Guest Authors

Never Forgotten by Kelly Risser Interview & Giveaway

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Title:  Never Forgotten

Author:  Kelly Risser
Published:  July 1st, 2014 by Clean Teen Publishing
Word Count:  approx. 98,000
Genre:  New Adult Paranormal Romance
Recommended Age:   13+
Synopsis:
How can one day go so very wrong? One minute Meara Quinn is making plans for how she will spend the Summer before her senior year and the next she’s finding out that her mother’s cancer has returned and they are moving away from the only home she’s ever known.
Now every day is a struggle as Meara is trying to cope with her mother’s illness, being forced to move to another country to live with grandparents—whom she thought disowned her mother—and having weird visions of a father who was absent her entire life. Top it all off with one whopping secret that everyone seems bent on keeping from her, and Meara has the perfect ingredients for a major melt down.
The only things keeping her from coming unglued are some new friends and Evan—the son of her mother’s childhood friend—who seems to know Meara almost better than she knows herself.
Together with Evan and her friends, Meara embarks on a new journey to unlock the secrets that will not only tell Meara who she is, but what she is.
EXCERPT

I felt a stab of guilt for how much Evan consumed my thoughts. My mom needed me. She was struggling with her health. I made a promise to myself to be there for her going forward.
I more or less confessed as much to her on our drive to Halifax the next day. Mom patted my knee. “Meara, you’re a teenager, and Evan is your first real boyfriend. I’m happy for you.”
“But, Mom…”
“No buts. Why do you think I brought you here? If something happens to me…”
“Mom!”
“Let me finish.” She gave me one of her mom looks. “If something happens, you will be surrounded by people who love you.” She looked at me over the top of her sunglasses. “You are happy, right?”
I nodded and smiled at her. “I am.”
When we got to the clinic, a quick glance around the waiting room told me Ula wasn’t here. I wished she were. Hearing my mom’s contingency plan made me feel weepy. I wanted a friend to talk to, someone who was going through almost the same thing. Flopping down next to Mom, I picked up the latest copy of People magazine. I quickly buried my nose in it, not wanting my mom to see my tears. Too late.
“Meara, are you okay?”
I looked up at her. “You’re asking me? Shouldn’t I ask you that?”
Her hair was falling out. I noticed a few days ago. She kept it pulled back under a wide headband, but it was thin and wispy, not thick and wavy like usual. That was part of the reason for the haircuts. Mom was getting hers cut short.
“I’m fine,” Mom said. “I’m going to beat this. I did it once, and I can do it again.”
She smiled at me. I knew she was trying to be brave. I returned the gesture, wanting to be brave, too. Deep inside, though, I worried. She was getting so thin. This morning when I hugged her, I could feel all the bones in her back.
The nurse called her, and she stood. I jumped up and hugged her, afraid to let go. “I love you, Mom.”
She kissed my cheek. “Love you, too, kiddo. I’ll be back soon.”
As I watched her follow the nurse, my only thought was that I wanted things to be as they always had been between us. Everything was changing. Our relationship, our family, was something different, something new. There were my grandparents, Lydia, Katie, and most importantly, Evan. They had changed my life, in more ways than one. Thinking about all of them, I appreciated all that my mom had done for me, moving us here. I was determined that the rest of the afternoon would be just about Mom and me. With all that she was going through, I was determined to make it a happy memory.

 

Kelly, Keep Calm and Answer These Twenty-Five Questions

  1. Do you consider yourself a logophile? If so, have you always been? Considering that I had to look that word up to know if I was one, I’d have to say ‘no’. However, my fifth grade teacher introduced us to a new phobia every week as a way to grow our vocabulary (well, that or she had a love of fears), and I distinctly remember many of those words. My favorite being Triskaidekaphobia.

2. What is your favorite color? Green

3. Where were you born? Where did you grow up? Born and raised in the Milwaukee, WI area

4. What is your favorite football team? I’m from Wisconsin. Do you have to ask? (Green Bay Packers)

5. Who is your favorite author? I love so many; it’s hard to pick just one. Top three are Patricia Briggs, Rick Riordan, and Lynn Kurland.

6. What is your favorite book? Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

7. What do you do when you are not writing? Reading

8. Do you have a day job as well? Yes. I am an Instructional Designer of e-Learning (I write online courses)

9. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? Read and write a lot. Find a community, it’s a tough go alone, and creativity sparks more creativity

10. Is being a writer a curse or a gift? I love writing. The curse, I think, is the pressure we place on ourselves to finish a story in a certain time or to achieve a particular level of success. I am trying to simply enjoy the journey.

11. Where do you write? Anywhere and everywhere, although I’m often at the computer desk in our living room

12. Do you prefer silence or some noise while you write? I put in my ear buds and set the music to random. I like the background noise, but I tend to block it out when I really get going.

13. What do you typically drink while writing? Chai tea

14. What challenges have you had in regards to your writing life? Finding time to write, and then balancing my free time between promoting the current book, preparing book two for publishing, and writing book three.

15. When did you first start and when did you finish your book? I started Never Forgotten in 2008, took a two year hiatus when I got stuck, and then joined a writing workshop and refined it through several revisions. It was complete in June 2013.

16. If your book is made into a movie, which actors/actresses do you envision playing the parts? I have a whole dream cast on Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/Kar2b/never-forgotten/). The sad part is that I really don’t know many of the actors except Nick Nolte as Grandpa Jamie. Many of the ones I picked were for looks alone and aren’t very famous yet. Still, they fit how Meara, Evan and the others look in my mind.

17. What does your protagonist think of you? Would he/she want to hang out with you? That’s an interesting question. When I started writing, I was a year younger than Meara’s mom Sharon. Now, I’m about five years older. I doubt Meara would want to hang out with me, but maybe her mom and Lydia would.

18. How do you market your book? What avenues work best? This is my debut novel, and I’m still learning. I tend to do a lot of promotion through Facebook and Goodreads, and I have a blog on my website, www.KellyRisser.com. I counted down to the release of Never Forgotten by introducing a new character each week on my blog. Readers really seemed to enjoy that, and as others discover my book, the articles will be there for them to read, too.

19. What has been the toughest criticism so far? The writing community I belong to covers all genres, and I think being a fantasy writer can be tough. There are a lot of people who love fantasy, but there are also a lot of people who don’t read or enjoy fantasy at all. It’s a much narrower audience than say, realistic fiction.

20. What has been the best compliment? I love to hear how my book affected others, and I’ve received a lot of positive feedback about that. Never Forgotten makes a lot of people really feel for Meara.

21. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? Sharon’s illness is based on my own mother-in-law’s struggle with cancer. I also know what it’s like to start over in a new school, although for me, it was grade school, not high school.

22. How did you come up with the title? The first title of the book was “Forget Me Not”, because Forget Me Knot was the name of the shop where Meara and her mom worked in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. I decided that was a little cheesy, and I also decided that Never Forgotten was much more appropriate to Meara’s story.

23. Will there be a sequel? Yes. Two more books are planned. Current Impressions and Always Remembered.

24. What project are you working on now? I am in the process of writing Always Remembered.

25. What question did I leave out that you’d like to answer? Hmm…how about “What is my favorite part about publishing my novel?” I cannot wait to hear from readers. I love writing, but I really love hearing what other people think of my writing. It’s so interesting to hear someone else describe my story. I’m probably going to be stalking Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes and Noble for the next month just to see what people say.

Please fill in the blank: Keep Calm and Let Your Imagination Soar

 

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About the Author:
Kelly Risser knew at a young age what she wanted to be when she grew up. Unfortunately, Fairytale Princess was not a lucrative career. Leaving the castle and wand behind, she entered the world of creative business writing where she worked in advertising, marketing, and training at various companies.
She’s often found lamenting, “It’s hard to write when there’s so many good books to read!” So, when she’s not immersed in the middle of someone else’s fantasy world, she’s busy creating one of her own. This world is introduced in her first novel, Never Forgotten. Never Forgotten, a YA/NA Fantasy, will be released by Clean Teen Publishing in the Summer of 2014.
Kelly lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two children. They share their home with Clyde the Whoodle and a school of fish.
 
  
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Clean Teen Publishing Links:
 
Giveaway Details:
There is an international tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:

Reader’s choice of Clean Teen Publishing eBook, a bookmark swag pack, and a $15 Amazon gift card. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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3 Comments

  1. Pingback: LIVE Book Tour - Never Forgotten by Kelly Risser

  2. Hi Kristy!

    Thank you for featuring me on your site. This was a fun interview. I enjoyed answering your questions. Have a great day!

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