Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Blog Tour: Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh @WillMcIntoshSF @RockstarBkTours

 photo Burning Midnight_zpsw1u44b7p.jpg 

 photo 25489041_zps4ts65cx4.jpgTitle: BURNING MIDNIGHT

Author: Will McIntosh
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Pages: 320
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook


For fans of The Maze Runner and The Fifth Wave, this debut YA novel from Hugo Award winner Will McIntosh pits four underprivileged teens against an evil billionaire in the race of a lifetime.

Sully is a sphere dealer at a flea market. It doesn’t pay much—Alex Holliday’s stores have muscled out most of the independent sellers—but it helps him and his mom make the rent. No one knows where the brilliant-colored spheres came from. One day they were just there, hidden all over the earth like huge gemstones. Burn a pair and they make you a little better: an inch taller, skilled at math, better-looking. The rarer the sphere, the greater the improvement—and the more expensive the sphere.

When Sully meets Hunter, a girl with a natural talent for finding spheres, the two start searching together. One day they find a Gold—a color no one has ever seen. And when Alex Holliday learns what they have, he will go to any lengths, will use all of his wealth and power, to take it from them.

There’s no question the Gold is priceless, but what does it actually do? None of them is aware of it yet, but the fate of the world rests on this little golden orb. Because all the world fights over the spheres, but no one knows where they come from, what their powers are, or why they’re here.


Today we welcome Will for an interview!

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else? 

I actually came to writing late. I was a psychology professor for ten years before I wrote a single word of fiction. My writing career started as a lark – I had an extremely cool science fiction dream, and decided I had to try writing it as a story. It took me about two years and ten drafts before I finally sold that story, but I had so much fun writing it that I was hooked, and I started writing more stories in my spare time. Then I started writing novels. Finally I decided that my heart was in writing, and I resigned my tenured position at the university to write full time.

How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?

About six months. Less, if the story flows really well. I write Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, except when my twins are off from school, so while I don’t write fast, I make steady progress. The biggest slowdown is when the plot gets stuck and I don’t know what comes next. Then I’m pacing around the room, or trying to work it all out on index cards, until I figure out the next scene.

How do you come up with themes for your stories?

I spend a lot of my down time trying to dream up ideas. While I’m falling asleep, showering, standing in line at the grocery store, instead of simply daydreaming or thinking about the events of the day, I’m typically trying to come up with story ideas. Sometimes it’s hard to remember what I used to spend all of my time thinking about before I started writing.

Do you have a schedule of when you write? 

Absolutely. When I was a university professor, the paychecks showed up every month. Now, I only get paid when I finish a book or short story. If I’m watching Game of Thrones during my writing time, there’s no one who’s going to come and tell me to stop goofing off and get back to work. I just don’t get paid. 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. It’s a good thing I love to write. There are few things I’d rather do than write, so it’s not hard to sit down on a Monday morning and get cranking.

How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?

I’m not! My wife Alison and I have twins, a boy and girl. They’re seven, and they have so much energy that you’d think we’re supplying them with  coffee and Red Bull all day long. So right now, I write, and I help care for the Dynamic Duo. Once in a while we hire a babysitter and I get to see a movie or go out to eat, but honestly, there’s childcare and writing, and for now, that’s my life! I hope to return to a more balanced existence when my kids get a bit older and/or I sign my first Hollywood film deal.

What elements do you think make a great story line?

I think the story has to be something new and fresh. It might be kind of like The Hunger Games, or Looking for Alaska, but at its core it should be original. And it should give you chills. When I read the synopsis on the back of a book jacket, and just think, Oh, I wish I’d thought of that, then I’m reading a great story line.

What’s the hardest thing about writing a book?

Doubts. I tend to swing wildly from being incredibly excited about the book I’m working on, to believing it’s a total, unfixable steaming heap of dung. I think that’s part of working on something in a room by yourself with no outside feedback.

How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite?

Burning Midnight is my fifth, and my first young adult book. My favorite is Burning Midnight, but if we don’t count it I’d probably say Love Minus Eighty, which is about a guy trying to help a young woman who is trapped in a cryogenic dating center, where beautiful young dead women try to convince rich men to pay to have them revived. The young woman was hit by a car. The guy trying to help her was driving the car. It had the most awesome book trailer ever. Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRzEB5d1xhc

Do you have a favorite character?

Hunter, from Burning Midnight. She’s a homeless teenager who’s hard on the outside, tough to get to know, but a dreamer on the inside.

Where do you write?

In my study, in a recliner, with my laptop on a little portable desk. I have a back injury that makes it uncomfortable to sit in a straight chair for hours each day.

When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took?

I love having a physical book sitting on the shelf in stores, because that’s the way I typically buy books, so my first choice is to find a traditional publisher. In the case of Burning Midnight, my editor at Delacorte Press made a two-book offer less than forty-eight hours after my agent sent it to her, so I knew I wanted to publish with Delacorte. There’s nothing like working with an editor who really believes in your book.

Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?

They all read my books, and love them, but they’re biased! When I wrote my first book, Soft Apocalypse, I had no idea that everyone in my family was going to read it. It’s about a guy looking for love during the slow collapse of civilization, and it’s incredibly brutal and, filled with cursing. I winced at the thought of my wife’s ninety-two year old grandmother reading that book!

What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?

I love movies, especially on the big screen. I bike and hike a lot, and my wife got me a kayak for Christmas, so it will be fun to explore all of the waterways in the area (Williamsburg sits on a peninsula between two rivers, with tons of smaller waterways feeding into them). I’ve also collected things my whole life (can you guess why I wrote a book about people hunting for rare things?). Right now I collect autographed classic rock albums. I got a Bruce Springsteen for Christmas!

What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing?

Write as much as you can, and don’t get too discouraged if you don’t publish immediately. For most people it takes a few years (you often hear the number one million words tossed about) before your work is good enough to be published. Get feedback from other writers, and try to accept even the harshest feedback as an opportunity to improve. If someone tells you your work is awesome, but no editor wants it, that person is not helping you become a better writer. Develop a burning desire to become a better writer.

What is your favorite book? favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write?

My favorite book is probably Watership Down by Richard Adams. I first read it when I was about twelve, and I just fell in love with it. It’s about a group of rabbits trying to find a new home while facing a series of harrowing adventures.
My favorite author is probably Stephen King. Although I don’t write horror, I love how vivid and interesting King’s characters are. To me he’s the perfect balance of plot and character.

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? 

I rely very heavily on feedback. I rely on two writing friends, Joy Marchand and Ian Creasey, my agent Seth Fishman, and for YA books, my editor Kate Sullivan. I trust their judgment more than my own. If they tell me a book is badly broken, it’s broken. If they think it’s my best work, in all likelihood it is. When I see a critique from one of them in my inbox, my palms start to sweat, because I’m about to find out what I have.
On top of that, I often need help from experts. I have a few friends who are experts in astrophysics, biology, computer technology, etcetera, who help me when I’ve painted myself into a corner by introducing science into a story.

Are you working on anything now?


Always! I’m working on another YA book. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s about lying. It’s about all the ways we’re lied to, all the lies we tell, and what would happen if no one could ever get away with a lie again.

Thanks so much for being here today, Will. It was great having you!

You can see my review of this book HERE

And check out this trading card!

 photo Cherry-Red_zpszhnrmv7e.png


 photo Will McIntosh Author Photo_zpsfdhgwddt.jpgWill McIntosh’s debut novel, Soft Apocalypse, was a finalist for both a Locus award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. He is a frequent contributor to Asimov’s, where his story “Bridesicle” won the 2010 Reader’s Award, as well as the 2010 Hugo Award for Best Short Story. His third novel, Love Minus Eighty (based on “Bridesicle”) was published by Orbit books in June, 2013, and was named best Science Fiction novel of the year by the American Library Association. His upcoming novel, Defenders has been optioned by Warner Brothers for a feature film. Will recently moved to Williamsburg, Virginia with his wife Alison and twins Hannah and Miles. He left his position as a psychology professor in Southeast Georgia to write full time, and still teaches as an adjunct, at the College of William and Mary. Will is represented by Seth Fishman at The Gernert Company. Follow him on Twitter @WillMcIntoshSF
3 winners will receive an ARC of BURNING MIDNIGHT, US Only. a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tour Schedule:
Week One:
1/18/2016- Swoony Boys PodcastInterview
1/19/2016- FangirlishGuest Post
1/20/2016- A Dream Within A DreamReview
1/21/2016- Such a Novel IdeaInterview
1/22/2016- Seeing Double In NeverlandGuest Post

Week Two:
1/25/2016- Once Upon a TwilightReview
1/26/2016- The Young FolksInterview
1/27/2016- Falling For YAGuest Post
1/28/2016- Just CommonlyReview
1/29/2016- Paranormal Book ClubInterview

Week Three:
2/1/2016- Curling Up With A Good BookGuest Post
2/2/2016- Wandering Bark Books- Review
2/3/2016- The Cover Contessa- Interview
2/4/2016- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post
2/5/2016- Eli to the nthReview

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