Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Introducing Halli Lilburn!

I was lucky enough to run into Halli during the "Wrap It Up Blogfest" and... she asked me to review her book, SHIFTERS, that comes out later this year. At first I was so excited but then I got nervous. What if I didn't like it?  I've heard others of you mention this concern, but I didn't get it until now. I don't like to give bad reviews.  I like to be supportive. However, I don't want to lead anyone astray either. Lucky for me... I LOVED IT! Seriously - it is such a cool book. But... I'm not going to tell you about it... YET! I'm making you wait! As the book gets closer to its release date I am going to do a review and a giveaway! *cheers* Go ahead and cheer - I know you want to!

As for now... how about getting to know more about Halli?

1.     1.  In 50 words or less, tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Halli Lilburn.  I live in southern Alberta, Canada with my husband and three children.  I am an artist, a gardener and a librarian.  I have two cats.

2. Now, your book, Shifters is coming out this year! Tell us a little bit about your book and how it will be available to us. 
The book is YA speculative fiction about a girl, Lina and her friends who stumble upon a government conspiracy taking place right in their school.  The corrupt branch is called the Special Force and their purpose is to weed out students who they deem have corrupt DNA to create a superior race.  Student get expelled and go missing.  Even more shocking, Lina finds out the Special Force is sending these teens to another reality.  Lina steals the power to shift into new realities and uses this power to escape the Special Force and attempt to rescue her friends.  It’s very plot driven, like a video game.
The e-book will be available first through amazon or imajin publishing.  Later it will be available on paperback as well.

3. What motivated you to write this book? Where did the idea come from?
The idea actually came from a dream that I had.  Almost all of my manuscripts begin as dreams.  My subconscious brain must be more creative than my conscious brain.  There is lots of fictional technology and I’m not a computer buff, but the great thing is I get to make it up.  If it’s not invented yet then who’s to say I’m wrong?
I’ve always been a writer, but life took me in a different direction.  When my youngest child went into public school I found all of this time to myself.  So I gave myself a new but long awaited career as a writer.  There is much more to come. (including a sequel).

4. I've already got your book marked on my TBR list on Goodreads! 
Is this your first published book or do you have others?  This is my first novel.  I have some short stories and poetry published in a few places: Canadian Stories, Grey Sparrow Journal and a ghost anthology “Spirited” through Leap Books.  I also have a non-fiction series running with BigWorldNetwork.com entitled “The Alternate Parent”.

5. Tell us a little about the publishing process so far. The good, the bad and the ugly!
I think I submitted to 30 agents who all turned it down.  Agents are harder to acquire than publishers sometimes, so I decided to solicit the manuscript myself.  I submitted to the big wigs first with no luck.  I was sceptical about going with an indie publisher, but I submitted to them anyways and got accepted.  I’m glad to be working with a local publisher.  I’ve been really happy with the editing process.  I don’t feel like my story is being warped or changed, the editors are making me sound like a genius.  I love it.  Promoting is probably my least favourite thing to do.  I hate feeling like a sales person, but it is necessary.  Every artist needs to also be a business person otherwise the art won’t sell no matter how good it is.

6. Any little nuggets of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors? 
On average I read 100 books to every one that I write.  You need to know what’s out there.  Read award winning books and see what makes them tick.  You also get a tax break on the books you purchase for this type of “research” (at least we do in Canada).  Take classes on writing.  You don’t have to get a degree, but a couple of workshops a year will help maintain your level of quality.  Don’t stop.  Check out Nanowrimo.com, the plot whisperer, Nathan Bradford.com

OK... and here are my chocolate chip questions. Tiny morsels of fun to add in at the end. :)

7. Tell us... if you could be any literary character, who would you be, and why?   
That’s hard to pick because the best characters always have something horrible happen to them.  I am partial to Jessica in “Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side” by -- .  She like an Elizabeth Bennet but without the historical setting or the corsets and she’s a vampire.  She’s pretty cool.  I also really like Eryn in the “Skinned” series by Judith Graves.  Both of these chicks get two guys to fall in love with them.  Who wouldn’t want that?

8. If you were a soda pop, what kind would you be? 
Ooo, I hate pop.  My parents owned a Pop Shoppe when I was growing up and we drank pop every day for years until the franchise shut down.  My teeth paid the price. I should say my parents paid to fix my rotten teeth.  I would rather be a hot apple cider with whipped cream and caramel on top. Then make sure to brush your teeth.

9. Finally... share with us a favourite thought or quote.
The wounds of a friend are sweeter than the kisses of an enemy

Now... if you want to get in touch with Halli, here's how you do it:
SHIFTERS on Goodreads
Check out SPIRITED, the anthology that she's a part of. It's available HERE on Amazon!

And thanks for being with us today Halli. Congrats again and be sure to keep us posted on a release date!


Cristina said...

awesome interview. I've added the book to my TBR list and can't wait to read your review. :)

Sarah Pearson said...

What a great quote. Thanks for introducing me to someone new, Leigh. *waves at Halli*.

Susan Fields said...

What a creative plot - Halli must have some exciting dreams!

Ruth Josse said...

Thanks, Leigh, for introducing us! Hi Hallie, and congrats on your upcoming book!

Angela Cothran said...

What an awesome sounding book! And I totally agree about reading. You HAVE to fine the time!

Cassie Mae said...

Ooohhhh! I want this book! And my mouth is watering from you just mentioning chocolate chips. Add that to the hot apple cider and the whipped cream... must wipe drool from chin.

Gahhhh. (That's Homer Simpson's salivating noise, btw ;) )

J. A. Bennett said...

sounds good! I'm off to follow her blog, and now I think I need some apple cider...

Jenny S. Morris said...

This book sounds awesome!!! Totally going on my TBR. Thanks Leigh for the interview.

David P. King said...

Smashing interview, you two! And I agree, Leigh. Getting to read a book early is way fun, but I dread the possibility of not liking it by the end. Glad you didn't run into that soup.

I've followed Halli's blog for a while, but didn't know she and Phyllis Sweetwater were the same person. Knowledge is power! :)

Kelley said...

This book is really cool. Thanks for the interview!

phyllis sweetwater said...

Thanks for having me! I noticed I made a mistake - I forgot to include the author of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side is Beth Fantaskey. Sorry!
David, Phyllis Sweetwater is the name I use for my non-fiction. I think it makes me sound smarter.

Leigh Covington said...

I love the name "Phyllis Sweetwater" too! It's awesome!

Leigh Covington said...

I love both her names! Glad you brought this up! I should have mentioned it! Thanks David!

ali cross said...

What a cool sounding story! And Halli is beautiful too! (My hubby is from southern Alberta! *waves*)

Iain said...

What a great interview. I love the way you get such a diverse range of people on here. :o)

Coleen Patrick said...

The book sounds great! Thanks :)

Lara Schiffbauer said...

I'll be watching for the review! The book sounds fascinating!

Jolene Perry said...

This book sound like SO. MUCH. FUN!

Great interview!!

Kate Coursey said...

You give the greatest interviews! Thanks for introducing us to Halli. I don't have an e-reader, but I'll definitely keep my eye out for her book when it releases!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Thanks for introducing us to Halli and Shifters! The interview was fun (as always!) and Shifters sounds really good! I'll have to add it to my TBR list!

Patricia T. said...

Enjoyed meeting Halli. I think I really would like her book! I especially appreciated seeing her determined she was to get published, came up with another plan and went directly to a publisher. I was very interested in her experience with an indie publisher. Good luck Halli. Great interview Leigh.

Emily R. King said...

Nice meeting you, Halli! I nearly went the publishing route myself. Good for you for taking the bull by the horns, and congrats on your soon-to-be-released novel!

Stacy Henrie said...

Great interview - love the new header too! I love that she reads 100 books to every 1 she writes. That's a fantastic idea.

relatively speaking said...

I look forward to this book, great interview. Maybe one day I can come banging on your door! :)

Stacy S. Jensen said...

I enjoy this interview format. Sounds like a fun book too.

Cortney Pearson said...

Great interview! Glad she shared that bit about finding a publisher on her own. It's something I think every writer has to consider!

Melissa Sugar said...

This book sounds awesome. I love the concept. It is really cool that the idea came from an actual dream the author had.

Thank you for promoting my contest. Look for an email from me.

Christy said...

Fun interview Leigh! Halli sounds great and her book is intriguing. Thanks for the review.

Tara Tyler said...

i learned something new! Several somethings, actually! Worthy interview =)
knowing Halli queried 30 agents gives me a ballpark goal and hope. love getting ideas from subconscious!
and the book is definitely full of unique twists!

Jennifer Lee Young said...

Thanks for sharing Halli's interview. Good to hear her perseverance paid off in the end. Her book sounds great!

Book Sake said...

Jessica from Jessica's Guide is a great pick. I also agree that it's hard to write reviews sometimes - most of the time if I don't like something I'm not going to finish it, but once in awhile I keep at it. I try to say what I do and don't like without being personal, but I know an author's book is personal to them - it's their baby.
- Jessica @ Book Sake

eva fhadilah said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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