The Eye-Dancers by Michael S. Fedison Blog Tour
Virtual Book Tour Dates: 11/7/13 - 11/21/13
Young Adult Sci-fi/Fantasy, Teen Sci-fi/Fantasy
Seventh-grader Mitchell Brant and three of his classmates inexplicably wake up at the back edge of a softball field to the sounds of a game, the cheering of the crowd. None of them remembers coming here. And as they soon learn, “here” is like no place they’ve ever seen. Cars resemble antiques from the 1950s. There are no cell phones, no PCs. Even the spelling of words is slightly off.
A compulsive liar, constantly telling fantastic stories to garner attention and approval, Mitchell can only wish this were just one more of his tall tales. But it isn’t. It’s all too real. Together, as they confront unexpected and life-threatening dangers, Mitchell and his friends must overcome their bickering and insecurities to learn what happened, where they are, and how to get back home.
The answers can be found only in the mysterious little girl with the blue, hypnotic eyes. The one they had each dreamed of three nights in a row before arriving here. She is their only hope. And, as they eventually discover, they are her only hope.
And time is running out.
I got this book from the author, free of cost, in exchange of an honest review from my side.
Firstly I would like to thank Michael S. Fedison, author of The Eye-Dancers, for giving me this opportunity of reading and reviewing this fabulous book.
A totally new and fresh story regarding travelling to a parallel universe! This story was a new and interesting read for me because I haven’t read any other similar stories before this. I liked the concept very much where we meet a 12 year old boy named Mitchell who and some of his friends dreams about a 9 year old girl whom they think as a ghost but the most disturbing thing about the dream is that the boys are finding their bodies to be injured in the same manner as in the dreams and it scares them so they decide to have a sleepover and then they travel to a weird place that is unknown to them. What is this place? Who is the girl from their dreams and what does she want? Will the boys be able to discover the truth and return back to their home?
I really think that this story is engaging and intriguing. I loved the writing style of the author and the developed characters were a treat to read about and the whole plot is well planned out and the dialogues are crisp and perfect. The vivid descriptions of the 1950’s surroundings made the read believable and we get to know many more things about that era. It is full of suspense and mystery which kept me hooked in.
The separate POV of all the boys gave a new life to the story and we get to experience the situation from various perspectives and enter the mind of each of the buys which I felt very interesting. A great read and I would recommend it to the readers of all ages; especially children will enjoy it very much. I liked the cool and funky cover as well and it’s so colourful!!! Happy reading!!!
1. How will you describe your book within a sentence?
Four seventh-graders are transported to a strange world, and the only one who can help them find their way back home is the mysterious little girl with the swirling, hypnotic blue eyes.
2. Tell us about your favourite one among the characters of your own book? What special qualities make the particular character your favourite?
The Eye-Dancers has four main characters—Mitchell Brant, Joe Marma, Ryan Swinton, and Marc Kuslanski. And while I like all of the characters, and especially had a lot of fun writing for know-it-all science wiz Marc, if I had to choose a favorite it would probably be Mitchell. He has an overactive imagination, struggles to believe in himself and therefore is prone to, shall we say, fudge a bit with the truth. He too often feels that he needs to invent stories of fantastic exploits in order to look good in the eyes of others. He struggles with his speech, making social interaction difficult. But in some ways, this makes him a more sensitive person, and very perceptive. He is, above all, a dreamer, someone who reaches for the stars and believes in the possibilities . . .
3. Your least favourite character from your book and why?
Honestly, I don’t dislike any of the characters in The Eye-Dancers. Each of them, I hope, is layered, with good points and bad points. There is no 100% all-bad villain anywhere to be found in the book.
4. If you get a chance of living the life of one of the characters of your book then which one would it be?
It might be Joe, because he lives life very much in the moment. He is hot-headed and impulsive, and I am anything but impulsive! I tend to plan things ahead of time, in great detail. I’m the person, for example, that likes to plan the itinerary for a trip. So, it would be an interesting switch to live like Joe for a while, moment-by-moment, without thinking too hard on the consequences of your actions. I wouldn’t recommend this as a full-time thing, of course, and Joe does run into his fair share of problems!
5. Genres you like to read? Genres you prefer to write?
Sci-fi/fantasy has always been my favorite—both to read and write. But I definitely do not limit myself to them. Ever since I was little, I have loved to read, from the classics to the contemporary. I have very eclectic taste, from Victorian writers like Dickens and Bronte to horror masters like King and Koontz, to L.M. Montgomery and Truman Capote and Shakespeare and so many in between! In a nutshell, I love to read and love to write, and have never limited myself by genre.
6. When and how did the thought of this story come up?
Way back in the late 1980s, when I was a teenager, I had a dream of a little girl standing out in the road, beneath the street lamp. She was about seven, but she wasn’t all there. In the dream, I was sure she was a ghost. And she had the bluest, strangest eyes I had ever seen. She gestured for me to come outside and join her. I was afraid, not knowing what she wanted, or what she even was. (For anyone who has read the first chapter of The Eye-Dancers, this will sound familiar! It is the same dream Mitchell Brant experiences in the opening scene.) Then I woke up.
Immediately I wanted to write a story about her, but I didn’t have one. I tried to force-feed a few ideas onto the page, but of course that didn’t work. It never does. So I jotted down a few notes and placed this “ghost girl” into a “story vault,” and hoped that, one day, I would know how and where to write about her.
Fast-forward nearly twenty years, and I had the same dream, of the same girl! But this time, when I woke up, the genesis for The Eye-Dancers was in place. Just like that. It hit like a lightning bolt. Couple that with a desire to write about growing up, friendship, the mysteries of the universe, the existence of parallel worlds, and the very nature of what we term “reality,” and The Eye-Dancers was born.
7. How do you plan out your writing?
I generally jot down some notes, and have a broad, general idea where I think the story will go. I don’t just “wing it,” though I admire those writers who do. And I don’t write detailed, chapter-by-chapter outlines, as I find them stifling. Also, the creative process is just that—a process. Things change as you get further and further into the story. Characters say and do things you never expected or anticipated. So, for me, having a broad idea what I want to do while at the same time allowing the characters the freedom to alter the story as it’s written is what works the best.
8. Tell us about your inspiration and how it motivated you to become a writer?
I have always loved to write. I wrote my first short story when I was in the second grade, and the teacher gave us a creative writing assignment. I was hooked from the start. I genuinely believe that if you are meant to be a writer, you know that at an early age. There is just something inside you that needs to express itself on the page. It’s an intrinsic part of who you are—inborn and innate. I couldn’t imagine my life without writing.
9. How do you feel now that you’re a published writer? Are you satisfied with your achievement?
It’s great that The Eye-Dancers is “out there.” Also, I have had several short stories published in small, literary magazines. But I wouldn’t say I’m satisfied. There is still so much to do, and so many stories to tell.
10. Do you prefer self-publishing or the traditional form of publishing?
I think both can work. For me, I tried contacting a few agents and publishers with The Eye-Dancers, but I didn’t want to keep submitting indefinitely. If someone wanted to take a chance on the book, great. But if not, self-publishing is a wonderful option today, with the technology we have. (I do like the fact that with self-publishing, you are in complete control of your work, too, from the pricing to the marketing, etc.) I guess I don’t necessarily prefer one form over the other, though. They are each viable ways to go about publishing your work.
11. Describe yourself in 3 words.
Imaginative. Inquisitive. Open-minded.
12. Any secret or fact about you that will surprise your readers and others as well?
Like Mitchell Brant in The Eye-Dancers, I am a big fan of collectible old comic books, particularly the original Fantastic Fours from the 1960s. I began collecting comics when I was eight years old, and I’ve never stopped.
13. Three most important things that an amateur writer must keep in mind while writing his first book.
Write what you love, first and foremost. Don’t worry about the market or what’s “hot.” Write what you have a passion for.
Share your work with others when it’s ready, and receive criticism in the right spirit. If someone’s critique seems valid, take it, learn from it, and apply it. But if, after looking at it objectively and honestly, you feel the criticism is unwarranted, then drop it, disregard it. Don’t let it harm your self-belief.
Work at your writing—be patient, be consistent, and don’t cut corners. When you write a first draft, that’s what it is—a first draft. Revise it, delete unnecessary words and scenes. Rewrite, sweat the small stuff, and keep at it. The editing process can be brutal, but it is 100% necessary, and your readers will appreciate all the work you’ve put in.
14. How do you spend your leisure time except for writing? Are you into sports?
I love sports. I have two older brothers, and they both like sports, so I grew up with sports. I love to play (and watch) tennis. I am a lifelong Pittsburgh Steeler fan, and am a baseball trivia buff. I love history, astronomy, and anything that makes you wonder and look at things in a new and different way. Also, I am a lifelong animal lover, nature lover, and feel blessed to live in the beautiful state of Vermont.
15. Your favourite vacation destination? Had it ever became the place where you based any of your books? If yes, then which one?
Prince Edward Island, Canada! I have always enjoyed L.M. Montgomery’s work, with Anne of Green Gables at the top of the list. The Anne books inspired me to want to visit Prince Edward Island. It is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. I did write a book, a long time ago, that was set on PEI—but it will likely never see the light of day!
16. Did you always want to be a writer? If not then what was your previous ambition and what made you change your decision and step in the field of writing?
I have known from a very early age that I wanted to be a writer. It’s always been a part of me.
17. Are you currently working on a project? If yes, would you like your readers to have a sneak peek into it?
It’s very early in the process—so early, in fact, that the book doesn’t have a title yet! But yes, I am working on a sequel to The Eye-Dancers. In the sequel, the characters are about to enter their senior year in high school. Five years have passed since the end of The Eye-Dancers. And the “ghost girl” is about to pay them another visit . . .
18. Your top three favourite authors?
It’s tough to limit myself to just three, but if I had to choose I would say Ray Bradbury, Truman Capote, and Stephen King.
19. Your top three favourite books of all time?
Wow. That’s even harder! But I would say: To Kill A Mockingbird, A Separate Peace, and It.
20. Any suggestions or advice for the upcoming writers on editing and publishing their books?
I would again stress to write what you love. If you worry about what others want you to write, or what the “experts” say is the “hot” market, your work won’t be uniquely your own. Write from your heart. Write about the things you care about, the things you love, the things you hate, the things that make you afraid, and the things that make your spirit soar.
About Michael S. Fedison:
Michael has been a lover of imaginative stories his entire life. He enjoys any story that takes you by the hand, lifts you up, and transports you to another place, a new and creative way of looking at the world around us.
Author and Book Links:
The Eye-Dancers Website http://eyedancers.wordpress.com/
The Eye-Dancers Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16182898-the-eye-dancers
The Eye-Dancers Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Eye-Dancers/213004492164436