Monday, November 12, 2012

Interview: Christine Fonseca, author of Libera Me

Welcome to the Virtual Blog Tour for LIBERA ME, Book #2 in the Requiem Series by Christine Fonseca.
Beginning after Lacrimosa and the short story Mea Culpa, Libera Me follows Zane and Aydan as they try to figure out who Nessa really is. Here's the blurb:
What happens when everything you’ve sacrificed for is lost? 
Aydan thought Nesy’s death would be the end of him, until he meets Nessa and his hope is restored. Could she be Nesy reborn? He is certain she must be. That is, until her lack of memories and incessant nightmares begin to erode his faith.

Zane is used to trusting his mind, his wisdom and his angelic senses. But these attributes are no help with Nessa. He has no way to be certain of her identity, no way to know the truth. That is, unless he listens to the one thing he has refused to acknowledge throughout his existence - he feelings for Nesy. 

Blind to both angel and demon, Aydan and Zane must figure out the truth behind Nesy's identity before all is lost, Azza discovers the truth and the Beast is again unleashed. 

The lines between good and evil have never been so blurred.

Libera Me officially releases October 30. And be sure to check out the other books in the series:

1. If you could work with any author who would it be? 
I love questions like this, but they are so hard for me to answer. There are a number of writers I would kill to work will! I’ve listed the likes of Libba Bray and JK Rowling in other interviews. Today, I think I’ll say Cassandra Clare. She is another one of those very intelligent writers that I aspire to me more like!

2. Who is your favorite author and is your writing style similar to theirs? 
I have too many favorite authors to list, but I do love Maggie Stiefvater, Ellen Hopkins, and Michelle Zink, amongst the many. I can’t say I really write like any of them, but I do see some of their influences in my own work.
3. What's your favorite part of a book? 
I love the climax at the end of a book; the moment when my heart pounds and I’m not certain how it may all turn out. I particularly love it when I have no idea where things may end up. EEP!
4. When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning?
I actually do. I look up name meanings, mythology, etc, and draw my inspiration from their for the character names. Everything in my books has meaning in some way – the same is true with character names.
5. How do you get started with writing a story (as in, how do you start developing the story, how do you get inspired for it)
I draw inspiration from everywhere, so I never really have a shortage of creative mojo. Turning that idea or mojo into a story, THAT is a different matter. For me, it starts with a question or idea. With Libera Me, it started with “Is Nessa really Nesy? And if she isn’t, who or what is she?” The answers to these and similar questions shaped the plot for this book. Once I have the question, I stew for weeks or even months before writing a word. I need the story to settle into the recesses of my thoughts and take hold. Then I can draft and edit it.
6. What advice would you give to people who "run out of creativity" when writing?
Do something different, something trivial, mundane. You need to free up your creative juices again. For me, washing the dishes, taking a long drive, or playing the Wii always works!
7. How long did it take you to publish your first book, after you started trying?
My first nonfiction was sold before it was written. I proposed the book (through my agent) to Prufrock Press in August 2009, sold it in Nov 2009 and it was published Oct 2010. Fiction has been a harder, slower ride for me. My first story is still on my laptop! But Lacrimosa was my second full-length novel. It was written in 2009 and 2010, and pitched in 2010. In 2011 it was finally sold to a small press.
8. How did you come up with the title?
Lacrimosa has partially inspired by Mozart’s Requiem initially – specifically the Lacrimosa. The music is so powerful and haunting; it has always been the perfect backdrop for the story. When we decided to turn this into a series, The Requiem Series seemed a fitting title, and all subsequent titles were pulled from the Requiem mass. In fact, in many ways the series is modeled after a Requiem mass.
9. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I explore a couple of premises in the series – Are some sacrifices too big to make, too risky; do the needs of the many truly outweigh the needs of the one; and does strength come more from the mind, the heart, or the combination of both...these are the central themes explored throughout the storyline. And the true meaning of love, of course.
10. What books have most influenced your life most? 
I truly have too many to list here. But off the top of my head, I would have to say the Harry Potter series, the Chronicles of Narnia series, the Giver, anything by Edgar Allen Poe, Shakespeare, and Shelley; pretty much any classic poetry, and Tolkien. Whew, what a list.
11. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? 
My first real mentor in this business was Elana Johnson. Through her I learned how to craft stories, develop characters, and navigate the business. She is still one of my first go-to persons when I have a question. Likewise, Michelle Zink, Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Gretchen McNeil, and Ellen Hopkins have really modeled the type of writer I’d like to be “when I grow up”. (LOL) – although I have not met all of them IRL, they all represent something with regards to their craft, how they interact with readers and how they “carry” themselves that I completely respect.
12. What book are you reading now? 
I am currently juggling too books – Desolate by Ali Cross and Neverlove by Angela Brown. Also in cue are The Raven Boys, Defiance, and Confessions of a Murder Suspect. I can’t wait to get to them!
13. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? 
I try to read new authors all the time. Although she is not that “new”, I LOVE Ali Cross’s works, and am thrilled to be reading Lisa Amowitz and Michelle McLean’s books in the very near future!
14. What are your current projects? 
The list is massive. Let’s just say I have had a blessed year and expect another in 2013. Currently, I am finishing a short for an anthology in December, finishing up the Requiem Series, writing a companion to Transcend, and publishing two new nonfiction books, including the Girl Guide (which I am so excited about!)
15. Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I have been BLOWN AWAY by the support I have felt from book bloggers (including Supagurl Heather and her book tours), as well as from a couple of reading groups: Ultimate YA Reading Group and Never Too Old for YA Books. These book groups have enabled me to get to know new readers and have kept me afloat when I was beyond frustrated with my craft.
16. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? 
My latest, the one this tour celebrates, is Libera, if I had to do it over, I would only change how LONG it took me to draft it. I kinda procrastinated getting the book drafted, which then through everything else off. In truth, I love the story, the characters, etc. But man, writing this book nearly killed me!
17. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? 
When I first decided to write novels for publication, I thought it was a “new” endeavor. However, it turns out that I started dreaming about being a published writer in my late teens. I found old journals and remember an old dream I had about having lunch with a friend in NYC. I was a prolific writer and surprised me when I realized I was fulfilling a dream from my youth.
18. Can you share a little of your current work with us? 
Libera Me is book #2 in the Requiem Series. Told from the alternating points of view of Zane and Aydan, it follows these characters as they attempt to help Nessa regain her memories. Both believe her to be the human embodiment of Nesy, a warrior angel. But, when proof of her identity indicates something else, and evil appears to be manifesting around every corridor, both Aydan and Zane must determine the truth before all is lost. Again.
This second story is really the turning point story of the series, setting into motion a cataclysmic set of events that will hurl you into book #3, Dominus.
19. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? 
Drafting!!! I am horrible at it (thus the reason I task avoid it so much). I just can’t keep my inner editor from running amuck and slowing things down too early in the process. Typically, I have to do word sprints just to get the words on the page. day maybe I will be better at that initial draft.
20. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you. Beyond words, THANK YOU! Because of you, because you are willing to take the ride I offer, because you are brave enough to risk the journey, and strong enough to endure the rollercoaster...because of all of this my stories are here. I know the words I write are not always easy. Nor are they bright and uplifting most of the time. But they do represent an aspect of truth. I am humbled that you are willing to make the journey with me; humbled that you continue to ask me for more; honored that you would take the time to push me to work even harder. My life is truly blessed because you have chosen to allow my art into your heart.

About Christine:

School psychologist by day, critically acclaimed YA and nonfiction author by night, Christine Fonseca believes that writing is a great way to explore humanity. Her many titles include TRANSCEND, DIES IRAE, LACRIMOSA, MEA CULPA, and in nonfiction: 101 SUCCESS SECRETS FOR GIFTED KIDS and EMOTIONAL INTENSITY IN GIFTED STUDENTS.
When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can be sipping too many skinny vanilla lattes at her favorite coffee house or playing around on Facebook and Twitter. Catch her daily thoughts about writing and life on her blog.
For more information about Christine Fonseca or the series, visit her website – or her blog

To celebrate to release and thank her readers, Christine is hosting a little contest honoring each of the main characters. Prizes include a new release YA book, Book swag, and even some of her own titles. She is also giving a Kindle as part of her Fall Release Party. Check out both giveaways below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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