Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Giveaway + Interview- Monsters by Ilsa J. Bick

Monsters by Ilsa J. Bick
"The Changed are on the move. The Spared are out of time. The End...is now.

When her parents died, Alex thought things couldn't get much worse--until the doctors found the monster in her head.

She headed into the wilderness as a good-bye, to leave everything behind. But then the end of the world happened, and Alex took the first step down a treacherous road of betrayal and terror and death.

Now, with no hope of rescue--on the brink of starvation in a winter that just won't quit--she discovers a new and horrifying truth.

The Change isn't over.
The Changed are still evolving.
And...they've had help.

With this final volume of The Ashes Trilogy, Ilsa J. Bick delivers a riveting, blockbuster finish, returning readers to a brutal, post-apocalyptic world where no one is safe and hope is in short supply.

A world where, from these ashes, the monsters may rise."- summary from Amazon

Thanks to Media Masters Publicity and Egmont USA, I have a hardcover copy of Monsters by Ilsa J. Bick to give away. US residents only. All you have to do to enter is just leave a comment on this post by Friday, November 8 at 9pm EST. Leave your email address if it's not readily accessible (i.e. if it's not on your blogger profile). If there are any questions, leave them in the comments. Also, if I can find them, I may be giving out a second prize consisting of the ARCs of Shadows (Book 2) and Monsters (Book 3)- let me know if you prefer one prize over another, or if you're fine with either. So more opportunity to win!

and here's an interview with Ilsa:
1) How did you get the idea for the Ashes trilogy? Is it sad to see the story ending now with the release of Monsters?

About four or five years ago, I read a very good book with an end-of-the-world scenario and liked it so much I found myself wondering if I could pull off something like that. The problem I felt with that book—and others like it, though—was that the setups weren’t that believable; people were too well behaved; and/or we were dropped into societies eons after whatever catastrophe had taken place. So I decided that if I were to try something like that, the science would have to be fairly solid; people would act like the savages they can be; and I would let things evolve rather than simply drop readers into a world that’s already changed.

As for the end: I wrote a whole blog entry, “Letting Go,” about this, and you can read it here: http://www.ilsajbick.com/?p=2354. I also just did a PW podcast where they asked that question, too, and you can listen to that interview here: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/podcasts/index.html?channel=5&podcast=153#path/pw/podcasts/index.html?channel=5&podcast=153.

But, in a nutshell, I’m both proud and pretty bummed. I did something I’ve always wanted to try, and that was to tell a very big, very complicated story: see it all the way through, juggle multiple plotlines and POVs, that kind of thing. I think I’ve pretty much succeeded, too.

Yet I’m also very sad to say good-bye. I still toy with ideas for a fourth book; I even know what it would be about. But you have to know when to let things go. If another book’s meant to be, it’ll notify me.

In the meantime, I’m really glad I’ve got another series coming out. Fills the void, and now I have new characters to torture.

2) You're a child psychiatrist. Does any of that background feed into your writing at all?

Oh, sure. How can it not? Shrinkage was part of my daily life for over twenty years. I’m always interested in what makes people tick, and I think my background helps me avoid easy characterizations, or caricatures, for that matter. Almost everyone has another agenda, and nobody’s really all one thing or the other. (Well, okay, if you’re an ax-murderer, maybe then. But having worked in a women’s prison, you learn that you have to try and see things from a different point of view. Not always a comfortable experience, and it can be downright creepy. But you still have to try.)

When people walked into my office—whether this was in my private practice or during my time in the military—they were in their darkest moments, at the brink of the apocalypse. I’m not joking. People came to me when all their normal modes of functioning or coping had broken down and life was no longer business as usual. Until the moment they walked through my door, parents could hang onto the idea of—and hope for—a perfect child. Seeing me was not only synonymous with defeat: it meant the death of that future. If that’s not catastrophic—if that’s not horror—then I don’t know what is.

I also saw a ton of people who were truly awful to those they profess to love. A lot of families are sometimes bound much more strongly by hatred than love.

So, yeah . . . I draw on that stuff all the time.

3) What are you currently working on? Can you tell us anything about it?

I just went through the first-round copy-edits for Book I of my new Dark Passages Series, WHITE SPACE, and am now in the beginning throes—really, think hand to hand combat—of the sequel, THE DICKENS MIRROR. If you want a general idea what the books are about . . . think The Matrix meets Inkheart and Inception, and that will give you a clue. They’re basically YA horror/psychological thrillers with a dash of sci-fi and, in the case of DICKENS MIRROR, historical fiction. I know; I’m hard to nail down.

Just as soon as I’m done with DM, I’ll go back to a new standalone I’m about halfway through and then revisit the first book in another projected series that I’ve also got about half-written. (So much to do, only so many hours in the day I can spend at a computer before my brain turns to oatmeal.) By the time I’m all done with those, I’m sure I’ll have thought of something else to write. If I haven’t, I’m in trouble. My husband might make me go back to work.

4) What is your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor, or if you don't like those, your favorite snack to have while writing or as a reward for writing?

Heh. I try not to snack when I write, and when the writing’s going well, I sometimes forget to eat. I actually don’t use/see food as a reward for writing either. Food is, you know, fuel. On the other hand, I do have a dry martini on Friday nights (my reward for enduring the work week, although since I work on weekends, too . . . it’s kind of futile, you know?). But when I finish a book, I will give myself permission for a vodka martini (Belvedere, three olives, very dry) even if it’s not Friday.

But I do have three favorite Jelly belly flavors: chocolate pudding, chili mango, and lemon-lime.

5) What book(s) are you currently reading, or are about to start?

Currently reading and/or listening to: Storm Front by John Sandford; The Final Descent by Rick Yancey; Dr. Sleep by Stephen King; Never Go Back by Lee Child; and The Monster Variations by Daniel Kraus.

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