Saturday, 2 November 2013

Cracked Review and Interview

Cracked By Eliza Crewe

Meet Meda. She eats people.

Well, technically, she eats their soul. But she totally promises to only go for people who deserve it. She’s special. It’s not her fault she enjoys it. She can’t help being a bad guy. Besides, what else can she do? Her mother was killed and it’s not like there are any other “soul-eaters” around to show her how to be different. That is, until the three men in suits show up.

They can do what she can do. They’re like her. Meda might finally have a chance to figure out what she is. The problem? They kind of want to kill her. Before they get the chance Meda is rescued by crusaders, members of an elite group dedicated to wiping out Meda’s kind. This is her chance! Play along with the “good guys” and she’ll finally figure out what, exactly, her ‘kind’ is.

Be careful what you wish for. Playing capture the flag with her mortal enemies, babysitting a teenage boy with a hero complex, and trying to keep one step ahead of a too-clever girl are bad enough. But the Hunger is gaining on her.

The more she learns, the worse it gets. And when Meda uncovers a shocking secret about her mother, her past, and her destiny… she may finally give into it.

Claire's Review 4 out of 5 Stars

Wow this book was totally different from what i was expecting! Told in the first person narrative of Meda. This book reminded me a bit of the tv show dexter in the fact that Meda was killing the bad guys! Meda is an interesting character and very witty with plenty of sarcasm thrown in and i loved her! she was totally different to the characters i have read lately.

The book is very well written and fast paced to keep you hooked with an original storyline! what surprised me is how dark the book was. It included a lot more violence than i expected and i would not recommend to the younger YA readers. I cant wait to read the next book in the series!

A big thank you to Strange Chemistry and the lovely Eliza for providing me with an ARC copy of cracked in exchange for an honest review.

Author Bio

6559113Eliza Crewe always thought she’d be a lawyer, and even went so far as to complete law school. But as they say, you are what you eat, and considering the number of books Eliza has devoured since childhood, it was inevitable she’d end up in the literary world. She abandoned the lawyer-plan to instead become a librarian and now a writer.

While she’s been filling notebooks with random scenes for years, Eliza didn’t seriously commit to writing an entire novel until the spring of 2011, when she and her husband bought a house. With that house came a half-hour commute, during which Eliza decided she needed something to think about other than her road-rage. Is it any surprise she wrote a book about a blood-thirsty, people-eating monster?

Eliza has lived in Illinois, Edinburgh, and Las Vegas, and now lives in North Carolina with her husband, her hens, her angry, talking, stuffed dwarf giraffe, and a sweet, mute, pantomiming bear. She likes to partially-complete craft projects, free-range her hens, and take long walks. Cracked is her first novel

Author Interview

What inspired you to write your first book?

A commute! In 2010, my husband and I bought a house and with it came a half-hour drive in rush hour twice a day.  I needed something to think about so my head didn’t explode from road rage--I think that’s why my main character is so bloodthirsty!

Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t think I have a specific style, but I do tend to favor characters and dialogue over world-building and descriptions.

How did you come up with the title?

It’s a word my main character repeats several times in the first chapter, and since it can mean both damaged and crazy, I felt it fit. I didn’t really mean for it to be the final title, but it stuck.  I proposed changing it to People-Eating Monster Girl, as I figured that would save me a lot of summarizing, but the Editors-That-Be nixed it (probably for the better).

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 

It’s about friendship and sacrifice, mistakes and forgiveness, and above-all, making your own choices.  Despite being a book about a people-eating monster girl, Cracked has been accused of being downright fuzzy.

How much of the book is realistic?

Not very much. The size of the population of Sylva, North Carolina if you can trust Wikipedia.  There are also a few parts dealing with the history of the Knight’s Templar that are rooted in truth.

Are your novels based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

No--my life is far too boring!

Which of your novels have influenced your life the most?

Ha, well I’ve only written two, so it’s not hard to pick! I’d say my previous book because it was the one that made me realize--hey, I can do this.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Hmmmm. Probably Franny Billingsley. Chime is absolutely brilliant and one of my new favorites.  I’d give a tooth to write as beautifully and as cleverly as she can.

What book are you reading now?

Right now I’m reading The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson. I loved the first two so have been dying to get my paws on this one. I also have a copy of Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein that’s been burning a spot on my nightstand. Although I LOVED Code Name Verity, I’m not sure I’m ready for the intense dose of heart-hurt it’s sure to deliver!

What are your current projects?

Right now I’m working on the sequel to Cracked, but on the back-burner I’d like to go back and revise my other manuscript. I think I’ve learned a lot since I wrote it, and I love the characters too much to let them go just yet. I also plotted out a thriller about a secret society for geniuses that I’d like to start working on.

Do you see your writing as a career?

Ha, no. I see a career as something that pays the bills!

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I see something I want to change every time I open it. There’s always room for improvement.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

No, I don’t remember. It’s always just kinda been there.  I have notebooks filled with random scenes going back to middle school. I can say I’ve always read a lot, pretty much anything I could get my hands on.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Oh yes. For starters, my grammar is pretty terrible (my Penguin copy-editor quit right after finishing my book. Coincidence? I think not.). I also have to be in the right mood to write, which is frustrating because it’s not something I can force no matter how close the deadline looms. I still make myself write, but it’s all just rubbish I’ll have to redo later.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

No, thank goodness. I have a new(ish) baby, so couldn’t go far right now if I wanted to.

Who designed the covers?

Since I have two publishers (Penguin in India, and Strange Chemistry for the rest of the world), I have two covers. The Penguin cover was designed in-house by their creative director Gavin Morris, and the Strange Chemistry cover was designed by Dominic Harman.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Reining in my main character’s voice. She’s a little crazy, especially in the very beginning, and there was a fine line to walk between making her sound a little insane without making her too off-putting to readers.  Plus, Meda is an unreliable narrator so there were two levels to everything she did. I had to express to the reader both what she felt and what she thought she felt--if that makes any sense!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Make friends. I wouldn’t have gone any further in my publishing journey were it not for all the cool writing people I’ve met.  They’re the ones who read rough drafts and led me to all sorts of resources to make my writing better, how I found my agent, and even how I got my first publishing deal with Penguin in India (that full story is here if you’re curious).  I suspect some of these new friends are ones I’ll keep for the rest of my life. I certainly hope so!

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Just that I hope you enjoy reading Cracked as much as I enjoyed writing it!