Monday, January 13, 2014

Interview, Giveaway and Excerpt from Atlas by Becca Smith

Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.

I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. I recently found a story I wrote in the first grade about my friend and I finding a space ship inside Mt. Rainer and flying to the moon, lol! Writing has always been a part of my life. I’ve written comics, worked on television shows and now my passion is in writing books. I always try to write what I’d want to read. It somehow makes the experience more magical!

I love pretty much all genres. If I read the description and it sounds fun chances are I’ll read it. Though in the last five years or so I’ve definitely gravitated towards YA. I love me some teenage drama!

Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.

Atlas is my latest release. It’s a re-envisionment of the Greek legend. Mix-in magic and technology and set it in present day and you pretty much have my book. Technically Atlas is not a prequel, but there are some characters that pop up from my other series The Riser Saga, which takes place 300 years in the future. I love having my books share the same universe. I’m a child of the 80’s and TV-crossovers were my favorite thing!

Have you ever based your book or characters on actual events or people from your own life?

Absolutely! I love taking bits and pieces from my favorite people and turning them into awesome characters. Drawing from my personal experiences in life only adds to my characters depth.

When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures?

Since books take a while, I sometimes need to create something tangible to help me feel a sense of accomplishment. Sewing and drawing definitely fill that void. I make what I call “nerd bags.” Basically, I create pop culture bags ranging from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Doctor Who. I even made a bag made out of towel material for Hitchhiker’s Guide.

Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet?

Yes. I have a passion project that is in the genre of historical fiction. I’ve been wanting to write it for years, but it’s a little intimidating. Writing history is a delicate thing. You don’t want to anger anyone by “getting it wrong,” but at the same time sometimes “bending” history to tell a good story sometimes works better. Someday I’ll write it!

Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why?

Chelsan Derée. She is the main character of my first book Riser. She’s my favorite because she was my first! She’ll always have a special place in my heart even now that the series is completed.

If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share?

Atlas is a part of series. The next book will be pretty intense. A lot happens in the first book that will leave questions as to what the main character Kala will do. It’s going to be crazy! She’s already dealing with gods, demons and angels in book one. In book two she’s going to learn more about her powers and face some pretty formidable enemies. It’ll definitely be action-packed!

What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?

I’m currently working on a joint novel with a fellow writer-friend of mine F. M. Sherrill. We’re really excited about it! The core of it is a vampire story, but we’ve spent a lot of time creating a very unique and fun world. Hopefully, we’ll be able to release it by spring!

What book are you reading now?

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. It’s the second book in the Caster Chronicles. I’m loving it so far! Definitely my cup of tea.

Atlas Excerpt End of Chapter 3:

Very carefully, Jack opened the door that led to the President’s office.
What awaited them was terrifying.
President Jareth Wilton stood behind his desk. He was wearing a vest that held five grey bars of C-4 wired into a bomb. Wilton was a tall man, well over six feet with stark black hair and a long face. He was a young President, only fifty years old, but he looked like he’d aged twenty years since the last time Kala had seen him at a press conference, with dark rings under his eyes and worry lines on his forehead.
But his smile was what made the scene surreal and horrific. His thin lips were grinning as if he’d just climbed Mt. Everest.
President Wilton stared directly at Jack as the door swung open the rest of the way. “I figured it out! I figured out how to break it! No one will ever have to do what I’ve had to do again! Do you realize what this means?”
Kala knew then and there that the man was cracked. Figured what out? Break what? He was rambling like a mad man.
But the more frightening moment came when Jack responded back to Wilton. “Killing yourself is impossible. People have tried that in the past.”
Not only was President Wilton talking crazy, but apparently Jack knew his language and was responding accordingly.
Kala noticed that Wilton’s eyes lit up when Jack spoke. “You’re the one they sent to replace me.”
Jack nodded.
What? Kala was seriously confused.              
Kala spoke up, “What’s going on Jack?”
Replace him for what?
Jack didn’t acknowledge Kala or the rest of the team, which was shifting uncomfortably behind him.
Wilton shook his head, serious. “You can’t do it. You have to let me detonate this bomb. We have to crash the plane! It’s the only way to stop it!”
“You can’t stop it!” Jack yelled back.
“I can and I will!” Wilton talked into an earpiece. “NOW!”
The plane nose-dived.
Everyone jolted forward and stumbled from the force of it.
Jack barked orders, “Lali get up to the Flight Deck and by any means necessary take over this plane!”
Lali paused for a second, she looked more confused than Kala felt, but after a moment to gain her bearings as the plane was falling fast, she managed to high-tail it out of the room and up to the Flight Deck.
Kala was sure they’d hit ground at any moment.
Jack aimed his gun at the President’s head.
Wilton was frantic. He ducked behind his large oak desk that was bolted to the ground.
“You can’t kill me! You’ll ruin everything!” Wilton yelled.
Jack turned to Kala and Derek. “No one shoots him but me!”
Kala kind of nodded, but she was in shock at the fact that they were about to flatten a part of the capital with Air Force One. She really didn’t care what Jack was saying. She couldn’t let President Wilton set off that bomb and kill thousands.
Jack shot at the desk, trying to hit the president, but he didn’t come close.
Only Kala could make a shot like that and not get them all killed from shooting a hole through the plane.
Kala and Derek made eye contact. Kala could tell Derek was thinking the same thing. He whispered so only Kala could hear, “Do it.”
Kala’s nod was barely perceptible.
Jack saw her and his eyes went wide. “Kala STOP!”
Kala shrugged. “I can’t let him do this, Jack. I’m sorry.”
Only the top of Wilton’s head was showing.
It was enough.
      Kala took her shot.

The Atlas Series
Book 1
Becca C. Smith

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Red Frog Publishing

Date of Publication: 11/14/13

ISBN: 978-0985027667 (Ebook)
ISBN: 978-1493648375 (Print)

Number of pages: 293
Word Count: 73,000

Cover Artist: Stephan Fleet

Book Description:

Kala Hicks is part of a covert elite military team that answers directly to the President of the United States. But during an emergency mission aboard Air Force One, Kala is shocked to discover that the real threat is none other than the President himself. Defying her commanding officer, Jack Norbin, Kala takes the shot, and her life changes forever.

The moment the President is killed, a supernatural force speaks to Kala, telling her that she has to commit one act of atrocity every four days… or the world will end. Thrown into a reality she never could have imagined, Kala faces off with creatures of legend; from demons determined to make her fail and plunge the Earth into chaos, to angels who don’t trust her to do the job and are willing to kill her to claim it for themselves.

Pitted against the forces of good and evil, Kala must choose whether to save the world by doing the unthinkable, or sit back and let it burn. And four days later, she’ll have to do it again.

About the Author:

Becca C. Smith received her Film degree from Full Sail University and has worked in the Film and Television industry for most of her adult life. In 2010 Becca published her first novel, Riser followed by the sequel, Reaper, in 2011, and the finale, Ripper in 2013. In 2012 Becca wrote the children’s novel Alexis Tappendorf and the Search for Beale’s Treasure. She is also the co-author of the teen graphic novel Ghost Whisperer: The Haunted.

Becca currently lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband, Stephan and their two cats Jack and Duke.

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