Friday, November 6, 2015

Interview: Author Ingrid Seymour

Ingrid Seymour is the author of Ignite The Shadows (Harper Voyager, April 23, 2015). When she’s not writing books, she spends her time working as a software engineer, cooking exotic recipes, hanging out with her family and working out. She writes young adult and new adult fiction in a variety of genres, including Sci-Fi, urban fantasy, romance, paranormal and horror.

Her favorite outings involve a trip to the library or bookstore where she immediately gravitates toward the YA section. She’s an avid reader and fangirl of many amazing books. She is a dreamer and a fighter who believes perseverance and hard work can make dreams come true.

She lives in Birmingham, AL with her husband, two kids and a cat named Mimi.

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What are three words that best describe you?
Determined. Passionate. Opinionated :)

What book are you reading now?
Currently I am reading Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater and Endless Knight by Kresley Cole. Both series are amazing, especially the first. YA at its best, though I would argue that the latter is actually more New Adult due to some mature content.

What books have most influenced your life? 
The Harry Potter series got me interested in YA. It inspired me and made me think: “I could write this stuff and I would really enjoy doing it.” But the book that really got me motivated and gave me the advice I needed to get moving and actually finish a book was “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” by Stephen King. I recommend it to any aspiring author.

Favorite quote from your book or one of you've read and loved?
My series The Morphid Chronicles deals with teens who go through a metamorphosis and, in the process, lose their free will. There are some philosophical discussions around the topic and all the characters have a different perspective on free will. I like this quote, which is from the protagonist Greg Papilio:
“Free will will tore his heart in will was a lie.”

What’s more fun to write – the world or the characters?
This is hard for me to answer, since I enjoy both very much. But forced to pick, I would say the characters. Stories are about people. As a reader, I can’t truly enjoy a book if I don’t connect with its characters at some level—no matter how beautifully drawn the world around them. So I have a lot fun getting to know my characters and fleshing them out. 

Has a character ever taken over a story you were writing? or done anything that surprised you?
This is a resounding YES! It happens to me often, but the worst (best, really) was Marci Guerrero from my YA Sci-Fi IGNITE THE SHADOWS. She is a very strong girl, both mentally and physically. She is self-sufficient and fiercely independent. Half the time I would say go right and she’d go left. The most interesting occasion was when she decided to intervene and save one of the characters. I had to rewrite some stuff around the setting to let her do that, ‘cause she wasn’t taking “no” for an answer :)

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I like spending time with my family. I have a loving husband and two precocious kids that keep me on my toes and fill my life with joy. I also love reading and do a Goodreads challenge every year (find me there? ;) I love watching book-to-movie adaptations and working out—if there is time and energy.

Are there any new projects in the works?
Yes! Writing is a year-‘round affair for me. I love doing it, so I’m always working on something. At the moment, I’m working on the final touches of RIPPER, book 2 of The Morphid Chronicles. Also I’m plotting a novella for the IGNITE THE SHADOWS’ world that I plan to complete during NaNoWriMo. I’m also waiting on editorial notes from my editor for ECLIPSE THE FLAME. Very exciting times for me!

What is the question that you wish interviewers would ask, and the answer to that question? 
How did you come up with the idea for IGNITE THE SHADOWS?
Ignite the Shadows began as a short story. The idea for the it occurred to me as someone I know was going through a battery of in vitro fertilization treatments. My crazy brain started wondering: “What if the embryos belong to alien creatures or are infected with something?” I wrote the short story from the point of view of the mother. IGNITE THE SHADOWS is written from the perspective of the resulting child after the treatment. It’s kind of creepy, really. But loads of fun. 

About Ignite The Shadows 
All her life, Marci Guerrero has kept a secret. Her mind is ravaged by shadows that cloak her thoughts and override her. They induce outrageous behavior that humiliates her mother and have Xave, the boy she likes, convinced she’s a stunt-addicted brat. To cope, she Karate-kicks in a dojo every day, while at night she earns her reputation as the best teen hacker in Seattle.

Still, Marci is restless, always getting into trouble as she looks for release from the tormenting shadows inside her head. During one of her stunts, she lands in the path of tenacious James McCray, the leader of a clandestine group known as IgNiTe. His presence stirs Marci’s brain into a maddening frenzy. Her symptoms and ability to control them don’t go unnoticed by James, who soon recruits her and reveals the awful truth . . .

A large number of the world’s population is infected by sentient parasites. They bind to the human brain and rewire the pathways for all thoughts and actions. Once there, the creatures morph their hosts into grotesque monsters with extraordinary strengths. Winged, clawed, fanged half-humans become living nightmares. Worst of all, the creatures plan to infect all humans in a vicious attempt to take over the world.

Soon Marci wishes she was crazy, because the truth is worse. It turns out she’s one of them. She’s infected.

Determined to stop this evil race, Marci fights alongside IgNiTe and others who, like her, can resist the infection. She battles for the world, herself, and to keep the truth from Xave. He must never learn she’s a monster.

Ingrid will be at the Tuscaloosa Public Library on November 14, 2015 for the Yomucon: Cosplay at the Library Convention.

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