Monday, March 18, 2019

Interview + Giveaway: Immerse by Tobie Easton (@TobieEaston, @RoxanneRhoads)

UFI welcomes Author Tobie Easton. 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 like to sing around my house—badly and a lot.  My dog judges me.

What do you enjoy doing on your down time?

When I’m not writing, I’m reading, and when I’m not reading, I’m traveling.  I LOVE travel, so I try to make it a priority.  My favorite thing is exploring new worlds—whether on the page or off.  I also find I get some of the best ideas for my writing when I’m travelling, even if I’m just on a weekend trip.  Nothing leads to new ideas like seeing and experiencing new things.  And as for guilty pleasures? I’ll go with reading fanfiction. Buffy the Vampire Slayer forever and ever (along with a growing new obsession for Supernatural)!

What is your Favorite part of writing? 

Finishing. Ha!  No, in all honesty it’s probably a tie between brainstorming—when all those early ideas start rushing in—and the magic moments during drafting when the characters’ voices completely take over.  It’s a lot of hard work to get to those voicey moments, but they’re the absolute best.

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

I don’t have routines that I absolutely must follow, but I do have a few that make things easier.  I find that sticking to a set schedule really helps me.  I try to write at the same time of day with the same tea and the same music; it helps cue my brain that it’s writing time and gets me in the right mindset.  One tip I learned from Gretchen McNeil that I like a lot is to set a timer for 25 or 30 minutes and write, then take a 10-minute break, then repeat over and over so I’m basically writing in sprints.  That helps me avoid distractions like checking my email or going on social media, because I tell myself I can do those things during the breaks.  I also do a lot of my brainstorming in the bathtub. 

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

I really like Wendy Higgins, Jessica Spotswood, and Adriana Mather.  They all write unique characters who feel real, richly detailed worlds, and romance that keeps me turning pages.

How would you pitch the Mer Chronicles series to someone who has not heard of it before?

The Mer Chronicles series follows the descendants of the Little Mermaid and offers readers a peek into a world where Mermaids aren’t just real but live secretly among us on land.  It’s a great fit for people who love magic, fairytale retellings, and romance—and, of course, Mermaids!

Can you tell us a little bit about the world that the Mer Chronicles is set in?

The first book in the series, Emerge, takes place 200 years after Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.  It adds on to the end of his story—namely by explaining that the Little Mermaid unleashed a curse on all Merkind.  I won’t give too much away, but that curse has led many modern-day Mermaids to live on land in Malibu, California, keeping their true identities secret.  They live in beautiful beach houses with secret, underground grottos and sea caves.  The second book offers readers an opportunity to explore the world under the waves and the third book shows what daily life is like in the ocean’s royal palace.

Do you have a favorite scene in IMMERSE (Book 3 of the series)?

This is so hard to answer without spoilers!  I’ll keep my answer a little vague to be safe.  My favorite scene comes toward the end of the book when my four main characters all need to work together, in spite of their trust issues, to pull off some complex, ancient magic.  I’d worked out the details of that spell—and the twists the characters encounter—when I first plotted out the series (before my agent and I sold the first book to my publisher), so I’d literally had that part in my head for years.  Finally getting to write it was so exciting, and I hope readers love it just as much.  Oh! In addition to that scene, there are a series of shorter scenes at the very end of Immerse that are brief interactions between different pairs of characters. They show a bit about how each character has changed over the course of the series and give hints at what’s in store for each one after that last page, so I really loved writing those, too.

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

My answer to this question changes constantly because the characters in the Mer Chronicles series feel so real to me at this point that I can’t pick an absolute favorite.  But for Immerse, my answer to both your questions is actually the same: Melusine.  Ever since she first appeared as the villain in Emerge, she fascinated me, and by the time I’d delved deeper into her character for Submerge, I was hooked.  I had always liked the idea of exploring her P.O.V., but the prospect of writing from her perspective was intimidating to me at first because, unlike my protagonist who was raised in the human world, Melusine grew up under the waves, and I only wanted to write her if I felt like I could be true to all the details of that upbringing—in everything from her opinions on every issue she encountered to the expressions she used.  By the time I sat down to write Immerse, the third book in the series, I’d been writing in the Mer world for years and I finally felt like I could do Melusine’s P.O.V. justice.  That’s why Immerse is told from two perspectives; it alternates between Lia’s chapters and Melusine’s, which allowed me to explore a lot of new layers of the Mer world this time around.  Her voice is deliciously dark and offers a fun counterpoint to Lia’s bubbly optimism.  I’m SO excited for readers to get to hear directly from Melusine herself!

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

I write what I would most like to read, which means I like to write books that feel magical—whether that feeling comes from magic itself, from beautiful, alluring settings, or from the sparkle and temptation of first love.  I do have a new project I’m working on right now.  I can’t say much about it yet other than that it’s in an opulent new setting that I think will really appeal to my Mer Chronicles readers and that there’s a hefty dose of forbidden love (surprise, surprise). 

Tobie Easton was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, where she’s grown from a little girl who dreamed about magic to a twenty-something who writes about it. A summa cum laude graduate of the University of Southern California, Tobie hosts book clubs for tweens and teens (so she’s lucky enough to spend her days gabbing about books). She and her very kissable husband enjoy traveling the globe and fostering packs of rescue puppies.

Find Tobie and her books

Mer Chronicles #3
Immerse is the spellbinding and breathless final installment of the Mer Chronicles series where descendants of the Little Mermaid must face deadly magic, shifting alliances, and the dangers of forbidden love.

Lia can’t wait for her parents’ coronation. Now living in the sparkling palace beneath the waves, she sneaks off to Malibu whenever possible to see Clay. Tucked away in an abandoned seaside mansion, Lia and Clay devise a plan to ensure they can stay together forever.

But when an old enemy resurfaces and Lia is restricted to the palace for the safety of all Merkind, she and Clay are ripped apart once more.

She fears not only for Clay, but for her best friend Caspian, who seems to be swimming down a dangerous path. He has invited the conniving Melusine to the coronation ball, convinced she’s capable of change. And no matter how hard Lia fights it, showing up on Caspian’s arm is just the start of Melusine’s insidious return to her life.

With threats Below growing more ominous by the day and a powerful ancient ritual looming, soon the two girls can’t escape each other. As their fates grow increasingly intertwined, Melusine might be the only one who can help Lia find the answers she desperately needs to save everyone she loves and to achieve her happily ever after. But can Lia trust her?

I wish Clay were here to see this. The thought flits through my mind again and again. When my family and I swim through the sparkling entrance of the palace, I wish I could grab his hand. As we’re greeted by hundreds of nobles swishing their tails in applause, I imagine the excited words he’d whisper in my ear. And as we start down the center aisle toward the thrones at the other end of the cavernous chamber, I yearn to show him how beautifully this room has been restored since he and I were last here.
Approaching the thrones, we process over an exquisite mosaic made up of abalone, mother of pearl, and troca shell pieces. It takes everything in me to keep my face neutral, to keep my head lifted and my sunbeam crown upright. This is the spot where, not so long ago, Clay risked his life to save mine. I glance around me at the splendor and the celebration. Clay’s sacrifice made today possible, and he’s not even here to see it.

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