Wednesday, September 23, 2015

BLOG TOUR: Harmony Run Series by Sarah Elle Emm

Harmony Runs, #1

Rare glimpses of birds are the only reminder of the freedoms Rain Hawkins once had. Now segregated into a mixed-race zone within the United Zones of the Authority, under tyrannical rule of President Nicks, Rain is forced to endure the bleak conditions set upon her. The possibility of a way out arises when Rain discovers an organized resistance called The Freedom Front, and learns that she, along with many other multi-racial people, has special abilities. Determined to overcome her situation, Rain sets out on a mission with the resistance that will fill her life with wonder, romance, and the undying hope for a better world.

Harmony Runs, #2

Still enslaved in a mixed-race zone within the United Zones of the Authority, Rain Hawkins is part of a secret resistance preparing to take on the tyrannical President Nicks before plans to kill the mixed zones across UZTA are executed. When unsettling dreams and a mysterious voice begin to haunt the dark nights, Rain fears someone more powerful than she has discovered the resistance and their secret abilities. With a known Authority spy on her heels, and her boyfriend, Jabari, suddenly acting strange, Rain doesn't know who to trust and if the voices calling to her are friend or foe. As conditions across all of the zones get worse and the stakes rise, Rain embarks on a quest for answers that will put the people she cares about most in more danger or take them one step closer to the truth and their eventual freedom.
Harmony Run, #3

In the wake of an interrogation led by the UZTA's dictator, President Nicks, Rain Hawkins and her friends must deal with the consequences of their defiance as the countdown continues towards the execution of the mixed-zone citizens across the United Zones of The Authority. The Freedom Front faces new challenges as Rain's cousin, Calista, prepares for her impending relocation to the pure zone, and Rain sets out to solve the mystery surrounding her mother's torment while being followed by an officer of the Elizabeth Guard. As she uses her abilities to dodge The Authority and follows the strange clues from her dreams, Rain is determined to persevere, to secure the future she and Jabari have been fighting for, and to earn The Freedom Front's ultimate goal of liberation.
Harmony Runs, #4

After two members of The Freedom Front are arrested and interrogated by the UZTA’s tyrannical President Nicks, Rain Hawkins and her friends face the alarming reality that their plans to liberate the mixed zones across the United Zones of The Authority might not come to fruition. While the resistance movement is growing outside the walls of the zones, the president’s forces are strengthening and putting citizens everywhere in more peril than ever. When Rain receives warnings that her cousin, Calista, has agreed to support plans to kill the mixed zones, and that her life could be on the line at the upcoming pure zone initiation ceremony, she must decide where her loyalties lie and if all of her allies can be trusted. As The Freedom Front use their abilities to unravel the mystery of the ceremony, The Authority captures some of their friends, forcing TFF to either go into hiding, or plan a rescue mission that could jeopardize everything they’ve been fighting for.

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Why did you go Indie?
I haven’t actually gone Indie. I am traditionally published by Winter Goose Publishing. They accept agented and un-agented submissions a few times a year, which is how I got them to read my manuscript. I am so happy I found them. I love what they’ve done with my series.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Hhhmmm, good question. I think I was surprised to learn how stressed I could become while writing the third and fourth books in the series. I felt this immense self-inflicted pressure to deliver the story I knew my readers deserved. I spent more time on those books than anything I’ve ever written. And it got pretty ugly there a few times. I write mostly when the kids are at school, but my poor dog had to watch with a concerned expression as I yelled, cried, talked aloud, and consumed an insane amount of junk food on the really tough days. I can’t believe she remains loyal to me. Clearly, it is only because I am the one who feeds her.

Which of your characters are you most like - least like?
I feel like I am most like Rain’s dad, Isaac. He manages to put on a happy face, to give his kids a hug each morning, and leave them with an encouraging word, but inside, he’s struggling with his own fears and worries. The kids are aware of his troubles, too, but he still manages to keep most of it hidden. I feel like that often. I can put on a smile and say everything is fine. I can give my kids the best pep talks and drop them off at school with some real encouragement, but inside, I might be struggling with a lot of things I don’t want them to know about. I’d rather them see me smiling though. They don’t need to know about my turmoil.

Least like? Ummmm, I am going to have to go with the evil tyrant dictator, Elizabeth Nicks, on this one. Because, well, she is just bad to the core. Sure, I’m not perfect, but still…

Do you have a particular writing habit?
I typically write best in the mornings. I fill up pages of notebooks for days, using my favorite pen, and when the story has sort of clicked, just enough in my mind, I start typing and see where it leads me. I try to stick to my outline and major plot points, more or less, but I let the characters take me where they want to and often veer from the “plan”. Once I am really writing a new manuscript, I’ll spend every free moment just getting it out there. After I have finished the first draft, I feel so relieved…until I go back and look at how messy the manuscript is. Then I start revising and editing, and I clean it up until I think it is ready for the real editor. I carry a notebook around with me, and I write down ideas as they come to me, wherever I am.

Which writer would you consider a mentor?
I honestly don’t have just one mentor, and I couldn’t choose a favorite author. However, I would consider any of the writers who have left me reeling with excitement and pleasure at having read their amazing story to be mentor material. I mean, so many books, regardless of their genre, have left me feeling so thrilled I had the privilege of reading them. For example, The Giver, Nora Roberts’ Carnal Innocence, Catherine Coulter’s FBI thrillers, and John Marsden’s Tomorrow, When the War Began, are a few of the books out of so many that have left me feeling inspired.

What is the hardest part of your writing?
Hands down, the hardest part is finding time to write! I get so busy with the kids’ school activities, homework, after school activities, my own health plan, which includes exercise and healthy eating, doing household chores, running errands, it is crazy. The worst part is that while I am doing most of those activities, I am thinking how I wish I could sit down and write. It ends up being a balance. I carve time out and make it happen.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Sure…Follow your gut, write from your heart, and sit down and write. Don’t get too caught up in the rules. Lots of people will give you the rules to writing, but in my opinion, you just need to trust your inner voice. If you’ve got a story to tell, let it out. You can edit, fine tune, and consider those rules when you get to the editing stage. At the end of the day, it is your story to tell.

Describe yourself in three words
Worrier, dreamer, loner

What is your favorite character from your books? Of all time?
Oh, that’s easy. Rain Hawkins. She is my hero. I could never be as brave as she is. A few times, when I was writing her scenes, I was thinking, “What are you thinking, Rain? You’ve got to be kidding me. That’s too dangerous. Just go home and hide. Stay safe!” She is independent, capable, driven, positive, and brave. I couldn’t have her be too perfect, though, so I graciously shared one of my own flaws with her. I made her a worrier. But somehow, she can overcome her doubts and just go for it when the time is right. She was so much fun to create.

Any song or songs that could basically sum up the overall mood of your writing?
The Harmony Run Series is very intense, but the characters still manage to play around, tease, fall in love, and look on the bright side, even when they are constantly in real danger. A few songs by Lorde, specifically, Team and A World Alone, kept playing in my mind when I was working on this series.

Thank you so much, Sarah for stopping by and letting us get to know you, it has been fun!!

Sarah Elle Emm is the author of the HARMONY RUN SERIES, a young-adult fantasy and dystopian series, released in May 2012 by Winter Goose Publishing. (PRISMATIC, May 2012, OPALESCENT, February 2013, CHATOYANT, September 2014, NACREOUS, August 2015) Her debut fiction novel, MARRYING MISSY, was published by Bird Brain Publishing in October 2011. Sarah is a graduate of The University of Evansville, she has lived and worked in Mexico, Germany, England, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and has traveled extensively beyond. Sarah lives in Naples, Florida with her family. When she’s not walking the plank of her daughters’ imaginary pirate ship or snapping photos of Southwest Florida scenery, she is writing.

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