Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Interview with YA author PJ Sharon

Today is a virtual blog tour stop for author PJ Sharon. She's touring her book, Waning Moon, Book One in The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael Trilogy.

Along with the tour, PJ will be awarding an e-book copy of "Thin Ice" to one commenter at each stop and a $25 Amazon or BN GC to a randomly drawn commenter. To be entered, leave an e-mail address with your comment. (Feel free to comment without an email too!) And if you'd like more chances to win, you can follow the tour and comment at other stops.

I knew I would be a writer someday when I was a little girl sitting on my grandpa’s knee and telling him stories that he would help me put on paper. By the time I entered kindergarten I could already read and write, and I couldn’t wait to look up new words every morning in the ginormous Webster’s Dictionary that sat in the book case at the bottom of our stairs. I would get on the bus and ask my friends, “Do you know what pulchritudinous means?” Between that and challenging the boys to push-up contests at the bus stop, I mostly sat alone on those bus rides to school. But that just meant I had more time to make up stories.

I went on to many other endeavors in life, including the world of figure skating, and later, martial arts. Though I was a mom at seventeen, I did manage to finish school and somehow made it through college, earning a degree as a Physical Therapy Assistant. After nineteen years, two sons, a divorce, and some fairly lean years, I found that it’s true what they say about life beginning at forty. It was about that time when I reunited with the love of my life and worked my way to owning my own business as a Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer, and Yoga Instructor—all of my favorite things. To make my bliss complete, I moved out to the Berkshires and found my muse waiting for me there amongst the lilacs and humming birds.
I now write Extraordinary Stories of an Average Teenage Life in order to share hope with others, especially teens, that no matter how tough life gets, there is always a bright spot waiting just around the corner.
Please tell us about your current release.
The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael is a trilogy that takes place in the year 2057. It’s about a sixteen-year-old girl and her brother who are the first generation of genetically engineered EVO children bred to survive the plagues that wipe out three quarters of the Earth’s population. Her genetic modification not only makes her resistant to the plague, but gives her the ability to heal quickly and gives her an intuitive ability to heal others—everyone except for Sam, the uncle to whom she owes her life.

Lily’s thirteen-year-old brother Zephron has a darker gift—the ability to take life with his touch, and Lily is determined to teach him to control it. Their mother died during Zeph’s birth and their father was killed by a government agency called the Industry, an organization trying to capture EVO kids to use them for their own means. Lily and Zeph live with their uncle in the North East Sector. Sam is a brilliant engineer determined to keep them hidden from the Industry. But when a young drifter named Will is caught in a trap on their property and Lily decides to heal him, their secret is bound to get out. Waning Moon, Book One in the trilogy, chronicles Lily’s journey with Will into the trading post of Albany, where she must find a cure for Sam’s cancer before it’s too late.

In the year 2057, in a post-apocalyptic world where a global shift threatens the remainder of the population with extinction, sixteen-year-old genetically enhanced Lily Charmichael has more immediate problems. Her uncle is dying of cancer and her healing abilities are ineffective against the blood ties that bind them. In order to find a cure, Lily must leave the protection of her quiet town and journey into the trading city of Albany, all while avoiding the Industry, an agency that would like nothing better than to study and exploit her abilities.

Seventeen-year-old Will Callahan has been searching for his father since severe storms blasted through the Midwest, killing his mother and sister. When he learns that his father may be in the city, he catches a ride with Lily, a girl who has come to his rescue more than once. As the two embark on a dangerous journey, the attraction between them grows. But the secrets Will’s keeping could put her in far more danger than traveling to the city with him, and if he was any kind of man, he would have told her to run the minute she found him.

What inspired you to write this book?
There is so much concern today about where our world is heading. People live in fear of what will happen if our economy collapses or we have a climactic event that changes the landscape of our planet. Kids and teens especially, are both terrified and fascinated by dystopian stories of post-apocalyptic survival, making books like The Hunger Games or Hollow Land part of the new pop culture. I live out in the Berkshire Hills in a small remote town with neighbors who love living in the woods as much as my husband and I do. We often get together and talk about current events and contemplate our survival strategies. We aren’t quite as bad as the Doomsday Preppers, but we do try to be prepared for whatever the future holds. Humans are the most adaptable creatures on the planet, and in keeping with my “hopefully ever after” philosophy, I wanted to show how we might survive if life as we know it took a turn for the worse.

Zeph crashed through the screen door at that moment. “Hey, Sam, look what I…” He froze and the grin fell from his face. “What’s wrong? What happened, Lily?”

I burst into tears again. Sam explained the situation briefly and Zeph lowered himself into the chair across the table from me, his face a calm mask. “Are you sure he’s dead?”

“Of course I am!” I sniffled and gained control, not wanting my weakness to show in front of my little brother. I’d spent my life being strong for him—protecting him. Now he reached out a hand. To anyone else, this could be deadly, but his touch had no effect on me, a fortunate side effect of our shared DNA, and I had spent countless hours teaching him to control the power that he could summon at will.

I squeezed his fingers and gazed into those black eyes. A sudden rush of peace washed over me. Zeph’s peace—the peace he felt whenever he took a life with his touch. Soothing warmth covered me like melted wax. I felt as if he were drawing the dead man’s energy off of me, trying to relieve me of my burden somehow. I pulled my hand away.

Zeph closed his fingers into a fist. “It’ll be okay. You had no choice. It was him or us.” His voice sounded calm, sure, eerily complacent. I shuddered.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’ve just completed the short story prequel to the trilogy. It’s called SOUL REDEMPTION, and will be part of the WG2E October Anthology. I wrote it from Zeph’s point of view and what it would be like for a thirteen-year-old boy to wrestle with the ability to kill with a touch. Add hormones and you’ve got big problems. Definitely a creepy short story fitting for October. Next up is Book Two of the trilogy, called Western Desert, where we get to share Lily and Will’s journey across a post-apocalyptic US to where the Industry is holding EVO children captive.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After I finished my first hundred thousand word manuscript, I danced around my living room singing, “I’m a writer, I’m a writer, badoodooodoododo!”

Hee hee, that sounds like the perfect time, and perfect way to celebrate!

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I consider both of my jobs pretty much full time. I sleep 6-7 hours a night, and other than that I’m either working 20-30 hours a week at my office as a massage therapist, teaching a yoga class, personal training with a client, or working on some element of the writing business. I do take time out to eat occasionally, exercise a few times a week, and pay some attention to my wonderfully supportive and adorable husband, but thankfully, he is very self-sufficient and seems happy to do the cooking while I type away. My kids are grown, so my time is my own these days, with very few distractions. It’s a good place to be.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
As much of a multi-tasker as I can be, I’m also a finisher. I love checking things off my to-do list and will go to great lengths to finish a project just to draw a line through that one thing. That includes staying up past midnight most nights so I don’t have to look at those items I didn’t get done. I’ve learned to be satisfied with completing only three of my tasks in a day. If I can do more, great, but if I’ve done the three at the top of the list, I feel like I’ve accomplished something.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A teacher…then a cop or a detective…then a doctor. Eventually I settled on being a Physical Therapist Assistant while I was raising my sons. It was a great job for me, but I’m very happy owning my own holistic practice these days.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I have always told my children that in order to be truly happy, you need to find something you love to do, get really good at it, find a way to make money doing it, and then make it serve the greater good. I think that’s pretty good advice for all of us.

Thank you so much for having me today!

My pleasure, PJ. Happy touring!

Here are ways to connect with PJ: 
Follow PJ on Twitter: @pjsharon
“Like” PJ on Facebook:
Find PJ and her books on Amazon’s Author Central page:
Follow PJ’s Promotional blog @
Follow PJ’s Tuesday Scribes blog @

And here are buy links for Waning Moon:


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

PJ Sharon said...

It's a pleasure to be here today, Lisa. I'd be happy to respond to any comments or questions from your readers. And for anyone who liked the excerpt above, you can read more about Lily's creepy little brother Zeph in SOUL REDEMPTION, the short story prequel to WANING MOON which is in the WG2E All for Indies anthologies Spooky Shorts edition. The first chapter is available on Wattpad.

The short story is about 40 pages long and sets up the trilogy from Zeph's point of view. It was loads of fun writing from the mind of a thirteen-year-old boy who is struggling with his dark side and trying to hold onto his humanity.

Roxy Boroughs said...

Can you talk a little about titles? What made you pick the titles you did? How important is a title?

Rita Wray said...

I enjoyed the interview, thank you.


PJ Sharon said...

Hi Roxy,Great question!

Titles are so important. I think they are a great way to show a thematic element to your book. For instance, WANING MOON is analogous to the fading of a time or cycle, a "time is running out" kind of theme. In this dystopian story, it suggests that time is running out for Lily's uncle as well as all of humanity. Book Two, WESTERN DESERT not only refers to the destination of Lily and Will's journey, but shows the desolation after three quarters of earth's population has been destroyed by plague. The third book will tentatively be called WINTER'S SUN--indicating kind of a juxtaposition of the harshness of winter (in this case the culmination of an epic confrontation/end), and the hope of tomorrow. In this trilogy, the sun and it's harmful radiation has not been a friend to the inhabitants of earth, but I want to show that even the extreme harshness of the sun can lead to something new and beautiful.

I chose to name the series THE CHRONICLES OF LILY CARMICHAEL because it made Lily the central character of the trilogy, which is told from her first person POV. I struggled with whether to use the "overutilized" "chronicles" theme, but it fit with both the tone and the genre of the story--again alluding to the "time" element of the trilogy, and it just sounded right to me:-).

PJ Sharon said...

Thanks for stopping in, Kit!

MomJane said...

I really loved the excerpt. This sounds like an awesome story.

PJ Sharon said...

Thanks, Jane. Zeph doesn't get a lot of on the page time, which is why I wrote SOUL REDEMPTION. He's an interesting character and understanding him helps us understand Lily better. I hope you'll pick up the anthology and read the short story. I think it makes WANING MOON that much more interesting.

Unknown said...

This sounds so interesting! I can't wait to read the whole trilogy. Thanks for sharing your work with us.


PJ Sharon said...

Hi, Karen. Thanks for popping in. I'm hoping to release Book Two next summer. In the meantime, I hope you'll read Waning Moon and let me know what you think.

Donna Coe-Velleman said...

Thanks Lisa and PJ. Great interview.

Besides enjoying the excerpt, I also found your life's travel interesting and inspiring.

Mary Preston said...

The future is uncertain. I love getting glimpses into future possibilities.