Seasons Within
Lele Iturrioz
(Acorn Publishing)
Publication date: December 15th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Most teenage girls know their name, where they came from, who they are. Not G, a beautiful redhead with unusual markings on her wrist. She gets her name from a silver locket she keeps around her neck, unaware the engraved letter “G” on its front holds the secret to her past.

G’s life before the age of six has been a mystery to her. Each night for the last twelve years she’s been haunted by the same nightmare—a war. Horrendous beasts, warriors able to wield the four elements, and a boy who saves her by means of blue fire taunt her memory. But on her eighteenth birthday, G’s life begins to unravel. When she meets her new Chemistry professor, a man with an uncanny resemblance to the boy who saves her, she knows there must be more to her dreams.

It’s dangerous not knowing who you are, what you’re capable of, and what future awaits you. Especially when the darkness that slaughtered your entire world, just found you.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

DUST. Everything was covered in dust and ashes.

Nádúr Noc, the main city of Terra was once beautiful and full of life. Not like that night, the night the darkness descended from the far land of Ifreann.

Now, the round city of Nádúr Noc was dark, burned, and destroyed.

Trees were no longer big and full of different green and golden, bright colors. The river Enosi, a river that surrounded the city with its peaceful crystalline water was now a rapid of blood and death. As for the sky, once bright and blue, it was now filled with dark smoke so thick, it made it nearly impossible to see the remains of the Zansèt Palace; a magnificent castle in the middle of the city made of pearls, flowers, rocks, and vines.

On that night, there was no music and laughter. The only thing anybody could hear were screams and the desolate pleas of the in-habitants. Fear, pain, and unimaginable loss.

This city wasn’t the ruins of any ordinary war, it was the ruins between the light side of nature and the darkest of evils. Beasts and other horrendous creatures destroyed everything that they came across. Killed everyone in their sight. Soulless creatures who lived to torture. Answering to no one, no one except Him, the one who owned the darkness. The one who hell itself was afraid of.

Author Bio:

Major geek by day, hermit writer by night! Love books, sugar gliders and everything that comes in a delicious taco.

I’m the author of the YA fantasy series, Seasons Within

I spend my time writing, planning on writing, reading, drinking coffee like there was no tomorrow, MMA and chilling with my friends and loved ones.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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INTERVIEW:

Interview Xpresso Book Tours

 What genre are your books?

Seasons Within is a YA fantasy book. It has romance, adventure and quirky humor.

How did you get interested in writing this particular genre?

I love fantasy. I like the idea of new worlds and possibilities beyond what we can achieve. I like stories where anyone ordinary can become extraordinary.

What is Seasons Within about?

It´s about a teenage redhead with unusual markings on her wrist that goes by the name of G.

Unlike most teenage girls, G doesn’t know her real name, she doesn’t know where she came from and she doesn’t know who she’s meant to become. G’s life before the age of six has been a mystery to her. Each night for the last twelve years she’s been haunted by the same nightmare—a war. Horrendous beasts, warriors able to wield the four elements, and a boy who saves her by means of blue fire taunt her memory. But on her eighteenth birthday, G’s life begins to unravel. When she meets her new Chemistry professor, a man with uncanny resemblance to the boy who saves her every night in her nightmare, she knows there must be more to her dreams.

How did you come up with the idea?

One day I was walking around with my headphones while listening to Breath of Life by Florence and the Machine (Awesome song!). The street was covered with hundreds of leafs and when the wind came, it made all the leaves fly. In my perspective and with the headphones it looked as if they were dancing, so I lifted my arms and danced among the flying leafs. Besides the fact that I looked like a crazy person swinging my arms to the sky, for a moment I felt like I was the one moving them.

And that’s how G, my main character was born, a girl who had the power to move Nature in a world that was possible.

How did you come up with the title?

The title is based on two things, the first one is that G has the power to wield all elements, she has the four seasons within herself and the second one is that the seasons represent the year she has before her Resurgence.

How old are your characters?

G turns 18 at the beginning of the book. The rest are between 15 to 24 years old.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

G is an extraordinary girl hidden in plain sight. She is a teenage girl who just learned her real name and that she comes from a place where people can wield one of the four elements making her the only one who can wield, destroy or create all four of them.

G is supposed to learn her gifts in order to defeat a man that almost destroyed her world.

She’s not afraid of dying as much as she’s afraid of letting down the people she loves, her new family. She’s intrigued by a man she shouldn’t be talking to and she’s in love with a man who sees her as his job… but most of all, G is a curious teenager who wants to find herself.

Describe your main characters in one word.

G – curious                                 Edan – alpha

Priyam – smart-ass                 Veter – childish

Shui – motherly                         Willow – bitchy

Donovan – flirt                          Hunter – lost

Synthia – vapid                         the twins, Pink and Floyd – insane.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

Every name has a meaning or a reason why. For example, willow is the name of a tree and my character Willow is the one who can wield plants.

Except for Priyam, that name came straight out of one of my best friends. (Thanks Priy!)

If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?

Yes, it is going to be a five book series. The first book is Seasons Within, this is the book where G finds out what she’s capable of and who she’s destined to become, followed by four books about the year G needs to survive before her Resurgence.

Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about.

The cover for Seasons Within has all the seasons on the First Tree. G is merged with the First Tree as she becomes a part of all the seasons.

Who designed your book cover/s?

The illustration was made by a talented artist named Joanna Haber (you can find her on Etsy or Facebook on ABitofWhimsyArt)

And the design was made by an amazing designer named Ibet Sakoda (you can find her on inspiralia.com.mx)

When you develop characters and plot, do you already know who they are and what’s going to happen before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

I’m a mayor planer. I have a huge binder with all the planning, ideas, outlines, characters and everything for all of the five books. I plan everything and everyone ahead because if I know where my characters end up, it becomes easier for me to know how to get them there.

Who are the bad guys in this book?

There a lot of bad guys in Seasons Within. There are dragons made by bones and huge bat wings, there are giant spiders with three scorpion tails, there are snakes covered in spikes that grow each time they eat someone and there are blind wolves with needles instead of hair that can track anyone from miles away. All of them are led by the same man, the one who just found where G was hiding all those 12 years.

How did you get inspired to write your antagonist?
I got inspired by all those men who believed in something good that within time made them obsessed and turned radical.

Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?

Nature can survive without humans but humans can’t survive without nature. We need to take better care of the only planet we have.

What was your favorite part to write and why? 

I loved writing Edan and G together. I like to play around with their chemistry. To find a balance between their personalities.

Out of the protagonists you’ve written about so far, which one do you feel you relate to the most?

Everyone has a piece of me, even when I didn’t plan for it.

What is your favorite part of the book?

I’m between two parts. When they go to the amusement park. (I enjoyed the idea of having a strong warrior that fights horrendous beasts completely afraid of riding a rollercoaster thanks to his trust issues) and when Edan and G are trapped under the roots.

If you could spend time a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Veter (the wind wielder) and Priyam. I would fly and joke around all day.

What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?

Synthia… it even stresses me out each time I write about her.

Seasons Within has a world of its own called Terra, tell us about Terra.

Terra is the twin sister of this Earth. They are both on the same planet just different essence. Terra is divided by 5 cities, Wintercliff is the frozen city on top of the mountain where the wind temple is located. Lakefall is a floating city on a lake, they have the water temple underneath the ocean. Emberdale is inside a volcano, this city has the temple of fire hidden by a curtain of lava, Moonstrand is the colorful forest where the earth temple is inside a huge tree and finally Nádúr Noc, the main city of Terra, where the castle and the games arena are located.

Do you go out of your way to kill bugs?

Only if they are spiders. It freaks me out to know they can escape and tell all the other spiders that there’s a sleeping human near them.

What is the first book that made you cry?

A little Princess by Frances Hodgson. I still weep every time I read it.

What does your writing process look like?

I plan the chapters in advance, then I munch on cereal as I plot the characters adventures. Once I’m done I play some music and write until I reach my word count… or when I realize I haven’t left my computer in a day.

Do you have any strange writing habits?

I like to write with my favorite books near me for good mojo, I love going to coffee places and stare at strangers (I know, sounds creepy but all in the name of writing!!) I love how people act when they think no one is watching, they are 100% themselves. Beauty is in the flaws.

What book do you wish you could have written?

Harry Potter! That book is magic. Kudos to JK Rowling for sharing something so amazing with the world.

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

That would be so cool! I would love for Zoey Deutch to be G, Max Irons as Edan, Ezra Miller as Hunter, Teresa Palmer as Willow and Theo James as Pratt (or anything he wants, that man is adorable).

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Hopefully drinking piña coladas as I keep writing more books.

If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?

Movies. I studied filmmaking and animation with a specialty in screenwriting.

I would also love to own a cupcake shop, no reason other than my love for them.

Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

I do!! They are a group of super badass Beta Readers that send me all types of notes and questions. Ignacio, Daniel, Adriana and Pao, they all know their stuff and the book would be so different without them and their intense point of views. One of them, Pao, usually sends me over 20 what’s app voice messages of 4 min each, love them!

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

I love time-period novels but I’m so ODC with my stories making sense that I would spend decades trying to get everything just the way it was back then.

 Do you have a favorite conference to attend? What is it?

I love them all as long as I can talk to the readers. I love hearing their thought and ideas. They are always so happy and their excitement is super contagious.

Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)

Seasons Within is my first published book. I have two more unpublished.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on SPRING, the second book of SEASONS WITHIN.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

My brother’s cat. Whenever she sees me working she goes and sits on my keyboard or on my head. I’m pretty sure she knows what she’s doing… that sneaky fluffy beast.

How do you get over writer’s block?

Whenever I have writer’s block I go out to a crowded place where I can get inspired by something I hear or see. I also put on my headphones and hear to music that might trigger an idea. If that doesn’t work I read and edit what I have and my brain usually gets so excited to know what’s going to happen next that it starts brainstorming.

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

I am writing under a pseudonym. Lele Iturrioz isn’t my real name.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

You can’t make everyone agree with your story or your plot decisions so instead of freaking out on writing something everyone would like to read, I always try to write what I would like to read.

What do you need to have nearby when writing?

One of my favorite books, good music and food!! (If not, I get too distracted by the book and forget to eat, Oops…)

Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?

On the first book, I made a character that I had previously planned that was going to die early on the first book (for plot reasons) Now on book 2… guess who’s still super alive and chilling with everyone?… yes! THAT character!

What is your biggest fear?

I’m terrified of spiders and pool drains. Pictures also freak me out from time to time.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

She’s alive!!… Kidding, I want to be buried under a tree.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

To teleport! I could just jump from country to country. Bonus, I would skip traffic.

What fictional character is most like you?

Mix of Luna Lovegood and Rose Hathaway

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

Scotland! It looks beautiful. Also Korea.

If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?

From England. I love how their accent sounds.

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

Lots! My pacemaker and other surgeries. Plus I fall constantly so that doesn’t help.

Do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?

Frequently. I dream about my next characters, about new ideas, etc.  It’s strange but my recurring dream is usually me being the leader of a gang of raccoons. Don’t get me wrong, I love those minions but I think it’s funny my brain keeps wanting to go back to that one.

How does your book relate to your spiritual practice or other life path?

I believe we were sent to this world to share it, not conquer it.

If your characters would read a book, which one would be their favorite?

G – Divergent (Veronica Roth)                Priyam – LOTR (J.R.R. Tolkien)

Edan –The Art of War (Sun Tzu)            Veter – The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)

Shui – Wheels of life (Anodea Judith)    Synthia – she doesn’t know what books are for

Pink and Floyd – A Series of Unfortunate Events (Lemony Snicket)

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

Two of my best friends are writers. Priyam lives in India, she writes beautiful screenplays and Adriana González is an amazing Mexican best seller. They are both incredible talented and they are a great support and inspiration to me. Adriana and I tend to exchange stories and give each other advice or notes. We are each other’s beta reader.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I need to write faster now. A lot faster.

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

On my book covers and my editors. Love them to bits! They are by far the best decisions I’ve made for my book.

What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?

Everything. All of my characters are a mix of everyone in my life, from close friends to people I only met for a few seconds.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

The hardest thing is to make them feel real.  I know how a teenage girl feels because I was one, I can relate to them but a man… I can base my male characters on friends and how they react but it’s still hard since I can’t relate quite as well.

How many hours a day do you write?

From 4-6 hours a day depending on my deadline or my inspiration. Either way, I always try to save some time to write. I guess of you want to make it your career you need to treat it like it is your career.

What did you edit out of this book?

I edit out a romantic scene where two of my characters got trapped in a snow cave. It felt too soon for the characters arc to be in that situation. Not to worry! The snow scene is in book two.

What was your hardest scene to write?

One at the end of the book (no spoilers, if you read it you will know which one). I was crying so hard that my tears didn’t let me see the screen. I had to wear googles with Kleenex so they dried as fast as they got all teary.

Name one thing you gave up to become a writer:

Sleep! Apparently inspiration likes to keep me up all night.

Does your family support your career as a writer?

Yes they do. Sometimes they don’t see it as a real job but they do support my decisions, my random ideas and my hermit-writing mode where I just write for days and forget there’s a world outside my notes. I’m so blessed to have them as my family.

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Learning that you can’t always wait for inspiration. There will be times when you have to write love scenes when you are angry and sad stuff when you are at your happiest moment.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

It took me a year to plan everything. Every day for hours I build the characters and the world. The rules, the cities, the beasts, everything. After that it takes me around 3 months to write each book to their first drafts.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

I love Priyam. She is so much fun to write. She is super geeky, fun, sarcastic, always speaks the truth and she is a very loyal friend to G.

What were you like at school?

I used to daydream all the time. Well… I still do.

Were you good at English?

Yes, even though English is not my first language.

Which writers inspire you?

Adriana González (she rocks!), JK Rowling (yes, I’m a super fan), Veronica Roth and Jane Austen.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I was 13 years old when my parents split. That age is already difficult by itself so adding the divorce of my parents made it almost impossible. Consequently, I took books as an escape, instead of getting sad over what was happening I read stories about magic and friends and brave acts. Over the years, all those stories made it easier for me to understand and go through everything, so when I grew up I decided to write books so maybe one day I could return the favor and help a 13 year old girl (or anyone) who might need a little bit of magic to get by.

Why do you write?

It was Victor Hugo who said “A writer is a world trapped in a person.” And I truly believe it. If I don’t write what’s going on in my head I start going crazy and can’t stop thinking about it until is on paper. Also because I really love it.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

I would love to be all cool and say typewriter but man those things are difficult! If you made a mistake or need to add something… guess who has to re-do the entire page again?! I use computer to write and I keep an Elsa (from Frozen) notebook with me at all times for inspirational glimpses around the day.

Where do your ideas come from?

From everywhere and everyone. It can be that someone near me says something and LIGHTBULB! I go and write an entire chapter. Music also helps a lot, one song can be enough to give me the inspiration for two or more chapters.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

Both. I have everything planned but sometimes, along the way something happens and the story goes to places I never expected it to go.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I try to read as much as I can.  I love JK Rowling (always!) Veronica Roth is great, Kristen Ashley, Richelle Mead, Adriana González (love her), Dr. Seuss, Dan Fogelman, John Green and Silvia Day.

For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books?

I like paper/hard back books because I love how a book feels and smells. It’s not the same reading from a screen that holding the book on your hands. That, and books don’t get low battery when the story is getting intense.

Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?

Shelly Stinchcomb and Holly Kammier. I found them through Reedsy (best webpage any writer, editor, designer or publicist could find!!!)

How do you work with an editor without the pride thing getting in the way?

There was no pride involved. Shelly and Holly are wonderful! They give amazing notes on how to enhance your characters and plot without changing your voice. Every single suggestion they gave was to make the book better.

How are you publishing this book and why?  (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)

Luckily I came across Acorn Publishing. They are a hybrid production company where you keep your rights, royalties and the decisions on every aspect of your book but you are never alone through the proses. They are incredible!!!

What is your favorite quote?

I have many…

“I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.” Jane Austen

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Dr. Seuss

“I knew who I was this morning, but I’ve changed a few times since then.” Lewis Carroll

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

Alan Rickman, I always found him fascinating and really talented.

What books have most influenced your life? 
Little women, Ginny’s opportunity, Harry Potter, Pride and Prejudice, Alice in Wonderland and anything from Dr. Seuss.

What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, here on Goodreads, etc.) and link(s)?

I find it easier to answer everyone on Facebook messenger than anywhere else. I check that one constantly.

What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?

Comfortable positions to sleep in a tree.

What would the main character in your book have to say about you?

Probably that I’m mad for putting her always in trouble and that I need to understand that “one more chapter and I go to bed” means…. ONE more chapter and then I have to go to bed.

And finally, where can people find you and your book online?

My book is available on Amazon at: ………………………… The link will be uploaded on the 12th. I also can be found on,

WEBSITE = http://www.leleiturrioz.com/

FACEBOOK = https://www.facebook.com/lele.seasonswithin/

GOODREADS = https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32051457-seasons-within

 

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