Friday, November 20, 2009

FREEBIE FRIDAY with Laurie Faria Stolarz

Happy Friday! Who went to see New Moon last night? Some of the reviews have not been very kind and I’m hoping to hear from fans that it’s not so bad.

But we’re not here to talk about New Moon! We’ve got more than enough to fill the post with today’s guest, YA author and GCC sister Laurie Faria Stolarz. Laurie’s one busy author, with a growing list of popular YA books to her credit, including Deadly Little Secret, Deadly Little Lies, Project 17, Bleed, and the bestselling BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES series. Today we’re discussing her two latest releases, BLACK IS FOR BEGINNINGS and DEADLY LITTLE LIES, and the special paperback edition of DEADLY LITTLE SECRETS.

BLACK IS FOR BEGINNINGS is a companion book to the BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES series. Laurie has a background in screenwriting, so when her editor talked to her about the idea of writing a graphic novel, she was really intrigued. She said it gave her an opportunity to try something new and to picture her book as a movie. She wrote it in a screenplay format, including notes for illustrations and sidebars. “It was an absolute thrill to write,” she says, “to have the opportunity to work with an illustrator, and to see my work come to life in this way.”

DEADLY LITTLE LIES is the second book in the TOUCH series, and the sequel to DEADLY LITTLE SECRET (which is now out in
paperback. See below how you can enter to win a B&N exclusive edition featuring bonus excerpts from Ben’s secret blog!*) “I’m really excited about (DEADLY LITTLE LIES),” Laurie says, “because I think it has even more suspense, romance, and twists than the first book. It starts up a few months after Ben’s departure at the end of DEADLY LITTLE SECRET. Camelia’s spent those months researching everything she can find on psychometry (the ability to sense things through touch).”

How cool is that? Here’s the official book blurb:

Last fall, sixteen-year-old Camelia fell for Ben, a new boy at school who had a very mysterious gift – psychometry, the ability to sense the future through touch. But just as Camelia and Ben's romance began to heat up, he abruptly left town. Brokenhearted, Camelia has spent the last few months studying everything she can about psychometry and experiencing strange brushes with premonition. Camelia wonders if Ben's abilities have somehow been transferred to her.

Ben returns to school, but he remains aloof, and Camelia can't get close enough to share her secret with him. Camelia makes the painful decision to let him go and move on. Adam, the hot new guy at Knead, seems good for her in ways Ben wasn't. But when Camelia and Adam start dating, a surprising love triangle results. A chilling sequence of events uncovers secrets from Ben’s past – and Adam's. Someone is lying, and it's up to Camelia to figure out who – before it's too late.

You can learn more about Laurie and her books, see the book trailer for Deadly Little Secrets and read up on Psychometry – and enter the TOUCH SERIES CONTEST** on Laurie’s website,

And now for the interview:

Are you superstitious? In any way?
Yes, people have to leave my house the same way they came in, i.e. through the same doorway or entryway. If not, I’ve come to believe it takes the luck out of the house. I know, I know, but I can’t stop this superstition now. I’ve lived with it my whole life.

What songs would make the playlist for DEADLY LITTLE LIES?
**I actually have a contest going on that involves this very question. In celebration of the release of DEADLY LITTLE LIES, I’m launching a very exciting contest, the winner of which will have a minor character in DEADLY LITTLE GAME, the third book in the TOUCH SERIES, named after him or her. Please see the official rules here: I had a similar contest for the release of BLACK IS FOR BEGINNINGS. See the winning entry here:

What inspired you to write THE TOUCH SERIES?
I wanted to write a story where the main character has to struggle with the idea of falling in love with someone who could potentially be dangerous. I tinkered with this concept in the first three books of my Blue is for Nightmares Series [(Blue is for Nightmares (Llewellyn 2003), White is for Magic (Llewellyn 2004), and Silver is for Secrets (Llewellyn 2005), as well as in Bleed (Hyperion 2006)]. In Bleed, in particular, there’s a young male character who was convicted for the murder of his girlfriend. His next relationship consists of pen pal letters he exchanges with a young girl while he’s in prison. Without giving too much away, the relationship is briefly pursued once he is released, but I wanted to bring this concept to another level.

Additionally, I wanted to continue experimenting with the supernatural (which I also use in my Blue is for Nightmares Series as well as in Project 17), showing how we all have our own inner senses and intuition, and how with work we can tap into those senses and make them stronger.

I started researching different types of supernatural powers and discovered the power of psychometry (the ability to sense things through touch). The concept fascinated me, and so I wanted to bring it out in a character, showing how sometimes even the most extraordinary powers can also be a curse.
Lastly, I wanted to apply these concepts to be part of a series. I love the idea of growing a main character over the course of several books.

Are any of your characters based on real people that you know?
No, though sometimes I’ll steal a character quirk from people I’ve known. For example, in the Blue is for Nightmares series, Amber carries around a pair of chopsticks for whenever she’s eating out. I once knew someone who did that.

What excites you?
Feeling like I’ve made a difference. Seeing people happy. Hearing success stories and stories of triumph.

What turns you off?
Narrow-mindedness, intolerance, ignorance, cruelty.

If you could invite anyone you wanted - living or dead - to hang out with you at a weekend retreat, who would you invite and why?
Gary Zukav. I find his insights and perspective on life fascinating. It’d also be fun to kick it with Oprah.

What's your favorite quote?
Perseverance is key

*To be entered to win a signed limited edition paperback copy of DEADLY LITTLE LIES, leave a comment below... about anything that interested you in this post. The drawing will remain open until Wednesday, November 25.