Friday, November 14, 2014

Blog Tour Interview and Giveaway - Journey of the Snowman by Tony Bertauski

Flury banner

This is my stop during the blog tour for Flury: Journey of the Snowman by Tony Bertauski. This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 14 till 27 November, you can view the complete tour schedule hereBe sure to enter the giveaway at the end of the post!

So far this series contains 3 books, all books can be read as standalones.

FluryFlury: Journey of the Snowman (Claus #3)
by Tony Bertauski

Genre: Science Fiction
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: November 15, 2014

Blurb:
Life hasn’t been kind to Oliver Toye.

As if juvenile diabetes isn’t enough, he’s forced to live with his tyrannical grandmother in a snow-bound house. He spends his days doing chores and the nights listening to the forest rumble.
But when he discovers the first leather-bound journal, the family secrets begin to surface. The mystery of his great-grandfather’s voyage to the North Pole is revealed. That’s when the snowman appears.
Flury.

Magical and mysterious, the snowman will save Oliver more than once. But when the time comes for Oliver to discover the truth, will he have the courage? When he Flury needs him, will he have the strength? When believing isn’t enough, will he save the snowman from melting away?

Because sometimes even magic needs a little help.


You can find Flury on Goodreads

You can buy Flury here:
- Amazon


Earlier books in this series:
Claus - Legend of the Fat ManClaus: Legend of the Fat Man (Claus #1)
by Tony Bertauski

Genre: Science Fiction
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: June 19, 2012

Blurb:
Santa is not just about the presents. See something deeper in this mythological figure. A story that’s meaningful. Find a cast of gritty, compassionate and courageous characters that make the journey to mythological fame despite their shortcomings and frailties. Pull away the veil of magic, reveal the difficulties of love and loss and struggle with life.

Because Santa Claus is much more than presents.

In the early 1800s, Nicholas, Jessica and Jon Santa attempt the first human trek to the North Pole and stumble upon an ancient race of people left over from the Ice Age. They are short, fat and hairy. They slide across the ice on scaly soles and carve their homes in the ice that floats on the Arctic Ocean. The elven are adapted to life in the extreme cold. They are as wise as they are ancient.

Their scientific advancements have yielded great inventions -- time-stopping devices and gravitational spheres that build living snowmen and genetically-modified reindeer that leap great distances. They’ve even unlocked the secrets to aging. For 40,000 years, they have lived in peace.

Until now.

An elven known as The Cold One has divided his people. He’s tired of their seclusion and wants to conquer the world. Only one elven stands between The Cold
One and total chaos. He’s white-bearded and red-coated. The Santa family will help him stop The Cold One. They will come to the aid of a legendary elven
known as… Claus.


You can find Claus on Goodreads

You can buy Claus here:
- Amazon
- Barnes & Noble
- Kobo


JackJack: The Tale of Frost (Claus #2)
by Tony Bertauski

Genre: Science Fiction
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: October 17, 2013

Blurb:
Sura is sixteen years old when she meets Mr. Frost. He’s very short and very fat and he likes his room very, very cold. Some might say inhumanly cold. His first name isn’t Jack, she’s told. And that’s all she needed to know.

Mr. Frost’s love for Christmas is over-the-top and slightly psychotic. And why not? He’s made billions of dollars off the holiday he invented. Or so he claims. Rumor is he’s an elven, but that’s silly. Elven aren’t real. And if they were, they wouldn’t live in South Carolina. They wouldn’t hide in a tower and go to the basement to make…things.

Nonetheless, Sura will work for this odd little recluse. Frost Plantation is where she’ll meet the love of her life. It’s where she’ll finally feel like she belongs somewhere. And it’s where she’ll meet someone fatter, balder and stranger than Mr. Frost. It’s where she’ll meet Jack.

Jack hates Christmas.


You can find Jack on Goodreads

You can buy Jack here:
- Amazon
- Barnes & Noble
- Kobo

Interview with Tony Bertauski
   
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
I got into fiction by chance. During the day, I’m an educator. I’ve been a horticulturist for over twenty years and teaching horticulture for the past sixteen years. I’ve been a technical writer for quite some time, publishing research and articles in trade magazines. I’ve also published two textbooks on landscape design and currently write the gardening column for the Post and Courier (Charleston, SC).
I’ve always been a storyteller, for better or worse, and creative. I began writing stories for my kids without any expectations beyond that. However, the process of writing fiction got inside me right about the time the ebook era exploded. I made some attempts at traditionally publishing—querying agents, submitting samples chapters—but the process is long and time-consuming. I just wanted to write stories and share them. Besides, I’ve never really wanted to write full time. I love teaching, and writing as a hobby has been a perfect fit. If not for Amazon, I’d probably still be writing stories for my now-grown kids.
Where did you come up with the idea for this story?
My nephew mentioned the “secret Santa ninja elves” that visit his school, and this spawned the idea of writing a semi-serious sci-fi version of Santa. How the ideas flesh out is a long process. I started keep track of how the story arc of my latest novel evolves, just to remember where I started. It’s all over the place. I love the challenge of bringing a story to light, letting the characters get in my head and telling me where to go. Flury: Journey of a Snowman is the third book in the Claus series. It was originally Frosty, but Frosty is copyrighted. It matter, really. The character was better suited to be something other than Frosty, and Flury just fit.
Do you write your books from an outline or do you just write and see where the story takes you?
Great question. Every writer seems to have a method that works for them. “Pantsers”, for instance, look at the blank screen and start writing. I can’t do that. I start with an overall story arc that I know will evolve, but it helps to have a direction. I sit down with a legal pad and a cup of hot coffee and begin outlining chapters. I usually only outline three chapters at a time. Then I prop the legal pad up and flesh it out. I’m still amazed at where I end up when a project is finished because, once the characters come to life, it rarely goes where I expected.
What is your favorite character from the books that you have written?
Socket Greeny is one of my favorites. That trilogy was my first story. I wrote it in first person and really connected with him. However, Jack (Claus: Legend of the Fat Man and Jack: The Tale of Frost) has become my all-time fave. He’s childish, irreverent and dangerous, but at the same time lovable.
Do you ever experience writer's block?  If so, how do you deal with it?
Absolutely. For starters, I’ve learned not to panic. Hitting a wall ignites thoughts that this whole writing thing is over, I’ll never be able to do it again. But if I step back, give it a day or two, usually a solution appears. Sometimes the answer involves burning several thousand words and starting over. Even that doesn’t bother me, because I know, as an educator in creativity, all projects are a back and forth process. As long as I’m connected to the story and it’s moving in the right direction, I’m happy.
Describe your writing process and environment.
My writing environment has changed over the years. I used to lean back in a comfortable chair with music and pound away. I quit coffee for a while but realized how much more I enjoy writing with a hot cup of joe. Nowadays, however, I write in a back room with lots of windows and no music. I prop my laptop on a make-shift table and walk on a treadmill. Some days I’ll walk three or four miles. Not only is it better than sitting, but I swear it helps me get into the writing flow.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I think Stephen King is one of the best. Unfortunately, I’m not all that into horror. He’s also a “pantser” and I feel like it shows in some of his work. Also, I’m a big fan of the plot twist and memorable endings and I don’t think King always nails that. But I still think he’s the best at creating mental images with the right amount of suspense, action and humor. I don’t read a lot these days (extra time goes into writing) but, when I do, I support indie writers. There are a lot of quality authors out there. I’m part of an author co-op that features quite a few (http://www.deadpixelpublications.com/)
 Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Enjoy the ride, it’s the journey not the destination, be in the moment…all those things you hear. If you don’t enjoy the process, what’s the point? You’re not likely to make it rich as an author. Some very talented writers aren’t even making a living at it. But if you enjoy experiencing a story unfold in your head, watching characters grow, seeing them suffering, being with their joy…then you’re on your way. And when you think you’re ready to publish, get an editor and a critique group. A critique group should be people who aren’t family and friends, folks who will be blunt and candid. Your story will always need work. After that, you need an editor. Freelance editors can help with story arc, line editing or just proofreading. Depending on the services you choose, you might spend between $500 to $1000. It’s money well spent. And lastly, get a professional cover. It makes all the difference. You can get some really good deals on premade covers for less than $100.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
I’m a horticulturist, so I like being outdoors, riding a bike, hiking, or working in the yard. In the past, time outside of work included Zen practice, landscape designing, photography, reading and movies. Nowadays, writing is my hobby, so it takes up most of my time when I’m not teaching.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
It’s cliché but true: writing is for the reader. I know I said that a writer must enjoy the ride, but a big part of that journey is when a reader connects with my story in the same way I do writing it. It’s like discovering that band that speaks directly to your life experience. Reading certain authors has the same feeling, and it makes life a bit less lonely, a little more enjoyable. I love that part of writing the most.


Tony 2About the Author:
During the day, I'm a horticulturist. While I've spent much of my career designing landscapes or diagnosing dying plants, I've always been a storyteller. My writing career began with magazine columns, landscape design textbooks, and a gardening column at the Post and Courier (Charleston, SC). However, I've always fancied fiction.

My grandpa never graduated high school. He retired from a steel mill in the mid-70s. He was uneducated, but he was a voracious reader. I remember going through his bookshelves of paperback sci-fi novels, smelling musty old paper, pulling Piers Anthony and Isaac Asimov off shelf and promising to bring them back. I was fascinated by robots that could think and act like people. What happened when they died?

I'm a cynical reader. I demand the writer sweep me into his/her story and carry me to the end. I'd rather sail a boat than climb a mountain. That's the sort of stuff I want to write, not the assigned reading we got in school. I want to create stories that kept you up late.

Having a story unfold inside your head is an experience different than reading. You connect with characters in a deeper, more meaningful way. You feel them, empathize with them, cheer for them and even mourn. The challenge is to get the reader to experience the same thing, even if it's only a fraction of what the writer feels. Not so easy.

tonyIn 2008, I won the South Carolina Fiction Open with Four Letter Words, a short story inspired by my grandfather and Alzheimer's Disease. My first step as a novelist began when I developed a story to encourage my young son to read. This story became The Socket Greeny Saga. Socket tapped into my lifetime fascination with consciousness and identity, but this character does it from a young adult's struggle with his place in the world.

After Socket, I thought I was done with fiction. But then the ideas kept coming, and I kept writing. Most of my work investigates the human condition and the meaning of life, but not in ordinary fashion. About half of my work is Young Adult (Socket Greeny, Claus, Foreverland) because it speaks to that age of indecision and the struggle with identity. But I like to venture into adult fiction (Halfskin, Drayton) so I can cuss. Either way, I like to be entertaining.

And I'm a big fan of plot twists.


You can find and contact Tony here:
- Website
- Blog
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Google +
- Mailing List


There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Flury. One winner wins e-copies of all 3 books in the Claus series so far: Claus, Jack and Flury. Each individual blogger also can hold a giveaway for an e-copy of the winner’s choice from Tony Bertauski’s books.

For a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

2 comments:

  1. This sounds like a pretty cool Christmas themed book! After writing a kids novella based on the Christmas story as well, I know I want to read more season themed books :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it sounds like a lot of fun. Did you enter the contest for a chance to win? It is hard to believe that the Christmas is right around the corner.

      Delete

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