Thursday, June 18, 2015

FFBC Blog Tour, Spotlight, & Giveaway: 18 Thoughts (Jamie Ayres)

18 Thoughts (My So Called Afterlife #3)
by Jamie Ayres
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Release Date: January 27th 2015

Olga Gay Worontzoff left the Underworld for her final year of high school anxious for things to return to normal, but fate has other plans.
The new hottie at school reads her thoughts but nobody else’s. Her best friend wakes up from his coma acting like a completely different person. Caught in a world that’s a mix of familiar and supernatural, she must confront what she will—or won’t—do to bring him back and stare down her own perceived inadequacies to face a couple of tenacious demons, figurative and literal.
Everything she thought she knew about reality will change as she walks the line between past and present, fear and faith, love and loyalty.
And by the end of a heartbreaking year, she might be forced to realize “normal” in the conventional sense of the word is the one thing she may never achieve.

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1.       What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
A million thoughts went into telling Olga’s story in 18 Thoughts and the entire My So-Called Afterlife trilogy. Of course, when  I wrote the beginning in the first book 18 Things, I knew there’d have to be an end. A final chapter. I thought I knew it before I wrote it, but I didn’t. In the end, I let my characters take over. But throughout the series, my inspiration remained the same, to deliver a message of holding onto hope in the midst of darkness. In this life, there will be pain, but I believe all the heartache is worth it in the end. Life is full of surprises :-)

2.       Who is your favorite character in the book?
I'd have to say Tammy. When I wrote her in, she was meant to be a minor character, not part of the Jedi Order at all (what the circle of friends call themselves in the trilogy). But she just grew into this person I couldn't ignore. I found myself wanting to show the broken girl behind the beautiful cheerleader stereotype. If I ever write a novella that catches up with the Jedi Order ten years down the road, I have BIG plans for Tammy! Her story is one I wouldn't even mind continuing in an adult novel. We'll see . . .

3.       Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel! It had many working titles until it got signed as a trilogy, and then I figured I'd stick with the number '18' because it's good branding . . . although admittedly, people get a bit confused keeping straight what happened.

Me getting questioned daily: "Wait, did that happen in 18 Things, 18 Truths, or 18 Thoughts?"

Me: *shrugs* "I can't even remember what I ate for breakfast!"

4.       What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
The Prologue from Nate's point of view because my fourteen-year-old daughter, Kaylee, helped me write it! She's a more talented writer than I am already . . . if only she'd stop moving for five minutes and sit down in her chair to write. Okay, I'll stop before I'm in full downward "DO YOU KNOW WHAT A GIFT YOU HAVE?!" spiral mode, hahaha!

5.       Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
That coffee is my friend. Just remembering IhavecoffeeIhavecoffeeIhavecoffee gets me through the night to write (I'm a middle school English teacher by day). And I'm totally serious here. I did not drink coffee before I started writing in 2009. It changed my life!

6.       What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I thought I liked the first cover my publisher did for 18 Things, until they redid it before the release of the second book (which was what again?! YESSS! 18 Truths! See not so hard, right? Gold star for you!). They redid it so they could brand the whole series better, and when the artist, Michelle Johnson, sent me the cover for 18 Thoughts, I tried to keep my cool, which lasted about one minute because IT WAS FREAKIN' AWESOME!!! I love how she kept the water and sky element for each cover, but gave each novel its own defining element . . . the lightning for 18 Things that represented Conner's accident and what got this whole ball rolling, the moon and stars in 18 Truths because Olga ventures into the darkness of the Underworld to save her friend, and the beautiful sunset in 18 Thoughts for the happy ending. Then she used all the '18' stuff for the words to overlay the scene on the cover . . . 18 Things has Olga's life list of '18 Things' that her therapist demands she completes, 18 Truths has '18 Truths' Olga discovers on her journey into the Underworld, and 18 Thoughts represents '18 Thoughts' Nate has that are listed in the beginning of various chapters in the book.

7.       What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2015?
Oh my gosh, such a hard question, but I'd have to say Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (coming out October 6th!). I met her a LeakyCon (now GeakyCon) last August when I got to be part of a panel on world building with other authors from my publisher. I honestly had never read her books . . . you know the dilemma, sooo many books, so little time. Story of our lives. But she was just the eptimoe of cool, so I rushed over and bought both her books and devoured them in the hotel room. I'm so excited that Carry On will focus on Simon and Baz from her novel, Fangirl

8.       What was your favorite book in 2014?
Not to sound redundant, but Fangirl! WHAT WAS I LIVING FOR BEFORE RAINBOW ROWELL'S BOOKS?! Oh yeah, Harry Potter.

9.       What’s up next for you?
After finishing my trilogy with the 18 Thoughts release, I'm having a bit of an identify crisis as a writer with no editor breathing down my neck, lol. I have a MILLION story ideas and can't seem to pick which one to focus on. I'll reach a hundred pages in a manuscript, only to pause that story and start a new one. In fact, I started a new novel tonight! After finishing this crazy trilogy, I think I'm allowed the luxury to play a little though. My goal is to definitely submit a new YA novel by the end of this year.

10.   Is there anything that you would like to add?
Thanks for having me . . . and remember, coffee is your friend!

Follow the 18 Thoughts by Jamie Ayres Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Jamie Ayres writes young adult paranormal love stories by night and teaches young adults as a Language Arts middle school teacher by day. When not at home on her laptop or at school, she can often be found at a local book store grabbing random children and reading to them. So far, she has not been arrested for this. Although she spent her youthful summers around Lake Michigan, she now lives in Florida with her prince charming, two children (sometimes three based on how Mr. Ayres is acting), and a basset hound. She really does have grandmothers named Olga and Gay but unlike her heroine, she's thankfully not named after either one of them. She loves lazy pajama days, the first page of a good book, stupid funny movies, and sharing stories with fantastic people like you. Her books include the first two installments of her trilogy, 18 Things and 18 Truths. Visit her online via Twitter, Facebook, or at

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