duminică, 13 octombrie 2013

The Ghost Files Blog Tour

Title: The Ghost Files
Series: The Ghost Files Series
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction
Publisher: Limitless Publishing LLC
Publication Date: August 13, 2013
Author: Apryl Baker


Cherry blossom lipstick: check
Smokey eyes: check
Skinny jeans: check
Dead kid in the mirror: check

For sixteen year old Mattie Hathaway, this is her normal everyday routine. She’s been able to see ghosts since her mother tried to murder her when she was five years old. No way does she want anyone to know she can talk to spooks. Being a foster kid is hard enough without being labeled a freak too.

Normally, she just ignores the ghosts and they go away. That is until she see’s the ghost of her foster sister… Sally.

Everyone thinks Sally’s just another runaway, but Mattie knows the truth—she’s dead. Murdered. Mattie feels like she has to help Sally, but she can’t do it alone. Against her better judgment, she teams up with a young policeman, Officer Dan, and together they set out to discover the real truth behind Sally’s disappearance.

Only to find out she’s dealing with a much bigger problem, a serial killer, and she may be the next victim…

Will Mattie be able to find out the truth before the killer finds her?

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So who am I? Well, I'm the crazy girl with an imagination that never shuts up. I LOVE scary movies. My friends laugh at me when I scare myself watching them and tell me to stop watching them, but who doesn't love to get scared? I grew up in a small town nestled in the southern mountains of West Virginia where I spent days roaming around in the woods, climbing trees, and causing general mayhem. Nights I would stay up reading Nancy Drew by flashlight under the covers until my parents yelled at me to go to sleep.

Growing up in a small town, I learned a lot of values and morals, I also learned parents have spies everywhere and there's always someone to tell your mama you were seen kissing a particular boy on a particular day just a little too long. So when you get grounded, what is there left to do? Read! My Aunt Jo gave me my first real romance novel. It was a romance titled "Lord Margrave's Deception." I remember it fondly. But I also learned I had a deep and abiding love of mysteries and anything paranormal. As I grew up, I started to write just that and would entertain my friends with stories featuring them as main characters.

Now, I live Huntersville, NC where I entertain my niece and nephew and watch the cats get teased by the birds and laugh myself silly when they swoop down and then dive back up just out of reach. The cats start yelling something fierce...lol.

I love books, I love writing books, and I love entertaining people with my silly stories.

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Q and A:

Q:  So tell us a little bit about Apryl Baker.

A:  Well, in a nutshell, I’m the crazy girl with an imagination that never shuts up.  Seriously, sometimes I can be mid-sentence and I’ll get an idea and stop talking so I can write it down.  Terribly rude, I know, but my friends and family are used to it!  

Q:  Mattie is a very, well, let’s call her unique.  What inspired you when you created that little bundle of attitude?

A:  LOL!  She is that, isn’t she?  Well, honestly, I had some foster kids living down the block from me and I had the opportunity to get to know them.  It took me the better part of a year to get them to trust me enough to open up.  I have to say they were the bravest, most courageous kids I’ve ever met. They are tough as nails, loyal only to each other, and they will break your heart.  Some of the stories they told me made me want to just cry.  Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of great foster homes out there, the one they were in at the time I got to know them was one of those, but there are just as many bad ones as well.  I got to hear up close and personal just how bad some of them were.

Those experiences shaped those kids into the people they were.  They all had serious trust issues and sometimes the haunted look in their eyes made me hurt.  When I got the idea for this story, Mattie in my mind was a foster kid.  I wanted to show people that those kids are more than just the tough facade they show to the world, that they are vulnerable and sweet underneath their layers of shields.  I rolled all their attitude into Mattie and there’s a little bit of each of them in her. 

Mattie Louise Hathaway is that tough as nails foster kid who looks after her own and will deck you as soon as look at you, but underneath all that attitude, there’s still a sixteen year old girl who’s scared, alone, vulnerable, and well 16!  She still notices the cute guy while being that sassy, snotty brat!

Q:  I know that most writers have to have music when they are writing.  Let’s face it, music has inspired so many different stories over the years.  What was on your playlist when you wrote The Ghost Files?  
A:  Wow, well, I did listen to a ton of different music, but these were my favs:
Fall Out Boy: My Song Knows What You Did In the Dark (this song alone is responsible for the last five chapters of the book!)
Evanescence:  Bring Me Back To Life
Bruno Mars:  Just the Way You Are
Demi Lavato:  Heart Attack
Taylor Swift:  I Knew You Were Trouble
Taking Back Sunday:  Make Damn Sure
My Chemical Romance:  I Don’t Love You
My Chemical Romance:  The Ghost of You
Korn:  Freak On A Leash
Dashboard Confessional:  Slow Decay
Valora: I Waited For You

Q:  What advice would you give struggling authors in today’s market?

A:  My best advice is to never give up.  I still have stack upon stack of rejection letters sitting on my desk.  It sucks!  That will never change.  You write this amazing story, polish it up a hundred times, then send out the query letter you slaved over for weeks, only to get rejection upon rejection upon rejection.  Huge blow to anyone’s confidence.  Here’s the thing though, you have all these rejection letters, but it only takes that one yes to make it all better.  I almost gave up on writing, but I’m so glad I didn’t.  I have an amazing writing group, an agent that believes in me, and a publisher that is downright awesome.  Just believe in yourself.  You can’t see your dreams come true if you don’t keep trying.  Give yourself a minute to wallow in pity, then get up, dust yourself off and try, try again!

Q:  So why should we all rush out to buy The Ghost Files?

A:  That’s simple!  It’s awesome!  No, really, it’s a fun, but scary read.  I have been advised by all the Wattpad crew who read it before it was published that you cannot read it in the dark. Scared them senseless.  There’s a hint of romance, but the book itself is centered around the mystery of who killed Mattie’s foster sister and the fact that Mattie now has to face her own weirdness.  She can see ghosts?  Um, not something she advertises.  Then there’s Officer Dan…yum, all I’m saying. 


Do you see writing as a career?
To me, writing is more fun than work. My dad says if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life, and that is what writing is for me. I love to get lost in the realities I create and I love it even more when fans email me to say how much they loved the books. I was writing since I was old enough to hold a crayon and I’ll be writing until the day I die.

Who or what is your inspiration?
I’m a horror movie junkie and that bled over into horror novels. My brother and I grew up on the old black and white monster movies marathons. We graduated John Carpenter’s Halloween and Wes Craven’s Nightmare on Elm Street. Horror movies today are all about the graphics and CGI instead of the actual horror element John Carpenter could take a branch waving on the screen and make you tense up in preparation for what was coming. The modern day horror movies lack that and I miss it horribly, so I try to incorporate the actual scare factor in my work.

The exception to the modern horror movie is The Ring. That was a freaky scary movie.

Horror novels…It by Stephen King. Let’s face it, there isn’t a person alive who doesn’t know what movie the line “We all float down here” comes from. Enough said there.

I’m also an old noir mystery fan. No matter what I start out writing, it ends up a mystery of some sort or another and I blame it all on those types of books. I love a good mystery that actually creates more questions for every question answered right up until the bitter end. That is a huge element in everything I write as well.

Do you have any pets?
I have a German Shepard named Sarge. He’s a big old baby and has turned into the neighborhood dog. People bring him treats at the post office when we go by there. They all love him.

I just recently had a mama cat bring her 4 baby kittens to my front porch…so I guess I am now the proud owner of 4 little kittens: Church, Boots, Bluebell, and George.

Early bird or night owl?
I am a chronic insomniac, so I am up at all hours of the night unable to sleep. I do my best writing at 3am in the morning when I am suffering sleep deprivation.

Any tips for new writers?
Never give up and never let the rejections get the best of you. It’s hard, I know. I almost quit writing at one point because I had so many rejection letters, but I am so glad I didn’t. Now, I have a publisher, an agent, and a fan base that I am extremely grateful for.

If you were a shoe, what kind would you be and why?
Oh, my goodness! My character, Cassie, from The Promise, is a shoe diva! She would say Jimmy Chou’s Kendall heels. They are glittery and shiny and that is how I am feeling right now, all glittery and shiny because of all the wonderful people who write me and tell me how much they love my work. It is the greatest feeling in the world when an author hears that they made someone laugh or cry, get mad or smile with joy. It’s awesome.

If you could live in any movie, which would it be?

Guilty Pleasure?
Krispy Kreme donuts – ohmygosh…heaven

Are there scenes or people in your book that you took from your real life?
I think everything I write comes from one aspect or another in my life. I grew up in a small town. It is so tiny, its barely a bleep, but it instilled in me a lot of values and appreciation of friends, family and neighbors. People come together and help each other. You don’t get that in the big cities. Most of my work is set in a small town setting because of that. It is what I know and I love.

People inspire me every day. I keep a notebook with me all the time so I can write stuff down when I see someone do something silly or if I think the expression on their faces tells a certain story. I write it down then and there so I don’t forget what I was thinking when I try to come back to it later.

If your book was made into a movie, who would you like to see play your characters?
My Wattpad crew has some very strong opinions on this, but here goes.

Mattie: Jane Levey
Officer Dan: Liam Hemsworth
Eric: Tyler Posey
Mrs. Olson: Kathy Bates

Do you use a playlist while you write and what is on it?
I have a playlist for all my books.

This is the one for The Ghost Files:
My Song Knows What You Did In The Dark by Fall Out Boy
Bring Me Back To Life by Evavescence
You Belong To Me by Taylor Swift
It Will Rain by Bruno Mars
I Waited For You by Valora
Slow Decay by Dashboard Confessional
Heart Attack by Demi Lovato
Angels On The Moon by Thriving Ivory
Give In To Me by Garret Hedlund and Leighton Meester
Wanted by Hunter Hayes

Which character in your book would you most like to hang out with?
Mattie-she’s the most likely to be able to throw down if we get into too much touble.

Most embarrassing moment of yours and/or what would your favorite character do if they witnessed it?

Hmm…well, I think I’m going to keep that one to myself, but I can tell you that Mirror Boy would laugh and totally make it worse by telling everyone within shouting distance!

In a zombie apocalypse, what would be your weapon of choice?
Hmm, so many choices…not a gun. You’d run out of bullets to fast. I think I’d go for a good old fashioned axe or machete. Knives are swell. Are you working on anything new? How is it going?

The Ghost Files volume II is almost complete as well as The Oath, volume II of The Coven series.

Aside from that, I am working on a book called “Ain’t No Fairtytale.” It’s my stab at a dystopian novel. Here is the premise: Who says Snow White has to end up with Prince Charming and can’t the Big Bad Wolf be BFF’s with Little Red Riding Hood? It is set in modern times and fairy tales are as real as we are. Sara White aka Snow White has to accept her new role and find a way to end up with the Big Bad Wolf and help Prince Charming realize he wants The Wicked Queen and not her! Boy oh boy, do they all get into so much trouble!
Pick your favorite:
Apple or Droid: Droid, duh! Apple is limited and my Droid can do anything!
Chocolate or Vanilla: Vanilla – you can dress it up and always make it better
Comedy or Drama: Comedy – I love to laugh.
Call or Text: Text – who has time to talk when we can all be texting?
Public School or Home School: public – everyone needs human interaction.
Coffee or Tea: coffee of course!
Ebook or paperback: paperback. I love the smell of books and libraries. There is just something about holding a book in your hand you can’t get from an electronic device.
Online or in person shopping? Online. I get too aggravated with the person standing in line while you are trying to checkout who has to cause issues, has a ton of coupons, stuff doesn’t ring up, or they are just plain nasty to the cashier.
Holiday? Halloween is MY holiday. I absolutely adore it even more than Christmas. My house is always the scariest on the block and the kids start coming by to check out the decorations on October1st.Takes me about 2 weeks to get everything put together right.

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