Friday, December 28, 2012

Blog Tour: Shifting Pride by Laura Diamond (Author Giveaway)

This virtual book tour is presented by DM Productions.
Welcome to The Wormhole and my day on the tour!
It is my pleasure to feature: 
Laura Diamond and Shifting Pride.
YA Paranormal Romance Shifting Pride by Etopia Press

Sixteen-year-old Nickie Leone has proof that her missing (presumed dead) father is still alive. Receiving his watch in the mail is the first in a line of clues brining her closer to discovering his whereabouts.

But clues aren’t the only new thing in Nickie’s life. There’s the Memorial Banquet her mother insists she help prepare for … there’s the new kid/hottie, Xavian, and … well, the growth of whiskers and a tail!

Filled with secrets and a new love of tuna fish, Nickie must partner up with Xavian (don’t you know he’s a shapeshifter too?) to rescue her dad before she loses him forever. Oh, and she need to figure out how to be a cat, too.

Laura has joined us for an interview:
? When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always enjoyed reading—a habit instilled in me by my mom and grandfather. I had a natural affinity to fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal. Those genres provide rich settings that get my imagination going and often I get so immersed in them that they really become an escape.

In residency (a four year “on the job training” program after medical school, allowing me to specialize in Psychiatry), I quickly learned I needed to do something creative that afforded me some balance. I picked up writing. That was over four years ago and I haven’t stopped writing since!

? How many jobs did you have before you became a writer?
Since high school, I knew I wanted to become a doctor, so I worked pretty steadily to reach that goal. One of my most fun jobs, though, was when I was a stable hand. I’ve always loved horses and working at the barn meant I spent many hours with them. It was hard work, but super fun!

? How long does it take you to write a book?
That varies. I’ve written a book in two weeks. I’ve also taken several months. It really depends on how much is going on and how much I’m compelled to get a story out.

? What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Ha! I don’t think I’m that quirky. I enjoy writing in big blocks of time—so weekends and vacation time is best. Hmmm, perhaps it’s quirky to work during vacation? LOL!

? Do you have a routine that you use to get into the right frame of mind to write?
Not really. I used to write at bookstore cafes and such, but now, I just sit on the couch with my laptop and pound out the words. I used to need music too. Now, it’s nice, but not required.

? Where do you write and how do you write ~ on paper, typewriter or computer?
I’ve hand-written some things, but most of the time I type. It’s faster for me.

? Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your characters?
I generally start with a character. They sort of pop up in my mind. It’s kind of like meeting some random person on the street and striking up a conversation with them. The more I get to know them, the more involved in their world I get. That immersion allows me to feel what they’re feeling and allows me to tell their story as intimately as possible.

? How do you decide what you want to write about?
Anything paranormal fascinates me, so I know there’s going to be something “not of this world” in every story I write. I also try to choose creatures with a unique spin. For example, some characters in NEW PRIDE and SHIFTING PRIDE are shape-shifters. Most people are familiar with werewolves, but my shifters are werecats. Additionally, they are of different species—panthers, bobcats, cheetahs, and lions. I think it brings another level of interest not always seen in shifter stories.

? Where does a book start for you ~ characters, plot, ending?
The main character is where I start. I generally “meet” them at the cusp of something big—some imminent change that will rock their world. It’s very exciting to go on an adventure with them and that moment before the first domino falls is the best part.

? What books have most influenced your life?
There’s too many to name! From the paranormal realm, I favor the Lord of the Rings series, Harry Potter, Twilight, and Narnia series. From the classics, I love The Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maugham and anything by Kurt Vonnegut.

? What is the first book you remember reading by yourself?
Oh, a what a fun question! Has to be either Dr. Seuss or Shel Silverstein, LOL!

? What are you reading right now?
I sometimes juggle a bunch of books at once. Right now, I’m reading anything I can find by Jennifer L. Armentrout!

? What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Sleep! LOL! I enjoy reading, watching movies, blogging, playing with my kitties and Corgi, and I’m in the midst of renovating a 225+ year old house, so there’s always lots to do!

? What is your favorite comfort food?
CHOCOLATE!!!! I love coffee and (since we just had Thanksgiving) STUFFING!

? What do you think makes a good story?
Compelling, unique characters in the midst of disaster. They have to face impossible circumstances and rise to the challenge, even if it means they won’t “win” or survive. That grips me the most.

? Who would you consider your favorite author and why?
Oh, when I heard JK Rowling lost her billionaire status because she had donated so much money to those in need…yeah, that really solidified her as my fav author.

? What book, if any, do you read over and over again?
That’s one thing that I don’t do, is read books over and over. There are so many to read, that I can barely keep up as it is!

? Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser”?
I started out as a pantser. It afforded me huge word counts, but also left me with stories that needed a lot of ripping and tearing. Then I switched to plotting extensively. That kept me on track, but also locked me in to a certain path and my word counts suffered. Now, I have a loose plot, giving me breathing space (to keep the excitement of creating alive), but also a direction so I stay on target.

Fun random questions: 
·        dogs or cats? Cats first, but I really love all animals. I have four cats (three adopted) and I adopted a Corgi last spring. I also used to own a horse.
·        Coffee or tea? Coffee, mainly. Though I do appreciate a good cup of tea.
·        Dark or milk chocolate? Milk.
·        Rocks or flowers? Flowers.
·        Night or day? Night.
·        Favorite color? Midnight blue.
·        Crayons or markers? Crayons—I had a crayon fetish as a child. Like, I seriously loved them, LOL!
·        Pens or pencils? Pen.

More About Laura Diamond
Laura Diamond is an author of all things Young Adult (YA): paranormal, dystopian, and horror. As a board certified psychiatrist, Diamond knows how people react and pulls out the emotions, not only from the characters but also the reader. She approaches each book differently usually beginning with a single character – envisioning what they look like, how they perceive their world, what challenges they have to navigate, and who’s with them along the way, whether it be a friend or foe.

Diamond likes writing Young Adult (YA) because it’s during a time in life that is rife with challenges and intense emotions. The paranormal interest comes in because Laura has always had an affinity for magical creatures and dark worlds.

My thoughts:
Mysterious, clever, creative.  These are the first words that come to mind when I think about Shifting Pride.  The characters are nicely done and easy to invest in.  The setting is well constructed and realistic.  The story is intriguing and entertaining; it keeps you turning the pages, anxious for more.  

Author Note and Giveaway Information:
Hello,Thank you for visiting with author Laura Diamond on her Blog Tour for “Shifting Pride.” As a thank you, please go to Laura’s website to register for a free copy of “New Pride,” the prequel novella to Shifting Pride. This is the Laura Diamond Fan Page link: Once you register for the contest, a random entry will be chosen and a copy of the prequel will be sent to the lucky winner!   Thanks again.

YA Paranormal Romance Novelette - New Pride by Etopia Press
A shapeshifter without a pride, Richard Leone strikes a tenuous friendship with power hungry, Derek, from an unstable, rogue group.

On a hunt in the forest, they encounter a gorgeous brunette, Molly, partying with friends around a campfire.

Derek tells the rogue pride and they bristle at humans trespassing on their territory. Richard risks life and tail to protect his secret and the humans – especially Molly – while simultaneously trying to win her heart.

When Molly is kidnapped, he faces taking on the rogue pride alone, but quickly finds he has to put his trust in Derek, not only to rescue his new love, but to ensure the rogue pride doesn’t wreak havoc on his new town.