The Chosen Sector C Volume 1 by Nina Soden Genre: Urban Fantasy
Set in a futuristic dystopian where society is governed by a council of vampires and lycanthropes, selection students are sheltered and raised in a deceptively utopian world. Strict rules are imposed to control population growth, education, and even personal interactions with other members of the Sector, all in the name of safety. When ‘A’ comes of age, she like all youth throughout Sector C and her selection classmates aren’t sent out into the world to find jobs, make money and lead happy carefree lives. They are forced to endure the rigorous physical and mental testing of Selection Week before choosing their destiny or being forced into a fate far worse. Those that make it out alive are announced as sector residence, given a position within the society, and allotted all the privileges of their chosen “culture.” However, when your only choices are vampirism, lycanthropy, breeder, blood donor, or banishment to the Wastelands, what choice do you really have? Suspenseful, intense, passionate, and awash in paranormal delights, Sector C captures the enchantment and mysteries of the supernatural world and the power of friendship.
In the future, most of the world is governed by a council of vampires and lycanthropes. Sector residents are offered the freedom to live as they desire provided they stay and abide by the laws handed down. After being jolted awake by the blaring screech of the sector alarm, Zelina is dragged from her bed, gagged, and tied to a chair. Confronted with the brutal murder of one of her former classmates, she realizes that all eyes are on her as the primary suspect. Whether she was involved or not doesn’t matter. In the eyes of most sector residents, and most Council Members, Zelina is already a pariah—feared for the powers she will certainly come to possess. For she is the first human known to have both vampire and lycanthrope blood flowing through her veins. Zelina will find herself on a gripping adventure that will take her beyond the borders she’s known all her life in an attempt to save those she loves—and herself from becoming The Hunted.
Change is happening all around Zelina and with it a prophesy is revealed. Is Zelina the key to unlocking a new way of existing on earth? What will she do when she discovers the true monsters of Sector C – the darkness that feeds off of the fear and the unknowing. Will she be able to suspend her own disbelief about what is possible and secure a new future? With the help of Merick, a motley crew of defectors, and a host of unexpected allies, Zelina bridges space and time in an attempt to bring forth a new future for all sentient beings. Join Zelina, Merick, and the others as they discover the power of the prophesy and their parts in setting their stagnant world free.
I have always been creative, be it art, theatre, film – anything but singing – you don’t want to hear that! I earned her bachelor’s degree in Theatre and Military Science from EMU where I spent most of my time either on stage, rappelling down buildings, or working one of three jobs. After college, I moved to Los Angeles, like so many other want-to-be actors, in pursuit of my dreams. I worked to pay the bills… but my love was acting and I was actually somewhat successful, mostly in commercials and independent films and I had a great time doing it.
In 2008, after some major life changes, I self-published her first book PRIVATE WORDS UNSPOKEN, a compilation of poetry. Since then, my dreams have gotten bigger and I would like to think my storytelling ability has gotten better. I have done everything from secretarial work to business development to being the Director of a private preschool. I have fired an M16, jumped out of a C130, and given birth – TWICE - but I always return to my art.
Though I’ll forever be a Michigan girl at heart, I now live in the South with my husband and two beautiful children. If I’m not working on my latest story, you can find me lounging with a good book, playing with my kids, or indulging in my unhealthy addiction to Starbucks coffee.
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I have been a book lover since I was young and first discovered Stephen King. Although writing had never been my passion back then. I got my degree in Theatre and had starry eyed dreams of becoming an actress. I moved out to Los Angeles right after college and worked for a while booking commercials and a few movies here and there (not under my current name – sorry to disappoint). Then, when I got married, my husband got a job opportunity which took us away from California and “the business”. I was devastated, but at least I fell into a great theatre community when we finally settled in our new home.
With a shortage of creative outlets, I eventually starting writing. I started with a short story that turned into a 300+ page novel. After that, the only way to get the characters in my mind to shut up was to write their stories. Now, I have two complete series (The Blood Angel Series and The SECTOR C Series) published along with a number of author workbook style guides and a book of poetry. I find writing to be more relaxing than I ever imagined and a fun creative outlet where I get to not only act out each character, but also direct them… at least as much as my characters allow. For the most part, I just let them lead me through the story.
Tell us something really interesting that’s happened to you!
I’m an open book, so I’m not really sure what I can tell you. I was in the Army ROTC program in college, with hopes of becoming an officer, but due to an injury that didn’t pan out. I did however get to attend Army Airborne school at Fort Benning, GA while I was still a student. The rush of jumping out of a plane was insane and awesome and completely breathtaking… as in the wind is so strong its hard to breath. But seriously, it was amazing.
What are some of your pet peeves?
I’ll answer this one in regards to my writing. I hate writing when my desk is a mess. Now, to be fair, I am the only one who uses my office so if it’s a mess… its my mess. Still, I have to do a complete clean of the desktop surface before I’m able to start working. Its as if the clutter stifles my creativity. I also need coffee… it doesn’t matter if its early morning or late in the evening; if I’m writing, I have a cup of coffee with me.
If you knew you’d die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
That’s easy, I’d be with my family. Family is the most important thing in my life. With that said, we wouldn’t just be sitting around the house. No, I have a laundry list of things I would want to do and most of them have to do with food and all of them are too far apart to actually do in one day.
Breakfast at a café in Paris
A family hike, with our two dogs, up to the observatory in Los Angeles
Lunch at In-n-Out in Los Angeles
A play on Broadway
Dinner at any Italian restaurant in Italy
Desert at Bob Jo’s frozen custard shop in Southgate, MI
Cuddling on the couch with my kids and my amazing husband
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I read… I binge watch TV shows and movies on my iPad… and I write. I’ve been writing a lot lately. In fact, my latest novel (not yet released) is currently around 450 pages. Its in editing right now and I’m hoping to get it down below 400 before publication.
I’m addicted to coffee, so visiting new coffee shops and book stores is also fun and relaxing for me. Doing this with my kids makes it even more fun.
How do you find time to write as a parent?
Finding time to write can be a challenge as a parent of two amazing, yet busy, kids. Honestly, I have to treat writing like a job. I schedule in times to write, just like I have to schedule my work hours. Yes, I work. Writing doesn’t pay all the bills, at least not yet. I do hope that one day it will, but for now I work.
My kids and my husband are really good about giving me quiet time to write. They know that when I’m in the middle of a story I need my weekend mornings free of interruptions. I also like to write late at night, after the kids have gone to bed. I find the quiet hours of the early morning and late evening to be my most productive hours.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Creative – Loving – Sensitive – Goofy – Clumsy
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I honestly think the better question would be, when did I first consider myself an author. I’ve been writing for a while. I started writing poetry back in college and I guess at that time I considered myself a writer, or at least someone who writes.
It wasn’t until I received my first Amazon review that I actually realized I was an author. There is something about that word ‘author’ that intimidated me. When I think of authors, I think of Stephen King, Ernest Hemingway, William Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jodi Picoult, Riley Sager, J.K. Rowling, Anne Rice, and others like them. I was just a mom… a wife… a woman who wished she was in Los Angeles acting, but instead was in Alabama typing away at her computer trying to get all of her creative ideas on the screen before they quickly disappeared into nothing. It was when I saw my first book review on Amazon that I realized it was all real. People… people I didn’t even know… were reading my books. It was eye opening and exhilarating. That was the moment I realized I’m no longer just a novice writer, I am an author.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
I am an actress at heart and a huge movie lover. When I write, I picture the stories being played out in front of me and just type what I see and hear in my mind. Because of this, I honestly think that all of my novels would play well on screen. Plus, because they are series, there is multiple movies that could be made. I’m open to offers… Want to option the movie rights?
What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m really excited about my current WIP manuscript. It’s with the editor now, so I can’t say to much, but I can give you a glimpse:
At 10 years old, Austin discovered that fairies aren’t exactly what Disney made them out to be and blood tastes a lot like honey. When his thirst became too strong and he killed his high school sweetheart, leaving town and starting a new life was his only option. Now, all grown up, he fully understands what it means to be fae. Desperate to keep his secrets hidden, he often escaping to the wilderness to feed, but when two attractive, overly friendly, women invade his campsite, Austin can’t maintain control of his blood thirst. He’s got blood on his hands and the bodies keep stacking up. In this interactive novel, you decide who lives and dies.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book, The Bridge (SECTOR C Series book 3)
As an author, I’m always questioning if I’ve done everything possible to make my novels as good as they should be. When I first self-published my first novel, I was constantly going back into the file and making edits and other minor changes. I couldn’t let it go. But now, no. Once I’ve finished a story and its been published, I don’t look back. Novels are like an author’s child. You work so long and so hard at getting the stories just the way you want them and then you set them free into the world and hope that someone likes them. The thing is, you can’t please every reader. As long as you are happy with what you’ve written, then you’ve done your job. At least that is what I tell myself. I personally enjoy each and every story I’ve written and I’ve even gone back and re-read them a few times surprising myself in the process.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thank you. If you’ve read my book(s), thank you. If you’ve purchased my book(s) at a live event and I got to meet you, thank you. If you’ve ever shared my book(s) with a friend or given them as a gift, thank you. Supporting authors by buying our books is the biggest gift you could ever give us and I truly appreciate every one of my readers. I know my books aren’t for everyone. Urban Fantasy has a very select audience, but for those of you who do enjoy it, I hope you pick up a copy and when you do, I hope you’ll leave me a good review.
What is your favorite part of your SECTOR C Series and why?
I love the twists. This series takes the reader on a ride leading them to believe they know where the end will take them. However, there are some twists and turns along the way and at the end of book three, the reader is left aghast. In a good way of course.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
I write by the seat of my pants. In other words, my characters have the reigns. They tell me where their story is supposed to go and I am just the typist. Most of my novels have started from a dream. I type the first scene, which often ends up not being the first scene, and then I let the characters take over from there. Even if I have an idea of where I believe the story will end, I’m often wrong. By the time my novels have finished I’m usually surprised by how they got there. Its part of the fun, not knowing where the story is going to go until it takes me there.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
Evergreen with a mix of devastation and inner-city poverty.
Is there an author whose brain you would love to pick for advice?
Stephen King! Without question. His mind is just amazing. The stories he comes up with suck me in and just imprison me until I’ve turned the last page.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
I usually only start with a short scene and a few characters. The rest of the characters come to me in their own time, as I get to their part of the story.
Do you read and if so, what is your favorite genre?
As an author I believe it is important to always be reading. I have a library of books on my phone and I’m always in the middle of at least one or two print books as well. Reading is how we exercise our minds and challenge our creativity. I will read just about anything but right now, I’m really enjoying all things YA.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
That’s a great question. I typically will write one book at a time, but I’ve always got stories I’m outlining in the process. If I get a great story idea, I’ll outline it or jot down some notes so I can keep the thoughts active in my mind. I will also write short scenes in the voice of different characters when I get an idea that doesn’t related to my current work in progress. Then, when my manuscript goes to editing, I start on the next manuscript.
If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
The Shining by Stephen King
Advice you would give to new authors?
Keep writing. It isn’t always easy, but it is rewarding. Also, remember you will never please everyone so write what you love.
What are common traps for new authors?
Trying to edit as you write. Trust me, if you do that, you will never finish your story. Just get everything on paper and then, when your story is done, go back and take a page out of Stephen Kings school of writing and kill all your darlings!
“Kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler's heart, kill your darlings.” ~ Stephen King
What he is saying is that not every word you’ve written needs to be published. Considering how long most of his books are, it is hard to believe he kills his darlings, but he does – and you should. Editing can be hard, but it is a vital aspect of becoming a good writer. Just don’t do it while you write. Hire a good editor, someone you trust and who understands your voice. Then, listen to them. Editors work hard to help you make your book the best it can be, but they can only do as much as you will let them.
So, write your heart out and then kill your darlings!
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Netflix! Netflix is my kryptonite! It is way too easy to get sucked into a good show and start binge watching. Before you know it a week… two weeks… a month… has gone by and I haven’t written a single word.
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