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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Author Interview: Cayla Kluver of Legacy + Book Review: Stolen Lives: Twenty Years In A Desert Jail by Malika Oukfir

Author Interview: Cayla Kluver of Legacy

Cayla Kluver is the author of Legacy which is being released on August 18, 2009. She is currently 16 years old, but wrote Legacy when she was only 14! Their will be a second book called Allegiance and a third book called Redemption which will conclude the trilogy, so make sure you look out for them! I wanted to thank Cayla for doing this interview and giving me the chance to review her book, I am inspired by her dedication and I hope she has great success because she is truly a gifted writer.

For more info on Cayla Kluver, check out her official website:
http://www.caylakluver.com/
Also, become a follower on her blog here:
http://caylakluver.blogspot.com

Check out a
super cute video of Cayla and her sister Cara: http://www.amazon.com/gp/mpd/permalink/m1VAIBDMFW7Q20

If you're interested in reading Legacy, please enter my 3 Book Giveaway to have a chance to win! Click here for further details: Enter Me!

1) Cayla, how does it feel to be a published writer at such a young age?

It’s incredibly exciting – although I have to imagine the feeling of having your first book published is relatively the same no matter what age you are. I suppose it’s stranger to be my age just because I’m still trying to figure out who I am and how I fit into the world, and it can be difficult to keep myself separate from the experience, if that makes any sense. I’ve been extraordinarily blessed, but it gets confusing sometimes!

2) What inspired you to write Legacy?

Growing up, my two sisters and my friends and I were encouraged to entertain ourselves with our imaginations. We didn’t do much in the way of organized activities (with the exception of some local plays and a soccer league here and there – my shining moment was when I almost made a goal on my seventh birthday), and I think as I grew out of playing make-believe in the backyard, the sort of creativity my mom and dad supported found its way into my writing. I’d always loved writing, and I think I was just the right age for that passion and the transfer of focus in creativity to fuse into a novel.

3) Are the characters in the book based on someone you know?

A few of my characters were definitely based on people I know, whether advertently or not! I think it’s important, especially when you’re just starting out like I am, to write what you know. The narrator is my older sister in a lot of ways, Steldor is based off of someone I know pretty well, there are flares of my good friends in London and Miranna, and there’s a spice of my mom in “lawyer mode” in the character of Cannan.

4) What was the hardest part of writing Legacy?

Since it was my first book, just figuring out how to approach such a project was difficult. It required an outline much more extensive than I’d done before, and pushing through to the end of that first draft was a challenge. Luckily I was surrounded by wonderful people — my mom, my English teacher Mrs. White, my best friend, my sisters — who encouraged and helped me whenever I needed it. And certainly once I’d finished the first draft, there were a lot of revisions that had to be made. For me, probably the most difficult part of the writing process is description – it doesn’t come as naturally to me as characters and dialogue, but the way I look at it, having room to improve in any area is never a bad thing.

5) If you had to pick one word to describe your book, what would it be?

Oh boy, one word. “Indescribable.” Sorry, couldn’t resist!

6) I see that Legacy will be followed up with Allegiance, what can we expect from the second book?

Allegiance literally picks up about a week after Legacy ends, and continues the same story arc. The second book is darker, however — it gets more intense with some aspects of the war between Hytanica and Cokyri, and there are some casualties. Alera also becomes much more empowered as a character and as a woman — her progression has been exciting and a lot of fun to write. Then after Allegiance, Redemption picks up the story again and concludes it.

7) Are there any new authors that have sparked your interest?

She’s not a debut author, but I really enjoyed Alisa Libby’s The Blood Confession, which came out in 2006, and I know her second book, The King’s Rose, just came out in March 2009. Check ‘em out!

8) What book are you currently reading?

I’ve been so on the run that I’m actually in the middle of two books at the moment (and have been for a while…). One is The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, and the other is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Kind of a contrast there, but both great books!

9) Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your future readers?

I just want to say that for me, this is a dream come true, to even think of my book in your hands. Writing the Legacy series has been an amazing experience, and my only hope is that people – you – enjoy reading it. For me it’s all about finding happiness for myself and my family by bringing happiness to you, and if that happens, I couldn’t ask for more. Thank you so much.

10) Tell us something about yourself that no one knows about.

My grandma wanted me to be a pharmacist. My mom pointed out that at least I’d be able to write prescriptions. (It just so happens I’m TERRIBLE at math and pretty much all the things you need to be good at in order to be a pharmacist – but thanks for the thought, Grandma!)


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Book Review: Stolen Lives: Twenty Years In A Desert Jail by Malika Oukfir & Michelle Fitoussi

Stolen Lives: Twenty Years In A Desert Jail by Malika Oukfir & Michelle Fitoussi [Not a YA Book] - Based on a True Story
Publisher: Miramax Books
Pages: 293
Available Now: Amazon.com

Summary: At the age of 5, Malika Oufkir, eldest daughter of General Oufkir, was adopted by King Muhammad V of Morocco and sent to live in the palace as part of the royal court. There she led a life of unimaginable privilege and luxury alongside the king's own daughter. King Hassan II ascended the throne following Muhammad V's death, and in 1972 General Oufkir was found guilty of treason after staging a coup against the new regime, and was summarily executed. Immediately afterward, Malika, her mother, and her five siblings were arrested and imprisoned, despite having no prior knowledge of the coup attempt. They were first held in an abandoned fort, where they ate moderately well and were allowed to keep some of their fine clothing and books. Conditions steadily deteriorated, and the family was eventually transferred to a remote desert prison, where they suffered a decade of solitary confinement, torture, starvation, and the complete absence of sunlight. Oufkir's horrifying descriptions of the conditions are mesmerizing, particularly when contrasted with her earlier life in the royal court, and many graphic images will long haunt readers. Finally, teetering on the edge of madness and aware that they had been left to die, Oufkir and her siblings managed to tunnel out using their bare hands and teaspoons, only to be caught days later. Her account of their final flight to freedom makes for breathtaking reading. Stolen Lives is a remarkable book of unfathomable deprivation and the power of the human will to survive.
My Review: I actually read this book last year, but I wanted to share it with all of you. Stolen Lives is by far the most inspirational books I have ever read. It is based on a true story and that's what makes it so amazing, because someone actually went through that hell. Malika Oukfir re-lives her story through this book. Her childhood was actually very luxurious but when her father is found guilty of treason, Malika and her family are imprisoned. Twenty years of their lives were held in numerous jails. Some jails were okay but most of them were horrific to live in, especially the one that caused pure starvation and cruel living arrangements. My heart went out to Malika and her family because throughout the whole process they managed to stick together and fight their way to freedom. I definitely recommend this book if you're interested in a real life story that is inspirational. However, their are moments in the book where the details could get really graphic, so if you can't handle that, I don't recommend you read this book.
My Rating: 4.7 out of 5

5 comments:

soundistheword3 said...

Thanks for the great review with Cayla Kluver! I loved Legacy and can't wait for Allegience. :D

Kristin

Zombie Girrrl said...

Great interview, legacy sounds really good! I love that you spotlighted a new author! ^_^

Danni said...

Great interview, it sounds like a wonderful book! Happy reading. :)

Pizza said...

Legacy sounds like an awesome book. I hope it gets published in Australia.

Pizza said...

I am inspired to write my own book, well I was already going to, because I planned it all for the past month, hopefully it will turn out well.

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