Sunday, January 13, 2013

FOUR DAYS OF SILVER DAY FOUR!!!!

*falls over*
 
We're at day FOUR!!!
 
Yup, it's the final day of the Four Days of Silver!
 
Today is the review for the FINAL part of Milly Silvers Into The Dark!
 
And the the interview!!!!
 
WOOOOOO!!!
 
 
BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!
 
As a surprise, one of my lucky sexy stalkers will win ALL FOUR INSTALLMENTS OF INTO THE DARK!!!! Thats right, one of YOU!
 
 
BUT FIRST!!!
Interview Time!


Q: How did you come up with the idea for Into the Dark?

 A:I wrote INTO THE DARK in 2010. I was fascinated by the different states of consciousness such as day-dreaming, dreaming whilst asleep, blacking out and coma. Where do we feel like we go when we are in these states? For example, when we dream, we automatically find ourselves with a new body, a version of our normal body. It feels very real. Yet it’s not, as our real body is still in the physical world. Or is it? Who’s to say which version is real? It’s all about perception.

 I did a lot of research into the subject and was keen to explore further through Emily’s story.  I was also really interested in gifted people outside the mainstream who are not neuro-typical. What would it be like to live with something society considers a disability, but which could actually turn out to be an incredible gift? And what would that be like if you are already struggling with the normal teenage challenges?

 I’m also a sucker for a good love story (who isn’t?!), so that was an important element for me.  I think first love is an incredibly powerful experience in life. It was both fun and torturous to revisit those emotions through Emily!

 Q: When you were creating the characters, did you have a specific trait in mind, or did they reveal themselves to you?

 A:I knew I wanted a strong, intelligent female lead, who grows into herself as the story unfolds. With regards to specific traits, I guess I looked around me and observed personality traits, and more temporary states, of the people I found interesting, and worked those into Emily’s character.

 With Henry, Ben, Seb and everyone else, I knew straight away the type of people I wanted them to be. I wanted Emily to be challenged and supported by a cast of characters who are in some ways similar to her, but also have contrasting elements. It makes for interesting reactions!

 
Q: Did you have nightmares as a child, or do you just have one heck of an imagination because I don't think I could ever dream up something like the Misery-Makers.

 A: Lol! I did have a recurring nightmare as a child. For about two years when I was eight or nine, I had a dream that a big blacked-out figure was trying to grab me or push me off a tall beam in a warehouse. I really hated the feeling of not being able to stop myself having the nightmare and dreaded going to sleep, as I’d find myself back in the same situation again and again. 

 I haven’t ever analysed it, dream-wise.  I grew out it and onto more pressing fears, such as my Womble pillowcase! *shivers* Do you remember The Wombles? No? Ok. Next question… ;-P

 Q: What part of Emily's character is a reflection of your own?

 A: I think her tenacity is based on my own. The drive to keep going no matter how bad everything seems, then something clicks into place and suddenly it all gets better. Her sense of humour is also my sense of humour – dry, slightly sarcastic, in a playful way.

 Q: Writing is never easy. What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome?

One with self esteem and one with the writing process if you please.

 A: Ooo, good question! I think the hardest part of the writing process is having the stamina to push yourself to keep going. Bear in mind, I started writing INTO THE DARK in 2010. I then spent all of 2011, working on it full time, rewriting, editing, polishing, going through several (at least ten) rounds of beta readers, more editing, agent feedback (Iain Banks’ agent John Jarrold gave me incredibly encouraging feedback), more polishing and then letting it rest for a few months. Then started over again.  Each time, trying to make the writing and the story stronger.

 Writing is a long project. It helped me to think of it as a work project, that I happen to be passionate about. And that passion drives you through the dark times.

 Self-esteem-wise, it’s tough to keep believing in yourself and your writing, when you are starting out. You don’t yet have an established fan base, routine, writing style, or the confidence that comes from achievement. It’s all about blind faith in yourself and your writing.

 Q: If we look at the book symbolically, what do the Misery-Makers symbolize to you?

 A: The Misery-Makers symbolise the loss of empathy in humans. The dark side of human beings. How once the ability to relate to or care about another being is lost or repressed, for whatever reason, humans can be an incredibly cruel species. We see it everyday, all around us. There is a huge backlog of evidence throughout history, of unnecessary violence and suffering inflicted on the weak and vulnerable. I find the human capacity for damaging one another, breathtaking. And I don’t believe it’s restricted to one particular race, religion, geography or socio-economic level. We’re all capable of it, if forced into the worst possible circumstances.

 Having said that, I love the unlimited capacity for kindness in people. I always look for and see the positives in everyone. And I get excited by different people’s gifts and potential.  So in INTO THE DARK, you have the dark side of humans represented by the Misery-Makers. Then you have the positive flip side of humans, represented by the Gifted and Talented set.

 Q: A lot of the book is set at a prestigious school.  We're you basing it off of personal experience of a school you attended?

 A: I didn’t attend a highly prestigious school myself, just an ordinary high school with children from a mix of backgrounds. The prestigious elite setting for INTO THE DARK is based on my interest in how wealth grants people more opportunity to explore and discover their innate gifts. And how the best of those people in fortunate circumstances frequently help those less privileged.

 I have a family member who lives in Oxford. I love the beautiful setting of the Oxford University colleges. There’s a special atmosphere around those buildings.

 Also, I live in Cheshire, which has some very wealthy areas. The black Range Rovers, and other high end cars are from personal experience of a part of the world around me.  

 Q: When the last word was finally written, how did you feel?

 A: I felt a mixture of happiness, relief, sadness and disbelief! Happiness and relief at finally having a finished story. Sadness at having to say goodbye to those characters whom I’d lived with daily for years! And disbelief that it was all finished! Overall, it’s a fantastic feeling.

 Q: who are you? not in the sense of whats your name, gender, etc, but who are you as a person?

 A: I’m many things. I play different roles in my life e.g. mummy, writer and friend. Each role brings out different aspects of my personality.  Then factor in my workload, setting, mood, and sometimes I’m happiest being on my own, living and breathing a good book. Other times, if I’ve been focused on my writing and have spent a lot of time alone, I crave people!

 I’m an optimist. I love to laugh. I love new experiences and pushing myself to try new things (no, not bungee jumping before you sign me up!). I’m very goal orientated. Oh, and I do admit to loving a good ‘to do’ list.

 Q: If you could change anything about your book, what would it be?

 A: Ooo tricky question. It’s a tough one as my writing gets stronger each year. There’s nothing that stands out that I’d want to change about INTO THE DARK. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I think it’s perfect. I’m not that arrogant. But equally, the story is everything that was floating around in my mind at that point in time, and my ability to write Emily’s story was what it was. There comes a point when you’ve taken on board as much feedback as you can, and you’ve spent a long time tweaking the writing. You’ve tried your very best. Then you just have to let it go, and move into your next project. So I’m happy with INTO THE DARK.

 Q: What do you hope the readers take away from your book?

A: I hope readers will have enjoyed Emily’s story. Perhaps it will make them think about their own lives. And be happy with the path they are taking. If not, then be brave enough to make changes.

 Q: If you had the chance to speak with an author, who would it be?

 A: I’d love to speak with Patrick Ness. He’s the British YA author who wrote The Chaos Walking Trilogy. I absolutely loved this series. The first book, The Knife of Never Letting Go was a brilliant mix of humour, action and really made me think. Very, very good writing. I think Patrick would be fun to chat to.

 Q: What advice would you give to inspiring writers?

A: Read, read and read some more. In genre. Out of genre. Then work hard at your craft. It takes time and effort. So be patient, and not too hard on yourself. You’ll get there. Find yourself a fantastic writing buddy/mentor who will be honest enough and kind enough to steer you in the right direction. They will be worth their weight in gold as your cheerleader, throughout the good times and the bad. Treat them well. And finally, enjoy and write with passion!   


AND NOW THE FINAL REVIEW!!! 
 
 
 
 In this final installment, Emily discovers Henry is not all that he seems. With her world crashing down around her, how will she rescue Irene? And as she faces the biggest decision of her life, will she have the strength to do whatever needs to be done? Find out how the exciting story ends!

Oh my holy flipping monkeys!
The final part of to INTO THE DARK had me tearing up, anxious to the point where I started to pace my living room (btw, there is some definite tread damage done to my carpet) then I'd flop onto the couch and bounce my knee nervously only to get back up and resume pacing.

Talk about ending a book with a bang!

This was the perfect way to end the book!  While I was speculating the entire time about who the Logician was, who the little girl was, etc, I never expected to get b*tch slapped so hard by so many twists of genius! Bravo Milly Silver!

'That's the way the cookie crumbles," my friend, Paranoia said smugly.'-Emily

Throughout the parts, the characters growths, love and family appeal, along with sarcastic comments and fun bantering, have lead readers up to the AMAZING finale!  I seriously adore each and every character!  They were perfectly created to add more intensity to the story, and I honestly don't think Milly could have created a better character set or story line.

'I looked blankly at Seb.  He raised his eyebrows. But all that made me want to do, was punch him in the smug face.' -Emily

While the first three plots made me full of curiosity and often antagonized me because it hinted at things but never really revealed anything, the final installment lets the cats COMPLETELY out of the bag, leaving me with a HUGE sense of What-The-Ef-ery!

'I resolved to die trying to live.  If I tried my best, then that was all anyone could expect form me.  A live worth livig.  A life trying ot make the people I loved happy.  A life where I'd made a difference.' -Emily

Into The Dark is definitely one of my favorite reads!  I'm still consumed by all the b*tch slaps and What-The-Ef-ery moments it threw my way, completely throwing me off balance and sending me into a vortex of OMG!  I'm all jacked up on it! AHHHHHH!

'Irene used to say that sometimes you had to do, what you had to do, to survive the day.  If that was too much of a stretch, go for surviving an hour at a time.  I held tight to that thought.' -Emily

And now, Moments from the Vault of What-The-Ef-ery!

'How did she not crack her head against the marble?'

-*looks at Jeremy* 'Baby, this sucks!
-Jeremy: 'What does?'
-Me: He totally used her!
-Jeremy: *shrugs* umm.. okay.
-Me: *hits Jeremy with Kindle* THIS IS SERIOUS!
-Jeremy: What do you want me to do about it?
-Me: Ahh! Just never mind! *furiously reads*

'You idiot! No he wasn't! Kick him in the balls!'

-Jeremy: Hey baby
-Me: No
-Jeremy: You haven't even...
-Me: *interrupts* Shhh!
-Jeremy: oh come on!
-Me: *glares* Boy! i love you but if you aren't quiet for the net five minutes I will poke you with a spoon!
-Jeremy: Books getting intense, huh?
Me: F* you

'WHAAAAT????'
"WTF WTF WTF WTF WTF!!!!!' *trying not to scream and wake up the kids
'omg!omg!omg!omg!'

 So, you guys TOTALLY have to enter the giveaway to win ALL FOUR BOOKS!
If you don't win, you should definitely buy them, cause INTO THE DARK is utterly fantastic! Eeek!


AS PROMISED, HERE'S YOUR CHANCE TO WIN AN EBOOK COPY OF ALL FOUR PARTS OF INTO THE DARK!
GOOD LUCK!