Hey guys! I am so excited to announce that I’m taking part in this year’s official Ontario Teen Book Festival blog tour! This will be my third year attending but it’s my first time participating as a blogger for the event. As a previous attendee, I can honestly say this is one of my favorite annual book events and it just keeps getting better every time! Now, let’s go over the details! Be sure to read until the end to find out how YOU can enter an awesome GIVEAWAY associated with the blog tour!
- What: The Ontario Teen Book Fest is an annual book event that features over a dozen bestselling YA authors. This year there will be 15 of today’s best young adult authors like Marissa Meyer, Virginia Boecker, Jessica Brody, Andrew Smith, Jay Asher, and more! Check out the blog tour schedule after the event details to see which authors will be joining us this year!
- When: Saturday, March 12th , from 9 am to 5 pm!
- Where: Colony High School 3850 E. Riverside Drive, Ontario, CA 91761
This is a COMPLETELY FREE and UN-TICKETED event, and book-lovers of ALL AGES are welcome, but teens are given preferred seating for the keynote presentations, author panels, etc. Lunch will also be provided! Free food is always awesome in my books. 😉
There will be books available for purchase at the event, as well as t-shirts and posters. You are more than welcome to bring books from home, but try to help support Once Upon A Time by purchasing a book or two from them. 😉
Blog Tour Schedule:
- February 22nd – Spotlight on Andrew Smith – What A Nerd Girl Says
- February 23rd – Spotlight on Alexandra Monir – The Consummate Reader
- February 24th – Spotlight on April Tucholke – Adventures of a Book Junkie
- February 25th – Spotlight on Alexis Bass – A Traveling Book
- February 26th – Spotlight on Marissa Meyer – Read Now Sleep Later
- February 27th – Spotlight on Sara Elizabeth Santana – Movies, Shows and Books
- February 28th – Spotlight on Robin Reul – Recently Acquired Obsessions
- February 29th – Spotlight on Katherine Kottaras – iFandoms Collide
- March 1st – Spotlight on Stephanie Diaz – My Fangirl Chronicles
- March 2nd – Spotlight on Virginia Boecker – The Reader’s Antidote
- March 3rd – Spotlight on Mary McCoy – Book You Very Much
- March 4th – Spotlight on Brad Gottfred – Seeking Bazinga
- March 5th – Spotlight on Michelle Levy – My Fangirl Chronicles
- March 6th – Spotlight on Elana K Arnold – Read Now Sleep Later
- March 7th – Spotlight on Kristin Halbrook – What A Nerd Girl Says
- March 8th – Spotlight on Jessica Brody – The Windy Pages
- March 9th – Spotlight on Nicole Maggi – Nite Lite Book Reviews
- March 10th – Spotlight on Jay Asher – A Bookish Escape
Today’s author spotlight is… Stephanie Diaz!
Stephanie first decided she was going to be an author when she was in second grade, sitting in a book club drinking tea and devouring books like The Egypt Game. At the ripe age of twelve, she began querying her first novel. Seven years of rejection and re-writes later, as a nineteen-year-old college student she landed a literary agent and a three-book deal for her debut novel.
Now twenty-three years old, she lives in San Diego, CA and writes full-time, working as a freelance editor on the side. She graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in film production. She is the author of Extraction, Rebellion, and Evolution. When she isn’t lost in other worlds, she can be found singing, marveling at the night sky, or fangirling over TV shows.
Stephanie is the author of the Extraction trilogy, the first book being “Extraction”, the second “Rebellion”, and then “Evolution” is the final installment. I’ll be spotlighting the first book ,”Extraction” for you all.
Synopsis for “Extraction”:
A fearless girl. A poisonous moon. A deadly secret.
Clementine has spent her whole life preparing for her sixteenth birthday, when she’ll be tested for Extraction in the hopes of being sent from the planet Kiel’s toxic Surface to the much safer Core, where people live without fear or starvation. When she proves promising enough to be “Extracted,” she must leave without Logan, the boy she loves. Torn apart from her only sense of family, Clem promises to come back and save him from brutal Surface life.
What she finds initially in the Core is a utopia compared to the Surface—it’s free of hard labor, gun-wielding officials, and the moon’s lethal acid. But life is anything but safe, and Clementine learns that the planet’s leaders are planning to exterminate Surface dwellers, which means Logan, too. Trapped by the steel walls of the underground and the lies that keep her safe, Clementine must find a way to escape and rescue Logan and the rest of the planet. But the planet leaders don’t want her running—they want her subdued.
With intense action scenes and a cast of unforgettable characters, Extraction is a page-turning, gripping read, sure to entertain lovers of Hunger Games and Ender’s Game, and leave them breathless for more.
Add “Extraction” to your Goodreads!
Interview with Stephanie Diaz:
1. How did you come up with the idea that eventually led to “Extraction”?
Stephanie: I started writing Extraction as a sophomore in college, while in the midst of querying the book I’d written during high school. I’d reached the point where I was pretty sure the HS book wasn’t going to get me an agent, and I knew I needed to get started on another project, and I decided it was going to be sci-fi. At the time I was obsessed with The Hunger Games and (as always) with Star Wars, and I was just like—why have I not tried writing sci-fi before?? So the idea came about because of a lot of reasons, but the world and the characters of Extraction all started with a simple question: “What if the moon were poisonous?”
2. When did you know how “Extraction” would end? Did it come to you as you wrote the story, or was it planned right from the beginning?
Stephanie: I’m not sure I knew in the very first stages of drafting—I’m not normally a huge plotter—but by the time I finished Extraction I did know the endings of both Rebellion and Evolution. And, fun fact, they did not change, though some of my ideas for what would happen leading up to the endings changed drastically.
3. When did you decide “Extraction” was going to be a trilogy?
Stephanie: I believe I was about halfway through the first draft when I figured out the twist that happens halfway through Extraction, and once I did that I realized there was so much more to Clementine’s world than I had originally known. It was inevitable that the story should become a trilogy.
4. How did you come to the decision that you wanted to write in first-person point of view?
Stephanie: I’d written novels exclusively in third person before Extraction, so I was itching for a change and I really enjoyed other YA novels written in first-person. Once I started writing in Clementine’s voice, it felt natural and right, so I continued.
5. Have you ever cried or have gotten really emotional while writing “Extraction”? If so, can you share with us what scene it was that elicited those strong emotions?
Stephanie: Oh, definitely. The second-to-last chapter of Extraction brought some tears to my eyes. And the ending of Evolution brought caused some bittersweet ones too.
6. How do you stay organized when writing such an elaborate and unique world?
Stephanie: Well to be honest I was NOT always organized, but I used a combination of Pinterest boards and a word document I like to call a “Book Bible” to keep track of things like character descriptions and important settings in the world.
7. How do you come up with character names? Do you choose names that have a special meaning for you, or do you just choose them from baby name websites? I usually do the latter. Haha!
Stephanie: Ha, I love browsing baby name websites too! They’re my go-to resource if the names of my characters don’t come straightaway. But many of the names of the main characters in the Extraction series just fell into my head—Clementine, Beechy, and Logan for sure.
8. What do you think your occupation would be right now if you weren’t an author?
Stephanie: I do sort of have another occupation—I also work as a freelance editor, helping writers prepare their manuscripts for submission to agents. But if I weren’t an author or editor? I probably would’ve used my film major to pursue a career in Hollywood. I’m 100% sure it still would’ve involved writing, though.
9. If you could co-write a book with any person in the world, alive or dead, who would you choose and why? What kind of book do you think you two would write?
Stephanie: J.K. Rowling, because obviously. I would love to co-write a fantasy book with her, mostly to figure out how she’s so awesome at world-building.
10. Is there a genre that you hope to write for one day that you haven’t yet?
Stephanie: So far I only have experience writing in the sci-fi and fantasy genres, so I’m really intimidated by the idea of writing anything contemporary with a real-world setting. But I’d also like to overcome that fear and try it someday!
11. What made you come to the decision to write YA novels as opposed to… New Adult, or Children for example?
Stephanie: I started writing YA as a teenager, so it just made sense to me to write for people in my age group. And I still write it because, well, I still feel pretty young and like teens are my people, and also because I love getting to explore all the emotions and fears and complications that come with being a teenager. I’m an adult now buuut TBH I think teens are way cooler.
12. Who are your top 3 favorite book boyfriends? I say three instead of one because I know how difficult it is choosing!
- Ron Weasley
- Han Alister (from the Seven Realms Series)
- Simon Snow
13. What is your writing ritual like? Do you have a drink or snacks? Is there a particular location you feel the most inspired to write? A music playlist?
Stephanie: Music is a necessity; I create a playlist with tracks from film scores for every book I write. Nowadays, apart from that, my ritual involves forcing my butt into my desk chair and keeping myself away from twitter long enough to get to work.
14. What advice would you give writers who aspire to have a book published one day?
Stephanie: It’s what people always say, but seriously, don’t give up. The first book you write probably won’t get you an agent, but that’s okay—write another one! Make mistakes and learn from them, and keep reading and writing, and don’t ever let anyone tell you you’re too young (or old!) to write something worth publishing.
15. Since Ontario Teen Book Fest is focused on teens, if you could give your teenage self a message from your current self, what would it be?
Stephanie: Apart from the advice I’d give to aspiring writers, I’d also tell myself: Chill out, don’t care so much what other people think, and ignore those boys. They’re not worth the tears. You will find your confidence and your people; just keep being fearless.
Thank you SO much for taking time out of your schedule to answer my questions, Stephanie! And thank you Sara (What A Nerd Girl Says) for organizing this blog tour and allowing me to participate in it!
Now, on to the giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive an OTBF poster signed by all the attending authors!
Runs from February 22, 2016 – March 13th, 2016
Sorry, U.S. residents only.