Monday, July 6, 2015

BOOK BLITZ: Fractured Memories by Jo Schneider

Fractured Memories by Jo Schneider (Jagged Scars #1)

Publication date: May 20th 2015
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Synopsis:Sixteen year old Wendy never knew the world before the Starvation. She’s learned to put her trust in her knives, and her confidence in her fighting ability. When the Skinnies attack her compound, she’s the lone survivor.
Injured and near death, Wendy is rescued and nursed back to health by mysterious strangers. Her saviors offer her a place among them, but trust has never been one of Wendy’s strengths, and suspicion soon leads to evidence that these people might be the group who killed her family.
The decision to get her revenge, and take the settlement down from the inside out is easy. Keeping her distance from those she must befriend in order to make it happen proves to be much more difficult.
  Goodreads / Amazon

Can you tell us about your upcoming book? Why should anyone read it?

Fractured Memories is a kick a**, YA Post-Apocalyptic novel that 's one part action, one part horror, and one part fun. 

I once heard an author say that when you tell people about your story, you should look and act as if you are telling them about the first time your baby said "ma ma.". I totally feel this way about Fractured Memories.  Wendy is a character that's been rolling around in my head for a lot of years. Her friends have been lurking as well. They all have hopes, they all have dreams, they all have faced sorrows and horrors that hopefully none of us have to face. They're scarred, but they're still people, and they still care about others.

The world in the book has changed, but the ever-present need for friendship and trust will never die. That's what this book is about. Wendy is alone, on a mission to avenge her family at any cost, when these pesky teenagers befriend her. Hard to plot revenge when someone is trying to make you laugh.

Where do you get your ideas? Where did the idea for this book come from?

My brain is a bizarre place. I've gotten book ideas while driving on the freeway, while in church (and not light, fluffy ideas, which is strange), while at dinner, while trying to work on something else (that's just mean, by the way) and in dreams.

The very first shadow of Fractured Memories that I had was while I was in college. Too many years ago to count. I had this dream. In it I woke up and found myself on a round bed in a cave. I had no idea where I was or who I was. There was a man sitting at a desk trying to do some paperwork by candle light.  He looked like the guy who plays Goose in Top Gun. I said something and scared him half to death. When he turned to look at me, he asked if I was okay.

And that's when I woke up.

The scene isn't in the book. As a matter of fact, the only thing left of the dream in the story is Wendy (who is not me--I'm not nearly that cool or traumatized) waking up and not knowing where she is. The part that remains is the feel of the dream. It was dark and cold and felt so alone. Wendy gets all of that. Poor kid.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?

I'm an outliner. The more I wade through the story before I start, the less times I have to rewrite it. I have a whole list of things I go over as I plan, including plot points, a theme, the characters needs and desires, the main conflicts and as many other little things that I can think about before I actually begin writing.

However, things always, always, always change. It's taken me a few years to realize that it's okay to rewrite a story. Six times. It just takes a while. My process is getting better, but I suspect that I will always have a throwaway rough draft that ends up only getting about 20% of it into the final manuscript.

I've tried the "just write" approach, and for me it always ends in a spectacular temper tantrum by me and a shopping spree.

What does your writing process look like?

Imagine a desk, and at one end is a neat, little pile of papers. Next to that is another pile, this one not quite so tidy. Maybe one paper is slipping off the stack, which leads the eye to an array of notes that may have been, at one time, in a pleasing fan shape, but now looks like someone gave it a noogie. This is usually where you will discover the discarded wrappers of whatever snacks I could find. A glass with the glazed on remains of a Diet Coke will be sitting on a Dr. Who coaster, and the little cup for pens will be empty, because the pens are now hiding under the papers. When your eyes reach the keyboard, you'll see that everything has been pushed aside to make room for me playing of Facebook.

When did you first start writing, and when did you finish your first book?

I started writing when I was a young teenager. Maybe 13. If you read the dedication in Fractured Memories, it mentions my dad watching Aliens with me. Once I recovered from being too terrified to move off of my yellow bing bag, I started writing myself into the tale.

Don't judge, many a writer has started with fan fiction.

Those were awful, and after college my writing waned a little. Then a friend wanted to start a writing group and asked me if I would help her. A few months after that a member of the group mentioned something called NanoWriMo. I'd never heard of it, and I was sure anyone who tried to write 50,000 words in a month was completely insane.

Two days before the month started, I scratched a loose plot on a scrap of paper while I was waiting to see the doctor about my knee that I almost took out in my Kempo class. That was the  year I joined the insanity. I finished that novel and have done NanoWriMo for a good 10 years. It took me three years to finish the initial story that I started. After that, I just kept writing. Most of the early stuff is craptastic, but all the suckage has to go somewhere, right?

What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors.

Years ago, I was at a little, tiny writing/Sci-fi/Fantasy convention and I went to a class by a guy I'd never heard of. A guy named Brandon Sanderson. His first Librarians book was about to come out, and he was talking about magic systems. I don't really remember what he said about that. What I do remember is one simple statement he made, "Don't be afraid to suck."

I've lived by this creed ever since. Don't expect to be the best author in the room, don't expect to get everything right the first time, and don't expect to wow every reader you encounter. What all authors need to do is keep writing. Find some people who will help you get better and listen to them. It's okay to suck, as long as you're willing to try again.

What is your biggest fear?

The dark. No, wolves. No, the lack of toilet paper in the apocalypse.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Flying. Fast. Then I'd figure out some weapons and the bad guys would hate me. Buahahaha!

If you could have an accent from anywhere in the world, which one would you choose?

Hello, 10th Doctor British please.

Describe yourself in four words.

Evil and easily amused.

Top ten snacks while writing.

Soda Stream Cola on ice. I can't get enough
Pretzel Thins, they go great with the cola
Cold Water
Junior Mints
Those little Cadbury crack eggs
Rice Cakes-Carmel Corn is preferred
In-N-Out Burger or Pace's Dairy Ann, whichever is closer
Any innocent chocolate that doesn't get hidden

In reality, if there are snacks, I'm not writing, so usually I keep water or cola at my desk and that's it. Mostly cold water.

Author of Babes in Spyland, New Sight-YA fantasy out April 2014, wearer of a black belt in Kempo and always in search of the next cool place to visit!
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