Saturday, 28 March 2015

Blog Tour + Interview - Fairy, Texas by Margo Bond Collins



Fairy, Texas Blurb:

Laney Harris thinks there are monsters in Fairy, Texas.

She's right.

When her mother remarried and moved them to a town where a date meant hanging out at the Sonic, Laney figured that "boring" would have a whole new meaning. A new stepsister who despised her and a high school where she was the only topic of gossip were bad enough. But when she met the school counselor (and his terminal bad breath), she grew suspicious. Especially since he had wings that only she could see. And then there were Josh and Mason, two gorgeous glimmering-eyed classmates whose interest in her might not be for the reasons she hoped. Not to mention that dead guy she nearly tripped over in gym class. Boring took on an entirely new dimension in Fairy, Texas.

If she's going to survive, she'll have to learn to wing it.



Be sure to add Fairy, Texas to your Goodreads bookshelves!



Buy Fairy, Texas:

Amazon (Kindle)




Character Profile

Character: Laney Harris

Book: Fairy, Texas

Age:
16

Physical description:

Laney has brown eyes and straight brown hair. A few freckles are dusted across her nose, but she often brushes powder across it to hide them.

Quote that fits her personality:

My life sounded a little bit like a word problem: Josh and Mason both want Laney. Mr. Bartlef has mostly invisible bat wings. They all hang out at John Hamilton’s ranch. Assuming that Laney isn’t a total moron, calculate her chances of survival. Have I mentioned how much I hate math?

Best quality: Underneath her surface-level snarkiness, she’s actually kind and loyal.

Worst quality: She often acts without thinking first and ends up in trouble.




Excerpt:

Fairy High could have fit into one wing of my old school. The three-story, red brick building looked like it had been around for at least a century—it actually had carvings over two of the doorways that read “Men’s Entrance” and “Women’s Entrance.” I was glad to see that none of the kids paid any attention to those instructions.
“Counselor’s office,” I muttered to myself. At least I wasn’t starting in the middle of a term—though given the fact that there were fewer than 500 students in the entire high school, I didn’t think I was going to be able to go unnoticed, even in the general bustle of the first day back from summer vacation.
I walked through the door marked “Men’s Entrance,” just be contrary, and faced a long hallway lined with heavy wooden doors. The spaces in between the doors were filled with lockers and marble staircases with ornate hand-rails flanked each end of the long hallway.
Students poured in behind me, calling out greetings to each other and jostling me off to the side while I tried to get my bearings. None of the doors obviously led to a main office; I was going to have to walk the entire length of the hallway. And people were already starting to stare and whisper.
God. I hated being the new kid.
I took a deep breath and stepped forward. I made it halfway down the hall without seeing anything informative—all the doors had numbers over them and many of them had name plaques, but neither of those things did me any good since I didn’t know the name or office number for the counselor. I was almost getting desperate enough to ask Kayla, but of course she was nowhere to be seen.
I turned back from scanning the halls for her and caught sight of the first adult I’d seen—and almost screamed. As it was, I gasped loudly enough for a guy walking past me to do a double take. The man standing in the open doorway was tall, over six feet, and way skinny—so emaciated that it looked like you ought to be able to see his ribs through his shirt, if his shirt didn’t hang so loosely on him. He had white hair that stuck out in tufts, thin lips, a sharp nose, and pale blue eyes that narrowed as he watched the kids walk past—and all the kids gave him a wide berth without even seeming to notice that they did so. He stood in an empty circle while students streamed around him in the crowded hallway.
But none of that was what made me almost scream.
For a moment, just as I’d turned toward him, I could have sworn that I’d seen the shadow of two huge, black, leathery wings stretched out behind him.







When did you start writing?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been making up stories. The first story I remember actually writing down was basically fan-fiction of The Wizard of Oz. I wrote it in long-hand in a yellow
legal pad. I’ve been writing ever since. But about ten years ago, a friend suggested I join in National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo.org). Until then, I had always written short stories.
That year, I finished the first draft of what would eventually become Legally Undead—it will be my third published novel, but it’s the first one I wrote.

I ended up as an English major in college because I was fascinated by the ways stories work. And then I went on to graduate school because I couldn’t figure out what else to do. I ended up with a Ph.D. in literature almost by accident; I just never quit wanting to learn about all the stories in the world!

So now I teach literature and writing in my day job, and the rest of the time, I write, both as a fiction author and as an academic.

 
What makes you want to write?

In some ways, I feel compelled to write. So first and foremost, I write for myself. I write to tell the stories I want to read. And I hope that others want to read them, too!

One of my favorite quotes about writing is from Neil Gaiman; every time I read it, I am reminded of yet another piece of a life of words:

"You write. That's the hard bit that nobody sees. You write on the good days and you write on the lousy days. Like a shark, you have to keep moving forward or you die. Writing may or may not be your salvation; it might or might not be your destiny. But that does not matter. What matters right now are the words, one after another. Find the next word. Write it down. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat." --Neil Gaiman

 

Do you ever get writer's block and what do you do to get over it?

I get stuck, like everyone. I hit writer’s block sometimes. But when that happens, I usually switch over to another project or go for a walk. Sometimes I’ll go back and try to work on editing what’s already done. But I loathe editing and revising. I know it must be done, but I hate it with a fiery passion. So that usually prompts me to go back to writing!

 
Do you have a special way of going about writing?

I have an office that I use for all my work: academic writing, fiction writing, editing, and online teaching. My desk is against a window so I can see outside. I’m surrounded by books and papers.
I write directly on my laptop, but when I get stuck, I sometimes switch to handwriting; this seems to shift my brain onto a different track and helps me get over writer’s block. I write something every day, whether it’s academic writing, fiction, or my blog.

But the single biggest thing that I do to write? It’s narrating. I have an internal monologue—and sometimes dialogue—going on all the time. I think in words; when I have a mental picture, I practice translating it into words in my mind. I tell myself stories and I work out plot lines and I figure out arguments to make about literature. I think about the words to use to explain writing to my classes and I practice describing my surroundings. I think in my characters’ voices and in my own voice. When I get blocked, I go for a walk and let my characters take over for a while until I have another scene.

 
Do you have any works in progress?

Several! I'm working on the sequels to Fairy, Texas (entitled Flightless), Waking Up Dead (entitled Playing Dead), and Legally Undead (entitled Crazy, Stupid, Undead). And a few other things!

 
What are your hobbies?

Reading, swimming, spending as much time as possible with my daughter!

 
How did you choose the character names for Fairy, Texas?

Some of them just came to me—Laney's name was easy. But I often check baby-name sites to find appropriate names!

 
Who is your favourite character in Fairy, Texas?

I really love Mason.

 
How did you get the idea for Fairy, Texas?

I was driving through rural Texas near where I grew up and passed the sign for the cut-off to the town Fairy, Texas. I must have driven by the sign hundreds of times in my life, but this time I started wondering what it would be like if the town were actually occupied by fairy-like creatures—not exactly European fairies, but a race that could intermingle with the humans of our own world.  The book developed from there!

 
What was your favourite part of writing Fairy, Texas?

I love getting lost in the worlds I create. 


What are you currently reading?


I'm re-reading the Miles Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold.

 
What is your favourite book?

Ha! Never ask an English professor to discuss books unless you want the multi-paragraph answer! Like most novelists, I am a voracious reader in my field, which means that I read all kinds of urban fantasy and paranormal fiction. But in addition to being an urban fantasy writer, I have Ph.D. in eighteenth-century British literature. This means that any time anyone wants to talk books, I have more than my share to say!

In early British literature, I love the classics—but especially the stories with heroes and monsters: Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Knight’s Tale. I love Shakespeare’s plays, but my favorites to teach are Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream because each is such a great example of its genre. Hamlet’s tragedy seems virtually unavoidable, and Midsummer’s comedy hits all the high (and low!) points.

In my own sub-specialty of eighteenth-century British literature, I love the early novels written by some of the first women to make a living writing in England, such as Aphra Behn, Eliza Haywood, and Delarivier Manley. Behn’s 1688 novel Oroonoko tells the story of a king who became a slave and found the woman he loved in the process, only to kill her and their unborn child to save them from slavery. In Haywood’s Fantomina (1724), a young noblewoman sets off on a sexual adventure full of disguises and intrigue. And in Manley’s The Wife’s Resentment (1720), a young woman takes revenge against her unfaithful husband with a gruesome murder.
These early novels influenced later gothic tales, with virtuous damsels in distress and monstrous villains out to destroy them.

I think these various loves in more traditional literature—monsters, heroes, strong women, and gothic settings—are all parts of what have influenced my love of urban fantasy, paranormal fiction, romance, and horror. I love seeing many of the same tropes and ideas in more recent publications that influenced earlier works, as well.

 
Who is your favourite author?

 There are too many to list! I tend to have lists of favorite authors according to genre and to time period. But at the moment, here are a few: I love books by Neil Gaiman, Lois McMaster Bujold, Faith Hunter, Stephen Graham Jones, Ilona Andrews, Carrie Vaughn, Richelle Mead, Rachel Vincent, Holly Black, Janny Wurts, Jennifer Estep, Rachel Caine, Patricia Briggs, Janet Evanovich . . . and those are just the ones who come to mind immediately!

 
What is your favourite film?

At the moment? Guardians of the Galaxy.

 
What is your favourite TV show?

The Walking Dead, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (still!).

 
Quick-fire questions:

Chocolate or ice cream? Chocolate.
Paperback or ebook? Ebook.
Dogs or cats? Cats.
Go out or stay in? Stay in.
Summer or winter? Summer
.




About the Author

Margo Bond Collins is the author of urban fantasy, contemporary romance, and paranormal mysteries. She has published a number of novels, including Sanguinary, Taming the Country Star, Legally Undead, Waking Up Dead, and Fairy, Texas. She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. Although writing fiction is her first love, she also teaches college-level English courses online. She enjoys reading romance and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, monsters, cowboys, and villains, and the strong women who love them—and sometimes fight them.


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