Ever since twelve year old Isabelle Tresdon’s silver strand of hair sprouted, it’s been nothing but trouble: bleeding pink dust and sparking like a firecracker. Refusing to be known as the girl with the freaky, grandma hair, she wishes it never grew and the hair withers and tarnishes.
The only problem is, the strand is Isabelle’s source of magic, and she can transform particles of energy into matter. It’s also her ticket into Mastermind Academy, a secret school inside the earth’s core. Five days remain before the strand drains her magic and life, forcing Isabelle to enter into a deal with two trickster Masterminds to save it. But what she doesn’t count on is there is more at stake than just her life.
The Silver Strand, a MG Fantasy Adventure for 9-12 year olds, is book 1 in the Mastermind Academy Series.
One thing you need to know about LJ Clarkson is that she tells BIG lies. She tells everyone that she gave up her career as an Environmental Engineer and Project Manager to write full time. But that’s not entirely true. Ten percent of the time she sleeps in. Fifteen percent of her day, she spends surfing the internet, researching for new books and her business. Ok, fine. Two percent is for research. But she’s only admitting it so she doesn’t end up like Boldrick. For eighteen point seven five percent of her day, she runs her promotional and support site for authors, called Indicated (www.indicated.com.au). The rest of her time involves writing, reading, watching movies and TV, walking her dogs and falling asleep whenever her boyfriend talks technical computer lingo. Truthfully, she hates early mornings, mondays, grammar (yuck! just ask her poor editor!), broccoli and cleaning. If you would like to drop her and line and let her know what you think of the book, she would love to hear from you. Just not before 8:30am in the morning.
Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
Thanks for having me today Mandie. The Silver Strand is my first book and my little baby I’ve been working on since January 2009.
Are you working on anything else?
I sure am. I’m probably the most craziest woman in the world, launching two things at the same time: this book and a support and promotional site for self-published and small press authors, called Indicated. I am also half way through a new children’s fantasy called Heaven and Hound, but had to put it aside to concentrate on researching and compiling promotional information for Indicated’s library.
Do you have any advice for authors wanting to publish? (Why did you choose to go indie? If this applies – If not why traditional)
If traditional publishers reject your book, it’s not because you’re not good enough, it’s because they don’t think it will sell in the current market. Are they crazy? They refuse to accept vampire and werewolf fiction when it’s still selling well! Hello? There will always be readers for every story. It’s just a matter of finding them.
Overall, new authors published traditionally are in the same boat as Indies: they have to work just as hard to market their work because they get no help from their publisher, unless they’re considered the next big thing. But here’s why being Indie is better: 1. We get up to 70% percent of the book royalties, unlike the crummy 15% traditionally published authors earn. 2. Indies don’t have to wait two years to publish their books, or wait for the book to sell enough copies to cover the publisher’s advance before they make money from them. Cha-ching! Looks like I’m getting my Prada handbag first. 3. We have full creative control over the content of the story, the characters, scenes, cover and internal formatting, etc. Why would you want to go traditional? It’s still no guarantee your book will be stocked by major retailers or libraries.
What is your favorite writing snack?
Uh-oh now you’ve made me think of chocolate! *waving finger* at Mandie. I’m actually a herbal tea addict and drink 2-3 cups per day! My kitchen is overflowing with ten flavors. In fact, I’m off to have a Celestial Seasonings’ Bengal Spice now (mmm mmm cinnamon).
What gets you in the mood to write?
I have several little tricks. First, I crank some tunes and pour a cup of tea. If that doesn’t work, or if I’m procrastinating (I’m so guilty I’ve had to ban myself from Facebook during the day!), then I’ll do a chapter critique for a fellow writer in my writing group to help the words flow.
Who is your favorite character and why?
Boldrick by far! I loved writing all the quirks of a man cursed to live as a cat. On one hand, he enjoys his superior animal instincts, but then he’s disgusted by what they compel him to do. He gets himself into trouble a lot, and I laughed till I cried when I wrote the scene where he tries to fly the Mesura (a metallic and crystalline anti-gravity flying device), but crashes it into Isabelle’s house.
Favorite book of all time?
Anne Rice’s Memnoch The Devil from the Vampire Chronicles. I loved the concept of exploring a different take on God vs the Devil.
What made you want to write this book?
Being creative, quirky and having the maturity and humor of a child, writing gave me an outlet to express this. The concept that everyone is different and special in some small way was sparked by memories of being alienated and lonely as a teen. I wanted to write this story to encourage children and even parents to embrace their uniqueness because it makes them who they are.
I think breakfast says a lot about a person, what is your perfect breakfast?
Now I’m craving a big breakfast with the works: scrambled eggs, bacon, big mushrooms and tomato!
Do you have a favorite period of time that you like to write about or would like to live?
Not outwardly no. The Silver Strand, its sequel, plus the next book I’m writing are based in current times. But I plan to write two new books that explore pirates and witches, so I’m looking forward to researching the culture, history, speech and manners of eras that had them.
I’d love to live in the future, to explore what it looks like and how has the landscape changed and experiment with all the new technology. It would be really cool to mimic Marty Mcfly from Back to the Future and drive a flying car or skate on a flying skateboard!
Please tell us in one sentence why we should read your book!
You will get lots of laughs, learn new things about toads and the inner earth, and be surprised by all the twists and turns.