Blog Tour: Hitchhiker by Audra Middleton ~ Spotlight ~ Review ~ Author Interview !!!

Title: Hitchhiker
Author: Audra Middleton
Genre: Humorous Paranormal Thriller
Length: 178 pages approx
Publisher: Burst Books ( a division of Champagne Books)

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Supernatural abilities haunt her. Brainiac students taunt her. The FBI "Freak Squad" wants her. Will she abandon her extra sensory talents in favor of freedom, or will she hone them to help catch crooks?
Former army brat, Ainsley Benton, may have finally found her place in this world, and it’s among the freaks. This small town art teacher has the ability to see, hear, and feel what other people are experiencing, and now the FBI’s freak squad wants to use her “human bug” abilities to catch bad guys. Despite her fear of commitment, failure, and responsibility, Ainsley temporarily agrees to join this team of misfits, and ends up risking her life to investigate a conspiracy that may only be one of her schizophrenic coworker’s paranoid delusions.

My Thoughts:

Rating: 4 Stars

I got this book from the author and the publisher in exchange of an honest review for being participating in this blog tour.
Firstly I would like to thank the author and the publisher for giving me this opportunity of reading and reviewing this book.
Well, I liked the concept very much and the developed characters were a treat to read about and I really enjoyed myself. The dialogues are crisp and very understandable. The mystery is thick here and I really liked the action scenes. The main female lead is awesome with the kick-ass quality and her confidence won my heart totally and impressed me a lot.
The writing style of the author is remarkable and I liked the detailed presentation of every detail which helped me to connect myself with the plot.
I would definitely recommend it to ya all and hope that you guys will like it as much as I did. 

Author Interview:

1.            How will you describe your book within a sentence?

·         A misfit teacher uses her supernatural abilities to help the FBI freak squad uncover a bizarre conspiracy.

2.    Tell us about your favourite one among the characters of your own book? What special qualities make the particular character your favourite?

·         Jack is probably my favorite. He’s a conman currently paying off his debt to society as an indentured servant for the FBI. He’s a sharp, funny, often thoughtless, life-of-the-party horndog. He’s fun to write.

3.    Your least favourite character from your book and why?

·         My least favorite character is Executive Assistant Director Yates. He undervalues the ‘freak squad’ and is constantly threatening to shut them down. He’s the kind of bureaucrat who looks out for his own career above the safety and well-being of others.

4.    If you get a chance of living the life of one of the characters of your book then which one would it be?

·         I would be Special Agent Claudia James. She’s tough, well-dressed, and well-armed with a sense of loyalty and a dry wit. Plus she’s an empath, which would be like being a human lie detector. I could have fun with that.

5.    Genres you like to read? Genres you prefer to write?

·         I like to read a little bit of everything, as long as it has vivid characters and a compelling storyline. The same goes for my own writing. So far I have written a fantasy, a thriller, and a romantic comedy. I also have ideas for a horror novel and a historical fiction series.

6.    When and how did the thought of this story come up?

·         Growing up, my family always had an appreciation for conspiracy theories and liked to watch The Twilight Zone. Seeds were planted early for this one. Also, I taught junior high at one point, so that’s where the education angle to my story came from.

7.    How do you plan out your writing?

·         I am a character-driven ‘pantser,’ which means I tend to develop my characters in my mind first, put them in a problematic situation, and then let them take me where they will.

8.    Tell us about your inspiration and how it motivated you to become a writer?

·         My stories come from my daydreams. If I am bored or stressed out, I escape inside my own mind and become someone else. Next thing you know, I have a whole set of characters playing out scenes in my head. My friends are the ones who encouraged me to start writing these daydreams down and to share them with others.

9.            How do you feel now that youre a published writer? Are you satisfied with your achievement?

·         Getting published meant crossing off the number one item on my “Bucket List.” It’s been a challenging and fulfilling journey.

10. Do you prefer self-publishing or the traditional form of publishing?

·         I have been working with a small publishing house. I don’t have the pressures of working with a big house, but I get to work with an editor, a cover artist, and a community of other writers.

11. Describe yourself in 3 words.

·         Sarcastic. Neurotic. Daydreamer.

12. Any secret or fact about you that will surprise your readers and others as well?

·         Item #2 on my Bucket List is to go ghost busting with TAPS.

13. Three most important things that an amateur writer must keep in mind while writing his first book.

·         Write what you love, keep marketing in mind early on, and (to borrow from Green Day) don’t let your doubts be someone else’s point of view.

14. How do you spend your leisure time except for writing? Are you into sports?

·         I like to read to my boys, play poker with my friends, and relax in front of a good movie with my husband.  I would add daydreaming, but I consider that part of my writing process.

15. Your favourite vacation destination? Had it ever became the place where you based any of yours book? If yes, then which one?

·         My favorite vacation spot is Lake Chelan. It’s far enough away to be considered a getaway, without it being a grueling marathon traveling there with the kids. I tend to use places I’ve lived as inspiration for the settings in my novels. The world in my fantasy novel is covered in trees, like the ones in my backyard growing up. Hitchhiker is set in Seattle, in the old Naval housing I lived in while my husband was attending UW.

16. Did you always wanted 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?

·         In high school I was sure I was either going to write and direct my own movies or become an investigative reporter. In college I toyed with the idea of going into publishing and becoming an editor, but I ended up going into teaching. I didn’t write much after college, until a few years ago. Some friends of mine found out I liked to write, and they encouraged me to start up again. Now I can’t shut it off.

17.         Are you currently working on a project? If yes, would you like your readers to have a sneak peek into it?

·         I am polishing up a romantic comedy, working on the third and final book of my fantasy series, and pecking away at a sequel to Hitchhiker. People can keep up with my projects by checking out my website or following my fan page on Facebook.

18.         Your top three favourite authors?

·         I like Tolkien, Capote, and Stephen King.

19.         Your top three favourite books of all time?

·         Ramona the Brave, The Hobbit, and To Kill a Mockingbird.

20.         Any suggestions or advice for the upcoming writers on editing and publishing their books?

·         In terms of editing: be willing to make changes to your work, as long as you remain true to your message and voice. In terms of getting published: be prepared to take an active role in marketing your book.

·         Thanks so much for the interview!

Author Bio:

Audra's love of writing began in the third grade, when she was chosen to go to a young author’s conference based on her story, "The Dragon Cookie,” which is about a giant cookie that comes to life. She continued writing, and was sometimes asked to write stories for friends as birthday gifts.

Audra went to college thinking she would go into journalism, but opted to go into publishing instead, and even took an internship at Yale University Press. She married right after college and was unable to find a publishing job where they were living in Seattle. Audra took an office job. After helping put her husband through law school, she went back to school and got her teaching degree. Audra enjoyed teaching, but once her oldest was born, she chose to stay home. At the encouragement of friends she started writing again, the result being her first novel, Watcher, which was released in January of 2013.

Audra and her husband now live in a small town in Eastern Washington with their three boys. They also have a black Lab named Benji who eats shoes, gophers and packages left on her front porch (thanks Fed-Ex). She recently went back to work as a Kindergarten teacher, but she still writes, dabbles in on-line shopping and plays Texas Hold ‘Em with her friends as often she can.

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