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Jan 8, 2013

Q&A with Alexandra Monir + Giveaway


Alexandra Monir, author of Timeless and Timekeeper (out today!), stops by Books Over Boys to give insight into her work day, when she's busy bringing those memorable characters like Michele and Philip to life! She also shares tips for aspiring writers.

What is a typical writing day like for you?
Every day is different! When I’m on a deadline I can be crazy-disciplined, sitting at the computer with my headphones on for long hours, totally in the zone. But most days are a much more balanced combination of researching what I’m writing about, spending a few hours writing or revising, and taking meetings and doing business-y stuff. The only constants in my day-to-day writing process are my MacBook Pro and my headphones! (I always listen to music while I write.)

What are your tips on writing first drafts?
Give yourself a deadline and stick to it. That’s been the biggest challenge for me, because I often never feel like I’m really “done” and it’s so easy to spend a month obsessing over a single chapter. But the most important thing is to finish your stories, so that’s why giving yourself a firm deadline on your first draft is crucial. It’ll get you to finish what you started and move on to the revising stage, instead of having an unfinished first draft haunting you! To that end, definitely don’t edit while you write—save all your editing for after you’ve finished the first draft. This way you keep moving forward without your inner critic getting in the way. Then, once you have a finished first draft, you can take an axe to the manuscript and revise and edit to your heart’s delight! That’s my favorite part, and usually when the magic happens.

What are your top 3 tips for aspiring authors?
1. Read, read, read! Always have 1-2 books that you’re reading at any given time, and make sure to include an even mix of classics and current novels. Reading the classics is like taking a course in story and characters, taught by the masters. At the same time, you want to give just as much attention to the new releases, to see where literature is going and how writers are capturing today’s world (and often creating new worlds of their own).

2. Aim for at least an hour of writing five days a week. Practice makes all the difference in writing, and it’s what helps define your “voice.” Even if you don’t have a story or project you’re currently working on, spend that hour writing a journal entry, or a letter to a friend where you describe in detail something funny or cool that happened to you that day. When I was in school, I often kept diaries where I would write recaps of my day or week in narrative form, with dialogue and all. They’re pretty funny to read! But I know they really helped me develop my writing skills.

3. There are so many great writing blogs out there, where people share what they’ve learned along the way and offer really helpful suggestions for all aspects of the process, from drafting to editing. One of my favorites is YAHighway.

Timeless (Timeless, #1)Title: Timeless
Author: Alexandra Monir
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release date: January 11, 2011

When tragedy strikes Michele Windsor’s world, she is forced to uproot her life and move across the country to New York City, to live with the wealthy, aristocratic grandparents she’s never met. In their old Fifth Avenue mansion filled with a century’s worth of family secrets, Michele discovers a diary that hurtles her back in time to the year 1910. There, in the midst of the glamorous Gilded Age, Michele meets the young man with striking blue eyes who has haunted her dreams all her life – a man she always wished was real, but never imagined could actually exist. And she finds herself falling for him, into an otherworldly, time-crossed romance.

Michele is soon leading a double life, struggling to balance her contemporary high school world with her escapes into the past. But when she stumbles upon a terrible discovery, she is propelled on a race through history to save the boy she loves – a quest that will determine the fate of both of their lives.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Timeless Book Trailer

Timekeeper (Timeless, #2)Title: Timekeeper
Author: Alexandra Monir
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release date: January 8, 2013

This sequel to Timeless combines breathtaking romance with a tale of complex magic in a story that will have every reader believing in the transcendent power of love.

When Philip Walker appears as a new student in Michele Windsor's high school class, she is floored. He is the love she thought she lost forever when they said goodbye during her time travels last century. Overjoyed that they can resume the relationship they had a lifetime ago, Michele eagerly approaches him and discovers the unthinkable: he doesn't remember her. In fact, he doesn't seem to remember anything about the Philip Walker of 1910.

Michele then finds her father's journals, which tell stories of his time-traveling past. As she digs deeper, she learns about his entanglement with a mysterious and powerful organization called the Time Society and his dealings with a vengeful Windsor ancestor. Michele soon finds herself at the center of a rift over 120 years in the making, one whose resolution will have life-or-death consequences.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Timekeeper Book Trailer

About the Author:

Alexandra MonirAt the age of 25, author and recording artist Alexandra Monir released her debut young adult novel, Timeless. The book caught on quickly, with Amazon.com naming it one of the "Best Books of the Month" and Barnes & Noble featuring the title in their "Top Teen Picks". The book went on to hit the Barnes & Noble Teen Bestsellers chart, and has been featured in a variety of media, from popular teen websites to The Huffington Post. Alexandra wrote a companion short story eBook, Secrets of the Time Society, to set up the sequel, Timekeeper. The sequel was published on January 8, 2013.

Alexandra also integrated original music into the novels' pages, writing two songs for Timeless, which she recorded with producer Michael Bearden (musical director of Michael Jackson's last concert, This Is It). The songs were released on iTunes as a supplement to the book. A new song for Timekeeper was released on January 8, 2013, produced by Heather Holley and Rob Hoffman.

Alexandra currently resides in Los Angeles, California, where she is writing her next young adult novel for Random House.

Find Alexandra Monir online: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Timeless and Timekeeper Giveaway

1. One entry per household.
2. There will be four winners.
3. You must be 13 or older.
4. Giveaway is to US and Canada.
5. Contest ends at 9:01 p.m. Pacific on Friday, January 18th, 2013.
6. Winners will be chosen by Random.org through Rafflecopter and announced on January 19th in this post.
7. Winners will have 48 hours after notification to respond.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thanks so much for stopping by Books Over Boys! You're a fun little lollipop triple dipped in awesomesauce. ;p