Thursday, October 18, 2012

Commencement: review and mini-interview

I have always dreamed of the supernatural, of magic, and of other worldly powers. What Emma possesses may seem like a super awesome gift at first glance-I mean, being able to feel others' emotions? No anxiety over your boyfriend's feelings for you, or knowing if a parent is angry pre-yelling session? Sounds preee-tty cool...not. Emma feels her "weirdness of being able to feel other people’s emotions like they’re [her] own" is "awkward", and she doesn't view her ability much as a gift. Bottom line, the girl is not normal. Throughout the novella, which is a 99 cent prequel to the Hellsbane series by Paige Cuccaro, the readers are shown Emma Jane's yearning for the one thing she is not: normal. Though the writing and technique was superb, I felt the plot was lacking in originality. I have yet to have seen a freaky supernatural girl who hasn't sobbed over being different...However, the characters were amusing.One of my favorites, a character named Mihir, is an adorable 15 year old boy who crushes on Emma Jane and insults her boyfriend, Justin. Too cute. Even with the awkwardness of Emma feeling his feelings of, um, let's say excitement. This part in the novella was rather amusing. Both Emma and Mihir had skipped grades because of their outstanding academics, but poor little Mihir was a college junior in a fifteen-year old boy's body...What can a guy do? He's got hormones. None the less, he is still a sweet kid who helps Emma through her troubles with possible druggy/maybe possessed boyfriend Justin, who Emma is desperately worried about when she senses a dark hatred from his emotions. When a mysterious ring seemingly causes this change in Justin, and then later is connected to tales of jenni's, Emma has to fight a powerful darkness. At this point, I was reminded of that Disney movie, Now You See It? with all the magicians and the dark magic and the ring and all that jazz. When further events occur, and Justin is connected to a death, more questions arise, and Emma Jane must use her abilities for the good of everybody. Though the story was a bit cliche and predictable, I was interested enough to want to know where Emma Jane's path will take her. It is a short read, and to make it even better, it's less than a dollar! I mean, that is most certainly a plus. I hope you enjoy the mini interview that I have conducted with the author, Paige Cuccaro.
Bye bye, 


What is the backstory to your writing career?
I didn't start out wanting to be a writer. I actually went to college to be an elementary teacher. But they want you to actually TEACH the kids stuff and I just liked taking care of them. I decided it was probably better than I have a few of my own and the change suited me. But I've always enjoyed writing and after reading a series of books by an author who is now my hero, Anne Rice, I knew that I wanted to do what she could do. I wanted to tell stories that would transport the reader, suspend reality and bring them into a world of my making. I started seriously writing when I moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio 13 years ago. In Ohio I discovered a local writing group, Central Ohio Fiction Writers and through them I joined Romance Writers of America. They're both wonderful organizations filled with awesome people. I've learned so much and am still learning. I never would've gotten as far in my career if not for these groups and their members.

What books have inspired you throughout your life?
Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire is the book I point to as the inspiration to my writing addiction. This woman has such an amazing gift and I would count myself blessed to have half her talent.

What are you currently reading?
I'm reading Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris. I'm probably the only person on the planet that hasn't read them. But I love the HBO series and I just had to check out the books. So far, they ROCK!

What input did you have in the cover of COMMENCEMENT?
Not a lot. I told them what Emma looked like and what her personality was like. I filled them in on what Commencement was about, setting, genre. And then I shut my mouth and let the artist do her thing. I like to think the more artists are allowed to flex their creative muscles the better the end result will be. So far, I haven't been proven wrong.

If you had a paranormal ability, would you choose the ability to feel other people's emotions as well? If not, what would you choose?
No way would I choose Emma's ability. It's one thing to know what people are feeling, it's something totally different to actually FEEL what they're feeling. I mean, can you imagine having that ability as a teenager and your parents are...getting close in the room next door? Ewww... If I could pick an ability I think I'd go with mind reading or, telekinesis. Much more fun, with a lower ick factor.

Thanks again, Anna!!
Paige :)

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