Monday, June 6, 2011

YA Author L.M Preston knows how boys think...

Today on Paper Hangover we welcome L.M Preston MG/YA author of THE PACK, EXPLORER X-Alpha and celebrating her new release BANDITS, released June 1st, from Phenomenal One Press.

You will find L.M online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It seems as though she is from a Science Fiction world all of her own. I met her online when I started writing and figuring out this whole other world, a few years ago, and we have stayed in touch ever since.

What is most intriguing about L.M is her enthusiasm, and trust me, it’s contagious. She is always there to boost you up, when she is struggling herself. Be it, marketing her books, assisting with the Maryland Writers Association, taxi-ing her FOUR children from here to there or trying to keep up with her creativity in her writing.

L.M writes both middle grade and young adult and from a unique perspective, a boy. Not many books are written for boys and in their perspective, let alone by a female writer. I sat down with L.M to find how she channeled a boys perspective in womans mind.

How in the world do you think like a boy, when we are programmed so differently?

Thinking like a boy comes easy to me. I'd been a tomboy growing up and my career as an engineer makes me the only girl in the room lots of times. I spend most  of my time observing the guys I work with and my son with his friends is another great resource.

Was it a hard decision to write from Daniels Perspective?

Yes, it was. I really took a moment to see what the trends in YA books were for the last few years and most of the main characters were girls. I took a chance and realized I really enjoyed the freedom in writing a male's pov.

What made you go that route?

This is a boy's story. It had all the makings of a tortured, growing, misguided male. My son was insistent that he wanted me to write a book about a guy pirate - although I think a girl pirate would have been a great twist. In the end I realized I'd have much more fun writing it as Daniel.

BANDITS has been very well received in the publishing world with 5 star reviews, if there is a way to explain, how does that feel?

Honestly, for me, it's a shock. I'm not one of those writers that dream of being the next JK Rowling. I really just love to write. To share my stories - especially for those boys who seem to get left out sometimes. And the fact that my kids cheer me own is a boon. But now that people get Bandits and like it I'm just over the moon humbled by it all. But most of all, when my son read it and kissed me saying, "Mom you nailed it!" that was the best review of all.

You are major parts of many writing communities, how do you keep up with them all and what have they bought to your writing career.

Well, I'm an insomniac. Truth is, I'm an over hyper writer. I write in sprints, like 15 min or so then I have to do something and come back. Weird I know, but it's just the way I'm wired. So I kill time playing on twitter, or yalitchat, absolutewrite or shewrites to stay motivated. Writing communities give me a boost and the encouragement that keeps me plugging away at this.

What has been the most satisfying moment on your journey?

The most satisfying moment in my journey was when I was at a middle school doing a program and a student came up and hugged me when I gave her my book.

You were an author taking part in the Book Expo America 2011, what did you take away from that experience?

That experience was the most eye opening one of my career. I networked with all publishers, big, small, self-pub, authors, entertainers turned authors and you know what - they were all nice, gracious and encouraging. The other thing I took from it was, dreams do come true -  I couldn't believe I actually had a line for my books.

You are a tireless marketer for your writing career, any advice?

Yeah, I am kind of obsessive. When this journey started for Phenomenal One Press, the first thing we did was create a business plan - stating our goals for the first 3 years of my writing journey. Then we purchased the best book ever for the budding publisher, 1001 Ways to Market Your Book by John Kremer. That was the basis for our first book marketing plan. My pub and I set in motion to have one event a month, to spend 30 min a day promoting and 1 day at the beginning of the year planning. We also employ interns and my older kids who've come up with awesome ideas to get the word out. If a writer wants to promote themselves, they should start out making a book marketing plan. Our marketing plan is ever growing and you know what - we learn something new everyday.

And just for fun, what can’t you write without?

I can't write without music on or an action movie in the background. I'm one of those quirky folks that needs background noise.

(Adrienne - One week some is going to say a pen, I’m waiting for it!)

L.M has given us a signed copy of BANDITS to give away today, make sure you’re a follower of Paper Hangover and leave your email, one lucky winner will be chosen at random.

You can Pre-order BANDITS here and visit the blog a la L.M Preston here. You can also find her on Twitter @LM_Preston

Thanks so much L.M for joining us today on Paper Hanover. We should plant you in the next Book of Awesome!


Vivien said...

Fabulous interview. I always enjoy reading them. Thanks!

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Bluestocking said...

Great stuff. Boy POVs are hard to do well. Looking forward to Bandits!


LM Preston said...

I think Boy POVs are doing better although I have to admit at BEA there weren't very many. However, many booksellers, teachers, and librarians I ran into say they wanted more of them. They were actually looking for them at the signing booth.

Hannah said...

A great interview--thank you, L.M! I can't wait to read BANDITS; I love that you took a chance and wrote what you were passionate about.

Also, music/action movies are a definite must when writing.

Adrienne-Lol, I use my keyboard more than I do pens.)

khashway said...

I'm reading Bandits now and LM nails the male POV. I love boy books. (I write them too.) The voice is so genuine, you'd swear LM was a boy if you didn't know differently--and I mean that as a total compliment, LM! I'm really enjoying the book! Best of luck to you!

Marquita Hockaday said...

Oooh, this book sounds awesome! :) I love anything written in the male POV b/c that's usually what I write from! Also, LM Preston sounds super cool!

Pam Harris said...

Such a great interview! I love discovering new novels with male POVs. :)

Melody said...

Pirates!! :) This sounds like a great read, and I'm especially intrigued as to how the LM translates her voice to a boy's! Count me in! :)

blueeyedadri said...

@Vivien - Thanks for your support, I enjoy doing the interviews ;)

@BlueStocking - You will love Bandits, it's awesome.

@Hannah - Just waiting for a smartie.

Hi Kelly!

If Pam recommends a book , read it!

@Melody, we just need your email address to enter you...

LM Preston said...

Yay! I'm so glad you all love boy POV, my son would get so discouraged when we went shopping for books. Besides, I think you only write well if it is what naturally comes out of you. I'd talked to a librarian and suggested that she has a 'Boy's Club' area in the library geared for the male reader. And have From 'Guy' to 'Guy' book recommendations. She loved the idea. I had to be honest that I'd asked my son what would make him want to go to the library and pick out a book.