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Blog Tour: Jon Skovron and STRUTS AND FRETS

Please welcome Jon Skovron, whose YA novel STRUTS AND FRETS was released last month.

About the book:

More than anything, Sammy wants to play guitar in a famous indie rock band. The problem is that his front man is a jerk who can't sing, his bassist is a burn-out who can't remember the songs, and his drummer is just out to lunch. But Sammy needs this band because it's the only good thing he's got going. His father skipped out before he was born, his mother is an overworked therapist with a drinking problem, his grandfather is slowly losing his mind to Alzheimer's, and the girl of his dreams is dating his jerk lead singer.

Now that jerk lead singer has entered them in a Battle of the Bands contest to win free studio time and guaranteed radio play. Sammy has two weeks to get them to sound like a real band, or face public humiliation in front of the entire local indie music scene.

An Interview with Jon Skovron:

Me: What were your favorite books (or types of books) as a teen, and what was it about them that appealed to you? What, on the other hand, would make you put a book down?
Jon: My favorite books were usually big sweeping epics that went on for book after book that I could totally immerse myself in. High fantasy like Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings or Eddings's The Belgariad, and also darker stuff like Rice's The Vampire Chronicles or Gaiman's The Sandman (comics count, right?).
Honestly, if it didn't have an element of sci-fi, fantasy, or horror, I wouldn't even pick it up unless it was assigned reading for school. I'm not sure why I had such an extreme prejudice, especialy since some of the books I was "forced" to read, like Camus's The Stranger, or Hemmingway's The Snows of Kilimanjaro, ended up being some of my all-time favorites.

Me: Have your reading tastes stayed the same, or have you discovered new loves and peeves (and if so, what are they)?
Jon: Defintiely. While big bold fantasy and horror stories remain my favorite type, my tastes are much broader. Obviously, since there isn't a lick of magic in STRUTS & FRETS. But at the same time, it's much harder for me to actually enjoy reading fiction becase I'm always automaticlly trying to figure out what the author's doing.

Me: What was your favorite part of writing STRUTS AND FRETS, and what was the hardest?
Jon: The first draft was a blast. It all came so effortlessly, honestly. The hard part was going back and figuring out what I'd done so that I could fix the parts that weren't working.

Me: Did you draw on any people/places/experiences from your life while writing?
Jon: Always. Even when writing about paranormal detectives who battle wits with demons, I'm drawing from my own life. And STRUTS & FRETS is particularly personal, since it takes place in my home town of Columbus, Ohio.
My favorite way to create a character is to take two or three people who are nothing alike (usually people that I know, although sometimes I use celebrities as well) and mash them into one person. Poof! Instant internal conflict!

Me: What was the most exciting moment during the publishing process? The scariest?
Jon: The most exciting (so far) was getting the first hardback copy of my book in the mail. I may have gotten a little misty...
The scariest (so far) was going to this dinner/awards thing during BEA and trying to front like I was an author when there were "real" authors like Holly Black and Scott Westerfield around. But my publicist bullied me into introducing myself and I'm so glad she did because they are cool and did not laugh in my face like I feared they might.

Me: What are you working on now?
Jon: A big epic sweeping urban dark fantasy.

Hope you enjoyed getting to know Jon! More interviews to come next month. :)

My Books

Earth & Sky
(Earth & Sky #1, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2014

The Clouded Sky
(Earth & Sky #2, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

A Sky Unbroken
(Earth & Sky #3, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

The Way We Fall
(Fallen World #1, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2012

The Lives We Lost
(Fallen World #2, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2013

The Worlds We Make
(Fallen World #3, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2014

Those Who Lived: Fallen World Stories
(Fallen World #3.5, apocalyptic YA)
self pubbed, 2014

Give Up the Ghost
(paranormal YA)
Henry Holt, 2009

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