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Sunday 24 March 2013

$25 Giveaway + Author Interview w/ Jennings Wright (Ixeos)

Welcome to my stop in the Ixeos tour hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer. Today we have Author,  Jennings Wright here with an Interview and exclusive content: "Top 5 Things we didn't know about Ixeos". I'd like to thank Jennings for taking the time out of her busy schedule to visit my stop of the tour.  You also have the chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card OR Paypal Cash, courtesy of Host and Author, so stay till the end for your chance to win! Please follow the remaining stops, tour schedule can be found here

About The Author

Jennings Wright

Born and raised in Florida, Jennings spent her early years reading anything she could get her hands on, when she wasn't spending time in and on the water. She won a prize in the 6th grade for her science fiction stories.

Jennings attended the University of Tampa, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science, and almost enough credits for B.A.s in both English and History. She attended graduate school at the University of West Florida, studying Psychology. She spent time over the years doing various kinds of business writing, editing, and teaching writing, but mostly having and raising her family, homeschooling her children, owning and running a business with her husband, and starting a non-profit.

Thanks to a crazy idea called NaNoWriMo Jennings got back into creative writing in 2011 and hasn't stopped since. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, also a business owner and writer, and two children, and travels extensively with her family, and her non-profit in Uganda.

Author Interview

When you were in 6th grade you won an award for your sci-fi story; if you were to write a blurb about it today, what would it be? 

When a fierce group of Martians set their sights on conquering Jupiter, their only hope lies in Project X. Led by the mighty Colonel Marztent and his intrepid second-in-command Xavyesh, the Martians race to war against the ten-foot-tall Jupiterarians. Will Project X work? Will the Martians win? If so, can they defeat Earth, the next planet on their list?

(Wow I really like the sound of that blurb...really want to read it now) 

What was your inspiration for Ixeos? 

My daughter and I were kayaking one day last summer and stopped on a little barrier island in Beaufort, NC called Carrot Island. We walked up over the dunes and there was a perfectly round pond hidden away back there. It was filled with birds, including a flock of mallards. As we were talking, the flock of ducks really just disappeared. We walked all around the pond and couldn't find them! After that, we started texting about possible places the ducks went. After a few weeks of silly ideas, I realized I'd hit on the idea for a novel.

(Did you end up finding out where the ducks went?)

Is Ixeos much different to the other books you have previously written?

Yes, it's completely different! I have published two "cozy" action adventure treasure hunts and a Christian historical romance. I have written a dystopian screenplay, but it didn't have science fiction or fantasy elements; it's more a straight thriller. So other than the dystopian elements, IXEOS was totally new territory for me!

What made you choose Paris as the setting for Ixeos?

I found out about the real-life tunnels under Paris while reading a National Geographic magazine in a doctor's waiting room. There really are almost 200 miles of tunnels under the city! There's even a whole subculture of "cataphiles" that use them (illegally). The whole thing fascinated me, from the graffiti on the walls to the old wine cellars and bank vaults to the large reservoirs and the abandoned bones. When we were playing around with all the stories about "where the ducks went," it occurred to me that they could go to these tunnels and lead the McClellands with them.

(I've never actually heard of these underground tunnels, that sounds very interesting as it'd be filled with history!) 

If you were taken to Ixeos (an alternative world to Earth) and could only take 3 items what would it be and why?

Batteries and a powerful flashlight, because there is no power on Ixeos except where the Firsts live. Snack food! After 35 years of alien rule, there aren't any chips or candy that haven't expired. I think I'd really crave gum, too, and probably soda. That's all one item, right? A photo of my family. All the outsiders are lured to Ixeos (brought by Landon via the ducks), so when they get there they only have the clothes on their back. Having a photo of my family would be priceless!

If you were to be stranded on an island and can only have one of your characters from Ixeos accompany you, who would it be and why?

Landon, definitely, because he has magic and could get us off the island! And even if he couldn't get me off for some reason, he could come and go himself and bring supplies, a radio, a boat, or something helpful.

Do you feel that your degree in Psychology and Political Science has helped with being a writer? If so, how?

I majored in both of those things because at heart I'm a people watcher and I like to know what makes people tick, listen to how they talk, and watch what they do. So it's a bit of a chicken or the egg question, really. The things that interest me led to those majors, but those majors reinforced the things that interest me!

Your husband is also a writer; do you ever bounce ideas or consult each other on your projects? 

He writes political non-fiction, so I help him more than he helps me. We do have an idea for a screenplay that we may write one day, which would be a political thriller. We always say, "In our spare time." You know what that means! All that said, I do tell him my story ideas, and he is a huge cheerleader.

Tell us a little bit about your non-profit organization?

Ten Eighteen works in Uganda. I started it in late 2008, and didn't really know what it would do. I just had some vague ideas. Then I reconnected with an old friend who lives in Uganda and has 13 Ugandan children (plus 4 Ukranian children and 2 natural children!), and that started my visits there. I work mostly with women and children, in the slums of Kampala as well as in Jinja and a tiny village called Bukaleba. We sponsor kids for school fees, do micro-business grants to women, pay a couple of social workers, pay some rents for elderly and disabled children, feed 30 homeless street kids dinner every night, sponsor a few orphans, and are building a primary school We've also done a basketball camp. And we pay all the fuel for Hospice Jinja. Every time we go we have a party for our kids and women in Namuwongo (the slums), which is always a blast - we feed them a good meal, give out candy, find out what they're up to, and give out friendship bracelets made by friends. We tell them that, when they look at the bracelet, they'll know someone made it because they love them, and that they're always thinking about them. I always wear friendship bracelets made by young Ugandan friends for the same reason.

(That's very generous of you Jennings. It seems like your efforts are gratefully received. It sounds like such hard work, but I'm sure the gratification at the end far outweighs the work)

3 Alternative Careers you'd choose if you weren't a writer and why?

I've only been a published writer since July 2012, so I've already had several careers. Obviously, the nonprofit is one. I love to bake, and I make killer cheesecake and key lime pie, so that would be a good choice. Or a charter boat captain. I grew up on boats in Florida and that was actually "what I wanted to be when I grew up."

(Cheesecake and Key Lime Pie...just reading about it is making me hungry. I love cakes and slices and anything sweet really.)

About The Book

Title: Ixeos
Author: Jennings Wright
Series: Ixeos Trilogy #1
Release Date: February 13, 2013
Publisher: CreateSpace 

Ixeos (Ixeos Trilogy, #1)

The McClellands are enjoying a lazy summer vacation at the beach when they are lured from our world into Ixeos, an alternate Earth. Finding themselves lost in a maze of tunnels under Paris and surrounded by strangers, they discover that they have been brought to Ixeos for one purpose: to take the planet back from humanoid aliens who have claimed it. With the aid of the tunnels and a mysterious man named Landon, the teens travel the world seeking the key that will allow them to free Darian, the long-imprisoned rebel leader. But the aliens aren't the only problem on Ixeos -- the McClellands have to deal with brutal gangs, desperate junkies, and a world without power, where all the technology is owned by the aliens, and where most of the population has been killed or enslaved. The worst part? There's no way home.

Top 5 Things We Didn't Know About IXEOS

1. When less than 1% of the world's population is left, there's a LOT of stuff lying around! Clothes, guns, gas, motorcycles, you name it.

2. There are about 300 outsiders who are helping about 3,000 rebels to fight about 100,000 aliens. How about those odds?

3. An EMP, depending on it's size and strength and type, can either temporarily disable or permanently damage all things that run on electricity. The ones used on Ixeos were huge and used all three types of pulses, leaving a lot of expensive junk around.

4. There are a LOT of man made tunnels! Because Ixeos is an alternate Earth, the geography is the same. It's amazing how many there are on both planets!

5. The human spirit can't be crushed, even by unemotional humanoid aliens with a superior technology and Nazi-esque ideas on scientific research.

~ Giveaway ~


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