Saturday, May 30, 2015

Regina Shen by Lance Erlick Interview & Giveaway

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This is my stop during the blog tour for Regina Shen by Lance Erlick. This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 18 till 31 May, you can view the complete tour schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours.
So far this series contains 2 books: Regina Shen: Resilience (Regina Shen #1) and Regina Shen: Vigilance (Regina Shen #2)

Regina Shen ResilienceRegina Shen: Resilience (Regina Shen #1)
by Lance Erlick
Genre: Science Fiction
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: May 15, 2015

Outcast Regina Shen is forced by the World Federation to live on the seaward side of barrier walls built to hold back rising seas from abrupt climate change. A hurricane threatens to destroy what’s left of her world, tearing Regina from her family.
Global fertility has collapsed. Chief Inspector Joanne Demarco of the notorious Department of Antiquities believes Regina holds the key to avoid extinction. Regina fights to stay alive and avoid capture while hunting for her family.

You can find Regina Shen: Resilience on Goodreads

You can buy Regina Shen: Resilience here:
- Amazon

Regina Shen VigilanceRegina Shen: Vigilance (Regina Shen #2)
By Lance Erlick
Genre: Science Fiction
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: May 15, 2015

Regina Shen is pursued by the notorious Department of Antiquities for her unique DNA. She jumps the Barrier Wall into the Federation to find her kidnapped sister. Stuck on a heavily-guarded closed university campus, she must use her wits to escape and rescue her sister without letting either of two rival Antiquities inspectors capture her.

You can find Regina Shen: Vigilance on Goodreads

You can buy Regina Shen: Vigilance here:
- Amazon

Blurb of the first two books/ series:
World: This takes place 400 years in the future after abrupt climate change has melted ice caps and flooded the coasts. Civilization collapsed and was replaced by a World Federation that suppresses knowledge from the past. Three-hundred-plus-year-old Grand Old Dames rule using a caste system.
Regina Shen is an outcast condemned by the World Federation to live on the seaward side of Barrier Walls built to hold back rising seas. She is Chinese-Hispanic, tough, lives by her wits, and thrives on salvage from sunken cities, including illegal print books from before the Great Collapse. She also has unique DNA the Federation believes can reverse a worldwide fertility collapse. Regina doesn’t trust the Federation.
Chief Inspector Joanne Demarco of the notorious Department of Antiquities polices Barrier Walls and destroys evidence from the past, including print books. Ambitious, she sees Regina as the key to securing her future.
Inspector Vikki Volpe is a ruthless hard-core Antiquities agent who believes Demarco has gone soft and wants the chief inspector’s job.
Book 1 (Regina Shen: Resilience): A hurricane threatens to destroy what’s left of Regina’s world. Separated from her sister, her mom, and her home, with Demarco in pursuit, Regina fights to stay alive and avoid capture while hunting for family.
Book 2 (Regina Shen: Vigilance): Pursued by the Department of Antiquities, Regina jumps the Barrier Wall into the Federation to find her kidnapped sister, and winds up on a closed-university campus with heavy surveillance. Regina must use her wits to escape and rescue her sister without letting either of two rival inspectors capture her.

Lance ErlickAbout the Author:
Lance Erlick likes to explore the mysteries of intriguing worlds with interesting, often strong female guides facing and overcoming adversity as they try to change their world. He hopes readers will enjoy his writing as they discover different worlds, going places they may never have been.
He writes science fiction thrillers, appealing to young adults and adult readers. He is the author of The Rebel Within, The Rebel Trap, and Rebels Divided, three books in the Rebel series. In those stories, he explores the consequences of following conscience for those coming of age. He authored the Regina Shen series—Regina Shen: Resilience and Regina Shen: Vigilance. This series takes place after abrupt climate change leads to the Great Collapse and a new society under the World Federation. A related short story is: Regina Shen: Into the Storm. Lance is also the author of unrelated short stories: Maiden Voyage and Watching You.


Where are you from?
I grew up a bit of a nomad. My dad was an aerospace engineer who moved from one interesting job to another. That meant my going to ten schools before graduating from high school, including two in Belgium.

Tell us your latest news?
We’re releasing the first stories in the Regina Shen series this spring. Regina Shen: Into the Storm is the novelette that began the series and is part of the first novel, Regina Shen: Resilience. The second novel, Regina Shen: Vigilance is following on the heels of the first in terms of release, though the story takes place two years later. This summer we anticipate releasing the third novel, Regina Shen: Defiance. Together, these are the stories of—ta dah—Regina Shen, who faces a world that at first treats her as a worthless outcast and then as a valuable commodity they want to control. She’ll have no part of being a slave.

When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing when I was eleven. I’d just finished reading a couple adventure stories and thought I could do that. I sat down and began crafting a story of my own. I found it wasn’t as easy as it looked.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first considered myself a writer in college when I was drawn to crafting stories of my own. Ever since, whenever life took me in other directions, I always came back to stories as a way to explore different ways of approaching the world.

What inspired you to write your first book?
A few years after college, I was inspired by an interesting book that fell flat. It got me to believe I could do better. The topic and storyline caught my attention but I didn’t feel the author had developed either the characters or the plot and the ending wasn’t satisfying. After I completed my first novel, I realized I’d written a story just as flat as his. I buried my story and learned that I would have to work harder to bring stories to life.

Do you have a specific writing style?
My writing style varies from story to story. Of my published stories, Rebels Divided was the first written. I did extensive notes on world building, some sixty thousand words. I also heavily outlined because I had two storylines I needed to have come together and I wanted to make sure they worked before I wrote. Rebels Divided is now the third book in the Rebel series. I next wrote The Rebel Within, or should I say Annabelle dictated it to me, often in the middle of the night. She had a story to tell and I was the vehicle. It helped that I’d already fleshed out the world. I did virtually no outline, but from the beginning I knew how her story started, what her major hurdles would be and how it would end. The Regina Shen series began pretty much like The Rebel Within, driven by a strong character, a beginning, hurdles, and an end. The first story in the new series was the novelette (Regina Shen: Into the Storm). Like Annabelle, Regina wouldn’t leave me alone until I continued her story. Unlike the Rebel series, each book of which was written as a standalone novel, the Regina Shen novels were written from the beginning as a series. What I found after writing the first book and launching into the second, was that the more of the second I wrote, the more I had to go back and change the first. Thus, I waited until I’d completed all three books in the Regina Shen series before seeking publication.

How did you come up with the title?
The title for the Regina Shen series meandered in several directions before we arrived at what you see. Regina Shen is a Marginal swamp rat. She lives in a world after global warming and rising seas have flooded the coastal levels. There is a caste system in which Marginals are below the bottom. They are outcasts forced to live on the seaward side of great barrier walls. Thus, the working title for these stories was Marginal Swamp Rat. There was also an affinity for the allusion to Atlantis because of the sunken cities that Regina salvages from. When it came time to finalize titles, we did some polling. Aside from the voting itself, we realized several things. Marginal carries some emotional value but is vague. Rat didn’t convey the right image for Regina, who is both cursed to be called a Marginal swamp rat, and proud to be one. There were a lot of stories with variations of Atlantis in the title and since this wasn’t the core of the story, such a title could confuse potential readers that this series was about Atlantis or a submerged civilization. It is not. It is Atlantean in that it contains a lost civilization that the World Federation seeks to bury, but below water and cities above the seas. While Regina Shen is not a household name, we decided that since this is her story, we would be bold and give her the title.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Regina Shen has grown up on the outside, at the bottom of the official caste system. Yet, her tough upbringing has given her strength to endure what she must to survive, help family, and achieve her goals. Giving up isn’t an option for her. She’s resilient, vigilant, and defiant in protection of what matters to her: family and friends.

How much of the book is realistic?
While I hope we can avoid the calamity of rising seas and economic collapse, there are those who would suppress knowledge of the past and knowledge they don’t approve of to suit their aims. We may not have an official caste system, but at times in our history moving up from our birth station has been difficult for many. The places in the story match names on our maps, but after four hundred years have changed in ways to be unrecognizable. In addition, I’ve taken a few liberties for the sake of creating an interesting story. Thus, I believe the conflicts, emotions, and struggles are real, yet this is a futuristic, some might say fantasy type world.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
In a sense, everything writers write reflect experiences and research in some mix. Research fills in details of place and circumstance, but I believe the emotional aspects come from the heart. Having moved as much as I have, I’ve had to start over from the bottom rung of each new society I moved into. Perhaps the resilience, vigilance, and defiance I find in Regina are in some part derived from these experiences.

What books have influenced your life most?
The works of Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and David Brin have played a big role in my interest in speculative writing.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I would have liked to have Isaac Asimov as a mentor. He was an amazing as well as prolific writer. I would like to consider David Brin as a mentor. I believe we could all learn a lot from him. There are many others who have influenced me.

What book are you reading now?
What Should We Be Worried About, edited by John Brockman.

What are your current projects?
I haven’t decided if I’ll continue with the Regina Shen series. I have more stories in her world. But I’m also fascinated with time travel, back into history and off into the future. Much will depend on which characters keep me up at night.

What would you like my readers to know?
I hope your readers will enjoy taking the journey with Regina Shen as much as I have. She is an entirely different character than Annabelle from the Rebel series. Aside from living three hundred years apart, I can’t help wondering how the two would react to each other. Annabelle is kick-ass. Regina Shen is as book-smart, in a world that bans books, as she is swamp and life-smart at such a young age. She is fifteen in the first book and seventeen in books two and three. Maybe one of these days they will meet.

You can find and contact Lance here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Amazon
- Newsletter

There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Regina Shen. These are the prizes you can win:
- a 25$ amazon gift card
- signed copy of Regina Shen: Vigilance by Lance Erlick (US Only)
- 3 signed postcards of the Regina Shen series (US Only)

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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