Thursday, March 29, 2012

Kingdom of Glass by D.A. Ramirez



Blurb:

Robert grows up in a small town and suffers hardships that no child should be faced with. Forced to cope with the sudden loss of his parents, he must find a way to survive the ever-increasing odds against him. His journey takes him through heaven and hell, from the pressures of neighborhood bullies to the mysteries of love.

Meanwhile, a strength grows inside of him that he doesn't understand. His world is changing at a pace that he can't follow, accompanied by challenges for which he is unprepared. His body is turning into a mysterious weapon that he can't control, and there is no one to turn to. His friends disappear and he is once again at the center of the storm. Robert must fight his own past to discover the truth behind the plague that is certain to destroy North Fork. When his own life is threatened, he is forced to confront the power within before all is lost.

A story of personal change through sacrifice and hardship, Kingdom of Glass takes us on a journey through the human psyche, confronting the truth behind what we perceive to be right and wrong. It's a story of heart, struggle, and survival that keeps you guessing until the end. Like Robert Lawson, we never know when our world will begin to shatter around us.

Q&A with the author:

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

D.A.: Sure can. I have recently finished my tour in the Marine Corps to focus on my writing. I’m applying to USC’s Masters of Professional Writing for next fall. Kingdom of Glass is my first published novel. The first of many, I hope.

Q: For a first timer, what’s been your experience going through the whole process?

D.A.: Writing the first draft of the book was by far the funnest and most rewarding part of this whole thing. I had the idea burning in my mind and it took me two months, while working 7 to 5, to get it out on paper. Vinspire Publishing was the first press I sent it to, and I was grateful for having been offered a contract. I thought it would end there, that my job was done. Boy, was I wrong. The editing and marketing has been way more difficult than I imagined, but an adventure nonetheless! All the thanks in the world go to Dawn Carrington and Stephanie Taylor, who guided me through every step in the process.

Q: Did you write Kingdom of Glass for young adults?

D.A.: Not at all. I had an idea for a book, and then I sat down and wrote it. Actually, I was surprised when my publisher said it was “Young Adult”. I said, “What do you mean? Like Twilight?” I didn’t even fully realize until later that it was told from the perspective of a child who grew into a young adult. It was just a story to me. But I’m fine with it. Ultimately, I hope that the mature themes of the novel resonate with a large audience. They certainly do with me.

Q: What are you working on now? Future plans?

D.A.: I’ve already finished the first draft for the second novel of the Kingdom of Glass series, titled Prince of Light. I’ll be working to finish up that one, along with a different book called Something Beautiful, a love story. I’ve also completed several short stories that I’ll look to publish as a collection, and I’m working with a couple Hollywood friends on a pilot for a new sitcom.

Q: Any time for hobbies?

D.A.: Writing still feels like a hobby, but I read a lot, too. Mostly my old favorites like Stephen King and Michael Crichton, but I get my hands on as much as the new and popular stuff that I can get. The wife and I get out and do all the fun stuff, like Disneyland, Six Flags, and sporting events when we get the chance.

Q: Where can readers find you online?

D.A.: I have a website where I write a blog once a week on various topics. I also have Facebook and Twitter account. Info below:

Twitter: @AuthorDARamirez


Excerpt:

After the play ended, they stayed in their seats. The theater emptied and no one forced them to leave. Alternatives were few. Either they went back to her house or his, but staying where they were was the only way they could have a little privacy.
“You never talk about your parents,” she said.
He looked at her, his eyes wide. “Why?”
“I didn’t mean anything by it. I just never hear about them.”
“I don’t really remember much.”
She shrugged her shoulders, expecting more.
“Really? Not even a little?”
He would have loved to open up, especially to her, but the door that had sealed itself shut with the passing of time wasn’t yet ready to be unlocked.
“Not even a little,” he admitted.
“That’s too bad. How long ago did they die?”
“I was young. Well, maybe not that young. I think I was about seven when my dad died.”
“That would be seven years ago, right?”
“Yeah. I guess it would.” Did he imagine things or was Felicia inching closer? He couldn’t tell.
“Too bad you can’t remember. It must be hard.”
“It is,” Robert agreed. “Sometimes I wish I could, but I think life’s pretty good right now.” He put an arm around her while he spoke. Smooth. She didn’t even notice.
“Oh, you do?”
“I do.”
Sitting under the moonlit sky, they’d somehow ended up in each other’s arms as the deadline approached. For a few moments time disappeared, everything blacked out, and her chilled hand against the back of his neck pulled him closer to her. Robert would later wonder if he kissed her or she kissed him. Either way, the stars had aligned for one night. The poets and romantics had been redeemed. She’d washed away all the pain he’d ever felt in a single gesture, in giving him a kiss. One that he would never forget. And it took every ounce of Robert’s considerable will to pull away from her and say that they needed to go.
Given the conversation with her dad, he didn’t want to be a second late.

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