Interview and Giveaway: Ice Country by David Estes
Ice Country (The Country Saga #2) by David Estes.
Dazz, a hard-edged, fun-loving Icer, likes fighting, particularly while at his favorite watering hole. However, while recovering from a particularly bad break up, his decision to engage in a brutal pubroom brawl leads to a series of events that thrust him into a dark and mysterious scandal involving King Goff, the ice country ruler.
When his seven-year-old sister is abducted in the dark of night, Dazz pledges to do whatever it takes to get her back, embarking on a quest that threatens to rip apart the very fabric that's barely holding his shattered family together. Along the way he meets a group of unlikely allies in the form of a travelling group of fire country natives. Can Dazz, when joined with his best friend, Buff, and new tan-skinned friends, defeat the King and his guards before it's too late for his sister? PRAISE FOR "ICE COUNTRY": -"5 stars! David Estes creates captivating and original worlds that you love to get lost in!" Alexandria Theodosopoulos- Goodreads -"Richly filled with new characters and story without leaving the old behind...a seamless transition into another side of a fantastic world." Kerri Hughes- Goodreads
Release Date: April 4th,2013.
Genre: YA Dystopian.
Formats Available for Purchase: Paperback (only at Amazon) Kindle, epub and Smashwords.
It all starts with a girl. Nay, more like a witch. An evil witch, disguised as a young seventeen-year-old princess, complete with a cute button nose, full red lips, long dark eyelashes, and deep, mesmerizing baby blues. Not a real, magic-wielding witch, but a witch just the same. Oh yah, and a really good throwing arm. “Get out!” she screams, flinging yet another ceramic vase in my general direction. I duck and it rebounds off the wall, not shattering until it hits the shiny marble floor. Thousands of vase-crumbles crunch under my feet as I scramble for the door. I fling it open and slip through, slamming it hard behind me. Just in time, too, as I hear the thud of something heavy on the other side. Evidently she’s taken to throwing something new, maybe boots or perhaps herself. Luckily, her father’s not home, or he’d probably be throwing things too. After all, he warned his daughter about Brown District boys. Taking a deep breath, I cringe as a spout of obscenities shrieks through the painted-red door and whirls around my head, stinging me in a dozen places. You’d think I was the one who ran around with a four-toed eighteen-year-old womanizer named LaRoy. (That’s LaRoy with a “La”, as he likes to say.) As it turns out, I think LaRoy has softer hands than she does. As I slink away from the witch’s upscale residence licking my wounds, I try to figure out where the chill I went wrong. Despite her constant insults, narrow-mindedness, and niggling reminders of how I am nothing more than a lazy, liquid-ice-drinking, no-good scoundrel, I think I managed to treat her pretty well. I was faithful, always there for her—not once was I employed while courting her—and known on occasion to show up at her door with gifts, like snowflake flowers or frosty delights from Gobbler’s Bakery down the road. She said the flowers made her feel inadequate, on account of them being too beautiful—as if there was such a thing—and the frosty’s, well, she said I gave them to her to make her fat. She was my first ever girlfriend from the White District. I should’ve listened to my best friend, Buff, when he said it would end in disaster.
David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. He grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife and soul mate, Adele, who he’s now been happily married to for more than two years. A reader all his life, David began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010, and has completed 14 novels, 12 of which have been published. In June of 2012, David became a fulltime writer and is now travelling the world with Adele while he writes books, and she writes and takes photographs. David gleans inspiration from all sorts of crazy places, like watching random people do entertaining things, dreams (which he jots copious notes about immediately after waking up), and even from thin air sometimes! David’s a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, an obsessive Goodreads group member, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table. He loves responding to e-mails, Facebook messages, Tweets, blog comments, and Goodreads comments from his readers, all of whom he considers to be his friends. Learn more about the author at: http://davidestesbooks.blogspot.com
For people who haven’t heard of
Fire Country, make a brief description.
Fire Country (for which Ice Country is the
sequel), is a YA dystopian novel, and the first book in a sister series to The
Dwellers Saga. Here’s what it’s about:
In a changed world where the sky bleeds red,
winter is hotter than hell and full of sandstorms, and summer's even hotter
with raging fires that roam the desert-like country, the Heaters manage to
Due to toxic air, life expectancies are so low the only way the tribe can
survive is by forcing women to procreate when they turn sixteen and every three
years thereafter. It is their duty as Bearers.
Fifteen-year-old Siena is a Youngling, soon to be a Bearer, when she starts
hearing rumors of another tribe of all women, called the Wild Ones. They are
known to kidnap Youngling girls before the Call, the ceremony in which Bearers
are given a husband with whom to bear children with.
As the desert sands run out on her life's hourglass, Siena must uncover the truth about the Wild
Ones while untangling the web of lies and deceit her father has masterfully
When did you decide to become a
started seriously writing in September 2010.
Before then, like so many others out there, I’ve LOVED reading my entire
life, more than any other activity. In the back of my mind, I always wanted to
write my own books, but I always managed to come up with an excuse—either I’m
too busy, too lazy, or I just don’t have good enough ideas—to not do it.
Perhaps it was a fear of failure, I’m not really sure. But for whatever reason,
I drifted along, reading, but not really writing.
met my wife, Adele, a sweet and beautiful Australian, who encouraged me to put
my dreams first. So, while I had a few weeks off before a new desk job in
September 2010, I started writing a book using the first idea that came into my
head, one about angels and demons that evolved from humans. Six weeks later,
Angel Evolution was born!
officially caught the writing bug, and so I kept writing, averaging 2,000 words
a day, and slowly moving up to 3,000 words. I finished my first children’s
book, Nikki Powergloves, 4 weeks later. Then I wrote Demon Evolution in another
6 weeks and followed it up with a middle grade book called I am Touch, which I
have yet to publish. Finally, 10 months after starting Angel Evolution, I
completed Archangel Evolution. So I had 5 books written in 10 months, but
hadn’t published any of them!
just went for it! The rest has been a whirlwind adventure in which I’ve written
14 books in less than two and a half years, 12 of which are now published. On
the back of The Moon Dwellers, I became a fulltime author in June of 2012,
making what started out as a dream become a reality!
Do you have specific habits
when you write?
I think every writer does. For me
it’s setting a word count meeting or exceeding it each and every day while I’m
working on a project. Usually I don’t even take a single day off while writing
a novel, not until the first draft is finished anyway. That’s usually 3,000
words a day for 25-30 days straight.
When I’m in the middle of writing
a novel, I tend to forget about real life. Eating, sleeping—those sorts of
things. Most of the time Adele will
gently remind me to eat breakfast by bringing a bowl of cereal and a cup of
I’m a very organic writer, so I
don’t do a whole lot of planning or outlining. Generally I start with a general
idea, come up with something attention-grabbing to begin the story, and then
go! As I write, the ideas start to flow and I jot down bullets of events, new
characters and plot twists I want to happen later in the book. Before I end
each writing session, I list out what I want to write about in my next writing
session so I don’t have to reread or think a lot when I start again. I prefer
to write this way, as it feels less like a job and more like art, but everyone
is very different.
Are you an early bird or night
Neither really. Although I lean
toward staying up late rather than getting up early, I don’t usually write at
night, as that’s my time to do other things, like respond to reader messages,
manage my social networking sites, and have a good time in my Goodreads fan
group. I also coordinate all my publishing and promotional activities at night,
as well as do interviews like this one, or write guest posts for my blogger
I typically get up around 8am and
take a half hour to check e-mails. Then I start writing and don’t stop until
lunchtime, at a pace of 1,200 to 1,500 words per hour. It’s always hard to stop
once I’m in the flow!
Where do you get your
Strangely enough, I get most of
my ideas and inspiration while writing. And I don’t mean just ideas for
whatever book I happen to be writing. For me, the very act of writing puts me
in the right mindset to be inspired and let my creativity flow. My best ideas
for future books have come when I was working on completely different series.
Although I try not to slow myself down too much by constantly writing down
ideas for other books while I’m working on a project, I do tap my best ideas
into my iPhone for later review.
Which of your characters is
your favorite and why?
Country, my favorite character is the main character, Siena, mostly because she
spoke the loudest to me. It was incredible how she just started talking to me one day and then she
wouldn’t shut up. She’s someone who speaks to you loud and clear, like no one
else you’ve ever met before, and she basically just wrote herself, which is a
rare and awesome thing. Her language is colorful and interesting and very,
very, real, because like I said, she tells me each and every thing she wants to
say! Yes, even now that the book is finished, she still talks to me ALL the
Name a book you wish you had
Wow. Tough call. Although I’d
love to say I’d written The Lord of the Rings, it’s really not in my
wheelhouse. Divergent by Veronica Roth perhaps. Or, ooh, I know, The Knife of
Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. That’s one of my favorite books and I love
his writing style.
What do you do, besides
Reading (of course!), watching
and playing tennis, swimming, playing any sport really, watching TV and movies,
hanging out with Adele, making friends with animals everywhere we go. Adele and
I are currently almost a year into a two year trip around the world while I
write, so much of what we do revolves around where we are in the world, whether
it be Mexico, Europe, Asia, or somewhere else entirely. Our home is wherever we
happen to be at the time!
What are you reading right now?
Hunger, the second book in the
Gone YA dystopian series by Michael Grant. This series is a pretty creative and
entertaining read, although it has many cringe-worthy moments! I try to read as
many books in the genres I write in as possible, so I’m always current on
what’s popular and because it’s fun!
Name your favorite books.
I have many, but to name just a
few: The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, Divergent by Veronica Roth, Unwind
by Neal Shusterman, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, The Scorpio
Races by Maggie Stiefvater, The Book Thief by Markus Zuzac (apologies if I
misspelled any of the author names, some of them are hard!)
Best reward as a writer?
Having readers tell me how much
they enjoyed one of my books. At the end of the day, that’s what all the hours
writing and thinking and living and breathing my characters and plots and
twists is all about. Entertaining readers, making them feel things. Making them
be so engrossed in my books that all their cares just fade away.
How do you react to a bad
Sob, scream at the walls, rock back and forth. All three
things at the same time. It’s messy, you don’t want to see it.
Kidding aside, I’ve had to grow some pretty thick skin, pretty fast. I never
want someone to dislike my books, my writing style, my characters. But the
truth is, everyone has different opinions, which is what makes life
interesting. I mean, have you ever hated a book that all of your friends said
was amazing? I know I have. My goal as a writer cannot be to please everyone.
It’s simply to improve my writing with each and every book and do my very best
to entertain my incredible readers. So when I do occasionally get a negative
review, I read it and try to glean any constructive feedback from it that may
help me in the future. Anything I disagree with or that is mean spirited, I
just ignore. It’s all about having the right attitude and always striving to
Do you like singing or dancing?
Does music inspire you?
Yes and Yes! And Yes! I’m not
particularly good at singing or dancing, but I love them just the same. Adele
and I watch all the singing competitions as well as So You Think You Can Dance.
Then we sing and dance after their over, just for fun.
Music definitely inspires me! I
don’t usually get writer’s block, but if I do, I can usually snap out of it
pretty quick just by listening to a song that has a lot of emotion in it.
What are your favorite TV
Adele and I are TV addicts! We
love (in no particular order): Grey’s Anatomy, Revenge, Downton Abbey, Game of
Thrones, Nashville, The Mentalist, X-Factor, American Idol, The Voice, So You
Think You Can Dance, The Amazing Race, The Walking Dead…I’m sure I’m missing
others, but those are the main ones!
Do you have a nice relationship
with your fans?
Oh my gosh, YES!! I couldn’t have
it any other way. Honestly, I’ve met so many of my readers on Goodreads through
my fan group (1,200+ members strong and growing!), and have been fortunate
enough to strike up really good friendships that will last a lifetime! I have
so much in common with my readers, and because I’m such an active author on
Goodreads, I get to know them extremely well. We buddy read books together,
talk about TV and movies and what we did over the weekend, and just have fun
together. I don’t like the word “fans”, because I consider every reader to be a
friend. “Readers” works better for me, although I really just think of them as
people who enrich my life on a daily basis!
I guess that’s the last
question! I just want to thank Rhomy for taking the time to have me on her blog
and for the awesome questions!! Also,
I pledged when I started writing to always respond to readers, and love getting
comments and questions, so please contact me using one of my favorite social
networking sites included in this post. As always,
Tour Wide giveaway: 5 e-copies of "Fire Country" (The Country Saga #1) and 2 e-copies of "Ice Country" (The Country Saga #2). Rules:
There will be 7 winners.
The giveaway is open internationally.
Winners have 48hs to claim their prize since the moment they receive the email.
Remember to check BOOK 1 in "The Country Saga": Fire Country. Synopsis:
In a changed world where the sky bleeds red, winter is hotter than hell and full of sandstorms, and summer's even hotter with raging fires that roam the desert-like country, the Heaters manage to survive, barely.
Due to toxic air, life expectancies are so low the only way the tribe can survive is by forcing women to procreate when they turn sixteen and every three years thereafter. It is their duty as Bearers.
Fifteen-year-old Siena is a Youngling, soon to be a Bearer, when she starts hearing rumors of another tribe of all women, called the Wild Ones. They are known to kidnap Youngling girls before the Call, the ceremony in which Bearers are given a husband with whom to bear children with.
As the desert sands run out on her life's hourglass, Siena must uncover the truth about the Wild Ones while untangling the web of lies and deceit her father has masterfully spun.
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