Friday, January 18, 2019

Interview + Giveaway: Misfit’s Rise by Sara E. Tall (@SaraEatough, @RoxanneRhoads)

UFI welcomes Author Sara E. Tall. Thanks for Joining us!!

What can you tell my readers about yourself that they might not know from looking on your bio or reading in another interview?

I debated starting on this note, and then I decided to go for it.  I’m a Bisexual Latter-Day Saint/Mormon. My writing energies that don’t go to fiction go to blogging about my faith and sexuality.  Despite all the craziness , being a BiChristian is an absolute blast, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

What do you enjoy doing on your down time?

Dancing!  Actually, I enjoy doing that all the time, whether it’s down time or not.  Not that I’m a good dancer, but that doesn’t stop me from dancing all over the place at the most random of times.  I also enjoy hiking, canoeing, swimming, and the other cool outdoors-y things I can do that don’t break my bank.  Also card games.  I am a very—passionate— person, when it comes to cards.

What is your Favorite part of writing? 

Hands down, it’s the characters. I’ve discovered that I really love people, and writing for me is a just a chance to explore and try to understand these interesting and often times crazy people, in a way that doesn’t involve getting a doctorate in Psychology.   I love watching the way they grow and develop into something more than I ever could have imagined.  If I had one wish I would wish that my characters were real people.  Well, maybe not all of them, unless I had a freeze ray…

Do you have any certain routines you must follow as you write?

While I do try to follow routines, I’m usually just trying to squeeze writing time in any time or place I can, which has led to some pretty unconventional situations.  Those lead to some of the best inspiration though.  I’ve got plenty of procrastination rituals, though.

What are some of your Favorite books or Authors in the Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Genres?

Cassandra Clare, Rick Riordan, and Jim Butcher are the three that come to mind at first.  I’ve read a gazillion others though.

How would you pitch ALPHA: MISFIT’S RISE to someone who has not heard of it before?

I’ve had a lot of practice at this lately.  Billie, a half-breed outcast to the magical Realm, is given a chance to return home after almost blowing up a human house.  Her dream quickly turns into a nightmare when she learns the Realm’s seven magical species are on the brink of a civil war and staying means she would be caught in the middle of it.  Staying is her only chance of becoming a true mage, but it comes with a high price. Up to and possibly including her life.

Can you tell us a little bit about the world that ALPHA: MISFIT’S RISE is set in?

I was inspired a lot by mythology for Alpha, and one concept I’ve always enjoyed was Hades’ underworld.  Only in this case, the underworld isn’t heaven, hell, or even an afterlife.  It’s a magical world connected to our own that became a safe haven for the Magi of Earth, a place where they could practice magic freely without fear of persecution or death.  It’s literally a land bursting with magic, and most beautiful place in existence, at least on the surface.  That much magic comes with a price, a heavy price.

Do you have a favorite scene in ALPHA: MISFIT’S RISE ?

I’ve always loved writing the final fight scene, especially since one of my favorite characters, mentioned below, has a chance to quip through the whole thing.  It also gave me a chance to push Billie to her physical, mental, and emotional limits— and that was an exciting place to go.

Which one character out of all your books was your favorite to write about? What about the hardest to write about? 

Though I’ve got a lot of characters for a lot of different books my favorite from Alpha is Sedna.  Though she’s technically an antagonist to Billie, my MC, Billie finds herself empathizing with Sedna quite a bit, though she may not agree with Sedna’s methods.  Sedna’s thirst for justice but lack of a moral compass makes her extremely fun, and liberating, to write about.  Plus she gets all the best lines.

The hardest for me to write was Lucian, Billie’s mentor and sometimes only ally.  It took me a while to really understand him, and he’s pretty elusive so he didn’t help me out at all in the process.   I spent more times re-wrting the Lucian scenes than any others, but he seems pretty happy with the results.  At least, he’s not longer insulting my abilities as a writer, which I take to be a good sign.

What Other Projects can we look forward to reading from you?

I plan to release the next book in the Alpha series, Trickster’s Song, in November 2019. I also have another project, Celestial: Vault of Souls that I hope to release in 2020. Vault of Souls is set in New Orleans and follows a teenage Witch, Ed, who is willing to dabble in strange magic for the chance to see his dead parents again. Only it turns out his parents were messing around with much dark magic first, and it has had dangerous consequences.  The Witch Council has decided Ed should pay for those consequences. With his life.

And I’ve got plenty of other projects in the works, so you’ll be seeing me.

Sara's enjoyed creating fantastic stories since she was old enough to hold a play sword, around the time she learned how to walk. Gradually she learned to direct her creative energy into writing, and it’s been a downward spiral ever since then. When she's not writing she’s probably either dancing or reading random wikipedia pages. She also enjoys spending time in her part-time home away from home, Yellowstone National Park, which is the most fantastical land she's ever been too.

Find Sara and her books

Misfit's Rise
Alpha #1
Lulu Paperback iBooks
 A Half-Fae misfit returns to the Magical Realm of her birth to discover it’s far from the fairy tale she imagined.

century after the Mages of Earth found sanctuary in an underground Realm, those whose magic is sub-par or whose half-breed heritage leaves them powerless and forced into exile back on Earth. They can’t have them tainting the magic of the others, after all.

As a Fae/Human hybrid, Billie should fit right in. Except, she’s anything but powerless, making her a misfit among misfits. When her powers nearly destroy a human home, she's given a chance to return. Returning to the Realm has always been Billie’s dream, but the Realm is anything but a fairy tale.

Despite its claims of acceptance and equality, ancient rivalries between the Realm’s magical species are threatening to rip it apart. Billie somehow manages to land herself in the middle, a dangerous place for an outcast to be. What’s more, the powerful magic that brought her there suddenly vanishes, leaving her vulnerable to the attacks of those who think a misfit doesn’t belong in the Realm.

Staying in the Realm is her only chance to live life as a true Mage, but it could cost her life.

Excerpt #2:

I didn’t want to go to breakfast, but after skipping dinner yesterday, I was starving. I stayed by the wall as I entered the Dining Hall. I felt like an idiot, stuck in corner with shaking legs. I should probably find a Fae table rather than risk sitting at another species’ table, but I was so hungry I walked toward the nearest empty table. How did they even remember which table was what species? Was there a map somewhere?
“Are you kidding me, Rusty?” someone said.
I inhaled—deeply— exhaled, and then looked up. Artemis stood over me, her expression somewhere between incredulous and amused.
No, are you kidding me?
“Let me guess, this is a Witches’ table?”
She whistled. “Sort of. It’s their table.”
Their table? I started to ask, then decided I didn’t care. “What are you even doing here? Are you just following me around, waiting for me to screw up?”
“I don’t have to wait,” she said. “You screw up every two seconds.”
“Look, if this more of that Witches don’t like Fae thing, then—”
“You really don’t get it, do you?” she cut me off.
”Don’t get what?” I threw my hands out while several people looked at me in alarm. “I’m sorry I keep sitting at your precious table. But guess what? I’m the new girl. And you know what you should say to the new girl? You should say, ‘Hey Billie, this isn’t your table, because here at Alpha, we don’t believe in modern ideas like integration. But over there’s a nice table with ‘your kind.’” I made exaggerated quotations over me hand. “You could say that instead of being a—”
“Easy there, Rusty,” said a cool female voice from behind me. I whirled around and saw Sedna looming over me. “Didn’t anyone ever tell you it’s not polite to shout?” She fake-pouted, her hazel eyes flashing.
I had a much better look at her tattoo now. It was the most realistic tattoo I’d ever seen, and when she moved, the tattoo moved through her skin. The girl on her right had a pixie cut and about a million piercings. Oh yeah, and her skin was blue, making her a Warlock just like Sedna. The one on her left had waist-length blond hair, but what really stood out were her eyes. It was like someone had shoved fire in there, making them glow. She must be a Witch, though I had never seen a Witch mark like that.
“So,” Sedna leaned down toward me, and I resisted the urge to lean away, “this is the Misfit. What are you, anyway?”
“Does it matter?” Artemis said. She was staring at Sedna with wide, glowing eyes. “She’s just a—”
“I was asking her.” Sedna pointed to me, silencing Artemis.
“I … uh … what?” I stuttered. I didn't like being thrown into the spotlight.
“I said,” she repeated, slowly, like she was talking to a mentally handicapped person, “what are you? As in, what are you?” Behind her, the blond girl snorted.
“A … a Faerie.”
“Faerie,” she repeated, then shouted over her shoulder. “Did you here that, Maeve? She’s a Faerie.” The blond girl’s eyes narrowed as she looked me over.
“Maeve here’s a Witch, in case you didn’t know.” Sedna smiled. “She doesn’t like Fae.”
Maeve smiled, rotating her wrist like she was about to perform a spell. I flinched, and they laughed.
“Are you sure she’s a Fae?” The pixie-cut girl eyed me. “Because she’s the ugliest Fae I’ve ever seen.”
I gritted my teeth. I already knew I didn't look like the typical Fae, but it would be nice if someone didn't point it out every five seconds.
“Daphne, you can’t blame her for that,” Sedna said. “She hasn’t had her whole life to turn herself into a fake, porcelain doll like the rest of them.”
So, I was guessing Warlocks didn’t exactly like Fae either. That would be a good thing to remember.
Artemis laughed again, but it dried up at the look Sedna gave her.
“You know, Rusty, I haven’t had the chance to thank you for your contribution yesterday.”  She stepped closer, and I had to make a conscious effort not to step back. “That was a pretty brave thing you did.”
“Not really,” I said, not daring to look away.
She smiled. “Sure it was. After all, you’re a little Misfit who’s getting tangled up with some of the most powerful Magi in Alpha.” Her smile darkened. “Something like that has consequences.”
I raised my eyebrows. “Are you threatening me?”
She chuckled darkly. “You’ll know when I’m threatening you. Besides,” she folded her arms across her chest, like this had all suddenly become very boring for her, “I’m a busy girl, but I have a feeling there are others who could—educate—you about how things work in the Realm.”
She gave Artemis a pointed look. I thought Artemis was going to collapse out of excitement. A part of me knew I should be worried. Sedna had basically just put a hit out on me, and Artemis was her hit man. Or hit girl. Or hit whatever. But I knew I had one advantage. They would all assume I was some weak, little Misfit. I couldn’t wait to see the look on their faces when I proved them wrong.
“What’s going on here?” Arthur appeared out of nowhere. That was twice now.
“Aw, isn’t it cute.” Sedna took on a nasty, sing-song baby voice. “Arthur, here to help the poor little Rusty in the big, bold magic world.” Never mind, she sounded like an evil Marilyn Monroe.
“Leave her alone,” Arthur said, his jaw twitching.
“Does Gwen know you’re off your leash?” She crouched down and patted her legs, speaking in a high-pitched dog voice. “Where’s Gwen? Where’s your owner?”
Arthur turned red, but didn’t say anything as he turned to me. “Come on, Billie,” he muttered, steering me away.
“Go on then, we all know how you got to be Gwen’s vice anyway,” Sedna shouted, while the girls laughed. Arthur’s face reddened again, but he didn’t say anything. Assuming she was implying what I thought she was, it was probably better not to ask.
Artemis was watching me as I walked away, that same confident smile on her lips. Despite the pounding in my chest, I smirked back. This was going to be the last time she ever smirked at me like that.

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