Tuesday, October 28, 2014

ATO- West Thornhill

Hey all! #ATO tuesday is back and today we have our first LGBT YA author taking over! So excited about this one because I feel this is a part of the genre that can sometimes be over looked! West is here with several interviews of her own and her fellow author partners and a look into their serial YA books the Ravens Crossing. Since we are interviewing three we are only doing three questions each. And they are giving away a very special prize: 3 sets of the first 5 books of the Ravens Crossing series! Take it away guys 

West Thornhill

  • Tell us about a unique or quirky writing habit of yours.

I read while I write. I use it as a distraction when I hit a wall or the flow of writing just stops. I also have the TV or music going in the background. It’s white noise for me.

  • Were you good at English in school?

Yes, it was my favorite subject. In some ways I wish I hadn’t changed majors in college from English to Classics, but I did minor in it. English was the one class where I actually felt I belonged. It opened so many doors through literature.

  • What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

The toughest criticism is misunderstanding. I know there are going to be readers who don’t like the stories I create. But I would love to be able to talk with someone and possibly clear up any misconceptions they may have. They still may not like the story but that’s okay. I’m always available via email if someone has questions. The best compliment came from a friend who I was kind of afraid to have read one my books. He loved it and wants more. So, that was the best.

Andi Lea

  • Tell us about a unique or quirky writing habit of yours.

I obsessively listen to music while I write, but not just any music. Every character has a playlist and unique taste.

  • What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

My first college writing course was an experience. I was 18 and fresh out of high school, with a chip on my shoulder. My professor sat me down and explained to me that I needed to make decisions for my characters. It’s easy to get caught up in the writing process and without an end goal it’s even easier to write without purpose. Readers want to care about your characters, even when you make the hard choices. On the flipside, the best compliment I have ever received… “what happens next?” Nothing compares to a reader asking for more.

  • If you wake up as your favorite actor, who would it be and what’s the first thing you would do?

I wake up and realize I am Ellen DeGeneres, the first thing I do is make people happy!


Amanda Corlies

  • If you wake up as your favorite actor, who would it be and what’s the first thing you would do?

I’ve always had a serious thing for RDJ, but if I was going to wake up as anyone, I’d rather wake up as his wife. Still, being a Libra, I feel I should also give the unselfish answer. I do love all the things RDJ does for children’s’ charities. So, if I was actually to wake as Robert Downy, Junior, I’d get busy using my influence and money to build a shelter for homeless LGBT kids. There are far too many of these children kicked out onto the streets simply because of who they are. It’s a serious wrong that I’m passionate about righting.

  • Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?

Oh, I loved working with Morgan and Holly, Sharon and Alex, my two couples from our first three seasons of The Ravens Crossing. I get really excited whenever I get a chance to use them in my current storyline. And, they will be making more frequent appearances in the coming stories, when dealing with the Bond grows more complicated for Darien and Lani. So, I’m looking forward to more shenanigans with them. There are plans for adult novels for these characters.

As far as themes, I was a zookeeper for almost twenty years. So, animals and science are my things. I really enjoy the fictional scientific theory behind The Ravens Crossing world. What if humans were the mutants who had lost many of their powers, including their connections to the Balance of Nature? What if there was another even more amazing species living among us? I’m always looking for ways to explore what the scientific study behind this discovery would be, and what it could mean for humans.

  • Tell us about a unique or quirky writing habit of yours.

So many to choose from… I have a tiny little painting of a forest right above my computer screen, and I sit staring into that miniature world whenever I am trying to work out my story arcs. Also, I run a pet sitting business by day, and when I’m driving around town from house to house to walk dogs, I’m often working out dialogue. So, people see this wacky woman talking to herself while turning around somewhere because she, once again, missed a driveway while chattering away to nobody. I was thrilled when they invented blue tooth. Now, people might just think I’m on the phone – I hope.


TRCB1_513_final_thbnl TRCB2_513_final_thmbnl TRCB3_513_final_thmbnlTRCB4_final

The Ravens Crossing is a serialized, young adult, science fiction/fantasy adventure that began in 2012. The stories are published weekly at the companion website www.theravenscrossing.org. TRC is written by three authors sharing one world.

Books One, Two, and Three follow the adventures of thirteen high school friends. Secrets are hard to keep, especially when you’re in high school, and the students at Wildwood High have been hiding more than most. But, when a group of friends discover their families are keeping more secrets than the entire student body combined, they find themselves drawn together in a dangerous search for the truth. While they come into their abilities as Earth, Air, Fire, Water, or Time Gaeas, life is no longer just about who’s crushing on whom. The Thirteen must learn to use their natural talents to navigate treacherous secrets.

In Books Four and Five we follow the second generation of Wildwood kids. Living in the shadow of the Thirteen nothing is quite what it seems. When change rips through the fabric of their once idyllic neighborhood, those who stayed behind look for ways to rebuild their community. A daunting task when the worst consequence of keeping secrets is a growing lack of trust.

Follow along with Season Six on the website.

  Amanda enjoys hiking a wild and crooked road. After many years as a professional zookeeper, she returned to school to finish her master’s degree in art. A graduate of Goddard, she now runs her own pet sitting business by day and creates interdisciplinary art by night. No longer paid to feed lions, tigers, or bears, she often writes about them instead. Not only does she make up characters and create them fantastical worlds, primarily in the young adult, paranormal and science fiction genres, but she also creates images using multiple media. She was recently commissioned to paint for the Nature Conservancy. When not painting or hiking with the community dogs, she has published multiple works of fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, and environmental writing. Twitter theravenscrossing.org/amanda-corlies/

Andi independently published her first book in elementary school. She gave away copies of the limited edition, hand-bound book, to friends and family.  Since those resourceful beginnings she has continued to pursue her passion for creative entertainment, and improved her writing skills along the way. After working in the entertainment industry, a domestic violence shelter, and owning a business, Andi returned to college. She earned a bachelor’s degree in American Culture and Gender Studies. Currently she is working on her MFA in Media Design.

Though a part of her will always remain in Southern California, she currently lives in Virginia with her three children, two cats, and a border collie. When she isn’t writing, she is reading, or indulging her obsession with all things geek. Andi is the co-president of her local PFLAG chapter and an advocate for human rights. Enjoy her musings, shenanigans, and thoughts at http://andi-lea.com twitter Facebook 

West thinks she is nowhere near as interesting as the characters who populate the universe in her head. But she has TRCB5_finalmoments of amusing brilliance. They just tend to happen when she least expects it. You know those times when the filter between the brain and mouth malfunction. West blames it on the holes in the ozone layer.

Writing has always been a part of her life. It wasn’t until she went back to college as a non-traditional student that it became more real. West was attacked by a stray rubberband which lead to an awesome friendship and her first critique partner.

West writes stories of men in love that are very Yaoi based. Now that she’s branched out into YA LGBT with The Ravens Crossing, she’s trying to balance things out more. Twitter Instagram

  • Join us at Goodreads YA LGBT Books Group: become a free member for exclusive story content, special surprises, and behind the scenes info. Chat with Team TRC. Plus, find other great YA LGBT books, authors, and make some new friends.

  • Follow us on Twitter @ravenscrossing

  • Like us at Facebook

So what do you guys think? I loved the interviews, and it was cool to see the different answers to the same questions :) And as promised here is your chance to win one of the 3 sets of Ravens Crossing ebooks. Leave your comments below, and our takeover authors will chose their winners. You have until next monday NOV 3rd.

See you all next week

<3 always LH