Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Author Interview: Laekan Zea Kemp, author of Breathing Ghosts

Happy Wednesday all! I'm hoping your week has gone smoothly so far and now you're looking forward to sailing into the latter half of it. To aid that transition, I have a wonderful author to spotlight!

Please welcome Laekan Zea Kemp, author of Breathing Ghosts to the blog!

She is a winding cosmos, bleeding and bursting into night. She is a dream. She is dead.

River has just lost the one thing that matters most to him—Nia—and all she's left behind is a pile of scribbled love notes detailing their past and a pin-holed map planning out their future. Hopes and dreams confined to one dimension now that she's gone and River’s too afraid to leave his hometown, crippled by the same anxiety that’s plagued his mother for as long as he can remember.

But after a strange encounter with the only girl he ever loved a week after laying her to rest, River, armed with nothing but her map and his memories, decides to finally leave and never look back. And with the help of a pair of eccentrically named siblings as well as a mutt with three legs, he sets out to do the very thing Nia always knew how to do better than he ever could—live.

From the moonlit beaches off of Florida's east coast, to the forests of Mississippi, to Bourbon Street, Cadillac Ranch, and the Arizona desert, River is faced with not only Nia's ghost but his own and he learns that in life there are no accidents, only miracles.

You all know that I'm a huge fan of Indie authors, and Laekan happens to be an NA author who is trying to branch out from the contemporary romance that is so prevalent in this new age group. Looking for a different read? Why not check out one of Laekan's books? While you're adding those, please also enjoy an interview with her, and a giveaway at the bottom! Happy reading!


1) Hi Laekan, and welcome to the blog! Let's start by getting to know you. What three words would you use to describe yourself, and why?

Curious. Thoughtful. Dreamer.

I'm your classic introvert and always in my own head. Daydreaming is absolutely my favorite thing to do and I love looking at every aspect of life as a kind of puzzle--from social interactions to trends to human emotion--I'm always trying to figure things out.

2) If we were to take a glimpse into your reading pile, what would we find as your next read?

I'm getting ready to dive into The Dream Thieves by Maggie Steifvater, although I've been hesitating because I can't decide whether I'd rather read it myself or have Will Patton read it to me. I loved his voice work on The Raven Boys!

3) Is there a book that you wish you could recommend to everyone?

Anything by Melina Marchetta. The YA market especially has been inundated with trends from dystopian to paranormal romance and contemporary has really been pushed to the side. That was the genre I first fell in love with and I think a lot of readers don't expect contemporary novels to take them on the same kind of journey as something with a technological or supernatural twist. But the truth is real life can be just as magical if not more sometimes!

4) What do you enjoy about being a New Adult writer? Are there any challenges?

I actually didn't realize that I was even writing in the New Adult category until the release of my third book. I was just writing books that I wanted to read about the age group that was closest to my own and that's still the aspect of writing in NA that I love most. People have been writing upper YA for a long time but there was always this gap for people 18 and over and a lot of authors had trouble navigating what was and wasn't appropriate in order for a story to fit into a particular age category. With the explosion of NA suddenly we have all of this freedom to explore things we'd always been hesitant to write about before.

Unfortunately, that's also where I've found challenges. The first sub-genre to really take off under the NA category was contemporary romance, which is what most people associate with this type of fiction. But my books don't necessarily fall under that genre and it's been a struggle figuring out how to market my books as NA without giving people a false impression of what they're about. My goal is for the NA category to really expand and for people to realize that it is an age category and not a genre and that all of their favorites from dystopian to epic fantasy to steampunk can exist under the umbrella of NA.

5) What would you say to potential readers of Breathing Ghosts?

For anyone even considering getting a copy of my book, I'd just like to say thank you. Truly. It means so much when a reader takes a chance on your book and it means even more when you're an indie author. So I'd like to thank not just every reader who's picked up a copy of my book but every reader who supports indie authors and who so selflessly and enthusiastically champions books that might otherwise stay invisible.

6) Challenge question time! I love these.

You're headed on a week long trip and you only have space in your luggage for two books. What two books do you take with you, and why?

I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb because it's a whopping 1,000 pages and I've been meaning to re-read it and probably Froi of The Exiles since that's the next book on my TBR list.


Laekan is a writer and explorer extraordinaire who grew up in the flatlands of West Texas. She graduated from Texas Tech with a BA in Creative Writing and is the author of the multi-cultural New Adult novels The Things They Didn't Bury, Orphans of Paradise, and the upcoming Breathing Ghosts. Follow her adventures on Goodreads, on her blog, or on Twitter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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