Sunday, September 25, 2011

Author Interview/Giveaway - The Marked Son by Shea Berkley

I’d like to thank Sue for inviting me to her blog today. Honestly, when you let a Young Adult writer on a blog, you never know what’s going to happen. We’re pretty pubescent. So I apologize beforehand for my behavior.

The Marked Son quick overview:

Seventeen-year-old Dylan Kennedy always knew something was different about him, but until his mother abandoned him in the middle of Oregon with grandparents he’s never met, he had no idea what.

When Dylan sees a girl in white in the woods behind his grandparents’ farm, he knows he’s seen her before…in his dreams. He’s felt her fear. Heard her insistence that only he can save her world from an evil lord who uses magic and fear to feed his greed for power.

Unable to shake the unearthly pull to Kera, Dylan takes her hand. Either he’s completely insane or he’s about to have the adventure of his life, because where they’re going is full of creatures he’s only read about in horror stories. Worse, the human blood in his veins has Dylan marked for death…

Describe your book in five words or less.

Dangerous. Demented. Dynamic. Totally Cool.

How did the ideas for your books come to you?

I woke from a dream and the hand of God touched my temple and inserted the story right then and there.

I wish, but nope.

Honestly, I’m not sure where the actual storyline came from, but my fallen angels (aka my children) realized I was doing a lot of writing on the computer and figured out I was writing stories and they harassed me until I promised I’d write one for them. I, in turn, grilled them about what kind of book they wanted and fantasy won the rock, paper, scissors contest and The Marked Son was born… or something very close to that. No, really.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Whatever message is in my books, it’s completely up to the reader to uncover. In other words, I didn’t write it with a social message in there. I write for the entertainment factor.

That sounds so shallow, huh? Here’s the mind twist, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a message in my stories. It’s just that any message is secondary to the story. I find that stories that tout a message as its main goal are often dull and didactic. (bleck!) I’m not here to preach; my job is to tell the story as I see it unfold and whatever comes out of that telling is a product of the character I created, good or bad.

All authors are actors. We just relate the story through the written word. So message? If you find one, awesome! If you just breeze through it and have a good time, that’s great, too!

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?

The hardest part of writing? Everything.

The easiest part of writing? Something about writing is easy? Seriously? Nobody told me that. What is it?

I kid you not, writing is mentally and physically exhausting for me. I love the feeling of creating and perfecting what I’ve created, but it’s just as often bone-scrapingly painful. Writing is not for sissies. Or lazy people. Or anyone who wants to make a lot of money. (grin)

What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?

I’ll tell you if you don’t tell anyone else. I’m working on the second and third books in the Keeper of Life series. Yep. And that’s all I’m telling you. Sorry. I can’t talk about books I’m working on. I find when I do, all the magic of that story slowly ebbs away, and then I don’t want to write about it anymore. So nope. Not talking.

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?

Different stories lean toward different genres. Dylan’s story leaned toward fantasy, so I had little choice in what kind of story it was. I’ve written middle grade books, picture books, adult books and books for young adults and within those categories the stories have run the gamut from straight fiction to fantasy to paranormal. All I want is to write an engaging story. Pretty simple goal for me.

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?

Surreal. (yeah, like that’s an original answer)

From my vantage point, my writing is fun for me, and hopefully entertaining for others, but nothing special. So, when people get all fangirl/boy on me it makes me smile. Shoot, I can’t wait for the next book to hit. I want to know what’s next for these characters and what they’re going to do, but honestly, I figured I’d be the only one. I’m just glad I’m not.

What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

Boxers or briefs?

Dude, I’m a girl. Really. I just write in the guy’s POV. So, cute, lacy thongs, duh!

What was your road to publications like?


Umm, not really that long, but longer than I wanted it to be. I’ve been writing fiction a long time, but not with the focus of ever getting published. I wrote non-fiction for publication. Then, when I finally finished my first book, I had to do something with it. So I sent it out to a publisher and it went nowhere fast. I’m okay with that. I love that book. It taught me a lot about writing and I learned about my voice and rhythm and all sorts of crazy tricks we use in fiction.

Over the years I’ve almost been published more times that I’d like to remember, but each time I was grateful the deals fell through. So when Variance came knocking (even though my books with Entangled came out first, I sold to Variance first), I was thrilled and then Entangled scooped up another series, and I was doubly thrilled. So I have two books coming out in one year from two different publishers and it’s freaky, but fantastic.

Torrein: Age of Fear is an Epic Fantasy coming out November 1st 2011 from Variance Publishing. Here’s a quick overview:

What if the only hope of saving a magical world depended on an ordinary boy?

Peace is not easily found in the divided kingdom of Taelyon; its mortals distrust anything magical; its wizards are indifferent to the suffering of others, and hate infects everyone. The battle for dominance is never ending. Yet, there is hope in a boy named Torrein. When magic is denied him, he's chased from his own village by those he once called friends. Torrein doesn't understand that his destiny is far greater than any he could have achieved if magic had been granted him. Who wants a destiny soaked in blood? All Torrein wants is what he can't have - to be with his family and friends.

To claim his rightful power, Torrein must calm his fears and reveal the real evil working to destroy Taelyon. It will be a fight till the end of the age to reclaim the freedom they’ve all been denied, and though it's hard for him to accept, it’s up to Torrein to protect those who have been deceived, and to make sure the evil in their midst doesn't kill them all.

Author Bio

Shea Berkley started out writing nonfiction (not so fun) and quickly moved into fiction (totally fun), and knew she’d found her calling. (Her family was thrilled she’d found friends to play with even if they weren’t technically real.) She’s still pleasantly surprised people are willing to pay to read her stories.

Besides writing, her many diversions include kickboxing, reading awesome books and hanging out with her loud and rambunctious family. With five kids (all girls), her biggest job is to make sure the little darlings don’t harass the neighbors and then play dumb when the cops come knocking on her door.

Please leave a comment/question on this post in appreciation of the author.


  1. Love the blog, Shea! So, guys, full disclosure...I've read both books. Shea is my critique partner. Both books rock. Shea's an awesome writer. If you're looking for gorgeous writing, twists and turns, and unique surprises, walk don't run to get these books!

    If you want the REAL scoop...ask...I'm giving away secrets for free today...mwahaha LOL.

  2. I completely understand not wanting to talk about stories still developing in your head. I've experienced the magic ebbing away too. I think it's something about being a storyteller. There's something special the first time you tell the story.

  3. Linda,

    Cute thongs are the best! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Robin,

    Thanks, Chica! Secrets? What secrets? I've got no freakin' secrets! Well, um, not many...

  5. CD Meetens.

    Hey you! There is something really magical about that first time telling a story that makes it pour our of you. Love it. Thanks for stopping by.


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