Monday, January 7, 2013

Interview with J.A. Souders, author of Renegade

Today I'm interviewing J.A. Souders who is the fabulous author of Renegade, published this past November. I really enjoyed Renegade (read my review) and am thrilled to have her on to share with us.

Tell us a little about yourself and the book(s) you've written... 

Let’s see. I was born in Wisconsin, but I live in the land of sunshine and palm trees (Florida). I married my high school sweetheart shortly after high school and we’ve been married for 13 years next February. I have 2 gorgeous children who have imaginations just like mine and now I know why I drove my own parents crazy.  I’m a huge gamer—obviously. ; ) And although I’m allergic to every animal under the sun, I’m a fanatic animal lover. I hope to have a whole pack of Labrador retrievers one day.

Renegade is about a girl—who happens to be the princess of the underwater world named Elysium—who thinks everything about her life is perfect only to find out that her entire world is a lie and her mother is a monster. It’s BioShock meets the Bourne Identity for teens.

Which of your characters is your favourite? How is she or he different from yourself?

My favourite character is Mother. She’s so deliciously evil and it was so fun to write her. For her, I didn’t really have to worry about anything except what her motivation would be and not worrying about that pesky moral code. ; ) She’s motivated to get what she wants, when she wants it and nothing is going to stand in her way. She’s completely different than me! LOL. I DO have that pesky moral code for instance. Killing people because they disagree with me just isn’t my style. J

Do you have a favourite line or two from one of your book(s)? What is it?

I do! My favorite line is: "A woman’s best weapon is her smile, unless there’s a loaded Beretta 9mm nearby."

How do you relax after a long day of writing?

Relaxation? What’s that?!  LOL. I like to spend it with my kids and husband. We watch movies, or play video games. We even make up our own games every once in a while. Like last week, my husband popped itunes up on our stereo system and started playing the first few bars of a song and we had to try and guess which song it was before anyone else. It kept us entertained for almost 2 hours and it was SO MUCH FUN!  An yes apparently we have that much music. LOL..

Is there a dedication at the beginning of your book? Who did you dedicate it to and why?

There is a dedication. I actually dedicated it to two people. My husband. Because he really is my knight-in-not-so-shining armor and I’m not sure the book would have existed at all without his huge amounts of support and limitless patience.

And the second one is dedicated to the memory of my uncle. He believed in me from the beginning. When I was a child and I told him I was going to be an author, he just nodded and asked, “So how are you going to do it?” And I said, “I’m just going to write it.” Then five years ago he passed away in a car accident. About two years after that, I was thinking of starting writing again, but couldn’t figure out where to start. I had a dream of him telling me, “Just write it.” When I woke up, I knew exactly what to write. Even if it was me who had to learn how to fly, he gave me my wings and the push.

Do you have an acknowledgement section at the end of your book? If yes, can you tell us a little bit more about ONE of the people you mention?

I mention my crit partner. Liz Czukas (she has a book coming out in 2014 from Harper Collins called ASK AGAIN LATER. It’s great. I can’t wait for people to read it.) Anyway, I gave her her own paragraph, because she was my very first crit. partner and even though I pretty much hated her ( ; p) when we first started working together, she’s my best friend now.  I can’t imagine starting a project without her.  She helped turn me make my books better, even when I didn’t want to hear how…not good, they were.  Without her, I don’t think I’d be as far as I am right now and without her constant support and everything else she does, RENEGADE wouldn’t exist.

What is your favourite tv show? Favourite movie?

Hmm. This is a hard one. I actually have two favourite shows and I can’t pick between them. So in no particular order GLEE and ONCE UPON A TIME.  Glee because if I could go back to high school, I’d be one of the Glee kids. J  And ONCE UPON A TIME, because it’s awesome. The storylines are tight. I love how they all become weaved together. And most of all because Captain Hook is HOT!

If you were to write non-fiction, what subject would you write about? Why does it interest you?

I think I’d write about teen pregnancy. I was a teen mother myself and I know when I needed it, there weren’t many books on the subject. Despite that, I consider myself a success story and I’d love to write one that can be inspiring while also giving them the information they need to become their own success story.

If you could live in any time period (other than the current one) which one would you choose?

I’d love to live during the 1920’s or 30s. My grandparents tell me stories all the time and it just seems so fascinating. Plus that was the time of women’s suffrage and I would love to have been a part of that.

Would you prefer to be a dragon rider, a dragon slayer, or the dragon itself?

Dragon rider. Def. a dragon rider.  I couldn’t slay the dragon, I’m not convinced they’re doing anything wrong. J  But I wouldn’t want to be the dragon because it just seems like such a lonely life. Besides who doesn’t dream of riding a dragon into the clouds?

What was the last thing you ate? Did you enjoy it?

If a picture is worth a thousand words you'd like to say...(send me a picture in a .jpg and I'll put it here)

If you could have a pet that was a mythical creature, which creature would you choose?

Dragon! Like Toothless in How to Train Your Dragon. I’ve always wanted a pet dragon, though it would probably be impractical considering I live in the city.

What advice would you give your teen readers about life?

Never take life too seriously, because life is fickle.  Nothing, good or bad, lasts forever or stays the same. It’s best to live in the moment and always look for the silver lining. (Now that’s not to say you shouldn’t be a responsible person, but have fun with life while being responsible :] )

Thank you for sharing with us today! You can find out more about J.A. Souders and her book Renegade below:

Renedage (The Elysium Chronicles #1)

Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie. Her memories have been altered. Her mind and body aren’t under her own control. And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb... and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.

Find it on,, Barnes & Noble, Chapters: and The Book Depository.

Or add it to your Goodreads list.
About the author:

J.A. Souders was born in the heartland with an overactive imagination and an over abundance of curiosity that was always getting her into trouble. She first began writing at the age of 13, when she moved to Florida and not only befriended the monsters under the bed, but created worlds for them to play together.
Because she never grew up, she decided she’d put her imaginary friends to work and started writing. She still lives in the land of sunshine and palm trees with her husband and their two children.

Find her on her Official Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads

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1 comment:

  1. I would also pick a dragon! Great interview!