Interview

Interview with David Jemal & Kara Leigh Miller

Happy Monday!

I hope you had a great weekend. Today’s special interview is with the authors of Warped Remains. I’m so excited to talk with them. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and chat with us!


Interview

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Toni: Welcome! I’m so glad to have you two here today. First, can you tell us what your writing process is like?

DAVID: Together with the best co-author out there, we would brainstorm Warped Remains chapter-by-chapter. Each brainstorming chapter would be 3-5 sentences. From there, we would just write—in my opinion, creativity and world building happen when you imagine the next scene being played out, the next line being thought, and the next words being said. Plus, it helps to have Kara Leigh Miller—you can never go wrong with that.

KARA: My process is different for every book. Sometimes, I start at chapter one and write to the end. Other times, I start in the middle and jump around then fill in the missing pieces. But almost every book starts with a plot thread or a question I want to explore. I’m not much of a plotter, though, unless I’m working with a co-author—then I kind of have to. LOL.

Toni: I’m not much of a plotter either. Exploring the book as it comes is my philosophy as well. 🙂 When did you two first know you wanted to be a writer?

DAVID: From the day I finished my first Hardy Boy’s book!

KARA: Y’know, I’m not sure I’ve ever been asked this question before, and I’m not sure I have a definitive answer. Writing has always been something I’ve done, whether in school or in my spare time. But it wasn’t until almost 9 or 10 years ago that I started to seriously pursue publication. I haven’t looked back since 😊

Toni: The Hardy Boys were great! Especially when they teamed up with Nancy Drew, imo. So, let’s move on to Warped Remains. Tell us about it.

DAVID and KARA: Emily Sheffield’s parents are the worst. Okay, maybe Emily has been erratic and her behavior a little reckless lately, but shipping her off to live with her grandparents in Alaska is so much worse than she deserves. At least she gets to spend her layover with the cute boy on the same flight. If she has to leave everything and everyone she knows, she might as well make some new–and cute–friends, right?

For Aiden Cohen, life in Alaska is perfect—good grades, great friends, an awesome church, and work he loves. There’s just one thing missing: his mom. Desperate to know her, Aiden sets out to find the woman who abandoned him at birth. But a disastrous first meeting with his birth mom, leaves Aiden stunned and ready to go back to his ordinary life in Alaska. And with fate finding Aiden and Emily on the same flight, he couldn’t be happier. If only he can convince her that God is real, everything would be perfect.

Everything seems to be going well—until a confusion on the runaway prevents the plane from landing. Circling the runway should have been simple, but when the plane hits a bad patch of turbulence, throwing it off-course, the pilots lose control. The plane crashes, leaving Emily, Aiden, and two dozen other passengers stranded on a creepy island. Surviving and hoping for rescue are their primary goals, but the least of their troubles. They aren’t the only ones on the island, and it’s now a race against time for someone to find them before the island’s inhabitants do. But there are people willing to do anything to keep the island’s true purpose a secret—even if it means sacrificing the lives of the survivors.

Toni: Wow! Now what life verse would your main character choose and why?

DAVID and KARA: “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God” ― Corrie ten Boom

1. As humans, we are afraid. But when we realize God is there for us, it helps us understand our relationship with God in a better light. The same can be said of one of our main characters, Aiden Cohen, who lives his live—and no matter the situation, place, etc.—trusting in God.

“Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see”—Corrie ten Boom

2. Our other main character, Emily Sheffield, has a coming-to-God journey throughout Warped Remains. As the story progress, she’ll realize every place, person, and thing was determined by God to give her the future she need.

Toni: Corrie ten Boom is so wise! Now what would be the verse that fits your story and why?

DAVID and KARA: “For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7) Throughout Warped Remains, the main characters are consistently and constantly seeing God in everything that happens and with every choice they have to make. Nothing makes sense to them anymore, so they really have no choice but to put their trust in God.

Toni: I love that verse! What message do you hope readers will get out of reading your story?

DAVID: Life is tough. Sometimes, beyond your control, things happen, and you wish they didn’t. Other times, you question: why me and why now? I hope that readers will take this message away after reading Warped Remains: by understanding that everything is under the direction of God, and that He is controlling your every step of the way, one can finally begin to feel their mission in life—and it will always be what’s the best for you.

KARA: For me, I really wanted to send a subtle message that life will often not go as you planned, or hoped, but that doesn’t mean it’s “wrong.” God has a plan for all of us, and trusting in that knowledge, trusting in Him, can and will make our time here that much easier.

Toni: Amen! Why should a reader choose your books if this is the first time they’ve heard of you?

DAVID: Sometimes, all it takes is a Leap of Faith! 😉

KARA Ideally, they’ll be enticed by the cover and blurb. Beyond that, I hope they’ll see our interviews and decide we’re cool and want to read our book. Hahah!

Toni: I’m sure they’ll come to that conclusion! 🙂 Now do you guys like coffee or tea? Chocolate or candy? Beaches or mountains?

DAVID: Hmm…tough question. If I had to choose, I’m definitely a tea guy! Candy. All. The. Way! While I love a good adventure, nothing says relaxation better than the beach!

KARA: Neither. Ha! I’m more of a water or Coke Zero person. Chocolate—preferably peanut M&Ms or Reese peanut butter cups. Beaches; the mountains have too many bugs.

Toni: Oh my goodness, I never the about the bug aspects in mountains! And yay for tea! Do you two have a favorite holiday?

DAVID: Hmm…tough one. If I had to say, I would say: Rosh Hashanah.

KARA: It always used to be Halloween, because I love all the spooky stuff and to be scared, but over the past couple of years, I’m shifting more toward Christmas as my favorite holiday.

Toni: There’s something great about a new year and new possibilities. 🙂 And Christmas definitely ranks high on my list. Now what’s a normal writing day like for you two?

DAVID: Grabbing my tea and my doughnut (double chocolate with sprinkles!), turning on my computer, and typing up the storyline map that forms in my head. Interestingly, I think and write better when I don’t have a detailed outline—I like to let it flow out as the story is taking place.

KARA: My writing day doesn’t typically start until much later in the afternoon—after I’ve driven kids to school, gone to the gym, let the dogs out, and answered work emails. But when it is time to write, I sit on my couch with my dogs piled up around me, open my email, and just start writing. Like, David, I tend not to work from an outline, so I just write whatever pops into my head.

Toni: You two are my people! No outline for me either. If you’re book was turned into a movie, who would you cast to play the characters in your book?

DAVID and KARA: If Hollywood were to produce Warped Remains, I would like to see these two people as the main roles: Marie Avgeropoulos and Dylan Minnette.

Toni: Oh she’s pretty and I’ve seen him in a few shows. Thank y’all for chatting with me. Readers, do you have any questions for them? Leave them in the comments!


About the Book

Emily Sheffield’s parents are the worst. Okay, maybe Emily has been erratic and her behavior a little reckless lately, but shipping her off to live with her grandparents in Alaska is so much worse than she deserves. At least she gets to spend her layover with the cute boy on the same flight. If she has to leave everything and everyone she knows, she might as well make some new–and cute–friends, right?

For Aiden Cohen, life in Alaska is perfect—good grades, great friends, an awesome church, and work he loves. There’s just one thing missing: his mom. Desperate to know her, Aiden sets out to find the woman who abandoned him at birth. But a disastrous first meeting with his birth mom, leaves Aiden stunned and ready to go back to his ordinary life in Alaska. And with fate finding Aiden and Emily on the same flight, he couldn’t be happier. If only he can convince her that God is real, everything would be perfect.

Everything seems to be going well—until a confusion on the runaway prevents the plane from landing. Circling the runway should have been simple, but when the plane hits a bad patch of turbulence, throwing it off-course, the pilots lose control.  The plane crashes, leaving Emily, Aiden, and two dozen other passengers stranded on a creepy island. Surviving and hoping for rescue are their primary goals, but the least of their troubles. They aren’t the only ones on the island, and it’s now a race against time for someone to find them before the island’s inhabitants do. But there are people willing to do anything to keep the island’s true purpose a secret—even if it means sacrificing the lives of the survivors.

Read Chapter 1 here.

Amazon | Anaiah Press | B&N | Goodreads | Smashwords


About the Authors

David Jemal: After graduating college with a major he created in finance and culture, he jumped into the world of sales and thus began crisscrossing North America. When he’s not selling people stuff, he’s busy writing new stories.

Kara Leigh Miller: Kara is a full-time wife; stay-at-home mom to 5 kids, 4 pit bulls, and 6 cats; writer, and the Editorial Director at Anaiah Press. She’s previously published two adult Christian romantic suspense books. Warped Remains is her first young adult book, but it won’t be her last.

Website | Newsletter | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub | Amazon


Excerpt

Emily Sheffield…

“Attention, folks.” The pilot’s voice fills the cabin. “There’s some congestion on the runway, so we’re going to circle around a few times to allow ground crews to get things cleared up. Please be patient, and we’ll land as soon as possible.”

Whoa. I really slept the entire flight? That never happens. I stretch my arms over my head and arch my back, trying to work out the kinks. I yawn again. “Are we in Anchorage already?” I ask the elderly man seated beside me.

He nods. “There’s a herd of moose on the runway.”

“Seriously?” I laugh. Only in Alaska. I settle back in my seat, hoping it won’t take too long to land. I need to get on solid land again, and a small thrill of excitement shoots up my spine at the thought of seeing grandma and grandpa. Without Erik around, I’ll be the one they spoil. Not to mention, I really want to talk to Aiden again.

Thirty minutes pass, and then an hour, and we’re still circling the airport. My stomach rumbles, and I swallow hard. My throat is dry and scratchy, and my temples throb with an impending headache. I really need to get oft this stupid plane. I take a drink and the warm liquid turns my stomach.

What I really want to do is go back to sleep, but that’s not going to happen, so I turn on the small television and flip through the channels. I settle on a bad 80s high school drama. The acting is horrible, and the special effects are even worse. I settle into my seat, the ache in my head getting worse.

The plane shakes, and the captain’s voice comes over the intercom again. “We’ve run into a bit of turbulence, folks. Nothing to worry about. We’re going to make a larger loop back around and hopefully we’ll have clearance to land by then. Thanks for your patience and for flying with SunDun Airlines.”

I groan inwardly. We’re never going to get off this plane at this rate. I close my eyes for only a second, and then the small TV screen goes totally black. What’s going on? I look over the seats in front of me and see their screens are blank, too.

A tall man with black hair, wearing a suit, rushes up the aisle, and from the corner of my eye, I see a flash of silver. A badge. The air marshall? He disappears into the cock pit. What on earth is going on?

A second later, the flight attendant’s calm voice surrounds me. “It appears as though the pocket of turbulence we’re experiencing is larger than we originally anticipated. The fasten seat belts sign is back on, and we ask that everyone remain seated with the seats upright and the trays closed. Please stay calm, and we’ll be out of this in no time.”

No sooner does she quit talking than the plane dips sharply, rises, and then shakes violently.

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