Thursday, March 15, 2012

Meet YA Author E.C. Myers and win FAIR COIN


First, a commercial message. I tried to blog over at Wag the Fox today as part of Gef's Urban Fantasy Marathon, but my wizard heroine DJ hijacked my blog post. Come on over and comment, and you can earn an extra entry to win today's feature book, Fair Coin! You can get there from HERE.


Now...Today, I’d like to welcome a fellow "Class of 2012" debut author, E.C. Myers. His YA fantasy, Fair Coin, was released March 6 by the fine folks at Pyr Books. The "E" in "E.C." is for Eugene, and he describes himself as being "assembled in the U.S. from Korean and German parts and raised by a single mother and a public library in Yonkers, N.Y., where he survived an improbable number of life-threatening experiences--most miraculously, high school." Amazing how we all survived that! You can read more about him at his website

Want a copy of Fair Coin for yourself? It sounds awesome, and I can't wait to dig into it. Read on...

ABOUT FAIR COIN:  Sixteen-year-old Ephraim Scott is horrified when he comes home from school and finds his mother unconscious at the kitchen table, clutching a bottle of pills. The reason for her suicide attempt is even more dis­turbing: she thought she'd identified Ephraim's body at the hospital that day. Among his dead double's belongings, Ephraim finds a strange coin--a coin that grants wishes when he flips it. With a flick of his thumb, he can turn his alcoholic mother into a model parent and catch the eye of the girl he's liked since second grade. But the coin doesn't always change things for the better. And a bad flip can destroy other people's lives as easily as it rebuilds his own. The coin could give Ephraim everything he's ever wanted--if he learns to control its power before his luck runs out.

Now, let’s hear from Eugene!

Give us the “elevator pitch” for Fair Coin:
A boy finds a magic coin that grants his wishes when he flips it… if it lands on heads.

What was your inspiration for the book?
The book began with an image that popped into my head of a kid tossing a coin at a fountain and making a wish. A shimmery ripple emanated from the coin, subtly altering the world around him in its wake to make his wish come true. I poked at that idea for a couple of years until I knew enough about him and his unusual coin to start writing about them.

Favorite scene:
A scene pretty early in the book where Ephraim is talking to his mother as she prepares for a first date. Ephraim’s crush, Jena, has just given him a used book as a present. He’s kind of dense, so he’s just confused by the gesture, until his mother explains that it means she really likes him. And then she teases him.

Hardest scene to write:
The first scene was the hardest. I revised it during every revision round and constantly edited it in the days leading up to my first queries to agents. No matter how much I rewrote and tweaked it, I was never satisfied with it. After a while it felt like I was just moving words around without making the opening any more engaging. Finally, just before sending the manuscript to the first agent who requested pages, I cut the first few pages — and it suddenly worked. Sometimes it’s hard to do something drastic like that because you’ve lived with those pages for so long; that was where I always imagined the book starting, but you have to do whatever it takes to make the book the best it can be, and the first page really has to grab the reader right away.

What’s on your nightstand or top of your TBR pile?
The next book on my pile is Starters by Lissa Price, an ARC I received from Random House. It’ll be out on March 13, and I’m really excited to dive into her creepy dystopian future. It’s been getting great buzz, and I love its eerie cover.

Favorite book when you were a child:
This is a trick question, right? How can I choose just one? I’m going to have to go with Interstellar Pig by William Sleator, which helped turn me into a reader — and now a writer — of science fiction.

Your five favorite authors:
Really? You’re killing me. I probably answer this question differently every time, and this is hardly a definitive list: William Sleator, John Green, Connie Willis, John Bellairs, and Philip Reeve.

Book you've faked reading:
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. My freshman year of college that was the only book I hadn’t read for a literature class, and there was an entire essay on it on the final exam. I bluffed my way through it on the 100 pages I had gotten through.

Book you’re an evangelist for:
The Silver Crown by Robert C. O’Brien. It’s lesser known than his other children’s books, Z for Zacharia and Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, but it’s a wonderful middle grade book that has a strong female protagonist, a fantasy feel, a science fiction twist, and doesn’t talk down to readers. (Although the U.S. edition does have a longer ending chapter that carefully explains everything.) I read it in the sixth grade and I never forgot it. In fact, I loved it so much I considered stealing it from my classroom library, before my conscience got to me. I actually regretted leaving it behind though, because the school closed a few years later, and the book was out of print until 2001, at which point I purchased several copies from the U.S. and the U.K.

Book you've bought for the cover:
I don’t typically purchase new books for their covers; there’s usually something else about them that first makes me interested in buying a book, though many of them also have beautiful covers. I do sometimes seek out specific editions of books — copies that match the library book I read as a kid, or colors or illustrations that speak to me more than the standard edition. I own the Bloomsbury U.K. editions of every Harry Potter book because I liked their illustrations more, and the U.K. spellings and punctuation seem more authentic to me.

Book that changed your life:
Every book changes my life in some way, however subtly, but the Bible had an even bigger impact, in an entirely non-religious way. My older sister taught me to read using a children’s Bible. She made me read it aloud to her until I messed up, then I had to go back to the beginning and start all over again. It could have been traumatic for a little kid, but learning to read and love books at a young age profoundly changed my life.

Favorite line from a book:
This is where I’m supposed to show off how well-read or philosophical I am, right? I love lots of lines from books and movies while I’m reading them, but I have a terrible memory. I can barely remember lines that I’ve written. But I have two favorite lines, and to be honest, I probably first noticed them from the screen adaptations:

“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.” – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

Book you most want to read again for the first time:
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More by Roald Dahl. This collection affected me very deeply when I first read it as a kid, and I would love to recapture that experience.

Most horrifying moment while reading a book:
I opened a used copy of Watership Down that I had picked up at a yard sale and found a spider inside. I slapped it shut and never reopened it, which is the only reason I still haven’t read it, even though I like the movie.

Favorite book about books or writing:
Stephen King’s On Writing. If you’re an aspiring novelist, this book is the kick in the butt you need to sit down and just write it.

What’s next?
I’ve just finished revising the sequel to Fair Coin, so I’m taking a short break before diving into revisions on an unrelated SF YA novel, Who We Used to Be.


Thanks, Eugene! Want to get a copy of Fair Coin? Leave a comment and admit if you, too, bought the UK versions of the Harry Potter series. I thought I was the only one who did that! And hauled them all over London on the Tube, by the way. You know the rest of the drill. One entry for comment, another for blog follow, a third for a Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and a fourth for a Tweet or Retweet. Be sure to include your email. Now...Go forth and comment!

21 comments:

  1. I think you were the only one who did that. Lol :D
    Thank you for the great interview!

    +1 comment
    + GFC Follower Cayce
    +1 twitter follower: Cayce_23
    +1 tweet: https://twitter.com/#!/Cayce_23/status/180322158168379392

    ReplyDelete
  2. You weren't! Well...I only bought the 7th one in the British version, but that's more than none :)

    +1 blog follow
    +1 twitter follow
    +1 RT (lenamoster)

    ostipow at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I bought the audiobooks in the UK version - I wanted to hear how things were pronounced.
    +1 blog follow
    +1 comment
    +1 twitter follow

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  4. This one sounds awesome!! I have a mix of Harry Potters:)

    ccfioriole at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm a GFC follower Christina Kit.

    ccfioriole at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm a twitter follower @christinafiorio

    ccfioriole at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I tweeted: https://twitter.com/#!/christinafiorio/status/180383340388556801

    ccfioriole at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I also commented on your guest post. I LOVED DJ - she's hilarious. So how's your keyboard holding up after that squabble?:))

    ccfioriole at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  9. LOL--thanks, Christina! The keyboard's okay, but DJ and I are going to have to have a talk. She's getting awfully bossy :-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Fair Coin look good and interesting!!!

    +1 comment

    Glassheart18ca@hotmail.com

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  11. I do not have any of the UK Harry Potter books, but I kinda wish I did. Thanks for the interview. Fair Coin sounds fun.

    @timlewis on Twitter

    I also RTed: https://twitter.com/#!/Suzanne_Johnson/status/180350765137793025

    lewis dot tim at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great interview! Sounds like a suspenseful read.

    I follow the blog.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow, Fair Coin sounds awesome! Great interview too! :D

    +1 comment
    + GFC Follower- Midnight Book Thief
    +1 Twitter follower- @NightBookThief
    +1 tweeted-
    https://twitter.com/#!/NightBookThief/status/180563757716602880

    jenelleriane at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have the first 3 HP books in the UK version!

    +1 blog follow
    +1 comment
    +1 twitter follow

    lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  15. I have all the Harry Potter books in Spanish and in English (not sure if they are the US or the UK editions, though).

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follow
    +1 Twitter follower (@odo)
    +1 Retweet (@odo)

    combarro (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  16. ahaha, yes, I do have the UK and Italian versions of the books!

    aliasgirl at libero dot it

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower
    +1 twitter follower

    ReplyDelete
  17. this1i have not read hP/so mow
    but i can't freaking wait 4 this one

    +1comment
    +1 blog follow[rogier]
    +1 Twitter follower (rocapri]

    student.caprino[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  18. well, naturally I'm in Uk, so British Harry Potter it was :)))
    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    impy80 at hotmail dot com

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  19. i dont have Harry Porter's book, only watched the movie

    +1comment
    +1 blog follow[eli yanti]
    +1 Twitter follower (eli_yanti)
    +1 Tweet : https://twitter.com/#!/Eli_Yanti/status/181225801067397120]

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  20. I'd love to win this book, I've seen it around the internets and been intrigued. Reminds me a bit of The Queen's Nose, which I loved as a kid!

    +1 Comment (n.egerton@ntlworld.com)
    +1 Follower on Twitter (@NikkiEgerton)
    +1 retweet

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I do not own the UK Harry Potters. I would love to read this book it sounds really fun.
    follower GFC & email
    Rachel Vessar
    pefrw at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete