Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sophomore Spotlight on . . . Stephanie Diaz

In case you missed the intro with the description and main giveaway, this event is simply about checking in with 2014 debut authors who have at least one release in 2015 (AKA their sophomore year as an author).

Today is the last spotlight feature! I'm sharing a guest post by Stephanie Diaz, the author of the Extraction series! Her debut, Extraction, released last July and her two 2015 releases are the second and third books, Rebellion and Evolution

Stephanie has written a great guest post about the different processes that she went through for each book in her series. She also offered to do a giveaway! Enjoy the post.☺

Twenty-two-year-old Stephanie Diaz wrote her debut novel, Extraction, while studying film at San Diego State University. When she isn't lost in books, she can be found singing, marveling at the night sky, or fan-girling over TV shows.

Visit her online at Follow her on twitter: @StephanieEDiaz.
Writing each book in the Extraction series turned out to be a very different process with different challenges. With Extraction, the biggest challenge was that I was writing and revising it during college. I studied film production, which did mean I had less homework than students in other majors. But there were still plenty of days when I had projects I had to put ahead of Extraction, or when I had to be on a film set all weekend so I couldn’t touch the manuscript. The one thing working in my favor was that I wasn’t much of a social butterfly. When I was done with schoolwork, I’d go home, sit down, and get to work on my novel. This allowed me to finish the first draft faster than I’d finished any other book, in a little less than two months. Revisions took a lot longer. The first draft had all the plot points there and most of the characters, but the world and characters needed to be fleshed out. And at the time I didn’t even know it was going to be a trilogy. It wasn’t until I signed with my agent and worked on the book with her that I realized there was a lot more to the story.

When I began writing Rebellion, the second book in the series, I was no longer in college and only had a part-time job, so I had a lot more time to work on it. But that presented its own set of challenges, as it became a lot harder to focus during those long periods of time I had for writing. Rebellion took a lot longer to write. I always knew how book 2 was going to end and essentially what would happen, but a lot of the details ended up changing over the course of the first draft. The story took the characters into a new region of the world, so I had to do a lot more world building, something I’m still trying to get better at. I’m not a writer who can easily follow the whole “write to the end without stopping” trend. I have to edit as I go or I end up hating everything I’ve written. So with Rebellion, I allowed myself to take the time to go back and change chapters until I was happy with them, before moving on. In the end it made revisions a lot easier, as I had far less for this book than I had for Extraction.

Writers often say the second book in a trilogy is the hardest to write. But I actually had a much harder time with the third. I’d done the least amount of plotting for Evolution beforehand, which was a big part of the problem. All I knew was the beginning point, the midpoint, and the ending, courtesy of the short paragraph I’d written when we sold the trilogy. The rest of the book was nothing but threads of ideas in my mind. And in this third book, a whole new cast of characters and a new world had to be introduced, so there was even more world building to accomplish. As a result, it took me a long, long time to find my footing. The first three chapters of the book took about six months to write. I re-wrote them a hundred different ways, scrapping thousands of words every time. Eventually I had to start working on later parts of the book to get things moving, so I began writing a lot of scenes out of order, something I hadn’t done much of before. But it helped me later on, when I finally was happy with the beginning of the book and pushed forward to the next chapters. The whole process of writing Evolution took almost eight months total, and it was definitely one of the hardest books I’d ever written. But I finished! And I couldn’t be more proud of the outcome.

Here's the description of the first book in Stephanie's series!

Goodreads Description: 
"Welcome to Extraction testing."

Clementine has spent her whole life preparing for her sixteenth birthday, when she’ll be tested for Extraction in the hopes of being sent from the planet Kiel’s toxic Surface to the much safer Core, where people live without fear or starvation. When she proves promising enough to be “Extracted,” she must leave without Logan, the boy she loves. Torn apart from her only sense of family, Clem promises to come back and save him from brutal Surface life.

What she finds initially in the Core is a utopia compared to the Surface—it’s free of hard labor, gun-wielding officials, and the moon's lethal acid. But life is anything but safe, and Clementine learns that the planet's leaders are planning to exterminate Surface dwellers—and that means Logan, too. 

Trapped by the steel walls of the underground and the lies that keep her safe, Clementine must find a way to escape and rescue Logan and the rest of the planet. But the planet leaders don't want her running—they want her subdued.

With intense action scenes and a cast of unforgettable characters,Extraction is a page-turning, gripping read, sure to entertain lovers of Hunger Games and Ender's Game and leave them breathless for more. 
add to goodreads

Here's the other two books in the series!

Stephanie has offered to give away a signed hardcover of Extraction! This giveaway is US only and ends on July 6th @ midnight PST. Please no entering with giveaway Twitter/other social media accounts and please be familiar with my giveaway policy before entering.

Good luck.☺

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Reminder: If you comment on this post, you can also get a couple entries in the event giveaway. You could win your choice of a released book or a pre-order.☺)

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