Interview with YA fantasy author Francina Simone

I have the
pleasure of interviewing Francina
Simone
about her new young adult urban fantasy novel, The Keeper’s Vow. It’s the first book in the Guardians Trilogy.



During her
virtual book tour, Francina will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble
gift card (winner’s choice) to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for
a chance to win, use the form below.
To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit
her other tour stops
and enter there, too.
Bio:
Francina Simone is a writer of Epic Urban Fantasies
brimming with Magic and Moral Ambiguity.
From the time Francina Simone entered kindergarten,
she loved to read and share words with her friends. When she was in the
fifth-grade, she was scared to read aloud and so the teacher concluded she
wasn’t very good at reading—Francina read anyway.
Francina left her middle school book club behind for
the daunting and exciting life as a high school freshmen. She was quickly told
Young Adult books were childish and she should concern herself with finer
literature—Francina read them anyway.
Francina waved good-bye to her high school life and
strutted into University with her YA books and graphic paper to take notes. She
witnessed the birth of a YA trend where publishers flocked to sell their
stories to teens…stories that were underdeveloped and glaring with structural
issues. The message she heard as a consumer was simple—common belief is YA
readers aren’t good enough readers to discern quality stories or they are too
childish to tell the difference.
Francina dropped her degree in chemistry and decided
enough was enough—and set out to write the quality* stories her fellow readers
deserved.
After her formative years she moved to Japan, with her
best-friend and husband, land of some of the worlds best story-tellers and
creators of unique manga. There she worked on her stories and the quest to
understand what authenticity* in story means.
Now she lives in Boise with her husband, son, cat, and
Catahoula. She spends most of her time battling the terrible-twos and
puppy-dom. But when things are quiet—you can hear frantically typing away; her
mind far away with her characters in their quest to make the right decisions in
a world brimming with magic and moral ambiguity.
Welcome, Francina. Please share a little bit about your current release.
The Keeper’s Vow is a story
that speaks on the complexities of love, race, identity, and the role we play
in the lives of the people around us. It is all told through the eyes of 16
year-old Katie Watts. She is not a blank slate a reader can just “insert”
themselves into, she is a strong opinionated girl (though not always graceful
in delivery) and for the events that unfold in her three book story—she has to
be.

What inspired you to write this book?
I totally wanted to write the paranormal story I wanted to read. I loved
books like The Mortal Instruments, and Vampire Academy, but they either didn’t
have the world-ending, true-to-life situations I love reading or they focused
way too much on the romance as a plot. I like my books a little more gut
wrenching and balanced when it comes to Fantasy plot vs Romance.




Excerpt: Here is a sneak peak of a turbulent
situation Katie and Tristan find themselves in after fighting off a pack of
werewolves:
Mr. Heckler turned his attention to Tristan. “Why didn’t you call security?
We have procedures for situations like this.”
“Do your procedures include letting three werewolves snatch a girl off her
porch?”
 Mr. Hecklers face turned purple. Spit flew out of his mouth as he
spoke. “Innocent people could have been on these streets.”
“Well you should have been protecting them. You have procedures for
situations like this.”
Mr. Heckler moved toward Tristan but thought better of it. “Watch it boy.
As far as I’m concerned you’re the reason they were on this street!”
“He saved my life,” Katie said, feeling her own rage. Her heart still
pounded from hearing a gun go off so close to her head.
“We wouldn’t have let anything happen to you. We would have—”
“Done nothing. I was in the back of that van. I was as good as dead without
him. You didn’t even have the decency to show up until it was all over. Those
wolves could have killed us.” She didn’t know if the fire she felt was from her
pain or anger. How dare they blame him for what happened. How dare they look at
him like
he was a
monster. Like he was a half-breed.
“Enough. Come inside, Katalina,” Tristan said, holding out his blood
stained hand to her.
She grabbed it. The look of pure disdain on Mr. Heckler’s face did not go
unnoticed. “The school does not look kindly upon discrepancies like this. We
have procedures.”
“Bigot,” she shouted at him. Mr. Heckler stiffened and the street fell
silent. All eyes were on her. The same expressions from the Christmas party.
Shock, horror, and disgust.




What exciting story are you working
on next?

Right now I’m working on two books. From
the Ashes
, which is book three in the Guardians Trilogy and an Epic Fantasy.
I will be bridging the world between Urban Fantasy and High Fantasy with this
and I’m super excited to see how this all plays out. There is a cast of 5 main
characters from different walks of life in a kingdom filled with magic and
danger. I’ll be sharing sneak peaks on my blog.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I decided I
was a writer sometime in 2012. I had just watched the Black Swan and something
about authenticity and art imitating life and how as an artist I have to throw
myself into it even if it drives me mad, just really spoke to me. So I put my
foot down and decided if I wanted to be an author I’d have to decide I’m a
writer.

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 am a full time writer and a stay at home mom. Being a writer means I’m
also a business manager of a Brand and being a stay at home mom means I’m a
cook, maid, organizer, referee, dog walker, cat cuddler, book reader and more.
I spend the mornings working on my platform (which is fun I just get to hangout
and chat with book people all day). I spend my afternoons either reading a book
for review for my YouTube channel or filming videos, and in the evenings I try
to get in as much writing as possible. These days with my book launch means
less writing and more of the other stuff. In between all that “routine” stuff I
juggle a screaming toddler and hyper active puppy.

What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
I listen to music on repeat and “movie trailer” the book scenes in my head
before I write them.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An accountant. I was weird and liked math an awful lot. I think mainly I just
didn’t want to be like other people…which is strange because accountants are
abundant.

Links:


Thank you for being a guest on my blog!
Thank you
for having me.



7 thoughts on “Interview with YA fantasy author Francina Simone

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