Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Author: SM Koz

Welcome Today's Featured Author
SM Koz!!!

Breaking Free
by SM Koz 

Kelsie Sullivan’s life has changed forever. The once outgoing cheerleader has a secret to hide. The car accident that killed her best friend Jenna? She caused it. 

With an absent father and unforgiving stepmother, Kelsie has nowhere to turn. She manages her guilt and grief with razor blades. The fleeting release she experiences becomes an obsession and soon she's unable to hide it any longer. Once her cutting is revealed, Kelsie’s parents enroll her in a Wilderness Therapy program designed to rehabilitate troubled teens, but North Carolina is a world away from California. 

Kelsie fights against everything the program has to offer until she befriends JC, a boy with a tortured past of his own. He’s also the only one who is able to ease her pain. The two grow close, but quickly discover that nature—both human and otherwise—can easily rip them apart.

Available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1x3Hmtc


Author Bio:

SM Koz was born in Michigan, but moved to North Carolina for college and never left.

She enjoys traveling, camping, hiking, photography, reading, spending time with foster kids who call her house home, and learning new things. When she’s not creating online training for pharmaceutical companies (her day job) or writing, Koz can be found at the local community college taking courses on various topics ranging from digital art to HTML to desktop publishing. Next in line are auto mechanics and cake decorating.

Being trained as a veterinarian, it’s not surprising that Koz and her husband were recently told they have a mini-zoo with their two dogs, fish, cockatiels, and foster cats. In the past, they have also had parakeets and a snake. Other than the fish, all the animals were acquired through rescue organizations, something Koz wholeheartedly supports.

Breaking Free is Koz’s third original novel and fifth overall, but the only one she feels compelled to publish at this time. Her hope is that individuals who struggle with cutting may be inspired by Kelsie’s story and find the strength they need to begin the healing process.
Interview with SM Koz:
  • Can you tell us a little about your books?  
  • Only one is currently published and available for purchase.  That is Breaking Free, a YA contemporary realism/romance that follows a girl's emotional turmoil following the death of her best friend and the unexpected people she leans on for help.  I've also written Hunger Games fanfiction and a light sci-fi/romance, all of which can be accessed for free via my website (kozwriting.com).  

  • What inspires you to write?   
  • I view this question from two different perspectives.   Life gives me ideas for my writing.  I’m one of those quiet people who is always taking in the world around me.  I like to draw from personal experiences as much as possible to make a richer, more realistic story.  As far as what keeps me motivated to continue writing, that’s Sara Mack, my writing buddy, and anyone who shares their thoughts about my writing.  People may not think authors actually read reviews of their books or care what’s written, but that’s not true.  I take everything that’s written to heart—both the good and the bad.  I feel like I still have a lot to learn and appreciate when people react to the story and feel compelled to share their thoughts. 

  • Do you have a favorite spot to write?  My favorite spot is on our screened-in porch.  We have woods behind us so there's always wildlife like deer, birds, rabbits, foxes, and our neighbor's cat wandering around.  It's very peaceful.  The only negative is I live in NC so there are only a few months each year when it's not too hot or too cold to be out there.  

  • Do you have any “odd” writing habits?  I’m not sure this is an odd habit, but it’s kind of funny.  My husband says he always knows what type of scene I’m writing with one look at me.  Whenever I have a sheepish smile, it’s an intimate scene.  If I’m deep in thought, it’s important background information.   If I’m feverishly pecking away at the keys, it’s an action scene.  If I’m teary-eyed or crying, someone is dying.   So, I guess I truly feel the emotions I put into each scene J.

  • Do you listen to music while you write? 
  •  Yes.  When I’m having a hard time evoking a certain mood with a scene, I’ll pick music that evokes that mood in me.  My fallbacks for emotional and romantic scenes are Muse and The Killers.  I could listen to them all day long every day.

  • What do you do when you are not writing?  
  •  I like to be outside with my husband, our foster kids, and our pets.  That can be hiking, camping, taking nature photos, jogging, or going to the dog park.  I also like to travel.  Visiting every continent is on my bucket list and something I hope to someday accomplish (although I still have a long way to go!). 

  • Using one sentence, describe Breaking Free?   
  • A story that will make you cry, laugh, smile, be heartbroken, and inspired!

  • What book did you enjoy writing the most and why?  
  • That's a tough question! There are different things I've enjoyed about each book I've written.  If I have to pick the one I enjoyed the most, I'll say my very first one titled "Love, Lies, and Maurice."  It was my first completed book so it holds a special place in my heart even though it's not very good!  I won't even let people read that one for free :)  That book gave me the confidence (because I actually wrote a full-length novel) and motivation (because I wanted to create something better) to continue writing.  

  • Are you doing any Author Signing Event this year?  
  • No, unfortunately not.  I'm spending my spare time going to writing conferences and working on my next book to try and become a better writer.  Once I have a few books out there that folks like, then I'll focus on signing events.  Hopefully that will be in the not too far distant future! 

  • What are writing projects are you currently working on?   
  • I'm torn right now between a light YA sci-fi/romance story and another YA contemporary realism/romance. I'm feeling the sci-fi story more, but in the past when I wrote sci-fi, it was a major time commitment as it took over a year.  Breaking Free, my first contemporary realism story, took only a month. I've been busy with my full-time job since the release of Breaking Free, but will start writing my next book the beginning of October.  That means I have another week to decide which direction to go!   

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