complicated for her when she develops feelings for a loyalist…who is basically everything she hates.

3. What inspired you to write COLDNESS OF MAREK?
I wanted to write a fantasy with a political twist for a long time, and I’d always had a vague picture of the character Mikel in my mind, but it was all hazy. I attempted it when I was thirteen and it wasn’t pretty. When I sat down to draft an adventure novel eight years later, there was this image of cliffs that went on for hundreds of miles, and the rugged people who lived there, so I just ran with it. Trzl became the main character because she reminded me of a friend of mine, and being inside her head was fascinating for me, and the story took on more and more fantasy elements the more times I revised. It was definitely the kind of novel that came to me piece by piece. I’m still surprised that it turned out to be my debut.

4. Do you have a process you follow when you write? any funny quirks?
Some months I can't write anything, and then other months I get on a streak where I can pound out ALL THE WORDS. It usually has to do with what TV I’ve been watching, who I’ve been hanging out with, what I’ve been eating, or if I’ve had awesome dreams lately (truth!). But setting aside National Novel Writing Month to fast draft is pretty much the best thing ever. It helps me push through all of those barriers.
I guess I don’t have any cool quirks, besides the fact that I can’t write with distractions. I wait until the kids are napping and then I get HULK ANGRY if the phone rings.
5. What brought you to your decisions about publishing COLDNESS OF MAREK?
Long story, but I had COLDNESS printed in it’s earlier, once-revised form, just to get feedback. I didn’t imagine there were other writers out there who would give me actual helpful critiques on my manuscript, so I went straight to readers. Pretty stupid mistake. Even though people liked it, and the exposure was cool, it wasn’t very polished, and I took it off the market as soon as I realized how lame I was.
For awhile I just listened and learned from what other authors were doing, and from Dahlia Adler’s blog [](I swear, I would be lost without her). And THEN, I decided I really did want to stick with self-publishing for this series. I feel that the format of the novels is unique, for sure, but not the kind of unique agents are looking for at the moment. I also found that I didn’t actually WANT an agent, not with Serengard. I want to let it bloom slowly. It just seems right for this story.

6. How has the experience been?
Incredible! Everyone I’ve worked with has been wonderful, and I’ve accomplished just what I wanted to in all areas. My book is out there in the world and people are reading it, so I’m happy.
7. Do you use music when you write? Any one song sum up a character or this story for you?
Not while I write — because I get too into it and have a hard time focusing — but I have a playlist that I listen to in the off-time []. The song that means the most for this book is probably Fall Away by The Fray, but The Hardest Part by Coldplay and Everybody by Keith Urban have a special place as well.
8. How long did it take you to write this book?
Roughly seven months. I wrote it in a month, did one revision, then printed it. After I took it off the market, I let it stew in it’s juices for awhile before doing a full rewrite. With revisions and edits, the rewrite came to about five months.
9. Why and when did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I’m one of those people who always wrote novels — like, since I was five — just because I love it so much. I was never sure I’d have the courage to let people read my words, though. (Probably a good thing nobody read my teenage novels.) Putting my work out there is super scary, but I’ve been lucky to have amazing editors — Darci Cole and Rebecca Weston — who know what to take out and what to keep in. They’re pretty much my lifesavers.

And now - five fun facts!
Favorite food?
Fried Haddock. Best deep sea fish EVER.
Favorite movie?
Notorious — the one with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman.
Pets? (How many, what kind)
None at the moment. My two little boys keep me a little too busy, lol. Once they’re about 4 or 5, we’ll spring for a German Shepherd, I think.
Lucky number?
Tends to be 17.
Best Fortune cookie message you've ever gotten (or make up a good one!)
My dad gave me one when I was a kid that said: The duck who keeps his head in the water will quack up. That’s pretty much standard New England humor. It still makes me laugh.
 Thanks so much for stopping by the blog, Rachel! Your book is great! I read it and even though high fantasy isn't my norm, I got really attached to your characters and can't wait for the next book.

You can find links to all thing Rachel O'Laughlin and COLDNESS OF MAREK below! So go on, go get a copy!

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