Monday, September 21, 2015

Me, My Shelf, and I Blog Tour, Interview, and Giveaway: Until Beth (Lisa Anowitz)

Author: Lisa Amowitz
Release Date: September 29th, 2015
Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
ISBN-13: 978-1633920330

She doesn’t just play, she kills it.
Talented rock guitarist Beth Collins has been barely holding herself together for months, ever since her boyfriend and bandmate became the latest victim in a string of suspicious disappearances. When her brother is injured an accident and she sees something dark billowing around him as he hovers close to death, she’s convinced her sanity is collapsing for good.

Then she's accepted by a boarding school for the musically gifted. All of her new friends are bursting with talent, but they're also keeping secrets. Can she trust Vincent, who's so sweet that his very touch makes her fears melt away? Or Xavier, who's trying to tell her something but is hiding even more?
And will anyone be safe when her true Talent comes out?



"I wish I could have read about a protagonist like Beth when I was growing up--a girl who doesn't fit into her society and must learn to use her abilities for good instead of evil. Her struggles will resonate with teen readers, and the hidden agendas of the school and its students will keep readers guessing up to the final page." - Lyn Miller-Lachmann, author of Rogue

"This unique and compelling novel grabbed me on the first page and wouldn't let go. With unforgettable characters and a story that is by turns heartbreaking, thrilling and uplifting, UNTIL BETH is a must-read.” -Christine Johnson, author of The Gathering Dark

Lisa Amowitz was born in Queens and raised in the wilds of Long Island, New York where she climbed trees, thought small creatures lived under rocks and studied ant hills. And drew. A lot. She is a professor of Graphic Design at her beloved Bronx Community College where she has been tormenting and cajoling students for nearly twenty years. She started writing eleven years ago because she wanted something to illustrate, but somehow, instead ended up writing YA. Probably because her mind is too dark and twisted for small children. Lisa is represented by Shannon Hassan of Marsal-Lyon Literary Agency.

BREAKING GLASS, released in July, 2013 from Spencer Hill Press, is her first published work. VISION, the first of the Finder series was released September, 2014. FRACTURED, a novella combining the worlds of BREAKING GLASS and VISION releases as an ebook only, June 7, 2015. UNTIL BETH, the first in the Life and Beth trilogy will be released September 2015.

Lisa Amowitz is available for guest appearances, Skype visits, school visits, libraries & interviews. Please contact her for scheduling. * * Goodreads

1. What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

Until Beth has a long strange history, though I can’t actually pinpoint where my original idea came from. I’d first written the original draft back in 2009 when my idea for BREAKING GLASS was vague concept. It was the fourth book I’d ever completed. It went on to tie for runner-up in a writing contest and gained me a new agent. But it did not sell, so I set it aside and wrote BREAKING GLASS and VISION instead. I’d forgotten all about it until one day a solution for how to resurrect it popped into my head after seeing a newspaper article about cults. I salvaged a favorite character from a long-discarded manuscript, and created a new villain. It all just seemed to coalesce, so I set to work and had the entire thing drafted in a matter of weeks. 

2. Who is your favorite character in the book? 

Without a doubt, the main character, Beth is my favorite character. She’s feisty, has crazy blue hair, is opinionated, loyal to a fault, can sing like Janis Joplin and also kill you with a single glance. In short she is the fantasy version of whom I would like to be. She is also the first female mc I’d ever written.

3. Which came first, the title or the novel?

I had the idea of a girl who could inadvertently kill with her mind first, but the title came quickly after. Originally it was called Life and Beth, until my publisher was concerned about a movie with a similar title. Thus, the name was changed to UNTIL BETH, which I like better!

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

I love every scene when Beth sings in her raw, throaty voice. It’s always been my unattainable fantasy to do that— be able to reach deep into your soul and let it bleed out of you through your voice. If I could do that, I’m not sure I’d ever have become a writer!

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

I know that this is cliché—but it’s the journey and not the destination that matters. That, in the end, the most important thing is the joy I get from reading a great book, and putting my own words on the page.

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

I am a graphic designer by trade, and Spencer Hill Press was kind enough to allow me to design all my own covers as well as a host of others. But the real credit for this cover goes to my daughter, who is a graphic design student at New York City design school. I had gotten an entirely different cover approved but she wasn’t having it. 

“Too boring and predictable,” she insisted. “Get out of your comfort zone.” 

But I stood my ground. She persisted, even discussing my cover with the designer of the GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO series. Eventually, after a three-day battle, I gave in and started sketching. The idea popped into my head immediately. 

So really, my favorite thing about the cover is my daughter’s stubborn insistence that I rise to the occasion and do better. I’m pretty pleased with the result.

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

At the moment I am eagerly anticipating THE LAIR OF DREAMS, by Libba Bray, and THE ROSE SOCIETY by Marie Lu.

8. What was your favorite book in 2014? 


9. What’s up next for you?

I am focusing on a manuscript that’s been in the works for quite awhile. Not sure when it will be done, or what will become of it, but that is where I am directing my energy once UNTIL BETH is out in the world.

10. Is there anything that you would like to add?

Just a warm thank you for having me and allowing me a chance to blab about UNTIL BETH.

Grand prize US:
$25 gift certificate 
Ebooks of Breaking Glass, Vision & Fractured also by Lisa Amowitz 
Hand made by author guitar pick necklace.
(International will only be ebooks and gift certificate)

Second prize:
Ebooks of Breaking Glass, Vision & Fractured also by Lisa Amowitz 
(International: ebooks only)

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