Welcome to my tour stop for Stinger and Bow by Orren Merton! This is a young adult urban fantasy and is the first book in a spin off series of The Sedumen Chronicles. The tour runs Feb. 15-26 with reviews, interviews, guest posts and excerpts. Check out the tour page for the full schedule.
Thirteen year-old Rachel Silver—or as she’s known to the world, Stinger—needs a new crossbow. Her last bow failed her when she needed it most. Besides, Firebird Alex, her aunt and fellow Seduman—half-human, half-spirit being—wields a Sedu blade, made with spirit magic.
So Stinger designs herself a magic crossbow, then convinces her best friends to accompany her around the world and into the universe of Sediin to find the right craftsmen to have it made. Trouble is, warriors attract people who want to challenge them, whether they’re ready or not. Stinger is still tormented by her last battle—she’s suffering night-terrors, shakes, and cold sweats. When the situation turns deadly, will she be able to come to grips with her trauma and become the warrior she needs to be to save her friends?
Orren Merton started writing fantasy and science fiction at an embarrassingly young age. In high school, he picked up guitar and start playing up and down California in a few loud and moody bands, culminating in his current project Ember After. During that time, magazines, developers, and corporations began to pay him to write and edit music software related articles, manuals, and books. Since then he has written the urban fantasy novel The Deviant and the science fiction novel Skye Entity before working on The Sedumen Chronicles, his current series of urban fantasy YA novels. He lives in Southern California with his family, pets, collection of sci-fi/fantasy memorabilia, and curiously large stuffed animal collection.
PLEASE WELCOME ORREN TO BOOKHOUNDS YA
1) What is on your nightstand?
I think most of what’s on my nightstand is pretty standard: a lamp, glass of water, and charger for mobile devices. One of those mobile devices, however, is my Kindle Paperwhite. And currently loaded up on it is _From Girl to Goddess: The Heroine’s Journey through Myth and Legend_ by Valerie Estelle Frankel. When I’m in the middle of writing, I like to read non-fiction. This book is pretty academic in tone, but very well researched about how The Heroine’s Journey fits into folklore and mythology. I’d recommend it for anyone writing fantasy featuring female heroines!
2) What author would you totally fan?
Neil Gaiman. No doubt. I love his longstanding comic series, Sandman—I’d argue that Sandman was one of those seminal works that changed the game as far as the complexity and quality of graphic storytelling. Gaiman’s _American Gods_ is arguably my favorite single novel. His short stories are mostly excellent. I went to a reading of his here in Long Beach a couple of months ago, and he came across as a really lovely guy, funny and reserved and helpful, all at once. I’ll bet sitting down to coffee or tea or lunch with him would be an absolute blast.
3) What makes you cringe?
Gory movies. I’ve never been a fan of slashers. Scares and thrills I can get behind, but fake blood by the gallons really does make me cringe.
4) Do you obsessively plot out each point or just go with the flow?
Great question, Mary! The short answer is both. Before I write a book, I write what director James Cameron calls a “scriptment”—a sort of outline/treatment of the book, along with some placeholder dialog and things like that. It’s pretty detailed. For a 140-page novel like _Stinger and Bow_ I’d end up with almost a 15-page scriptment. But when I start really writing words you’ll read, the scriptment is more of a guide than a bible. So for example, before I start a chapter, I’ll read what I wrote happens, and some of the dialog I thought would fit, but then I let the characters say what they’re telling me they want to say, regardless of what is on the outline. So the way I see it, the obsessive plotting is really what gives me the freedom to go with the flow, because I know that no matter where my characters take me, I know the story. They can take any road the like, but I always know where they’ll end up.
5) Is there a word you love to use?
Heh…some of the words I love to use the most I don’t put in my books. I know that some YA lit these days has some really strong profanity but as much as in real life I might have moments of swearing like a truck driver, I keep that out of my books. But I love to use words in which the sound of the word enhances the meaning. Words like “darkening,” in which the word itself to me almost sounds haunting, like something mysterious is happening.