Today we're visiting with author M.E. Sutton on her tour with Bewitching Book Tours for the middle grade fantasy, "Storm Clouds". There is a Tour wide give away of either a Kindle Paperwhite or Nook Simple Touch, so make sure you enter via the Rafflectoper at the end of this post. Also, one commenter on today's post will win a copy of the book in their choice of format.
M.E. answered many of my prying questions -- thanks!
Why YA (or Middle Grade) fiction?
What draws you to it? I really think YA/MG explores issues in so much more detail than adult fiction does sometimes. And they are really important issues – things like who you are, where you want to go, how you find yourself. It’s everything you need to do to have success as an adult. I think YA/MG authors are doing a fantastic job of relating to a basic need inside all of us, and sometimes making that connection even better than “adult” authors.
Pretend your protagonist is at school and opens his/her locker – what will we see inside?
Jaycee’s locker is kind of a mess. Of course, all her school books are there. She’s got a stickers/posters/pictures of things from her video game, Hero’s Sword stuck to the inside of the door. There are a couple of library books stuffed on the top shelf. Her favorite hoodie is there to wear if she gets chilly.
What books were your favorite as a youth and why?
I was a total mystery lover, so I adored Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. Those were girls who were out there, doing things, and solving crime. They weren’t just sitting back doing their nails and gossiping about boys. I loved trying to figure out the mystery along with them.
What would you write in a letter to your teen self?
Dear me: Things suck right now. You don’t fit in; you don’t have the right jeans, or wear makeup, or do the things the “cool” kids do. But hang in there. It’s going to get better. You’re going to go off to college and meet awesome people who “get” you and like you for who you are – not the brand-name on clothes. You’re going to see all these people at your 10-year high school reunion and realize that you are just as successful as they are. You’ll meet a boy and fall in love. You’ll do amazing things, like learning SCUBA. And all those stories you’re scribbling now and people are making fun of? Someday, you’ll see your name on an actual book on Amazon. Just don’t give up on yourself and don’t give in. Because you’re going to do amazing things – trust me.
Hunger Games or Twilight?
Why? Definitely Hunger Games. Katniss is a much stronger character. She’s not being dragged along all wishy-washy; she’s making decisions and doing things. And sometimes they’re the wrong decisions and the wrong things. And she lives with those consequences and learns from them. Her world might be a little more violent than ours, but making decisions and living with the consequences (good or bad) is what life’s all about, right?
Sum up your book for Twitter: 140 characters or less.
Surviving a video game is hard, but not harder than surviving middle school.
You’re stranded on a desert island—which character from your book do you want with you? Why?
Roger, because he probably knows how to start a fire and catch/clean a fish.
Favorite pizza toppings.
Good old pepperoni – although spinach and feta is pretty good too.
Who was your teenaged crush? Why?
Celebrity? Johnny Depp – those cheekbones! Real life? A kid named Mark. Come to think of it, he was my Nate Fletcher, except he played soccer. He was popular, but he was always nice to me.
Favorite class in high school. Why?
English. Words are so much friendlier than numbers (at least for me) and I loved “visiting” different worlds and time periods through books.
Storm Clouds by M.E. Sutton
Hero's Sword Series Volume 2
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Number of pages: 76Word Count: ~24,000Amazon Kobo BN iBooks
Eighth-grader Jaycee Hiller is beginning to fear she only imagined her trip to Mallory. But when a rainy afternoon leaves her with hours of playing Hero’s Sword, her favorite video game, she finds herself drawn back into the game – literally.
STORM CLOUDS is the exciting second volume of the HERO’S SWORD saga – chronicling Jaycee Hiller’s trials in eight grade, and her exciting adventures in Mallory, the setting of her favorite video game. Jaycee enters the video game realm via a special controller and is caught up in the action of this fantasy realm.
In STORM CLOUDS, a valuable jewel belonging to the neighboring estate of Devin, the Sapphire Star, is missing, stolen at the Fall Consortium. Lady Starla stands accused of the theft. Devin’s demands are clear: return the Star or they will take it back by force.
Now it’s up to Lyla Stormbringer to find the Star and the thief. before Mallory finds itself at war.
About the Author:A software technical writer by day, Mary Sutton has been making her living with words for over a decade. She writes the Hero’s Sword middle-grade fantasy series as M.E. Sutton, and The Laurel Highlands Mysteries series as Liz Milliron. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband and two children.
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