Monday, October 22, 2012

BLOG TOUR: Something of a Kind by Miranda Wheeler

Please welcome Miranda Wheeler, author of Something of a Kind, for which you can find my review here. Today she's talking about her inspiration for the story and what it means to her. Happy reading!

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My inspiration to write Something Of A Kind is a broad collection of things – photographs, documentaries, short films, conversations with anyone who would listen to the characters in my head, people with awe striking stories of encounters, tons of research – which included anything I could get my hands on regarding the Native Alaskan culture and some of the suffering areas of the state, particularly where my fictional Ashland weasels into our map… not to mention the innumerable backlist of works I’ve read prior to writing the novel! I struggle to put my everything into all my work, and I wanted to pull from a solid, varied background to create something entirely unique and diverse.

My premise for the book came most directly from the documentary Monsters and Mysteries in Alaska – it sounds corny, but I found something about it chilling and fascinating at once. I’ve been everywhere from Niagara Falls, Canada to Orlando, Florida – but I’ve never adventured horizontally across the States. I’ve never seen the Pacific, nonetheless been within arms-reach of Alaska, but I think I’ve personally witnessed every publically posted Kodiak moment (…a little geographical humor for my fellow nerds) along the Alexander Archipelago. Granted, the Last Frontier isn’t exactly the place most teenage girls dream of flying off to – but I think that’s what so explicitly intrigued me. I grew up in a little city isolated by a hoard of surrounding suburbs in the little and lovely Connecticut, but the Nutmeg State isn’t really the place for wanderers – the concept of being taken from even an almost too-comfortable place and dropped into something utterly unlike everything you’ve ever known wasn’t difficult to fathom. I recently went through a cancer scare with my own mother, and because I was diagnosed with a pretty nasty case of the generally horrible and chronic Ulcerative Colitis a few years back, I’m extremely well versed with the innards of a hospital, so I instantly related to the concept of my heroine recently losing her mother.

The hero was a different story. I grew up in a happy, middle-class blue-collar home on an uptown, north-end main street (literally, Main Street). My parents discourage working due to statistics suggesting poor academic performance when accompanied, and I’m the oldest sister to two little brothers, one being Sarah’s age and the other being just a little tyke in the first grade. Most of all, though, I think the hardest part was jumping in the head of a teenage boy. They seem so complicated and too simple, all at once – a baffling creature, really. I understand a lot about abuse and adoption because I’m a bio kid to ex-foster-parents, but that was the extent of my personal relation to the concept I’d drawn up for Noah Locklear. So I made myself relatable – I did research, I asked random people weird questions, I read personal blogs and tons of YA books from the male POV, I clarified constantly with my oldest younger brother and guy friends, I watched movies, did some homework in psychology and sociology, I skimmed the news for abuse cases daily for a few weeks, and I interviewed some loved ones who’ve been kicked around in their lifetimes.

Inspiration is 100% motivation, and motivation is 95% force and 5% letting your guard down. I think, in the end, one of the most important parts of being a writer is that you can’t wait for inspiration to come to you or wave a flag in your face. You have to seek it, go door-knocking, stalk and stalk, even call its naggy mother to insist you set up a rendezvous somewhere public so it can’t make a scene or flee – meet it in an alley and grab it by the throat, dragging it home and dropping all the little pieces spilt on paper. It wants to be chased and it is playing hard to get. Capture it.

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About the Author
A current high school student, 16-year-old author Miranda Wheeler lives with her loving family in her hometown of Torrington, Connecticut. An avid reader, she’s been whipping through books and producing novel-length projects (though none published prior to Something Of A Kind) from the early age of eleven. Having previously released short stories, some published in magazines such as TeenInk and others via “indie” mediums, she has many plans of continuing to write, as well as pursuing other passions and an eventual teaching career. While the official cover is a work in progress and the title won’t be released until the promotional media is obtained, several other projects are in the works: a YA steampunk novella, a YA paranormal romance, and a YA sci-fi-series, in addition to unofficial talks of a Something Of A Kind sequel.

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Something of a Kind Available Now!

As a 17-year-old artist, Alyson Glass had her future mapped – she’d go to art school, study in Paris, and eventually make enough bank to support her single mother. The trouble is, things don’t always go as planned – especially a sneak attack of stage-four ovarian cancer.

Suddenly motherless and court-ordered to move in with her estranged father, Aly’s forced to leave behind her New York hometown for the oddities of Alaska. Ashland seems like cruel and unusual punishment – at least until her dad ditches her at a local restaurant and she crashes into a super-hot, guitar-playing diner-boy with a horrific home life.

Noah Locklear is used to waiting – waiting for his shift to end, waiting until his drunkard parents go to bed, and waiting for the day he can get his sister away from their dysfunctional family. The summer before senior year, the elusive researchers that ruthlessly pry into Ashland’s history shatter a final cord with Noah’s abusive father, one of the town’s elders. Unfortunately, as far as his parents are concerned, the new girl who’s changing everything belongs to the outsiders. With their relationship increasingly forbidden, the struggle of knowing who to trust reveals that nothing is what it seems.

As Aly encourages Noah to investigate the legends he’d always written off as stories, they uncover the one thing their fathers can agree on: there’s something in the woods.


Amazon/ Smashwords


***Interested in snagging a free copy of Miranda's debut book? She's giving away 5 ecopies! Enter via the Rafflecopter below!***

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1 comment:

  1. Great guest post! I agree about inspiration being something that you can't just sit around and wait for.

    Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete