Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Meet Vala Kaye and Ghost Writer

Posted by Susan B James on 2:00:00 AM with 5 comments

I read Vala Kaye's YA novella, Ghost Writer and thoroughly enjoyed it. Here's my review.
Malden's mom drags her away from her friends and real life in New York city to the wilds of Virginia. Mom assures her it will be educational. A fate worse than death. Malden thinks the best she can hope for is a nearby cell phone tower and an internet connection so she can stay in touch with her friends.

Malden gets more than she bargained for. Jackson Hamilton, the son of the owner of the historical home where they are staying, is not only hot; he's interested in Malden. There's no cell tower, but Jackson is happy to give her the password to the internet router he's set up.. The problem? It seems that the internet and the resident ghost. are on the same wavelength. 
Ghost Writer  is fast paced romance with a dash of science fiction and a seasoning of paranormal. My favorite kind of read. 
I've put an excerpt at the end of this post for your reading pleasure. I think it's an excellent read for around Halloween so I asked Vala to be a guest on the blog so you could meet her too. 

Vala, please tell us a little about yourself. 
I grew up in Texas, steeped in southern tradition. I think that’s where so much of Ghost Writer came from. We all studied and knew that there was nothing even remotely “civil” about the War Between the States, and I tried to get some of that across in a way that younger readers could absorb.

I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when a publisher told you they wanted to publish your book.

That was an interesting email. The publisher definitely wanted Ghost Writer but wasn’t sure whether to list it as YA or middle grade. We eventually decided that it’s what I’ve heard called “innocent YA,” where nobody lives in a dystopian society or almost dies a dozen times trying to save the world. Awesome category description. Love it.

Other than your own, who are your favorite (heroes/heroines/writers) in your genre?
 I read quite a few of Robert Heinlein’s sci-fi for juveniles as a teen and loved those. Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series were also some of my early favorites. Really, I read everything I could get my hands on, from Austen to Asimov. I have everything Heinlein and McCaffrey wrote on my keeper shelves. I reread some of them every year.

What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?
 I’m sort of seriously addicted to TV, which cuts into my writing time, but I won’t tell if you won’t.

How do you motivate yourself when inspiration takes a vacation?
 Oddly enough, pictures motivate me…photos, paintings, whatever. Just last week, I saw a photo online and by the end of the day, I’d written a 2,500-word short story based on it. I have no idea where that came from. I've got to try that. Stephanie Meyer took Twilight from a dream image.

What genre or genres do you write?
 Paranormal and sci-fi. I believe in stories of redemption and romance, so I wouldn’t be caught dead writing tragedy. LOL…

What’s your current WIP?
 Several years ago, I wrote a feature in a screenwriting class at UCLA and now I’m working on adapting it into narrative (novel) form. It’s called Dreams of the Muse and it most definitely isn’t YA!

And finally, where can we find you?
 My site is www.ValaKaye.com where I try to spread the word about some great reads out there in the genres of paranormal, sci-fi and fantasy, like your novel, Time and Forever.
 I’m also on Twitter as @ValaKaye.
Thank you for being here, Vala. 
 Vala had graciously offered 3 ebook copies in mobi, ePub or as PDF'.  Scroll down to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway. Happy reading!
Here's an excerpt from Ghost Writer.

 Jackson hurried down the staircase and outside. He bounded down off the porch steps and headed toward the back of the house so fast Malden ran to keep up with him.
“Who exactly is this Emily?” she said. “Jackson! You’re acting like she’s some sort of—” She drew herself up short, afraid of where her thoughts were going. He stopped, too, and turned back to face her.
“Like she’s some sort of, what, Malden? Some sort of ghost?”
“A ghost?” Malden looked at him wide-eyed. “That’s, well, really lame.” The memory of the conversation with her mom a couple of hours earlier flashed through her mind. “I mean, I like a good ghost story as much as anyone, but they’re not real. Emily was just a girl, right? Maybe even a girl who used to live in this house, but—”
“Malden, this house has been in my mom’s family for over a hundred and seventy years. The man who built it was named John Reese and he had one child, a daughter named Emily.”
“John Reese?” Malden frowned, confused. “But I thought this place was called The Proctor House.”
“It’s been known by that name since the 1880s.” Jackson nodded. “Emily died on her eighteenth birthday in February of 1865. She was never married and never had any children. When her father died years later with no grandchildren, the house went to his nephew, Brent, and on down to his children. Their family name was Proctor, my mother’s last name before she married my dad.”
“So, what does any of this have to do with the dead girl, Emily?” Malden glanced around to make sure no one else could overhear them. She’d only been at this place for all of maybe ten minutes and here she was in the middle of a bizarre conversation with a guy she barely knew about something that couldn’t possibly be true. “Have people seen her ghost? Is she haunting the house because she’s mad her cousin inherited it or something?”
Jackson started to say more, and then stopped and shook his head. Malden could see he wanted to tell her the whole story, but was holding back.
“Look, my bad, okay? I shouldn’t have brought it up. I’ve heard a lot of stupid old family stories, but it’s like you said, it’s lame. I mean, I’ve spent summers out here all my life and I’ve never seen or heard a ghost. So, that means there couldn’t be one. Right?”
He took the keys from her and hurried toward the SUV. Malden followed, but more questions were running through her mind and she wasn’t about to be put off. Jackson knew more about Emily, and Malden decided she wasn’t going to let him get away with keeping any secrets.
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  1. Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog, Susan! ~ Vala

  2. I read Ghost Writer a while back and enjoyed it. Thanks for the insight into your psyche, Vala!


  3. This sounds awesome - I'll let my niece know about it. Thanks!

  4. What a great excerpt! I also love your trick of using photos to help move you when you are stuck. Thank you for sharing!


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