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YA Author Interviews Begin! First up: Shea Berkley

For the next two months, I'll be interviewing YA authors, including nearly all Entangled YA authors. The interviews are fun, and comments are encouraged! First up today is Shea Berkley, author of THE MARKED SON. You're in for a treat! This one had me laughing so loud I woke the baby. :)

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Author Name: 
Shea Berkley

Title: 
The Keepers of Life Series, 1st book: The Marked Son

Release Date: 
July 2011

Blurb:
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Seventeenyearold Dylan Kennedy always knew something was different about him, but until his mother abandoned him in the middle of Oregon with grandparents he’s never met, he had no idea what. 
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When Dylan sees a girl in white in the woods behind his grandparents’ farm, he knows he’s seen her before…in his dreams. He’s felt her fear--Heard her insistence that only he can save her world from an evil lord who uses magic and fear to feed his greed for power.
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Unable to shake the unearthly pull to Kera, Dylan takes her hand. Either he’s completely insane or he’s about to have the adventure of his life, because where they’re going is full of creatures he’s only read about in horror stories. Worse, the human blood in his veins has Dylan marked for death…
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Book Talk/Character Talk


Get it now: Amazon or Barnes and Noble
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Describe your book in one word:
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This is cruel! I’m a writer. I can’t think in just ONE word. That’s like telling Leonardo da Vinci to paint using only black. Yep, I’m a whiner. Okay, okay. I’ll play, but I want it in writing that I’m officially protesting this question.
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One word. Feral

There, you happy? I’m not going to explain my word either.
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Cast your heroine:
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I am woefully unqualified to answer this question. When I look at the young actresses out there, I can’t find one that really makes me sit up and notice. And that’s saying a lot. I watch a lot of movies. I love them. But, if I have to choose a young actress, ‘cause let’s face it, Kera is a teenager, I’d go with India Eisley. She’s absolutely adorable, and looks the most like I envisioned Kera, though not exactly. Here’s where it gets rough. I have no idea if she can act, and that’s why I have no business choosing an actress to portray Kera.

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Cast your hero:
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I would want some unknown actor to portray Dylan, that way there’re no preconceived notions floating around. But let’s say I have to choose a name. Dylan is a tough guy. He’s world weary and mature for his age. I’m not sure who could do it, but I’d probably pick Josh Hutcherson. Let me be very clear here. Josh looks nothing like I picture Dylan, but I know the boy can act.


Describe your heroine in three words:
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Intense. Loving. Curious.
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Describe your hero in three words:
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Strong-willed. Lonely. Passionate.
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Favorite line by heroine:
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Seriously, it’s like you’re sticking a knife in my chest. Favorite line? Just one? That’s freaking impossible! (rock back and forth, tearing up) Just one? Ummmm, not sure if I can do it, but I’ll try. Let me get my blankie…
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Okay, here we go…
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“Ignorance leads to foolishness, and I’m not much interested in being
labeled a fool.”
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The line pretty much sums up Kera’s outlook on life. She’s intensely curious, and is a girl of action. She’s not satisfied sitting around. She has to be in the thick of the action.
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Favorite line by hero:
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Arrgh! More torture! I can’t do it. Not without more chocolate and a stiff shot of caffeine. I’ll be right back…(guzzle, guzzle, chew, swallow) I’m now fortified to carry on with this insane assignment. Dangit, I spilt cola on my blankie.
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Okay, here we go one more time…
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If any normal guy heard a knife-wielding, beautiful girl he’d just met say she can’t stop thinking about him, he’d run. So why am I still standing here? I shake my head. “This is not right… y-you can’t be real.”
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I picked this line because it puts into words all of Dylan’s fears. He thinks he’s crazy and seeing the girl from his dreams materialize right in front of him freaks him out, yet he doesn’t leave. He stays because he’s wired to be that heroic guy who saves the girl, and Kera needs saving.
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How would heroine describe hero when she first meets him?
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Oh dear Lord! He’s real, and he’s exactly what I thought he’d be like. Strong, caring and reliable. Oh, and he’s very nice to look at. (hands clasped and tucked under her chin in girlish pleasure)
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Kera never thought he was real because he was someone she dreamed about since she was a child. But when she does finally meet him, she is completely taken with him, because she’s known him forever and learned to love him over the years. She knows, if anyone can help her, Dylan can. He’ll move heaven and earth to be with her.
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How would hero describe heroine when he first meets her?
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Holy crap! She’s real! I’m not crazy! Wow, she’s really pretty (big happy grin), and she needs me. She actually wants me in a way no one else ever has.
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Dylan has never had stability except when he’s dreamed of Kera. She’s always been there for him. So, when she shows up in the flesh, it’s not difficult for him to fall completely in love with her for real. His affections aren’t instantaneous—they’ve been developing over his lifetime—and only when they meet is that love made completely real.
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Author Talk

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Why do you write in the genre you write?
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Are you kidding? Who wouldn’t want to write Young Adult novels? They are sooo much fun! I love the newness of the teen experience. They’re facing life’s issues for the first time on an adult level, and it’s completely scary as much as it is empowering and exhilarating. Who wouldn’t want to write about that?
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What other genres would you consider and why?
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My reading tastes span a lot of genres and commercial fiction types. I appreciate a good story, and that’s all I really want to write. Setting can make or break certain types of stories so if a story needs a particular setting (genre) then I wouldn’t hesitate to write it if I was interested (passionately) in the story. I think that’s the only key part—that the writer must be passionate about the story being told. If not, the outcome can be disastrous.
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Can you give us a hint of something else you’re working on?
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Right now, I’m finishing up my Keepers of Life series. After that, I have a few ideas, but I never talk about what I’m doing. Sorry. If I talk too much about it, I feel like I’ve already told the story, and I can lose part of the passion to tell it, so I’m pretty protective about what I write until it’s done. I will tell you this, it’s another YA.
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My latest book, a coming-of-age fantasy called Torrein: Age of Fear, just hit the shelves.
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Blurb:
What if the only hope of saving a magical world depended on an ordinary boy?
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Taelyon is a land divided; its mortals distrust those different than them; its wizards live indifferent to the suffering of others to see the danger on their doorstep. The battle for dominance is never far off, and death is a daily fear provoked by King Hcaon the Younger's inability to lead.
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Torrein’s parents are powerful wizards, and Torrein's greatest fear is that he'll be denied the gift of magic. When magic is denied him, he's chased from his own village by those he used to call friends. Alone and wandering in a world he doesn't know, Torrein doesn't understand that his destiny is far greater than any he could have achieved if magic had been granted him. What plagues him is a desire he can't have - to be with his family and live his life in peace. 
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Peace is not easily found in Taelyon. The destiny Torrein fights lies in a prophecy soaked in blood. To claim his rightful power, he must calm his fears and face those who want him and his people dead. Everyone has been blinded to the real evil in their midst, and it will be a fight till the end of the age to reclaim Taelyon's freedom. Though it's hard for him to accept, it’s up to Torrein to protect those who have been deceived, and to make sure the evil in their midst doesn't destroy them all. 




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Thanks, Shea, for an amazing interview!  

~ Melissa

Comments

  1. Awesome interview! I haven't read The Marked Son but I love the synopsis. It sounds like something I would enjoy! The favourite line from the heroine makes me want to read this even more. And FERAL?! I wish she would have explained that word choice. ;) I'm very intrigued now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Sam! I wish she would explain it too!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Sam,

    I'm glad you dropped by! I'd love for you to read THE MARKED SON and see if you can figure out why I used the word Feral. My mind is a bit odd, so keep that in mind. (grin)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I admit I've had this on my TBR shelf forever, and this interview definitely moved it up on the list. I agree--Feral? Awesome, eerie choice. Intrigued . . . =)

    So much fun to read! Thanks ladies!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great interview Shea!!! Can't wait for the rest of the marked Son series!

    Good luck with the new release too...

    Lisa :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey Rachel! I've moved up the list? Awesome! Thanks for stopping by.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey Lisa! Thanks for the support. Life's been a bit nutty lately for me. Good luck on your next release.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great interview!! I'm getting this book asap! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hey Tara! I hope you enjoy the book! Thanks for dropping by.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for stopping by Rachel, Tara, and Lisa!! :)

    ReplyDelete

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