Thursday, April 23, 2015

Author Interview with Laura Maisano

I'm super excited to welcome author, Laura Maisano to the blog today. She's out promoting her debut young adult novel, SCHISM. (I've read it. It's really good, y'all!)  So, without further ado, Laura is here to answer some burning questions :-)

1. What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

I was in college and watching a lot of anime at the time. I’ve always liked the “magical girl” shows where a normal girl is transported to another world. I took that key idea and tried to warp it, to find a different angle. So, I came up with the fourth-spatial dimension for my world Illirin. From there I created Gabe and Lea, and all of the conflicts rose organically from a combination of the setting and their personal goals/problems.

2. Who is your favorite character in this book?

You’re asking me to choose my favorite child! Just kidding. If I have to choose, I think Gabe is my favorite. He has the most dynamic arc and the most complex internal workings. Getting into his head is always a treat, because he oftentimes surprises me. He’s impulsive,
passionate, and has a kindness that is only rivaled by his temper.

3. Which came first, the title or the novel?

The title for sure. I began worldbuilding and casting, and well before I developed a complete plot, I had the title SCHISM. In fact, the title helped build some of the plot points and flesh out some world building background stuff.

4. What scene in the book are you most proud of and why?

At one point, Gabe says goodbye to Lea. I love this scene because it’s highly emotional and it shows a huge shift in mood from one moment to the next. It illustrates exactly what kind of change Lea has gone through, as someone who masked her emotions, to someone who can cry.

5. Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?

Comparing yourself or your writing to others is the biggest de-motivational tool there is. Don’t do it. Oftentimes we’re in the early stages, or deep into editing, and we’ll read a finished novel. I’d think “Oh my book is terrible. It’s nothing like this!” and yes, it IS nothing like that other book. However, that other book has gone through professional editing, and it’s nothing like it’s first or second draft either. Also, everyone has a unique style. It’s not only okay to be different from someone else, it’s a good thing.

6. What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2015?

I’m looking forward to Medicine for the Dead by Arianne “Tex” Thompson. It’s a sequel to One Night in Sixes, and while it’s not YA, it’s a western fantasy and I have to know what happens next.

7. What’s up next for you?

I’m working on the sequel to SCHISM called UNITY as well as a short novelette prequel. I’m also drafting a geeky YA romance that has lots of awkward nerd love in it. I can’t wait to share all these projects!

8. Anything you would like to add?

Thank you for hosting me on your blog today. I am beyond excited about SCHISM and sharing it with the world.

SCHISM (Illirin Book One)
By Laura Maisano

Art therapy hasn’t done squat for Gabe Jones. A thousand sketches of his fiancée can’t bring his memory, or her, back to him. Nothing on Earth can. His past lies in another dimension, a world just out of sight.
Another student on campus, Lea Huckley, unknowingly shares Gabe’s obsession with the fourth dimension. The monsters from the other side attacked her parents and fled, getting her folks locked up in the loony bin. Proving this other world exists is the only way to free them. Lea and Gabe strike a deal to help each other, and together they manage to open a door to the world of Gabe’s true origin. She’d use him for proof—if she didn’t already care too much.
While Gabe tries to reconcile his feelings for Lea and his rediscovered memories of his fiancée, a much more sinister plot unravels. He uncovers his history just in time to become the unwilling lynchpin in a conspiracy to start a war. His memory holds the secret to the final riddle the would-be conqueror needs to get the upper hand. Gabe must protect the riddle at all costs, even if that means leaving Earth, and Lea, behind forever.

"How long?”
“Roughly ten minutes.”
Ten minutes may as well have been six hours. She paced back and forth, her sneakers scuffing the gritty pavement.
Gabe continued to keep a watchful eye out for muggers or vagrants. What a dork.
She snickered quietly. For someone who didn’t know his own experiences, he sure seemed paranoid. She watched him standing straight, darting his eyes to the entrance and even up to the windows above them. Watch out bad guys, Gabe’s on to you. She smiled and turned to see what looked like heat waves rising from the cold cement. Crap. The interaction had already started.
“Gabe…” She waved him over next to the loading dock.
This interaction provided no shining lights or obvious movement. Not much stood out visually, except maybe the air glistening like summer heat waves if she squinted hard enough, but her digital thermometer found the coldest point.
“Here,” she whispered, not wanting anyone or anything on the other side to hear. She stretched her arms forward, and Gabe did likewise.
“On the count of three.” She waited for him to nod. “One…two…three.”
They both reached through the interaction point and grabbed at the thicker air. Nothing. They tried again, pulling, grasping, and making any sort of motion to trigger a rip. Finally, Gabe leaned in and pulled out at just the right angle, because the light tore across like a jagged line. Lea grabbed the edge of it and tugged, opening the tear wider until they both fell through.

About the Author

Laura has an MA in Technical writing and is a Senior Editor at Anaiah Press for their YA/NA Christian Fiction. She’s excited to release her debut YA Urban Fantasy SCHISM, and she’s finishing up the sequel UNITY.

Her gamer husband and amazing daughter give support and inspiration every day. Their cats, Talyn and Moya, provide entertainment through living room battles and phantom-dust-mote hunting. Somehow, they all manage to survive living in Texas where it is hotter than any human being should have to endure. Check out her blog at:

Twitter: @MaisanoLaura