Jul 15, 2010

Guest Author: L M Preston & Giveaway

Today I'm pleased to welcome L M Preston here at Willing To See Less. Lanita is the author of Explorer X- Alpha and The Pack, which I reviewed few days ago and liked a lot.

LM. Preston was born and raised in Washington, DC.  An avid reader, she loved to create poetry and short-stories as a young girl.  With a thirst for knowledge she attended college at Bowie State University, and worked in the IT field as a Techie and Educator for over sixteen years.  She started writing science fiction under the encouragement of her husband who was a Sci-Fi buff and her four kids.  Her first published novel, Explorer X - Alpha was the beginning of her obsessive desire to write and create stories of young people who overcome unbelievable odds.  She loves to write while on the porch watching her kids play or when she is traveling, which is another passion that encouraged her writing.

How come you chose Mars as the setting for your novel?
Mars has been on my radar for awhile. I used to work a college internship at NASA and loved researching Mars and how close it was to Earth. I thought it was away for us to actually colonize the planet provided we used methods that we have at our disposal today. Especially with the leaps we’ve taken with green energy.

How long have you been working on it?
It took me about four months to write the first draft. Then six months of editing using Beta Readers then two editors. One thing about being a writer is whenever you look over your stuff, you can always find things you would like to change or fix later.

What or who inspires you to write?
I write as a way of living my unrealized dream to create all of the cool gadgets and technology that I wanted to create when I first started in the IT field. Also, even as young as I could remember, I had imaginary friends and would pretend to be someone else while I played. Now as a grown up, I get to jump into the lives of my characters and it’s such a rush. I get to be a girl, a boy, a superhero or an evil villain.

What is the best thing to do when you get writers block?
I usually write through it. It’s hard, but I know that I will make at least 20 or more changes to the book once it’s done. Then I highlight that portion for me to note that it was a rough spot. Once the first draft is done, I usually know what I need to do to fix that part.

Will there be a sequel to The Pack?
Yes, I’m writing it now. It’s going to be even grittier as Shamira learns to adjust to having friends, a boyfriend, and being a leader while being stalked by killers intent on revenge for the dismantlement of Monev.

Do you have some writing rituals  (music, a hot drink, a special place...)?
My writing ritual is to be surrounded by noise and to take many short breaks. Usually my kids are surrounding me when I write, or I take my laptop on the front porch and write between playing with them. Lastly…and my most horrible habit of all is, I have to have chocolate.

What are you currently working on (if it's not a secret)? :)
I’m currently editing Explorer X – Beta, my second book in the Explorer X middle grade series. This one finds the main character Aadi and his teammate Eirena on a race against time to save their friends that crash landed on another planet. Carter is dying and Dakota’s been imprisoned by the race of aliens on the planet. Through this rescue, Aadi struggles with his humanity in his every changing body which was engineered to conquer worlds.

What was the most difficult thing you encountered on your road to publication?
The most difficult thing about getting published is brushing off stumbling blocks from other peers in the writing community. I started off in writing forums where I had to sift through comments that were constructive and sincere to those that were just plain mean. Finally, I joined a local writing association (MWA-Maryland Writer’s Association) then stumbled upon yalitchat (yalitchat.ning.com – an online supportive writing group for YA writers and twitter chat community) and met wonderfully supportive writers in person. Real people that have worked in every aspects of the art and gave me the confidence to think outside the box while being proof that I can make my own dreams come true by being ever vigilant, defining where I want to go, what I want to gain, and not being afraid to take a chance.

Who are the authors you admire?
Dave Meadows, JM Hemry (Jack Campbell), and James Patterson. Dave Meadows (writer of the Six Fleet series) gave me a encouragement in how to finish my book, “Write a page a day.” He was an amazing support for me throughout this journey. He introduced me to JM Hemry (author of the Lost Fleet series) who further pointed me in the right direction towards publication. James Patterson – uh, need I say more? That man takes writing novels to another level. He’s created a writing empire. Besides, his books are extremely diverse and span different genre.

find Lanita online:
Thank you, Lanita! 
 ~~~~~ GIVEAWAY TIME ~~~~~

courtesy of Phenomenal One Press, one of my dear readers will win a copy of The Pack and a copy of the next book released by Phenomenal One Press, BANDITS that comes out Spring of next year.

The contest is open internationally. As for always, my only condition is that you're a follower through Google Friend. To enter, just leave a comment with a way to contact you if you win. Extra points for spreading the word on Twitter, Facebook, blog sidebars etc., and becoming a fan of Willing To See Less on Facebook.The winner will be announced on July 30th.

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