Friday, October 31, 2014

King of the Mutants Book Tour

Enter the giveaway and read on down for my interview with the author~

Winner will be drawn November 21, 2014

· Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of King of the Mutants by Samantha Verant (INT)
~About the Book~

Title: King of the Mutants

Publication date: October 21, 2014

Publisher: Tantrum Books/Month9Books, LLC.

Author: Samantha Verant

Can one boy stop a nefarious plot to turn kids into super-mutants?

Maverick Mercury enjoys his life as the sideshow attraction known as “Gator Boy” at Grumbling’s Traveling Circus and Sideshow.

His freakish mutations are the result of some billionaire geneticist’s experiments gone awry. But life as a mutant is about to get worse, as Maverick uncovers a plot to kidnap kids, turns them into super-mutants, and sells their powers to the highest bidder.

Now, Maverick is on a mission to find the mad scientist who may have created him and destroy his sinister plans!
~Author Interview~
Thanks for joining us Samantha! Tell us a little about your writing journey.
I didn’t follow the yellow brick road on my road to publication, but rather a path paved with barbed wire and a lot of frustrations. I fell down. A lot. But I also learned a lot about the business and made a lot of friends along the way. It took me seven years to see my dreams of publication come to fruition. Sometimes I call myself Seabiscuit. Thankfully, I found the right people who believed in me and pushed me forward. And I never gave up. Now, it’s off to the races. If I fall down, I’ll just dust off my knees and get back up. Giddy-up.
What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
Where do I start? I love the people I’ve met on this journey, most of whom have been with me since day one. The support in this community is amazing! I love opening up my mind and creating new worlds. I love seeing characters come to life. And there is nothing like the thrill of seeing your book in actual book form!
What is the hardest aspect of being a writer?
Lately, it’s been finding the time to write...while balancing real life. I do what I can when I can.
How much research goes into your story?
Tons. I research everything, and sometimes what I unearth is simply shocking. For King of the Mutants, I bought Todd Browning’s classic cult film, Freaks. I still have nightmares. I also bought Marc Hartzman’s book American Sideshow. Again, disturbing. I also delved into circus vernacular, thanks to Google. In the end, though, I think my book became a better book. All in the name of research!
Writers are sometimes influenced by things that happen in their own lives. Are you?
I’ve never been a twelve-year-old boy, or a sideshow attraction at a circus, but I have felt the stigma that comes when you feel like you’re different or a freak, especially during those middle grade years. Write what you know, right?
Tell us about your publications?
King of the Mutants is about a twelve-year-old boy, Maverick Mercury, a sideshow attraction known as “Gator Boy” at Grumbling’s Traveling Circus and Sideshow. Despite being routinely kicked around by the other performers, Maverick has always been comfortable in his skin. That is, until he overhears Burt Grumbling talking about him behind his reptilian-like back. Seems Maverick’s freakish mutations are the result of some billionaire geneticist’s experiments gone awry. Apparently, this guy kidnaps kids, turns them into supermutants, and sells their powers to the highest bidder. Now, Maverick is on a mission to find the mad scientist who may have created him. All he has to do is steal some wheels from Burt, escape the clutches of one-eyed Yorgi and his gang of killer clowns, and make his way from some Podunk town in Florida to the Big Apple. I compare to it to The Wizard of Oz...on steroids.
My memoir, entitled Seven Letters from Paris, was also just recently released. (October 7th/ Sourcebooks). A story about a mutant kid and a romantic memoir. That’s right. I’m a genre jumper. Don’t knock it until you try it!
What is the most surprising thing about writing/publishing you have learnt?
The most surprising thing I’ve learnt is that writing a book is the easy part; the hardest part is selling your work, and then marketing it. This business isn’t for the weary or faint-hearted.
Top tip/s for writers.
Oh, boy! I have a lot of advice. Work on your craft. Connect with other writers. Build up your platform, your social connections. No matter how supportive she is-- your mother is NOT a critique partner or a beta reader! And neither is your sister, spouse, or best friend. Put your work out there. Yes, with strangers. Remember that publishing is subjective. Don’t be afraid of rejection. Learn the business of publishing. Never pitch your work as the next big seller. Take critiques with an open mind and don’t get angry. Your writing partners want the best for you. When critiquing others, go for the sugar, salt, sugar method. (What’s good about the story, what needs to be worked on, and what totally rocks). Kill your darlings. (There will be things you think are awesome or funny, but others, simply put, will not). If you’re writing a memoir, hire an editor to work with you on the manuscript before you pitch it to agents and/or publishers. You will need an objective eye. Celebrate your victories...and your defeats. You’re one step closer. Forgive typos; they happen to everybody. Roll up your sleeves, prepare to get dirty, and work hard. Don’t send your work off to an agent or publisher until its polished. Revise. Edit. Repeat. Be patient. When you can’t stand to look at your manuscript’s ready.
Other than writing what else do you love?
I’m going for a list here...
My husband. My kids. My cat. Scuba-diving. Skiing. Gardening. Cooking. Traveling. Exploring. Hiking. Wine. Chocolate. Make that dark chocolate- only!
Who is your favorite author and why?
There are too many to list and it depends on the genre. BUT if I had to choose one it would have to be Roald Dahl. I must have read James and the Giant Peach a dozen times.
If you had a premonition you would be stranded on a desert island what 5 books would you take?
No, no, no! I can’t choose! This isn’t Sophie’s Choice! Just pick for me! Make it a surprise! I’m easy. I love to read!
Five words that sum you up.
Funny? (this is subjective)
Thanks so much for visiting the blog. How can we learn more?
Twitter: @samantha_verant
 ~About the Author~

Samantha Vérant is a travel addict, a self-professed oenophile, and a determined, if occasionally unconventional, French chef. Over the years, she’s visited many different countries, lived in many places, and worked many jobs— always on the search for the one thing that truly excited her. Then, one day, she found everything she’s been looking for: a passion for the written word and true love. Writing not only enabled her to open her heart, it led her to southwestern France, where she’s now married to a sexy French rocket scientist she met over twenty years ago, a stepmom to two incredible kids, and the adoptive mother to one ridiculously expensive Bengal cat. When she’s not trekking from Provence to the Pyrénées, tasting wine in American-sized glasses, or embracing her inner Julia Child while deliberating what constitutes the perfect boeuf bourguignon, Samantha is making her best effort to relearn those dreaded conjugations.

~Connect with the Author~

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