Alice Ayre is no ordinary teenager. She took her first name from a statue in Central Park, pulled her last name out of the air (literally), and she’s actually almost a thousand years old. In fact, the only “ordinary” thing about Alice is that she’s in love.
Alice was a sylphid—a winged air spirit—when she spotted Daniel Field camping in the Adirondacks and lost her heart to the handsome NYU student. Intangible to the human senses, her only hope of winning his heart resides in becoming mortal, even though transmutation is forbidden by Paralda, ruler of the air. Risking punishment, however, seems a small price to pay for a chance at true happiness.
Tracking down Daniel in New York City ends up being surprisingly easy. Getting noticed by him for all the right reasons is another story, especially when the human world keeps tossing challenges in Alice’s path. Just when she’s mastered zippers and buttons, she catches herself dropping a sugar packet into her coffee and mistaking a photo of John Lennon for one of Daniel’s relatives.
Her eccentricities raise the occasional eyebrow with Daniel and his friends, but her quirky charm, sweetness, and sincerity win out. Before long, she lands a job, begins a relationship with Daniel, and starts settling into her new life—until her past comes after her.
Good morning (afternoon and evening) everyone. I would like to welcome you all to the Thin Air Blog Tour. I have had the honor of being a host for this unique and completely entransing book. Today I am interviewing Lynn Seresin, the author and hosting a giveaway (so be sure you read the entire post.) Be sure to come back tomorrow and check out my 4.5 Star review of Thin Air. Don't forget to leave a comment answering the question at the bottom of this interview to win an e-book of Thin Air from Better Read Than Dead.
Also, keep an eye out for the letter in red to enter for the grand prize. There is a link to the form at the bottom of this post! That's 2 separate contests!
I would like to start by welcoming Lynn Seresin to Better Read Than Dead. She is not only a terrific author but a great person also. I have been lucky enough to get to know her over the past few months and I can honestly say it has been my pleasure. You can visit any of these links for more information on Thin Air.
(1) Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you live?
I currently live in New England with my husband and two teenage children. I grew up in New York City’s Greenwich Village, where THIN AIR is set. I also graduated from NYU (the university Daniel and his friends attend) with a BA in English and, four years later, an MA in Psychology. I’ve worked as a children’s book editor, counselor at a social rehab facility for the mentally ill, and freelance writer. I’ve also dabbled in bridal headwear design and recently was certified as an elementary school teacher. I guess you could say I have a bit of a checkered past, professionally speaking.
(2) What is the first book that really caught your attention?
Probably the Eloise books by Kay Thompson. I could practically recite them from memory as a child. I especially related to the Eloise character because she was an only child growing up in New York City, just as I was. Probably the first novel that really inspired me to be a writer was The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury. I remember reading it the summer of sixth grade and thinking, “This is really what I want to do. I want to write fantasy.” It was the beginning of a love affair with that genre that has lasted to this very day.
(3) Did you read much as a teenager?
Did I ever! I was a voracious reader, largely because I spent so much time either alone or in the company of adults (boring!) I also grew up in a time when personal computers (and hence computer games) and cell phones didn’t exist, and there was only a handful of channels available on TV. Without the distractions of Facebook, Twitter, texting, and HBO, reading ranked pretty high on my favorite pastimes list.
(4) If you couldn’t be an author, but anything else…what would you be?
I’ve often wished I had pursued a career in film—behind the scenes. I love movies, and at one time, I actually considered studying film editing. I love putting things together, getting the pieces to fit, whether it be completing a crossword puzzle, editing a book, or working through the plotline for a novel. I think I would have enjoyed applying those skills to a visual medium like film.
(5) Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I’m one of those “what if” people. I find myself constantly asking myself that question in different contexts—What if the Earth was going to be destroyed tomorrow? What would happen if I could become invisible? What would I be if I could no longer be human? Most of my writing ideas spring from that sort of mental exercise. I also love creating characters. While I think plot is important, I respond most strongly as a reader to stories featuring characters I can care deeply about. I don’t necessarily have to love them, or even like them. But they must engage me. I guess when I construct a novel, I try to combine “what if” scenarios with compelling characters that readers can relate to. Having an overactive imagination doesn’t hurt, either.
(6) What’s the name of your most recently published book?
I’ve just published a novel entitled THIN AIR. It is the first in an envisioned four-book saga.
(7) Who is your favorite character from this book and why?
I should probably say that one of the main characters is my favorite, but in all honesty, I’d have to say that Dante Sinclair, one of the supporting characters, has really captured my heart. First of all, he’s so much fun to write. I can always count on his sarcastic wit and playfulness to liven up a scene. He’s also such a good friend to Alice (my narrator). Everyone should have someone like Dante in their life. It’ll probably come as no surprise that Dante was inspired by my admiration for Adam Lambert—talented, gay singer with jet black hair and piercing blue eyes with a fondness for jewelry, fashion, and guyliner. Of course, he’s not Adam, but I think he embodies so many of Adam’s wonderful traits, especially his enthusiasm, openness, and willingness to celebrate commonality over differentness. *He was my favorite character also.*
(8) Independently published or commercially published?
(9) If independent…did you attempt to get commercially published?
I shopped for an agent for several months, to no avail. I’d already started working on another book when I began to read about the self-publishing revolution online. So I figured, what have I got to lose? I might as well give it a try. So far, it’s been a terrific experience. I’ve gotten some very positive feedback on the book and met a lot of wonderful people in the blogosphere and through Twitter.
(10) Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring writers?
Keep writing, even in the face of rejection. It’s easy to get discouraged and throw up your hands, but self-publishing is offering opportunities never before afforded to first-time authors. Take advantage of them. And if you do decide to self-publish, bone up on self-promotion. Social media is a great way to get the word out, but it requires know-how. You’ll find all you need to know, and more, online. So, roll up your sleeves and dig in!
(11) What is the most useful advice you received while writing any book?
I’m a loyal subscriber to Nathan Bransford’s blog. For anyone considering a career in writing, his blog is a must, chockfull of valuable information, writing tutorials, resources, etc. I can’t even begin to sum up all the useful advice and encouragement he’s offered to struggling writers over the past couple of years. Google him and check it out. It’s a superb resource—and lots of fun to read, too. The guy’s got a great sense of humor and being a writer (and former agent) himself, he’s wonderfully sensitive to the highs and lows of a writer’s life. *If you haven't checked out Nathan's Blog...you should.*
The apocalypse is coming…what do you do?
Try to get everyone I love together in one place so I can tell them how much they’ve meant to me. Then party till the world blows up.
If you were stranded on an island, name the 5 things you could not live without?
(1) My iPod
(2) Adam Lambert’s music on my iPod
(3) My eReader
(4) A case of Cozy Shack rice pudding cups
(5) Sun block. Lots of sun block.
What 5 things are within your reach right now? No cheating.
(1) Our 4-lb. teacup Chihuahua, Layla
(2) The 3-lb. rawhide bone she’s attempting to chew on
(3) My laptop
(4) My flash
(5) My pillow [I’m sitting on my bed]
Favorite book ever?
Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White
Ultimate bad boy crush? (TV, Movies, or Books)
Robert Pattinson in “Twilight” (I guess Edward’s a bad boy of sorts. I mean, the guy’s a vampire!) *I will be defending Team Edward on October 31st on another blog. More info to follow*
Ultimate good guy crush? (TV, Movies, or Books)
Robert Pattinson in “Remember Me” (Ha! Thought you’d trick me into picking someone different, didn’t you?) *I loved that movie, but it made me cry.*
I don’t know that I really have one, but I love Chinese food. I could go for some steamed dumplings right now, as a matter of fact.
I loved “Avatar” (and yes, I know Robert Pattinson isn’t in that one!)
Favorite TV show?
“Fever” from For Your Entertainment
Favorite singer or band?
Adam Lambert (of course). I also love Maroon 5 and Gaga, but I’m an unabashed Glambert.
One food you would never try?
Chocolate-covered insects of any sort. Bugs make me freak out. I definitely wouldn’t let one into my mouth! *Ick*
The most exotic food you have ever eaten?
Escargot (that’s snails in plainspeak)
Day on the beach or snow skiing down a mountain?
Day on the beach, without a doubt (I can’t ski).
Campfire with smores or curled up in front of the fireplace?
I’ll opt for the fireplace. Never went camping and don’t ever really intend to.
If you could move anywhere on this Earth, where would it be?
I think Venice, Italy is one of the most magical, romantic places on the planet. I’d love to live there, but I’d have to invest in Rosetta Stone to learn Italian.
Health nut or junk food junkie?
A bit of both. I try to go organic in the fruits and veggies department (incidentally, I love both), don’t drink alcoholic beverages, or smoke, but my one, true vice is Coca Cola. A friend who read THIN AIR recently pointed out that she wasn’t surprised to discover that Alice’s first “taste” of human life came from a Coke can, given my passion for it. Guilty pleasures aside, I try not to drink too much of the stuff but I just have to occasionally indulge. *A girl after my own heart...my vice also*
Two books you think everyone should read. (Yes, you can and should include yours.)
Okay, then I will. (1) Thin Air, and (2) Virtually anything by Dr. Seuss. His ear for the musicality of language is unparalleled.
Are there any blogs or websites you frequent?
Yours, for one (I enjoy Better Read Than Dead’s intelligent, well-written reviews and am an ardent follower). The Fairytale Nerd (who’s a fan of fae) comes up with some wonderfully creative themes and activities on her blog, like declaring October to be fairy month. And, of course, Nathan Bransford’s fabulous blog, which I mentioned earlier. And to writers out there honing query letters, the Query Shark is invaluable.
Places my readers can stalk you?
On Twitter (@lynnsere) and my Facebook fan page. I’m in the process of setting up a blog and website even as we speak, but for now, Twitter’s definitely the best place to find me. I welcome followers and always tweet back.*Lynn does answer tweets, she is super cool about that, well that and everything else.*
Thank you so much Lynn for taking this time to let us get to know you. We have enjoyed having you today. I hope you have enjoyed yourself and will stop by to see us again soon.
I had a great time. Hope you’ll have me back to talk about the sequel to THIN AIR, titled FRIENDLY FIRE. It’s due out early in 2012.
Grand Prize - If you have visited the other stops on the blog then you know there are certain letters at some of the stops highlighted in red. You need to collect these letters to find the phrase. When you have collected the letters and know the answer...go HERE to fill out the form.
The grand prize includes an earring like Alice would wear and a signed copy of Thin Air.
Also, if you leave an answer to this question in a comment then you will be registered to win an e-book of Thin Air.
*Question - Lynn's bad-boy and good-boy crushes are the same...who is it? (Be sure to leave your email address so I can reach you.) The winner will be drawn and notified on November 2, 2011.