Today I have Suzanne Suzanne van Rooyen here at Mom With A Kindle to give us a little taste of her book
Obscura Burning. First I would like to tell you a little about Suzanne.
A little bit about Suzanne ...
Suzanne is a freelance writer and author from South Africa. She currently lives in Finland and finds the cold, dark forests nothing if not inspiring. Suzanne is the author of the cyberpunk novel Dragon’s Teeth (Divertir), the YA science fiction novel Obscura Burning (Etopia) and has had several short stories published by Golden Visions Magazine, Space and Time and Niteblade. Niteblade nominated her short story Where dreams are grown for the Pushcart Prize. Her non-fiction articles on travel, music and other topics can be found scattered throughout the Internet. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When not writing you can find her teaching dance to ninth graders or playing in the snow with her shiba inu.
Suzanne is represented by Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Agency.
by Suzanne van Rooyen
December 7th 2012
by Etopia Press
The world's going to end in fire…and it's all Kyle's fault.
Kyle Wolfe's world is about to crash and burn. Just weeks away from graduation, a fire kills Kyle's two best friends and leaves him permanently scarred. A fire that Kyle accidentally set the night he cheated on his boyfriend Danny with their female friend, Shira. That same day, a strange new planet, Obscura, appears in the sky. And suddenly Kyle's friends aren't all that dead anymore.
Each time Kyle goes to sleep, he awakens to two different realities. In one, his boyfriend Danny is still alive, but Shira is dead. In the other, it's Shira who's alive...and now they're friends with benefits. Shifting between realities is slowly killing him, and he's not the only one dying. The world is dying with him. He's pretty sure Obscura has something to do with it, but with his parents' marriage imploding and realities shifting each time he closes his eyes, Kyle has problems enough without being the one in charge of saving the world...
Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in South Africa, and after a brief stint in Australia where it was far too hot, I settled in Finland. Must be my Viking ancestors that make me feel at home in the snow and forests. After dedicating more than twenty years of my life to studying music, I started writing fiction and haven't looked back. I write YA and adult speculative fiction and am represented by the lovely Jordy Albert.
Can you tell us a little bit about your book?
Sure! The idea for Obscura Burning came to me while listening to the Friday Night Light’s soundtrack by Explosions in the Sky. I started with a character and the story grew from there, becoming a YA science fiction thriller far darker and grittier than I expected. I should probably warn prospective readers that this is upper YA and maybe not suitable for younger readers.
Your book’s going to be made into a movie, who would you cast in the leading roles?
Landon Liboiron as Kyle
Tyler Posey as Danny
Seychelle Gabriel (with blond hair) as Mya
Vanessa Hudgens as Shira
A YA science fiction novel about a girl and an android who share a passion for music. I’m also in the planning stages of a YA/NA novel involving Finnish mythology - it’s got a way to go still.
Why this genre(s)?
I love the creative freedom SF/F gives writers. My imagination can run riot, conjuring up the weird and wonderful without being fettered by current technological capabilities. I also enjoy the research that goes into my stories for the sake of verisimilitude. I do tend to stretch the possibilities of tech in my stories and mangle it with some fantasy but I want my worlds to remain plausible as far as possible.
What is the hardest part of writing in your opinion?
Getting past that 20k word mark. If I can break the 20k barrier, I’m usually ok. I think it was Neil Gaiman who said writing is just putting one word after the other - it’s as easy as that; it’s as difficult as that. Writing is hard work but I love it!
Is there a genre that you love to read, and would like to write, but just cannot?
Literary fiction. I love the dense verbose works by the likes of David Mitchell and Carlos Ruis Zafon but I don’t think I could pull it off. I prefer writing dialogue to exposition.
What is your favorite part of writing?
The moment an idea takes hold and makes you excited about the world, about the characters you’re about to create. I love that thrill as you start working out the back story and world building for a new story. I also love revisions. Getting through a first draft is laborious but once I’ve got words on the page I can get stuck in and fashion the story into something shelf worthy.
Soundtrack to the End of the World
Obscura Burning germinated from a singular image of a boy walking through an arid landscape - a landscape conjured by the ethereal strains of music unique to Explosions in the Sky. I first heard this band while watching the brilliant TV show Friday Night Lights. Explosions in the Sky (even as their suggests) provides the perfect soundtrack to the inexorable degradation of Kyle’s psyche and consequently his world.
You can tell by the track names that this band is a little different from the norm. I cannot get enough of them. There’s a sly reference to them in the novel itself when Mya makes Kyle listen to shoe-gazing music - yes, shoe-gazing is the official name of the genre.
Oh WOW!! I'm impressed!! Thanks for being here Suzanne.
So what do you think? Leave me a comment and let me know. :D
-1 autographed paperback of Obscura Burning
-1 ebook of Dragon's Teeth (epub, mobi or pdf)
-1 $10 GC for Amazon
-3 surprise items from each of the main characters
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