Friday, 20 January 2012

Blue Sky Days Blog Tour & Giveaway

 Marie Landry, Author

Welcome to the Official Blog Tour for Blue Sky Days
It's with great honour that I introduce you to Marie Landry, Author of this fabulous book Blue Sky Days.

Welcome Marie to My Blog:




Marie Landry has always been a daydreamer. She has created imaginary worlds for as long as she can remember, so it only seemed natural that she would become a writer. With a passion for words that started in early childhood, Marie has written a varied range of works, and has been freelance writing since 2009. She resides in Ontario, Canada, and most days you can find her writing, reading, blogging about writing and reading, listening to U2, or having grand adventures with her two precious nephews.
 
Please visit her blog at http://sweetmarie-83.blogspot.com 
And her author site at http://marielandry.blogspot.com
Now, enjoy the interview!
1. Did you always want to be a writer? And what inspired you to write?
For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to be a writer. I started writing stories at a very young age, and never stopped. I'm not sure if there was any one thing, event, or person that got me into writing, I think it's just a part of me. The ideas have always been there, no matter where I am or what I'm doing.
 
2. How would you describe Blue Sky Days?
Blue Sky Days is part coming-of-age story and part love story. It's about a girl who leaves home to find herself, and in the process, she finds love in all its different forms. She learns a lot about herself, and about friendship, strength, courage, and love. It's a story that takes the reader on a very emotional journey—one that I think (and hope) has a wide appeal. 
3. Which character did you have the most fun writing?
I loved writing all my characters, but I probably had the most fun with Nicholas. He's such a free spirit, and is so happy and eager and almost childlike in his enthusiasm and lust for life. There were times when it felt like he took over because ideas for thing he would say or do would just pop into my head randomly and I'd end up going with it. Even though he's a completely fictional character, and I created him, I would find myself laughing at things he said and did. He was definitely a fun character to write. Daisy was a lot of fun for many of those same reasons.
   
4. What was your main source of inspiration for the story?

Well, a large part of the story is Nicholas's battle with cancer, and then how he and Emma deal with it. When I was eight, my dad was diagnosed with leukemia, and he suffered for two years before passing away. I always knew I would work cancer into a story somehow, because the emotions would be real, and because I could draw on personal experience.

5. What should readers expect from Blue Sky Days?

A lot of emotion. A few readers have told me that the book was an emotional roller coaster for them—joy, sadness, anger, laughter, and tears. I think ultimately, it's a book that will leave you feeling good...and that might make you hug your loved ones a little bit tighter.  

6. How did you come up with the title of your book?

Usually naming a book is the hardest part for me, but with Blue Sky Days, I actually started with the title. It just came to me. I've always been affected by the weather—I have much more energy and feel happier and more motivated on sunny blue sky days. The idea developed from there.

7. What books have influenced your life most?

The Harry Potter books. I don't even write fantasy (although it's something I'd like to try my hand at eventually), but those books changed my life, and the way I read and write. They have everything—action, humour, suspense, romance, friendship, life lessons—and are so well-written, they have the ability to touch me on a very deep level, no matter how many times I read them. They've made me strive to be a better writer.

8. What are your current projects?
   
Right now, I'm starting work on an adult contemporary romance set in Ireland. I don't want to say too much, because I don't usually talk about what I'm writing (kind of a silly superstition with me), but I've had this idea for years, and I can't wait to really start getting it out. After that, I'll be going back to young adult with a story about faeries.

9. Do you see writing as a career?
   
Absolutely. I've been freelance writing since 2009, and slowly working toward my ultimate goal of being a published author. Now I'm living my dream, and it's all I want to do.
   
10. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
   
I wanted to be an author. Always. Literally as long as I can remember, I've wanted to be an author. I toyed with the idea of being a teacher, and was even a preschool teacher and then a nanny for a few years, but writing has always been my passion.
   
11. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
   
Since Blue Sky Days is my debut novel and was just released, hearing from readers is a very new experience for me. I’ve had an immense amount of support and encouragement from book bloggers especially, as well as fellow writers. It touches me so deeply when people tell me how emotional they got when reading the book, how much they loved the characters, and how they like my writing style. It's actually still kind of mind-boggling to me!
   
12. Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?
   
I'd love to be able to do this for the rest of my life. I have so many ideas for novels, and I want to be able to entertain and inspire people for as long as I'm able to, and for as long as people are willing to read my books!
   
13. What were your feelings when your first novel was accepted?

Since I'm a self-published author, everything was up to me. I spent weeks and weeks researching self-publishing before I realized it was the right decision for me. Even then, it was really scary knowing that I was taking a huge leap of faith, but I wanted to have control of my work, and I liked the idea of being an entrepreneur—taking my future into my own hands and running with it.
 
14. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing your book?

I guess the most surprising thing was that I could actually do it. When I originally wrote the book seven years ago, it was technically finished, but it wasn't a full novel length. I had no idea how to flesh it out and make it longer. When I came back to it in 2011, I was worried I might not be able to make it longer, or make it better, since I knew it needed a lot of structural work, too. I didn't have to worry though, because within a few weeks, I had tripled the word count, and I had a finished product that I was extremely proud of. So I guess the take-away from that is to just believe in yourself, work hard, and you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.
   
15. Who designed the covers?
   
I designed the cover myself, which was exciting and frustrating at the same time. I had an idea in mind, but couldn't find models that fit my idea, plus I didn't have a good quality camera. I scoured the internet searching for images, and it took me forever to decide on a picture, and then to settle on a design I was happy with. It still gives me a thrill to see my book cover on websites and blogs, knowing the hours of work I put into it. 
 
If you'd like to learn more about how I designed the cover, Kathy from I Write, I Read, I Review is hosting a guest post from me about that subject on February 11th as part of the Blue Sky Days Blog Tour.
   
16. What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Getting through the parts about cancer. Even though I knew what was going to happen, and even though I was writing it myself, I would cry like a baby. In fact, I read the book dozens of times during the revision and editing process, and I cried every single time. It took me back to my childhood and my dad's illness, and the pain was so real for me that I poured it into the book and turned it into something I could be happy with, and that I know my dad would be happy with and proud of.

17. Any last thoughts or words of wisdom you would like to share with the readers?
   
I'd just like to thank people for their support. If you're reading this, or if you've read the book or plan to read the book, I thank you sincerely from the bottom of my heart. I hope you love Emma and Nicholas as much as I do, and enjoy their story as much as I enjoyed writing it. I'd also like to encourage you to follow your own dreams. I'm living proof that dreams can and do come true.
   
Thank you for having me here today, Tana, and for asking such thorough and insightful questions. It's been a pleasure!

You can find me pretty much all over the web
My book blog - Ramblings of a Daydreamer
Facebook fan page: Marie Landry, Writer
Facebook book page: Blue Sky Days by Marie Landry
GoodReads book page
GoodReads author page
Twitter
LinkedIn
YouTube     (just a note if you see a read more click on it to enter the giveaway)










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