Monday, December 8, 2014

Compulsion by Martina Boone Book Blitz & Giveaway!

Okay before I begin I have to say this is one of the coolest book blitz's I've had the chance to participate in and I can't apologize enough that I didn't get this out sooner.  I say that not only because I've met Martina and read Compulsion but when I went to plug this in there was like a book's worth of information that Martina had provided to choose from and it's all so cool.  There are teasers galore and files and files of possible interview questions, cool graphics and dream casts.  And there's a part of me that really wants to provide it all, except that would be a book instead of a blog post.  I've never received so much information to choose from from an author.  It's like walking into a book store and being told you can only buy one book so which one you know?  Because of this I highly recommend finding every blog that participated in this blitz and checking out them all.  And while you're at it buy the book and find a Martina Boone signing because they are definitely both worth any time and money spent to read and attend.  She really is a wonderful writer and a wonderful person.  At her signings not only does she talk about her books, her writing and give a great presentation, but she stays and talks to people after.   In my personal opinion those are conversations worth having, the kind where you get to talk to some who actually gets your love of books the way that most of the people in your everyday life don't.  She also answers emails, tweets and Facebook messages, this is a writer who really engages with her readers, and I'm sure a lot do, but I can tell you from experience that she does.  I really can't say enough about her or about this book.  For a video and photos of one of her signing please check out this blog post.  I have another one I've yet to make but I'm still going through the photos for that one.  Anyway lets talk about the book.

Release Date: 10/28/14
ISBN: 1481411225
Simon Pulse, Simon Teen
448 pages

Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead--a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family's twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

Buy Links:

Compulsion is available anywhere books are sold. Signed copies are available from One More Page Books. You can also order with the special “I have a Compulsion for reading” bookplate from Eight Cousins.
An Interview With Martina Boone
Note this is a mix up of my favorite answers from author provided facts, Q & A etc.

Two Random Facts About Yourself:

  I was born in Prague in what’s now the Czech Republic, which is probably the most magical city on earth (just ask Laini Taylor’s Karou or Zuzana). I think that probably explains my love of magical settings. There’s nothing like waking up every morning with a fairytale castle rising on a hillside above you, spending days walking down narrow cobblestoned alleys full of alchemists shops and stores that sell Absynthe, and going to sleep at night with the lights of a hundred spires winging into the sky to spark the imagination.

  I love to travel and made it to twelve different countries last year. Well, eleven if you don’t count the U.S. Prague and Austria were, as always, two of my favorites, but I loved Turkey and Thailand, had a ball visiting an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka, and despite my fear of heights, I forced myself to go to the top of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building, and the Petronas Tower in Kuala Lumpur. I also climbed the 272 steps to the Batu Cave Temple, which wasn't so much a height problem as a distraction problem. I was so busy watching the monkeys sliding down the banisters that I practically took a header. I think my favorite place of all though—because it was completely new to me and full of incredible things everywhere I looked—was India. The Taj Mahal is truly incredible, but I was completely enchanted by the people and the mixture of old and very modern. I also collected the framework of a book I’m dying to write in Bermuda.

What are your hobbies? 

 Definitely travel. I love going places, and last year I visited eleven countries, well, twelve if you count the United States. I also love to ski, ride horses, do tricks for people in hospitals and rehab clinics with my Sheltie, who is a certified therapy dog; and of course, of course, I read. A lot.

Beach or mountains?

Beach. A foggy one, because there's nothing like a walk on a foggy beach to clear your head.
City or countryside?

Horse country close enough to go into the city for museums, events, and meals.

Humor or drama?

Drama with humor and heart.

Hogwarts or Narnia?


Drive or walk?

Walk in Europe, drive in the U.S., because otherwise it would take me all day to get anywhere.

Is there any book you've read that changed your life?

THE HANDMAID'S TALE by Margaret Atwood, which—after growing up with a very independent mother and attending a private all girls' school—was really my first invitation to examine the idea that the advances in gender equality didn't exist everywhere and could be taken away unless we are aware and willing to fight for what we deserve. TANTALIZE by Cynthia Leitich Smith because it turned my daughter into a reader and started me writing for young adults. And BEAUTIFUL CREATURES by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, because it reminded me of what you can do with Southern Gothic fiction for young adults.

What authors do you most look up to?

The writers who make me want to slow down to savor every word, to think about a new idea or a new way of looking at an old idea. The writers who make me put together two thoughts in a way that I suddenly see a hundred connections and feel like I've learned something I don't know how I ever lived without knowing.

Why did you want to tell this story?

Pirates, ghosts, witches, voodoo, treasure, forbidden love, mystery, murder . . .  Who wouldn't want to tell this story? Seriously, it's the loneliness of the characters, their quest to find each other, and ultimately their ability to save each other or destroy each other. The characters became as real for me as my own family, and I wanted to share them to make them live for other people, too. 

How would you describe Watson Island?

Watson Island is the sort of sleepy, close-knit, gossipy town that most people who have visited the South will recognize, with a bit of a difference. The town is well aware of the magic that surrounds the three founding families, and particularly the plantation at Watson’s Landing. They keep the secret. In that way, the book begins like magical realism, but the magic is part of the mystery that Barrie Watson has to uncover when she arrives.

The truly magical place is Watson’s Landing. There, the spirit of a Cherokee witch sets the river surrounding the property on fire each night at midnight in a ceremony he has performed for longer than anyone remembers in order to keep the land protected and to keep the yunwi, the mischievous and magical little people confined to the island. As Barrie comes to find out, she is bound to this land, both physically and spiritually, and uncovering what that means and why the island exists is part of what I am having a blast exploring in the course of the trilogy. 

The gifts (and the curse) that belong to the Watsons, Beauforts, and Colesworths, all tie into this magic, but not necessarily for the reasons the families think.  

Who was the hardest character to write? 

Cassie. Hands down. She's so complicated and influenced by . . . secret, spoilerish things. But I know things that no one else, including Barrie, knows about her. Also we are all seeing Cassie through the filter of Barrie's point of view, so that makes her more elusive and hard to grasp. My original Book Two—the one I put aside when my publisher wanted a series instead of two companion books—was from Cassie's point of view. That was due to a request from beta readers (okay, male beta readers) who needed more Cassie. My original plan had been to write the companion book from the perspective of Cassie's sister Sydney, but hearing the reader responses, I changed my mind and changed the end of Book One to make it possible to keep Cassie around. Writing from her perspective, even for a little while, made me see her completely differently. But she's still a difficult character to bring to the page. I really want to do a novella from her POV at some point. 

What's the best scene you've ever written?

A scene in the companion novel I meant to write from Cassie's point of view. That became the foundation for Persuasion, but seen from Barrie’s point of view it’s not the same. The original was heartbreaking. I'm hoping to put it into a novella sometime soon.

How would you describe Barrie?

Sheltered, feisty, stubborn, compassionate, and courageous.

Imagine growing up with a mother who never went outside and was scared and jealous every time that you were able to leave. The main loving influence in Barrie’s life was her godfather Mark, the ex-drag queen who stepped in to take care of her when she was a baby, and he loved her so much that he stayed to take care of her ever since. But at the beginning of the book, both of those people are yanked away, and Barrie discovers she has a family she never knew about on the other side of the country. She’s been so sheltered she doesn’t know how to read people, and she longs for connection so badly that she’s prone to making a lot of mistakes about whom to trust. Especially with regard to using the family gift for finding lost things, trusting the wrong people can be deadly.

What appealed to you about creating a character who is compelled in the way Barrie is?

We're all, as human beings, locked up in some way. Figuring out how to free ourselves is a huge challenge, and I loved being able to explore that in a literal way that was metaphysical at the same time.

There are a lot of things woven together in COMPULSION: Barrie's compulsion and the situation
at Watson's Landing, the mystery of Lula's leaving, the romance with Eight, the situation with Mark, and the situation with the Colesworths. Which came first and which do you think is the most important?

Those are all part of the story of Barrie finding herself and her place in the world, which also ties into the romance between her and Eight. Watson’s Landing and the mystery of Lula's leaving both came from a short story I did, they came before the rest of the characters. The Fire Carrier came after that, and everything else derives from the origin story I created for the Fire Carrier. Because they're all interconnected, I think they're all important, but ultimately, for me, it's the romance between Barrie and Eight, and the relationship between her and Watson's Landing that’s the heart of the story. For me, those things are impossible to separate. I'm eager to hear what readers take away.

Which character refused to stick to your script?

Mark. He was meant to have a small part in the first couple of chapters, but he kept sticking his size fourteen Louboutins into the book at every opportunity.

What is the core thing in your book? The one thing you would never in a million years have given up no matter how much money someone paid you?

Mark and the Fire Carrier. And having Watson's Landing as a character.

Some of the characters in COMPULSION are a bit extreme. Do you feel like that's realistic?

I think that junior high and high school aren't very realistic. They can be horrible, terrible places where people do things to each other than I can't even imagine putting into a book. Schools are all about finding who you are, and that's what books are about. I feel like sometimes writers need to make things a little bigger in a book to give readers the chance to let themselves feel like what's happening is removed from them, even while it is speaking directly to them. I mean, are there going to be Hunger Games in the near future? Man, I hope not. But that doesn't make Katniss' feelings resonate with me any less.

Are any of the characters personalities based on you or on people you know? 

 I'd love to have known Eight when I was young enough to enjoy him, because yum. But also Mark because he's so fierce and so Mark. I'd love to have a best friend like Barrie and an aunt like Pru. In real life, I know people who might have a trait or two that could be similar, that might have sparked a thought, but ultimately, the characters became themselves as they spilled out onto the page. They are nothing like me or anyone I know. Except maybe for Mrs. Price—who is based on a lovely woman I met while on a research trip. She was so spunky and fun that I've never been able to forget her.

If you could hang out with one of the characters from COMPULSION, who would you pick?

Well, I'm married. And I'm old. Er. Older. So I shouldn't say Eight, right? Okay, yeah. Definitely not Eight. And if we take Eight out of the picture, then I'd have to say Mark, because anyone would have a blast hanging out with Mark.

COMPULSION covers a lot of ground, from difficult family situations to the way love can be both harmful and healing. Is that what you set out to write about?

When I started writing this story, I knew it was going to be an exploration of love and healing, of the meaning of home and family and obligation. I didn't know how that was going to all come together, and there were times when I couldn't see how I was going to pull the many threads into something coherent. But really, it's just a love story that looks at many different sides of love. If it makes readers feel something, then I've done my job. I hope they feel something.

What do you want readers to take away from COMPULSION?

That you can pick your family, the people you love. And that you need to do more than just survive your life. You have to go out and live your life.

What’s the coolest part of COMPULSION's journey to publication so far?

Talking to readers about my characters as if they are real. Hearing the excitement in my agent's voice and in my editor's voice when they talk about my characters. That's fabulous, because to me Eight and Barrie and all the others are very real. But also seeing the incredible amount of love and support that everyone at Simon Pulse has given to this book. I'm awed and overwhelmed by that. Ask me what the most humbling and the most inspiring part of COMPULSION's journey has been so far, and my answer will be identical to this one. : )

There was also a moment four days after I got the electronic version of the copyedited pages hot off the press. I noticed a line from a book in my Twitter notifications. I frequently tweet quotes I like from my Tumblr account, but while the quote looked familiar, I didn’t remember posting it. The bookstore that tweeted it used hashtag #mynewfavoritequote, though, and I stared at it for like thirty seconds before I realized it was from my book, which I hadn't even realized was out in the world anywhere. That was a jaw-dropping and immeasurably cool moment I will remember forever. (Thank you Sara Hines from Eight Cousins Bookstore!)

What do you love most about Young Adult lit?

I love that young adult literature is brave. There aren’t any topics that can’t be addressed, genres that can’t be twisted or bent, rules that can’t be broken. Sure, there are always going to be people who don’t want their kids reading things that someone has written, and that breaks my heart. But young adult literature shapes the future by shaping young minds, and the more we encourage young adults to read, think, and most importantly, to put themselves into the shoes of others and feel for and with someone else, the brighter the future will be. My fa-vorite thing about young adult literature is that it builds empathy, and I think that’s something we very badly need.

What motivates you to write even when you don't feel up to it?

 I'm not twenty-something like some writers, so I feel like I'm on the clock to get out all the stories I have inside me. That's very motivating.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I've always been a reader and a dreamer, and I've always loved to write, but my family is all physicists and mathematicians and scientists. So writing was kind of a waste of time activity and I was encouraged to think about a job that actually, you know, paid. I tried very hard to get published in book form when my son was born, and nearly made it, and then I made the mistake of giving up. I started a business, and between that and family, I was literally working eighteen hours a day and had no time to write, so I put off my dream. If I can pass along one piece of advice to writers—heck to humans regardless of what they want to do: don't put off your dreams. Go balls to the wall. Try. You may fail, but at least you won't always wonder what if?

Did anyone discourage you from writing? 

 A lot of people. Almost everyone. My family is very logical and practical, and the odds are definitely not in your favor as a writer trying to get published tradi-tionally. But I'm living proof that you can get there. That you can do what you love. It doesn't matter how often you are told you, your writing, your art, or what-ever isn't good enough. Keep going. Put your head down and work. The only thing you need to remember is that rejection, any form of failure, is nothing more than an invitation to try harder.

What did you do before you wrote a book?

Some of my more interesting jobs – starting from high school – have included mounted trail guide, ski instructor, horse trainer, web developer, marketing con-sultant, and web content developer. I also waited tables at an auberge in Switzerland one summer. (I was really bad at it.)

What was the first thing you remember writing?

I wrote a lot of poetry and dark things when I was young. My teachers actually worried that my writing was very dark. Um. Yeah. Still writing the same kind of stuff. ☺ The first thing I had published was an essay on Thomas Payne. Which is appropriate, because I feel very strongly about freedom and it's definitely a theme in many of the things I've written or have on the "To Be Written" list.

Pantser or plotter?

Plantser with the definite scary possibility of face-planting at any moment.

Drafting or revisions?

Drafting where I am still discovering the story.

Computer or notepad?

Computer. Have you seen my handwriting?

What is the hardest criticism you've ever heard as a writer?

I tend to overwrite because I don't trust myself, and I'm WORDY—I mean word-vomit wordy. But I can deal with that kind of criticism. The thing I hate hearing is "I didn't connect to the character." Because that's not about me. That's like having someone bully my child because I fell down on my parenting skills. The absolute worst criticism of all is no criticism, because I can't fix what I don't know is wrong. I actually love revising, as long as I know why something needs to be changed so that I can learn and grow as a writer.

What's the best compliment you've ever gotten about your writing?

Whenever someone cries at a scene or laughs out loud, that's a fabulous compliment. My editor once told me she laughed and cried in the same scene, and that seemed to me to be the best thing anyone could say. But then I realized that what I want most is to hear someone say that something I had written actually made a difference in their life. I've been lucky enough to have had several people say that blog posts I've written have done that. I'm hoping I can become the kind of writer whose fiction will do that for someone too.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Pay exquisite attention as you read, as you write, and as you live. Do all three every day. Also? Don't spend years doing the same thing. That 10,000 hour rule only works if the 10,000 hours are spent pushing your limits and trying discover what works versus what doesn’t.

Think bigger. My first manuscript was my take on books I had read before. What I needed to write was a story that was wholly mine, and that came from always asking how could I do something differently, unexpectedly, and on a grander scale.

Also, make your protagonist active. My first attempts at writing were based on things happening to the main character and her reacting to those things. In Compulsion, things happened, but I tried to make her decisions to those events active decisions. Right or wrong, she’s pushing the action instead of letting the action push her.

Are you working on anything right now that you can tell us about?

I’m about to start reviewing the copyedits for PERSUASION, the sequel to COMPULSION, and I’m also plotting book three, which isn’t titled yet. Plus I have a secret project I can’t discuss. : )

Okay so I'll admit I picked a lot of the questions and answers provided, but with so many awesome answers I couldn't bring myself to just pick a couple and leave the rest out.  There really were a lot more.  I just couldn't bear not to post all of the ones above...

Eight slumped against the door and hung his head. Barrie had never imagined he could look defeated. In the sudden quiet, their breaths and the light trickle of sand sifting to the floor were the only sounds.

There had to be a way out of this. There had to be.

She glanced at her watch. It was almost ten thirty. Pru would be looking for her by now.

Eight’s steps scratched on the bricks as he came toward her, and she looked up as he wrapped his arms around her. His Adam’s apple bobbed, and then she couldn’t see anymore. His heart was erratic against her cheek.

“It’s all going to be fine,” he said.

“Of course it is. We should go back to Watson’s Landing and wait. And we should bring all the lanterns we can find.”

“In a minute. I’m still thinking.”

“Then think fast, would you?” Barrie tried not to imagine their lives measured by an hourglass, marked by the slow whisper of sand. So many hours until the light ran out, so many days until they died of thirst in the darkness.

About the Author

Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. She fell in love with words and never stopped delighting in them.

She’s the founder of, a Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers site, and, a site devoted to encouraging literacy and all this YA Series.

From her home in Virginia, where she lives with her husband, children, and Auggie the wonder dog, she enjoys writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she’d love to visit. When she isn’t writing, she’s addicted to travel, horses, skiing, chocolate flavored tea, and anything with Nutella on it.

Find Martina Online At:

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