September 26, 2011

Author Interview: Shea Berkley + THE MARKED SON Giveaway

Shea Berkley
  • The Marked Son
  • Torrein

Facebook / Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Shea's GroupWebsite /

Today, we have Shea Berkley here on my blog, let us welcome the author of The Marked Son as she talks about her books, herself and some other cool stuff.

Thanks for inviting me on your blog, Lalaine. I love talking with people about books and writing, so bring it.

1.) What inspired you to write The Marked Son? Can you tell us more about this awesome book?

You think The Marked Son is awesome? (blush) I think I’m in serious like with you. (big grin)

(ahem) Back to the question. I love fantasy. Always have. I’m big into fairy tales too. There’s nothing cooler than creating a world that is sort of like ours, but not. It’s the surprise of the unfamiliar within the familiar that makes me grin. So when I created The Marked Son, I wanted to highlight that aspect of fantasy. I wanted some place familiar, yet not. I could have gone to the extreme of making Kera’s world crazy different, but then that would have pulled me into a direction I didn’t want to go. I wanted to concentrate on Dylan and Kera, not necessarily the parallel realm.

Once I knew I wanted to write a fantasy, I asked my fallen angels (aka my children) what they wanted to read. Easy. They’re huge fantasy readers and they told me the one thing they absolutely wanted to read was a book in the guy’s point of view.

Easy. I can do that. So I rolled up my sleeves and pounded out Dylan’s story. It’s a mesh of realism (he has some really horrible real life issues) and fantasy (I got to play with tons of mythical creatures). What’s not to love about that?

2.) I noticed that female authors hardly do this male main character in a book even some male authors would choose a female as well. But Dylan was a very effective one, why male and not a female character?

You know, I believe in telling the story that appears in your head. I never saw anyone but Dylan as the main character. I wanted to tell his story, about being abandoned by his mom, about facing that abandonment with strength and not letting it determine his worth as a person.

Apart from that, I love guys. They make me laugh. I’ve had great platonic relationships with guys throughout my life, and they’ve taught me a lot, so it felt really natural to tell this story from a male point of view.

3.) What is your favorite part in writing a book?

Wait, are you telling me writing stories is supposed to be fun?

Heck yeah it is!

Favorite part? Developing the characters. I love character arcs and story arcs and theme and all that jazz. I’m the puppet master and nobody does nothin’ without my say so. Muahahaha!

4.) Is it important in naming your characters right when writing a book?

I don’t know how other writers do the name game, but I need to nail those names pretty fast. I scour baby name books and look at meanings, but in the end it’s mostly about how the name sounds within the story. Weird huh? 

5.) Are you working on a book/novel at the moment? If you are please tell us a bit about it.

Twist my arm. Go ahead. I’ll never tell! Never! (okay, ouch! You can let go now)

Seriously, I’m working on the second and third books in the Keeper of Life series. I can’t tell you much about them. I don’t like to talk about the stories I’m currently working on, but I can say they focus on Dylan and Kera and how they deal with the powers they have and how their lives have changed and continue to change.

Nobody is safe. Yep. Nobody.

6.) Do you have any upcoming events you’d like to announce here?

I have another book coming out November 1st 2011. Yep that’s coming up pretty fast. Torrrein: Age of Fear is an epic Fantasy and a really fun ride suitable for ages 10-110. Here’s a quick overview:

What if the only hope of saving a magical world depended on an ordinary boy?

Peace is not easily found in the divided kingdom of Taelyon; its mortals distrust anything magical; its wizards are indifferent to the suffering of others, and hate infects everyone. The battle for dominance is never ending. Yet, there is hope in a boy named Torrein. When magic is denied him, he's chased from his own village by those he once called friends. Torrein doesn't understand that his destiny is far greater than any he could have achieved if magic had been granted him. Who wants a destiny soaked in blood? All Torrein wants is what he can't have—to be with his family and friends.

To claim his rightful power, Torrein must calm his fears and reveal the real evil working to destroy Taelyon. It will be a fight till the end of the age to reclaim the freedom they’ve all been denied, and though it's hard for him to accept, it’s up to Torrein to protect those who have been deceived, and to make sure the evil in their midst doesn't kill them all.

7.) I've read your homepage and I have enjoyed it. I've also learned that you have dyslexia, but still manage to write books. I thought that was inspiring, do you have any last thoughts for our readers and future writers?

Dyslexia is not fun. Being a writer with dyslexia is laughable. Honestly, not in a million years would I have believed I would end up a writer when I was younger.

Advice? Never stop reading and never stop writing. To get better at anything takes practice and writing is no exception. Out of all the crazy, weird things I’ve tried, writing is about the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’m seriously not into self-flagellation, be it physical or mental, so why I keep pounding on the keyboard is a mystery.

The best advice I ever got: Write, rewrite and then rewrite it again and when you think you’re done, go back and rewrite it one last time. Don’t kid yourself. Editing is the real meat and bones of writing. It always has been and always will be. Never settle for good enough.

Also, don’t worry if others don’t like what you’re writing. You can’t please everyone. Never, ever let others determine the worth of your story. If you ever do get feedback, listen, say thank you, and then keep what makes sense and ignore the rest. That said, be content to just write because there is never a guarantee your story will ever be read by anyone but yourself.

*That's all thank you Shea Berkley. An avid fan of you, and The Marked Son.*

Thanks, Lalaine. I like avid fans.

The Marked Son by Shea Berkley
Entangled Publishing

Seventeen-year-old Dylan Kennedy always knew something was different about him, but until his mother abandoned him in the middle of Oregon with grandparents he's never met, he had no idea what.When Dylan sees a girl in white in the woods behind his grandparents' farm, he knows he's seen her his dreams. He's felt her fear. Heard her insistence that only he can save her world from an evil lord who uses magic and fear to feed his greed for power.
Unable to shake the unearthly pull to Kera, Dylan takes her hand. Either he's completely insane or he's about to have the adventure of his life, because where they're going is full of creatures he's only read about in horror stories. Worse, the human blood in his veins has Dylan marked for death...

Read the excerpt:

Nothing feels better than touching Kera. I hold her close, feeling her heart beat behind her ribs. The heat of her hands on my chest is impossible to ignore as I kiss her, teasing her lips, and ultimately torturing myself until my control is almost gone. I pull away, putting my forehead to hers, and silently count to ten. Counting to a hundred wouldn’t help. Holding her intensifies my feelings of recklessness.
I can’t let go.
I pick her up. You’d think her dress, with its yards of material would be a problem, but it isn’t. Not for her. She wraps her legs around my waist and rakes her hands through my hair. I place my head on her chest and close my eyes. The rapid beat of her heart matches my own. The scent that engulfs her is as heady as the feel of her in my arms.
“You smell like summer and—” I search for the word that describes the scent pulsing under her skin. It teases me with every breath and touch. Naming it is driving me insane. It’s one I haven’t smelled on her before, yet it’s a scent that’s all too familiar to me, like summer and… “—sadness.”
She captures my lips with hers and slowly slides down my body until her feet touch the floor. Our kiss deepens, her embrace turns desperate. Her kiss fills with misery. The room turns hot, too claustrophobic. I can’t think. I try pushing her away, but she clings to me. Her breathing quickens, and she shivers within my arms. I sense real fear in her. Though she protests, I finally manage to step free. One, two, three steps back, separate but still connected. I can’t stop staring at her, wanting her. She’s like…
A drug.

Now it's time for a giveaway! You want to read THE MARKED SON? Here is what you should do, just fill up the form and and you can win an eBook copy of this awesome book!


  1. I finished this book last night, and I just love it! I love reading books from the male POV, and I thought Dylan's voice was done so well. The Marked Son was such an awesome read. Cannot wait for the next book!

  2. Thanks for the great interview! The Marked Son sounds really interesting.

    Dorothy - The Alaskan Bookie
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  3. Thanks for the interview and the giveaway.

  4. A.J.

    I'm so glad you liked the book! I love hearing from readers. It kinda makes working on the next books a lot more fun.

  5. Squeak-MamaMouse,

    Thanks for dropping by!

  6. C D Meetens,

    I'm glad you liked the interview. Good luck in the giveaway!

  7. i love the excerpt, and great interview! thanks!


  8. Thanks for the giveaway! I wanted to say that the late, great Stephen J. Cannell (who created great shows like The Rockford Files and The A-Team, just to name a couple) and who wrote a LOT of books prior to his death, was dyslexic - extremely so - so the point where he had to have a special transcriptionist translate his typing. So, no matter what, you CAN be an author, writer, or whatever you want to be! Folks like Shea are inspirational!

  9. Thank you so much for the invitation to this wonderful giveaway opportunity. I hopped over from good reads and have signed up to follow you lovely blog and look forward to reading more of what you have to share.

  10. Christina,

    I'm really glad you liked the except. Thanks for stopping by.

  11. Katy S.

    Thank you for the shout out. Thankfully, I'm not so dyslexic that I need a transcriptionist, but I do need someone to read over my work so I don't embarrass myself...though unintentionally embarrassing myself is a daily habit of mine... (grin)

  12. Denise Z.

    Thank you! I'm glad you stopped by.

  13. yu all will lov it i know i did


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