Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Interview & Giveaway: Lorjio Metz

   Lorijo Metz lives with her husband and little brown dog in a hamlet just north of Chicago, IL. Though she has a degree in acting and directing, she much prefers the anonymity of the keyboard, allowing her characters to revel in the spotlight while she sits quietly sipping tea or coffee, nibbling on cookies, and dreaming up ways to complicate their lives.
   Lorijo is the author of the picture book Floridius Bloom and the Planet of Gloom, illustrated by Matt Phelan and published by Dial Books for Young Readers; as well as the author of over 25 nonfiction, educational books for kids, published by Powerkids Press.
   WHEELS is her first YA novel and first venture into indie publishing. In 2013, Lorijo will have another first as she makes her début as a lyricist on children’s singer and songwriter, Owen Duggan’s new cd, Puppy Dog Jig, for which she wrote the lyrics for the title track.

Favorite reads?
   Here’s a partial list of books that have left a lasting impression on me.

  • Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy (For its absolute beauty and sorrow.)
  • The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien (For its thoroughness in world building and the many memorable characters that inhabit it.)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis (Moral tales that left a lasting impression on a my young mind.)
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Powerful writing that opened my eyes.)
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Erin Morgenstern uses words like a painter uses a brush to paint pictures and stimulate our imagination.)
  • Tarzan (book series) by Edgar Rice Burroughs (These were my mother’s books. I read them when I was young, and I’ve begged her to leave them to me in her will.)
  • Stardust by Neil Gaiman (Pure entertainment)
  • The Books of Abarat by Clive Barker (Unique by any standard)
  • Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (The first non-fiction book I truly loved reading.)
  • The Harry Potter books, by J.K. Rowling (Brilliant storytelling, memorable characters and detailed world building)

Inspirations for the book?
   WHEELS began with a sentence about a girl racing down a school hallway and the desire to write a science fiction novel in which the gifted protagonist was also somehow disabled. That first sentence is long gone (as are most first sentences), but I did end up writing a story in which the heroine, McKenzie Wu, who has the ability to manipulate matter (inherited from an alien relative), is also
a paraplegic.
   Interestingly enough, only one of the reviews (so far) has mentioned McKenzie using a wheelchair. This pleases me no end, for my goal was to have people see her not as a disabled person—but as a person. Well…a person with an extra special ability.

Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little?
   I didn’t so much know, as I was told. If you read the About Me page on my website ( http://www.lorijometz.com/aboutme/), you’ll understand. Suffice it to say, I had no choice in the matter.

Any Pet Peeves?
   It makes me unhappy when people use (or should I say, abuse) religion as an excuse to promote intolerance and bigotry.

Chocolate or Peanut Butter?
   Dark chocolate and peanut butter.

The weirdest thing you've ever done?
   You really think I’m going to tell you about the time in 7th grade when I dressed up like Elvis Presley and sang “You Ain’t ‘Nothing But A Hound Dog” for the class? ( NO, it wasn’t an assignment.)

Is there a soundtrack to the book/Favorite music?
   Read Chapter 7 of WHEELS and then listen to Magic Carpet Ride Technoversion. (You can buy it on iTunes or check it out on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOuitqYGFIU)

Do you need anything to write? 
   Time, silence, and consistency. I also have an electric teapot in my office. I brew a fresh pot of green tea just about every day. (Stop by and share a cup with me.:)

How long do you write on any average day?
   I work at writing, editing or marketing from about 11am to 7pm almost every day.

Give us the number one reason to read your book.
   I write stories I want to read, with worlds I can get lost in and characters I hate to part with; add to that a touch of humor, some YA angst, a little romance and a lot of adventure—if all that sounds good, then WHEELS is the book for you.

Author Info:
Website: www.LorijoMetz.com
Blog: www.ScifiWriterMom.com
Twitter: twitter.com/ScifiWriterMom
Facebook: facebook.com/LorijoMetz

14-year-old McKenzie Wu, doesn’t know her great-great grandmother married an alien or that her great-great-great uncle is alive and systematically eliminating a race of beings on a tiny planet light years away—she has enough to worry about. Molecules keep rearranging themselves to suit her slightest wish, but only at the most inconvenient times. If that weren’t enough, she’s been dreaming about an accident; one she’s had no memory of until now and, if true, means McKenzie is responsible for her mother’s death. 
   When McKenzie stumbles upon a portal that transports her and her friend Hayes to the tiny planet of Circanthos, she learns the inhabitants believe she is the “One” destined to save them from H.G. Wells, a name that sounds strangely familiar, and his Tsendi warriors. But while her newfound ability might give her superhero status back on Earth, halfway across the galaxy it’s commonplace—all Circanthians can particle-weave—and if they can’t stop H.G. Wells, what can she hope to do?
   With the portal closed and no idea how to get home, McKenzie must learn to use a power she does not want and accept her mysterious past, or risk losing everything—her father’s love, her new alien friends and the boy. 

(Ends 10/16)
Paperback or ebook copy of Wheels
(Paperback only an option for US/Can)
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