Friday, September 25, 2015

Book Tour | Harmony Run Series by Sarah Elle Emm

About the Books:
Rare glimpses of birds are the only reminder of the freedoms Rain Hawkins once had. Now segregated into a mixed-race zone within the United Zones of the Authority, under tyrannical rule of President Nicks, Rain is forced to endure the bleak conditions set upon her. The possibility of a way out arises when Rain discovers an organized resistance called The Freedom Front, and learns that she, along with many other multi-racial people, has special abilities. Determined to overcome her situation, Rain sets out on a mission with the resistance that will fill her life with wonder, romance, and the undying hope for a better world.
Still enslaved in a mixed-race zone within the United Zones of the Authority, Rain Hawkins is part of a secret resistance preparing to take on the tyrannical President Nicks before plans to kill the mixed zones across UZTA are executed. When unsettling dreams and a mysterious voice begin to haunt the dark nights, Rain fears someone more powerful than she has discovered the resistance and their secret abilities. With a known Authority spy on her heels, and her boyfriend, Jabari, suddenly acting strange, Rain doesn't know who to trust and if the voices calling to her are friend or foe. As conditions across all of the zones get worse and the stakes rise, Rain embarks on a quest for answers that will put the people she cares about most in more danger or take them one step closer to the truth and their eventual freedom.

In the wake of an interrogation led by the UZTA's dictator, President Nicks, Rain Hawkins and her friends must deal with the consequences of their defiance as the countdown continues towards the execution of the mixed-zone citizens across the United Zones of The Authority. The Freedom Front faces new challenges as Rain's cousin, Calista, prepares for her impending relocation to the pure zone, and Rain sets out to solve the mystery surrounding her mother's torment while being followed by an officer of the Elizabeth Guard. As she uses her abilities to dodge The Authority and follows the strange clues from her dreams, Rain is determined to persevere, to secure the future she and Jabari have been fighting for, and to earn The Freedom Front's ultimate goal of liberation.
After two members of The Freedom Front are arrested and interrogated by the UZTA’s tyrannical President Nicks, Rain Hawkins and her friends face the alarming reality that their plans to liberate the mixed zones across the United Zones of The Authority might not come to fruition. While the resistance movement is growing outside the walls of the zones, the president’s forces are strengthening and putting citizens everywhere in more peril than ever. When Rain receives warnings that her cousin, Calista, has agreed to support plans to kill the mixed zones, and that her life could be on the line at the upcoming pure zone initiation ceremony, she must decide where her loyalties lie and if all of her allies can be trusted. As The Freedom Front use their abilities to unravel the mystery of the ceremony, The Authority captures some of their friends, forcing TFF to either go into hiding, or plan a rescue mission that could jeopardize everything they’ve been fighting for.
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How do you plan your series? Ahead of time, or one book at a time?

I love to plan, in theory, whether we are talking about what errands I have to run in a day or what I am making for dinner. And when it comes to writing, a stand-alone novel or a series, I plan also. That being said, I have learned a lot over the past few years about myself as a writer, and I know for a fact that no matter how hard I try to plan, the story will just take me off of “the plan” and go where it wants to go sometimes. This happens with dinner, too, by the way. I had such good intentions about dinner the other night, and well one thing led to another, (I had the sudden urge to write a poem and had to write for a minute…or twenty), and dinner ended up being a two minute preparation of cheese quesadillas for the kids and a gluten-free granola bar for myself. It happens. Fortunately, my kids have learned to roll with whatever happens when it comes to their writer mom, and they didn’t complain. They were even a little relieved they didn’t have to eat a vegetable or fruit with dinner. Can you believe it? So anyhow, I had the best of intentions when I sat down to write Prismatic, which I knew was going to be the first book in my series, the Harmony Run Series…

I started with the idea. Again, I didn’t plan it. I didn’t try to find it. It came to me in a dream when I fell asleep on the loveseat. I wrote down pages of notes with ideas at my kitchen table because that happened to be where the notebook and pen were that particular day. Then I thought about the story obsessively. I thought about the characters, where they were living, and what was going to happen to them to change their circumstances. This was a thorough brainstorming process, to say the least. I have a stack of papers an inch and a half tall that can verify it drained my brain of something. I just wrote it all down. Everything about who Rain Hawkins is, why she is the way she is, what happened to change her, what her name means, what makes her unique, my ideas for dinner that evening, ha ha ha.

After I had a general idea of themes, major plot points, and an endless list of possible details and ideas regarding the entire series, I focused specifically on book one. I decided on the starting point and the major events I wanted to happen in the first book. Still, I wasn’t positive about how I was going to get from point A to B to F for that matter. I just had an idea and a feeling I wanted to work with. So after putting down as much as I could with pen and paper, I opened up a fresh blank Word document and just went for it. It’s scary, right? The lack of organization and plan? Somehow, it works for me. I find that once I start typing the story, it pulls me into an adventure. As I was getting to know the characters and seeing how Rain and Daktari interacted with Zi, and anyone else they met, the story just poured out. When I did get stuck, which I did throughout the writing of the first draft, I just pulled out a fresh piece of paper, my favorite pen, (Pilot G-2s are so amazing), and started brainstorming possible solutions, scenarios, and tried to figure out what happened next.

The entire time I wrote Prismatic, I had a vague idea in the back of my mind of how far I wanted to take the first book because I knew that there would be more books in the series. I didn’t, however, know how many books total would be in the series. No matter how I tried to plan it and write down themes and plot points for each of the books, I wasn’t certain about the end total. I only knew how the story would end. I knew that from the very beginning. Before I was offered the publishing contract for book one, the publisher asked me if I would share with them how I intended to end the entire series, which I did without hesitation. I knew exactly how it would end. I just wasn’t certain how I was going to get there.

I was halfway through writing the second book in the Harmony Run Series, Opalescent, when I looked over my most recent brainstorming session and started smiling. It just hit me. I knew what had to happen in book three and book four. I remember calling my mom. I was so excited to have some answers. I told her it was going to be four books because I just knew Rain needed me to tell her story in four books. It was such a relief. I had a plan. Four books. And I realized I didn’t need to know what was going to happen every step of the way. Rain and her friends would tell me. My mom was relieved to receive that phone call as well. She’s my sounding board for everything I write, and I pester her continuously, with everything from problems in my life to being stuck in the middle of one of my stories.

An idea came to me a few years ago about another YA series, which so far, I’ve taken a notebook full of ideas and notes about. Lately, I’ve been trying to sort out the goals, themes, plot points, and setting, but I haven’t begun writing it yet. I know I’ll be ready for it eventually, but I have a feeling all of the plans I’ve been making in my notebook won’t really matter once I start writing. It’s kind of exciting, the not knowing where it could lead. Hopefully, I’ll be ready to write it soon. In the meantime, please don’t mention it to my mother. She might start declining my phone calls if she knows I am plotting another book series. And I’d like to handle that like I do my writing…one book, chapter, or day for that matter, at a time. Thanks so much for having me here today. I’d best get going. I should probably plan dinner…

About the Author:
Sarah Elle Emm is the author of the HARMONY RUN SERIES, a young-adult fantasy and dystopian series, released in May 2012 by Winter Goose Publishing. (PRISMATIC, May 2012, OPALESCENT, February 2013, CHATOYANT, September 2014, NACREOUS, August 2015) Her debut fiction novel, MARRYING MISSY, was published by Bird Brain Publishing in October 2011. Sarah is a graduate of The University of Evansville, she has lived and worked in Mexico, Germany, England, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and has traveled extensively beyond. Sarah lives in Naples, Florida with her family. When she’s not walking the plank of her daughters’ imaginary pirate ship or snapping photos of Southwest Florida scenery, she is writing.

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