Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shower of Books Giveaway Hop and Author Interview with Kira Snyder

Recently, I (Nara) read and reviewed an interesting set of books: The Parish Mail series by Kira Snyder. The reason they were so interesting was because they were written as "active fiction" titles (basically this just means they were choose your own adventure.). Here at Looking for the Panacea, we were lucky enough to get an interview with Kira herself, and Aimee at Coliloquy has generously agreed to give away both books in the series as part of this Giveaway Hop!
If you want to check out the reviews I wrote click on the links!
Dead Letter Office
Post Mortem

When Celia’s father is killed in Afghanistan, she moves with her mother to New Orleans, the city where her father grew up. Struggling to adjust and haunted by troubling dreams, Celia finds comfort in new friends like Tilly, a practicing witch, and Donovan, the son of police detective. On Halloween, bizarre supernatural occurrences rock the city. Celia meets the mysterious Luc and finds a letter, over a hundred years old, addressed to her.

The paranormal repercussions continue when Celia learns that Luc is the restless spirit of a young man murdered in 1854, only able to assume solid form at night. And then, to her shock, Celia finds that the letter, which describes the suspected murder of a man in 1870, contains uncanny parallels to the present-day death of Abel Sims, a homeless veteran.

With help from Luc, Tilly, and Donovan, Celia races to solve the murder—and the mystery of the letter—using both magical and forensic clues.

Interview with Kira Snyder
1. To start, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Thanks so much for having me on your blog! I live in Los Angeles, California, a terrific city except for the traffic which really is as bad as they say. I have a background in playwriting and also computer game design, but my current day job is as a writer for TV. I’ve written for a number of shows including the vampire detective cult hit “Moonlight” and the Syfy Channel shows “Eureka” and “Alphas.” I’m teaching myself the ukulele and enjoy trying out new vegetarian recipes on my patient (and not vegetarian) husband.

2. For our readers, could you describe Dead Letter Office with three words?
Interactive paranormal mystery.

3. The Parish Mail titles are written as active fiction titles. What did you think of active fiction before you wrote the series?
I’ve been a fan of interactive fiction since the Choose Your Own Adventure Books, and the Coliloquy platform basically is the next-generation version of those. The Parish Mail books are a little bit gamelike (appropriately enough, given my background). How many times when reading a mystery have you yelled at the book’s detective, “No, you idiot, the butler didn’t do it! Go catch the maid before she gets away!” In the Parish Mail books, you get to play sleuth right along with the main character Celia and decide which clue or suspect she pursues, which might lead to the killer escaping if you choose wrong. There are also important emotional decisions about friends and boys that you make for Celia, which have serious consequences for the story. I’ve been told that reading the books is incredibly immersive: readers feel like they’re really in New Orleans, on the trail of a murderer, faced with the same tough choices that Celia is.

4. How did you approach writing active fiction? Did you find it intimidating at all?
I haven’t found it that intimidating because it uses many of the same muscles as game design. For each book, in addition to writing an outline for the story, I create a detailed flowchart to track the paths, choices, and unlockable clues just like I would when designing a game. That being said, these books have been creatively very challenging! Constructing a Parish Mail story is like building a puzzle that needs to have multiple, equally satisfying solutions. Tricky but a lot of fun.

5. Which of your characters do you feel most proud of having created?
I love Celia and how strong, brave, and resourceful she is. She also has a wry sense of humor that’s great fun to write. But Tilly, her witch best friend, is probably the character that readers tell me they respond to the most. They love her exuberance, positivity, and self-assurance—and I do too.

6. Now onto the miscellaneous part of the interview, if you could go back in time, which era would you go to and why?
The roaring 20s, with all the amazing writing, music, and art (and cocktails…) being created. But I appreciate things like social equality and modern medicine, so it’d just be for a visit. J

7. If you could gain a superpower, what would you want?

8. If you had to get rid of a colour from this world, which one would you choose?
Olive drab. No one looks good in it and since it’s been used historically in military uniforms, to me at least it strongly evokes war. And it’s drab. It says so right there in the name!

9. If you could go to any country for a day, where would it be and why?
Three-way tie: Egypt to see the ruins, southern Africa for a photo safari, and Paris. Because, PARIS.

10. And finally, because our blog is called Looking for the Panacea: if you had to choose some Panacea Candidates, what would they be?
Hmm… reading is so personal it’s hard for me to think of a book that everyone would love. I’m inclined to go with the classics, like To Kill a Mockingbird and Pride & Prejudice. But if you like zombies with your Austen-style romance, try Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. And if you prefer your zombies without dashing young beaus and fancy balls, I’d suggest World War Z.

Onto the giveaway!

Giveaway Details
  • The giveaway is open internationally!
  • There will be ONE winner. This person will win both Dead Letter Office (Book 1) and Post Mortem (Book 2) of the Parish Mail Series. They will be sent directly from the publisher.
  • You must be a follower of this blog to enter (by GFC)
  • You must be 13 or older to enter, and have your parent's permission if you are younger than 18
  • Giveaway ends on the 30th April
  • Winners will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen, whereupon their details will be forwarded to the publisher.
  • ALL ENTRIES WILL BE CHECKED. So don't cheat. Yeah, we're watching you....

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  1. Great interview! Thanks for the giveaway!
    mestith at gmail dot com

  2. i love reading thriller and suspense novel....dead letter office sounds a great book..
    thx u for the chance :)

  3. Interesting interview; I'm looking forward to this interactive paranormal mystery!

  4. Thank you sooo much for making this international. Both books sound wonderful!!

  5. Great review, the books looks very interesting, love the cover especially. thanks for the int giveaway.

  6. It was great to learn that she wrote for some TV shows. These sound like some great books. Thank you for the amazing giveaway!!