Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Author Spotlight: Emma Woods

Today I'm happy to welcome Emma Woods, author of YA dystopian fantasy Beasts and Savages:

1.Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm a small town girl from the Midwest, and the oldest of four. Our house was crazy most of the time, with kids playing everywhere, so when I wanted to escape, I'd find a quite place or slip to my room and read. I was a book nerd/marching band geek, and Girl Scout and wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. I went to college to become a teacher, but fate had other plans. I think if I would have taught, I may not have taken the initiative to write and publish, so in a way, I'm happy where I am.

2.When did you start writing, and why?
I'd like to think that writing has always been and interest, or even a hobby I've had for most of my life. Does that make me a  lifetime writer? I don't know, but I didn't decide to become a published writer until about nine months ago.

3.What do you write, and why? What do you enjoy about what you write?
I write mostly YA stories, because they are my favorite to read. I love writing because it is my escape. I have all these stories playing in my head. Why not write them down and share them with the world?

4.What is your latest book or series? Any forthcoming books?
My latest, and first, book series is The Beastly Series. Beasts and Savages is the first book in the series. The second book is in the works and coming along nicely, thanks to NaNoWriMo. It is due to be released on April 1, 2016. For the title, I plan to pick three of my best ideas and have a Twitter poll to let my readers pick it.

5."Welcome To My Worlds": Tell us a little about the world of your latest book or series.
The world in Beasts and Savages is one where women and men live in separate communities. The women's cities are highly controlled and full of technological advances. The men live in small villages in the wilds and rely on women for medications and offspring. When girls come of age, they change into beasts with the sole instinct to hunt, mate, and kill a boy. To keep order, hunts are staged twice a year and most girls only hunt once.

6.Introduce us to some of your characters. What do you like about them?
Lea is a born and bred hunter, who endures changing into a beast for a few days once a month. When women are in full-on beast mode, their instincts take over and all sense of reason leaves them. They have one goal: to find a boy, mate with him, and then kill him. Lea is able to control her instincts better than most, and refuses to kill.  She also one of a few who remembers changings, which means that she remembers every agonizing movement of her teeth dropping, bristles pushing out of her skin, and sudden sensitivity to light and sounds. I like how she follows her moral compass and isn't afraid to ask hard questions.

Tanner is a green eyed sweetheart who doesn't have a clue. Lea is the first girl he's ever met, and he doesn't know how to treat her. He's a bit protective, strong, and isn't afraid to stand up for himself against other boys, but he does have a fearful respect for his father, Locke. He's known  as the obedient son. I like that even though he has feelings for Lea, he's not a push over. When he thinks Lea needs put in her place, he tells her.

Miller is a villain that we come to  understand. Maybe not like, but at least we learn why he's a villain. He hates Lea, and all women from the start, and does terrible things to her. At one time Miller and Tanner were friends, but the presence of Lea puts a rift in their friendship. I like that he has a back story, a reason for being evil, instead of just being mean because that's what he knows. But be warned, his reason doesn't mean you'll hate him any less.

7.A fun fact you would like your readers to know about you or your book.
I wrote five endings to Beasts and Savages, and at the urging of my final beta reader, rewrote the one I had settled on again just 48 hours before I sent it to my formatting person to submit for publishing.

Beasts and Savages is available at:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Where to find Emma Woods:
Website | Goodreads | Facebook

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