Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Interview With Editor Kristin Daly Rens & ARC Giveaway for DEFIANCE


I'm thrilled to welcome my amazing editor Kristin Daly Rens to the blog today! Not only is she an insightful, talented editor who brings out the best in her authors, she's also a genuinely awesome person through and through. She decided to come on the blog today to publicize my forthcoming debut, DEFIANCE. Here's a look at what DEFIANCE is about:

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.


At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.


As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.
Kristin chose to be interviewed by the Were-llama. Not only does she find him adorable, but there's a fun story of epic awkwardness behind her choice. On the day I sold DEFIANCE, I spent an hour talking with each editor involved in the auction. Kristin was my first phone call of the day. I was both excited and nervous! And when I'm excited and nervous, my mouth tends to outdistance my brain. I opened our conversation with the following statement: "I had a dream last night that I showed up at the Harper Collins office dressed like a llama!" And immediately after I said it, I thought to myself SHUTUPRIGHTNOWWHATAREYOUDOINGOMG???? But Kristin found it amusing, connected with me on a deep level over my story, and after I signed with her, she sent me a box of books and a stuffed llama. <3

Let's meet today's guests!

Were-llama



Kristin Daly Rens

Of course, my hubby designed a cupcake for today's interview. Because he also had a groom's cake due, he eschewed all of my more complicated suggestions (There should be a sword in the middle of real flames! You could do the monster's head coming out of the cupcake and breathing FIRE! You could make a little mini city-state!) and instead, made a cupcake that captures Rachel facing down the beast. Without further ado, I give you the cupcake and Kristin vs. the Were-llama.




1. So, you’re an editor. I’m a super-scary shape-shifter who can command obedience with the awesome power of my glowing red eyes. What do we have in common?


I, too, command obedience—but with the awesome power of my green pencil. Or, more likely these days, the awesome power of track changes in Word, my current editing weapon of choice.

2. I will pit my glowing red eyes against your skinny green pencil any day. I like to spit at my enemies from whichever end is closest to them. Do any of the characters in DEFIANCE have cool abilities like that?

Unfortunately, neither Rachel nor Logan is a spitter—from either end—but Rachel DOES wield a mean sword. Not to mention a totally badass weapon called a Switch, which is basically a wooden walking staff, with a spring-loaded double-edged blade on one end, and a mallet-like weight heavy enough to crush a man’s skull on the other. And Logan is an inventor who creates all kinds of crazy stuff—weapons, explosives, tracking devices…magnetic hand-grips to help you climb over the wall that surrounds your city and escape. You get the idea.

3. They sound like worthy minions for the Were-llama. Even if they are sadly deficient in spitting abilities. If I had a nickname, it would be The Awesome. You?

The Grammatically Correct.

4. I hang around this blog because I love stories. What’s your story about? Bonus points if it includes a llama.

DEFIANCE is the story of Rachel Adams, whose father is the top courier in Baalboden, a walled city-state where the serpentine Cursed One lurks outside the town walls, while the brutal Commander rules within, and every girl must have a Protector with her at all times. But when Rachel’s father disappears on a mission, leaving her under the Protection of his apprentice Logan—whom she has despised ever since she told him she loved him and he turned her down—Rachel knows that she’s the only one who can find him. So she embarks on a high-stakes journey outside the walls to find her father and the mysterious package that he was carrying—a package that the Commander will stop at nothing to get his hands on. And as they follow her father’s tracks and fend off attacks from the Cursed One, she and Logan forge a bond that even the Commander’s iron fist can’t break.


Really, this book’s got it all: danger, swashbuckling battle scenes, and of course, romantic tension that is absolutely through the roof—full of longing, and misunderstandings, and forbidden love, all heightened by the fact that Logan has now become Rachel’s guardian. It ROCKS.

5. I see a regrettable lack of llamas listed in that description. You’re making me a cake worthy of my awesome Were-llama status and decorating it to represent DEFIANCE. What does it look like?

A city with a towering wall around it! No…a slithering, fire-breathing beast! No…a sword-wielding redhead! Ack! I can’t decide! But there should definitely be FIRE.

6. Any Were-llamas in your book?

No Were-llamas, alas—talk about a missed opportunity! But there are delicious baked goods like sticky buns and raisin loaves; a fire-breathing serpentlike creature stalking our heroes; and lots of cool technology that blows stuff up, Not to mention a very steamy smooch in a lake. So maybe that makes up for the absence of Were-llamas at least a little bit?

7. If you think sticky buns and kisses in unsanitary lake water make up for the stunning lack of llamas in this book, you are sadly mistaken, Madam. I will give you one more chance to redeem yourself before I forget that you called me adorable and begin a campaign of spit in your general direction. Anyone who might be a Were-llama and you just haven’t figured it out yet?

Um, have you looked at the person who runs this blog lately?

8. I am not appeased. Llamas or camels and why? Think carefully.

Llamas, CLEARLY. And not just because you can spit at me from either end.

9. You have mollified me for the moment. I will hold back the mighty llama spit glands unless you give further offense. I give you a baby Were-llama as a companion. What do you name her?

Veronica, after Veronica Mars. It’s a fierce moniker worthy of sassy teen detectives and were-llamas.

10. Acceptable. My favorite word is “awesome” because, yanno, look at me. What’s yours?

Pithy. Because I am so not.

11. This is when it's helpful to practice one's spitting ability. No reply is as pithy as a face full of spit. As a young Were-llama, I dreamt of taking over the eastern seaboard one face full of spit at a time. What did you dream of doing when you were young?

I dreamt of being a private detective like my then-idol, Nancy Drew. I even went to my third-grade career day dressed in a trench coat over my St. Elizabeth Ann Seton uniform, with a notebook, magnifying glass, and “fingerprint powder” (which was really some talcum powder I pilfered from home). Clearly, my love of Nancy Drew was a precursor to my current Veronica Mars obsession.

12. Cake or cookies?

Cookies. With frosting. Best of both worlds.

13. I cannot help but approve. Do you share chocolate?

Only with my husband, because he’s wonderful and amazing—not to mention he actually finds it cute that I constantly have my nose buried in a manuscript (I am a very lucky woman, I know). And with my Assistant Editor of Awesome, Sara Sargent, because she runs my life and I need to stay on her good side. Other than that, all the chocolate is MINE.

14. *looks up from eating all of YOUR chocolate* I'm sorry, you were saying? The Zombie Goat invasion is upon us. How will you fight them off?

I don’t. I barricade myself in my apartment with my husband, a year’s supply of Diet Coke, Veronica Mars and Buffy DVDs, and some good books until it’s all over.



Thank you so much for the entertaining interview, Kristin! To get to know Kristin better, you can follow her on Twitter - @kristin_rens. Of course, the fun isn't over yet! Kristin is going to give away the very first ARC of DEFIANCE to one lucky reader! To enter, fill out the form below. The contest is open until 8 pm central time Monday, March 5th and is open for North America. Good luck and happy reading!




71 comments:

  1. Llamas, cupcakes AND a fantastic cover? What's not to love.

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  2. Very nice interview, the were-llama would give Barbara Walters a run for her money, though I don't think she threatens to spit on her guests(or does she...?) Thanks for the giveaway opportunity:)

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  3. Hehe, were-llama. I used to know a were-goat named Boggy who was owned by a couple of gypsy girls, but that's a story for another day...

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  4. CAN'T WAIT TO READ THIS BOOK! Thank you for the giveaway and the interview :)

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  5. This interview just made me even more excited for this book. If that were even possible... ;)

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  6. Cookies with frosting yum! So excited for this book!

    Sara @ upon a love story

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  7. i'm pretty sure i'd do a lot of the same things for a zombie goat invasion. veronica mars and buffy could get me through anything : ) also, i cannot wait to read this book!!

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  8. I'm curious what dressing like a llama would look like - I'm guessing a thick furred outfit of some type, and hopefully snoutless. Were-llama cracked me up.

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  10. I am SO excited to read this. Ever since I first heard Myra McEntire gushing about it, I knew I was going to love it. This cover is gorgeous!! Thanks for the chance to win this giveaway!

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  11. I wouldn't miss one of your interviews for the world, but add to it a DEFIANCE ARC and I'm all over this things with every piece of work of my ninja arsenal. You and Kristin both rock.

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  12. hh I cannot wait to get defiant on my housework when I read Defiance from the blurbs I am seeing it looks amazing!

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  13. The more I hear about Defiance the more excited I become to get my hands on it! Steamy lake makeouts? Yes Please!

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  14. So excited to read the book! Thanks for the giveaway and funny interview. :)

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  15. All interviews everywhere should be like this. :] Can you imagine how entertaining politics would become? Hehe, I'm joking. Nothing will make politics entertaining.

    Thanks for the giveaway! I can't wait to read this. :]

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  16. I really wanted to post something original, but that cover is simply gorgeous (already been said) and I loved the were-llama references. Also not very original, but TOTALLY true...I would LOVE to win this ARC.

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  17. I'm never going to look at llamas in the same way...

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  18. What I like best about the cover is the strength the character is giving her. Her face in profile does seem to say defiance. Controlling a pencil and word tracker tajes power! Especially when Word conspires to disappear before you can press "save".

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  19. Were-llamas... that made my day!

    Thanks for the interview and the giveaway :)

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  20. Ok, a Switch sounds completely badass! Can't wait to read this!!!

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  21. lol the interview is funny and the red eye lama is creeping the bajeepes out of me *chills*
    Thank you for hosting this giveaway!!

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  22. The were-llama and Kristin are awesome! Great interview.

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  23. Barricading yourself with some VMars DVD's sounds like a great way to avoid the goat invasion.

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  24. Hilarious! But that uber-cool cupcake won't stop staring at me :) Thanks for the great interveiw. Kristin sounds like a fun editor.

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  25. I LOVE this interview! Fabulous! I love that you mention watching Buffy DVD's because I too would like to watch Buffy and be with my boyfriend if Zombie Goats started attacking! Tee-hee!

    I also love cookies with frosting! Those are the best! And you can have my chocolate, because I am strange and don't like chocolate. (For real.)
    -Julia

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  26. Fun interview. Kristin must be a fun editor if she'd do this kind of interview. I can't wait to read your book. Did not enter the contest since I'm getting an ARC.

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  27. Pithy is a great word!! I just discovered twixt. Oh and strumpet. Those make me giggle.

    LOVE THE COVER!

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  28. That was a fun interview. And I can't wait to read this book-thr cover looks amazing, which only adds to it!! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  29. Great interview! And great cupcake. ;) And as always, it's a pleasure to see the Werellama.

    I can't wait for this book. It sounds like it's gonna be great. ^^

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  30. BONUS COMMENT:

    Also, I forgot to say, HER SWITCH SOUNDS SO COOL. *-*

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  31. I love your interviews so much hahaha. This was fantastic XD

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  32. I love everything that Kristin edits so I know I'll love Defiance. It sounds awesome and the cover rocks. And the interview- loved it.

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  33. Intense cupcake this time! Great interview!

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  34. dear cj...sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo happy for you. and i dont want the arc because i am buying the sucker. And you know my undying love for the were-llama. Who is anything but adorable.

    ronna

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  35. OMG that llama is seriously scaring the crap out of me. I can't wait to read Defiance. It sounds soo good & I love that cover! Thanks for the giveaway :)

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  36. I LOVE the were-llama. He could totally take over the eastern seaboard one face full of spit at a time.
    No doubt the were-llama has already hypnotized you into writing him as a major character into your next MS: Were-Llama and the Zombie Goat Apocalypse

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  37. *Le Sigh* I got back on the internet just in time! I nearly cried when I saw the tweet (on my phone) for the reveal of CJ's cover AND COULD NOT GO SEE IT IMMEDIATLEY. Okay, who am I kidding. I did cry and wish for a WereLlama of my very own. Now, I get to enter the contest for the very first ARC? Oh, sweet holy spitting llamas!! *G* MEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEME :D er, I mean, I hope I can win it! I'm practically on my knees begging... Lemon bars? *innocent eyes*

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  38. WERE-LLAMAS. I like you more and more, CJ.

    everything about Defiance is beautiful and nothing hurts.

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  39. Love this cover so much! Her outfit makes me think of Batman which is awesome!

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  40. LOVE this interview!!! I'm not entering the contest since I got to beta read DEFIANCE already, not to mention I pre-ordered the book too. I can't wait for the rest of the world to fall in love with Rachel, Logan and the world of DEFIANCE like I did from page one.

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  41. Thanks so much for the giveaway, I LOVE the cover!!!!

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  42. This was so much to read - Yay Nancy Drew, I loved those books growing up!

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  43. I love the cover and the synopsis for your book. I can't wait to read it.

    Loved the interview. The were-llama is ruthless! I also love Kristin's nickname, lol. "Llamas, CLEARLY. And not just because you can spit at me from either end." Ha!

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  44. I bow to the superiority of the Were-Llama. One day, I hope to be able to harness my spitting abilities and perhaps turn into a were-llama myself. Until then, I shall content myself with interviews like this.

    Can't wait for this book!

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  45. I can't wait for Defiance to come out. Thanks for another fun interview. They always make me laugh.

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  46. Oh, the teasers...how they tease me. >.<

    And as always, good to hear from everybody's favorite supreme overlord/were-llama. We are not worthy.

    ~Angela Blount

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  47. I am so excited for this book. Thanks for the interview and giveaway.

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  48. I can't wait for this book. This interview might have just made my life, by the way. Oh and who doesn't love llamas??

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  49. Great interview, thanks for the awesome contest!

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  50. Great interview!! very funny! I love the the llama-related stuff! hilarious XDDDD

    I cant wait for Defiance! good to everyone!!! the first arc OMG! HOLY COW!!! fingers crossed!!! yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!! Fantasy hell yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  51. LOL This was hilarious! So excited for Defiance!!!!!!!

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  52. Oh, were-llama you are too funny. Oh, but please don't spit on me for saying that.
    After meeting Kristen Daly Renz at SCBWI Spring Mingle and hearing her talk about plot promises, I swear to read everything she ever edits. Definitely looking forward to Defiance.

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  53. Cheers to the were-llama for conducting a great interview! I, too, would probably choose buffy DVD's and Veronica Mars to hold me over to the end of the world...

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  54. I CAN'T wait to read this book!!

    -Maddi

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  55. OMG this was so much fun to read! Thanks for the laughs and Kristen, please let me know if you're ever on the hunt for another assistant editor. I just so happen to love chocolate. :P

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  56. What a stunning cover. This book sounds absolutely superb.
    The interview? Only the funniest thing I have ever read. Were-Llamas would totally rock. And that weapon, the Switch, sounds like my kinda weapon to unleash on the baddies!!

    Thanks for the chance to win an ARC but I never win anything so I will be contributing to the coffers when I buy it upon it's release lol :D

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  57. Great premise so far...I am excited to get a chance to read it. Adding to list. Thanks.

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  58. I love these types of interviews. I once read one where the interviewer was Captain Jack Sparrow. So much fun!

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  59. Can't wait for the release, C.J. I'm so very, very proud of you! ;-)

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  60. Great interview! I also can't wait to check out Defiance!

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  61. Great interview!! Defiance is definitely on my TBR list! The pic of the llama was really funny too! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  62. Another Nancy Drew wanna-be! As an aside: I wonder if that cool-looking armband on the book cover model is from the book or not.

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  63. Great interview! I was such a fan of the veronica mars tv show, I miss it. The cover for Defiance is fantastic I love the ton and fierce position the girls in. I cant wait for its release! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  64. This interview made me smile non-stop. It was a good read!
    Thanks for doing this giveaway too, of course! =]

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  65. This book sounds so awesome! I really like the title and cover, too. Thanks for the interview post & giveaway of course. :)

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  66. Great interview!! I have to say the were-llama is a lit-tle scary but love Kristin Daly Wren's portion =)

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  67. Hahaha Omg this interview had me cracking up. I love llamas! Defiance really sounds like a great book! Thanks

    Kelsey d

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  68. I just realized I didn't enter yet! I really want to read your book. It sounds amazing. :{D

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