July 19, 2013

Blog Tour: 15 Minutes - Guest Post: Jill Cooper

15 Minutes by Jill Cooper
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: June 15, 2013
Buy Links:


Book Description:

I have 15 minutes to save my mother’s life….

15 minutes is all the Rewind Agency gives you in the past, but for Lara Crane it’s enough time to race through the city, find her mother, and stop her from being killed in a mugging that happened over ten years ago.

But that’s not how it happened. The story she’s been told all her life is a lie and when Lara takes a bullet meant for her mother, her future changes forever.

The love of her life acts like a stranger. Her simple life is replaced with a giant house, glamorous clothes and a new boyfriend.

Except someone knows her secret. And he will try to stop her at every turn as she races against the clock to unravel a dangerous conspiracy.

15 Minutes is an edgy high octane YA thriller that can be described as Back to the Future meets Inception where the people Lara trusts change in an instant. She is in a timeline she doesn't understand, and is about to make one fatal mistake as she faces an enemy so familiar, he’s family.

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Plot Evolution and World Building

Almost sounds like a Realty TV show, doesn't it?

But for me, plot evolution is all about what writing a novel is about. I'm a pantser, which means I write with no outline and little prep work. Sometimes I write a blurb, sometimes I write down 1 page of facts or ideas, and sometimes I just have a character name. Either way I write fast, rough drafts are dirty, gritty, and full of intense raw emotion. And when I start, I have little idea where I am going.

It is kind of like chess, because I usually know about 3 chapters ahead where I am going. But once I get those 3 chapters written, well, all bets are off. What happens next? Not knowing what happens in your plot next is a lot like driving blind or sky diving blindfolded, yes those might be more dangerous.
And that's exactly how it feels to write as a pantser. Adrenaline rushes happen. When that perfect piece of information hits you that will drive your story on, make it more complicated, a twist not even you saw coming, man that feeling is not beat by anything!

Then you look at your story and realize you foreshadowed this event through your entire book and you DIDN'T"T EVEN KNOW IT. It's like you are a writing God. A genius. Until you slam into another wall and have no idea what to do next. Then you're back to hating yourself, but I digress...

When I started 15 Minutes, I had one sentence in mind. "I HAVE 15 MINUTES..."

That's it. That's all I had. I knew it was time travel, but that was it. I didn't have a situation, a danger or even a character name. But I sat down and started writing anyway. About half way through chapter one, I came up with the characters name, Lara Crane? How? It just came to me. And seemed like a nice name, so it stuck.

I knew she was a teen girl and was risking everything to change the past. Why? How come? Those were the questions that shaped the plot.

I knew when she returned from the past, her life would be changed forever. Because just changing the past isn't enough. I wanted tension from the very moment we met Lara. So I threw in that changing the past is illegal. So Lara would constnantly be looking over her shoulder. Headaches and time travel sickness just brought the tension, susense, and sense of urgency into over drive, which is exactly what I wanted for this specific book. I wanted when people finished reading it to feel like they just spent a week running a marathon, or running for their lives.

In some ways, the book is small and more personal. If you strip away all the intrique, and time travel you have her a book about a teenage girl who struggles with the relationship with her mother. She wanted nothing but a relationship with her, but when Lara gets it, she finds her mother is flawed. Not the woman she put on the pedestal all her life. And what girl (or woman) can't relate to that?

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Author Bio:

I could write this in the third person. I could tell you what I like, where I was born, and what my favorite things are. But instead, I'll say I don't want to write like everyone else. I don't want to craft stories you've read a thousand times before. I want my novels to be a cinematic experience, blending themes, genres, and situations unlike any you've ever read.

I want to break the rules. I want you to break out in a cold sweat as you read my books out of fear, love, and excitement. I want my books to be an experience. When you finish, I want you to feel something. Good or bad. If you do, then I'll have succeeded. If not, I'll keep trying.

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