Monday, March 18, 2013

Blog Tour Stop and Guest Post: Starseed by Liz Gruder

Author: Liz Gruder
ISBN: 978-1937178291
Publisher: WiDo Publishing
Published: February 2013


Kaila Guidry has always known she is different. When she meets Jordyn Stryker at school, she finds out just how different.

Jordyn was born and raised far from Earth, a starseed, one of six new students sent to Louisiana's Bush High to learn human ways. But Jordyn didn't count on meeting someone like Kaila.

When Kaila is pushed to her limit by high school bullying and cruelty, Jordyn awakens her to a new reality—and to love. But to prove herself, Kaila must look the other way as the real purposes of the starseeds unfold.

As the horrific plan behind the starseed visit to Earth moves inexorably forward, Kaila and Jordan, caught in an impossible love, must determine where their true loyalties lie.


"You know from the opening paragraph that something very strange is going on… We see Kaila try to live the life of a normal teen, and we see her "otherness" pull her back into an increasingly tangled web of questions, deceit, and hidden intentions. Liz really shines as a writer, lining the closets and drawers of everyday life with spine-chilling suspense that springs out at you when you least expect it. Starseed is an entertaining read. I highly recommend."
--Patricia B. Smith. Author “What the Animals Tell Me” and “Fifty Shades of Santa” (clean romance fiction)

"Liz Gruder’s characters come alive through youthful, spunky narrative, and her headstrong heroine, Kaila Guidry, elicits a reader’s encouragement from the first page. Fans of Amanda Hocking will find themselves similarly transported into Gruder’s exploration of the dark sides of faith, love, higher dimensions, and, of course, high school." --Jadie Jones, young-adult fantasy author


Author Liz Gruder
As a youth, Liz Gruder saw a series of UFOs with her best friend while riding bikes. Ever since, she’s held a fascination for the stars. An avid reader, she used to hide under her covers and read with a flashlight. She has degrees in English and Psychology from Tulane University, a nursing license and a yoga certification. After going through Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Liz realized how short life is and is now slowly fulfilling her bucket list: she’s been to the Egyptian pyramids (totally awesome and thought provoking) and is now teaching yoga and writing speculative fiction. Starseed is her debut novel.

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Guest Post: Tips for Writing a Sci-Fi YA Novel

It’s essential to do a lot of research no matter what you’re writing. So, in undertaking a novel about extraterrestrials, I devoured everything I could on ETs and UFOs. If you read about a vampire putting on suntan lotion in a beach scene, you’d suspect the writer hadn’t done her homework and that author loses credibility. Likewise, since most UFO sightings are of saucer or triangular shaped craft, you don’t want a rocket ship. That’s why we laugh at black-and-white 1950s alien movies—because the scriptwriters were trying to create ships and aliens based on imagination and a 1950s technology.

There’s debate about the propulsion systems of UFOs, but most people agree they are silent, that they can make right-angles while flying in the sky, that they can simply disappear from sight. Rocket ships can’t do this, so clearly alien technology involves knowledge of physics most humans don’t currently have. So most of the research I did on UFOs is considered “fringe” science. It took me through an incredible ride of other dimensions, teleportation, telepathy and a hybrid program (creating a race of people who are half-human, half extraterrestrial).

While research can be fascinating, it won’t fascinate your readers in a novel unless you create characters the reader care about and put them in precarious situations. Research alone equals non-fiction. Fiction, first and foremost, must have characters that evoke emotion in the reader. When thinking of your fave novels, isn’t it because the situation and characters aroused emotion? It wasn’t because of the science or fantasy itself, but because the characters were put into a credible situation due to the research and then suffered, feared, loved and grew. A lot of science fiction can seem cold or clinical and that’s why I think characters and emotion are essential in YA sci-fi.

This is also why I think that a lot of YA sci-fi features a strong romance element. When you have a teen girl who is half-extraterrestrial and home-schooled because her family knows she’s different, then put her in high school where she meets a boy who is half extraterrestrial, yet raised far from Earth, you set up immediate attraction. Who hasn’t, at times, felt different and like an alien? Especially in high school when the judging can be so harsh and we are struggling to know our true selves. If you were half-ET, who could better understand than a real alien? You’d probably look at all the high school “groups” with equal puzzlement. We dream of meeting that “other half” that understands, that is in sync, that doesn’t ridicule or mock because we are different. Ridicule and mocking are for bullies and less evolved beings . . . .

It’s important to maintain consistency. I had a scene where Jordyn teleports Kaila to Egypt for her birthday. Now how can it be afternoon and sunny in Louisiana, USA and then afternoon and sunny in Egypt? Wouldn’t it be night time in Egypt? Not if aliens can access timelines and teleport to times in the past or future. So to arrive in sunny afternoon Egypt, Jordyn explains time and that they are actually standing in Egypt the “previous” afternoon.

The word “starseed” is a generic term, meaning someone who originates from the stars. Though many characters in Starseed are hybrids (biological half-human, half-extraterrestrial people), there are starseeds whose soul originates from other star systems yet placed in a human body. This is the basis for the character Priscilla Snowden, who exemplifies the truer meaning of what many understand as starseeds here on Earth. These starseeds are benevolent and wish for the raising of human consciousness. Many starseeds don’t even know they are starseeds, but have always had an interest in the stars and instinctively know they are different. Science or science fiction? … you decide.

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1 comment:

  1. Oops! Someone Tweeted :) hehehe Thanks for hosting, Heather. Would love to win this one! :) I can't wait to see what you thought about The Bird. WRITE ON!