Friday, May 8, 2015

CBB Promotions Blog Tour, Interview, & Giveaway: The Dawning of Firebird Alex (Orren Merton)


Welcome to my tour stop for The Dawning of Firebird Alex by Orren Merton. The tour will consist of reviews, interviews, guest posts and spotlights and runs April 27- May 8th. Check out the tour page for more information.
The Dawning of Firebird Alex by Orren Merton
Eighteen-year-old Alexandra Gold is a Seduman: her humanity and compassion come from her deceased human mother, and her powers over spirit fire and super-human strength from her demon-like Sedu father. Collecting the first three novels inThe Sedumen Chronicles, this volume includes:
Firebird Alex: When Alex unearths her father’s Sedublade, it sets in motion a journey that challenges everything she thought she was. Rescuing her friends from another Seduman gives her a taste of the heroine she might become.
Lady Firebird: Her old nemesis, down but not out, executes a horrific plan to conquer both Earth and Sediin. It’s up to Alex to assume the mantle of Lady Firebird and hunt her adversary across universes.
Firebird Vengeance: Just when Alex thought she’d won, she discovers her victory has unleashed a horrible vengeance that threatens to destroy human and Sedu alike. In order to save everyone, she must convince skeptics in both universes that she truly is the heroine that she claims to be.
Also in this collectionFirebird Manor: In this bonus novelette, Alex and her friends unwittingly awaken a murderous eldritch horror in a beachside manor. They must defeat the monster before it kills again.

Orren Merton
Orren Merton started writing fantasy and science fiction at an embarrassingly young age. In high school, he picked up guitar and start playing up and down California in a few bands, culminating in his industrial rock band Ember After. During that time, magazines, developers, and corporations began to pay him to write and edit music software related articles, manuals, and books. Since then he has written the urban fantasy novel The Deviant and the science fiction novel Skye Entity before working on his current series of YA novels. He lives in Southern California with his family, pets, collection of sci-fi/fantasy memorabilia, and curiously large stuffed animal collection.

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What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

Great question! I'd tried to write a YA novel in about 2011-2012 and while I loved the characters, the novel wasn't working. So I'd moved on and wrote some science-fiction, but I was always thinking about stories featuring teenage heroines. 

I wanted to return to urban fantasy, but I'd done a vampire novel, I was never a werewolf fan, so my mind turned to demons. Since I still had the idea of writing YA in the back of my mind, I started thinking of a girl who was a half-demon, who could control fire, and the stories just started flowing at that point.

Who is your favorite character in the book?

I love all the characters in "Team Firebird" so it's hard to pick! But I'd have to say Firebird Alex herself, Alexandra Gold, has had such a rewarding arc to write, beginning as an isolated, self-loathing orphan with no idea who she was, to a true "demon queen" leading a team of warriors and heroes.

 Which came first, the title or the novel?

The title. In fact, it was coming up with the name "Firebird Alex" that in many ways became the catalyst for who she was, what her powers would be, and the basic shape of her story arc.

What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

This is a rough one, because The Dawning of Firebird Alex is really three novels comprising one story arc, so there's a lot of scenes! I'm going to cheat a little here and name a few. In the first part, Firebird Alex, I'm very proud of the humor and heart in the scene when Alex first reveals her true nature to her boyfriend, Jake. In the second part, Lady Firebird, I'm particularly proud of Alex riding on her demon steed through the village of Dijibo-Ondo in Nigera, wounded and fading fast, but still desperate to save the villagers from a danger from her universe. And in part three, Firebird Vengeance, the scenes with Kesed were a ton of fun to write. 

 Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?

Probably how to pace a novel to be exciting, while retaining space for character development and story. 

What do you like most about the cover of the book?

A fair number of YA novel covers have a "sameness" to it. There's a girl on the cover, either alone or with a group, looking extremely serious. I'm proud that the cover to The Dawning of Firebird Alex is a little more symbolic and impressionistic.

 What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2015?

Would it be cheesy to say my own? Actually, I'm really looking forward to A Red Rose Chain by Seanan McGuire, book #9 of the October Daye series.

What was your favorite book in 2014?

In 2014 I read an amazing series—the entire series—called The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. Since I basically binge read them all at once, the specific novels bleed into each other. I'd recommend them all! Shatteredwas the specific book in the series (#8) that came out in 2014, and it may be my favorite published that year.

 What’s up next for you?

I've already got the stories for the next story arc in The Sedumen Chronicles finished. The Book 4, titled "Stinger and Bow," should be out in 2015 (no date set).

Is there anything that you would like to add?

Thanks for the interview and the great questions!

Orren will be giving away ecopies of his book to 5 winners of the below Rafflecopter.

This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.