Blog Tour: Scorched Tour Recap

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A few weeks ago I got an email from Sourcebooks Fire asking me if I would like to be a part of the Scorched blog tour, and of course the answer was yes! I'm not so good at interviews and whatnot so I offered to recap the Scorched tour stop at the Stonebriar B&N since I was planning on attending anyway. So head below the cut for a recap of the event with Mari Mancusi with bonus guest Sherry Thomas and a giveaway!

Scorched by Mari Mancusi
September 3, 2013
Sourcebooks Fire
Don’t leave me here... It starts with a whisper. At first Trinity thinks she’s going crazy. It wouldn’t be a big surprise—her grandpa firmly believes there’s a genuine dragon egg in their dusty little West Texas town. But this voice is real, and it’s begging for her protection. Even if no one else can hear it...

He’s come from a future scorched by dragonfire. His mission: Find the girl. Destroy the egg. Save the world.

He’s everything his twin brother Connor hates: cocky, undisciplined, and obsessed with saving dragons.

Trinity has no idea which brother to believe. All she has to go by is the voice in her head—a dragon that won’t be tamed.

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
September 17, 2013
Balzer + Bray 
Summary:It all began with a ruined elixir and an accidental bolt of lightning…

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's being told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the greatest mage tyrant the world has ever known. A suicide task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death.

Prince Titus of Elberon has sworn to protect Iolanthe at all costs but he's also a powerful mage committed to obliterating the Bane to avenge the death of his family—even if he must sacrifice both Iolanthe and himself to achieve his goal.

But Titus makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the Bane closing in, he must choose between his mission and her life.

This event was moderated by Gwen of Fresh Fiction

Q1. Introduce yourselves.
Mari Mancusi (MM): Scorched is Terminator with dragons. I thought robots were dumb so I went with dragons. There are identical twin brothers: Connor is a dragon hunter, Caleb thinks dragons can be used to save the world. Trinity's grandfather owns museum and buys egg. Trin thinks it's a fake until government agents raid the museum.
Sherry Thomas (ST): The Burning Sky is a reverse Harry Potter meets The Matrix. There's a prophecy, and my boy's life has been ruled by it because he will train a mage. He is the prince of his realm, but he is a puppet. He's sent to 19th century Eaton in England. He finds that the mage is a girl, which is funny because Eaton is, of course, an all-boys school. The boy has what's called the Crucible, which has stories where people can train. So if you want to fight dragons, you could go inside Sleeping Beauty to fight a dragon.
MM: But not kill the dragon, right?
ST: Well, if you were to die inside the Crucible, you wouldn't actually die so if you went back in the story, the dragon would be back in the same place waiting for you.

Q2. Balancing action and kissing. Really fun and outlandish world with romantic element. How hit right balance.
ST: Some reviews say they love everything, others say not enough romance, others say it's a romance with fantasy elements. There's lots of sexual tension. I like my romances to be based on almost antagonistic elements. The boy has to betray the girl to keep her; he has to be amoral. They do kiss, but every time they do, the tension rachets up.
MM: There's a joke in Scorched about how the guy, Kyle Reese, in Terminator found time for romance! Since the brothers are twins, Trinity isn't trying to determine which guy is hotter, but which philosophy does she agree with. ...There is kissing.

Q3. How many books in Scorched?
MM: It was sold as a trilogy, but I may write more. Blood Coven was a trilogy, but I wrote eight! It would be fun to do a spinoff about the dragon apocalypse.

Q4. I like that Emmy is an actual character in the book.
MM: There is dragon cam. Emmy has a scene in her pov. It was interesting to do. She really is the main character. It's actually her story. I love her relationship with Trinity, like a sister or mother, not romantic, obviously.

Q5. Mari, you've done vampires, now dragons. How do you keep them separate?
MM: There are eight books in Blood Coven so I got vampired out. I'm glad to do dragons. Blood Coven is a little slapsticky, kind of like Buffy. Scorched is humorous, but not like that.

Q6. Sherry, how did you research the historical aspects for Burning Sky?
ST: I read books about Eaton. It's produced 19 prime ministers, and Prince Harry and Prince William attended as well. I read many books, but I still didn't understand all the customs. Some words I couldn't use. Younger boys were like servants and were called fags. Upperclassmen were called fag masters. So obviously I had to leave those out.

Q7. So you have to be conscious of the modern world while writing.
MM: You have to make them your own. You pick the elements you like, but they have to be different from what's out there.
ST: I made the magical world modern, not medieval. The boy has his laboratory and makes his potions, and girl wonders who does that anymore.

Q8. Sherry, you also write romance. How did you switch from that to a young adult fantasy?
ST: I didnt switch; they're on parallel tracks. A ya publisher called my agent after reading my book saying my voice could work well in ya. My agent forwarded the email, but it went unanswered. Then they emailed again later. My agent said it's unusual for ya publisher to pursue an adult writer. One day, I walked in costco and the line "on the night I was born, stars fell" came to me. I went home and researched meteor showers. There was one in the 1860's so if I wrote in the 1880's, my character would be about sixteen, and I went from there.

Q9. What did you read as a kid or teen?
MM: VC Andrews, Stephen King, Anne McCaffrey, robin mckinley. I went through a stage when I was pretentious, only read James Joyce, Ayn Rand. Eventually, I got back to genre fiction. I realized you can have fun with reading. Not that literary fiction isnt fun; I dare anyone to not call Ulysses fun!
 ST: Martial art epics. It's a genre is called wuxia. These are the books I was reading. It's our fantasy genre.

Audience questions:
Q10. Mari, why dragons?
MM: I always liked dragons growing up. Deadly, beautiful, awesome. Plenty of dragons in literature, but they don't clog the publishing world. I like the bond, the psychic bond between girl and dragon. And I read Game of Thrones. Daenerys is awesome, but she's not in the book enough so I wrote my own.

Q11. Sherry, why reverse Harry Potter? Was it the boarding school aspect?
ST: I honestly don't remember. It was so long ago. Boarding school is a great environment. My girl, her life has been difficult. She's slightly repressed, but when she's her boy alter ego, she's sarcastic and funny. I never cared for cross dressing, but apparently I do. I like a girl doing a boy's voice.

Q12. Young adult started of as a tiny shelf, now it's such a large section. Who do you read?
MM: Marie Lu. I loved Legend. Haven't read Prodigy yet, but I can't wait. Cassandra Clare. I like her historical series Infernal Devices better than The Mortal Instruments, even though there's no Jace. If there was Jace, it would be better.
ST: Life As We Knew It. Gripping and realistic. The Queen's Thief series. It's a fantasy. It switches from first person to third person. Most ass-kicking romance I've ever read. I don't have the guts to write it and I'm considered a risk taker. It's a jaw-dropping setup. It's by Megan Wayland Turner.
MM: Cory Doctorow. For the Win. I read it after I wrote Gamer Girl, but I really enjoyed it.

Q13. Novellas and bonus stories have really become popular in publishing right now. Would you ever consider doing a novella with your current series? (my question, obviously)
MM: I have a deal that I can't write in the Scorched world without my publisher, which I understand. It's a way to keep authors from turning out 10,000 words for free. This way, I'm still focusing on the actual books. I'd do it if they asked. I have written some, before I wrote the novel. They're just background stories that I needed to know.
ST: Nobody has asked yet so I don't have an opinion, but if they asked, I'd probably say yes.

14. Sherry, how many books will be in the Burning Sky series?
ST: It's a trilogy. The next one will release next year around this time, provided I turn in the third and fourth drafts on time.

15. How do you feel about book to movie adaptations?
MM: You have to consider them sepearate entities. Apples and oranges. Things can be considered great in writing that won't translate to film. You have to remember that it's someone else's interpretation, not the author's. The Hunger Games is better than many. I like seeing the future world, the capital, behind-the-scenes of the game, but there wasn't an emotional impact. It was so quick that you don't know why she cared about Rue. It felt rushed.
Gwen: The films don't do as well, but tv shows do well.
MM: Tv means more time, and they do do more well. Like with Game of Thrones. Of course, you see different points of view that aren't in the book.
ST: The books you love don't necessarily make the movies you love and vice versa. The books you don't love may be movies you do. I didn't love Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban , but I loved the movie because it was done by a master.

16. Mari, will there be more dragon pov in the other novels?
MM: If I need to. I want a reason to do it. Gratuitous dragon pov! I pick which pov conveys the scene of the story I need to tell. I don't want it to be cheesy but it can pull on your heartstrings. Emmy can talk to Trinity, but she doesn't think like a human. You know what? You've challenged me. I'm going to do it now.

17. You have a character named Connor. In Terminator, there's a character named John Connor. Is there a connection?
MM: I make my characters self-aware. It's like in zombie movies, the characters often don't know that the shambling things are zombies, even though if we saw one come in here, we'd all know what it is.

I found Scorched to be a mixture of Terminator plus Eragon plus Reign of Fire (great dragon movie featuring Christian Bale, Matthew McConnaughey, and Gerard Butler) plus Daenerys from Game of Thrones plus some elements of Dinotopia and even a dash of Inception. Um, you should read it. I really like Trinity as a protagonist. She's strong and stubborn, but she's also fiercely loyal and she's a thinker. She pays attention. She knows when someone is feeding her a bunch of crap, and I love it. Like Mari was talking about, how characters in zombie movies ignore the obvious, well, Trinity isn't like that. She can put two and two together. I also really like her lovable and bumbling grandpa. He's a sweetie, even if he doesn't always think rationally. I do pity both Connor and Caleb. Both have had hard lives, and both sacrifice so much for the causes that they believe in only to realize that neither choice is best. It's hard to fight against your brother, and it's hard to come to the realization that you've been wrong. They're both so prideful that I know they have a lot of soul-searching to do ahead as they try to figure out something new to believe in. My good friend Alex of Peace, Love, and Fangirl is firmly Teem Caleb so if you are too, go talk to her about that. However, I'm pretty firmly entrenched in Camp Connor. For once, I'm into the broody boy, not the more boisterous one. I know. I'm shocked too. This novel is fun and action-packed. You, like each of the characters, will find yourself facing the choice of which side is right. Are any of them right? You'll have to decide.
4 1/2stars!

Prizes: Two winners. One will receive a signed hardcover of Scorched. One will receive an ARC of The Burning Sky (sorry, I wasn't told Sherry was going to be there or it would be signed!). This giveaway is open to residents of the US & Canada. Please read my full giveaway policy, listed in the Site & Review Policies tab above. Any entries not in accordance will by disqualified. Good luck!

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  1. I would rather be a powerful mage. While dragons are cool and all I don't want to be responsible for the start of an apocalypse. Can I be a powerful dragon in a foretold prophecy? That would be a win win!

    1. You can absolutely be a powerful prophesy-foretold dragon, Sarah! Great choice!

  2. As cool as dragons are, I'd rather be a powerful mage as foretold in a prophecy. An apocalypse doesn't sound very fun! Maybe as a mage I could do some good for the world!

    1. I dunno. All that pressure! I don't know if I could handle all the fine print of a prophecy. I read Suzanne Collins's series The Underland Chronicles, and being foretold about seems like it's a rough deal!

  3. Pretty sure I would rather be a mage as foretold in prophecy. I mean, really, who wants to be the one responsible for starting ANY apocalypse?

    1. Well, it's seemed to work out very well for Imagine Dragons! :P

  4. I am going to step out of the box and say I would like to be a dragon mage - breathing fire and magic - booo-ya! I may start an apocalypse, but I will also be able to bring the pesky folk under control.

  5. Fallon Vaughn - For sure starting a Dragon Apocalypse cause it would mean dragons were real and that would trump everything.

    1. Nice! I like that you're not afraid of the scary things!

  6. Start the apocalypse! Sorry, people-who-I-might-have-killed. I mean...I just really, really like dragons. THEY ARE SO AMAZING.

    1. Yeah! Way to be, well, I was going to say unapologetic, but you kind of apologized so....way to be super team dragon!

  7. I think I'd start the dragon apocalypse because I just want to see dragons. It might end in disaster but at least there would be dragons lol.

  8. I would rather start a Dragon Apocalypse! Because well dragons! Duh!!! I have a serious obsession with them!!

    1. Well, here's to hoping that the apocalypse doesn't come, but it would be pretty awesome to have dragons around!

  9. ohhh definitely a powerful mage!! Imagine what I could do!! plus no apocalypse... that's a lot of guilt to shoulder! :)