Welcome to my stop on Christine O’Neil’s CHAOS blog tour! I was able to ask Christine some questions about her new book, so check out what she has to say!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Christine O’Neil] Introverted geek w/a love of TV (Sherlock,Dr Who,GoT) books (HP,Divergent)&movies,quick to laugh&makes a mean double chocolate layer cake.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about CHAOS?
[Christine O’Neil] Chaos is about a girl who finds out that she is a semi-god descended from Aphrodite with the powers to suck the love (and subsequently, the life) out of people with her fingertips. She meets a boy at school who is superhot, but also the bane of her existence. Come to find out, he’s more than he seems and not exactly human himself. Here’s the blurb!
My name is Maggie Raynard. After sixteen years being just plain me, suddenly, when I lose my temper, my fingers become weapons of mass destruction. Turns out I’m a semi-god, descended from Aphrodite. Sounds cool in theory, but when I accidentally put my ex-boyfriend in a coma, things go downhill pretty fast.
Now some new guy named Mac Finnegan has made it his mission in life to continually piss me off. I’m stuck learning how to use my new powers while also dealing with regular high school problems, and with this annoying—and super-hot—guy all up in my business, I’m about to flip out.
But it gets worse. I just learned there’s this watchdog council of semis who keeps an eye out for any bad apples. They think I’m the baddest of the bunch and want to take me out before I do any more damage. My nemesis Mac might turn out to be my salvation, only he’s got secrets of his own…and they may just kill us both.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Christine O’Neil] This book was actually a collaboration between me and my editor and publisher at Entangled, Liz Pelletier. She was looking for someone to write a book on an idea she had and put out a call to authors, asking them to write a sample chapter that incorporated their best YA voice. Then she would pick one of the authors to work with. 156 of us sent in writing samples, and a week later, she called me, SUPER excited about the scene I sent her (which was brainstormed in my living room when my kids and husband and I sitting around and someone made a “That’s what SHE said”. We spit-balled from there, talking about a girl who had an advice column called that, and how she was a semi-god and voila! Anyway, Liz loved it so much, she wanted to contract my story immediately. So we took the little kernel of an idea I had written, and sat on the phone until around 2 a.m. world building around that scene. What we ended up was a loose outline for Chaos (and the rest of the Kardia Chronicles series). It was literally one of the most exciting and fun creative experiences of my life!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Maggie?
[Christine O’Neil] Funny. Snarky. Screwed.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Mac had a theme song, what would it be?
[Christine O’Neil] Titanium.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Maggie is never without.
[Christine O’Neil] The entwined ring Mac gives her. (I’m giving some of these away as blog tour contest prizes, one 14k gold, three silver. They are GORGEOUS, check it!):
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Mac’s pocket?
[Christine O’Neil] Any kind of weapon (he doesn’t need them).
A picture of Maggie, because he can’t stand her. Seriously. She’s his enemy. What? IT’S TRUE. Stop looking at him like that.
A salmon. Because who would keep a salmon in their pocket, am I right?
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Maggie’s greatest regret?
[Christine O’Neil] Probably not getting to spend more time with her father before he died.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Christine O’Neil] If you mean like, what authors inspire me, then I’d say Charles Dickens, J.K. Rowling, Gillian Flynn, Neil Gaiman and Stephen King.
If you mean like what gets my creative juices flowing then I think I’d have to say the world around me. Especially people. Whenever I see someone with a really distinct personality trait or a way of speaking, or a certain way they walk etc. I get really excited because it makes me want to tweak that facet of that person and use it for a character. So for example, there is a secondary character named Libby in Chaos who is super dramatic and her clothes are never appropriate for the situations she’s in but she doesn’t care. Here’s a little description of her in the book:
“She loved clothes and dressing up but always seemed to miss the mark, wearing kooky stuff like berets and leg warmers, sometimes simultaneously. Today she had on a pink puffy skirt with matching flats and her blond hair was secured in a bun at the top of her head with a pair of chopsticks. All in all, she looked like either the prettiest girl to ever escape a mental hospital or like she’d jacked a ballerina on the way to school and stolen her gear. And she didn’t give a crap.”
That trait was taken from my future daughter in law Allison. She’s the type of person who will walk out of the bedroom in the morning wearing a cocktail dress and it’ll be like, “Uh, it’s nine a.m. Where ya going?” And she’ll be like, “What do you mean? Nowhere.”
That’s so distinctly her and those are the types of things that compel me to create characters and write their stories.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Christine O’Neil] Coffee, chocolate and coffee. Wait, no. Fingers, laptop and eyeballs, I guess would be better choices, huh? But it’d be brutal without the coffee and chocolate.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on CHAOS?
[Christine O’Neil] Other books in my head. That’s always the distraction. For Chaos they weren’t as loud as usual, because I was really in deep with this one. First person books always seem to control more of my brain than when I’m writing third person, and this one more so than any other. But as entrenched as I was in Maggie and her story, I still had that little tickle in the back of my brain going, “Don’t forget about THIS other story”. It’s nothing I would ever complain about, though. Having TOO many ideas is a problem I’ll happily live with :OD
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Christine O’Neil] Ooooh, let’s see, that LAST one was Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I hadn’t caught wind of it when it first came out, but I got it a couple weeks ago and loved it so much, I couldn’t wait to read more of her work.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Christine O’Neil] Wow, I’m not sure how to answer that one. I started reading really young, like four years old, and once I started I never stopped. I was insatiable. I think the first book I actually remember reading was Charlotte’s Web. God, I cried and cried, but I loved that book. Still do.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Christine O’Neil] I’m pretty much a total geek so I love to read, play board games with my family, and watch movies and TV shows like Sherlock, Doctor Who, Orphan Black, Game of Thrones and such. We also love to make movie and show-themed cakes like this one that we made for the season premiere of Game of Thrones:
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Christine O’Neil] I tweet a lot here https://twitter.com/ConeilYA and here https://twitter.com/_ChristineBell (my adult contemporary alter-ego) & I have a Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/TheKardiaChronicles here. I love chatting with readers about books and all manner of things, so hit me up!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
About the book:
About the author:
Christine O’Neil is one half of the happiest couple in the world. She and her handsome hubby currently reside in Pennsylvania with a four-pack of teenage boys and their two dogs, Gimli and Pug. If she gets time off from her duties as maid, chef, chauffeur, or therapist, she can be found reading just about anything she can get her hands on, from Young Adult novels to books on poker theory. She doesn’t like root beer, clowns or bugs (except ladybugs, on account of their cute outfits), but lurrves chocolate, going to the movies, the New York Giants and playing Texas Hold ‘Em. Writing is her passion, but if she had to pick another occupation, she would be a pirate…or, like, a ninja maybe. She loves writing fun and adventure-filled romance stories, but also hopes to one day publish something her dad can read without wanting to dig his eyes out with rusty spoons. Christine loves to hear from readers, so please feel free to get in touch with her via the Contact Page. Christine also writes adult romance under the name Christine Bell.
3 Prize Packs!
1 sterling silver ring and a Team Mac pin as well as temporary tattoos of the magpie.
1 sterling silver ring and a Team Mac pin as well as temporary tattoos of the magpie.
1 fourteen karat gold ring, and a Team Mac pin as well as temporary tattoos of the magpie.
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