Saturday, April 29, 2017

Author Chat: Gwen Cole, Author of Cold Summer

"Gwen Cole writes Young Adult books and her debut novel, Cold Summer, will be released in the spring of 2017 with Sky Pony Press, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing.

She grew up in upstate New York, moved to Virginia where she did not graduate college, and worked a various number of jobs including pharmacy technician, meat clerk, ranch hand, and a receiving specialist at Target. She may or may not have written a number of books while working at certain jobs.

At the age of eighteen, Gwen played bass in a hardcore band and later married the lead guitarist. She can also play piano, guitar, and wishes she could play the cello. Her favorite place to vacation is Wyoming, where she gets to wear a cowboy hat and pretend she actually is one.

Gwen now lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, daughter, and very large dog, where she longs to live in the country again." (taken from Gwen's website)
Did you always know you wanted to publish a novel?
Definitely not! I actually didn't start writing until I was 20, and I didn't even pursue publishing until a few years after that.

Besides writing or reading, what is your favorite hobby?
I love to play games on my Xbox. Usually online multiplayer unless it's a Fallout game. Right now I super into Overwatch and spend way too much time on it. Other than that, I play co-ed softball once a week.

Are you more of a coffee or a tea person when writing?
Neither! I hate the taste of coffee and I never got into tea drinking. I usually have a huge bottle of water with ice (gotta have the ice), or maybe a Raspberry Snapple.

How do you deal with critiques of your writing?
Definitely with an open mind, but it's something you have to get used to and expect. No book is perfect and it'll never be at its greatest unless you listen to other people's feedback.

How much research did you have to do for Cold Summer?
I had to do quite a bit of fact checking for some WWII scenes. Also, google maps is my friend when I want to see a certain setting. Example...the middle of nowhere Iowa. I've only been there one or two times, so those shots from the google car come in handy.

What book are you currently reading in your spare time?
I just got an ARC of Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray. Gotta love the sci-fi!

About Gwen's upcoming release, which will hit shelves on May 2:

Today, he’s a high school dropout with no future.
Tomorrow, he’s a soldier in World War II.

Kale Jackson has spent years trying to control his time-traveling ability but hasn’t had much luck. One day he lives in 1945, fighting in the war as a sharpshooter and helplessly watching soldiers—friends—die. Then the next day, he’s back in the present, where WWII has bled into his modern life in the form of PTSD, straining his relationship with his father and the few friends he has left. Every day it becomes harder to hide his battle wounds, both physical and mental, from the past.

When the ex-girl-next-door, Harper, moves back to town, thoughts of what could be if only he had a normal life begin to haunt him. Harper reminds him of the person he was before the PTSD, which helps anchor him to the present. With practice, maybe Kale could remain in the present permanently and never step foot on a battlefield again. Maybe he can have the normal life he craves.

But then Harper finds Kale’s name in a historical article—and he’s listed as a casualty of the war. Kale knows now that he must learn to control his time-traveling ability to save himself and his chance at a life with Harper. Otherwise, he’ll be killed in a time where he doesn’t belong by a bullet that was never meant for him. (taken from