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Wednesday 17 February 2016

ℚ Shadow of Deception: The Kazumi Chronicles [1] - Sophia L. Johnson

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Shadow of Deception (, Outskirts Press, 362 pages), a Young Adult Science Fiction novel, book one of The Kazumi Chronicles series.

Synopsis | Teaser | Author Q&A | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

Hello Sophia and welcome to BooksChatter!  And of course apologies for the delays on my side today!!!

What was the inspiration for Shadow of Deception?

"To be honest, I really can't remember what exactly inspired me to start writing SHADOW OF DECEPTION. All I remember is Kazumi Clarke, the main character came to mind one evening when I was watching TV (and I don't even remember which show). I wanted her to be flawed and a little evil even."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"No much actually. I tried to stay away from putting myself or my personality into a character. I wanted her to be as different from me as possible. I already have enough people asking me if the girl on the cover was me. So can you imagine if I put a bit of myself in the story? My friends and families will never shut up."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Shadow of Deception - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I wanted my cover to reflect a scene from the book. And also I highly dislike any cover with the face of the main character on it. I find it takes away the reader's own imagination of what the character should look like. So my designer Dafeenah from Indie Designz got the job done perfectly. So now I wish people would stop asking me if that girl was me, even though we do have the same hair and the same butt. Still, it's not me! "
Why should we read Shadow of Deception and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"I think what sets my novel SHADOW OF DECEPTION apart from the rest is the diversity in my characters. Not a lot of YA novels highlight a mixed racial main character. Kazumi Clarke is half Japanese and half British and her eastern background brings a layer of multiculturalism to the book. Also she's not your typical YA heroine, if she can be called a heroine at all. Readers will have to read to find out why that is. Also, not to brag or anything, but this novel has just won the gold medal in the YA sci-fi/fantasy category at the 2015 Moonbeam Children's Book Award. So maybe it's worthwhile to check it out. :)"
Can you tell us something quirky about Shadow of Deception, its story and characters?
"This book IS special because it's not just a YA novel but one with a cause. I've teamed up with Covenant House, the largest charity in North America dedicated to helping homeless and at risk youth, to raise money for teens in need. I will be donating all my royalties in the first year of this book to them. So your support is much needed and appreciated!!"
Who would you recommend Shadow of Deception to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I recommend this book to any readers who like YA action with a hint of romance but an unexpected plot twist at the end. It does have elements of violence and gore in case people are uncomfortable with that. Fans of The Darkest Minds and Before I Go To Sleep would like this novel."
If you could / wished to turn Shadow of Deception and the The Kazumi Chronicles series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I think it'd be hard to cast the main character Kazumi since we'll need to find someone who's half Asian and half Caucasian. Hollywood doesn't have a whole lot of actors choices in this regard. The ones I can think of are Maggie Q (from Nikita) or Min Na Wu (Agent Mei from Agents of Shields) but both are too old (no offence) for the role. Finnegan O'Riley, the male lead in this book however, can be easily cast. We just need someone who's looks handsome but a bit damaged at the same time. But I rather not have super famous faces play the roles because they often steal the focus from the story."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I mostly like to write science fiction or fantasy and these are the genres I gravitate towards when I read. I don't like woman's fiction or anything too lovey dovey. I like action and suspense and imperfect romance. I love creating a brand new world for my characters so I can make up the rules. Just like playing God. It's fun!"
What is your writing process?
"I usually start by brainstorming about a character or a world. Once I have something I like then I'll start my research, whether it'd be on the character's occupation or a specific world setting/time period. I would start on the story only when I have enough information gathered."
What is in store next?
"I have two projects going on right now. One is the sequel to SHADOW OF DECEPTION which will highlight more of the Neuronic's powers and Kazumi will have full control over her own destiny for the first time in her life. More evil plans will be revealed and “someone” might need Kazumi's rescue after all. Oh and there'll be another love interest who will complicate things some more.

My other project is another YA novel but a fantasy one set in imperial China and weaved in Chinese mythology."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I don't have a pet but I do have something special to me and I can't go to sleep without it, literally. It's my blankie!! I should feel embarrassed to still hug a blankie to sleep now that I'm a full grown woman and a mother. But hey, everyone has a right to a bit of quirkiness in their life right? But sorry I do not have a picture with my blankie in it. What goes on in the bedroom stays in the bedroom. :P"
Doh, spoilsport ;-)  What if I was to share a picture of my dressing gown? ... uhm... maybe not ;-)

Shadow of Deception
Available NOW!

UK: purchase from purchase from Nook UK purchase from Kobo UK purchase from Google Books find on Goodreads
US: purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo purchase from Smashwords


Unknown said...

Thank you for hosting!! :)

Majanka Verstraete said...

I do enjoy Chinese Mythology, so both your upcoming projects sound great. I love the cover for this book. Looks amazing.

Majanka @ I Heart Reading