Friday, March 27, 2009

Cara Lockwood Interview and GIVEAWAY!

A couple of days ago I reviewed Cara's upcoming paranormal chick lit book, Every Demon Has His Day (review here). YA book lovers might know her better as the incredible mastermind between the Bard Academy novels, about a boarding school that's haunted by the ghosts of famous writers. Whoa!

Haven't read them yet? Sound like something you're interested in? Or do you just want to get to know the incredibly kind Cara a little more? You're in luck, because Cara graciously allowed me to review her book, interview her, AND host a giveaway for her books on my blog! Please give a round of applause to welcome...

CARA LOCKWOOD!
1. What sources of inspiration did you draw on to write Every Demon Has His Day?

I'm sad to admit this, but I'm addicted to the History channel. I watch WAY too many specials about Armageddon and possible end-of-the-world scenarios. As I was watching one of these shows, I started thinking about what would it be like if demons were like middle managers and disgruntled employees. This is how I think. I'm always trying to find the humor in something - even the end of the world. I'm an oddball that way. Anyway, that's sort of the starting point of Every Demon Has His Day.

2. Are any characters in "Every Demon" based on people you know? Who can you relate to in the novel?

All the characters I write are in some way influenced by people in real life. No character is typically a carbon-copy of any one in particular, but I take traits and quirks from real life and put them into different characters. I like to think that all the characters are in some way relatable. I think Constance is probably the most approachable for me. She's a real person who's thrown into this crazy world of demons and talking dogs. I would hope I could be as level-headed. But the most entertaining characters for me are the demons - Yaman and Shadow. I find them the funniest.

3. Your YA Bard Academy series is about a boarding school where students encounter the ghosts of famous dead writers. How much research did you have to do in order to write the books?

Well, I reread many of the classics and I did a little research into the biographies of many writers. I was a "lit nerd" in high school, and to some extent, still am, so I hate to even call it research. It was more like recreational reading.



4. I'm interested in your writing process. Do you have a particular time or place where you do your writing? Plan ahead or just let the words come as they will?

I used to try to keep to a certain time and place when writing, but since having kids (two little girls, one age 2, and one seven months), I write when they take naps! If that means lugging my laptop with me in the minivan, so be it.

5. How often do your own life experiences make it into your novels?

Like all writers, my own life experiences color my work. I don't usually put exact scenes from my life in a book (honestly, no one wants to read about scenes from my life right now - they involve lots of diaper changing), but I do use general experience, like what it's like to face certain kinds of challenges. I may never have gone to a haunted boarding school, but I certainly know what it feels like to be a misunderstood teenager.

6. What are your thoughts on the covers for your books? Do you have ANY input, or do they kind of just pull the blinds over you?

I have a little bit of input, usually at the beginning, when my editor will ask me to pitch ideas. I've been really lucky with having great cover art, so I've never had to be a Diva and try to demand something be scrapped.

7. A recent debate on the YA blogosphere has been about online marketing. Do you feel online marketing is a useful and successful marketing strategy for authors? How much online stuff do you participate in to promote yourself and your books?

I do feel it's helpful. I read somewhere that most of us spend the majority of our working time in front of our computer screens now, so it makes sense to try to reach people. I'm a member of MySpace and Facebook (come friend me anytime!), and I do email newsletters (if you want to join, email join@caralockwood.com). And, of course, I've got my own web pages: www.caralockwood.com and www.bardacademy.com. I occasionally blog (www.caralockwood.blogspot.com).

8. Can you give us a slice of Cara-wisdom for aspiring writers? :)

My best advice is just read every book you can get your hands on. I think it was Faulkner who said that you can learn something from every book you read - even bad ones. And that's true. Learning about the fundamentals of plot and character development start with reading.

9. And finally, a sequel to "Every Demon," called Can't Teach an Old Demon New Tricks, is coming out in Fall 2009. (I can't wait to read it, by the way!) After that, what's next for you? Any upcoming books that we should watch out for? Are you planning on writing any more YA in the future?

I would love to write more YA, and more books, period, but I'm currently between contracts at the moment, so we'll see what happens. Hopefully, "Every Demon" will take off and I'll be writing book number three in that series next year!

-

We hope your latest series attracts a legion of fans as well, Cara! To celebrate the April 6 release of Every Demon Has His Day (which you should all buy, it's paperback and fifteen dollars and a trillion dollars' worth of fun), Cara and I are hosting a GIVEAWAY for Wuthering High and The Scarlet Letterman, the first two novels in her Bard Academy series!

There will be TWO (2) winners:

1st prize gets SIGNED copies of both Wuthering High and The Scarlet Letterman, and

2nd prize gets a SIGNED copy of Wuthering High and, oh heck, I'm gonna throw in my copy of The Scarlet Letterman for you as well!

To enter, simply leave a comment below with a way to contact you if you win.

For extra entries:
+1 if you're following me or have already been following me, and let me know
+1 if you post about this somewhere else on the Internet (sidebars are fine), and leave me the link
+1 if you comment on my review of Every Demon Has His Day here
+10 (TEN!) if you buy a copy of Every Demon Has His Day when it comes out on April 6 and email me at stephxsu at gmail dot com with a picture of your receipt!

No need for extra comments; I'll calculate your extra entries myself. This contest is open WORLDWIDE and will end on Monday, April 13 (so that gives you a week to go buy Cara's latest book, if you so choose!). Happy entering, folks! :)

74 comments:

  1. Enter me please! I'm already a follower.

    behapppppppy(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Please include me in your giveaway.
    Thanks
    Debbie
    debdesk9@verizon.net

    ReplyDelete
  3. Enter me! I'm already a follower.
    bball11kt@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  4. Enter me, please. I was thinking of picking this book up anyways, but it would be cool to get a signed copy.

    +1 I'm a follower

    jennapomme@yahoo.com

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  5. Great interview Steph, I really enjoyed reading it! And thanks for the giveaway, very cool :) I already follow you!

    - Jenny
    buffy_chosen@hotmail.com

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  6. I would love to be entered!

    And I blogged about the contest here

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  7. Wow - really great interview! Surprisingly, I actually found myself enjoying some of the classical works we had to read for English this year. (Wouldn't quite go so far as to call it "recreational reading" as Cara did, but still...) Whoo History Channel! Sometimes they have good programs ;)

    LOVE the titles of the Bard Academy series - those play-ons are awesome. Had a few seconds of fun figuring out from whence they originated. ;)

    This sounds great, and I'd love to be entered! Already a follower ;)

    lucidconspiracy[at]gmail[dot]com

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  8. Please count me in too.

    simplystacieblog AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have given you an award. Pick it up here!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ooo these books sound good, love to enter!

    sammyjones57(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  11. I'd like to enter. I'm a follower. I will leave a comment on your review. I will post link on my sidebar here: http://bridget3420.blogspot.com

    bridget3420(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  12. Great interview! The Bard Academy series looks fun. Love the titles and the cover designs. Sounds like an interesting boarding school.

    Left a comment on the review of Every Demon Has His Day. I'm still giggling about the little dog. :D

    ReplyDelete
  13. Please enter me in the contest. I'm a follower.

    nhertel85ATyahooDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great interview. Please enter me. Cara's books have been on my wishlist for a while.

    I am a follower.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

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  15. The titles of Bard Academy are delightful! Great interview with lots of interesting tidbits :)

    You know I follow, I commented, I posted here...and I shall purchase :D

    cecilia } cecpham(at)gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for the interview!

    Lesley
    lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  17. Oh and I just commented on the review! It was super fun!

    Lesley

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  18. Ha love those titles! Please count me in!
    I am already a follower :)
    Thanks for holding the contest internationally and remembering the rest of us outside the U.S.

    bookshadowerATgmailDOTcom

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  19. hope i am eligible to enter again thanks

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  20. this would be great to get a signed copy, thanks for the chance to win!

    ReplyDelete
  21. thankyou so much mrs.mommyyatgmaildotcom

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh wow. I so want to read them! Please enter me.

    katiepinn@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Steph,

    Enjoyed the interview. Will add this to our wish list. I already follow your blog. I'll post a link to the contest in my sidebar.
    Thanks,
    s

    p.s. thanks for linking to LLM. I'll the contest to the links.

    ReplyDelete
  24. You know how to reach me, but if you want it here: black.eyedsusan@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Sounds like a great read!!

    khzarrugh at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Following!:)
    alwayssomething2read(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  27. Aw, what a fun contest Steph. I'd love to be entered, I've been wanting to read this series for awhile now. So cool!

    I'm already a follower and I commented on your review. :)

    -Lauren

    ReplyDelete
  28. I can't wait for the new book. thanks for the giveaway!

    whitten100 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  29. Enter me, please.

    13rubberducks [at] gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I follow you :)

    I have put a link to the conest on my contest section of my blog, sidebar:

    http://jo-scrawls.blogspot.com/

    And commented on the review of Every Demon has his Day :)

    Email: joannestapley[at]googlemail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  31. count me in, I can't wait to read Demon, it is sitting in my TBR pile already!

    I linked to it here
    http://kissmybook.blogspot.com/2009/03/contest-roundup.html and I follow in google reader!

    sports dot erikalynn at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  32. I already follow you, I put a link here: http://bookcontestlinks.blogspot.com/2009/03/saturday-march-28th-2009.html and I left a comment on the review. :)

    Laina1312@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. Wow I would LOVE to read those books! I'm surprised I never heard of them! :0

    I'm already a follower.

    I also put it in my blog:
    http://flyingsolooooo.blogspot.com/2009/03/book-giveaway-links-for-march.html

    michelle.kuool(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  34. This was an interesting interview and thanks for the giveaway.

    greenc70@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Yay! I'd be crazy excited to win. Thanks for the chance!

    Megan
    writing.meg [at] gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  36. I follow you and linked here: http://noraatnow.blogspot.com/2009/03/book-contests_23.html

    Nora
    wishonstars13@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. I follow you!
    I posted on your review!
    And I posted your contest in my sidebar!
    http://bookreviewsbyjess.blogspot.com/

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  38. I am so entering this one :)

    blodeuedd1 (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hey, I'm a follower and commented on your review. Great book amd awesome review! Posted about your contest on my blog here.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I'm a new follower! I've been meaning to pick up the bard academy books for a while, so thanks for reminding me about how much fun they look!

    ReplyDelete
  41. enter me please - great contest

    msboatgal at aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  42. Thank you for a chance to win.
    Thank you
    tatertot374@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  43. I'm a follower, commented on your review and blogged about your contest here. ;)

    PLease enter me in this contest!
    loony_balooga_91@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thanks for the giveaway!
    kimspam66(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  45. Enter me please.
    I'm already a follower.
    And it's on my blog's sidebar.

    http://faladidadida.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  46. Greedy me really wants to win. I love Chick lit!
    whiteplatonicdreams@yahoo.com Thankx ;)

    ReplyDelete
  47. I would love to read these, and thanks for the great author interview, I always enjoy hearing about new authors!

    vmlay@artsci.wustl.edu

    ReplyDelete
  48. Count me in. I already follow you on Google Reader, and I posted this contest on my sidebar.

    http://towerofbooks.wordpress.com
    towerofbooks(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  49. these look like great reads
    silverhartgirl at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  50. I would love to win this book! Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I'm follow you as Tiffany819

    (Sorry I posted two comments, as I was looking for the extra entry I saw you didn't want us to. Tiffanys819 at gmail dot com)

    ReplyDelete
  52. This would be awesome! Thanks!
    rlgrady[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  53. These looks like some cute books, and I'll have to put Every Demon Has His Day on my wishlist. I'm already a follower :-D

    ibetnoonehasthisdamnid@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  54. Enclude me please.

    jwx4@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  55. Sounds great!
    I am already a follower
    I have added a link on my blog http://xbookcontestsx.blogspot.com/
    I have commented your review


    dsym_06@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  56. please enter me

    I am a follower

    lovejessicamarie [@] gmail [.] com

    ReplyDelete
  57. I'd love to be included in the chance to win. Thanks for the insightful interview with Cara.

    espressogurl at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  58. I am a happy follower and I also posted this on my sidebar!

    ReplyDelete
  59. good interview questions...i've never heard of this author but LOVE her titles. great! please enter me...thanks a bunch.

    ReplyDelete
  60. please enter me! I am a follower.

    rebecca191 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  61. Count me in too please! ~ :) Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  62. oh and can you add me one more entry I blogged about it here http://rebeccasbookblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/some-contests-to-enter.html

    ReplyDelete
  63. I'd love to win and I follow! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  64. These books sound really good and I can't wait to read the new one (and the sequel in the fall!). Please include me too. Thanks!

    - I'm a follower.
    - I commented on your review.
    - I've added this to my sidebar.
    www.wrightysreads.blogspot.com

    5wrights1[at]verizon[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
  65. I also put a link in my sidebar.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Please enter me - would love to have these books. Nice review

    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  67. I'd love to be entered...and I'm now following you (I kind of thought I was but apparently I wasn't ;))

    ReplyDelete
  68. and I commented on the review, too :) (Thanks for letting me know about the new book--I don't believe I did before now.)

    ReplyDelete
  69. I'd love to be entered.

    +1 if you're following me or have already been following me, and let me know
    +1 if you comment on my review of Every Demon Has His Day here

    Thanks!
    not_so_cg[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  70. These sound fun!

    allisonDOTcampbellATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  71. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me.

    ReplyDelete

Hello! I'm so excited to read what you have to say. Due to high amounts of spam, I'm forced to disabled anonymous comments for the time being. Sorry for any inconvenience this causes, and I hope you can understand and still appreciate the content here!

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