Blog Tour & Giveaway: Skid Out by Ann Marie Frohoff

Today I have an awesome chance for you to find out more about author of Skid Out and The Heavy Influence Trilogy, Ann Marie Frohoff. As well as a quick author Q&A there is a fantastic giveaway below!


***

Your book, Skid Out, is the prequel novella for the Heavy Influence trilogy. It sees Jake and Aly meet and start to develop feelings for one another. Did you always have the story planned out in this way, with a prequel then a trilogy or did it start forming this way when you began writing?  
I didn’t see a prequel novella at all, SKID OUT came to me during the edit process of the first instalment, FIRST KISS. I wasn’t sure how long the story would be in the beginning, because it originally began as a screenplay – and the 3rd book in the Trilogy is essentially that screenplay – then I took the story all the way back to the beginning of where I saw it in my minds eye.
I understand that you have a love for music as well as writing. Do you use soundtracks as a method of concentration when planning and writing your books?
Hmm – this is SUCH a great question.  It all began with a dream after a concert. Then I wrote it down and it developed from there.  I began interviewing bands for a music website, to see if there could be something there and I believed there was.  The whole music actually being in and attached to the book came later. The story was always first.  As for being inspired by music – yes, most definitely.  I have a whole other fantasy series I’m writing inspired by 1 particular song, “My Gemini” by Lights Resolve.  Crazy how music has inspired me.  I never saw it coming to tell you the truth.
I loved the song that accompanied your prequel novella, Skid Out, who sung that and did you just write the words or are you a musician too?
That is what’s so amazing about this entire journey and process.  When I wrote the prequel and the first installment – I always knew I wanted lyrics on the pages of the book.  I envisioned the readers to be inside the head of the main character, going through his creative process and seeing and living through what inspired him.  I realized really quickly that writing lyrics for song was different than writing a poem per say. So I reached out to the bands who I’d toured with and befriended along the way.  They agreed to write lyrics for me. That’s when I thought how awesome it would be to hear what the songs actually sound like.  That’s how the music became attached to the books.  The song that comes with SKID OUT, the prequel novella, is named “Transpose” by Bad Suns.  The boy on the cover of the book, Chris Bowman, is actually the guy who wrote and sings the song.  
Do you have any aids or lucky charms that you like to have near when you are writing?
Yes. Not sure how lucky it is…but it get’s me “in the mood” – Candles – specifically Votivo – Red Currant scent.  It’s so completely yummy and intoxicating.  
Does your writing follow a particular pattern? Do you stick to a set time period within the day or do you just go with the flow?
I just go with the flow – sometimes I go for days without writing.  I get into an exercise phase quite often. I love yoga…and hiking. So I tend to get lost in planning days around that.  But when I get into writing – I really get into it – for hours at a time – sometimes 15 hours at a time. I def try and write at least 3-4 days a week.  
How do you deal with negative, and even positive, criticism?
Of course I LOVE the positive and I take the negatives with a grain of salt.  I know you can’t make everyone happy, or be every one’s friend, or write a story everyone will love.  I write to entertain people. I’m not formally trained in English Lit or writing really.  I did go to school for screenwriting, but that’s a whole other animal.  So, I just do my best to tell stories that I believe people will enjoy and connect with on some level.  
Can you tell us more about the Heavy Influence trilogy and approximately when each instalment is due to hit our shelves/kindles (I’m desperate to read it!)?
Oh my!! The book trailer for the 1st installment is tentative to release late spring.  I anticipate the 1st installment, FIRST KISS, to release in the summer, this summer 2012.  It’s in the edit process now because the latest songs are being dropped in.  A little tid-bit – I will be releasing the UN-EDITED first three chapters to FIRST KISS once my official website is up in the next few weeks! Along with the release of the book trailer. Then readers can see what it was like BEFORE and compare… I think it’s a fun way to keep interest and see what’s changed.  Think of it as “bonus features”. The other installments do not have set dates because I’m still in search of music, musicians, bands etc to bring those moments to life.  It’s all a long process. 
Have you got any other writing projects underway at the minute and if so can you tell us anything about them?
Yes – and I am SOOOO EXCITED to really get started on the next series of books.  I have a fantasy series in development named The Zodiac Wars – I have two writing partners for this series, Shaun Barger and Matthew Reich, because it’s really a unique project. Each one of us have special elements and talents to bring to the table, which will no doubt make this an exciting, interesting and entertaining series – it’ll have supernatural elements, weaved with actual history and music.  I do have a Face Book for this one at www.facebook.com/thezodiacwars and Twitter @thezodiacwars – to find out a bit more 🙂
A few more personal quick-fire questions:
Favourite author: John Hughes (screenwriter)
Favourite band: Foo Fighters – Metallica
Favourite colour: Black
Favourite animal: Yellow Lab
Favourite dinosaur: Pterosaurs
***
What awesome answers! Its amazing how the story started out as a screenplay and we have a lot in common as I’m a huge lover of music, John Hughes, Labradors and The Foo’s! I loved  Skid Out, cannot wait to read the rest of the series and highly intrigued about The Zodiac Wars too! Thank you for taking time to answer the questions Ann!! 

Now here’s the chance for you readers to win some goodies from Ann… To be in for a chance of winning:
– An eBook copy of Skid Out and an MP3 of “Transpose” by Bad Suns
– An album by Lights Resolve
– a £25/$25 amazon gift card (depending on country)
Please fill in the rafflecopter form below. Please note that you MUST like the Heavy Triology Facebook page and follow Ann’s twitter account for your entry to count. Entries are open until Midnight (EST) on March 15th and are open for US and UK Followers. 
There is also a chance to win a Kindle Fire over at Ann’s blog, randomthoughtsofannie.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway