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L.P. Masters tells all! Don't miss our interview with L.P. Masters, author of LOVE IS DEATH, a young adult paranormal. 

Be sure to enter for a chance to win the giveaway and follow the Silver Dagger book tour. For other dates see the link at the bottom of the post.




QUESTION AND ANSWER WITH L. P. MASTERS



Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you! When I was a teenager I had... well, I can't call it amnesia, because I still remember it happening. Since I'm a writer, I'll come up with a term. I had “Major Confusion Syndrome.” I was on a rope swing and it snapped, sending my flying through the air until I landed on a cement patio and rattled my brain. And then my life flashed before my eyes. It was as if every memory was jostled forward. Once my life was done flashing before my eyes, then I started remembering books and movies I'd watched. For about an hour or two, I wasn't quite sure what was my life, and what was fiction. It was a little scary, but at the same time I wondered what was happening the entire time.



What inspired you to write this book? Truth be told, a few little pieces of inspiration that came all in ten or fifteen minutes of each other, and they all came together to form the idea for this story. I saw a question that said, “Is there life after death?” and it kept running through my head, but the part that ran the most was “after death.” It repeated until it sounded like one word. And then I thought, “People talk about the afterlife. So does that mean the afterdeath would be where you go after dying a second time?” From that came the tag line, “Rest in Peace? What a joke. Ghosts rarely rest, and when we do, it's never in peace.” And then the end of the story came to me and I had to figure out everything else about how to get there.



What can you tell me about your version of the afterlife? When I wrote Love is Death, I didn't realize it would be so controversial. Some people don't want to even look at it because they don't believe in an afterlife. Or they do believe in an afterlife, and it's nothing like my version. Truth be told, I don't want to push any one beliefs or another in the novel. It's set in the afterlife, simply because that was the right setting in order to tell the story I wanted to tell. One character in Love is Death was expecting the traditional religious aspect of the afterlife, and so there are a few discussions regarding that, but I felt like the story would be lacking something without that. There is going to be a character who didn't believe there was anything after death who will have to deal with those questions in the next book. The thing is, it was a fun book to write, and I hope people will think it's a fun book to read without looking too far into what happens after we die. I'll say one thing, I certainly hope my afterlife is purely fictional, because it's not a place I'd like to be.

What are your top 10 favorite books/authors? I love classic scifi authors, 1. Robert Heinlein, and 2. Isaac Asimov. I like some of 3. Andrea Norton's books,  but some of them can be a little weird. Now I'm widening my horizons, and I really enjoy 4. Clive Cussler and 5. Alistair McLean with their suspense novels. I'm also finding out about a lot of new Indie authors and so far I love 7. Eric Kent Edstrom, 8. K.M. Weiland, and the up and coming 9. Julia Ward and 10. Sandy Windham.

What can we expect from you in the future? A lot more writing. I love writing about everything. I mainly focus on the YA paranormal stories, and Adult Scifi stories when it comes to novels, but my short stories go anywhere. I even have a western I'm thinking about publishing some day. Be sure to look for my new Scifi Novella called “An Acceptable Future.” It should be coming out pretty soon.  Of course, Afterdeath Book 2 will be coming out before the end of this year. Its title is “Turning Point” and it's about Gina's brother Rory and another character named Najwa, and what they have to do in order to deal with the Adie cult. Once I finish the Afterdeath Series,  I'll be putting out a Scifi trilogy called Chained Universe. That trilogy is already finished, just has to be polished up, and I'm really excited about it.

Do you have any "side stories" about the characters? Well, Alec has had about fifteen different back stories. I had a really hard time coming up with the reason why his killer would try to kill his sister. Most of them were dumb. I think the original idea was that Alec was a detective and had found out too much about his partner, who was protecting a group of bad guys. The next idea was that Alec and his sister were part of the Mafia. :) Needless to say, those didn't work out very well. Most of my really early beta readers were extremely confused. One interesting fact, though. The story that Alec tells Gina after their first date—about him falling off a log into a bramble of blackberry bushes while only wearing a swimming suit—is actually true. It happened to my sister when we were kids and I thought it was so funny that I had to make it happen to someone in a book.

Where were you born/grew up at? You wouldn't guess from the setting of my book, but I was born and raised in Seattle. I've lived in Spokane for the last 11 years or so, and so I still had to do a lot of research and try to remember a lot of stuff about Seattle. It was fun. I got to take a couple of “research trips” back home to visit family.

If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day? Laughing with my children.

Who is your hero and why? My heroes aren't super. A lot of them are family members who show a great example of what I want to be. I also have some heroes from history that I look up to. When I get asked that question, though, I always say my maternal grandpa. He was so kind, calm, forgiving, and so many other things that I want to be.

Describe your writing style. My writing tends to deal a lot with themes that I feel are important, or that really tug at my heartstrings. A lot of my themes center around sacrifice, freedom, and what it means to be human.

How to find time to write as a parent? This is a tough one. You have to sacrifice something if you're going to write as a parent, and you have to be careful that you don't end up sacrificing your time or relationship with your children. Over the years I have realized that I need to sacrifice sleep. I was doing this all the wrong way for a while and it led to some pretty scary health problems. I used to stay up late and write late into the night, but then I didn't sleep well after that and was always tired and grumpy when my daughter woke me up at 7. Lately I've been going to bed at the same time as the children and waking up at 5 AM. I usually get between an hour and a half to two hours of writing time in. It's not as much as I would like, and it's “not as much” as I was getting at night, but the quality is much better, and it's consistent. When my daughter wakes up, I turn off the computer. She is more important to me than my books.

What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision? I've been a writer since I was a kid. I was always telling stories, having spectacular dreams, etc. At age 12 I started my first “novel” (which was probably only 10,000 words maybe) and from that moment on I was hooked. I always had this feeling in the back of my mind that I wanted to get published. I tried when I was 16, but looking back at the story and the query letter, I wasn't ready then. Finally, in 2010 I participated in NaNoWriMo, and wrote a book in 30 days. One of the winner's goodies for participating was a free printed copy of your book, and seeing my work in print was like a kick in the butt. I started actually working towards publishing my work. It took me six more years before I finally did, but it has been completely worth it, every step of the way. 

Advice you would give new authors? Publishing is wonderful, but it doesn't have to be your goal right away. I know that you want to, because it's cool and exciting to see your name out there. But just like I wasn't ready when I was sixteen, a lot of new writers aren't ready right away. Take some time, write a lot of stuff, learn how to write. At the same time, don't put it off for too long, either. I had people asking me all the time, “When are you going to get published?” and I was really gun-shy and didn't want to go for it. I kept trying to get things “perfect” and that will never happen. So it's this balance. Not too early. But make sure you do it if that's your goal.
Also, learn something from my own prejudice. When I was growing up I thought I didn't need writing classes because I was a natural-born writer! Don't kid yourself. You don't know everything. You make sure that you maintain the kind of voice you want through writing classes. I've heard of people taking writing classes and then just losing who they are as a writer, (That's why I was always scared to take them.) but that's you're decision! As long as you're aware of yourself as a writer, go out there and learn stuff! If you're young and getting ready to start college, take a few writing classes as electives. If you want to, you could even minor in it, or major in it! Just depends on what your goals are. If you don't have the opportunity to take college classes, there are SO many free or cheap resources to learn how to be a writer. I have taken a bunch of classes for free because my library has a contract with an online university. K.M. Weiland's blog for writers is invaluable. Just start looking. Start learning. And keep writing.

What are you currently reading? I just finished Julia Ward's debut novel, Roadster Romance. It was a great sweet romance about a woman determined to rebuild a 1919 Nash Roadster, and a man who can't keep his eyes off her coveralls. The humor is great, the writing is great. I absolutely loved it. Now that I'm done with that I'll be reading the Saros Curse by Lois D. Brown. I've only gotten through the first half of chapter one, but already it sounds interesting. I like discovering new authors, so we'll see how Lois does.

How long have you been writing? Since 1999! I'm coming up on 20 years soon. I can't believe I'm that old.

What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first? My writing process is... odd. I am a pantser all the way, but I see the benefits of outlining. If I outline, I can make sure to follow a nice structure, I can have an idea of what's actually going to happen. It doesn't ever work out when I have an outline, though. There have been so many projects that I have literally had to throw in the scrap pile because I outlined it and could not for the life of me write it.
I just recently came up with a plan, though! I read through K.M. Weiland's book about structure, and loved it. She broke the structure down into what percentages of the book each of the points should happen during, and so on my next project, and already on a few of my revision projects, I plan to “pants it” all the way, but as long as I know what my desired word count goal is, if I keep track of what percentage I'm at in the story, I'll make sure to reach each of the plot points as I go. This should help me keep it nicely structured, without having to conform to a structure from the beginning. 

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Love Is Death? Sure. Gina is the main character. She's a ghost, and has been in the afterlife for 5 years now. She died right before high school graduation, and will look 18 for the rest of her afterlife. Shortly after she died, she got into the profession of Scavenging, which is looking for other objects that have passed from the mortal realm into the afterlife. It's dangerous work because a lot of ghosts are more willing to kill a scavenger and take their stuff, than go out and look for stuff themselves. When she learned that her brother was going to join her in the afterlife soon, she promised she would be there for him, and quit scavenging.
When Alec was a boy, he wanted to be a detective. He used his detective skills to find out who his mysterious father was, and unfortunately he did. Alec was the illegitimate son of a career senator, and has been swept under the rug. The senator has quite a few illegitimate children, actually, and pays each of the mothers of his children to keep quiet about the fact that he's the father.
There's a great cast of sub characters, from a Japanese man that has been in the afterlife for over a thousand years, to a hippie in dreadlocks who works for the bad guy, but is really just a Southern sweetheart.


Love Is Death
The Afterdeath Book 1
by L.P. Masters
Genre: YA Paranormal  

Gina’s plan for her afterlife is simple: survive as long as possible. The afterlife is a ghost-kill-ghost kind of place. When she meets newly-dead Alec, she can’t help her desire to protect him. Before she knows it, she finds herself falling for him, despite the little voice in her head telling her it’s a bad idea. Alec’s goals don’t mesh well with Gina’s plans. Determined to save his living sister from a murderer, he’s willing to disobey the laws of a well-established cult in the afterlife. If the cult finds out, they’ll kill him. Again. He’s hesitant to accept Gina’s help and threaten her afterlife, but he’s guaranteed to fail without her. Together they embark on a perilous mission, but the most dangerous aspect of all is the threat of falling in love. Because in the afterlife... love is death.





Born and raised in the rainy streets of the Seattle Area, L.P. Masters spent her fair share of time staring out rain-streaked windows and writing books. Masters has always had extremely vivid dreams, which often spark inspiration for her novels. In 1999, after one such dream, Masters began her first writing project. She has participated in National Novel Writer's Month every November since 2010. Writing isn't the only thing she can do with a pen in her hand, she also enjoys sketching and drawing—with varying degrees of success. Masters now lives in the slightly-less-dreary city of Spokane Washington with her husband and two wonderful daughters.




Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!




About Mayor Sonni

Reader extraordinaire. Mayor of Readeropolis. Lover of books, lists, sweet tea, and vacations. Well, not necessarily in that order.
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2 comments:

  1. Thanks for hosting me on your blog! It's been a lot of fun.
    -L.P. Masters

    ReplyDelete
  2. book looks great, i believe in life after death but im not sure how it pans out.

    ReplyDelete


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