Happy Release Day to me!
That is probably one of the weirdest and most surreal things I’ve ever typed up on this blog. I’m seriously blown away by that!
But its today! Today, The Awakened is a real book out in the real world! All over the world, people can go online and buy a copy of MY book, either in Kindle and paperback format! This is crazy to me. But also it feels amazing. This is what I’ve spent most of my life hoping for. Working my ass off for. I’m glad its finally here.
Have you gotten your copy of The Awakened yet? Its okay! I’ve provided a beautiful link here for you ;)
Even better! In just half an hour, I’ll be starting my SIX HOUR Twitter party extravaganza. If you don’t follow me on my author twitter yet, you definitely should! I’ll be on Twitter from noon PST to 6 pm PST, celebrating the release of The Awakened. I’ll be answering any and all questions you have, and reading alongside anyone else who is reading it! I’m going to be sharing snippets from The Awakened and even smaller ones (but still cool) from the rough draft of The Awakened 2. I’ll have giveaways, including signed bookmarks, signed posters and Kindle copies of the book.
Definitely come and check it out! You don’t have to stick around for the whole six hours so come by anytime, shoot a question my way, anything! I’ll be happy to chat with all of you!
Now moving on to this week’s Tuesday Top Ten. Today is a special one, since today is my release day! So excited! Today I’m sharing ten things you should know about The Awakened before you read it! There are NO spoilers below, so don’t be scared to go beyond this part!
Also below is the schedule for the blog tour! SO many amazing and fantastic blogs are participating, sharing in The Awakened celebration and hosting me as a guest writer or in interview form. There is also information for the giveaway as well! It runs until December 12th so get those entries in!
Now, let’s get to it!
The book is about zombies…sort of
For so long, I hesitated to compare the Awakened to zombies but there are similarities for sure. They’re both undead, and they both crave one thing: human flesh. However, the Awakened don’t really have the same origin as zombies and that’s a huge plot point in the novel. And they’re smarter. They’re reflections of their old selves, but their overwhelming hunger outweighs that and makes them the monsters they are.
Zoey and Ash aren’t perfect.
I’ve had beta readers and reviewers and several people tell me, I loved the book but Ash drove me insane or god I got annoyed with Zoey. And I’m okay with that! I want you to feel that! Both of these characters are incredibly flawed! They’re 18 years old and kind of sheltered, very taken care of, until the world goes to sh*t and so they mess up a lot. They make a lot of mistakes. And that’s okay. That’s a huge part of the book, having these two figure out what the hell they are doing.
The bombing was an accidental scene.
I didn’t intend to bomb every major city as part of a plot point. I remember watching The Walking Dead with my boyfriend at the time and saying, jokingly, “Why don’t they just nuke everything? Why do they just let it get out of control?” Well, because my brain can’t shut off, it got me thinking and I wondered, what if they DID bomb everything? Where would you go? What would be the consequences of that? And that’s why I wrote it in.
“Nightmare” by Set It Off is the unofficial theme song.
I was having SUCH a hard time at the beginning of this novel. I had this idea and for me, it was very risky. I don’t write science fiction! I’ve always stuck to romance! So this was out of the box for me and I was feeling doubts about actually accomplishing it! I went to a concert where Set It Off was opening, the first time I actually saw them. They played Nightmare and it just immediately stuck to me, and that song, plus the entire Cinematics album was on repeat while I wrote.
All the settings are done by research not experience.
I have not been to ANY of the settings that are in the novel. I know, crazy right? I was originally going to have Zoey from Los Angeles, since I’ve lived here in Southern California my entire life but my book before The Awakened took place here so I needed a break for sure. So New York, and all the other settings, were researched. It was hard at times. I forgot that Zoey and her companions would be FREEZING at times because it was winter. Winter isn’t much of a thing here so that was actually genuinely tough! There is a setting that appears at the very very end of the book, and I have been there. That setting is way more important in the second book and I’m glad I’ve actually BEEN there LOL.
The Awakened was supposed to be a standalone.
When I originally started writing the book, I had no plans to write more than the one book. As I continued to write, however, I realized I had created a world and a scenario much, much bigger than just one book and I realized I’d have to split it in two. People keep asking if it’ll be a trilogy but I think I’d lose my mind if I attempted that LOL. It’ll be two books and that’s it!
Zoey and Ash used to be Kate and Nate.
Kate. And. Nate. Did I ever mention how absolutely AWFUL I am at naming characters? I am truly truly awful at it. I would just name all my characters the same thing if I could because names are baffling to me. It took me a second to realize their names rhymed and I was so horrified at myself. So I changed Nate to Ash. Then eventually I changed Kate to Zoey. I tend to do that a lot, change character names. I like change and I get tired of names quickly. I almost changed it from Zoey too until my friends were like, NO. I’m so glad they keep me in line…
The 5th Wave, Alienated and Unremembered were the biggest influences on the book.
I love all three of these books so much and they all had huge influences on The Awakened. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey did a lot for the survival part, especially since my characters are teenagers like Cassie. It was beyond helpful. I LOVED using Alienated by Melissa Landers to incorporate the romance between Zoey and Ash, but also still make it about the science fiction. Though Alienated is definitely more romance, it was so helpful. I think one of the most helpful though was Unremembered Jessica Brody. Its SO science fiction but it has a heavy foot in reality, in the reality we know and it showed me that I could totally write this book. It had a HUGE influence on this book.
The Awakened gave me the confidence to write more science fiction.
I honestly didn’t think I could write science fiction before this book. I still sometimes don’t think I can do it. The book I wrote about this one is called Benched and is a new adult sports romance novel. Much shorter, and felt much easier to me. But I do feel the confidence to take these ideas I have and go with it. I’m currently working on the sequels to both The Awakened and Benched but I have an idea for a sort of space/robot/cyborg story about a girl named Nadia, who is the last human, the last princess, left in existence, surrounded by robots and cyborgs, until she finds out maybe she’s not. Its daunting but I really believe I can tackle it.
The sequel to The Awakened will open the world even more.
The Awakened focuses a LOT on the main characters and their own problems, their own survival. Its very very centered on them, and for good reason. Its all about Zoey and her companions. However, in the sequel, its going to be very much about the rest of the survivors as well. Its going to be much more about the bigger picture. This is SO daunting to me but I’m excited for it. I’m excited to open up this world and exploring the bigger consequences of everything that has happened.
I hope you guys enjoyed that and that you enjoy reading The Awakened! I am so excited that its out today. Don’t forget that there is a great giveaway going on, hosted by me, which has no effect on me saying its great ;)
Up for grabs is a signed book, poster and bookmark, more signed posters and bookmarks and kindle editions of The Awakened!
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour for interviews, guest posts and more!
November 27th: Living Within Fiction
December 4th: Bout of Bibliophilia