Sunday, 24 July 2011
YA Feature: Introducing Author Leah P. Lozano
This week on Introducing New/upcoming YA authors is upcoming author Leah Lozano! This welcome Leah to Reading Away The Days! *Claps hands* Leah is the author of an awesome upcoming series, Immortalis. Lets show Leah some commenting love!
Title of Book Series: Immortalis
Genre: Young Adult
Can you tell my readers the title of the first book in the series and a little about it.
The first book is Immortalis: The Calling
My current project, Immortalis, deals with a young girl, Lina, who has no one and nothing to turn to but the crazy visions that she has had since early childhood. Most of these visions catapult her into future events that will come to pass, a few send her into a strange unknown that terrifies her, but there is one man who has consistently been in them for as long as she can remember. It is, however, unfortunate that she does not know who he is. Most of her visions come true, so where is he? Why has he not come to her? With one defining moment, the loss of her grandmother, Lina is thrust into a dangerous battle amongst beings she never knew exsisted; and while facing many attempts on her life; she is protected by a secret presence. Finding all eyes on her as she battles epic forces of evil, she has unwittingly become the center on the Immortalis world.
Leah's writing journey so far:
I have been writing since I was a youngling (for those of you that know about my Immortalis series, you will appreciate that)! I got my first real taste of writing in grade school when my teacher wished to prove a point that, I should be in advanced classes, and had me enter a contest in which I had to write the ending of a story that they provided. Better than winning the contest, or being moved to the advanced classes, I was thrilled by the new passion that was now buring within me...writing!
I grew up on the east coast in a little town called Monessen, PA and later moved to San Antonio, TX where my creativity continued to be encouraged in many shapes and forms. I was a former band geek, track star, dance team perfomer (go Dragons!), artist, runway model, and writer...some happily left behind, others I still carry with me. Growing up with nearly all male cousins and two brothers, "house" was never something we played. With "star wars" being the popular choice, I grew up with the nickname Princess Leah, and as a result became a geek at heart. Proud to call myself a romantic, I appreciate the mix of both action and romance to heighten the experience.
Happily married and celebrating 12 wonderful years in August, I do my best to juggle family, a full time job at a law firm, and a full time writing career! I attended the San Antonio Art Institute, and I absolutely love writing. When I'm not writing, I spend my time keeping Starbucks in business, talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (thank you so much my dear loved ones and friends), and cramming in time for socializing. Currently I write Young Adult (may have to convert to adult...hee, hee), Paranormal, and Sci-Fi, packed with Romance and plently of Action until out hearts are content.
I have been blessed with many great mentors along the way, and find inspiration in many of the great authors, whether they be Traditionally Published, Indie Writers, or those that have mastered the e-World, and I thank them all for their courageous work and achievements.
*Where did you get the idea for The Immortalis Series?
God only knows! I was reading one day and felt the burn. I wanted to write. I have always been intrigued with the six sense and being in touch with it myself, I thought it would be fun to write about my visions. They come and go, much like those that come to Lina in the book. I also knew I wanted to write about something mystical and powerful, something beautiful and dangerous, with an epic struggle of light and dark, good and evil. I continued reading and BAM, the opening paragraph popped into my head. I had to get it down. I began typing and the next thing I knew, I had written the first three chapters!
*How many books are there going to be altogether in the series?
It started as a trilogy, but then my very dear friends did some brainstorming and one night when we got together, they let me know that they had "a few" ideas/suggestions. By the time we finished devising, we realized it would be impossible for me to fit everything into just three small books, especially when my first book orginally ended at 700+ pages. Needless to say, I took the four books I wrote and spilt them up. Currently, there are eight books written with a timeline for more.
*You are currently querying for your series, how hard is the process and how is it going?
I would have to say it is a character -building process (said with a smile). In doing so, I have learned much about myself, and my books. The literal process is easy enough, given the writer does their research and follows the specific requests made by each agent/publisher. The difficult part is the waiting, rejections, and the mass numbers that the writer goes through in trying to find that one, delightful, perfect fit. I recieved two requests for the full manuscript, but the fit was not there in each case, so I continue onward! As with everything, I grow with each step in order to become who I am meant to be, and I look forward to that glorious day when I do find that perfect fit!
*Are you working on (or have written) any other novels that you would like to publish?
Yes indeed! I am working on three others in addition to Immortalis. The first, entitled Compass Rose, deals with the polar forces. The second, Fated to Death, takes you into the world of fate, death, and a young girl that interrupts the natural course of life, fate, and death. And the third, Presence Unknown, takes you to a place where two physical worlds collide. There are also ten other ideas that I have written down for future tackling.
*What sort of books do you like reading yourself; what are some of your favourite books/authors?
I read everything, Fiction, Non-fiction, Self-Help, all the way to the Funnies in the paper. I love so many different authors and books as each of them have inspired me, opening my eyes to new worlds, creations, struggles; and all of them have moved and impacted me one way or another. As with my writing, each of them have expanded my sights, touched me, and let me run wild with emotion!
To name just a few; I love many of the classics- Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (well, anything by Jane Austen is lovely), The Court of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (who let us taste the sweetness of justice) I basked in the warmth and strength of Little Woman by Lousia May Alcott, and hold dear The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice as my descriptive writing style has often times been compared to hers (I humbly thank you). Some other favourites are the Harry Potter series by J.K.Rowling (no words, just a huge well done, luv), The Left Behind series by Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins (brilliant), the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare (captivating), and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien as it stand the test of time.
I will stop there; otherwise, we could go on for days! Here's to all the greats, big and small, known and yet to be discovered!
Now for some quickfire questions with Leah:
*Summer or Winter?
I prefer summer, definitely summer; I love the beach!
*Night or Day?
I like the Night, where the mystic dwells.
*Movies or Music?
Ooh, um..yes! Can I just say music, books, and movies? Music as it inspires, books as I am an author and love to read and write, and movies because I would love to see my books, one day, made into movies! I find all forms of creative expression magnificant and like to experience as many as I can. Only then can we begin to understand others and broaden our minds in such a marvelous way.
*Fiction or Non-Fiction?
I admire them both, but lean towards Fiction since I get enough of reality in my day-to-day living *wink*!
This one has always been a tough one for me to answer. Being an artist, I love all colours, and so I have noticed that I tend to favour one colour or another only for a brief time before the mood shifts and I am on to another. Currently, I am all about pink. However, if I had to pick one, I would have to say red is my favourite!
*Favourite place to write?
I love being in the midst of scenery that inspires, trees, nature, the beach, Barnes & Nobles (hey, just smell the delectable scent of their Starbucks Coffee, and you'll know what I mean); but, I will gladly write anywhere I can.
*Favourite hoilday destination?
So far, Negril, Jamaica, it is so beautiful and laid back (and they have Dead Man's Cliff, a 40-foot drop where you can brave a jump into their crystal clear waters below...yes...I did, and yes... I love to tell :); but I have a sneaky suspicion, that will change once I make it out to Italy! I will always love Negril, but Italy holds a dear place in my heart because it is part of my heritage.
*Most favourite book?
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen...okay, so I'm a romantic sap!
If you were stranded on a desert island, which three items would you bring?
*My brilliant and wonderful Hubby
*Survival Kit complete with book, knife, matches, compass, water purifier, & First Aid
*And the ultimate Laptop with lifetime battery and satellite connection (a girl can dream!)
*My brillant and wonderful Hubby
*My favourite Barnes & Noble with their deli and Starbucks inside (although they may not be too happy with that, hee, hee)
*And a magic carpet of course!
However, if I was Lina, I'd bring Lucius, Archos, and Marcellus...one of those fine hotties would get me the heck out of there... and in the meantime, it would be a blast!
Check out Leah's blog: http://leahplozano.blogspot.com/
Follow Leah on twitter: @LeahPLozano