Monday, May 21, 2012

Interview with author Scott Cramer "Night of the Purple Moon"

So as I promised in my last post,( where I'm hosting a give away )here is an interview I did with the author of "Night of the Purple Moon", Scott Cramer.
I just wanted to add that while I felt my questioners were kind of lame/generic, I loved his answers....And I wanted to thank him for his willingness to work with me.

 Due to the nature of the main characters in the book I have to ask first.....Do you have any children?
Yes, I have two daughters. One just graduated from college and the other one is about to attend college. Day in and day out, I am amazed by their intelligence, grace, toughness, balance, senses of humor…I could go on and on. My wife, too, is way smarter than I am. So I am totally surrounded and outgunned. It was not a stretch for me to develop two characters, Abby and Emily (not perfect, by any means) who are resourceful, strong-willed and who do their best to face the biggest of challenges with courage.

Was there a reason you choose the island you did to use for the setting of your book?                           
The plot plays out on a grand scale…after space germs decimate the adult population, Earth becomes a planet of children virtually overnight. One way to examine a sweeping catastrophe is to shrink the scale and make the story very personal. I thought an island off Maine, with a small winter population, offered an ideal setting. Later on, I was able to examine life on the mainland.

What gave you the idea to write this book? What was your inspiration?!
Two YA novels always stayed with me. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry and Homecoming by Cynthia Voight. In each book the young main characters faced incredible odds and took dangerous journeys. In Night of the Purple Moon, I tried to increase the odds and raise the stakes. Rather than have one or both parents die, all parents die. Also, modern civilization depends on the collective efforts of specialists. If those specialists disappear, the infrastructure (running water, electricity, communications, food production) will cease to function. That is a gut-wrenching, perilous situation for young teens and children to find themselves in.

Did you base any of the characters personalities off of people you know/knew in your own life?
What usually happens is that I might start out plagiarizing a few character traits here and there from people I know, but as you start to understand your characters and you place them in difficult situations, pretty soon they take on lives of their own; they act on their own and you watch them as much as you direct them. At that point, they become unique individuals in almost every way.

How long did it take you to write this?
The story took many twists and turns and went from a novel to a screenplay and back, and while all that was going on I was very adept at finding other major distractions, such as writing half a mystery novel. All told, it took me one and half years to write Night of the Purple Moon.

Is this your first novel?
Officially it’s my third. Two other YA novels are sitting on my hard drive.

If no, what else have you written? If yes, have you written anything else non bookwise?
I’ve written quite a few magazine feature articles. I had one screenplay optioned, though the option has since expired. I have a few children’s picture books, unpublished. I used to work as a stringer for a daily newspaper, covering school committee meetings and the like. I’ve probably tried my hand at every type of writing except a stage play.

What are some of your favorite books to read?
When I am writing fiction, I tend to read non-fiction. I have been on a long stretch of reading mountain climbing books and sailing adventures.

What is your favorite genre?
I really love young adult. I think a good YA story should appeal to all ages. Some see the ages of the characters in Night of the Purple Moon (12/13) and think it’s a middle grade novel. I guess it is valid to say that it straddles the YA/MG line. But I never thought about a particular audience when I wrote the story. So far, 99 percent of the feedback has come from much older people. I know of only one 12-year who read an early draft. She said that she loved the book and cried “two-pounds of tears.” I think that she was the last person under 30 to read it.

Will there be a sequel to NOPM?

(Bonus lame Barbra Walters question) If you were a tree. What kind of tree would you be? And why?
I debated oak vs willow for about two seconds and then came up with HICORY TREE. Hickory trees have been on my mind lately. My wife, who is a fifth grade science teacher, signed us up for a long-term environmental study where we plant three hickory trees in the yard and then report on their condition every five years. They came in the mail two weeks ago. They are the length of a chopstick and thin as twigs. She stuck them in the ground and surrounded each one with a little portable fence so I wouldn’t mow over them. Believe me, I am very careful around those hickory trees.

So now that you know a bit more about the author and the book. Head on over (here) and see if you can win a free copy!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Night of the Purple Moon - Give Away!!

Did someone say Giveaway!  Why yes, yes I did.
Last week I reviewed "Night of the Purple Moon" by Scott Cramer. You can read it (HERE)
Well, after that Scott has been gracious enough to offer 10 E-copies of his book. That's right 10 whole copies!!! to 10 lucky people! How awesome is that?! (very)
So Let's help yourself out by scoring some great reading material and let's help Scott out by making that material his awesome book. Which by the way made one of the top 100 lists on Amazon.

The only stipulation is that if you win one of these copies we ask that you read it (it's not a brick) and then pop on over to and write a quick review. It doesn't have to be much. "I loved it!" "It was okay." "eh" "I wish it was called rainbow moon because rainbows are pretty!" (okay, maybe not that)...but what ever you want to say. If you want to get this for you teen to read I'm sure getting a review from an actual young person would be appreciated as well.

And so to increase the chances that we all get a little somethin' somethin'. I'm going to make the entries kind of easy.

Here are the ways to get entries:

1. Follow Scott on twitter. @cramer_scott (then tell me)

2. Follow my blog (shameless promotion for me, I know) And post a comment telling me you did and how you like me, Um I mean, my blog.
(If you are already one of the original twelve followers then let me know too)

3.Share this post with a friend (facebook, twitter, email, how ever)...because sharing is caring....then tell me how much you cared.

And that's it! Just make sure you leave a separate comment for each entry.Otherwise if you put it all in one comment it will only be counted as one entry.....okay? Got it? Good.
I will leave this open for two weeks, so until Friday June 1st. If you see this on June're out of luck! Also there will be an interview with Scott posted sometime within those two weeks.
But back to the give away.......Now...Ready...Set... GO!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Night of the Purple Moon by Scott Cramer

Last week my sister and I were having one of our daily book conversations and she mentioned that she was sent a request to review a book. After reading a short synopsis she thought it might be a book that was more up my genre ally than hers...low and behold....It was!...well sort of. Let me show you what I mean.....

“Puberty was a ticking time bomb planted in each and every teen. The older you were the louder and faster it ticked...”

 A few months ago Abby moved with her Dad and younger brother and sister to a small fishing island off the coast of Maine. She was looking forward to the weekend when she would be able to see her Mom, following what was predicted to be the meteorological event of the century!
That night the the Earth would be making it's first pass through the tail of the Rudenko- Kasparov comet. It was expected to be a spectacular show, covering the entire atmosphere with harmless space dust and turn the moon a beautiful shade of purple. Unfortunately it did a lot more than that....
When she woke up the following morning Abby and her siblings discovered that not only was the space dust harmful but it had silently killed almost every single adult and older pubescent teenager on the planet. (seriously, all gone) 
Now, at the ripe old age of 13 she is one of the oldest children on the island it fell to her to try to keep not only herself and her siblings alive but the rest of the younger children on the island as well. That is at least until they could find a cure or they hit puberty and succumb to the space dust...which ever comes first.

My first opinion....
Stephen King's: The Stand meets William Golding's: Lord of the Flies.....with a twist.
As a mother of young children Mr. Cramer has managed to captured one of my greatest fears. That one day my children will wake up and find that my husband and I have died in our sleep. How will they survive?Who will take care of them? Not to mention when they were really little, how do they even get out of the house seeing as that they can't open the doors yet? These were questions that would keep me up at night.
And while the writing was excellent.... It flowed well and I understood everything without confusion or inconsistency. I must say as a mother, I really didn't like this story. It scared the crap out of me!

....which leads me to.......

My Second Opinion.....
Stephen King's: The Stand still meets William Golding's: Lord of the Flies.....but from a different perspective.......and still with a twist.

As I went through this book I realized that if I was going to finish it I had to try to hang up my “Mommy” cape but keep on my “Nerdy” boots and then mentally dig deep into my past before I had kids. Back to a time where I liked thrillers and watching movies with just this sort of thing....Hey, I like The Stand so why couldn't I like this? ( I never really liked Lord of the Flies, but then again, I doubt it was meant to be a “likeable” book. It was meant to teach you a lesson. Sort of like this one)..... And so looking at it from that perspective I found that as Sci-Fi Apocalyptic Underdog stories go.... It was pretty darn good! :D
After a while you almost tend to forget that the main characters were not adults but children and that makes the weight of their survival even more important. It shows the good and the bad in human nature. It showed how society has a choice even at a young age to either work together for the good of everyone or go savage and run rampant and just destroy until there is nothing left to save.
It also makes me realize that we need to be teaching our children how to be more self reliant. If it hadn't been for a few of the kids knowing basic survival skills and how to do real work they wouldn't have survived for long.
This story also reminded me about how we as a society need to value life. No matter how long or short it is. We need to tell those around us how much we love and care about them because for all you know they may not be there in the if you 'll excuse me, I'm going to go teach my 3 year old how to start a bond fire with some twigs and a tampon.

If you are interesting in reading this ebook you can find it at right HERE for $2.99 or if you are one of the elite and have a Prime account it's FREE.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Moving up in the blogesphere...

So I just reviewed a book on someone Elses blog!!! They specifically asked me and everything!!! (granted it is my sisters blog, but hey, that doesn't really matter. Right?) I feel important now. I'm going places! Movin' up in this wild and  crazy world! Getting my name out there!

If you would like to read my review of "Bloodlines" by Richelle Mead and check out my sister's much more, put together blog, just clickity click right here. or here. or even here would work.