Steph Sinclair: I’m here with the lovely M.G. Buehrlen, head ninja of YA Books Central and debut author of The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare. Welcome! Please excuse the mess. I told Kat to clean this place up, but she’s stubborn. *tosses sock off chair*
MG Buehrlen: Ha! Hey, have you ever seen a writer’s pad? It would take a bulldozer to clean a pathway through my office. This place looks like a palace! Thanks for having me!
Steph Sinclair: Palace, she says! You may stay.
So you’re publishing your new novel. On a scale from 1 to “OH Sh!t!” how excited are you?
MG Buehrlen: *takes seat*
Oh man, I think I’m more nervous than excited at this point. Only a few more months to go and then my book baby is out in the wild. I’d say I’m definitely at OH SH!T level right now.
Steph Sinclair: I bet! I can only imagine the nerves authors get right before launch. Do you have any special plans for your launch?
Throwing a rager?
MG Buehrlen: You know, I haven’t planned anything yet. I’m such a last minute planner. It’s a disease. I’ll most likely try to throw a party with friends and family (and of course you’re invited!)
Steph Sinclair: Whoo hoo!
So tell us a little about your book. I hear there is a bit of time travel involved?
MG Buehrlen: There is a LOT of time travel involved. Our heroine, Alex, discovers she can travel back in time and explore her past reincarnated lives (which gets a bit addicting once she tries it out a few times). Especially when the same blue-eyed boy keeps showing up in each of her pasts. Dun dun DUN!
Steph Sinclair: That sounds like there will be SMOOCHIES. Please let there be SMOOCHIES.
MG Buehrlen: There are SMOOCHIES. But then again, no one turns out to be who they say they are, so the smoochies may be tainted. AGONY.
Steph Sinclair: ARGH. YOU TEASE.
I can see you are traveling down the Destruction of Our Feels road.
MG Buehrlen: There may be some of that. But I play nicely. I promise!
Steph Sinclair: That’s what they all say! Then I end up in a puddle of mush.
Since there’s a lot of time travel, what kind of research did you have to do to prepare those scenes?
MG Buehrlen: Oh goodness, tons! Mainly because I’m a perfectionist and was paranoid I’d get some tiny detail wrong somewhere. In the first book of the series, Alex travels back in time to 1920s Chicago, 1800′s old west Missouri, 1960s Cincinnati, and a few others. I chose places I knew a lot about already, places I’ve lived or been to many times before. That made the research easier. In Book 2, which I’m working on now, I branch out to places I’ve never been personally, so the research has been way more intense.
Thank God for the Interwebs.
Steph Sinclair: Sounds like road trips are in order for book two!
MG Buehrlen: That would make my life. World traveler, FTW!
Speaking of road trips — I wanted to visit your neck of the woods because Alex’s present life is set in Maryland.
Steph Sinclair: I love books sent in my state! We shall make this happen. And we shall party.
MG Buehrlen: Mos def. I need to see where my characters tread, right? *travel excuses*
Steph Sinclair: Exactly. *nods* While you’re at it, maybe Alex travels to Paris in book two as well. And maybe she has a friend named Steph…
MG Buehrlen: ….who hides in her suitcase.
Steph Sinclair: Clearly, this would need to be further researched in real life.
MG Buehrlen: I like it.
Definitely. I’d need to visit no less than five times to really get a feel for the place.
Do you prefer velvet-lined suitcases?
Steph Sinclair: I swear, great minds, MG!
Of course. I must always travel in style.
Nothing less than the best.
So the premise of your novel is fascinating. Where did you get your inspiration? OMG… you’ve had fifty-seven lives and this is your secret autobiography, isn’t it?
MG Buehrlen: NAILED IT.
MG Buehrlen: How did you know?
Steph Sinclair: I have ESPN or something.
MG Buehrlen: Yes! Mean Girls! *fist bump* Funny thing about this book. It kind of happened because of my indecisiveness. I didn’t know if I wanted to write sci-fi, historical, or contemporary. When I thought about mashing all three together into the same book (why only choose one, right?), time travel was how I linked those aspects.
Most of my inspiration came from my fascination with history, though. I can’t get enough!
Steph Sinclair: Ah, books that have multiple genres are some of the best because they are so unpredictable. It keeps us guessing!
MG Buehrlen: This one definitely keeps you guessing! Lots of twists and turns, and lots of people telling lies.
Steph Sinclair: So we have mystery, plot twists, time travel, history and SMOOCHIES. This sounds like the kind of book I can fall in love with.
MG Buehrlen: I hope you do! I wrote it just for you, you know.
Steph Sinclair: So you DID get my telepathic messages at 3 in the morning then?
MG Buehrlen: Yes. Oh, that reminds me, I also picked up your dry cleaning.
Steph Sinclair: You are my favorite.
I’m dying to see the cover now!
MG Buehrlen: Shall I show you it?
Steph Sinclair: Yes, please!
MG Buehrlen: ….sending transmission….
Steph Sinclair: I AM EXCITE.
Steph Sinclair: OHHHHH
I LOVE IT THIS MANY.
MG Buehrlen: How did you know that’s what I dressed up as for Halloween?
Steph Sinclair: I’m a long lost relative of the Cullens. It is my “gift.”
MG Buehrlen: I can believe that. You have Cullen-worthy awesome hair.
Steph Sinclair: It’s in my blood.
Dude, I love that typography.
MG Buehrlen: Oh yay! So do I. So scripty.
Steph Sinclair: And I love how Alex is in the shadows, so mysteriously.
I want to know her secrets.
MG Buehrlen: Me too! And how she’s sort of disappearing into the darkness. I DIG.
Steph Sinclair: HA!
MG Buehrlen: The scoop: Alex travels back in time by accessing Limbo, the space between Life and Afterlife. So this is Limbo depicted on the cover.
Steph Sinclair: Very cool! Does this mean you had some influence with the cover?
MG Buehrlen: I did! My publisher is so wonderful. They take the time to ask us what we’d like to see on the cover, and I think they totally nailed it.
Steph Sinclair: That’s awesome! I know not many authors get say in their covers. How fantastic of them to get your thoughts!
MG Buehrlen: Strange Chemistry loves their authors, that’s for sure!
Steph Sinclair: What was your reaction to seeing your cover for the first time?
Maybe a little of this?
MG Buehrlen: We had gone through several mockups, but when I saw this one, I knew that was IT. I thought it conveyed the mood of the book, and was striking enough to compel a reader to pick it up off the shelf. Double win!
And some of this:
Steph Sinclair: Hahaha! The Force is strong with this one!
The cover definitely gives off a mysterious, intriguing vibe. I’d pick this up at a book store.
The cover artist did a great job!
MG Buehrlen: That’s good to hear. I hope others pick it up too!
I’m excited to see it on the shelf.
I’ll probably cry or something else equally pathetic.
Kat Kennedy joined the conversation
Steph Sinclair: And enter Kat Kennedy.
MG Buehrlen: Yay! It’s Kat!
Kat Kennedy: I’m so sorry you guys! You wouldn’t believe the traffic out there!
MG Buehrlen: haha glad you arrived safely
Kat Kennedy: Did I miss anything?
Steph Sinclair: You didn’t clean the blog up. Poor MG is sitting on your laundry.
Kat Kennedy: Ah, damn!
MG Buehrlen: It’s ok. You used fabric softener.
Kat Kennedy: MG! It’s so nice to chat with you!
MG Buehrlen: Nice to finally meet you online!
Kat Kennedy: Jumping Singing Crickets!
Sorry, I only just saw it.
Wow. Love the font.
Steph Sinclair: I know, right? Great typography!
MG Buehrlen: There very well could be jumping singing crickets in Limbo…
We tried several different fonts, but this one fit the feel so perfectly.
Kat Kennedy: How’s it been, working with Strange Chemistry?
MG Buehrlen: Great so far! One thing I love about them is that they are so solidly behind their authors. I never feel like I’m floundering out there on my own. And they treat everyone like one big happy family. I’m really happy to be a Strange Chemist.
Kat Kennedy: LOL, you make it sound like you work for Walt!
MG Buehrlen: Just call me Jesse.
Steph Sinclair: Strange Chemistry always does a nice job on the covers. I love seeing scenes from the book on the cover.
Kat Kennedy: What surprised you about the cover the most?
MG Buehrlen: I loved seeing Limbo brought to life. And the soulmarks! The sweeping shafts of light are what Alex uses to descend into the past.
Kat Kennedy: Must feel a little like a dream come true
MG Buehrlen: It might feel that way once I see it printed. (I’m such the cynic.) *sigh*
Right now it still doesn’t feel quite REAL.
Kat Kennedy: Awwwwww! That’s so sweet!
Steph Sinclair: And since we already discussed the plot for book two, I have a cover in mind. Me creeping from a velvet-lined suitcase, Alex in the shadows and the Eiffel Tower in the background. BAM
MG Buehrlen: I think I need to see this cover.
Wait. No. It might actually blow me away.
Kat Kennedy: I wouldn’t trust, Steph.
She might be leading you on.
Steph Sinclair: Hold on. I’m sending it through my ESPN link to your brain.
MG Buehrlen: WOW. It’s magical, Steph. Pure magic.
Kat Kennedy: ESPN, Steph?
MG Buehrlen: hahahaha
Kat Kennedy: You’re beaming sports channels now?
MG Buehrlen: YA themed sports channels.
Steph Sinclair: It’s a gift I inherited my vampire family, twice removed.
Kat Kennedy: That GIF is freaking me out.
But I can’t stop looking.
MG Buehrlen: I love how they title the gifs. That one is The Nicholson Nod.
Kat Kennedy: MG, people must ask you if you’re really excited all the time about this book?
But my question is, are you REALLY excited?
MG Buehrlen: Now that’s a totally different angle, indeed. I’m pretty darn excited. Mostly I’m hoping the book finds its way into the hands of those who’ll enjoy it. That’s the ultimate dream, I suppose.
Kat Kennedy: That is, indeed, the dream.
Who are your favourite bloggers?
Because I feel like putting you on the spot.
Steph Sinclair: US. Duh.
MG Buehrlen: STEPH AND KAT!!!
Kat Kennedy: YES! That is the correct answer!
You have won our fabulous door prize.
MG Buehrlen: *Shoots confetti canon atchoo*
I feel like I’m 10 again and calling into my favorite radio station.
Steph Sinclair: Cuddlebuggery Book Blog… where all your dreams come true…
Kat Kennedy: Oh my god, are you Pinkie Pie?
MG Buehrlen: HOW DID YOU KNOW?
Kat Kennedy: That is the most amazing thing ever!
MG Buehrlen: While I have you on the phone, can I request Lisa Loeb’s Stay?
Kat Kennedy: LOL, no, no you can’t.
Steph Sinclair: I love how this chat has evolved into a ball of silliness. Such is the way at our crib, yo.
MG Buehrlen: It’s the only way to roll.
Don’t forget to check out The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare, out March 6th 2014!
For as long as 17-year-old Alex Wayfare can remember, she has had visions of the past. Visions that make her feel like she’s really on a ship bound for America, living in Jamestown during the Starving Time, or riding the original Ferris wheel at the World’s Fair.
But these brushes with history pull her from her daily life without warning, sometimes leaving her with strange lasting effects and wounds she can’t explain. Trying to excuse away the aftereffects has booked her more time in the principal’s office than in any of her classes and a permanent place at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Alex is desperate to find out what her visions mean and get rid of them.
It isn’t until she meets Porter, a stranger who knows more than should be possible about her, that she learns the truth: Her visions aren’t really visions. Alex is a Descender – capable of traveling back in time by accessing Limbo, the space between Life and Afterlife. Alex is one soul with fifty-six past lives, fifty-six histories.
Fifty-six lifetimes to explore: the prospect is irresistible to Alex, especially when the same mysterious boy with soulful blue eyes keeps showing up in each of them. But the more she descends, the more it becomes apparent that someone doesn’t want Alex to travel again. Ever.
And will stop at nothing to make this life her last.
One winner from each participating blog (10 total) will receive signed bookmarks and stickers.
One grand prize winner will receive a copy of the book (once available) as well as the Mega 57 LIVES Character Prize Pack (each item pertaining to a significant character in the book):
- A pair of black Wayfarer glasses, like Alex wears
- A pack of chocolate pudding cups, courtesy of Jensen
- Vintage piano sheet music for the song Star Dust, the song Nick plays for Alex
- An orange Baltimore Orioles cap, like Porter wears
- A pair of engraved Polygon game piece stones (You’ll have to read the book to find out how these come into play!)
- A YABooksCentral.com tote bag
- Signed bookmarks
This giveaway is open internationally. Winners will be chosen and notified by email within 30 days of the giveaway end date.
To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Extra entries can be earned by following the bloggers involved in the Cover Reveal Celebration.
- To enter, please fill out the Raffelcopter form below.
- We ask that all entrants be at least 13 years or older to enter.
- The giveaway is open internationally.
- When the winners are chosen, it will be announced here and the winners will be emailed.
- Please enter your email address in the Rafflecopter form and not the comments.
- Also, please understand that giveaway sponsors reserve the right to disqualify any entries they find gaming the system. Cheaters never prosper.