Make sure you stop by tomorrow because we will be giving away a copy of The Marked Son!
Shea Berkley started out writing nonfiction (not so fun) and quickly moved into fiction (totally fun), and knew she’d found her calling. (Her family was thrilled she’d found friends to play with even if they weren’t technically real.) She’s still pleasantly surprised people are willing to pay to read her stories. Besides writing, her many diversions include kickboxing, reading awesome books and hanging out with her loud and rambunctious family. With five kids (all girls), her biggest job is to make sure the little darlings don’t harass the neighbors and then play dumb when the cops come knocking on her door.
To learn more about Shea Berkley and her novels, visit her official website at sheaberkley.com
Click here to read our review of The Marked Son.
Click here to read our review of The Marked Son.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR THE MARKED SON?
The one thing you should know about me is that I have more than my fair share of children. So I asked my nurslings what they wanted in a YA book and they spilled their guts. Number one, they wanted a book told through a male’s POV. Of course, some of the other stuff they wanted was pure ridiculousness (I still have some creative control), but some of it was pretty good. Sometimes my kids even shock me with their cleverness.
WHICH CHARACTER FROM THE MARKED SON DO YOU FEEL IS YOUR FAVORITE AND WHY? LEAST FAVORITE?
Oh my goodness, I love them all! Really. I mean, each and every one of them plays a key role in how the story unfolds. Take any of them out and something doesn’t feel right.
I will tell you this, the character I had the most fun writing was Lucinda. She’s a piece of work.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME AN AUTHOR? HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO WRITE NOVELS?
I’m not good at anything else. Seriously. I have no “real world” skills. So when it became apparent to me that I would starve, I turned to writing. (chortle) Yeah, if it weren’t for my husband I’d have starved a long time ago. It also became quite apparent I’m a slow learner. It took me years to get the hang of writing.
DO YOU EVER BASE THE FICTIONAL CHARACTERS IN YOUR NOVELS ON REAL LIFE PEOPLE?
Not really. I mean, yes there are aspects of people I know sprinkled into characters, but there is not a specific character that is straight-up someone I know. To me, that’s just weird. I have had people I know want me to name characters after them, but that’s where the resemblance usually ends.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING? ANY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FELLOW READERS?
I am on a book hiatus until I get the next book turned in (sniffle, sigh). I am hyper aware I have to make sacrifices in order to be successful. I’m a slow writer
(tending to five rebellious children takes up a lot of time) so some things I love to do must be put on hold.
As to what to read, I say browse and when a concept piques your interest, give it a try. If it’s a new author to you, go to the library and check it out. It’s a great way to find great books and new authors. Once you find one, if you’re like me, I buy my own copy so I can revisit the story whenever I feel like it.
DID YOU HAVE TO DO ANY RESEARCH WHEN YOU WERE CREATING KERA'S WORLD?
I did basic research on the Victorian era, but since Teag is its own realm, it has its own rules and has developed along its own course, which means I can do pretty much whatever I want. That’s the beauty of fantasy. The author is in complete control, and just so long as the author is consistent, anything goes.
HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT NAMING ALL OF YOUR CHARACTERS?
Seeing as how I have nearly half a dozen of my own sproutlings, I have a collection of baby name books. (go figure, huh?) I’ll finger through them and pick names that either have a particular meaning or it sounds like it fits the story. There really isn’t any rhyme or reason to how I pick names. Sometimes, if I want the names to be really unique, I’ll combine names or spell normal names backwards.
WHAT PART OF WRITING A NOVEL DO YOU FIND THE HARDEST?
All of it.
Seriously. I wouldn’t lie. It’s ridiculously hard to do even the most upfront aspect of writing, like picking the title (which usually gets changed by the publisher anyway so I don’t know why I obsess over it, but I do).
IF THE MARKED SON WAS MADE INTO A MOVIE, WHO WOULD BE YOUR PERSONAL CHOICES TO PLAY KERA AND DYLAN?
I would want some unknown actors to portray them, that way there’s no preconceived notion of what the characters are going to act like. Wouldn’t that be fun? But Hollywood being Hollywood, that’s not likely to happen. I’m not even slightly qualified to pick who should play my characters. Dylan is so tough and has a world weariness to him, I’m not sure who could do it, but I’d probably pick Josh Hutcherson. Though he doesn’t look anything like the Dylan I have in my head, I know the boy can act like no other. For Kera, I’d pick India Eisley. She’s absolutely adorable, and looks the most like I envisioned Kera.
ARE YOU WORKING ON ANY OTHER PROJECTS BESIDES THE UPCOMING NOVELS IN THE KEEPERS OF LIFE SERIES? IF SO, CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT IT?
I have an Epic Fantasy, Torrein: Age of Fear, coming out this coming November (2011) from Variance Publishing. Here’s a quick blurb:
What if the only hope of saving a magical world depended on an ordinary boy?
Taelyon is a land divided; its mortals distrust those different than them; its wizards live indifferent to the suffering of others to see the danger on their doorstep. The battle for dominance is never far off, and death is a daily fear provoked by King Hcaon the Younger's inability to lead.
Torrein’s parents are powerful wizards, and Torrein's greatest fear is that he'll be denied the gift of magic. When magic is denied him, he's chased from his own village by those he used to call friends. Alone and wandering in a world he doesn't know, Torrein doesn't understand that his destiny is far greater than any he could have achieved if magic had been granted him. What plagues him is a desire he can't have - to be with his family and live his life in peace.
Peace is not easily found in Taelyon. The destiny Torrein fights lies in a prophecy soaked in blood. To claim his rightful power, he must calm his fears and face those who want him and his people dead. Everyone has been blinded to the real evil in their midst, and it will be a fight till the end of the age to reclaim Taelyon's freedom. Though it's hard for him to accept, it’s up to Torrein to protect those who have been deceived, and to make sure the evil in their midst doesn't destroy them all.
WHAT SORT OF THINGS CAN WE EXPECT IN THE LOST PRINCE AND THE BASTARD KING?
Uh-oh. I live in fear of this question. I don’t like talking about the books I’m writing.
I can say this, The Lost Prince is about Dylan and his fight to free Teag from those who are trying to take control after Navar’s death.
The Bastard King is about Dylan trying to save those who he least cares about, and fighting against those he thought he could trust.
DO YOU HAVE ANY LAST WORDS YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEAVE WITH OUR READERS?
Reading is one of the cheapest forms of entertainment we have these days. The great thing about reading is everyone who reads a book will take something different way because no one is imposing their vision in your head. You’re creating the story and you’re in control. That’s what I love about reading. So take a chance and pick up a book and have a blast.
We would like to thank Shea Berkley, Danielle Barclay, and Entangled Publishing for all of their help and cooperation. Shea is an amazing author and and an equally impressive human being. We cannot wait to read her future works and hopefully interact with her further in the future!