October 28, 2013

Indigo by Gina Linko - Guest Post & Giveaway!

If I had some kind of writing advice for my teenage self, it would have to be the following:

1.)  Read whatever you want.  
2.)  Writers are not born; they are made.  

First of all, I hated a lot of the stuff we were forced to read in high school.  I can remember raising my hand in Senior English and asking why everyone died at the end of all the books we were reading, and (I added sarcastically) was that all you had to do to make great literature, kill everyone off?  Anyway, as you can see, I was a lovely student.  

I was a disgruntled reader.  I didn’t want to read Tess of the D’urbervilles or The Scarlet Letter (which, let it be said, both are great books I enjoyed later in life), but I wanted – no, I needed – to read stuff that spoke to me as a teen.  (Doesn’t everyone?  And why am I getting so carried away with parentheses today? ??)  Anyway, later on, when I first went away to college, another classic – Pride and Prejudice – along with more modern classics – Stephen King – really started to light me up.  I was reading like crazy for the first time in a long time.  I was discovering what kind of reader I wanted to be, what kind of writer – really, what kind of person.  
So.  I think I would tell my teen self to find those books earlier – seek out the books that aren’t on the required list.  Create your very own required list.  Make friends with a librarian and find those books that slap you in the face with new ideas, that keep you up at night just thinking, that crack open little spaces in your heart and wake you up to things.  We need these stories – the stories that speak to us deep inside.  Especially as teens.  They tell us we aren’t alone.  That we are significant.  That we matter.  That we can triumph.

Second, I’ve written about this before, but it took me a long time to learn that anyone (read: me) could be part of a creative profession.  People do it everyday.   I always talk about this when I speak to teens:  Somebody in their generation is going to be the next whatever.  Somebody’s going to be the next great novelist.  Somebody’s going to design the next great video game.  Or create the next cronut (ha!). Why not you?  
I think as a young teen, I absorbed that writers, artists, musicians -- anyone creative -- was born set apart.  That these special people had a gift from above and they got the privilege to follow that dream, to pursue that career.  They certainly weren’t some tall, gawky girl with big 80s hair and braces, born into a blue-collar Chicago suburb famous for its steel factory.  But as I got older and my world got bigger, I realized that this is not true at all.  Creative professions are yours for the taking!  They require hard work, the love of the craft, and more and more hard work.  Not some sort of divine birthright.   ANYONE can pursue those creative professions.  Just become a serious student of that career. Because, let’s face it, we all have to work, right?
Why not spend all of our working hours doing something we love?  Doing something we’re passionate about?  Because guess what?  Then it isn’t really work at all.

Thank you so much for having me here, and I really appreciate the opportunity to write about these things that I feel so strongly about!  

About The Book

A gift?

A curse?

A moment that changes everything. . . .

Caught in an unexpected spring squall, Corrine's first instinct is to protect her little sister Sophie after a nasty fall. But when Corrine reaches out to comfort her sister, the exact opposite occurs. Her touch--charged with an otherworldly force and bursting with blinding indigo color--surges violently from Corrine to her sister. In an instant, Sophie is dead. From that moment on, Corrine convinces herself that everyone would be better off if she simply withdrew from life.

When her family abruptly moves to New Orleans, Corrine's withdrawal is made all the easier. No friends. No connections. No chance of hurting anyone. But strange things continue to happen around her in this haunting,  mystical city. And she realizes that her power cannot be ignored, especially when Rennick, a talented local artist with a bad-boy past, suggests another possibility: Corrine might have the touch. An ability to heal those around her. But knowing what happened to her sister, can Corrine trust her gift?
Released on October 22nd, 2013 from Random House, you can pick up INDIGO from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble or purchase it from Random House.

Check out the book trailer!

Gina Linko has a graduate degree in creative writing from DePaul University and lives outside Chicago with her husband and three children. Gina teaches college English part-time, but her real passion is sitting down at a blank computer screen and asking herself the question, "What if...?"
You can find Gina via her Blog | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

The Giveaway
Thank you to Gina, followers of the blog tour can enter to win an amazing prize pack! The 1st winner will win a KINDLE FIRE! The 2nd winner will SIGNED copies of both Flutter & Indigo from Gina! Fill out the form below to enter to win! 

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