Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Interview and Guest Post for Volition by Lee Strauss

Eternal Life is To Die

For seventeen year old Zoe Vanderveen is a GAP—a genetically altered person. She lives in the security of a walled city on prime water-front property along side other equally beautiful people with extended life spans. Her brother Liam is missing.

Noah Brody is a natural who lives on the outside. He leads protests against the GAPs and detests the widening chasm they’ve created between those who have
and those who don’t. He doesn’t like girls like Zoe and he has good reason not to like her specifically.

Zoe’s carefree life takes a traumatic turn. She’s in trouble and it turns out that Noah, the last guy on earth she should trust, is the only one who can help her.

Want to read PERCEPTION? It’s FREE on Kobo itunes B&N Smashwords and .99 on Amazon!

VOLITION is the exciting continuation of Noah and Zoe’s story from Perception.

What doesn’t kill you …

Zoe Vanderveen is on the run with her captor turned rescuer, Noah Brody. They’re in love. Or at least that’s what he tells her. Her memories have returned but her feelings are dreamlike—thin and fleeting. Her heart can’t be trusted. Just look at what happened with Taylor Blake.

Senator Vanderveen’s new team of cyborg agents are in hot pursuit, and a reward for their capture is broadcast nationwide. Record breaking cold and snow hinder their escape. Someone dies helping them.

And their fight for survival has only begun.
Mark to read on goodreads.

To celebrate Lee Strauss is giving away a $200.00 Amazon, Nook or itunes gift card!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author
Lee Strauss writes historical and science fiction/romance for upper YA and adult readers. She also writes light and fun stuff under the name Elle Strauss. To find out more about Lee and her books check out her facebook page. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/elle_strauss To find out about new releases sign up for her newsletter at www.ellestraussbooks.com- See more at: http://blog.orangeberrypromo.com/2013/02/orangeberry-book-of-the-day-perception-volition-by-lee-strauss/#sthash.HoGH6qSn.dpuf


Tell us a bit about your family. I’m married with four kids. Three boys and a girl- Joel, Levi, Jordan and Anastasia

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? My proudest accomplishment by far is having raised four stellar individuals and citizens of planet earth.What’s your favorite place in the entire world? Kelowna, BC , followed very closely by Dresden, Germany, the two places on earth I call home.

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? Initially, the most challenging thing is just to finish. Letting it be a crap pile, but getting it done. When it comes to publishing the most challenging thing is learning how to market well.

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? The future is exciting and frightening.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? I find physical activity helps to unlock writers block. I often go for a power walk with my iphone and stop to take notes when the ideas start to flow.

How did you come up with the title? One of the themes in Perception is how easy it is to misjudge the people around us based solely on their looks or social status. My two main characters perceive each other differently at the end of the book than what they did at the beginning.

Can you tell us about your main character? I have two main characters. Zoe Vanderveen and Noah Brody. Zoe is a GAP, a genetically altered person with a perfect body and extended lifeline. She lives in a utopian gate city inhabited by other beautiful Gaps. Noah is a natural who lives on the outside. He opposes GAP policy and is the son of a recently assasinated GAP protest leader. He doesn’t like people like Zoe and has something against Zoe specifically.

Who designed the cover? I worked with Dale Pease at www.walkingstickbooks.com to design the cover. The eternity symbol represents one of the main themes of the series, the pursuit of living forever.

Who is your publisher? ESB Publishing, owned by me.

Why did you choose to write this particular book? I watched a documentary on TV about how science is making progress on the effort to extend the human life span especially with genetic alteration. It got me thinking about how that would look globally if they succeed? Would everyone be able to do it and if not who would and who wouldn’t? How would it effect those who did and those who didn’t? Would people pursue this at any cost?
The White Room Syndrom

by Lee Strauss

Have you ever read a story where it’s all action and dialogue but you can’t quite picture where it’s all taking place? This is what I call the White Room Syndrome. It happens when the author fails to give the reader enough setting for the scene. As a rule of thumb I try to always provide at least two or three setting details to anchor the scene.

For instance, many YA books have scenes that take place in a classroom. Because most of us already know what North American classroom is like, it’s easy to assume that we don’t need to provide setting details because we believe the reader will provide those on her own. This may be true, but it doesn’t provide for an engaging reading experience. Say we have two characters sitting together in a classroom.

There’s tension, conflict and witty dialogue between them, but beyond their shared desk it’s a white out. A few details added by the pov character will create a sense of dimension. A poster of the cross section of a man’s chest hung on the wall, heart, lungs and liver exposed, the corners curling with aged tape held up by tacks. Across the room a warm breeze blew in through open windows. Mr. Jones’s back faced us as he scribbled on the board, chalk scratching in rhythm.

Now back to action/ dialogue between characters. See how mentioning three things brings the setting alive? Of course the opposite problem to the white room syndrome is excessive descriptive passages. If I went on and on about every detail in the classroom the reader’s eyes would begin to gloss over before he even got to the action/dialogue. Here’s an example from Divergent by Veronica Roth.

Her main character has entered a room where she’ll be tested to determine what faction she’s from. Mirrors cover the inner walls of the room. I can see my reflection from all angles: the gray fabric obscuring the shape of my back, my long neck, my knobby-knuckled hands, red with a blood blush. The ceiling glows white with light. In the center of the room is a reclined chair, like a dentist, with a machine next to it. It looks like a place where terrible things happen. “Don’t worry,” the woman says, ” it doesn’t hurt.”

Ms Roth even uses this passage to describe a setting as an opportunity for us to see what her main character looks like. You can see that she picked out three things to brighten the setting—the mirrors, the ceiling and the reclined chair. In PERCEPTION, Zoe leaves her utopian city to search for the guy she spotted on a news report on TV. She has reason to believe he can help her find her brother.

There are actually six details here anchoring the setting. Noah cracked the heavy door open just wide enough for us to squeeze inside, and I was relieved that the other girls were with us now. It would’ve been insane for me to follow a strange boy into a place like this alone. Not that what I was doing right now wasn’t crazy. It took a moment for my eyes to adjust from the bright daylight to the darker room.

Shafts of light streamed through broken stained glass high above my head, and dust swirled in its rays. Most of the pews had been removed but a few were left, moved out of their straight lines into a crooked circle. A wooden cross hung from the ceiling over an altar, but any other religious relics that might have once had a home here were gone. A lone guitar was propped in the corner. Two guys were sleeping on the pews and Noah kicked one in the foot.

“We got company.”Sometimes it just takes one or two details to brighten a setting in order to the ground the reader and make for a more engaging and enjoyable read. - See more at: http://blog.orangeberrypromo.com/2013/02/lee-strauss-the-white-room-syndrom/#sthash.8VL10Q7M.dpuf


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  2. Thanks for sharing the guest post and interview. I have Perception and I really need to read it soon.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  3. Thanks so much for featuring me! :)

  4. This series sounds really good. Great interview, too! I'll have to get Perception soon!

  5. Very cool interview and guest post. Love those examples! I downloaded Perception when it was free on Amazon, and now I'm super excited to read it. Thanks for sharing! :-)


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