Today I’m happy to be participating in the blitz for Ghost Hand and Ghost Hold books 1 and 2 of the PSS Chronicles by Ripley Patton. I read Ghost Hand back in September, which I enjoyed (read the review here), and Ghost Hold is on tap to be read/reviewed in December.
The blitz, organized by Lola’s Blog Tours runs from November 22nd-26th, and I am happy to bring you an author interview and tens list, but first, how about a bit about each book?
Seventeen-year-old Olivia Black has a rare birth defect known as Psyche Sans Soma, or PSS. Instead of a right hand made of flesh and blood, she was born with a hand made of ethereal energy.
How does Olivia handle being the girl with the ghost hand? Well, she’s a little bit morbid and a whole lot snarky.
Her mother thinks her obsession with death, black clothing, and the local cemetery is a bid for attention. But when Marcus, the new guy in Olivia’s calculus class, stares at her like she’s a freak, Olivia doesn’t like it. And when her hand goes rogue, doing things she never imagined possible, Olivia finds herself running for her life with Marcus from a group of men bent on taking the power of her hand for their own nefarious purposes.
Olivia Black is back.
Only this time she’s not the one in need of rescue.
Samantha James, rich, popular, and an award-winning composer at age seventeen, is the next target on the CAMFers’ list. In order to convince Samantha to come with them, Olivia and Passion must pose as cousins, blend into the most affluent high school in Indianapolis, and infiltrate a mysterious cult known as The Hold.
Olivia doesn’t expect it to be easy, even with the PSS guys backing them up. But what she discovers over the course of the mission will call into question everything she ever believed about herself, her family, and especially about Marcus, the guy she is undoubtedly falling in love with.
About the Author, Ripley Patton
Ripley Patton lives in Portland, Oregon with one cat, two teenagers, and a man who wants to live on a boat. She is an award-winning short story writer and author of The PSS Chronicles, a young adult paranormal thriller series.
Ripley doesn’t smoke, or drink, or cuss as much as her characters. Her only real vices are writing, eating M&Ms, and watching reality television.
How did you come up with the inspiration for the PSS Chronicles series?
The main idea for PSS or Psyche Sans Soma, the birth defect that Olivia Black and other characters in the series suffer from, came from the real medical phenomenon of phantom limbs. I have a friend who is an amputee. Even though his right leg is gone, he can still feel it. He can feel the grass between his toes when he walks in the back yard. He can get a cramp in the middle of the night in the leg he no longer has. And this is true even of people who aren’t amputees but were born without certain limbs. It seems our brain has a map of our body that isn’t limited to its fleshly manifestation. So, for the PSS series, I took that idea and ran with it. I asked myself, “What if those phantom limbs actually existed? What would they look, and act, and feel like? How would society react to them? And what power would they hold?”
The books in the PSS Chronicles series are Paranormal Thrillers, what in this genre appeals to you and why did you decide to write this genre?
Well, first, I write genre YA because I love to read it. A writer should always write something they want to read. Plus, I have two teenagers so they help me keep the work current and enjoy the finished product. And as much as Paranormal Romance has been the go-to young adult genre recently, I don’t find romance as compelling as action, adventure, or intrigue. Romance is fairly predictable. Either they end up together, or they don’t. Including the thriller element in my books allows me to turn and twist the plot a lot more, which I find challenging and interesting. And of course, there can still be some romance to sweeten the pot.
What was the inspiration for Olivia?
Olivia is a combo of my inner Goth, my daughter, and the self I wish I’d been brave enough to be as a teenager.
What does Olivia like to do in her spare time?
Read, explore the woods and gullies around Greenfield, think morbid or snarky thoughts, glance at Marcus. She also does art, not painting but dark, brooding collages out of random things she finds lying around.
Which scenes do you find the easiest to write?
Whenever Olivia is being snarky, I find it almost too easy to write. My kids and betas help me cut back on some of that. They help me keep Olivia likeable. I guess I’m full of a lot of natural snark and Olivia is my mouth-piece for it.
Which scenes do you find most difficult to write?
The romance and the violence. In Ghost Hand there is actually a chapter titled “Blood and Romance” and it was really hard to write. For me, I hate for romance to be too sappy or cheesy, but I like real, sweet, genuine moments, so I’m always pulling back and making sure that’s what I have. In books, romance is often written in a very formulaic way that we all know doesn’t actually happen. And it can be hard not to fall into that pattern, but one of my recent reviewers said the relationship between Marcus and Olivia was one of the most naturally developing teen romances she’d ever read. I felt very proud of that.
As far as the violence, it is just hard to put the characters I love through some of the stuff they have to experience. Sometimes, I just don’t want to do it and so my inner muse goes on strike.
When that happens, I just give myself space from the book and remember that trouble builds character- literally.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to read, of course, especially YA. I like to hang out with other writers and bookish nerds. I love to hike and garden and generally spend time in nature or with my pets. And I love to travel when I have the money.
10s List: Bucket List Edition
1. Hike the Oregon section of the Pacific Crest Trail
2. Sail around the world with my husband
3. Get on the New York Times Best Seller List
4. Go to the premier of Ghost Hand The Movie in Hollywood or New York.
5. Travel the world (especially Europe and the Mediterranean).
6. Take my daughter on an African Safari Tour (NOT the hunting kind).
7. Be the Guest of Honor at a Con
8. Make it back to New Zealand someday.
9. Write and live in a secluded cabin in Alaska
10. Help out on the set of Survivor, or be on the show with my son.
Thanks for stopping by today! Be sure to check out the PSS Chronicles: Ghost Hand is free(!) and Ghost Hold is 99 cents during the blitz period.