Monday, April 8, 2013

Tour Kick Off - Meet and Greet: Virulent by Shelbi Wescott

YA Science-Fiction/Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian
Date Published:  2/3/13

Lucy King is only an hour away from embarking on the most incredible vacation of her life: White sandy beaches in a tropical paradise, snorkeling and sunbathing in peaceful tranquility. But as Lucy looks forward to her trip, a sinister plot is unfolding that will demolish the world as she knows it. An unknown bioterrorist group unleashes a virus that virtually wipes out the earth’s population—leaving Lucy, and a small faction of survivors, trapped inside her high school to wait out the apocalypse.

War, looting, and death wreak havoc outside of her high school; but inside, the students must contend with a tyrannical and paranoid principal and their own struggles of being orphaned, frightened, and unsure of what the future will bring.

What begins as a basic fight for survival turns into a search for answers that will challenge everything Lucy has ever known about her life and her family.

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Reading Addiction Blog Tours MEET and GREET
#1 – Do You See Writing as a Career?

- I’d love to make writing a career. It’s definitely glamourized in my mind: Waking up with a cup of coffee, sitting down to write in a sunlight sunroom, reaching down to pet my dog. But I know it wouldn’t be like that…I’d probably spill the coffee all over my keyboard the first day. And I don’t have a sunroom or a dog. The truth is, I love the classroom and I love teaching and my students invigorate me. I’m a teacher in my bones and I don’t think I can easily leave that behind.

#2 – What was the Hardest Part of Your Writing Process?

- This is the first time I attempted to write genre fiction. Most of my writing tends to be literary fiction with a heavy focus on character vs. plot. I’m a meanderer – both in writing and in real-life conversation. So, I had to retrain myself to think about plot and I worked really hard on pacing. Sometimes I feel that came at the expense of other things I’ve done well in the past, and that’s something that I’m trying to fix in Book 2.

#3 – Did you have any One Person Who Helped You Out with Your Writing Outside of Your Family?

- When I was in college, I took this writing course and when I showed up to the class, I learned the famous/published teacher was on sabbatical. At the time I felt really upset, however, the professor they hired to teach in her absence gave me such incredible feedback on my work and helped me work through my Achilles Heel: Rereading and rewriting as I go. During one of our meetings, this teacher looked at me and said, “You’re never going to finish a novel. Never ever. Not if you spend three months on one chapter and then rework a character and go back and change everything. Just stop. Trust yourself enough to know that it’s okay for it to be bad the first time around.” It’s common advice and it’s good advice. You have to keep writing, no matter what.

#4 – What is next for your writing?

- I am plugging along on Virulent Book 2 and outlining Book 3. But I have enough ideas in my head to last multiple lifetimes, so when I finish these books, I’ll start something new! I’m easily scared and am petrified of ghosts…so, I think I want to write a ghost story that freaks me out while I’m writing it!

#5 – Do you have an addiction to reading as well as writing? If so, what are you currently reading?

I am addicted to reading. I love reading challenges! Three years ago I did an Around the World in 80 Books challenge and that was amazing. I read 96 books that year. When I write, I don’t read quite as much, which is super depressing. Right now I’m reading: Libba Bray’s The Diviners and The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. I really want to read Stephen King’s Under the Dome before the miniseries comes out this summer. It’s been sitting on a bookshelf, in hardback, for a few years now.

DESCRIBE Your Book in 1 Tweet:

A girl is trapped in her school after a bioterrorism attack kills most of humanity. 
(Half a tweet! Bonus!)

This or That?

#1 - iPod or Mp3?

- I don’t have either! I still have a tape deck in my car. But iPod.

#2 – Chocolate or Vanilla?

- Chocolate.

#3 – Mashed Potatoes or French Fries?

- This is really hard. Can I wrap French Fries in Mashed Potatoes? No? French fries then…but reluctantly.

#4 – Comedy or Drama?

- Comedy. I love to laugh.

#5 – Danielle Steel or Nicholas Sparks?

- I haven’t read either. Is that un-American?

#6 – Fantasy or Reality?

- I’m drawn to realism, but it’s entirely masochistic. Reality is grim. Fantasy is the way to go.

#7 – Call or Text?

- Text. I am an awkward phone-talker…I ramble; everyone feels uncomfortable. Texting forces me to get to the point.

#8 – Public School or Home School?

- As a public school teacher, I think standing behind the value of a public school experience is important.

#9 – Coffee or Hot Chocolate

- Coffee. Preferably through an IV drip.

#10 – eBook or Paperback?

- I sure wish I had Stephen King’s Under the Dome on my eBook reader…my wrists are going to break reading that book in hardback. But I only crave eBooks when I’m concerned for my physical well-being or while traveling; I buy paperbacks. That’s changing a bit. I do like the instant gratification of buying a book and having it seconds later. That’s brilliant for impulsive people like me.

Shelbi Wescott is a high school Language Arts and Creative Writing
teacher, a mother of two, a television junky, and a board game connoisseur. Her first book, "Virulent: The Release" was born from a challenge issued by her students to write a book that would interest them. When she isn't writing or teaching, Shelbi can be found throwing
unnecessarily elaborate birthday parties and officiating weddings. She is a fan of: Spanx, bourbon, Powell’s Books, and tabloid magazines. Shelbi lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband (a local sports editor) and her two sons, Elliott and Ike.

Follow Along With This Tour! 

April 9 - Fictional Reality - Review/Guest Post
April 10 - Curling Up With a Good Book - Guest Post/PROMO
April 10 - Wintry Words - PROMO
April 11 - Pretty in Fiction - PROMO
April 12 - Pixie Dust Reviews - Review/Interview
April 13 - Must Read Faster - Review
April 14 - Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews - Interview/PROMO
April 15 - Paulette's Papers - Guest Post/PROMO
April 16 - Read-A-Holicz - Review/Interview
April 17 - YA Novel Reader - Interview/PROMO
April 18 - Cherie Reads - Review
April 18 - Total Book Geek - Review/Guest Post
April 19 - RABT Reviews- Review Wrap Up

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