Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Interview with YA author K.D. Van Brunt

I’m featuring a special interview with K.D. Van Brunt today. He’s touring his debut young adult urban fantasy novel, Win the Rings with Goddess Fish Promotions.

During his tour, K.D. will be awarding a $50 Amazon or / gift card to one randomly chosen commenter. To be entered to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit other tour stops and enter there, too.

Blurb for Win the Rings:
Jace has been the property of the U.S. Army since they found out about her when she was five, and now she has become one of its most valuable weapons. But Jace is not the only one of her kind. Gray is one too, but with the help of his sister, he has spent most of his sixteen years hiding from the Army.

Now, the Army has found out about Gray and they cannot allow him to roam free. Operating on the theory that it takes one to catch one, Jace is sent out with a special ops squad to hunt Gray down. But Jace is not the only one pursuing Gray, and the competition is after her too. What ensues is a desperate chase through city after city as duty and honor collide with love and sacrifice.

Excerpt from Win the Rings:
“I’m Mark,” he says.
“Tina,” I blurt out before I know what I’m doing.
“Princess Tina from the kingdom of Berwick,” Mark says with a wolfish grin.
I can’t help myself.  I shoot him a flirtatious smile.  I’m about to tell him that he looks like Justin Bieber having a bad hair day, in a kind of blended compliment-insult thing, when Nia’s words crash into my head.
Gray, I think it’s him.
By Au Bon Pain.  He has a dark green trench coat on, but I saw a flash of the hoodie underneath.
“Shit,” I say out loud, grabbing the wheel back from Tina.  I toss the paper and bolt for the restaurant.
“Hey, wait a sec,” the Biebs shouts to me.
As I turn the corner of the newsstand, I hear Nia’s frantic words.
He’s pulling something from his coat.
I see him now.  He’s standing in front of a plate glass window looking in on a crush of people inside, sitting at tables and queued up behind counters to buy lunch.  He’s pulling back a slide on an automatic assault rifle, preparing to pump the first of a hundred rounds of bullets into the crowded restaurant.  There’s no time to find a policeman.  In seconds loony tunes will be shooting.
We have to stop him, I say, and then I see Nia sprinting at him like me.
We both slam into him at the same time just as he’s leveling the gun to fire, and all three of us tumble to the hard, icy concrete.  I’m lying on my side facing Peter Eklend and he’s on his side facing me.  I’ve wrenched my shoulder and it’s too painful for me to sit up.  Peter Eklend shoots a glare of such hatred at me that I flinch.  Then I see that he still has the gun in his hands.  Nia is on her feet now, but before she can do anything, Peter pulls the trigger.  The explosion brings a sudden quietness to my ears, as if I’ve just gone deaf, and I feel a stabbing hot pain in my chest, as if I’ve been impaled on a red-hot fireplace poker.  I cough, sending a froth of blood spraying out of my mouth.  I need to breathe, but my lungs aren’t working.
Then my ears start working and I hear Nia scream.  Others are now wrestling with Peter.  Another shot goes off.  It doesn’t hit me. 
Gray.  Shift.  You have to shift!
I’m losing consciousness.  I can’t breathe.  My lungs are filling with blood.  This body is dying.  I can feel it.  I’m seconds away from the last, icy embrace of death.  I have to get out of this body, leave it behind and flee to another body—a healthy, unwounded body.  I need to shift now.  With one last shred of will power, just as awareness winks out, I shift back to me.
A crowd has gathered around me by now, and I hear a collective gasp when they see me shimmer and change.  I’m lying on the ground in a sticky, syrupy pool of blood, but I’m back in my own body now—my own bullet-free body.  Nia is immediately at my side pulling me to my feet.   Some of Tina’s blood stains my pants and sweatshirt as I roll away from Peter Eklend.  I’ve shifted away from death in the nick of time.  A strange exhilaration causes my skin to tinkle and a rush of adrenalin floods through me.  I’ve evaded eternity by mere nanoseconds.
Run!  Nia says, bringing me back to the moment.

What do you think you’re really good at?
In terms of my writing, I like my characters.  I feel what they feel, I sense what they sense, I hurt when they hurt.  It defines my writing.  I also like my plotting.  I try to keep it tight and focused.

What do you think you’re really bad at?
Patience.  In my writing and everything else, I want results now.  I find it hard to sit back and wait, but sometimes that’s what you have to do.

Is your life anything like it was two years ago?
In many ways, yes.  The one big difference is that it was about two years ago that I started this book series, and every ounce of free time goes into that now.

Have you ever had an imaginary friend?
No.  I missed out on that one.

Do you have any phobias?
Heights and spiders.  I can’t  watch scenes in movies involving people teetering on the edge of a high building, and I avoid all spider movies.

Ever broken any bones?
Yes, but all during a period of excessive clumsiness.  In 4th grade, I broke my wrist playing football on our front lawn, in 5th grade I broke my nose running into a post (that took a while to live down), and in 6th grade I broke my thumb playing baseball.

K.D. Van Brunt has been writing professionally his entire career and has published an extensive list of nonfiction works. Win the Rings is his first fiction book. When not writing, he reads and listens to audiobooks during his daily drive through the sea of gridlock that is commuting in and out of Washington, DC. A long time resident of Maryland, he can often be found tromping around the many civil war battle sites in the area. To find out more about K.D. Van Brunt, including bonus content relating to Win the Rings, check out his website and follow him on Twitter.

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Anonymous said...

Very engaging excerpt!


Rita Wray said...

Great excerpt, thank you.


bn100 said...

That was a nice interview said...

Loved the blurb!

Mary Preston said...

A lovely interview.