Google+ Reading Teen: Indie Spotlight || GIFTED by J.A. George

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Indie Spotlight || GIFTED by J.A. George

by J.A. George
Amazon | Goodreads
There is no chosen one in this story. Avery Gray was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and happened to make a decision that altered her future forever. It happens to all of us every day. Avery is a size twelve university student with a penchant for dry humour, and she’s as normal as they come. Up until now, the biggest choice she’s had to make was glasses or contacts? At the moment, it’s stay and save, or leave and be saved. Allow me to explain. One rainy afternoon, Avery had to make a choice: go through the alleyway or around it. Two possible options. One would have had her future continue on as planned, the other would ensure that her future never remained the same again. She unknowingly went with the latter. But change is not always bad. Avery meets Theodore-James Connors, an enigmatic young man who takes her to Hayven, a city separated from the rest of the world, where only gifters – ordinary people with extra-ordinary gifts – can go. She soon finds herself in a close-knit group of friends she’d never have imagined herself in. Friends who are diverse in every possible way, from their ethnic backgrounds, to their personalities, from their gifts, to their life stories. Friends who make her laugh, who make her cry, who make her think and who make her…her. However, change is not always good. The beautiful, golden city of Hayven has its dark side – Cliders. Gifters turned rogue, aka, Cliders are determined to aid fallen Clider, Madrina, return to rule Hayven. They will stop at nothing to make that happen, including harming those Ava has grown to love. Again, Ava is faced with a choice: spend her days finding a way to inhibit Madrina’s return, or walk away. After all, she isn’t the chosen one. Yet, there exists a third option – rig the future itself and make it work for her.
Interview with J.A George

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is J.A. George and I’m the author of GIFTED – The Hayven Series. My perfect day would be a day where I eat all my favourite (unhealthy) foods, visit a food market and the cinema with friends, bake, read and write. I really want to rescue a dog! Preferably a Staffordshire bull terrier. And if I could have any pet without fear of getting my head ripped off in the middle of the night, I’d like a lion cub please.

Why did you decide to become an author?

Well, it’s a long story but I’ll try to keep it short! I was on a train on my way home from university one day when I suddenly realised that the course I was doing wasn’t making me happy. I then realised that I was only doing that course because it pretty much secured a financially secure future. A few thoughts, a few quiet whispers to myself and a few odd looks later, I came to the conclusion that life is too short to spend another minute not doing what I love. Everyone thinks if they eat healthily enough and don’t play in traffic, they’ll live until at least eighty and so put off making their dream into any sort of reality because they keep telling themselves they’ll have plenty of time. I don’t believe time is guaranteed to anyone, so I got home, purchased a mini laptop and spent my ninety minute journeys to university writing. Soon after that, I left my course to study one that had more to do with what I wanted to achieve and…the rest is history.

Can you tell us about your novel, Gifted?

Gifted is about a nineteen year old university student who meets a silver-haired woman a little on the strange side before meeting a young man a little more on the stranger side. These meetings lead to the eventual discovery of Hayven – a city separated from the rest of the world where only those with gifts can go. She makes an eclectic bunch of friends, who, even though I’m biased, are just awesome. But Hayven has its dark side and they’re called Cliders. Gifters turned rogue, Cliders are determined to see Hayven return to the way it was one thousand years ago when the city was under the dominion of Madrina. Want to know more about her? You’ll have to read Gifted otherwise this guest post would go on for way too long!

What genre is your novel?

It’s a contemporary YA fantasy. I chose this genre because one of the main reasons I started writing Gifted was because I wanted something to read. But I wanted a YA fantasy novel a little different from what was already out there. I wanted to read a YA book that didn’t feature instant-love, a chosen one or a girl growing up in a dystopian society. I just wanted to read about someone normal, someone I could relate to. Someone who worries about the way she looks, but never says it out loud, has a sense of humour, thinks about the small stuff. Then I wanted to take her and place in a world she never thought existed. I wanted to explore real young adult relationships, friendships and modern-day topics such as, body weight issues and cheating in relationships. Gifted is more of a fun read than I’m making it sound, I promise!

Let’s talk about diversity.

Yes, let’s! It is no secret that YA books are severely lacking in diversity; there’s just no question about it. Thanks to this, most books just aren’t relatable. I was born and raised in London, one of the most diverse cities in the world, so when I read a book where the majority of the characters are from one race group, the book makes less of an impact on me because it isn’t realistic and it isn’t relatable because the lack of diversity isn’t my world. I’ve been told Gifted book 1 has a lot of diversity in it which just goes to show how much it’s lacking in YA because book one is nothing compared to what I have in store for the rest of the series. I plan to introduce a lot more diverse characters than featured in book one. I’ve already plotted story-lines and roles for Asian characters, Muslim characters, Latin characters and homosexual characters. I love diversity and I intend to pile it into my books as much as I can get away with!

When is book 2 out?

I had planned to release book two in 2017 because I didn’t expect to hear so many ‘when is the next book out?!’ So I started working on it straight away. I’m refusing to rush it because that’s just asking for mistakes, but now the publication date will be the end of 2016. And I honestly cannot wait for those who have read the first book to read the second one!

What Harry Potter house would you be in?

I want to say Gryffindor, but bravery is a requisite for that house and spiders render me speechless. But I’m much too soft for Slytherin. Can I be in Ravenclaw?

Where does your extra money go?

Food, books, more food and more books.

Something you want to do but haven’t done yet?

Aside from the obvious (visit certain countries), I really want to start collecting Funko Pops! However, I have refrained from doing so because I just know I’ll get addicted and have to start collecting all the Harry Potter ones – and there are a lot of HP characters! Then I’d have to get all the Game of Thrones characters – and there are TOO many GoT characters. Then I’d have to get all the Marvel characters – and there are countless! Then I’d have to get…you see where I’m going with this?

Any advice for aspiring writers?

Keep writing because if you want to be an author, you have no other choice. Also, write like you have no intention of publishing because that way, you’ll definitely end up with a book you’re happy with.



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