I want to welcome April Marcom. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.
Thanks, Barbara! I’m a young adult author/substitute teacher/mommy. My husband, 3 kids, and I live out in the country in central Oklahoma and love the peaceful seclusion. We share our home with 5 rowdy dogs, a cat, and a few noisy chickens. It’s a busy place, but a lot of fun.
Tell us about your latest release.
In my teen romance, titled Good vs. Evil High, Kristine’s just been adopted into North Haven High, an ice castle hidden in the farthest reaches of the north for orphaned teenagers who possess an unfailing disposition for good. And she’s just in time for their Winter Competitions, a rivalry held each year between NHHS and Southland Cinder High, a school made up of the exact opposite sort of teens. Here she finds Knight, a Cinder she grew up with but lost contact with years ago. And even though it’s forbidden, she begins to fall for him. Of course, her North Haven boyfriend’s got a thing or two to say about that. But Kristine doesn’t care. She’s happier than she’s been in years as she gets closer and closer to the man she’s falling completely in love with and having crazy fun with her new roommates.
Unfortunately it’s short lived, because everything begins going wrong. Her school’s track star is attacked and left for dead. Knight’s snowmobile explodes during the Snow Riders’ brutal competition. And it’s enough to get the two schools’ headmasters thinking—maybe they should just call the whole thing off. As things spin further and further out of control, Kristine finds herself tangled in a mortally dangerous web of love, caught between a man willing to kill for her, and one who will die for the same cause.
Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.
1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?
I love Sirius Black from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkeban, but he turns out not to be a true villain. So I guess I’d have to say Poison Ivy from Batman. I love the colors, makeup, and outfits she wears.
2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?
Probably Katy from Young Love in Old Chicago. She’s the heroine’s sister and ridiculously outspoken for a girl of their time (1930). She’s hilarious, someone that would be a lot of fun to be around.
3.) What genre do you write? What made you pick that one?
I’ve written one middle grade story that hasn’t been published yet, but I tend to stick to writing young adult books. And there always has to be lots of romance. It might be because young adult stories are what I like to read. My teenage years were so fun, I wish I could go back to them sometimes. It’s almost like being able to relive them when I’m buried deep inside one of my stories as I’m writing it.
4.) What are you working on now?
After wrapping up a new adult romantic sci-fi novella, I’m throwing around some ideas and having trouble sticking to just one. I’m thinking something dark and spooky, with a bit of magic.
5.) What got you to start writing?
I’ve always wanted to write a novel, and I stopped and started different ones several times growing up, but I didn’t take it too seriously until a few years ago. As soon as I got going, it was hard to stop. I just loved doing it! And that love’s never diminished.
6.) Where do you get your ideas from?
All over the place. I can be watching a movie, listening to a song, or catching pieces of an exchange between others and get a random idea. I keep a list in my desk drawer full of story ideas and another with miscellaneous ideas I refer to at the beginning of each story I write.
7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?
Maybe that most of my writing is done in the complete chaos of kids and dogs. Or that I don’t like to read books about romance, even though I can’t write a story without it.
8) Do you have any special talents?
Baking, fashion, and survival skills are all things I enjoy and feel reasonably confident that I have a fair amount of talent in.
9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?
After Young Love in Old Chicago and before Good vs. Evil High, a friend of mine, Jane Nickerson, told me that what got her story into the hands of agents was a unique part of her story that helped it stand out against all the other manuscripts submitted. I always keep that in mind when writing a story now, the idea that it needs to be as unique as possible.
10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?
I’d like to talk to a pirate who’s famous for having plundered loads of treasure that’s never been recovered. Then he could tell me where it’s all buried. Ha ha!
11.) What song would you say describes your life?
Little Big Town’s Boondocks. All though I wasn’t raised out in the boondocks, I always wanted to live in them, and now that I do it feels like home. I never want to leave them.
12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?
A peacock. To me, it’s the most beautiful animal in all the world. And I would love being able to spread my wings and soar through the air.
Thanks for stopping by April. Good luck with your book! Here's the link to April's webpage:
Fifteen minutes later, my roommates and I wheeled our suitcases into an empty elevator. Connie didn’t have to ask where we were going.
“What did you guys bring to do while we’re in the air?” Harmony asked, practically bouncing on her heels.
“Magazines and my sketch pad,” Sassy said. “I’m gonna get to work designing my dress for next year’s dance.”
“I brought my notebook and A Guide for the North Haven High School Student,” I said.
“We’ve all got cons,” Nadine added. “What else do we need?”
Harmony gave us incredulous looks. “Man, it’s a good thing you have me. You’d all be bored out of your minds after an hour if I weren’t here. Don’t you remember last year?”
Nadine and Sassy looked at each other. “Yeah, I pigged out and slept it off. Then we were there,” Nadine said.
“That’s not fun. I brought games and puzzles, a notebook we can fill up with everything about our trip, and stickers and markers. I even brought a flashlight and a sheet we can huddle under together and tell ghost stories. This year we won’t get bored.”
Sassy and Nadine laughed as we got out of the elevator. “You’re right, Harmony,” Sassy said. “What would we do without you?”
“I think it sounds great,” I said.
We were met by chaos in the giant underground hangar. Students were everywhere. The many jets were parked in a row beside one wall, with their doors open and stairs leading up to each one. A few kids would stop and ask a teacher a question, then head to the jet they were told to get on. But most of them were moving or standing around talking.
“Let’s go ask Miss Tripside which one we’re in,” Sassy said. We made our way to the tall, boxy woman with her head down, skimming through the papers she was holding. “Good morning, Miss Tripside. We were wondering where we’re supposed to go.”
She looked up at us through square spectacles. “Good morning, girls. Let me have a look here. You’re all in the west wing, right?”
She flipped through several papers before she stopped. “Here you are. Harmony Foxen, Nadine Rodriguez, Sassy Johnson, and Kristine Fayre, you’re all in Jet Seven.”
We walked toward the jet with a white seven painted on the wall behind it and saw Mr. Westhyme standing in the doorway. “We get you?” Nadine asked. We climbed the stairs, leaving our suitcases with all the others. Each one was tagged so they wouldn’t get mixed up.
“Sorry, Nadine, but you’re stuck with me all the way to the Southlands and back.”
“You’re my favorite pilot. You know that.”
Mr. Westhyme chuckled. “I’m just pulling your leg.”
We walked into the same jet I’d been picked up in, this time with a huge extension to the table and lots more chairs. Not to mention the ten other girls already inside.
Miss McCree walked over to us as we sat in a circle on the floor beside the edge of one long sofa. “Hello, lovelies. You remember where the toilets are, Kristine, behind the stairs there. But if yah’ get sleepy, you can go through those doors you always see me comin’ in and out of, and there’s a load of pull-out beds. It’ll be too crowded for sleepin’ in here, I’m afraid.”
“Okay. Thank you.”
“Good morning, students,” Connie’s voice came over the speakers. I sat up on my knees to look out a window and saw that everyone outside had stopped to listen, too. “The time is seven-fifteen a.m. We will set out in fifteen minutes. Please load the aircraft you have been assigned to as soon as possible.”
“Fifteen minutes to takeoff!” Harmony said.
Three more girls walked into the jet, followed by Mr. Westhyme, who shut the door and locked it behind him. “Looks like everyone’s here,” he said. “What do you girls say about taking off a little early?”
A chorus of “Yeah!” went up from everyone.
“I’ll check with Headmaster, but I don’t think he’ll mind. We’re all ready to get there and start the Winter Competitions, right?”
Another loud chorus of “Yeah!”
Mr. Westhyme climbed the stairs and disappeared into the cockpit.
“See why he’s my favorite?” Nadine said.
We got up to sit on the end of the sofa for takeoff.
I twisted my neck around to look out the window behind Harmony and felt a shiver pass over me when I saw that boy, my little stalker from the frosty garden. He was watching me again, both of us turning away at that moment.
“Good morning, passengers,” Mr. Westhyme said over the intercom. “Headmaster has given us the all clear. If you haven’t already done so, please get in takeoff position.” I scooted back just before the straps wrapped across my chest.
“All students and faculty, please clear the runway, as Jet Seven is initiating takeoff,” we heard Connie say. Kids began running toward the side of the building the jets were on as the engine started. We moved forward and turned to the left slowly and carefully.
Once we got to the end of the room and began the incline, we really sped up. And then we were shooting forward and climbing into the dark morning sky.
I waited for the belts to release me from their grasp to say, “Could we go ahead and get under your sheet, Harmony? There’s something I wanna talk to you guys about.”
“Sure.” Harmony reached in the pack she’d brought and pulled out a folded blue sheet as we walked to a corner of the room. “Everyone turn on your cons.” We pulled them out of our bags and pockets and turned them on. “Harmony Con, stay.” Harmony looked at us, so we each did the same thing. “Here, Nadine.” Harmony handed a corner of the sheet to Nadine and they draped it over the cons. The only problem was that the floating sheet tent was a couple of feet off the ground. We instructed our cons to move down until the problem was solved.
Then we climbed inside. “Someone’s following me.”
“At North Haven?”
“Yes…” I told them about the times I’d seen him before and that morning.
“It does sound strange, but why would somebody want to follow you?” Nadine asked.
“I don’t know, but what if he keeps it up?”
“First let’s see who the mysterious man is,” Sassy said. “Sassy Con.” The sheet rested against her back as her con moved down.
“What can I do for you, Sassy?” Connie asked. It felt like she was talking way too loud, since the rest of us had been speaking so quietly.
“Please show us all the male students at North Haven.” Her con lay horizontally in front of her so we could all see the screen. A row of guys with names, birthdates, and enrollment dates beside them came up. “Tell me if you see him.”
I scooted closer to Sassy and watched as she swept her finger over the screen. We got through a bunch before I saw him. “That’s him.” I pointed to the freckled brunette with a small gap between his front teeth. Everyone leaned in to get a better look.
“Henry Lancaster,” Sassy read. “He’s only been here eight months. Must have been recruited pretty soon after last year’s competitions. I’ve never seen him before.”
“I have,” Nadine said. “He’s in my algebra class. It seems like he has a really hard time talking to people, so I’m not sure he has any friends. We could confront him about why he’s always watching Kristine.”
“No,” I said, thinking it sounded like he had a hard enough time already. “Maybe it’s some weird coincidence. I just wanted to see what you guys thought.”
“I think we should wait and see if it keeps happening,” Harmony said.
“Yeah, it could be a crush,” Sassy winked. I hadn’t thought about that.
“Don’t worry,” Nadine said. “We’ll help watch out for him. If he really is following you all the time, we’ll notice, and then we’ll confront him together.”
“You know we got your back, girl,” Sassy said, sending us all into a fit of laughter.
Harmony reached into her bag and pulled out a flashlight. “Now, who’s ready for a ghost story?”
Here's the buy link: http://www.fireandiceya.com/authors/aprilmarcom/gvehigh.html
Here's the buy link: http://www.fireandiceya.com/authors/aprilmarcom/gvehigh.html