4/08/2013

Author Spotlight #2 + Giveaway: Amy Martin

Title: In Your Dreams (In Your Dreams #1)
Author: Amy Martin
Genre: Young Adult
Published: August 16th 2012
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Sixteen-year-old Zara "Zip" McKee lives for three things: basketball, books, and bailing out of tiny Titusville, Illinois, where the junior high and high school are in the same building and everyone's known everyone else since birth. But when Kieran Lanier moves to town and passes out on her desk on his first day at school, Zip's life gets complicated in a way she never dreamed. 

Kieran has narcolepsy, and although he sometimes struggles to stay awake, he has no trouble capturing Zip's heart and trusting her with his most guarded secret--he sees bits and pieces of the future in his dreams. 

But just when Zip thinks that maybe she can handle having a boyfriend who sees things before they happen, her budding relationship with Kieran gets a jolt when Kieran's parents reveal that his sleeping disorder is not what it seems and may be putting them in harm's way. And when Zip begins to have unsettling dreams, she must decide if she can live with knowing the future in advance when she's afraid of what might happen.

*Recommended for Young Adult readers 13 and up (mild cursing, some adult situations)


EXCERPT
I start reading, and Kieran moves closer to rest his head on my shoulder, a gesture I tell myself is probably due more to exhaustion than affection, but I don’t really care. With him warm next to me, his hair rubbing against my neck, I begin exploring what was involuntarily going on in his mind two years ago: A drawing of someone who resembles Kayla in a tank top and shorts, getting a medal for something. Beautiful descriptions of mountains and forests which I’m assuming are places in North Carolina. Doodles of sunbursts, like the ones he’s always drawing in his notebooks at school. A shadowy sketch and description of a man in his late thirties. Shadow Man pops up several times, but each sketch is a little more clear than the previous one, and I notice with every subsequent appearance, he’s starting to look like Kieran—an older version of Kieran with a goatee.
“Hey, Kieran?” I start, but he doesn’t respond. His head is heavy on my shoulder, so I assume he’s fallen asleep. I poke an elbow into his side and he sits up, blinking.
“Yeah. I’m here. What?”
“This guy who keeps showing up?”
“You mean the Boogey Man,” he says, resting his head against the edge of the bed. “He’s a recurring dream. Or recurring nightmare, I guess.”
“Who is he?”
Kieran shrugs. “Never seen him in my waking life, so I call him the ‘Boogey Man.’ Plus, I’m always kind of creeped out when I wake up from a dream about him.”
“Well, don’t take this the wrong way, because I’m not trying to be weird or insulting or anything, but he sort of reminds me of you.”
He gives a little laugh. “Yeah. Dad’s theory is that I’ve got some anxiety about growing up or something, and so I’m dreaming this older version of myself and it freaks me out. And, I mean, Dad unscrambles people’s brains for a living, basically, so maybe he’s right. I don’t know.” Kieran hitches up his shoulders as if he’s not sure he believes his Dad’s interpretation of events before he changes the subject slightly. “I guess I get a preview of what I’d look like with a goatee, though. What do you think?”
He reaches for the notebook lying in my lap and holds the drawing up next to his face. The eyes may be a little further apart and the man’s a lot more muscular, but the sketch is essentially Kieran with a goatee, which sort of freaks me out.
“Doesn’t work for me,” I admit. “Promise you’ll never do that.”
He tosses the notebook to the floor and leans in until our foreheads touch, his mouth almost on mine. “Promise,” he whispers.
At a total loss as to what else to do in this situation, I close my eyes, ready to let nature take its course—whatever nature’s course might be. Kieran’s fingertips graze my cheek near my chin, and I shiver, the icy stabs of sensitivity shooting up my spine quickly giving way to a warmth that spreads throughout my body. I part my lips to let him in, bracing myself for the moment his tongue will slip into my mouth. With my body so tense and my heart pounding so loudly, I’m surprised I can feel or hear anything, but I can—just as Kieran’s forehead grows heavier on mine and his hand disappears from my face, the front door slams downstairs. My eyes flutter open to find his eyes closed, but not because he’s experiencing some moment of mad passionate love for me.
“Kieran, wake up,” I whisper, shaking his shoulder as footsteps get louder on the stairs. “Oh, God—come on…”
His eyes pop to full size and he sits up, staring at me for a second before looking away towards his open bedroom door. He reaches a hand up to his bed to pull himself off the floor, and he’s bending down to help me to my feet as Kayla, in her track sweats emblazoned with the Titusville Titan crouched in starter’s position, appears in the doorway.
“Hey, Zip,” she sings, leaning against the door frame as her mother comes up behind her. Carlie’s expression darkens on seeing Kieran and me together in his room, notebooks scattered around and the Boogey Man staring at up her from a few feet away. Kayla mouths “You are so dead,” to her brother.




Hi, Amy! Welcome to Sab The Book Eater!

Can you tell us something about yourself?

Sure thing! I’m originally from St. Charles, Missouri, USA, but I currently live in Lexington, Kentucky, USA. I’ve spent my adult life working various jobs at colleges and universities, so I’m surrounded by young people all the time (which is awesome). I have a great husband and a ferocious tabby cat named Cleo.

What book/s sparked your love for reading?

When I was in nursery school, my teacher taught me how to read a Sesame Street book (I can’t remember the title—that’s been too long ago), and I wanted to read everything I could get my hands on after that. Once I reached my preteen years, I was really drawn to Judy Blume’s books. At the time, I felt as though she was one of the few adults who really remembered and understood how the preteen/teen years could be such a tumultuous time.

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

I probably knew by the time I was ten years old. I was so into reading at that point in my life, and I thought it would be cool if I could someday write something that would have the same impact on other people as some of my favorite books had had on me.

What inspired you to write In Your Dreams?

I knew I wanted to write a book for young people that had a strong female heroine, and I actually came up with the character of Zip McKee before I wrote a plot outline. When I knew I wanted her to be confronted with the challenge of meeting and falling for an exceptional boy, I came up with Kieran’s disorder because I’ve always been fascinated with how the brain works.

What was it like writing your book?

Writing In Your Dreams was the most challenging—yet fun—experience I’ve ever had. Even when I’d run into writing obstacles or had trouble filling plot holes, I was enjoying myself. Few things compare to the experience of devising characters and plot lines in your head and then seeing them come to life on the page.

I’ve always been interested to know this: how did you come up with the characters’ names?

Zip just sort of came to me. She’s a quirky girl whose ability to run fast becomes a major plot point, so ‘Zip’ was a good fit for her, just as she says in the novel. I like the name ‘Zara,’ so I chose that as her given name (it also works well with ‘Zip’). Kieran and Kayla are just names that I like that seemed to fit the characters somehow. Really, that’s how I name all my characters—I’ll start writing about them and when I go back and read what I’ve written, I say to myself “Hmmm…you sound like you should be named ________.”

If you could have any one of your characters be your friend in real life, who would it be and why?

I’d love to be Zip’s friend. She’s that girl in high school who tries to be friends with everyone, even people who bother her somehow (Kayla) or who present special challenges (Kieran). She tries to give everyone a chance.

In a nutshell, what can readers expect from In Your Dreams?

Readers can expect a little romance, a little adventure, a little basketball, and a little mystery and suspense. Hopefully, that all adds up to an interesting read!

THE LIGHTNING ROUND!!!

Cats or dogs? 
I’ve always had cats. I don’t have anything against dogs, however.

Fill in the blanks: “___________ & ___________ always get me down”
 “Mean people and rainy days always get me down.”

Some place you’ve always wanted to visit:
 Great Britain (England and Ireland, especially).

Favorite movie:
 It’s a tie between Gone with the Wind and The Sound of Music

Favorite author:
 I have so many, but Judy Blume will always have a special place in my heart.

Thank you so much for being here! 
GIVEAWAY

Open internationally
Five winners will be chosen
Winners will have 72 hours to respond before another winner will be chosen

7 comments:

  1. I am officially intrigued. Need to read this book.

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  2. Sounds just like something I would enjoy. Great interview!

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  3. Great interview. This book looks great!

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  4. Love the new blog look, Sab! :)

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    Replies
    1. I love it too, Leah! Hihi. Thanks for dropping by :)

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  5. Loved the excerpt...great interview too :)

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  6. Oh darn, I made a mistake in the Twitter link thing! I'm so sorry, this is my first time doing something like this. Please disregard that entry. :)

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