Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Guest post by Laura Bickle + Giveaway

By now you must know what a big fan I am of Laura Bickle. She was one of the first authors I discovered thanks to blogging and her beautiful and evocative writing made her a memorable, must-read author and her novels unforgettable (get a first glimpse of that by reading my reviews of Embers and Dark Oracle). If you haven't had the pleasure of reading her Anya Kalinczyk or Oracle series yet, trust me you have to give them a try, they are both excellent! And now Laura stops by to tell you about The Hallowed Ones, her latest release, the first book in her brand new YA series! So please give her the warmest welcome and enter the giveaway to win your book of choice of any of Laura's novels! :-)

Avatars
by Laura Bickle

“How much of you goes into your heroine?”

I get asked this once in a while, and I think it’s an interesting question on many levels. It sort of suggests that a writer’s character is her idealized alter ego, Wonder Woman to the writer’s Diana Prince.

I think some of my characters have been very much like me, in terms of experience and thought processes. Anya Kalinczyk from EMBERS drew heavily on my background in criminal justice. Her relationship with her familiar, Sparky the fire salamander, mirrors relationships I’ve had with my pets. Tara Sheridan from DARK ORACLE knows everything I know about Tarot. Tara also has my tendency to watch and wait, to analyze situations before acting. Both Anya and Tara suffer from my deep-seated belief that love does not conquer all.

But sometimes a heroine isn’t an avatar. Sometimes, a character is entirely her own person, and very little in her world and experience intersects with my own.

Katie, the Amish protagonist of THE HALLOWED ONES, is like that. She’s a young woman of very strong faith in a powerful community. These aren’t things that are part of my daily life, so it was a challenge to do the research as an outsider, to work myself into her skin. Katie was foreign to me on many fronts – her belief in people, her strength and willingness to take risks. She values the collective more than her individual needs. These are not things that come easily to me.

But she grew of her own accord. Rather than pulling from my own views and experiences, she became her own person. I developed a lot of respect for her and her way of life. I began to understand her own internal logic and learn the larger ideals that motivated her. She was full of hope and idealism and her own naivete and strength.

Is there something of me in Katie? Almost certainly. I think it’s impossible to mold a character without leaving some of one’s fingerprints on her.

But she’s not an avatar. She’s her own person, and I learned a lot of respect for differences in the process. She became my teacher, and I’m grateful for that experience.

The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

Book #1 in the Hallowed Ones series

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.

Laura Bickle's professional background is in criminal justice and library science. When she's not patrolling the stacks at the public library, she can be found reaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs. She has written several contemporary fantasy nov-els for adults, and THE HALLOWED ONES is her first young adult novel. Laura lives in Ohio with her husband and five mostly-reformed feral cats. For more about Laura, connect with her at


GIVEAWAY RULES:

Being a huge fan of Laura's work I would like to offer a copy of any book written by Laura Bickle or Alayna Williams (her alter ego) to a lucky commenter!

a few of the books you could choose from

To be entered all you have to do is tell us about one of your favourite heroine/hero and in which way do they resemble you, or do you wish to be like them?

Giveaway is open worldwide (wherever the Book Depository ships) and ends on 15 February 2013!

Good luck!

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