I’m delighted to meet Laura Maisano today, as part of her blog tour for her debut YA Urban Fantasy novel, Schism. Laura will be answering a few questions, and then afterwards there’ll be a chance to win a copy of her novel. Good to meet you, Laura!
First of all, why do you write YA? Teenagers are fun to write, whether they’re younger teens, or almost adults (like Gabe and Lea). They have their whole lives ahead of them and are still figuring out who they are. Identity is a huge theme in SCHISM, and I think it’s one that most YA books deal with in one way or another. Also, the younger characters have more freedom of choice. While an older adult may look at a situation from a different angle, they likely would argue themselves out of half the choices available to a teenager. I want to explore those avenues, because it makes for interesting stories.
Great answer. I so agree about the theme of identity. Teenagers are working out who they are, and how they fit in with their peers.
Who are your dream dinner party guests? Joss Whedon, Yu Watase, Veronica Roth, and Matt Scannell from Vertical Horizon. I think this group could come up with a host of interesting dinner table conversations.
I’d love to meet Joss Whedon!
What is your favorite scene in your new release? My absolute favorite scene is full of spoilers, so I’ll go with my second favorite. It’s when Gabe says goodbye to Lea (for undisclosed reasons :-p). It’s highly emotional and the mood shifts wildly from one extreme to the next. I also love how it illustrates the change Lea goes through as a character from hiding her
feelings to being someone who can cry.
If you could be one of your characters, who would you be and why? Oh wow, really? It’s a bit dangerous being one of my characters, but I’ll give it a whirl. I’d like to be Aime Nee. She doesn’t appear until the back half of the book, and she’s a secondary character in SCHISM. She has a bigger role in the sequel though. Anyway, I like Aime because of her unique perspective. She has a view of the world that no one else shares, which gives her an advantage as far as reading people. She’s very empathetic, but also doesn’t take back talk from others.
Planner or pantser? Both…it depends.
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Sweet or salty? Sweet
Sleep in or get up early? Get up early
Winter or summer? Winter
City or country? Country
Christmas or Halloween? Christmas
Backpacking or luxury hotel? Luxury hotel
SCHISM (Illirin Book One), by Laura Maisano
Art therapy hasn’t done squat for Gabe Jones. A thousand sketches of his fiancée can’t bring his memory, or her, back to him. Nothing on Earth can. His past lies in another dimension, a world just out of sight.
Another student on campus, Lea Huckley, unknowingly shares Gabe’s obsession with the fourth dimension. The monsters from the other side attacked her parents and fled, getting her folks locked up in the loony bin. Proving this other world exists is the only way to free them. Lea and Gabe strike a deal to help each other, and together they manage to open a door to the world of Gabe’s true origin. She’d use him for proof—if she didn’t already care too much.
While Gabe tries to reconcile his feelings for Lea and his rediscovered memories of his fiancée, a much more sinister plot unravels. He uncovers his history just in time to become the unwilling lynchpin in a conspiracy to start a war. His memory holds the secret to the final riddle the would-be conqueror needs to get the upper hand. Gabe must protect the riddle at all costs, even if that means leaving Earth, and Lea, behind forever.
Lea packed light. Other than her phone’s GPS and a flashlight, she kept a small notepad, her lucky pencil, and the thermometer in her cargo pocket. She didn’t need to find data, now she needed proof.
She led the way down the alley where skyscrapers blocked the glowing moon and the lamps from the highway. Yellowed fixtures above each back entrance threw faint cones of light onto the cement, like holes in Swiss cheese.
Lea checked the coordinates on her phone while she walked, and the little red arrow rept closer to the flag icon she placed to mark the interaction point.
Gabe spent his time surveying the area for anything that might be a danger. He kept fidgeting behind her and turning around every few seconds, a twitchy meerkat on patrol.
“We’re only between buildings. It’s not the end of the world.” Lea checked her phone again to make sure they were headed in the right direction.
He glanced over his shoulder. “I still don’t like it. It’s night, people do get mugged, you know.”
“The statistics of that are so low. We’re really not in any danger, considering the population and how many times that sorta thing happens.”
He shifted uneasily behind her. “Whatever, we’re raising the chances by being out here at night.”
Lea rolled her eyes. “I’m not missing this opportunity.”
“I know that. Neither am I.”
They came to a cross section behind two major offices where the loading docks and dumpsters sat for both of them. A stream of water trickled down the concave cement into the large sewer grate. Old garbage left a fume hanging around, and
the humidity only made it worse.
Lea double- and triple-checked her coordinates, cross-checking with her notes.
“This is it. Within I’d say, a fifteen foot diameter, low to the ground.” She shoved the phone in her cargo pocket. “Perfect.”
“Roughly ten minutes.”
Ten minutes may as well have been six hours. She paced back and forth, her sneakers scuffing the gritty pavement.
Gabe continued to keep a watchful eye out for muggers or vagrants. What a dork.
She snickered quietly. For someone who didn’t know his own experiences, he sure seemed paranoid. She watched him standing straight, darting his eyes to the entrance and even up to the windows above them. Watch out bad guys, Gabe’s on
to you. She smiled and turned to see what looked like heat waves rising from the cold cement. Crap. The interaction had already started.
She waved him over next to the loading dock.
This interaction provided no shining lights or obvious movement. Not much stood out visually, except maybe the air glistening like summer heat waves if she squinted hard enough, but her digital thermometer found the coldest point.
“Here,” she whispered, not wanting anyone or anything on the other side to hear. She stretched her arms forward, and Gabe did likewise.
“On the count of three.” She waited for him to nod. “One…two…three.”
They both reached through the interaction point and grabbed at the thicker air. Nothing. They tried again, pulling, grasping, and making any sort of motion to trigger a rip. Finally, Gabe leaned in and pulled out at just the right angle, because the light tore across like a jagged line. Lea grabbed the edge of it and tugged, opening the tear wider until they both fell through.
About the Author
Laura has an MA in Technical writing and is a Senior Editor at Anaiah Press for their YA/NA
Christian Fiction. She’s excited to release her debut YA Urban Fantasy SCHISM, and she’s finishing up the sequel UNITY.
Her gamer husband and amazing daughter give support and inspiration every day. Their cats, Talyn and Moya, provide entertainment through living room battles and phantom-dust-mote hunting. Somehow, they all manage to survive living in Texas where it is hotter than any human being should have to endure. Check out her blog at www.LauraMaisano.blogspot.com.
Thanks so much for coming by from Texas, Laura. It’s been great to meet you! I hope you haven’t found Yorkshire too cold at this time of year :)
If you’ve enjoyed Laura’s interview, or have any questions or comments at all, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you! And dno’t forget, Laura’s giving away a copy of her debut release to one lucky commenter. You can also enter via her Rafflecopter giveaway.