Book Tour ~ Astrid V. Tallaksen
Posted by authorcamilson
About the Book
Title: At Death’s Door
Author: Astrid V. Tallaksen
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance
The world is a pretty straightforward place. Even for medium Sara Stone things seem pretty simple, aside from the whole talking to spirits bit. But when the spirits get too hard to handle and Sara ends up admitted to a mental hospital, the world starts to seem a lot less straightforward. First her family disappears, including her four year old son. Then she gets the sneaking suspicion that not only are the staff at the mental hospital somehow connected, but they also have no intention of ever letting her leave the hospital.
Everything changes when Sara has her first visitor in three months. Daniel is handsome, friendly, and a complete stranger. When he promises to spring her from the hospital and swears that everything she’s experienced is completely real, Sara has no choice but to believe him. But once she reaches a run-down Victorian house in the tiny Alabama town her rescuer calls home, the last thing she expects to discover is that every memory she has is a lie.
Daniel reveals a world filled with angels, demons, and an impending war humans know nothing about. Sara wants to ignore her role in the whole mess – all that matters is solving the mystery of where her son has gone. But the forces of Heaven, Hell, and the Heart have other plans for her. Can she find her child before the world comes crashing down?
Astrid V. Tallaksen grew up with a heart for stories of creatures and places outside of this world. Her love of reading quickly became a love of writing. She spent several years creating content and helping writers to improve their craft on the online world of Althanas, a creative writing workshop in the guise of a roleplaying forum. A self-avowed nerd, Astrid loves science fiction, comic books, and eighties fantasy movies in the vein of The Princess Bride and Labyrinth. Her geekiness extends to annual volunteer work at the massive sci-fi convention known as Dragon*con every year in Atlanta, Georgia. In the odd times that she’s not immersed in geekdom or writing, Astrid loves to sing karaoke, crochet, and spend time with her family and pets.
Astrid, thanks for being my guest today. Tell our readers about you.
Where do I begin? I’m the mom of an awesome and frustrating 11 year old boy, and happily married to my husband. I have a house full of critters – 2 dogs and 2 cats (and the 11 year old boy lol). Currently I’m back in school (someday I’ll have a degree – maybe by the time I’m 40), with a major in English Literature and a minor in Gender and Multicultural Studies. I hope it will help me in my writing and editing. I love karaoke, crocheting, and swimming.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I guess it depends on the day really. Most days it’s my crazy kid. Some days it’s because I have an amazing idea in my head that HAS to get down on paper. If I’m really lucky it’s because I’m traveling somewhere with my husband or having a girl’s day out with my mom or a friend.
If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Probably Angelina Jolie (although Tom Hiddleston would be a close second). She’s just an inspiration to me. She’s a brilliant actress, but more importantly she’s a great person who does wonderful things in the world. She’s also a fantastic mom, with a huge heart.
What’s the story behind your latest book?
The Freefall Trilogy, which I’m working on the last book of, has a core theme of Free Will. Everything boils down to a person’s ability to make personal choices, whether good or bad, and face the consequences, whatever they are. It’s been an interesting journey as I navigated my own personal beliefs about it, and then compared them to some of the world’s major religions.
Tell us your writing process
I am kind of a freeform writer. I don’t do outlines or anything like that, because it just doesn’t work for me. Instead, I let the characters take charge, and write in a very chronological manner. I do keep a notebook where I take research notes, or write down quotes that inspire me or make me think of certain characters or relationships, or little pieces of plot ideas or dialogue I’ve had pop into my head.
What tips can you give other authors who are looking to get the word out about their book?
That’s definitely been a learning process, and honestly I’m still learning. Between Heaven & Hell just came out in March, and it’s only my second book, so I haven’t quite figured out the best way to navigate promoting yet. I try to make sure I keep up with my social media so people are seeing my name, which I feel is really important. Word of mouth is important as well, and I have no problem with wrangling my friends into putting the word out there. I’ve had a book signing, which was fun but I wish more people had come. I also have business cards and a website so that I can quickly get my information to people. I send out a lot of review requests, because I think reviews are a very important part of getting people interested in your book. And finally, blog tours like this are quite fun and helpful as well.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I don’t know if there was a realization. I’ve been telling stories forever. I wrote my first (very short) book in kindergarten, and just never stopped. I didn’t realize I wanted to do it, I guess in a way I was just born this way.
Tell us about your main character:
Sara. I love Sara. She’s bold and sassy, filled with snark, but she’s not fearless by any means. She’s strong but she knows she has to lean on people sometimes because she can’t do everything herself. She has a huge heart, which can be a bit of a weakness for her. In these books she starts out in a mental hospital because she sees ghosts.
What are you working on next?
Once I finish the Freefall Trilogy, I’ve got plans for a couple more projects. The most immediate one will focus on a character named Skyler, a girl who starts out rough and is trained as an assassin. Her adventures aren’t as world-changing as Sara’s, but she’s definitely going to have some pretty crazy things going on in her world, which will be full on fantasy.
Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I’m a decent photographer, and I’m also a pretty good singer. I used to be much better than I am now, at one point singing opera and classical pieces. Now it’s only karaoke now and then, which is kind of sad.
Who are your favorite authors?
My absolute favorite author is Madeleine L’Engle, who wrote A Wrinkle in Time among other books. I collect everything she writes, sometimes in multiple editions. She was almost like another family member for me and her words got me through some very tough times. My other favorites include Diana Gabaldon (Outlander), David Eddings (Belgariad), and Victoria Holt.
What do you like to do with your free time?
Sleep? It’s underrated if you ask me. Other things I like to do are karaoke, crochet, photography, and a bit of painting.
Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
I will probably be doing a bit more straight up fantasy, like the assassin books that will be next, as well as some about a fallen valkyrie. Who knows what else I’ll come up with after that.
Any final thoughts?
I’m very grateful for the opportunity to share my work and my thoughts and processes and loves. I suppose I could leave you with a quote from my favorite movie, Dream for an Insomniac: “Unless it’s mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it’s a waste of your time. There are too many mediocre things in life. Love shouldn’t be one of them.”
Posted on August 3, 2015, in Guest Authors and tagged @astrid_writes, Astrid V. Tallaksen, At Death’s Door, author interview, Between Heaven & Hell, book promotion tips, writing tips. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.