Monday, June 4, 2012

Shadows Cast By Stars- The Book- The Interview- The Giveaway!

I've got a great YA up for grabs today- Shadows Cast By Stars by Catherine Knutsson. The author is generously donating a signed copy to one lucky winner. To enter fill out the rafflecopter form below. If you don't see it click 'read more'.

The Book-(From Goodreads) Two hundred years from now, blood has become the most valuable commodity on the planet—especially the blood of aboriginal peoples, for it contains antibodies that protect them from the Plague ravaging the rest of the world.

Sixteen-year-old Cassandra Mercredi might be immune to Plague, but that doesn’t mean she’s safe—government forces are searching for those of aboriginal heritage to harvest their blood. When a search threatens Cassandra and her family, they flee to the Island: a mysterious and idyllic territory protected by the Band, a group of guerilla warriors—and by an enigmatic energy barrier that keeps outsiders out and the spirit world in. And though the village healer has taken her under her wing, and the tribal leader’s son into his heart, the creatures of the spirit world are angry, and they have chosen Cassandra to be their voice and instrument…

The Interview- with Catherine!

1. What got you started writing?

I have to admit I never planned on becoming a writer.  In retrospect, I think the signs were there (for example, I once had a university professor comment that my papers were beautifully written - not something you hear every day!), but music had been my focus for so long that I really saw that as my path.  It wasn't until I started dealing with debilitating back pain due to long hours at the piano (I was working as a singing teacher, and accompanied all my students) that I realized that I needed to make a change.  Writing was a natural fit, since I could do it when I wasn't teaching, and pretty soon, I had an agent and a book contract, and I haven't looked back!
2. What were the hardest hurdles along the way?

My biggest hurdle was, and continues to be, myself.  My critical mind really served me well in my post-secondary studies, and it still serves me well when I get to the editorial stage of writing, but wow, negative self-talk is something I struggle with on a daily basis.  I've gotten a lot better over the years, and now, I actually believe it's a good idea to make friends with that inner editor, because she does have sage advice! 
3. Who is your biggest inspiration as a writer?

Oh wow.  That's a hard question to answer!  I find the work of writers such as Franny Billingsley, Meg Rosoff, and Helen Humphries inspires me to work on my craft and to become a better writer.  But, I most often draw inspiration from people around me, friends who have met with adversity and have found the courage to keep going while staying true to themselves at the same time.  I have several close friends who fall into this category (one of whom is my sister, Carmen), and I am inspired by them daily!
4. How long did it take to go from first draft to published copy?

A long time!  All told, it'll be about seven years by the time the book comes out, though I think that's longer than normal for two reasons.  One, my book was bumped from 2011 (a fairly common happening in the publishing world), and two, I'm what my agent called "a drafter".  Writing multiple drafts is just part of my process.

5. What book would you want with you on a long vacation?

A nice, big, thick door-stopper of a book that I can sink into.  Something like MISTS OF AVALON or LORD OF THE RINGS, or anything by Diana Gabaldon.  The books of OUTLANDER series are among my favorite summer reads!
6. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Work hard.  Polish your craft.  Read, read, read.  And know that your journey is just that - yours.  There's no right way to take that journey, and comparing yourself to someone else will only land you in a load of trouble.  So, take one step at a time, and remember to enjoy the process!

Thank you Catherine :)

The Giveaway- A follow is appreciated.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This is a really interesting premise for a book. Thanks for turning me on to it! I'm eager to check it out now. :D

  2. (oh, also, for the entry- I think both genres are excellent when done in a manner that questions what it means to be human. However, I think Fantasy tends to be overdone)

  3. I'm more of a Sci-Fi girl myself, but fantasy - when well written - can be great! [which means keep the unicorns to a minimum lol] :)

    Mary DeBorde M.A.D.

  4. I'm so excited for this book (and how beautiful is that cover?)! Great interview Dorine :) Wow, 7 years for the book to come to fruition. You have to have a LOT of passion for it to stick with it through all that. Congrats Catherine!

    As for sci-fi vs. fantasy... I much prefer fantasy. I'm just not into sci-fi. Both are creative, but sci-fi sometimes gets a bit too... technical for me. I don't know if that's the right way to put it, but yeah.

  5. I love the cover! And I don't know if I can answer that question. It's like asking which is better, The Hobbit or Ender's Game? Comparing apples to oranges. In fact, I never liked that sci fi & fantasy are always lumped together into a single category. They are very, very different. So I have to say, I like both.

  6. I prefer Sci-Fi, although more of a Social Science Fiction like Bradbury or Heinlein as opposed to Technological.

  7. hmm i really enjoy both but i guess if i had to choose one over the other, i prefer fantasy over sci-fi.

  8. Fantasy, hands down. Although sci-fi with strong hints of science and reality can be awesome - especially YA.

  9. I think it's more of a preference. I don't dig aliens, space travel, etc. so I'd say fantasy is better. But, every once in awhile I break down and read a scifi book and I usually end up really liking it.

  10. I think it depends on the author. If the author is really skilled, both can be excellent. I tend to prefer fantasy though.

  11. I have never been fond of sci fi. But I absolutely LOVE fantasy it is my genre of choice :D

  12. I guess I'd have to go with fantasy, but I honestly love them both! Thank you for the opportunity to win this book, it looks amazing!

  13. Goodness, I love them both!
    When I was younger, I suppose I leaned more toward fantasy, but I'm swinging more toward sci-fi now, although that could change from minute to minute!

  14. I lean more toward fantasy books, and this sounds amazing. I have been reading so much about it!