Friday, December 11, 2020

Blog Tour: Love of the Sea by A.R. Masterson #blogtour #interview #youngadult #yafantasy #giveaway #rabtbooktours @LittleAlice06



Young Adult Fiction, Young Adult Romance, Young Adult Mermaid Fiction

Date Published: 4/27/18

Publisher: Ink Smith Publishing

As crown prince, Cormack is required to take a bride and his place as king. His father’s choice is Princess Nephara of their neighboring ally, the Kingdom of Caraway. But the appearance of Asrai, a fiery mermaid determined to get what she wants, and an heir to her own throne, has Cormack wondering where his heart’s loyalty lies.

Exiled from her underwater kingdom, Asrai is determined to do whatever is necessary to return to her throne, but Cormack, once a means to an end, has enchanted her. Can Asrai get the best of both worlds, or will she sacrifice her heart for her kingdom?


Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?


The biggest “message” in Love of the Sea would be that relationships take work and sacrifice.  That you need to be there and support each other, but do so without losing yourself or sacrificing what’s truly important to you.



Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?


Writing is something that has always come easy for me.  I’ve been writing since I was a young child.  I would say the most challenging part of writing is sitting down and making the time to actually write.  It can also be difficult to find the motivation to face the empty page.



How many books have you written and which is your favorite?


Picking a favourite is difficult for me because I’ve already had several books published, and I have written several more.  I would say my favourite book that I have written thus far would be my YA Fantasy Book Series (an NDA project that I’m currently working on and is not yet published).  It’s going to be the crowning jewel of my work both as an author and as an artist because it’s a 13 book series that I’m also fully illustrating.  My favourite book that I have published thus far is Love of the Sea.  It embodies everything I love about a classic fantasy story and it was a joy to create.




If You had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?


I’ve never really liked this question.  I don’t really pay much attention to Hollywood, and I really don’t know who I would want to cast to be Asrai.



When did you begin writing?


As crazy as it sounds, I actually started writing when I was 3 years old.  I was always making up little stories, and my Dad let me use his computer to type them up.  I also filled notebooks with stories and drawings.  I started writing my first novel when I was 12 years old.  By then, I had my own computer, and spent as much time as possible in my room working on my stories and my drawings.  I ended up going to college at Columba College Chicago and received my BA in Fiction Writing.



How long did it take to complete your first book?


This is a bit of a difficult question for me to answer because I began writing so many stories at such a young age.  Many of my novels have gone through dozens of iterations as I grew older and my writing skills improved.  Love of the Sea was my first published novel, and it took me about 3-4 years to complete.  I began writing the novel as a class assignment in one of my college classes.  I enjoyed the story and developed it into a novel.  However, I did not fully complete the manuscript before I graduated.  It sat, unfinished, until after I retired from my modeling career and picked up my writing again.  My old professor and mentor, Tina Jens, urged me to complete the manuscript and pitch it at a local event that was hosting some publishers.  I worked tirelessly in the 2 months before the event to finish the manuscript and get my pitch ready.  I was rejected after the second round of proposals with the publishers; however, Love of the Sea was eventually picked up a year later by my current publisher, Ink Smith Publishing.  It took only a year to finalize the edits with Ink Smith Publishing and have the book released to the public.



Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?


Writing has always come to me as naturally as breathing.  It’s actually a family tradition, as my mother is also a writer, and other women in my mother’s lineage were also writers.  I’m very lucky that I had experienced and supportive parents, so my writing was encouraged and nurtured.  However, I have also read hundreds of books, and several have left a big impact on my writing.  One of the big ones is Juliet Marillier, author of the Sevenwaters Trilogy.  Those books greatly influenced my style for my fantasy stories.



What is your favorite part of the writing process?


Everyone loves the initial process of creating the story.  I love diving into random scenes, world building, and getting together fun details.  This initial stage of writing is always fun because there are no rules or expectations.  However, I also love the meditative quality of editing my works, and getting them finalized for publication.  It’s a very satisfying part of the process.  I would say my least favourite part of the process is the “middle” – painstakingly going over the character arcs and the plot to ensure that everything is neat and tidy.  That part can be frustrating.



Describe your latest book in 4 words.

My latest published novel is Freja’s Baby Shattered.  I would describe it as “Grief, Mental Illness, and Acceptance”.  If I were to describe Love of the Sea, I would say “Magick, Betrayal, Love, and Strategy”.




Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?


I have thus far had 5 novels published.  I’ve also had 5 poetry collections and 17 art books (combine my artwork, short stories, and poetry with my co-editor’s photography) published.  Love of the Sea, my fantasy mermaid novel, was published by Ink Smith Publishing.  My other books were published by Cloud Orchid Publishing.  I hope to pitch more of my novels to Ink Smith Publishing and other publishers in the future.  Cloud Orchid Publishing is a company I co-own with my co-editor, Bryan Thompson.  Together, we publish my non-traditional book projects.


My primary project that I currently am working on is my 6th novel, Succumb to Darkness.  It is a dark fantasy novel about vampires with parallels to the French Revolution.  Some of the writing and dialogue is in French, as it’s my second language.  I hope to have the manuscript finished before the end of 2020, and begin fine edits in 2021.


My 6th poetry collection Synesthesia - Pandemic will be published next month by Cloud Orchid Publishing.  I am also currently working on finalizing my 7th poetry collection, Synesthesia – Fables.  It is also slated to be published by Cloud Orchid Publishing.  While Pandemic will only feature my poetry, I am working on completing the illustrations that will appear alongside my poetry in Fables.  After these two collections are published, I will be taking a break from creating collections, and will be rebuilding my poetry database.


I am working on the rewrite and illustrations for Book One of my YA Fantasy Series.  This is currently an NDA project, but I hope to be able to share updates about my work on this series once the first book is picked up by a publisher.  All 13 books of the series have already been written, but because I started writing Book One when I was 12 years old, and finished writing Book Thirteen in college, there is a huge gap in the quality of the writing, and the books need to be reworked.  I also plan to create 50 full colour illustrations for each book, and some extra artwork to be able to include later in a separate artist book to accompany the series.


I am working on my 4th romance novel, Clover Companion.  It has scifi element to the story in that it centers around the concept of AI humanoid robots that can be purchased as a companion, rather than dealing with the hardship of seeking and maintaining a human relationship.  This is set to be published by Cloud Orchid Publishing once it’s completed.


A project I am excited to get started on in 2021 is recording the audio book for Love of the Sea.  I had previously started recording the book; however, my old recording and computer audio software setup did not live up to my expectations.  My new setup will ensure that the audio book will have great sound quality.


Two more projects that are on my writing short list are my speculative historical fiction novel about Marie Antoinette, and a cyberpunk novel that I have given the temporary title of Space Race.  I typically switch between secondary projects in order to help prevent me from getting burnt out on my primary project.


I have a total of 51 book projects (novels and illustrated novels) and 4 children’s books.  This list may grow as I come up with new ideas, but these are the projects that have been started and prioritized for now.


In addition to my work as an author, I’m also working on one of my art series the Sea Chibis digital illustration series.  Once it is completed, I will transform the series into a colouring book.  I am also going to convert all the illustrations from my novel Geisha Hands into a colouring book.  I also have a few card games and board games that I’m designing, and hope to bring to life, but these are much further down my list of priorities.

About the Author

Lauren A.R. Masterson graduated from Columbia College of Chicago with a degree in Fiction Writing. During her college days, she began working as a freelance model eventually making it her full-time profession after graduating. She toured nationally, met scores of creative people, and had many adventures. After retiring from modeling, and experiencing a divorce, Lauren felt the drain of her creativity. But after finding a loving and supporting community she began exploring her writing talent and art again. Lauren is now a regular in the local Chicago writing communities and is dedicated to enhancing her craft.

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