Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Touching Smoke by Airicka Phoenix: Interview & Excerpt

Touching Smoke is YA novel set in present-time Canada featuring Fallon Braedon, a sixteen-year-old girl with an unusual past. For Fallon, being on the run had always been a mystery, until the day she starts an earthquake and everything falls apart. Suddenly, she finds herself hunted by creatures with unusual abilities, haunted by a ghost baring a frighteningly familiar resemblance and falls in love with the last person she should ever give her heart to. So as her foundation crumbles beneath her, Fallon finds herself teetering on the brink of two devastating revelations: follow her heart or save the world, because there is no doing them both.

Releases July 31, 2012

“He’s lying, Fallon.” Isaiah’s chair shrieked against marble as he climbed to his feet. The soft, steady clap of his feet as he moved towards me, made my heart flinch.

I hugged myself despite the warmth, warding off an inner chill. “Why would he?”

“Because he’s evil,” he said simply. “Because he likes knowing he’s hurt you.”

I didn’t pull away from his touch when he rested his hands on my shoulders, although I wanted to. The feel of him through the fabric of my shirt had my blood singing in a way that only then did I realize probably wasn’t natural. Nothing about us was natural. Everything that would apply to a normal relationship, didn’t apply to us. It only just then made sense why I was so obsessed. Why his touch made me melt in my skin. Why being away from him was like being skinned and salted alive. Why I felt like my very breath depended on his existence. None of those things were normal, not to the intensity with which I felt them.

“When you touch me, do you feel it?” I asked, staring far into the horizon, at the spot where the world dipped and vanished from sight, kind of the way my sanity seemed to want to do at that moment. “Do you…” I trailed off, biting my lip, trapping the single word that could unleash all my insecurities. The magical L word all girls wanted to hear from the boy they were crazy about.

His nose grazed the side of my face as he leaned in to murmur into my ear. My eyes closed and I steeled myself against the shiver that rippled along my spine. “Yes.”


He said yes, yet my chest heaved with the first of many heartbroken sobs because it wasn’t real. It wasn’t real!

When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?

Night! Absolutely. I am such a night person. I do my best work after midnight when the world is dark and everyone is sleeping. I think it makes me feel like I’m the only person in the whole world, no interruptions, no phone calls, emails because I am the only person awake (in my house at least). I’ll stay up until about 4am-5am. But that doesn’t mean I don’t write during the day. I usually get about 6hrs during the day while the kids are at school or I carve out about 3-4hrs where my husband will take the kids out so I can get some quiet time.  

Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?
YES! Music is such a HUGE part of what I do. I always have my music going when I’m writing. The silence disturbs me. It gives me the feeling of a horror movie, always jumping at every little creak and groan. But aside from that, I think a lot of my stories have been inspired by songs I’ve heard.  

What was the scariest moment of your life?
The day we went camping and my oldest got lost on the way to the washrooms. I’m not a panicker. I’m the parent that’ll stop, calm down and focus, but the moment I knew he was missing, I completely lost it. Thank goodness we had friends with us and my husband who quickly took control of the situation and we found the poor boy two campsites over. (Now anyone who goes camping with me MUST wear a whistle at all times! LOL)

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

I actually have interviews with each of my characters, even the ones who only make a cameo appearance. I have a set of questions that I’ll ask and then have each character answer. These questions range from hair color to favorite foods to shoe size. (It’s a 10pg list). As for the plot, I use the same method my fourth grade teacher taught us, write a brief beginning, middle and end then bring it all together.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Archaeologist, an animator for Disney & a writer — in that order. Alas, I can’t even draw a straight line and dead things creep me out. So, being a writer won by a landslide! LOL 

Are the names of the characters in your novels important?  How and why?

I spend days researching names. If my character doesn’t have the right name, a name that has meaning, something reflecting the novel, my muse will dig her heels in and refuse to budge. The name has to match the story. The same goes for the title.  

What is the next big thing?

I’m working on several projects right now, but my next big thing that will *fingers crossed* be released this year is a great deal different than Touching Smoke. The book is a combination of Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Romeo and Juliet. Then there is of course Touching Fire Book #2 of the Touch Series that will be out July 31, 2013.

Airicka Phoenix is the author of Touching Smoke (Touch Series Book #1). When she's not hammering away at the keyboard, she can be found banishing pirates or crawling through the attic looking for lost treasure with her kids. She loves baking, gardening and reading. She also likes to travel and take pictures of everything she comes across. When asked, Airicka describes herself as a sarcastic basket case that has an unhealthy addiction to chocolate, old movies and really bad jokes. She loves to laugh, make friends and write. If she could have one wish granted, it would be to spend one day as a fly-on-the-wall inside Stephen King's mind. If she could have two wishes granted, she would ask for a castle dedicated entirely to her overwhelming collection of books.  

 Enter for a chance to win a digital copy of Touching Smoke.
Comment on this post for a bonus entry.
Follow the author on Twitter for another bonus entry.
Giveaway ends August 18th 11:59 PM Central Time.


ronnkelly3 said...

Thank you so much for sharing your interview...

Joanne said...

Thanks for the interview and excerpt. This book sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read it.


Erika said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

Brenda Sparks said...

I'm so excited about the release of this book. Every time I read an Except, I fall more in love with the writing. Thanks for letting us get to know Airicka and Touching Smoke.

Abby Flores said...

Thanks so much for the giveaway.>:D

lindaaah said...

Touching Smoke sounds like a book I would love to read! thanks for the giveaway!

Kassandra Fuentes said...

I barely heard about this book, and I can not wait to read it! Thank you so much for this giveaway :)

Twitter: @kassiefuentes

Kassiah said...

Thanks for the giveaway. This sounds interesting :)

Kassandra Fuentes said...

Thanks for the excerpt, now I really want to read the book :). Also, thanks for the amazing interview and giveaway!