I'm excited to have author Emilee King stopping by today to chat about her YA book, Surviving On A Whisper! Plus, you can win a signed copy...
Surviving On A Whisper
by Emilee King
Arie used to live a normal life: high school and homework, parents and brother, best friends and boyfriend. You know the drill. But all at once, her life was taken from her as she was thrown into a dangerous world with a horrible secret that she would give anything to protect.
Now stuck in a violent game of cat and mouse, Arie spends her time running from Mr. Sark, the man representing the organization that would do anything to get their hands on what she is hiding; and her father, who knows exactly how powerful this secret can be.
Then Arie meets Erika, a young woman who has a strange fascination with Arie’s world. Erika gives Arie a new spin on life, opening her up to ideas that seem impossible but begin to heal the deep wounds from her past. But Erika can’t protect Arie forever. It’s only a matter of time before the enemy catches up.
With her back against the wall, Arie is forced to decide who to trust while protecting not only her secret, but those she loves and her broken self—wondering if it’s worth it.
When you’ve been shattered is there any chance to be fixed? When you’re so thoroughly damaged, is there any hope for survival?
What three words best describe your book, Surviving on a Whisper?
Let’s go: suspenseful, emotional, and compelling.
Can you give us your best one sentence pitch to convince readers to give Surviving on a Whisper a try?
A teenage girl’s world is thrown into chaos when her father injects her with a formula that gives her enhanced abilities and a dangerous secret to hide, while marking her as a target for an organization that would use any means necessary to get what she’s hiding.
Grab a copy of Surviving on a Whisper and answer the following:
favorite chapter? 23. Christmastime is the best time, always.
favorite page? Oh that’s hard, but I really love the last one. 434. The last line is my favorite.
favorite setting? The apple orchard—the perfect place to get lost when you’re trying to run.
flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentences teaser: “This wasn’t just about me anymore. This wasn’t just about failing to keep my secret safe, though that was a horrifying idea. If Lennon found out about [us], we were all dead.”
What inspired Surviving on a Whisper? How did the story come to be?
My junior year of high school I was hit with some major medical issues that resulted in me having several surgeries. I was bedridden for six weeks, then had to completely relearn how to walk. It was extremely painful, for sure, but the worst part was the boredom that drove me insane. In an attempt to not flunk out of high school, I tried to keep up on my homework from home (extremely difficult. Wouldn’t recommend it) and was given the assignment from my teacher to participate in the NaNoWriMo challenge. National Novel Writing Month is a program online that tracks your progress as you attempt to write 50,000 in the thirty days of November. It wasn’t until this assignment came around that I realized I had been unconsciously creating a story in my head to help the days pass by. I took the challenge and completed it. The NaNoWriMo program introduced me to Createspace, which is the self-publishing platform that I use, and I decided to self-publish just for fun. Once it was all finished, I thought, “Man, that was awesome. Let’s do it again.” So I took a bunch of classes to better my writing as I wrote the sequel. That’s what is so cool for me—these books literally saved my life. I truly don’t know where I’d be right now without them.
Can you tell us a bit about your heroine, Arie? What makes her special and sets her apart from other YA heroines?
The thing that I love about Arie is that she’s so real to me. She’s smart but no genius; stubborn but a pushover; mature but childish; spiteful but compassionate; a fighter but gives up sometimes too. She has a confidence in her abilities but she still doesn’t think much of herself. She’s human. She makes mistakes. The only extraordinary things about her come from her circumstances or external situations. And oftentimes people around her see her as this amazing person and she just doesn’t see that—she’s just doing what it takes to survive. I think we can all relate to that feeling of pretending like you know what you’re doing when really you’re just making it up as you go. To me, Arie stands as an example that it’s okay not to have everything figured out. It’s okay to take it a day at a time.
Can you give us any tidbits about what’s to come for Arie in the next book?!
Well the end of the first book ends in quite the cliffhanger, or so I’m told. The second picks up eight months later and so many things have changed in the meantime…that’s all I can say. Go read it!
What’s it like being a published author at such a young age? How do you balance your busy college life with your equally busy writing life?
It’s totally crazy. In fact, I had to put writing on hold for my first semester of college because I was so overwhelmed, but eventually I figured it out. If you really love it, you’ll find a balance (even if that balance means ditching your homework and catching up later). But even if you aren’t actually writing every day, that doesn’t mean you have to stop thinking and brainstorming and creating. I met so many people my first semester that inspired stories and characters and plot points. So just because I wasn’t actually writing didn’t mean I actually stopped. I swear, it’s a writer’s curse. You can never stop.
What advice would you give to young aspiring writers out there?
Never let your age inhibit you. I struggled with that a lot when I was writing my first book, just because I felt so young and inexperienced, like real adult writers wouldn’t give me the time of day. There are no ‘real’ writers—either you are one or you’re not. Age doesn’t determine that. By starting writing young, you’re just giving yourself a head start in the way of experience. By the time you’re an adult, you’ll be golden because you’ll already know what works for you and what doesn’t. Plus, if you’re good at writing, most people wouldn’t guess you’re young. Let the words speak for themselves. Don’t stop.
Fill in the blanks:
I’m really awesome at um, probably balancing things on my head. I’m pretty awesome at that.
I’m really embarrassed to admit 83% of my life revolves around solitaire. Also, I’m not that good at solitaire.
The last great book I read was Ida B. by Katherine Hannigan. Nobody understands me quite like that fourth grader—she’s a smart kid.
If you were to bake a cupcake inspired by Surviving on a Whisper, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?
Probably yellow cake with chocolate frosting smeared on the top, sprinkled with crumbled Oreo bits. I don’t know if it would taste good, but for some reason that sounds just right to me.
Thank you so much for stopping by, Emilee!
Emilee King is a college student pursuing a degree in psychology with a minor in writing and rhetoric. Author of the YA novel Surviving on a Whisper, Emilee writes like she breathes and enjoys catering to the demographic of readers she belongs to. Her perfect day includes rain, Netflix, Sprite, a big blanket, and her only child, her Macbook Air, which is how her favorite stories come to life. Visit her website at emileeking.com
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Surviving On A Whisper!
Emilee has generously offered one signed book for one winner.
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