Q&A with E.M. Tippets + Give@way

1. Please tell us about Castles in the Sand?
Madison Lukas has never been loved, not even by her own mother, so she doesn't know how to love herself. When her long lost older brother finds her, she doesn't understand why he's so bossy. He wants her to have better friends and ditch her boyfriend. Only after several trials does she figure out that her big brother believes she deserves better, and once she raises her standards, she's amazed to learn that he's right.

2. Was Madison Lukas a hard character to write?why?
Yes, she was very hard for the first half of the book because she is very passive. She doesn't act much, so it was a challenge to move the story along without any help from her. She becomes more active in the last half.

3. What do you hope to say to people with your writing?
I just want to entertain, really. Statements are for essays, reports, and articles. I tell stories.

4. What else are you working on?
Right now I'm writing the sequel to Castles on the Sand, which will be called Personal Demons. It picks up right when Madison's boyfriend leaves on a two year mission for the LDS Church and breaks up with her, and this book will be told from the guy's point of view.

5. Do you have a favorite place to write?
I don't have that luxury. If I got picky about where I wrote, I'd never write. I'm a full time mommy with a working husband, so I just have to find a way to write wherever and whenever I have a spare moment.

6. What's your favorite book?
Far too many to name! I tend to prefer young adult to adult titles. I prefer the pacing. Grown up books can really drag along for me.

7. Who inspires you?
Real heroes, who often don't get their names written in lights. The main character in Personal Demons is a respite care worker - which means he looks after children and adults with special needs while their families get a rest. I don't think a lot of people realize how much some families have to sacrifice to look after someone with a disability, or how little help they get sometimes. Whenever I hear someone complaining about not having enough for retirement, I think of all the people I know who won't get a retirement. They'll be a full time caregiver for the rest of their lives.

8. What do you do when you're not writing?
Play with my two toddler sons and sleep. I also conduct interviews for BlackGate.com and blog now and then.

9. Coffee or Tea?
I'm a Mormon, so neither! Before I joined the Church, it was coffee.

10. What's your favorite Christmas song?
Joy to the World, it's upbeat and easy to sing - and I like that because it means everyone around me sings it and drowns me out :-)

About the author:
Emily Mah Tippetts writes romance as E.M. Tippetts and science fiction and fantasy as Emily Mah. Originally from New Mexico, she now lives in London with her family. To learn more about her, please visit her website: emtippetts.com

E.M. Tippetts is giving away a copy of her book, Castles on the Sand to one lucky reader. The winner will get to choose between an ebook or paperback. You must be at least 13 years old to enter. Giveaway is open internationally. Good Luck! 

About the book: Madison Lukas knows her place in the world. She’s not pretty, not interesting, and therefore easy to forget.
John Britton is serving his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and has been praying for fifteen years to find the sister he lost in his parents’ divorce. She is beautiful, talented, and makes kindness a fine art.
When John and Madison cross paths, he recognizes her at once, but Madison is certain that he’s got it all wrong. Even if she is his long-lost sister, she can’t possibly be the exceptional, amazing girl he thinks she is, can she?

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