Kira is mourning the devastating loss when she finds a note addressed to her from beyond the grave. Kira realizes she doesn’t know her friend as well as she thought, as she starts to uncover the truth. She falls into a deep depression, confused and lost, until a visit from a strange man puts her in the middle of a war between two secret societies.
Kira soon understands that she is in danger, and doesn’t know who to trust. She has to fight for her own life now.
Describe The Advice Girl in three words.
Friendship, love, and suspense.
Tell us a little more about The Advice Girl and what inspired you to write this book.
I go through periods where I have really bad anxiety. I get really reclusive, and it’s hard for me to even leave my apartment, let alone go to a day job. I was working in retail, and I was going through one of those periods, and had called in sick for about a week. I couldn’t just sit there and do nothing so I decided to be productive and attempt to write a book. I had always written poetry and journal entries before, never a book. I was surprised how the story just seemed to write itself. By the end of that week, I had the rough draft finished.
Sometimes I just feel like there is something “off” about the world, and it needs to change for the better. That was the inspiration for the book. I was in a rough place in my life, and was quite miserable. I obviously couldn’t change the world, but I made a character that could. The Advice Girl was kind of like my personal fantasy made manifest through my writing.
What is your writing process? How long did it take to finish The Advice Girl?
I don’t like to plan anything out with my writing. I just sort of let it come to me, the story more or less plays out in my mind and then I begin to write it. I let it flow, and then go back through and revise. It only took me a week to write The Advice Girl, but it sat on my laptop for about two years. Recently I finally decided to try and publish it. It took me two or three weeks to revise and edit it. It is a much longer process than writing.
If there was one message your readers could take from this book, what would you want that to be?
That you can go through a lot of pain, but it doesn’t have to define who you are. You can fight it, and really you must. I think the state of the world sort of depends on the good people out there fighting against all the negativity. You have to be strong. Maybe you think you aren’t important, but then again… maybe you are like Sophia. The world has lost so many beautiful human beings because of the immense, unyielding pain they were in, and I think it is the greatest tragedy. It has to stop.
Which of your characters do you feel you relate the most to and why?
I think I relate to Kira and Sophia both in different ways. Kira is very level headed, logical, grounded, and suspicious in nature. Sophia is a dreamer, head in the clouds, always trying to help. There are parts of me in both of them. I tend to be a dreamer, but I am also very cautious. I tried to keep them as separate from me as possible though. I wanted them to have their own personalities and lives to give them as much depth as I could.
Have you always aspired to be a writer? Why and when did you start writing?
I never aspired to be a writer. I’ve spent my life trying to make a living, working mostly in retail. I just wanted or have been looking for a decent job that paid the bills. But I’ve always loved to write. I’m an insomniac. So I’ve never slept much. When it gets to be about two or three o’clock in the morning, that’s when my mind becomes very active and all these words start to pour out. I kept journals all through school, and wrote poetry. It wasn’t until about eight years ago when I had to drop out of college that I began to write almost every night. Pages upon pages of words, just my thoughts about life and things like that. I would write on anything, scraps of paper, napkins, etc. I was obsessed. I’m not quite that way now, but I still prefer to write at night when it’s quiet. It’s just who I am. I don’t know who I would be if I wasn’t writing. If I go for long periods without it I get really frustrated. It’s how I express myself.
What sort of challenges have you faced as a debut author?
That no one really wants to read your book. Haha. People don’t recognize my name or know me at all, so I think it’s harder for them to take a chance on me. I’m an indie author, and I self-published, and most people won’t even read indie or self-published. It’s difficult. I understand that a lot of self-published stuff isn’t that great, or they are riddled with many errors. But there are authors out there who love to write books, and maybe just can’t find an agent to take their manuscript, (like me). It’s a lot of work trying to figure it all out and learn as you go. I am doing the work a publishing house would be doing for me, and writing at the same time. But I love it. I feel like this is what I’m supposed to do with my life.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
The feeling of release I get from it. I have all these thoughts, all this energy, and nothing to really do with it. Writing accomplishes that for me. Most people I have met find it hard to relate to me, because I feel so deeply about things, most people like to stay on the surface. I’ve often felt alone throughout my life, but I know there are people like me out there, and my writing is maybe a bridge to those people. If someone reads something I wrote, and they can relate to it, that is the ultimate reward. I have a hard time expressing myself verbally. Writing is my way to connect to people.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you are working on now and what we can expect from you in the future!?
Sure! I’m working on the sequel, I still haven’t thought of a good fit for the title yet. But I almost have the story solid enough in my mind to start writing. That will be very soon though, just trying to get The Advice Girl out there as much as possible first. I’m also working on a companion book that will be titled, The Journals of Sophia. I’m not sure if it will be released before or after the sequel. But it will mainly be written from Sophia’s perspective. It will allow readers to connect more with her character, and also give her more depth. It will read like a journal, as if it were her personal thoughts and feelings about her life. I’ve also got ideas floating around for two more novels, so hopefully you can expect those in the future too!
I would like to thank L.A. Shaw for this interview and for allowing me the opportunity to review her book! Now for the really fun part: L.A. Shaw has agreed to give away TWO SIGNED COPIES of The Advice Girl! Just fill out the form below for your chance to win!
Official Giveaway Information:
- DEADLINE: April 30, 2011
- Entrants must be 13 years of age or older.
- Open to US Residents ONLY
- Must be a follower of my blog
- Extra entries can be gained the following ways:
- Tweet about the giveaway. Be sure to put the #theadvicegirl hash tag in the tweet.
- Create a blog post linking back to the giveaway.
- ONE ENTRY PER PERSON PLEASE!