Friday, July 12, 2013

Blog Tour, Inteview and Giveaway: Penumbras by Braden Bell @bradenbellcom @CedarFortBooks

 photo Penumbrasblogtour_zpsbf31036e.jpg

Welcome to The Cover Contessa's blog tour stop for Braden Bell's awesome book
Penumbras (sequell to The Kindling)

Today I'm excited to welcome Braden for an interview. But before we hear what he has to say, let's see what this book is all about!

 photo Penumbras2x3_zpsc821092a.jpg
Conner Dell didn't meant to blow up the school bus.


Or the bathrooms.

In fact, he only wanted to go to sleep and possibly dream about Melanie Stephens.

But explosions had a funny way of happening when Conner and his friends were around.
***
Conner Dell wants to be good--he really does. But he is terrified that he might be turning into a Darkhand, especially when new powers start to surface. What's worse, the Stalker is following Conner, but no one else seems to be able to see him. The Magi think he might be hallucinating, the guilt of what happened in the Shadowbox keeps weighing on him, and his relationship with Melanie Stephens is complicating things. Even for a Magi, Conner knows his life is anything but normal. 



  Doesn't it look fabulous? It can't be bad when it involves magic!
So, let's hear what Braden has to say!

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else? 
I have always had stories in my mind, and always wanted to tell them. I also always wanted to be a teacher—and I am currently a teacher who writes in the evenings.
How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
It depends on the book. I tend to go fairly slow since I have a full-time job and a family. However, I’m almost done with the 1st draft of the 3rd book in the Middle School Magic series and I’ve only been working on that for two months. I think I’m getting more organized.
How do you come up with themes for your stories?
They just pop into my head. I can’t stop them!
Do you have a schedule of when you write? 
I try to write every day. But when is crazy. If I’m directing a show, or there’s a big family event going on, it can be difficult. We have a long commute to my daughter’s school, and once she started driving, I began using that time to write.
How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
It’s not easy to do that. I struggle and never feel like I have it completely down. Talking to my wife and kids and setting specific times helps.


What elements do you think make a great story line? 

Character is the most important element to me. Interesting characters are the main things that I enjoy reading in a book. Creative plot and thematic resonance are other things I really enjoy.

What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
I actually like almost all of the writing process. Even revisions. But it is a struggle to do all the marketing stuff. For an introverted writer, that can be a challenge.
How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite? 
Penumbras is my 3rd. I think it is probably my favorite so far.
Do you have a favorite character?
Dr. Timberi is a character I love. Probably because he and I share some characteristics in common. When I wrote him, I sort of wrote the kind of teacher I would love to be.
Where do you write?
Mostly on my back deck. But I also do a lot of writing in bed, late at night.


When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took? 
When my first book was published, independent publishing was not really available as widely as it is now, so I went with a traditional publisher. Since then, my contract has stipulated that the publisher gets right of first refusal, so I’ve stayed with them. I am intrigued by the possibilities of self-publishing, though, and hope to try it some day.
Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?
My kids spent most of the last Christmas break reading a draft of Penumbras. It was gratifying to see them all, from my college son to my 4th grader asking for a turn.
What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
I like to work in my yard. My wife and I also really like to watch old movies—or adaptations of literary classics.
What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing? 
Write! And then write some more. Also, read—a lot.
What is your favorite book? favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write? 
I am so bad at picking “favorite” anythings. I like so many authors. However, the author I have probably ready most of is Charles Dickens. I love his characters.
Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such? 
Yes, I have two amazing critique partners and I can’t imagine writing without them. I also have some students who are kind enough to read various drafts of my books. Since I write for middle grade readers, their feedback is invaluable. My daughter is also a big source of help—she will talk through ideas or problems with me.
Are you working on anything now? 
I’m currently working on the next book in the Middle School Magic series.


Thanks so much for the interview Braden! It's been so great getting to know you, your writing process and your book! Good luck with your next book!
Braden has provided a giveaway for The Cover Contessa as well as a blog wide giveaway. So scroll down and enter via the Rafflecopters provided! Good luck!
 photo Bradenheadshot2012_zps333d67d6.jpgBraden Bell grew up in Farmington, Utah and graduated from Davis High School. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in theatre from Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. in educational theatre from New York University. He and his wife, Meredith live  with their five children on a quiet, wooded lot outside of Nashville, Tennessee, where he teaches theatre and music at a private school. An experienced performer, Braden enjoys singing, acting, reading, gardening, and long walks with the dog. 

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