Today I am thrilled to share an excerpt from Adventures in Fashion and a fun interview with the author, Emily Craven!
Publication Date: December 29, 2014
Madeline Cain knows that after six chaotic months, the rest of her time in New York City will be smooth sailing with Kevin — her new squeeze — by her side. That is, until Madeline’s idols drop a bombshell – she needs to pick a specialisation before the year is out or risk losing the career of her dreams. The problem? She’s about as sure of her photographic passion as a hiker is of outrunning a bear. Thus Madeline begins her search for her one true path with student-arranged assignments featuring certifiably insane children, lip-synching rockers, a dog whisperer, and… zombies? But it’s not until Madeline secures a ‘life-debt’ by saving a potential mobster from a gun-wielding cross-dresser that she sets her sights on an amazing internship opportunity.
Is her new patron really part of the mob? Can she nail this internship when all her experiments are going to hell? And how does she deal with Kevin’s obsession over her escapades?
Written as though you’re reading Madeline’s Facebook page, Adventures in Fashion will leave you giggling on the floor as Maddie posts about the second half of her Big Apple adventure.
Interview with Emily Craven
1. Would you like to start by introducing yourself?
Hi everyone *waves* I was first inspired to placed pen to paper when I was 12, after I learnt my favourite author, Isobelle Carmody, began her first novel at 14. I finished the first draft of two manuscripts while completing a Bachelor of Science (Space Science and Astrophysics and Geophysics) at the University of Adelaide. So technically, I can claim to be an astrophysicist (stars), geophysicist (rocks) and writer (crazy). I write YA fiction, Fantasy and non-fiction. I live in Australia and yes, back when I was a teenager my high school had its own herd of Kangaroos. I’ve been to almost every continent (Africa being my weakness in continent-domination) and have the pretty photographs to prove it (though probably less professional than Madeline Cain…).
Unusual talents and hobbies include: Getting excited at the thought of sky diving (though if you try to attach me to the end of a bungee cord I will take you down with me). I love belly dancing, singing, am a self-confessed Trekkie, and will never pass up a good bar of chocolate. If you put me anywhere in the vicinity of snow I turn into a five year old.
I have a website and two blogs, one on writing and one on independent publishing and digital storytelling, and also run real life choose-your-own-adventures at www.storycity.com.au. You can find me on Twitter or on Facebook.
2. Can you give us a brief overview of your latest novel and the inspiration behind it?
It’s the second book and the final 6 months of Madeline’s time in NYC. She’s got herself a new Honey (Kevin) and she’s absolutely certain that the rest of the year will be smooth sailing. But with Madeline, things are never that simple! A bombshell is dropped, she needs to pick a photographic specialisation before the year is out or risk losing the career of her dreams. The problem? She’s about as sure of her photographic passion as a hiker is of outrunning a bear.
Thus Madeline begins her search for her one true path but instead is presented with certifiably insane children, lip-synching rockers, a dog whisperer, and… zombies? But it’s not until Madeline secures a ‘life-debt’ by saving a potential mobster from a gun-wielding cross-dresser that she sets her sights on an amazing internship opportunity. Life is going to hell in a hand basket but Madeline is going to ride that wave, even if it leads her and Kevin into rocky territory… The entire book is written as though you are reading Madeline’s Facebook page, each section told through status updates, Facebook notes and comments.
As to inspiration for the series, well, there is one kickass YA author that really inspired me to write this and that was Meg Cabot. I love Meg’s work, particularly her earlier stuff like 1800-where-are-you and the Mediator series. What I loved the most were her series of books that were told entirely through email. They really pushed the boundaries of how you can tell a story and I love the ambiguity of not knowing whether the characters were telling the truth to each other in the emails or whether they were just telling a version of the truth that made them look good. That’s what I tried to do with Madeline Cain, play with the format by telling a story through Facebook rather than straight narrative and showing how the story changed when Madeline told it publicly to when she private messaged her friends (some things are just too embarrassing to put in a blog, you know?). Also Meg has these awesome, strong heroines that I loved to read about and kind of looked up to. They helped shape my views on life and I wanted to create a strong female lead as well, that would pass my confidence on to other young girls. Pay it forward.
3. What’s your favorite quality about your heroine?
When crazy things happen to her, she goes with the flow. And she’s not afraid to laugh at herself! The thing about Madeline is, she’s not stupid, she’s not a klutz, and few of the things that happen to her are caused by her. That’s how it goes in life, things just happen, and it’s up to you to roll with the punches and get yourself out. And while romance is a part of her life, it is not her obsession. Any time when your partner becomes your life, that is when you’ve lost yourself. I wanted to make sure my characters showed (and knew) there was more to them than the person they are with.
4. How long did it take you to write Madeline Cain: Adventures in Fashion? What is your writing process like?
The second book in the series was a much harder slog than the first book, kind of like wading through a 6 foot snow drift with concrete ducks as snow shoes. In the second book there were a lot of ends I had to wrap up: ends of story lines, development of lesser characters etc. In the first book I could just wing it, because I wasn’t quite sure what the story was yet. But now it had a Purpose with a capital P. For book one I just threw in scenes as they were thrown at me by my friends in Facebook, for book two I had to make an epic two page plan with columns, character arcs and chapter break downs. Then over the course of a year I tried to fit in the writing around a job, my freelancing work and life. It was the biggest book I had ever written, 150,000 words at the first draft, 120,000 by the final. This book was the book that helped me finally lay out the best process for me: Basically fill a word document with as many notes as humanly possible so I don’t have to start with a blank page each session, then sit down for two hours every day until it’s done. Oh, and make sure you have reliable brain-stormers on hand for when you get stuck (generally 100+ times per manuscript!).
5. Can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment?
I’m working on a short novella in the Madeline Cain series that happens before the two books. I wanted to give readers a taste of the Madeline Cain world before her New York trip. When it is finally ready, it will be available for free.
And speaking of free, if you grab a copy of ‘Madeline Cain: Adventures In Fashion’ before the end of this virtual blog tour (4th of March) and email me your receipt at firstname.lastname@example.org, I will send you the first book in the Madeline Cain series, The Grand Adventures of Madeline Cain, for free!
6. If you were given an offer to turn Madeline Cain: Adventures in Fashion into a movie, who would you want to see playing the roles of Madeline and Kevin?
If the Madeline Cain series was ever turned into movies I would only have two stipulations: The nationalities of the characters weren’t allowed to be changed, and the actors playing those characters had to be from the same country as that character. Which means Madeline would be played by an Australian actress (I think someone like Rebel Wilson would totally do her justice) and Kevin by an American (and just because I love the guy to pieces, I’d want that to be Josh Hutcherson).
7. How would you describe your writing style and previous novels to someone that has never read your work before?
I’ve been told my writing is like a cross between a Kathy Lette novel, Bridget Jones Diary, Crocodile Dundee and Sex In The City. Basically, it’s a lot of crazy fun.
8. If you could marry a fictional character who would it be?
If any of you have read Meg Cabot’s Mediator Series, you would know that Jesse is my one true fictional love. Even if he is a ghost.
9. What are the things you can’t live without in your wardrobe?
A beautiful, flared dress with lots of tulle, my red silk scoop-neck top (classy in all occasions), slim fit jeans (preferably a funky colour rather than denim), my notebook and watermelon shoes, and my blue and white polka-dotted jacket (some people are shoe girls, I’m a jacket girl).
10. What would we find if we looked in your handbag right now?
A notebook, an e-reader, smart phone, a wallet that looks like an international airmail envelope, and my space pen (if they ever call for a writer on a future space mission, I’m ready to go!)
11. Where is your favorite place in the world?
Hands down Easter Island. It’s one of my apocalypse locations (you know, the place you’d go if you found out the world was going to end). The volcanic landscape and mysterious stone heads are just the perfect combination for a writer with a fantastical bent and a scientific brain. So many mysteries, it would take a life time to solve them all (and potentially a time machine).
FYI, my other apocalypse location is a little mountain valley in the Canadian Rockies.
12. Do you have any pet peeves?
I am not fond of idiots, or people who have nothing to say and just fill in silence with nonsense. Have an intelligent conversation with me or don’t speak. Those are your options.
13. Either or…
Dogs or cats? Dogs, I’m am so allergic to cats it’s not funny. I am queen of anti-histamine in cat houses.
Red wine or white? Red
Coffee or tea? Tea – Green.
Summer or Winter? Summer – though winter would be my pick if it actually snowed here.
Sleep in or get up early? Sleep in! Awake me at your peril.
Apple or PC? Death to Apple, PC forever!!!
14. A few of your favorites…
Favorite scent? Jasmine
Favorite color? Emerald
Favorite food? Chocolate. Obviously.
Favorite word? Discombobulate. We don’t use it nearly enough in everyday conversation.
Favorite song? Anything by Queen.
Favorite book? A Sudden Wild Magic by Dianna Wynne Jones.
Favorite/dream vacation spot? Greece.
Favorite time period in history? Egyptian.
Favorite article of clothing? My jackets (in particularly my beautiful polka-dotted trench).
Favorite drink of choice? Red Wine.
Favorite celebrity crush? Josh Hutcherson. Pretty sure it’s because he is the Hollywood version of my boyfriend, also called Josh 😉
BONUS QUESTION! What’s your favourite dinosaur?
Triceratops. They can pull off cute while being lean-mean-charging-machines.
Thank you so much for participating in this interview, I’m delighted to have you on my blog and truly appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions!
Connect with the Author – Emily Craven
Emily Craven was first inspired to placed pen to paper when she was 12, after she learnt her favourite author, Isobelle Carmody, began her first novel at 14. Emily finished two manuscripts while completing a Bachelor of Science (Space Science and Astrophysics and Geophysics) at the University of Adelaide. So technically, she can claim to be an astrophysicist (stars), geophysicist (rocks) and writer (crazy). She writes YA fiction, Fantasy and non-fiction. Emily lives in Australia and yes, back when she was a teenager her high school had its own herd of Kangaroos. She’s been to almost every continent (Africa being her weakness in continent-domination) and has the pretty photographs to prove it (though probably less professional than Madeline Cain…).
Unusual talents and hobbies include: Getting excited at the thought of sky diving (though if you try to attach her to the end of a bungee cord she will take you down with her). She loves belly dancing, singing, is a self-confessed Trekkie, and will never pass up a good bar of chocolate. If you put her anywhere in the vicinity of snow, she turns into a five year old.
Emily has a website http://www.madelinecain.com and two blogs, one on writing (http://theoriginalfantasy.blogspot.com.au) and one on independent publishing and digital storytelling (http://ebookrevolution.com.au). You can find her on Twitter @TheMadelineCain or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GrandAdventuresOfMadelineCain
Madeline Cain: Adventures in Fashion Book Excerpt
Your Un-Invitation To The Annual I’Anson Charity Ball!
EVENT INVITATION> Suggest your friends [Edit Event]
You are Attending. Private event
Time: 16th June at 18:30
Created by: Madeline Cain, Jarrah Annelli, Jade Annelli, Josh Anneli, Richard Arnoou, Cain Michaels, Victoria Zeng.
More Info: The 2012 class from Jason I’Anson’s School of Photography, cordially un-invite you to the Annual Charity Ball. The Ball, being only for important rich people and good-looking volunteers such as ourselves, is the star studded photography event of the year. Not only will some of the world’s best photography (*cough**cough* ours *cough**cough*) grace the halls of Manhattan’s elite, but vast sums of money will be raised for the Children’s Camera Drive, a charity that provides orphans and street kids around the world with a chance to express themselves through photography.
Why would we bother to un-invite you? Well, we’re a generous lot, we know you’d kill to be there, so we thought we’d throw you a bone and let you feel like you’re involved. Hey, an un-invitation is better than being ignored.
Write something… [Share]
Kathy Bloomingdale So you’re inviting us, to not be invited, to an event I wouldn’t be able to get to without a teleporter? Posted Saturday 16th June at 15:18 [Comment . Like]
Madeline Cain NYC Cinderella I’d like to point out you’re not invited not because we hate you, but because you’re poor. Posted Saturday 16th June at 15:20 [Comment . Like]
Tim Gleeve Teleporters are science fiction Kathy, if they were real I’d have one in my basement. However, that doesn’t strike me out of the race! I could probably get there with a space shuttle sized jetpack! I’ll just get dressed in my zero-G space suit and grab my pack from the shed. Posted Saturday 16th June at 15:23 [Comment . Like]
Tim Gleeve Shit, jetpack’s too dusty, guess I’ll have to miss this gag-tastic ball. Posted Saturday 16th June at 15:25 [Comment . Like]
Madeline Cain NYC Cinderella Wolverine was there. Posted Sunday 17th June at 11:13 [Comment . Like]
Tim Gleeve Flaming Barf Balls!! Seriously? Right, new genie wish: go back in time to my high-school self, convince him to gain your romantic trust, follow you to New York AND MEET WOLVERINE!! Posted Sunday 17th June at 15:30 [Comment . Like]
Kathy Bloomingdale All to meet an actor?? Why can’t you do that to meet a girl?Posted Sunday 17th June at 16:14 [Comment . Like]
Tim Gleeve How dare you downgrade his legend to the piddly title of actor! Posted Sunday 17th June at 16:17 [Comment . Like]
Kathy Bloomingdale Well at least you’re crushing on comic book characters now and not electronics. Posted Sunday 17th June at 17:05 [Comment . Like]
Mike Cain We all know an un-invite is just a sneaky invite. You’ve just got to prove you’re worthy enough to decipher the real instructions. I noticed that the actual address of your event is missing. It is but a tiny hurdle for my awesome genius. Posted Saturday 16th June at 15:18[Comment . Like]
Madeline Cain NYC Cinderella And only sending the un-invite three hours before the event? Posted Sunday 17th June at 11:17 [Comment . Like]
Mike Cain Stopping time is a slightly larger hurdle. But, I will prevail! Posted Sunday 17th June at 12:20 [Comment . Like]
Josh Annelli That was a more eventful than I thought it would be… Posted Sunday 17th June at 20:20 [Comment . Like]
Richard Arnoou You mean nerve-wracking don’t you? I think half a cup of spit ended up on the Mayor’s shirt before I could get out my first word. Posted Sunday 17th June at 21:07 [Comment . Like]
Jade Annelli We had no idea you were staring in your own version of Cougar Town, Bro. Posted Sunday 17th June at 21:12 [Comment . Like]
Madeline Cain NYC Cinderella At least you didn’t end up with a penis icicle in your drink when you were introduced to a curator at the Guggenheim. Posted Sunday 17thJune at 23:00 [Comment . Like]
Josh Annelli Sis, I can handle frisky middle aged women, what I was referring to was the scene Maddie managed to orchestrate, though the phallic icicle is an addition I was unaware of. I was there when you spoke to the curator too, no idea how I missed that. Good to see you balance the public moments with the private ones, Maddie. PostedSunday 17th June at 23:05 [Comment . Like]
Madeline Cain NYC Cinderella You were probably too busy ogling the curator’s PA. She was MILF age. Posted Sunday 17th June at 23:07 [Comment . Like]
Jarrah Annelli What?? How did you manage that? So it wasn’t double trouble for you yesterday, it was the triple nipple? Posted Sunday 17th June at 23:09 [Comment . Like]
Madeline Cain NYC Cinderella Sure was. I do everything in threes: injuries, bad luck, embarrassment. Why don’t you ask Cain how it got there? Posted Sunday 17th June at 23:11 [Comment . Like]
Cain Michaels The ice sculptor was clearly female, no male artist would have carved a set of the family jewels that poorly. Posted Sunday 17th June at 23:13 [Comment . Like]
Madeline Cain NYC Cinderella The only way you could tell that was by touching them?? Posted Sunday 17th June at 23:17 [Comment . Like]
Cain Michaels The proportions were all off! The real David was a master piece and she butchered it. Posted Sunday 17th June at 23:21 [Comment . Like]
Madeline Cain NYC Cinderella So you decided you would butcher her centrepiece by removing the offending member? Posted Sunday 17th June at 23:26 [Comment . Like]
Richard Arnoou Classy. Posted Sunday 17th June at 23:32 [Comment . Like]
Cain Michaels No! I told you, it just snapped off. Posted Sunday 17th June at 23:34[Comment . Like]
Kathy Bloomingdale Geez Maddie, what the hell happened? Posted Sunday 17th June at 23:53 [Comment . Like]