A Slither of Hope by Lisa M. Basso #AuthorInterview #Giveaway

Publication date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Lisa M. Basso

Rayna struggles to piece her life back together, but hiding in plain sight from the police, the SS Crazy, and the Fallen isn’t a foolproof plan—something Kade, the World’s Worst Roommate, reminds her of everyday. The late nights of failing to teach Ray how to protect herself against the Fallen are getting to Kade, changing him in ways he doesn’t like, and after a family emergency sends Ray back into Cam’s arms, Kade decides he’s had enough. News of Rayna’s resurfacing brings both angels and the Fallen to San Francisco by the dozens, all eyes scouring the city for the girl with the gray wings. Rayna will need both Kade and Cam’s help to ensure her family’s safety, navigate the new dangers and enemies springing up all over the city, and manage the surprises that arise with her new set of wings.

What made you decide you wanted to write about angels?

- Well, I originally wrote the first draft of A Shimmer of Angels several years ago. SEVERAL years ago, before the young adult market had been flooded with so many great takes on the angel lore. So, I was under the impression I was writing a genre I loved, and standing out from the crowd. Plus, I had this great idea for light-winged angels and dark-winged angels and how a moral compass would be a true test for both. It was really that idea that sparked my interest. The rest came with a lot of time sorting through ideas.

Why did you choose to write in the YA genre?

- YA has always been close to my heart. Being a teenager is mind-blowing time. Most people experience the biggest choices in their lives between fourteen and eighteen. Change is always happening, choices needing to be made. I experienced so many joys and heartbreaks in the YA age range—good choices, wrong choices, learning not only who I was, but what I wanted out of life. It’s so extreme in both positive and negative. These experiences really stuck with me. I guess you can say I have a huge soft spot for YA and the people who read it.

How did you find inspiration for your characters?

- I take inspiration from everywhere. Personal experiences, art, music, television, movies, books, dreams, everywhere. To be not just a well-rounded author, but any kind of creative being, you have to look outside yourself, otherwise all your characters could end up with the same personalities. People watching is also an author’s friend. Sit at a café by yourself and listen to the conversations around you. You can never tell where inspiration will strike you, so always have a pen and paper handy.

How many drafts did you go through before you settled on a copy to submit?

- For A Slither of Hope, since it’s the second book in a series already slated for publication, I was fortunate enough to work with a developmental editor. Before I wrote a word of the book, she listened to my main plotting notes (the big picture stuff) and let me bounce ideas around until we found the right harmony. So, when it came time to write the first draft, I knew where I was going (for the most part).

It took me several months to write the book and I still had two major road bumps. Once the book was finally done, I edited it once and sent it in. Let me just say, for me, this is not the norm. When I work on my own, without the help of a fantastic editor, I usually edit at least three times. With A Slither of Hope, obviously we went through several rounds of edits, both big and small, after my submission.

How do you outline? (paper, post-its, google docs)

- Outlining usually takes me a long time. I will jot down notes in a notebook for weeks, sometimes months, before I get to a place where I can start putting the random notes to use and start organizing them into a proper outline. I am the most unorganized mess when I outline. Through the chaos comes magic, I guess? I plant myself on the floor in the middle of my writing room with a fresh white board in front of me, surrounded by post-its, pencils, my messy notebook, index cards, and a stick of re-stickable glue (like the adhesive post-its use so they can be moved around).

What I hope to end up with is a chapter-by-chapter outline with each post-it holding the important events for each chapter. I usually end up with twenty or so post-its. The funny part is, when I’m writing, I usually deviate from this outline before the first turning point. I like to think of outlines as guides, not something set in stone. If you have an idea that works better while you’re writing, follow it and see where it goes.

Did you have any input into your covers?

- For A Shimmer of Angels I filled out a two page form describing the book and what I’d like to be included in the cover. When the first mock-up of the cover came, I was blown away. It was nothing like I wanted—it was better. My publisher (Month9Books) worked with the cover designer to tweak a few things and changed the font (as per my request) and boom. A cover was born. A few months later the other two covers in the series appeared in my inbox, neither of which needed any tweaking.

Describe your book in 5 words.

- Super awesome wingy plot-twisty goodness ;D

If you could have any talent/job in the world besides writing. what would it be?

- Zookeeper! No, too much poop. Fashion designer. Expect I can’t draw my way out of a hole. Singer, maybe? If I was better at singing. Hmmm… Time lord! Yeah, let’s go with time lord (no Daleks please!).

How do you read? Audiobook, Ereader, Phsyical Book? What are you currently reading?

- I love books so much, I will take in any format they come in. My bookshelves are overflowing (seriously), my ereader is bursting at the…uh gigabits. That’s a thing, right? And I have an account at my local library when I can check out digital audiobooks and load them onto my iPod. If I had to put them order, nothing beats holding a book in your hands, the weight of it, the amazing smell of the pages. It’s an experience. So, real books are still number one. My ereader goes just about everywhere with me. It’s smaller and lighter than a real book and for traveling, it stores so many books! And for audiobooks, I listen while doing chores, exercising (because we all know how much that sucks in general), cleaning, etc.

I’m currently reading Killer Instinct by S.E. Green. I’m only a few chapters in, but so far it’s really interesting. I love darker stories and this is a kind of YA take on Dexter but with a female protagonist. And I’m listening to Crossed by Ally Condie.

Lisa M. Basso was born and raised in San Francisco, California. She is a lover of books, video games, animals, and baking (not baking with animals though). As a child she would crawl into worlds of her own creation and get lost for hours. Her love for YA fiction started with a simple school reading assignment: S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders. When not reading or writing she can usually be found at home with The Best Boyfriend Fiancé that Ever Lived ™ and her two darling (and sometimes evil) cats, Kitties A and B.