Friday, February 22, 2013

Author Interview: Stacey Kade (+ Review!)

Thanks to the awesome Lisseth from ReadAHolicZ
Today I have the awesome privilege to interview Stacey Kade, author of The Ghost and the Goth trilogy and not-yet-released Project Paper Doll: The Rules. First, I will be giving a mini-review of her latest book, Body & Soul, the last book of the series. At the bottom is my interview with Stacey!


Title: Body & Soul

Author: Stacey Kade

Publication date: May 1, 2012

Publisher: Hyperion

The final book in The Ghost and the Goth Trilogy!

The Ghost
I’ve been trapped in the body of Lily “Ally” Turner for a month now. Talk about a fashion crisis on an epic scale. What worries me more, though, is sometimes I catch Will looking at me like he thinks I’m Lily...or that he wishes I were. Without the good looks of my former self, I don’t know who I am, or if who that is is good enough. I need out of this mess. Now.

Will and I have been looking for a solution, one that would separate me from Lily without killing her. But it’s not going well. Then, when it seems like things couldn’t get any worse, we run into Misty, my former best friend and boyfriend-stealer extraordinaire, who claims she’s being haunted...by me. Seriously?

I’m determined to get to the bottom of who’s pretending to be the spirit of Alona Dare (while I’m pretending to be someone else) and then get the heck out of this body. Or die trying...

The Goth
I’ll admit it. It’s really weird to look at Alona but see Lily. I do know the difference, though, contrary to what Alona might be saying. And Alona is more than a pretty face to me, not that she would believe that.

Our one lead for some help in this messed up situation might be a page torn from the yellow pages-—the “Psychics” section-—I found in my dad’s stuff. One of the “fakes” seems a bit more real-—and odd-—than the others. Before I can investigate further, though, Alona is off and chasing a ghost that’s probably nothing more than a figment of Misty’s guilty imagination. Now Lily’s family is freaking out because she didn’t come home, my mom is ordering me to stay out of it, and something is definitely wrong with the person formerly known as Lily “Ally” Turner...

Review: 

I'll get right to it: while the second book fell a bit flat for me, this last installment of the series left me sleep-deprived from staying up late to finish it.


Body & Soul picks up where the second one left off, with Alona being in Lily's body and in turn, creating "Ally." Will and Alona are trying to find a way to get Alona free and Lily's body safe, but nothing seems to work and all the psychics and paranormal gurus they go to are fakes. But then a selfish ghost comes along and sidetracks them, making Will rethink his opinions on what Alona is doing with Lily's body and making Alona a bit more attached to her circumstance.

I have to start out saying that I began reading this series liking Will better. I thought he was the main voice, he was more sensible and likable, and he was the one I would stick by throughout the series. However, what ended up happening was Alona started yanking me to her. Don't get me wrong, I still liked Will, but Alona definitely became top dog. She grew less selfish, still had an edge, and made me laugh. I smirked with her and felt as if we were rolling our eyes in unison at other people. Along with all of that, I could see where Alona was coming from while Will's nobility grew to be more of annoyance for me. 


Because I don't think Alona would do a high-five.
While this series is definitely a light, fun read, all of the books grew to be so much more in my mind. I emotionally invested in the characters and was sucked right into the plot. Speaking of the plot, I'm all about romance and instantly ponder on how the main guy and the main girl will end up together. The great thing about Will and Alona was the fact that any sort of attraction and romance between them didn't end up center stage. It was there, yes. It just didn't hog the limelight or become the focus of our attention and worrying, which was very refreshing to me. 

Light and fun read? Yes.
Great characters? Yes.
A twisting plot with refreshing aspects? Yes.
A humorous writing style? Yes.

If you're okay with all of the above, I suggest you read it. 


Verdict: A great ending to a great series that did not disappoint. 

~*~ 
I just want to show off my pretty new button again :)
Now I have the pleasure of interviewing the author, Stacey Kade!

Sunny: Hello, Stacey! Please introduce yourself with a short bio.

Stacey Kade: Hi! I'm Stacey Kade. I wrote The Ghost and the Goth trilogy as well as the upcoming Project Paper Doll series, which starts with The Rules. I live in the Chicago suburbs with my husband and two greyhounds. And I hate mushrooms, squishy fruit, and soggy bacon. 

S: Ick, I so agree on the mushrooms.

The plot for The Ghost and the Goth series is so interesting and sucks you in, but how did you come up with it? Did something in particular make the ball start rolling?

SK: I keep a writing journal to jot down little snippets of things that run through my head. Most often, for me a story, starts with a bit of dialogue or the voice of a character. One day, before I'd even thought about the concept for G&G, I heard something like this: Staring up at the undercarriage of a bus that killed you is a sucky way to spend your afterlife.

From that, I knew my main character was a ghost and had some pretty serious attitude. :) It all developed from there.

S: Personally, I love how you heard Alona's voice so distinctively before the concept even begun. I love hearing about the ways authors get their ideas and how it all comes about. 

Did you go into the series liking one character more than the other then having the opposite to be true when you wrapped it all up in the last book?

SK: No, I loved (and still love) them both. That being said, at times, both of them gave me moments when I wanted to scream and pull my hair out in frustration. :) For whatever reason, Will was generally easier for me to write, probably because his experience in high school is closer to mine (minus the whole ghost thing, obviously).

S: It's been about a year since Will and Alona have last been published. Do you ever miss writing about them?

SK: Yes! All the time. But I feel like their story ended in a good place, where they needed to be, so I try to remember that when I'm missing them. :)

S: Very true!

Okay, I have to mention your upcoming book, Project Paper Dolls: The Rules. It sounds amazing! Where did you come up with that idea?

SK: I knew I wanted to write science fiction set here on Earth, in the present day. (It's not a dystopian or post-apocalyptic story. They live in Wisconsin.) I'm a huge fan of X-Files and Roswell, both of which have similar elements to The Rules.

But I also wanted to do something a little different. I wanted it to be less about aliens vs. humans or saving the planet and more personal, more focused on the characters.

In high school, the thing I remember most is this horrible fear that I'd somehow slip up and expose who I really was and then everyone would know how incredibly uncool I was. (It wasn't really a secret--I carried Star Trek novels in my book bag--it just felt that way.)

For The Rules, I wanted to take that concept and put some substance behind it. For Ariane, there really are serious and deadly consequences if she makes a mistake and reveals who she really is. She is an alien/human hybrid created in a lab and raised there for the first six years of her life. Even though she escaped ten years ago, she still has to be very, very careful that she doesn't do anything to draw attention to herself or the lab will recapture her.

I also think that high school was a time in my life when I was very much trying to figure out who I was. And there were rules coming in from all directions: school, parents, friends, etc. You can't possibly follow all of them. Some of them directly contradict each other. So, you're forced to chose and by doing so, you're choosing who you are or who you want to be. The kind of life you want to live, the limits you will accept.

Even though Ariane has an explicit set of rules that she must follow (1. Never trust anyone, 2. Remember they are always searching, 3. Don't get involved, 4. Keep your head down, 5. Don't fall in love), Zane's life is equally dominated by rules, though they are often unspoken. Rules from his father, rules from his friends, all of them trapping and caging him. Limiting his life.

Both of them have to choose what rules they're going to follow and which ones they're going to break, even though there's no safe answer, no guarantee that they're making the right choices. :)

S: Your answer makes me so much more impatient for April than I was previously and that's really saying something.

Was it hard to not write about Alona and Will anymore and move on to different characters?

SK: It was a little scary. I'd gotten to the point where I knew Will and Alona well enough that I felt like I could predict their thoughts and reactions pretty easily. Starting with new characters, who really didn't bear any resemblance to Alona and Will (a deliberate choice on my part), felt sort of like jumping off into empty space. Thrilling, but also terrifying. But the truth is, I only knew Alona and Will that well because I'd written three books with them. I didn't know them at all in the beginning, either. You only get to know the characters better by writing about them, so that's what I did. :) Getting to know someone new is one of the best (and most difficult) parts of writing, I think.

S: That's a really good thing to remember. So writers, don't be afraid!

What's one book that you have recently read that you absolutely loved?

SK: The Mad Scientist's Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke. Such an amazing book. It broke my heart and remade it. I loved it.

S: Anything else you want to add?

SK: A HUGE thank you to all of you who read my books! I have a dream job and it's because of you. :) (Please, pretty please check out The Rules when it comes out on April 23. You, yes, you specifically, will be my favorite.)

This or That: 

Chocolate or vanilla? If it's ice cream, I have to go with vanilla. I love chocolate EVERYTHING, except ice cream. I know, it's weird. 

Ebook or paperbackI love the smell of paper and ink and the feel of the book in my hands. Plus, I'm not scared to take it into the bath tub or to the beach. 

Star Wars or Star Trek? Both. I can't choose! :) My first crushes were on Luke Skywalker and Captain Kirk. (Now, I'm like, what was I thinking? Han Solo and Spock, FTW!)

Brunette or blonde? If we're talking about boys, dark hair. Always. :) If we're talking about me, I'm so pale that anything other than blonde (or the strawberry blonde I am) would make me look like a walking corpse. Minus the gory wounds. Hopefully. 

Winter or summer? Oh, no question. I can't stand being cold! 


~*~

I would just like to say thank you to the wonderful Stacey Kade for being so nice and agreeing to appear on my blog. Also, you heard her up there: whatever you have to do, preorder or wait until April 23rd, check out The Rules! It sounds amazing, I doubt you want to miss out on her gift of awesomeness.


Have you read any of Stacey Kade's books? What do you think of the interview? 

17 comments:

  1. I really like the sound of these books! might have to add them to my ridiculously long tbr list!
    Have to admit that I don't do star wars or star trek though!
    Grabbed your button - it's really pretty!

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  2. Great interview! I was lucky to read an early copy of The Rules a couple of weeks ago and I really enjoyed it. I can definitely see that it's more character-focused than about the sci-fi concepts. It's an interesting twist. :) I'll have to make it my mission to get started on the Ghost & Goth series soon. I'm glad it ended well for you, Sunny!

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    1. Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed it :) Go complete that mission. Thank you!

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  3. What a fun interview! I've actually got The Rules coming up for review soon, but I haven't read any of Stacey's books before. I've always wanted to, though. They sound great! I'm sure once I real The Rules, I'll have to pick up the rest of her books, though. :) Great post, Sunny!

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  4. The G&tG series is one of my all time favorites. It is a really fun series but with so much depth to it and The Rules was just as good.

    I'll miss Will & Alona but I'm ready to jump into the new world Stacey created.

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  5. I have always been a fan of Will, but glad to hear that A is growing and changing more as a character. I somehow missed this was out, and adding to TBR now.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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    1. Alona does transform beautifully in my opinion.

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  6. I'll definitely have to give this series a try, it sounds great! I love the interview, and I love happy endings, too. Awesome review! :)

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  7. Oh my gosh.. I have NOT read this series yet. I really like the sound of it, though! Haha - I hate soggy bacon, too. Crunchy is the way to go! :)

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    1. Christy, go read it! Ha, I've never had soggy bacon...

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  8. I've read the first book, which was really great, so I just skimmed your review so I haven't read the second one D: Awesome interview though! I'm really intrigued about Stacey's new series!

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  9. I nominated you for The Reader Appreciation Award because I think your blog is great. For more details go here: http://asupersunnyspot.blogspot.com.au/p/blog-awards.html

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