Interview with SEASONS WITHIN author Lele Iturrioz
We are so excited to be releasing another book by Acorn author Lele Iturrioz. SPRING will be out on September 1, 2017. It is book #2 in her YA series, SEASONS WITHIN. Here's a little interview with the lovely Lele! Enjoy :)
1. Hi Lele! Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Hello! I’m the author of the YA fantasy series Season Within. I began working as a film producer but after finishing a screenwriting program in Los Angeles, I wound up returning to my first love… books!
2. What are your ambitions as a writer?
My dream is to have at least six different series. I want to keep writing novels, scripts and to-do lists until the day I die!
3. What led you to write Season Within? Does it have any social or political themes?
The idea of Seasons Within was originally inspired by epic music and flying leaves, but the heart of the story revolves around many social issues, especially humanity’s lack of care for nature and the living things that inhabit it.
4. Can you tell us a little about the series as a whole?
Seasons Within is the first in a 5 book fantasy series. It’s about G, a teenage girl who learns that she comes from a place where people can wield one of the four elements. However, she is the only one who can wield, destroy or create all four of them. G must learn how to use her gifts in order to defeat a man who almost destroyed her world. She’s also intrigued by a man she shouldn’t be talking to and she’s in love with a man who’s job it is to protect her.
SW is a new world full of adventure, epic battles, suspense, friends, romance, nature,
beasts, and quirky humor.
5. Was Seasons Within (Book #1) well-received? How did readers like it?
Fortunately, I received amazing responses from readers. I’ve had people send me gorgeous paintings of scenes or symbols of SW, pictures of their dream cast with quotes, their thoughts on their favorite characters, etc. I love the readers’ enthusiasm, it’s so contagious and makes every sleepless night worth it.
6. Would you give us some insight into your main character G?
With no memories of her life before the age of six, G’s a lost teenager who tries to find herself and the place she came from. She’s brave, loyal, stubborn and has a strange connection to nature. Every night she has the same nightmare of a war between horrendous beasts and humans who can wield the four elements… if only she knew her nightmare isn’t a dream, but a memory.
7. Aside from writing YA fantasy, do you write other genres?
I have an NA comedy/romance book called Our Quarter-Life Crisis that will be coming out around the end of next year and an adult fantasy book that I'm co-writing with my best friend and bestselling author, Adriana González Márquez.
8. Do you try to be more original in your stories or deliver the readers what they want?
I think it’s impossible to give the readers what they want. We’re all different. Some will love a character and others will hate the same character. I write what I would like to read or the adventures I would love to live.
9. Do you incorporate some of your ethnicity into your characters? Either in personality, culture or background?
I do. I love stories with different ethnicities and personalities. That’s how we are, that’s who we are. We’re all a mix. In Seasons Within, I have twelve recurring characters and they’re all from different ethnicities and personalities. The charismatic Donovan is Mexican, the alpha Edan is from England, the sweet Shui is Chinese, the smart-ass Priyam is from India, the brave G is from Greece, etc.
10. What kind of research did you do, and how long do you spend researching before you start writing a book?
I love doing research. I take a year for planning, researching and outlining every detail of the world before I even begin to write. I have a booklet called Terra’s Guidebook (download for free at http://www.leleiturrioz.com/goodies-giveaway) where I have all my characters and their stats, the world of Terra, its rules, its past, the cities, the bad guys, the symbols, everything! (Warning, it has spoilers!).
11. Do you feel guilty when killing your characters whether they are good or bad?
I know this answer might make me sound like a serial killer, but I never feel guilty when I kill a character because I don't kill randomly. Every death, just like every step the characters take, has a reason and needs to be in the story in order for it to be told properly.
12. What should your audience expect when book two, SPRING, arrives? Is it a satisfying ending or an awful cliffhanger?
Spring will reveal some secrets, have more romance, lots of humor, new elements, dangerous games, the first glance of Terra and an ending that will leave the readers on the edge of their seats.
13. How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
I don’t follow reviews. I believe reviews only boost the writer’s ego or knock it down, both of which I’d rather avoid. The reviews are for the new readers, kind of like a guarantee of a good product. The only ones I’ve read were sent to me by the readers themselves.
14. What do you think of “trailers” for books? And do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s?
I love them! I think some people tend to be more visual than others, so it helps a lot to have a book trailer. That way you can reach different audiences in different ways.
I have one. A friend of mine that loves editing made a trailer after reading Seasons Within. I’m so happy she did because I adore how it looks.
You can check it out on my website (www.leleiturrioz.com) or on YouTube.
16. Where do your ideas for Season Within come from?
Everywhere. Nature, the people around me, music, food; etc. I often find myself gathering inspiration from the places I least expect.
17. Do you work with an outline or prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
Planning! I love planning. The more I know the world and every one of my characters, the more I know how they would react and the challenges they might face.
18. Will you be hosting any giveaways with your release?
Yes, on my website. The prize will be a copy of Seasons Within plus an ARC copy of Spring.
19. How can readers discover more about you and your work?
You can go to my website, subscribe to my reader’s group, and get the first 3 Chapters of Seasons Within to see for yourself what it’s all about!