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Monday, June 3, 2013

"The Ghost Runner" by Blair Richmond~Environmentalist Meets Ghost/Vampires

SUMMARY :

Introducing Book Two in the Lithia Trilogy...
 




In The Ghost Runner, Kat is still in Lithia, trying not to see Roman's face everywhere she looks. It's not easy, but she tries to move on: She starts taking classes at the local college, keeps up with her job at the running store, and is beginning a relationship with Alex.

Yet Kat's past is never far behind, and as old ghosts begin to catch up with her, she finds herself fighting to defend the things she believes in, from the hope of a new family to the deeply wooded forests that she has begun to call home. As her relationship with Alex begins to crumble, a new secret from her past emerges, and she is once again torn between those she loves as she struggles to reconcile her dark past with her hopes for a brighter future.

The Ghost Runner, continuing Kat's adventures in Out of Breath, brings us further into the mysterious town of Lithia, where the old traditions of logging and gold mining-and the new traditions of development-collide with conservation. Meanwhile, the spirits of the town keep watch over everything-and occasionally find it necessary to intervene...

The Lithia Trilogy, which blends adventure and the paranormal with environmental awareness and Shakespeare, offers an exciting new series in young adult fiction.


PARTICULARS OF THE BOOK :

Published by:  Ashland Creek Press
Pages:  258
Genre:  YA Fiction
Author:  Blair Richmond
Website:  http://www.blairrichmond.blogspot.com


ABOUT THE AUTHOR :

Very mysteriously, Blair Richmond is the pen name of a writer who lives in the Pacific Northwest.


INTERVIEW WITH BLAIR RICHMOND COURTESTY OF ASHLAND CREEK PRESS:

 Q&A with Blair Richmond, author of The Ghost Runner and Out of Breath
 
 
Q: What gave you the idea for The Lithia Trilogy? Did it begin as a trilogy or as just one book?
A: I remember watching the Twilight movie and silently simmering as Ed Cullen explained how he and his family were “vegetarian” vampires. Ed Cullen may be easy on the eyes, but he’s no vegetarian. I guess we were supposed to feel better that the Cullens only killed animals instead of people, but I wasn’t sold on the idea. I love animals. So I went home and tried to forget about it, but I just couldn’t. And soon my crazy imagination took over, and I began thinking about the character of Kat—a young woman, a runaway, who hides out in a small town in southern Oregon.
I had a feeling when I set out to write Out of Breath that I wouldn’t say everything I wanted in just one book. But I didn’t think then I had a trilogy in me—and I’m still not completely sure (I’m still working on book three!).
What I did know is that I wanted to write a book set in southern Oregon. I live here and love the area and the people, and it’s hard for my mind not to imagine paranormal stories set here.
I knew I wanted to write a book about a runaway who takes cover in a magical town of many secrets, only to realize that she cannot outrun her past. I wanted to write about a young woman who believes she can make a difference in the world. And succeeds, in ways she doesn’t expect. And I wanted to write a book about love. About how love can turn a person—even a vampire—into something different, something better.
And as it turned out, I couldn’t say everything I wanted to say even in two books. That’s when I knew it would be a trilogy. And then, I think I’ll be done!
Q: Is the character of Kat based on you? That is, are you also a vegan and a competitive runner?
A: I wish I was as good a runner as Kat! But she and I do share a love of animals and nature. I think Kat is the person I wish I was when I was much younger. A strong-willed woman with unending optimism about changing the planet.

Q: What made you decide to use vampires as an analogy for writing about animal protection and veganism?
A: First, I love vampire novels. I’m attracted to lost and damaged souls, and vampires fit the bill. But I also thought that if a vampire could give up on blood, there would be hope for all of us.
I believe everyone is capable of making great changes in their lives. Giving up meat was, for me, an extremely difficult change. My family wasn’t supportive. I alienated a few good friends (and made a few new friends along the way). And I mostly felt alienated myself. Because vegans are still a minority in the world.
I realized that there were emotional similarities between a vegan (Kat) and a vampire (Roman) and I wanted to explore this more.

Q: Why do you write for young adults rather than an adult audience?
A: My books may be labeled YA, but I first write for myself, which I suppose makes me an overgrown young adult. But I guess I also focus on young adults because they are our future. And if this world is going to be saved—and I believe it will—it will be thanks to this generation. My generation (and I won’t be any more specific than that) has kicked the environmental can down the road for far too long. The younger generation is not going to repeat our mistakes. At least that’s my hope.

Q: What do you hope your readers learn from reading your books?
A: I hope readers enjoy the journey as much as I have. I hope they love Kat and maybe learn a thing or two about Oregon—also about how veganism and environmentalism are so closely connected. And I hope young people are inspired to change the world.


THE DAME INTERVIEWS BLAIR RICHMOND (THE ILLUSIVE AUTHOR) !!!

1       Tell us something about yourself, please.  How do most people describe
you?

Stubborn. Eccentric. Reclusive. I’d love to include drop-dead beautiful but that
would be my imagination taking over.


2      Where is your favorite place to write?  Any special gimmicks, writing
tools or keepsakes that you keep near you when you write…I hear authors can be
superstitious!
I like to write at the public library. I find all the distractions there
actually force me to concentrate more. At home, I distract myself far more than
others can accomplish.


3      Who first told you could write well, and how did it affect you?
My high school English teacher said I had talent. But too many years passed
before I actually believed her.


4      Which contemporary authors do you most admire?
Ursula K. Le Guin. Stephen King. Cormac McCarthy. And I have a particular debt
to Stephenie Meyer, who inspired me to create TRULY vegetarian vampires.


5      Which are your favorite classical authors?
Shakespeare of course!

6      Jump into any book — which character would you be?
I like Katniss from The Hunger Games Trilogy because she’s so tough. But as my
readers know, I’m a pacifist so I’m probably more like Kat from my own books.


7      If you could have 5 historical people to dinner, who would they be?  What
would you have to eat?
Lincoln. Hemingway. Shakespeare. Rachel Carson. Virginia Woolf.  I’d serve a
vegan meal, and I think that alone would make some very interesting
conversation, particularly from Hemingway.


8      Ocean or Lake?
Ocean. Probably because I’m so far away from one these days.

9      Favorite two TV shows:
The Killing – I’m ecstatic that they’re bringing the show back for another
season. And I'm a softie for Northern Exposure – with the nature and small-town
life.


10   Favorite movie of all time:
Impossible to choose just one!

11   Are you working on a new book?
I’m nearly finished with book three of The Lithia Trilogy. I’m behind schedule.
But because it’s the last book (or so I’ve told my publisher), it’s hard to let
go. After this book, who knows what’s next. But I won’t stop writing now that
I’ve begun.


12   Anything else I forgot to ask you?

My real identity. But I’m relieved you didn’t. : )


THE BOOKISH DAME REVIEWS :

I haven't been reading much YA fiction lately.  But when Ashland Creek Press contacted me about Richmond's latest book in the Lithia series I grabbed the opportunity to read and review it.  I read and reviewed "Out of Breath" here in 2011: http://abookishlibraria.blogspot.com/2011/10/out-of-breath-by-blair-richmond-runners_27.html

There aren't any other books similar to this one on the market as far as I can tell.  Very environmental-conscious, inclusive of health issues and exercise in the greater outdoors, and spotlighting vampires and ghosts!  Well, you go figure!  One wonders how all this could fit together and be good reading...
It is, though.

Richmond has an easy way of bringing us into the story by attracting us to her/his major character, Kat.  She's a normal young woman in most cases, but she fraternizes with vampires and ghosts!  Her interests lie in running and saving the environment, as well as in drama.  All this makes for a well-rounded and interesting person, but she's also a sympathetic and loving friend and daughter. Her vampire love interests and villains, ghostly encounters, and other cast of characters bring the book to full bloom with Kat at the center.  This is a rich story with lots of players to chew on.

I found this novel easy to read.  Blair Richmond isn't trying to win any writing contests with his/her books.  It's just a well-written story that has something to say about how we live our lives in full circle...in the world around us, in our fantacies, and in our relationships.

A good read for the YA crowd.

3 stars                        Deborah/TheBookishDame



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