Interview with YA author PJ Sharon

Today is a virtual blog tour stop for author PJ Sharon. She’s touring her book, Waning Moon, Book One in The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael Trilogy.


Along with the tour, PJ will be awarding
an e-book copy of “Thin Ice” to one commenter at each stop and a $25 Amazon or BN
GC to a randomly drawn commenter. To be entered, leave an e-mail address with your comment. (Feel free to comment without an email too!) And if you’d like more chances to win, you can follow the tour and comment at other stops.

Bio:
I knew I would be a writer someday when I was a
little girl sitting on my grandpa’s knee and telling him stories that he would
help me put on paper. By the time I entered kindergarten I could already read
and write, and I couldn’t wait to look up new words every morning in the
ginormous Webster’s Dictionary that sat in the book case at the bottom of our
stairs. I would get on the bus and ask my friends, “Do you know what
pulchritudinous means?” Between that and challenging the boys to push-up
contests at the bus stop, I mostly sat alone on those bus rides to school. But
that just meant I had more time to make up stories.
I went on to many other endeavors in life,
including the world of figure skating, and later, martial arts. Though I was a
mom at seventeen, I did manage to finish school and somehow made it through
college, earning a degree as a Physical Therapy Assistant. After nineteen
years, two sons, a divorce, and some fairly lean years, I found that it’s true
what they say about life beginning at forty. It was about that time when I
reunited with the love of my life and worked my way to owning my own business
as a Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer, and Yoga Instructor—all of my
favorite things. To make my bliss complete, I moved out to the Berkshires and
found my muse waiting for me there amongst the lilacs and humming birds.
I now write Extraordinary Stories of an Average
Teenage Life in order to share hope with others, especially teens, that no
matter how tough life gets, there is always a bright spot waiting just around
the corner.
Please tell
us about your current release.
The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael is a trilogy that takes place in the year 2057.
It’s about a sixteen-year-old girl and her brother who are the first generation
of genetically engineered EVO children bred to survive the plagues that wipe
out three quarters of the Earth’s population. Her genetic modification not only
makes her resistant to the plague, but gives her the ability to heal quickly
and gives her an intuitive ability to heal others—everyone except for Sam, the
uncle to whom she owes her life.
Lily’s thirteen-year-old brother Zephron
has a darker gift—the ability to take life with his touch, and Lily is
determined to teach him to control it. Their mother died during Zeph’s birth
and their father was killed by a government agency called the Industry, an
organization trying to capture EVO kids to use them for their own means. Lily
and Zeph live with their uncle in the North East Sector. Sam is a brilliant
engineer determined to keep them hidden from the Industry. But when a young
drifter named Will is caught in a trap on their property and Lily decides to
heal him, their secret is bound to get out. Waning Moon, Book One in the trilogy,
chronicles Lily’s journey with Will into the trading post of Albany, where she
must find a cure for Sam’s cancer before it’s too late.
Blurb:
In
the year 2057, in a post-apocalyptic world where a global shift threatens the
remainder of the population with extinction, sixteen-year-old genetically
enhanced Lily Charmichael has more immediate problems. Her uncle is dying of
cancer and her healing abilities are ineffective against the blood ties that
bind them. In order to find a cure, Lily must leave the protection of her quiet
town and journey into the trading city of Albany, all while avoiding the
Industry, an agency that would like nothing better than to study and exploit
her abilities.
Seventeen-year-old Will Callahan has been
searching for his father since severe storms blasted through the Midwest,
killing his mother and sister. When he learns that his father may be in the
city, he catches a ride with Lily, a girl who has come to his rescue more than
once. As the two embark on a dangerous journey, the attraction between them
grows. But the secrets Will’s keeping could put her in far more danger than
traveling to the city with him, and if he was any kind of man, he would have
told her to run the minute she found him.

What
inspired you to write this book?
There is so
much concern today about where our world is heading. People live in fear of
what will happen if our economy collapses or we have a climactic event that
changes the landscape of our planet. Kids and teens especially, are both
terrified and fascinated by dystopian stories of post-apocalyptic survival,
making books like The Hunger Games or Hollow Land part of the new pop culture.
I live out in the Berkshire Hills in a small remote town with neighbors who
love living in the woods as much as my husband and I do. We often get together
and talk about current events and contemplate our survival strategies. We
aren’t quite as bad as the Doomsday Preppers, but we do try to be prepared for
whatever the future holds. Humans are the most adaptable creatures on the
planet, and in keeping with my “hopefully ever after” philosophy, I wanted to
show how we might survive if life as we know it took a turn for the worse.

Excerpt:
Zeph
crashed through the screen door at that moment. “Hey, Sam, look what I…” He
froze and the grin fell from his face. “What’s wrong? What happened, Lily?”
I
burst into tears again. Sam explained the situation briefly and Zeph lowered
himself into the chair across the table from me, his face a calm mask. “Are you
sure he’s dead?”
“Of
course I am!” I sniffled and gained control, not wanting my weakness to show in
front of my little brother. I’d spent my life being strong for him—protecting
him. Now he reached out a hand. To anyone else, this could be deadly, but his
touch had no effect on me, a fortunate side effect of our shared DNA, and I had
spent countless hours teaching him to control the power that he could summon at
will.
I squeezed his fingers and gazed into those
black eyes. A sudden rush of peace washed over me. Zeph’s peace—the peace he
felt whenever he took a life with his touch. Soothing warmth covered me like
melted wax. I felt as if he were drawing the dead man’s energy off of me,
trying to relieve me of my burden somehow. I pulled my hand away.
Zeph
closed his fingers into a fist. “It’ll be okay. You had no choice. It was him
or us.” His voice sounded calm, sure, eerily complacent. I shuddered.
What
exciting story are you working on next?
I’ve just
completed the short story prequel to the trilogy. It’s called SOUL REDEMPTION,
and will be part of the WG2E October Anthology. I wrote it from Zeph’s point of
view and what it would be like for a thirteen-year-old boy to wrestle with the
ability to kill with a touch. Add hormones and you’ve got big problems.
Definitely a creepy short story fitting for October. Next up is Book Two of the
trilogy, called Western Desert, where we get to share Lily and Will’s journey
across a post-apocalyptic US to where the Industry is holding EVO children
captive.

When did
you first consider yourself a writer?
After I
finished my first hundred thousand word manuscript, I danced around my living
room singing, “I’m a writer, I’m a writer, badoodooodoododo!”

Hee hee, that sounds like the perfect time, and perfect way to celebrate!
Do you
write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other
than write and how do you find time to write?
I consider
both of my jobs pretty much full time. I sleep 6-7 hours a night, and other
than that I’m either working 20-30 hours a week at my office as a massage
therapist, teaching a yoga class, personal training with a client, or working
on some element of the writing business. I do take time out to eat
occasionally, exercise a few times a week, and pay some attention to my
wonderfully supportive and adorable husband, but thankfully, he is very
self-sufficient and seems happy to do the cooking while I type away. My kids
are grown, so my time is my own these days, with very few distractions. It’s a
good place to be.
What would
you say is your interesting writing quirk?
As much of
a multi-tasker as I can be, I’m also a finisher. I love checking things off my
to-do list and will go to great lengths to finish a project just to draw a line
through that one thing. That includes staying up past midnight most nights so I
don’t have to look at those items I didn’t get done. I’ve learned to be
satisfied with completing only three of my tasks in a day. If I can do more,
great, but if I’ve done the three at the top of the list, I feel like I’ve
accomplished something.
As a child,
what did you want to be when you grew up?
A
teacher…then a cop or a detective…then a doctor. Eventually I settled on being
a Physical Therapist Assistant while I was raising my sons. It was a great job
for me, but I’m very happy owning my own holistic practice these days.
Anything
additional you want to share with the readers?
I have
always told my children that in order to be truly happy, you need to find
something you love to do, get really good at it, find a way to make money doing
it, and then make it serve the greater good. I think that’s pretty good advice
for all of us.
Thank you
so much for having me today!


My pleasure, PJ. Happy touring!

Here are ways to connect with PJ: 
Follow PJ on Twitter: @pjsharon
“Like” PJ on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pjsharonbooks
Find PJ and her books on Amazon’s Author Central page: https://www.amazon.com/author/pjsharon
Follow PJ’s Promotional blog @ http://pjsharonyawriter.blogspot.com
Follow PJ’s Tuesday Scribes blog @ http://secretsof7scribes.wordpress.com
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/pjsharon/


And here are buy links for Waning Moon:



12 thoughts on “Interview with YA author PJ Sharon

  1. PJ Sharon says:

    It's a pleasure to be here today, Lisa. I'd be happy to respond to any comments or questions from your readers. And for anyone who liked the excerpt above, you can read more about Lily's creepy little brother Zeph in SOUL REDEMPTION, the short story prequel to WANING MOON which is in the WG2E All for Indies anthologies Spooky Shorts edition. The first chapter is available on Wattpad.

    The short story is about 40 pages long and sets up the trilogy from Zeph's point of view. It was loads of fun writing from the mind of a thirteen-year-old boy who is struggling with his dark side and trying to hold onto his humanity.

  2. PJ Sharon says:

    Hi Roxy,Great question!

    Titles are so important. I think they are a great way to show a thematic element to your book. For instance, WANING MOON is analogous to the fading of a time or cycle, a "time is running out" kind of theme. In this dystopian story, it suggests that time is running out for Lily's uncle as well as all of humanity. Book Two, WESTERN DESERT not only refers to the destination of Lily and Will's journey, but shows the desolation after three quarters of earth's population has been destroyed by plague. The third book will tentatively be called WINTER'S SUN–indicating kind of a juxtaposition of the harshness of winter (in this case the culmination of an epic confrontation/end), and the hope of tomorrow. In this trilogy, the sun and it's harmful radiation has not been a friend to the inhabitants of earth, but I want to show that even the extreme harshness of the sun can lead to something new and beautiful.

    I chose to name the series THE CHRONICLES OF LILY CARMICHAEL because it made Lily the central character of the trilogy, which is told from her first person POV. I struggled with whether to use the "overutilized" "chronicles" theme, but it fit with both the tone and the genre of the story–again alluding to the "time" element of the trilogy, and it just sounded right to me:-).

  3. PJ Sharon says:

    Thanks, Jane. Zeph doesn't get a lot of on the page time, which is why I wrote SOUL REDEMPTION. He's an interesting character and understanding him helps us understand Lily better. I hope you'll pick up the anthology and read the short story. I think it makes WANING MOON that much more interesting.

  4. PJ Sharon says:

    Hi, Karen. Thanks for popping in. I'm hoping to release Book Two next summer. In the meantime, I hope you'll read Waning Moon and let me know what you think.

  5. Donna Coe-Velleman says:

    Thanks Lisa and PJ. Great interview.

    Besides enjoying the excerpt, I also found your life's travel interesting and inspiring.

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