Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Sparks (Feud #1) by Kyle Prue #TheSparksBlogTour @KylePrue @AshleyLitPub @PRbytheBook

In Feud: The Sparks, readers are introduced to three ancient houses blessed with unique abilities and charged with the protection of a great city. Three houses feuding for power despite heavy casualties. And one great evil that could destroy them all.

The Sparks follows Neil, a member of the Vapros clan, as he struggles to live up to the expectations of his father and become a significant player in the feud of the clans. But when Neil discovers an evil far more powerful than the feuding families, he must overcome the fighting to try and save the people of the once great city of Altryon.

This book will appeal to YA and fantasy fans alike. Welcome to our stop on the blog tour. We have an interview with the author. Enjoy!

The Sparks (Feud #1) by Kyle Prue
YA fantasy

Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 15th 2014 by Barringer Publishing

The Vapros, the Taurlum, and the Celerius: three dynasties bound by an ancient promise, and given superhuman abilities to protect the city of Altryon from the dangerous world beyond its walls. Centuries of fighting, however, have turned the families against each other. A powerful emperor now rules and each family has suffered heavy casualties in the feud.

Sixteen-year-old, Neil Vapros desperately wants to become an assassin in order to impress his overly critical father. Despite a failed mission, Neil learns that a new sinister threat has awakened. This mysterious new power will shatter the established order and threaten not only the very lives of these powerful families, but also the once great city of Altryon.

Everything can change with a single “Spark”...

A Q&A with Kyle Prue, author of The Sparks,
Book One in the Feud trilogy

Where did you get the idea for the Feud series?
This is a coming of age story for young adults and I am a teen in that demographic. Everyone struggles to find their path in life and my characters are all struggling with not wanting to let people down and to find their way; forgiveness and hope is a part of that journey as well. One night, at the age of 15, I had terrible insomnia and I couldn’t sleep. I was thinking about the different personalities of my siblings and myself and how we will all follow different paths. That gave me the idea to create three different families loosely based around our differing personalities. I decided it would be fun to take these families and place them in a fantasy world where the obstacles we all face could be magnified to a whole new level. I wrote out the plot for the three books that night.

What drew you to write YA Fantasy?

I wanted to write for me. Recently, I’ve hit an “in-between” zone where it’s harder for me to find books I want to read. I wanted to write something that I would want to read and that would appeal to other kids my age. I wanted to appeal to boys who have lost interest in reading and I also created strong female characters that girls will love.

When did you first start writing?
Like a lot of kids, I was bullied in middle school. I doubt you will ever find a kid that says, “I rocked 7th grade! That was the best time in my life.” I was short and fat and had a bowl haircut with braces. This was not a great time in my life. But I discovered I could come home and pick up a pen and create a whole fantasy world that I could control, when the rest of my life felt out of control. I learned that I loved to create characters because their potential is limitless.

Were there certain authors that you really liked?
I’ve always loved Rick Riordan, and every kid in my generation loves JK Rowling. My mom started guarding the Harry Potter books and reading them aloud to us, because otherwise I would read one whole book in a night and then tell my siblings what happened. We would barely leave the house until we had finished each book. Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series has been phenomenal.

How have those writers influenced your writing?
I think Rick Riordan introduces and writes characters very well, which is something I kept in mind, because I have a group dynamic with my book. But I really like the way JK Rowling set up the overall plot and carried it through, intertwining a lot of different elements. She knew how to set up a big, epic adventure and finished it beautifully. That is what I hope to do with this trilogy.

Can you tell us a bit about the second book, The Flames?
One of the big themes of the second book is that no one should get to a point in their life when they should experience a complete absence of hope. Things will always get better. My best friend from childhood committed suicide this year and I really want other teens to understand that whatever seems so overwhelming in your life today, won’t be what’s important to you down the road. When my characters experience this loss of hope, that is when they gain their advanced powers. Something good can come out of something that in the moment seems so terrible.

The second book in the series focuses on the remaining family members (spoiler alert!) and their friends, as they begin to kindle the revolution. It’s a lot about personal growth for the characters, like Neil and Darius. Even Robert Tanner, who is a minor character in the first book, comes back and has a very big story arc. It is the book where we start to reach that giant conflict that the characters have been stepping toward in the storyline.

What was your favorite part or chapter to write in The Sparks?
I really, really enjoyed writing the fight between Darius and Jennifer. It’s interesting when you write characters separately, then give them a chance to interact together. Jennifer is one of my favorite characters. Neil describes her as the model assassin so it was really fun to write her in that type of setting.

How did you come up with the title?
The entire book is based on a family feud so that was the reason for the series name, Feud. But the individual titles are The Sparks, The Flames and The Ashes; these are symbolic of the Vapros family motto which is “Victory Lies Within the Ashes.” The Vapros turn a person to ash when they kill them. For them that is a macabre way of saying, “You have to bust a couple of heads to get what you want.” So the titles reveal that there is going to be a lot of bloodshed and a climax to this storyline, which we are building up to in the series.

Do you have advice for other high school students wanting to write a book?
Yes, never stop writing. Write, and write and write, until you’ve got something that you like. Don’t be afraid to have a very rough copy of something. The editing process is terrible and long and arduous, but it’s something you have to do. What matters is getting something on paper and then really shaping it into what you are looking for.

Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you for sharing this journey with me. The series only gets better and more intense from here and I can’t wait to see what you guys think of it all.

About the Author:

Kyle Prue decided to write Feud: The Sparks one sleepless night of summer vacation when he was 15. Realizing he was losing inspiration to read, he endeavored to write something that he and his peers wouldn’t be able to put down. He plans to complete the trilogy with The Flames and The Ashes. Currently a high school senior, Kyle is a varsity swimmer, founder of the improv club, and involved in mock trial. Also, as a dedicated member of the film club, he spends his weekends writing and editing film. An actor and comedian, Kyle trains at Second City Comedy Club in Chicago, where a number of SNL actors have gotten their start, and performs improv at LA Connection in Los Angeles. Kyle lives with his family in Naples, Florida.

Links: website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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