Sunday, 26 February 2012

Guest Post: A Venture into the Written Realm by KaSonndra Leight

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Urban Fantasy with a Dystopian Twist – A Venture into the Written Realm
By KaSonndra Leigh Author of the YA Dark Fantasy When Copper Suns Fall

I promise you that the title of this article is not a typo.

Sometimes it’s almost as if I can hear the unspoken comments from the hesitant reader who is considering a purchase of my book. This person is saying things like: “There’s that author again, the one with the little angel statue on her book’s cover. She’s popping up all over the place talking about her dystopian fantasy novel.” Then they pause…thoughts racing, I’m sure…and say, “Hey, maybe it’s not so taboo, that crossing genres thing. Maybe I’ll check her sample out.”
And then something amazing happens…the hesitant reader buys the full copy and becomes a fan.

I get emails from people all over the world. They tell me how much they love the unique plot line and about how brave I am for taking a chance on blending two completely different genres. Sometimes I hear from people who just don’t get it; but the intrigue of a fantastical plot set within a dystopian society intrigues them. So they come back for more.

Newsflash#1: I’m not the first author who has ever crossed into this realm.

         Cross-genre novels are coming out of the closet. Books with mixed- genre elements are all over the place. I won’t go into naming them here, but readers are responding in a positive way. Why is this? Beats the crap out of me. But I can tell you some of the comments I’ve gotten. Mainly the readers say things like: this book is different, angels in a dystopian society is bombin’ (learning new slang everyday) and your heroine is kick a**. What do you see in all of these? You see a reader who enjoys fantastical heroes and heroines (urban fantasy). This same reader can also appreciate fresh characters and settings (half-angels in a society controlled by a government). The secret to making it all work was similar to tackling a new stew. 
I had to grab a strong voice, a unique heroine, a fallen hero, a society reformed after a great war, add a touch of tribalism without alienating my urban fantasy fans. Phew! Right?

Newsflash#2: The previous recipe was done by a trained dreamer. Do not attempt this on your own.

            When I sat down and began writing When Copper Suns Fall, the story was standard in your face, super-high fantasy. Complete with blue creatures, unicorns, princes, and all that. Chela’s name was Cara and Faris had a name that has been overused lately.  I wasn’t trying to be fad girl or the Lady Gaga of the writing world. But rather, I was trying to write the story I always wanted to read.

            One that came to life when my oldest son asked me: “what if angels that looked like people lived in a dystopian society?” The seeds were planted, the lights in my muse’s apartment lit up. The challenge was on. How do I stick to an urban setting with fantastical elements, but bring my love of dystopia into play?

Newsflash #3: There is no greater teacher of good Young Adult than a young adult himself.  
Repeat please.
        So if one or two young adults is asking you about a story they’d love to read, then feel lucky, feel blessed, whatever you choose. Feel something and then go write it all down. You’ve just won a prize similar to the lottery (okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but…)
Final Newsflash: Urban fantasy with a dystopian twist is not a four-letter word. Re-Tweet please.

       An interview I recently took part in asked about the motivation for my novel. Was there a purpose? A message? At first, I said no. Literary novelists are sort of like plague carriers these days. But then, I had to fess up. Of course there’s a message, a theme, all of the above.       When Copper Suns Fall is a story of possibilities. It’s a story of all people, all races, and our choices. From its crossed genres all the way down to the cover, it’s a story of what if…? And to find the answer you’ll have to read it, of course! :-D

      My lovely grandmother (R.I.P.) always told me that if I listened to the flowers then they’d tell me a few stories. The flowers are the carriers of the angel’s songs. So one day I did as she said (don’t be laughing at me, now). I listened, wrote down the words, rolled a story around my head for a long time. What’s the purpose behind all of this? Stay true to yourself, your story, the message if you have one. And the readers will see who you truly are. That’s the secret behind any successful story, cross-genre or not. You must stay true to the craft and not the trends. What do you think about the future of cross-genre novels?  

 About the Author of this post:
KaSonndra Leigh lives in the City of Alchemy and Medicine, North Carolina. She likes to write about teens doing fantastical things in magical worlds. Her two sons have made her promise to write a boy book next.
She holds the MFA in creative writing, and loves to play CLUE, Monopoly (the Indiana Jones version), and Pandora’s Box (good writer’s block therapy). She lives in an L-shaped house with a garden dedicated to her grandmother. It has a secret library complete with fairies, Venetian plastered walls, and a desk made out of clear blue glass.
When Copper Suns Fall is her debut novel.
Website || Twitter || Goodreads || Facebook 

When Copper Suns Fall (the book this post is all about)

In fifteen-year-old Chela Prizeon’s city, alchemy is forbidden, and angels hide among the mortal. With a deadly virus ravaging the globe, Chela’s nightmarish memories compels her to experience a past riddled with gloom, and now her brother is infected.
Chela’s only hope is the Caduceans, slayers sworn to protect the last seven Light Keepers and the ancient memories they share. A group led by the sometimes elusive, sometimes infuriating boy who intrigues Chela. But can she trust this boy with the mysterious past, someone who can influence her memories?
With the Caduceans aid, Chela races to defeat her rivals, to unearth dark family secrets, desperate to find a cure…only to discover the glutovirus is far more than a simple disease.
In this haunting debut, KaSonndra Leigh offers an escape into a world as intriguing as The Mortal Instruments and a story as chilling as Enclave. Full of celestial creatures, fascinating villainy, high-stake choices, and a secret romance, When Copper Suns Fall, is a fresh and original urban fantasy—with a dystopian twist—that will take readers on an unforgettable adventure.
Amazon Kindle|| Smashwords|| Facebook Page

Thanks KaSonndra for the visit :D
I hope you all enjoyed this post!

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