Sunday, 24 June 2012

The Moon Dwellers by David Estes - Interview & Giveaway!


The Moon Dwellers Synopsis:

In a desperate attempt to escape destruction decades earlier, humankind was forced underground, into the depths of the earth, creating a new society called the Tri-Realms.

After her parents and sister are abducted by the Enforcers, seventeen-year-old Adele, a member of the
middle-class moon dwellers, is unjustly sentenced to life in prison for her parents' crimes of treason.

Against all odds, Adele must escape from the Pen and find her family, while being hunted by a deranged, killing machine named Rivet, who works for the President. She is helped by two other inmates, Tawni and Cole, each of whom have dark secrets that are better left undiscovered. Other than her friends, the only thing she has going for her is a wicked roundhouse kick and two fists that have been well-trained for combat by her father.

At the other end of the social spectrum is Tristan, the son of the President and a sun dweller. His mother is gone. He hates his father. Backed by only his servant and best friend, Roc, he leaves his lavish lifestyle in the Sun Realm, seeking to make something good out of his troubled life.

When a war breaks out within the Tri-Realms, Tristan is thrust into the middle of a conflict that seems to mysteriously follow Adele as she seeks to find her family and uncover her parents true past.

About the Author

David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. He grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife. A reader all his life, he began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010. He´s a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.

My Interview with David Estes.

1. Did you always want to be a writer? And what inspired you to write?

First off, thank you so much for offering to interview me, particularly as part of the launch blog tour for The Moon Dwellers.

In the back of my mind, I always had this crazy notion that someday I would write books for a living, but I always found some excuse not to write.  I moved to Sydney two and a half years ago for work and met my wife, who helped convince me to start writing in late 2010.  Now she can’t get me to stop!

So I’m pretty much obsessed with writing now and recently began doing it full time.  I published my first three books in October 2011 as a trilogy (The Evolution Trilogy: Angel Evolution, Demon Evolution, and Archangel Evolution).  I have loads of other projects at the moment too, which I’ll tell you all about later.

Once I started writing, I think I knew pretty much right away that it was what I wanted to do with my life.  It’s just who I am!  When I’m in the throes of a writing session (I mean like living, breathing, feeling the characters, the plot, the drama), it’s the most amazing feeling in the world for me. 
My inspiration comes from all different places.  From the authors I look up to like Suzanne Collins, JK Rowling, and Veronica Roth, to music, to the little things you see in life as you’re walking down the street: inspiration is abundant in this world, so you always have to be ready to grab it and embrace it.

2. How would you describe The Moon Dwellers?

My new YA dystopian book, The Moon Dwellers, is a story about people from different classes of a future society, one in which humankind was forced to move underground due to the destruction of the earth’s surface.  I tell the story from alternating points of view by Adele, a seventeen-year-old moon dweller (the middle class), and Tristan, a sun dweller (the upper class).  Adele is locked away in prison, her parents and sister abducted by the sun dweller Enforcers.  Tristan is locked in a prison of his own, my his father’s—who happens to be the President of the Tri-Realms—ideals of a society ruled by the elite.  While both trying to escape their respective prisons, Adele and Tristan end up in the midst of a rebellion by the star dwellers (the low class), as Adele tries to find her family, who she believes are still alive, and Tristan tries to find himself.

3. What was your main source of inspiration for the story?

Over the last year I’ve absolutely loved the dystopian revolution, as magnificent books, like The Hunger Games, Divergent, Delirium, and The Maze Runner have gained incredible popularity.  By the time I’d written and published my first trilogy (The Evolution Trilogy), the YA dystopian revolution was in full swing and I was pretty much obsessed, reading every dystopian book I could get my hands on.  One day I thought to myself, “Self, you could write a pretty darn good dystopian book,” so I got started right away, which is what I do.  I knew I wanted to have it take place below ground with a strong female character and loveable supporting characters.

It’s well documented that I have serious OCD, such that when I dive into a project, I am all the way in, to the point of crazy, my-wife-wants-to-strangle-me obsession.  So I finished the book in about thirty days, let’s call it a month just to be conservative.   I dove into the beta stage with a fervor, and to my utmost delight, my early readers came back with extremely positive feedback, along with some awesome constructive feedback.  I edited, rewrote, revised, edited, added a prologue, changed the tense, and edited some more, and finally the book was ready! 

4.  How did you come up with the title for The Moon Dwellers?

It was one of those ideas that just popped into my head.  Strange how they do that sometimes!  I wanted the title to be very unique, and I thought a dystopian book that takes place underground on earth should have a title that makes you think, Huh? I wonder where that title comes from?  So I decided to call the different classes the sun dwellers, the moon dwellers and the star dwellers, and use those as the titles for the first three books (I’m currently planning 4 books for the saga). 

5.  What books have most influenced your life most?

The Lord of the Rings is probably the biggest influence as it’s really what got me started reading seriously.  I loved books before then, but it wasn’t till I sank my teeth into LOTR that I became fully addicted.  I’ve read it more than ten times! 

Since then, I’ve been influenced by Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, and Amanda Hockings, who have showed me what can be achieved if you dream big and love what you do!

6.  What are your current projects?

My first priority is the sequel to The Moon Dwellers, which will be published in September of this year.  I’m 52,000 words in, so it’s well on its way to entering the beta phase, which I’m planning to start in July.

I have also recently finished a Middle-Grade novel about a boy with a very unique disability and one hell of a sense of humor who meets loads of interesting early teenagers on a suspenseful yet funny adventure to uncover the truth about the father he never knew.  This book is scheduled for release on July 31st of this year.

I have also completed the first four books in a children's series aimed at kids between the ages of 7 and 10.  It's a classic superhero story about a girl who meets a strange animal who leads her to a treasure chest in the middle of the forest.  The chest contains a gift that allows the girl to perform miraculous feats.  I have another two books planned for the series, which I will be working to complete in 2012, although the first four books in the series will be published on August 31st 2012.

My remaining projects range from a variety of children's novels from the fantastical to the downright silly, to my next venture into YA fantasy, and to the creation of an adult suspense/mystery series with a strong and interesting male character.  I have written the first page of more books than I can count without taking off my shoes!

7.  Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely.  I personally believe that your career should be in something you love, and writing is what I love.  I was an accountant and a risk officer for almost ten years after college, and I never really loved it, or even liked it that much.  And yet that was my “career”.  Now I’m writing every day, connecting with my readers, and loving every minute of it.  Since becoming a full time writer, I feel more like I have a career than ever before.

8.  Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I am so lucky to have some of the most devoted, active online, and funniest readers.  Which means I interact with them a ton!  And that makes my job so much more fun!!  I speak to my readers all the time on Facebook, Twitter, my blog, and Goodreads.  We laugh together, talk about books, and have become friends.  Ideally, I would love to be friends with all of readers, at least to some degree.  I hope that never changes.

They say all kinds of things, some ask for feedback on their writing, which I almost always am willing to do (even though I’m not a particularly good beta reader!), some ask questions about my books, others simply offer support and encouragement (which I love), and many just say funny things that give me a laugh.  Lately, my Goodreads fan club has started calling me Mr. Blue Eyes, which cracks me up and has stuck as my nickname.

9.  Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?

My goal as a writer is to just keep getting better, each and every day, with each and every book.  That’s what my readers deserve, and that’s what I’ll always strive to do.  I’ll learn from my mistakes and learn from my favorite authors.  My mom told me recently that she’s noticed I get better with each book, and that was the best compliment she could give me. 

10.  Who designed the covers?

My first three book covers (for The Evolution Trilogy) were designed by Claudia McKinney at phatpuppyart.com, with the custom font and jacket design by my friends at Winkipop Design in Australia.  I’ve since hired Winkipop Designs to do all my book covers going forward, the first of which was the cover for The Moon Dwellers, which I’ve received so much positive feedback on since the reveal on June 15th.  I can’t wait to see what they come up with for the next book!

11. Any last thoughts or words of wisdom you would like to share with the readers?

I love my readers and I always love hearing from you all.  Without all of your support and encouragement, my books would be nothing but words on a page.  I owe my career to my readers, which I’ll try to repay by publishing books that entertain, excite, and delight all those who read them.
I welcome any and all comments, encouragement, feedback and questions by one of my favorite social networking sites shown below.  Happy reading!!

My blog/website: http://davidestesbooks.blogspot.com
My Facebook page/s: http://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Estes/130852990343920
My Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/davidestesbooks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/davidestesbooks



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