Title: Lions and Tigers and Boys
Author: Tawny Stokes
Published by: Entangled Crave
Release Date: January 8th, 2018
Genre: YA Paranormal
The last thing a girl as awkward as Dani Gale should be doing is trying to learn the high wire. Yet that’s exactly where Dani ends up—at OZ, the Oswald Zinzendorf School of Circus Arts. Trying to overcome her shyness is near impossible when her new partner—the hottest guy she’s ever laid eyes on, and whose touch seems to give her poise she thought impossible—also seems to be sabotaging her progress.
The last thing Cai Coppersmith needs is a distraction, especially in the form of the new, cute shy girl. He needs to focus on trying not to shape-shift into a tiger on school grounds, and completing his mission to keep Dani from winning the school’s high-wire competition. In fact, the entire safety of OZ is relying on Dani not succeeding. But there’s something about the girl that draws him in. She has magic, he can feel it. So he’ll do what he can to protect her, even if it means pushing her away.
I spread my legs into a straddle and flattened my torso onto the floor. This was one of my favorite stretches, as it really worked on the lower back. I was rewarded with a whole bunch of snapping and popping sounds when my spine repositioned. As I turned my head slightly to the left, I saw Cai walk into the studio. My belly instantly flip-flopped.
He wore a form-fitting dark blue tank top and baggy knee length shorts. He wasn’t football player big, but he was strong-looking with wide shoulders and trim arms that were cut sharp with muscles. He looked lean but powerful, and I imagined he could do a one armed push-up with little difficulty. He looked a bit like Eddie Redmayne, but with fewer freckles and redder, wilder hair.
His gaze flicked to me briefly, then he strode across the floor and found a spot to toss his bag on the opposite side from where I was. I tried not to make a big deal out of it. He was just sitting with the other sophomores. It wasn’t like he was avoiding me altogether.
I sat up and tried to catch his gaze, but he was talking with the boy stretching next to him. It was probably a good thing, because I needed to focus. I didn’t come to this school to chase a boy. I came to be the best high-wire act the world had ever seen. I came to make my mother proud.
Suddenly the lights flickered overhead. We all looked up to the ceiling to see our instructor Miss Gisele balancing on one of the high wires. She smiled and waved. “Bonjour mes beautés.”
She walked easily across the wire, and it hardly even moved. She then stopped, bent backward, and did a walkover. When she was upright again, she went onto her toes and did a pirouette. I gaped in awe. After another wave, she let herself drop from the wire and landed in the net beneath it.
She was weightless. Like a fairy dancing on a flower petal. That’s what I wanted to do, what I wanted to be.
1. What does your writing process look like? Do you know the whole story when you start? Or do you just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)? If you plan it out, how do you do that? Outline, notecards, post-it-notes, etc.?
When I start a book I have a vague idea of what I want it to look like. I always start by building the characters. Character is king. Knowing your characters inside and out makes the writing process easier. Once I know my characters then I will build the world they exist in. Then I will outline the first 3 chapters, write them, then outline again. I’m old school, and just write things down in my notebook. I don’t use notecards or fancy software. I’m not organized for that. :-)
2. How do you come up with your ideas for your stories?
At least one idea comes to me every day for a new story. I get new ideas from the music I listen to, the TV shows I watch, the movies, the news articles I read, from something that happened to me that day, or a snippet of dialogue I hear from someone around me. Ideas are everywhere. I have too many ideas. Some are good, some are bad, and some are gold.
3. How long have you been writing?
I have been writing since 2004. The first book I ever wrote was called Hell Kat, it was a Mad Max style post-apocalyptic wild ride with vampires. Kensington Publishing published it in 2005 under my pen name Vivi Anna. The I got a deal with Harlequin for their Nocturne line. I also wrote for Avon. Then I discovered selfpublishing and starting writing YA. Which I really love.
4. What tips do you have for aspiring writers?
- Read. Read everything. Read what kinds of books you want to write, and read outside your genre.
- Write. Make time in your day to write, every day. Make it a habit. Train your brain to work for you, instead of waiting for the muse, for inspiration.
5. How important are names in your books for characters or places? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds, or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
I love developing names for my characters. I do find power in names. I always like the names I choose to mean something. They don’t always have to literally mean something but they need to have significance somehow to the character or the the story. In Lions and Tigers and Boys, Dani Gale is related to Dorothy Gale from the Wizard of Oz. Leander who is a boy at the school, his name is Greek for lion. A lot of the other names either are in reference to Wizard of Oz somehow or have meaning to the story. I love 20000.com as a naming resource. So much searching through all the names from every culture.
6. What are your favorite:
Books/authors/genres: I don’t really have any favorite authors, I have favorite books, but I don’t always buy everything from one author. Favorite from the past couple of years… most of them are in YA, which is my preferred reading category, The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis, All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, The Edinburgh Seer by Alisha Klapheke
Movies/TV Shows: Fave movie most definitely is Wonder Woman. Fave TV shows, that’s hard, there is some amazing shows out there… Stranger Things, 13 Reasons Why, The Handmaid’s Tale, Dark, The Crown, Game of Thrones
Music: I love all kinds of music, pop, dubstep, trapstep, classical, alternative...bands I love right now, 21 Pilots, USS, Mother Mother, K-Flay
Food/Writing snack: My favorite food is fruit. I could snack on pineapple all day every day. But I also love to snack on popcorn when I’m writing. Sometimes All Dressed chips if I’m having a particular difficult writing day. And for a treat, I love me some cheesecake. Which is likely why my butt is rather bodacious. lol
You can visit her on twitter @TawnyStokes