Wednesday, October 1, 2014

BREW BLAST and Interview with David Estes

I was blessed with the honor of interviewing author David Estes in anticipation of his latest novel which will be based around the witch apocalyspse and starts off with the excitement inducing book Brew.  Already he has released the cover for the second part Boil and a quick synopsis.  This talented man wastes no time in pacifying his reader's desire for more novels from his brilliant mind; however, don't think for a minute that it means that quality of storytelling will suffer.  Once he gets on a roll with a storyline, he just runs with it.  Here is the interview between David and I that will give a little insight into his mind, and don't forget to read on for information about his two new books, ways to learn more about David, as well as FREE STUFF and GIVEAWAYS!  


KB: What made you want to focus your new novel around witches?

DE: Great first question! One thing I pride myself on is bringing something unique to my readers' experience with each new series. After writing a successful but long 7-book dystopian series (The Dwellers/Country Sagas), I really wanted to stick with the genre I love the most, which is dystopian/post-apocalyptic, but I knew I'd have to bring something fresh to the story. In this case, I decided to include a paranormal element. I made a list of all the possibilities, and then started crossing out the ones that I had no interest or inspiration to write about. Every time my pen hovered over witches, I got excited about the possibilities and my mind started writing the story. That's a really good sign for an author. The books that have been the easiest for me to write (and my best books, in my opinion), are the ones that are constantly playing in my head while I'm working on them. Brew was one of those books, and the sequel, Boil, was the same, like a movie in my mind.

Of course, just adding witches to an apocalypse isn't necessarily hugely original in and of itself; so I put a new spin on witches, having them separate into gangs (rather than covens), that were primarily based on magical specialty (rather than familial relationships). What you get are a variety of types of witches, some ultra-violent, some strangely humane, and some downright mystical. I hope it'll make for an awesome story!

KB: What time period of witch lore has stood out to you the most?
DE: I decided not to go that far back, as that made things more realistic for the facts of a current story set during our time. So I basically focused on the Salem Witch Trials, which were a hugely embarrassing series of events leading to the murder of so-called witches. Brew centers on the idea that maybe some (or all) of those so-called witches really were REAL witches and their friends have been plotting widespread revenge against humanity for some time. Stupid human mistakes of the past tend to repeat themselves, so I think using a well-known bit of history adds an element of reality to a story that is otherwise complete fiction.

KB: As a man, what drives you to write for the empowered female character?
DE: Love this question! There's a character introduced partway through Brew who fits the "empowered female" label perfectly. She's a real firecracker. As you know, however, this isn't a new type of character for my books. The majority of my female characters have strength in them, whether it's apparent at the beginning of the book or whether it's developed over the course of the tale. As a male, I'm appalled at the brutality and atrocities committed by my gender against women. I'm equally horrified by the women who continue to take the abuse or even justify it as their fault. Personally, I believe that having strong female role models is extremely important for young women, so they don't let themselves be pushed around in their lives. Women deserve equality in all things, and although men have a greater capability (on average) for physical strength, women seem to have an inner strength and resolve that far exceeds their male counterparts. I believe my portrayal of that to be fairly accurate.

KB: Will you have a warlock/wizard side to Brew?
DE: YES! Brew is not all about witches. Although it's designated as a "witch book", it's more about the collective group of magic-born, which include witches, warlocks, and wizards. The apocalypse is caused by both male and female villains!

KB: What has been your favorite character to write so far?
DE: This used to be a really hard question, and now it's getting even harder! Obviously, the more characters I write, the more competition there is for that number one spot! And yet I still go back to Siena from Fire Country. Her voice was SO STRONG and she never stopped speaking to me, even months before I actually started writing the book. She's become a fan-favorite, too, which makes me love her even more.

KB: If you had to spend the rest of your life in one of your created worlds, which one would it be?
DE: Ugh! That's a hard one because all my created worlds are pretty rough places that cause all kinds of problems for my characters! But if I had to choose just one...I'd say Water & Storm Country (Country Saga #3). I live in Hawaii and both my wife and I love the beach, so despite all the hardships the tribe in the book face, it would be worth it to be near the water and be able to swim.

KB: Do you have any advice for the author starting out?
DE: I get a ton of questions from Indie authors and I have plenty of advice, to the point where I started an Advice page on my blog here:

However, if I had to choose the most important things for an author starting out, I'd go with:

1) Write for the right reasons. If you're just starting out, don't do it because you want to be the next JK Rowling or because you think your first book will be a bestseller. Write because you love writing, words, and telling stories. Write because you're passionate about it, and because you want to improve, and because you're willing to write a million words even if you only sell a few books to your immediate family and friends. I get so many frustrated e-mails from authors who say they spent all this time writing a book and no one is buying it. Being an author is a lifetime pursuit, not a sprint to the finish line. Success has to be earned in stages, so don't give up.

2) Write and read every day. I'd say to write at least 500 words, but if you can't manage that because of a busy schedule, go for 200 words, or whatever works for you. Even if you read your words and think they suck at the end of the day, that's okay. Just ask yourself why they suck, and then focus on improving them the next time. And when you read them back and you realize they're really good, it will help motivate you forward. The crappy writing sessions are sometimes just as important as the really good ones! And read because it's important to never lose the thing that got you into writing in the first place: your love of reading! Plus, you can learn from the pros and be inspired by the authors who you look up to!

3) Don't spam! Once you finish your book and finally decide to publish it, don't be a pusher of your own book! Don't spam sites with "Buy my book!" types of messages. Read the rules of any sites you visit, or bloggers you'd like to review your book, and respect their rules. If they don't accept Indie requests, don't send them a message pleading for them to try it anyway. Only post in places where it's permitted, and even then do it tactfully, respecting your potential future readers.

4) Giveaway free books! This is one of the biggest pieces of advice I can give a new author. I know you spent a lot of time on your book and you think you should be compensated for your time, but come on, you're not Stephen King! No one knows who you are, and asking them to spend their hard-earned money, as well as their time, on your book is a big ask. So offer free books as often as possible in the beginning, so readers can try your writing out with no risk. If they love it, you've got a lifelong fan and someone who might tell ten other people about your book who will then PAY to read it.

That's all, I hope this helps some aspiring authors out there! But if anyone has any follow up questions, I'll always respond if you contact me on one of my preferred social networking sites: Goodreads, Facebook, or my blog.

Thanks for having me on your AWESOME blog, Brittany! 
**************END INTERVIEW//START BREW BLAST FUN**************

Brew Synopsis

Salem’s Revenge strikes without warning or mercy, ravaging the powerless human race under the forces of united gangs of witches, wizards, and warlocks. During the slaughter, Rhett Carter's foster parents and sister are killed, and his best friend and girlfriend are abducted by a gang of witches calling themselves the Necromancers, who deal in the dark magic of raising the dead. Rhett’s sword-wielding neighbor with a mysterious past saves Rhett from becoming another casualty of the massacre and teaches him the skills he needs to survive in this new world.

Rhett is broken, his normal high school life of book blogging and football playing shoved in a witch-apocalyptic blender. The only thing he has left is his burning desire for revenge. Armed with his new witch hunting skills and a loyal, magic powered dog named Hex, he sets out into the unknown with one mission: hunt and destroy those who took away everyone he ever loved.

But Rhett isn’t just a witch hunter; He has secrets of his own that he has yet to discover, secrets that his enemies will stop at nothing to keep him from.

And discovering the truth about himself is the human race’s only hope.

Boil Synopsis(Sequel to Brew)

Revenge. That’s all that’s left for witch hunter Rhett Carter. The magic-born have stripped everything from him - killed his friends, cursed his warlock father, shattered his future - leaving him bare and broken, but not dead. Their mistake.

When Rhett and Laney are suddenly thrust in different directions, Rhett must decide who to trust and who to kill. Backed by his trusty canine sidekick Hex, Rhett will embark on his deadliest mission yet, one that will lead him directly toward those who want him dead, pushing his unique resistance to magic to the edge and back again as he tries to remove his father’s curse.

Separated from Rhett, Laney seeks to understand the strange changes to her sister, Trish, who’s believed to be the last living Clairvoyant, and what role she’s destined to play in the future of humankind.

Wrapped around everything are four major groups: the Necromancers, the Changelings, the witch hunters, and New America, the remnants of humanity. When the major forces are brought together for an epic battle, the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

Get both Brew and its sequel, Boil, the first two books in the Salem's Revenge series, for a special price of $0.99 each for a limited time only (Amazon Kindle exclusive: Brew until October 17th; Boil until October 7th) Click on the above buttons to take advantage of this limited time deal!
Brew:Amazon Buy Link
Boil: Amazon Buy Link
Brew on Goodreads: Check it out
Boil on Goodreads:Check it out

Link:Giveaway on Rafflecopter
HTML: a Rafflecopter giveaway

About David and Links
David Estes on Goodreads
David's Blog
David's Goodreads Fan Group

David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. David grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife. They now live together in their dream location, Hawaii. A reader all his life, he began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010, and started writing full time in June 2012. Now he travels the world writing with his wife, Adele. David's a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.

To celebrate the launch of Brew and Boil, David Estes is also giving away FREE Kindle copies of his popular YA dystopian AND adventure book, Fire Country.
Amazon Link (Click for the Free e-book)
Goodreads Link
 Kiribear's Personal Review of Fire Country (which was spectacular by the way, so don't miss out on this freebie!)
Check out the fun that was had with the BREW cover reveal

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