November 17, 2011

CLP Blog Tour: Interview with Author Denise Grover Swank

Chosen (The Chosen #1)
Everything Emma Thompson owns fits in a suitcase she moves from one roach infested motel to another. She and Jake, her five year old son who can see the future, are running from the men intent on taking him. Emma will do anything to protect him even when it means accepting the help of a stranger named Will. Jake insists she needs Will, but Emma’s never needed help before. And even though she’s learned to trust her son, it doesn’t mean she trusts Will.

Mercenary Will Davenport lives in the moment. Hauling Emma to South Dakota should have been an easy job, but his employer neglected to tell him about Emma’s freaky son and the gunmen hot on her trail. Instinct tells him this job is trouble, but nothing can prepare him for Jake’s proclamation that Will is The Chosen One, who must protect Emma from the men hunting her power. A power she doesn't know she has.

Will protects Emma and Jake on a cross-country chase from the men pursuing them, while struggling with memories from his past, his apprehension of Jake, and his growing attraction to Emma. Wills overwhelming urge to protect Emma surprises him, especially since it has nothing to do with his paycheck and possibly everything to do with the tattoo Jake branded on his arm. Rich and powerful men are desperate to capture Emma, and Will must discover why before it's too late. ~ Goodreads

Thanks Denise for taking the time out of your busy day to stop by the blog. I am definitely going to check out the Chosen playlist. Denise's books are pretty awesome and I'm a huge fan, check out my review of Chosen here and Twenty-Eight and a Half-Wishes here.
Now on to the Interview:

Since I love twitter, I think it would be fun to see how you would describe your book Twitter-style. How would you describe it in 140 characters or less?
Fast paced thriller about a mother protecting her son with the help of a reluctant mercenary. All are CHOSEN for a supernatural purpose.

What inspired the concept for Chosen?
My son's girl friend told me that my then four year old son could count to five, but only if he touched her fingers. I said, "Maybe he needs to touch you, then he can see the numbers in your head." The concept changed a lot-- Jake could see the future-- but it all stemmed from Cody's remark. I can honestly say that I never would have come up with Chosen if she hadn't said that.

Which character from your book did you find you could relate to the most?
I related to Emma the most. When I started the book, I really tried to put myself in her head. How would *I* feel if someone was after my child? What lengths would I go to to protect him or her? The hardest scene of the book for me to write was in the middle. I can't say what it was, because it's a major spoiler, but I originally wrote it from Emma's point of view. I literally locked myself in my closet to write it and sobbed my eyes out. (I don't typically write in my closet, but my kids were home and I was trying to minimize the interruptions.)
What was the hardest part of the writing process?
The hardest part of writing for me is the editing, editing, editing. After so many passes you begin to think it's the stupidest thing ever written. But my first drafts are messy affairs. I write them as though I'm in a sprint. That means that I often have to rework many of the sentences not to mention fixing plot and character development. Still, I love editing because that's where I can take a good story and make it great. (At least, I hope readers think they're great!) I'm forever amazed how the additions of a few sentences here and there can make a huge difference.

Can you tell us a little bit about your writing environment and/or and rituals you go through before sitting down to write?
I used to write on a laptop and was a writing gypsy. Lately, I've tethered myself to my office with a desk top computer with a 22' monitor. And for the record, my office is my dining room. I bought an office chair, took out half the dining room chairs, turned the table at an angle, stuck a lamp and a desk top computer on my dining room table and called it good. I find that I write most of my words at night after I put the kids to bed. But I tend to get distracted easily so it takes me about a half an hour of playing around on the internet (Twitter and Facebook, anyone???) before I can settle down and get to work. But once I'm focused, I'm hyper focused and can usually write a lot of words. My first drafts always have completion date goals and I know the amount of words I have to write each day to achieve that goal. I always strive to go over, to bank up words for the days I slack. ;) My usual daily word goal is around 2500 words.

Do you listen to music while you write, if so what’s on your playlist?
Music is a MUST for me! Partly to block out the background noise in my house when my kids are up and about. My four year old is watching Peppa Pig on my iPad at this very moment, demonstrating the need for headphones.
Every book I write has a playlist, with the exception of my humorous southern mystery, Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes. I did create one, but not during the writing process. (I was a woman possessed writing that book.) The playlist usually has themes that work for the book and/or scenes. Chosen has a lot of Linkin Park and hard driving songs. In fact, "Papercut" is the song that I relate to the first chapter, In the bridge-- The sun goes down, I feel the light betray me-- I ALWAYS see Emma driving down the two lane country lane, racing from the men after her, the windows of her car down and her hair flying around her face. And it gives me chills. (Yes, I just admitted that I'm a dork.)

The book has a theme song, which applies to Emma, Jake and Will, but I most attribute to Will. "The Pretender" by Foo Fighters. You can see the complete play list

What is your favorite Book or Series?
Wow. That's really hard. The book I'm most excited to read when it comes out is the third book in the Hex Hall series, Spell Bound, by Rachel Hawkins. It's a YA paranormal.

If there was one thought or feeling you would want readers to take away from reading Chosen what would it be?
It's my hope that the characters worm their way into your heart and mind so that days later you're still thinking about them. I think that makes me narcissistic. LOL

You can find the author at the following places: 
Twitter, Facebook, Blog, Website

You can purchase Chosen on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.


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