Monday, September 23, 2013

Take Chances Teaser

Good Morning! My name is KC Sprayberry. Mary Ann Cortez of The Write Place has let me hijack her blog today. The purpose is to tease all of her very dedicated readers with information about my soon-to-be-released YA coming of age novel, Take Chances.
Another interview? Oh well, I guess there's more everyone wants to know about me. Here we go!
Where do your ideas come from?
Everywhere. Wherever I go, I have a notebook handy, to write down interesting things, or about things I see people doing, or even events going on around me. My hubby laughs at this, swearing they'll have to use hundreds of nails to shut my coffin, or I'll be reaching for pen and paper to record the event.
He's not wrong!
Do you feel humor is important in young adult coming of age novels and why?
Of course. Look at teens. Their humor is sometimes rough, profane, or takes on a weird perspective with bathroom humor. You can't write a teen novel, explore their lives, without some kind of humor. In Take Chances, the humor comes from Tom's antics, mostly. Julie provides some herself, as does her first BFF, Lydie.
Why? Teens are serious. They're going through massive changes, both internally and externally. They're attempting to figure out who they are. That means they'll get intense, but they also have a great humor barometer. They'll insult each other, giving adults a fit about bullying, when in fact, within each teen's group, there are limits they are well aware of. Observing teens as I have for the last twenty years, I've come to the conclusion there are no limits for their humor, nor do they mean any particular group disrespect. This is their way of handling what this growth period does to them.
What kind of research do you do?
All kinds. I'll start with a news website or the actual, get the ink on your hands paper. Yes, those actually do exist! Often, that's where the story begins. It might be a small article that most don't notice, or a story that has the community up in arms. Next begins the internet research. That can take days and weeks initially, and I'll always go back to ensure that I have the information right. Finally, my best research arena for young adult books are teens themselves. My son warns his friends – "don't do anything you don't want to see in a book around my mom!"
He's not kidding. I've never made it a secret that I'll ruthlessly use whatever I find interesting and fits into my current plot. Most teens are overjoyed they can contribute, but there are some who have a panic attack and demand that I give them a chance to fix their hair or makeup, or reword what they just said, so they don't look or sound dumb.
Not happening!
What does your husband think of your writing?
What does he think of the hours and hours a day I spend locked inside my stories? He's the one who suggested that I do this not long after our youngest was born.
We were going through the packet the hospital gave us after we got home. There was a postcard from The Institute of Children's Literature. He's always known that I wanted to be a writer, but shoved that aside to begin a career in the military, raise my children, be a good wife.
His offer gave me so much joy. Writing has always been the one thing in my life that I've loved as much as those I let close to me. From that day forward, he's been my biggest cheerleader, and my harshest critic when he doesn't think something works.
Do you ever ask him for advice?
Yes, but he doesn't always give me the advice I want. He knows, when I do ask that I have a preconceived notion of what he'll say. There are many times when he's surprised me, usually after I start the conversation with "You'll hate this."
His response to that? "We'll see."
Then he'll disappear to read whatever I'm asking him about. When he reappears, he'll say, "It's good but … (isn't but the most awful word in the world?). My sweet hubby will then outline what he feels is wrong, but he won't ever tell me how to change it. That he leaves up to me!

Julie Bond grew up in Europe as a military brat. She found her very first permanent home in Landry, GA as a teen going into high school. Almost four years later, she's having pre-graduation jitters and flashing back to an incident of school violence she experienced in Europe. She attempts to convince herself that it can never happen again, but continually finds herself flashing back to that day no matter how hard she tries.
The people around her present any number of problems for Julie, and she's hard put to keep from drowning under all the issues. Then Michael--a cool guy she's had a crush on for the last three years—returns from traveling the US as a photographer, and Julie now has one more thing to distract her as she prepares to leave high school. One thing she firmly believes in: no one will ever invade her classroom with violence again.
Once again, the impossible happens. Once again, she's in a classroom with a madman holding a gun. Once again, she must survive.
Teaser Excerpt:
Hugh and I hook arms and wander through the crowded hallways, on our way to 300 Lane, where our next class is. Back when Landry High opened, someone on the school board thought it would be cute to name all the hallways like they were roads.
Cute works for elementary kids. I'd rather have ordinary.
Both of us, along with the rest of our crew, have Advanced Writing Program—AWP--class next. I have no worries about my paper since I finished it last night and it's even better than the first one I did when the teacher, Mr. Thompson, accepted me into his invitation-only class. That paper, what is most important to me, took a whole week to write. Growing up a military brat left me without one thing everyone in Landry takes for granted – close relationships. At the time, I had known Tom, Lukas, Heather, Michael, and Hugh for a little over a month. While I hope I'll always have them around, experience has taught me well.


KC Sprayberry started writing young, with a diary followed by an interest in English. Her first experience with publication came when she placed third in a Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge contest while in the Air Force, but her dedication to writing came after she had her youngest child, now a in his senior year of high school.
Her family lives in Northwest Georgia where she spends her days creating stories about life in the south, and far beyond. More than a dozen of her short stories have appeared in several magazines. Five anthologies feature other short stories, and her young adult novel Softly Say Goodbye, released in 2012. During 2013, more young adult stories have been released: The Ghost Catcher, Who Am I?, Family Curse … Times Two, and Amazon Best Seller, Canoples Investigations Tackles Space Pirates.
You can find her on the web here:

Stick around for the full tour. Why? On September 26 through September 29, 2013, you can pick up my other YA coming of age books, Softly Say Goodbye and Who Am I? free on Amazon:

Thank you Mary Ann Cortez of The Write Place for hosting me today. Tomorrow you find the next Teaser Tour on JJ Johse The Write Time.