Kaila Guidry has always known she is different. When she meets Jordyn Stryker at school, she finds out just how different.
Jordyn was born and raised far from Earth, a starseed, one of six new students sent to Louisiana's Bush High to learn human ways. But Jordyn didn't count on meeting someone like Kaila.
When Kaila is pushed to her limit by high school bullying and cruelty, Jordyn awakens her to a new reality—and to love. But to prove herself, Kaila must look the other way as the real purposes of the starseeds unfold.
As the horrific plan behind the starseed visit to Earth moves inexorably forward, Kaila and Jordan, caught in an impossible love, must determine where their true loyalties lie.
Author: Liz Gruder
Publisher: WiDo Publishing
Published: February 2013
"You know from the opening paragraph that something very strange is going on… We see Kaila try to live the life of a normal teen, and we see her "otherness" pull her back into an increasingly tangled web of questions, deceit, and hidden intentions. Liz really shines as a writer, lining the closets and drawers of everyday life with spine-chilling suspense that springs out at you when you least expect it. Starseed is an entertaining read. I highly recommend."
--Patricia B. Smith. Author “What the Animals Tell Me” and “Fifty Shades of Santa” (clean romance fiction)
"Liz Gruder’s characters come alive through youthful, spunky narrative, and her headstrong heroine, Kaila Guidry, elicits a reader’s encouragement from the first page. Fans of Amanda Hocking will find themselves similarly transported into Gruder’s exploration of the dark sides of faith, love, higher dimensions, and, of course, high school." --Jadie Jones, young-adult fantasy author
1. What gave you the inspiration to write Starseed?
I broke my wrist and had surgery with an external fixator device attached to the bones. The slightest movement caused excruciating pain and I couldn’t do anything. Being an active person, I started getting really depressed. So I started mentally writing Starseed (because I couldn’t type) to keep my mind engaged. I’d seen UFOs as a youth and researched everything I could find on ETs. After a few months I could type and dived into Starseed, alien hybrids … and lovers born of different worlds.
2. What YA books does yours resemble?
Starseed belongs in the same galaxy as Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Obsidian, Stephenie Meyer’s The Host and Melinda Metz’ Roswell. Same galaxy, but different constellation.
3. Who is your favorite character in Starseed? Just as a mother loves all her children, I love Kaila and Jordyn, the half-human, half-extraterrestrial lovers, one born on Earth and the other of the stars, as well as the “hive” – the alien-hybrid students invading a Louisiana high school, even though most humans might perceive the hive's motives as sinister.
4. Which came first, the title or the novel?
Titles usually come last in anything I write. The situation and characters come first. The working title I had for this novel while writing it absolutely reeked! “Awakening the Alien Inside.” Eeech.
5. What scene in Starseed are you most proud of, and why?
I was too freaked out to write the scene where Kaila defects from humans to join the aliens and is indoctrinated to alien ways. On the mothership, she is commanded to take part in abducting students from the high school during a mass abduction of the entire town. I wrote this scene last. Most interesting to write from the alien POV.
6. Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?
To see a project through from beginning to end. That means not only writing through the initial flushes of inspiration, but to let the project cool so you can see it through fresh eyes. Then, cut, revise, and cut and revise some more. Also, be receptive to critique groups. If you hear a criticism from several people, don’t get defensive. Listen and analyze what they’re saying. The real writing is the re-writing.
7. What do you like most about the cover of Starseed?
The cover of Starseed has elicited strong “I like it “or “I hate it” reactions. It’s different so I like that. The characters on the cover were graphically generated because it would be difficult to find alien-hybrid models with huge eyes willing to pose. ;-) I’m attracted to anything to do with the stars, so I like the craft at the top of the cover with the beam transporting someone upward . . . .
8. What new release books are you looking most forward to in 2013?
Moonlit by Jadie Jones and Deadly Kisses by Kerri Cuevas (both fellow Wido Publishing forthcoming releases).
9. What was your favorite book in 2012?
The Fault of Our Stars by John Green. Well written with undeniable warmth though we know from the beginning we are in for a boo hoo.
10. What’s up next for you?
To think positively and work on another YA novel.
Liz GruderAs a youth, Liz Gruder saw a series of UFOs with her best friend while riding bikes. Ever since, she’s held a fascination for the stars. An avid reader, she used to hide under her covers and read with a flashlight. She has degrees in English and Psychology from Tulane University, a nursing license and a yoga certification. After going through Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Liz realized how short life is and is now slowly fulfilling her bucket list: she’s been to the Egyptian pyramids (totally awesome and thought provoking) and is now teaching yoga and writing speculative fiction. Starseed is her debut novel.
Liz Gruder on goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/LizGruder
Liz Gruder on twitter: https://twitter.com/LizGruder
Liz Gruder website: www.lizgruder.com
Liz Gruder blog: http://lizgruder.tumblr.com/
Liz Gruder facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liz.gruder
WiDo Publishing: www.widopublishing.com
Amazon link to Starseed: http://www.amazon.com/Starseed-Liz-Gruder/dp/1937178293
(note: Starseed will be released on Feb. 5, 2013)