Friday, October 11, 2013

Fearless

Today's special guest is Chris O'Guinn. In his own words, he says:

I’ve been writing since I was fifteen, not that those stories will ever be allowed out of the dark hole I buried them in. I focused primarily on the Fantasy genre for the first two decades, occasionally diverting into modern fiction. In 2010, I embarked in a self-publishing career, focusing on the young adult novel genre. When I’m not writing, I am contributing to TheBacklot.com, a gay entertainment website.


You can follow me on Facebook and you can keep up to date with my works via Lightbane.com.


AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

Was Justin's character based on anyone you've known in real life?

Justin is largely based on me, which was entirely accidental. I was extremely introverted in high school, and full of bitterness and teenage angst. I was also really isolated and untrusting. I found it easy to pull on a lot of my life to build Justin’s world. Even the school he went to was based on my high school. And the relationship with his parents was very similar to what I had with my parents.

Can you tell us a little about how Justin became such a cynic?

Oh, some meta info for your readers, the sort of thing that wasn’t in the book. The book does make it clear that he’s had a lot of friends drop him. Having his trust betrayed so many times made him very suspicious of people and their motives. What wasn’t in the book was what brought about his parents’ divorce. His father made some really risky investments which bankrupted them. Justin went from a lower middle-class life to being quite poor. The acrimony between his parents that came about from this and the inevitable divorce gave him a jaded view of relationships. This all added up to make him quite cynical.

Tell us about Liam and how he and Justin meet and/or become friends.

Liam is an observer. He noticed Justin, saw how cut off he was, but he also saw how Justin was kind to those around him. He asked Justin for help with his schoolwork as a way to get to know him better, but that didn’t work out very well. He ran smack into Justin’s defenses—solid stone walls surrounded by a moat filled with man-eating sharks. However, as much as Justin didn’t want to try another friendship, he was lonely. So he agreed to help Liam with his schoolwork and very quickly found that Liam was a great guy to know.

Is there a message you'd like for this book to convey to the reader?

There are two main messages. The first is that you can’t let fear rule you. This is easier said than done, I know. But really think about it. Life is so fleeting. You need to get everything you can out of every single day.
The other message is how foolish it is to judge others without knowing them. In society and especially in high school, it’s so easy to see a way a person dresses, the way they look and assume you know their story. But you will almost always find out that you’re wrong.



ABOUT THE BOOK

At fifteen, Justin is already a cynic. He’s experienced too many betrayals, too many disappointments. He doesn’t want to be involved in anything. He doesn’t want to be popular. He doesn’t even want friends anymore, since they only ever let you down. He just wants to get through high school and the best way he can come up with to accomplish that goal is to simply be invisible.

His self-imposed exile from high school life is threatened when Liam, the scary stoner, reaches out to him. What starts out as a strange and unsettling encounter with the unnerving,  pot-smoking teenager evolves into the sort of friendship that changes the course of a person’s life.

But as Liam drags the reluctant Justin out of his shell, Liam’s own secret is revealed.

Fearless is the story of the myriad shades of love, how to find one’s courage and the transformative power of friendship.


AN EXCERPT

“Man, I can’t believe we’re stuck at home instead of at the Homecoming Dance.”

“Trust me, this is better,” I told him. “At least for me. My dance moves are outlawed in twelve states.”

Liam cracked a smile. “I got to see that.”

I frowned at him. “No.”

Liam’s eyes lit up with mischief. “Uh uh, you can’t keep claiming to be bad at everything without proof. You have to show me.”

“I really don’t.”

He went over to my laptop and called up the music player. “Hmm, let’s see, what do we have for playlists? ‘Life sux?’ ‘Love sux?’ I’m sensing a theme here.”

“At least I’m consistent.”

“True. Hey, ‘OMG the 80’s’ I think we have a winner.”

“I’m not dancing,” I told him.

I thought my tone was pretty firm. That didn’t prevent him from yanking me to my feet, though, with a strength I didn’t think he had. As the familiar beat of one of my favorite classics warbled out of my laptop’s crappy speakers, I folded my arms and backed away from the crazy guy with the infectious smile.

“Come on, feel the beat,” Liam coaxed.

I just couldn’t hang onto my glower, not with him gyrating and flailing like a fish out of water. It didn’t seem possible, but somehow he was actually as bad or worse than me.

“Oh girls just want to have fun,” he sang—badly—and danced (if one could call it that) over to me.

“You really don’t get the whole ‘no’ concept, do you?”


LEAVE A COMMENT - AND WIN A GIFT!

Chris will be awarding a $100 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. 
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. 

11 comments:

Natasha said...

Thanks for the excerpt and the chance to win!
Sounds like a great read!!
natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

Mary Preston said...

I do love that excerpt. It makes me smile.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

MomJane said...

This is a complex problem. It sounds as though you have it well handled in this story.

p.m.terrell said...

Thanks so much for joining us today! Your book sounds really interesting. Best of luck on your book tour.

Andra Lyn said...

You know, I think a lot of authors end up basing characters off themselves. It's hard not to, you've known yourself for your whole life!

andralynn7 At gmail DOT com

Rita said...

Nice interview and I agree. It's not good to judge others. You can't judge a book by it's cover.

Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

Chris OGuinn said...

thank you for hosting

Anonymous said...

I'm really eager to read this!

vitajex(at)Aol(dot)com

bn100 said...

Informative interview

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Sierra McBride said...

Dancing to 'girls just wanna have fun'? I'm totally in !!
<3

stamper_sierra [at] yahoo [dot] com