Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Interview w/ Talis Jones + ALARUM Giveaway


by Talis Jones
Release Date: October 30, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Western
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I fled as they destroyed my home.
I watched as they murdered my family.
I stood silent as they stole my name and threw my life in chains.

I stare coldly at my fading reflection with only one question to ask:
Them or Me?

Set in a future where the United States has fallen, a girl is ripped from her home as a child and forced to endure the harshness around her or else surrender to the dust of bones she treads on. Her life becomes simple: kill or be killed. What she didn’t count on was the heavy cost this world would drain from her soul. When she crosses paths with a curious stranger who offers to show her a place without a map, they head across the crumbling land in search of the fabled Sanctuary. Neither enemies nor elements that rip her hair and claw at her heels can stand in the way of her will to survive.

They say demons lurk in the shadows, but here they strut boldly under the angry sun.

Book 2


by Talis Jones
Release Date: June 25, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Western


Born in an experimental lab before two outlaws stole him away, Bones has been planted into the vengeful earth growing strong with a gun in each hand. Given freedom by a group called Sanctuary he’s trained his powers carefully until one day they let him leave. Until one day he witnesses something that will cause his loyalty to waver. Until one day it’s his own name they vow to write with blood.

As the life he thought he knew threatens to crumble beneath his feet he takes to the road determined to explore with no tether but his plans quickly go awry when old adversaries capture him to pay for the sins of his saviors. Whether there remains any place in this harsh land that might dare call itself Home, he fights each challenger with a gun aimed at their chest and a laugh in his step.

When the world wants you dead,
dare to smile.


Hi Talis!!  We are so excited to have your Walking Shadows series in our FFBC Tours!!  Thanks so much for taking time to chat with us.

What were your favorite books in elementary/middle school?

I loved reading all of the Nancy Drew books in my local library, Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, and Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. By middle school my favorite reads became largely dominated by dystopia including Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and The Giver by Lois Lowry. One of my all time favorites however remains The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.

If you could go back and tell your YA self one thing, what would it be?

I would say, “Listen kid, you're not going to find your forever soulmate and single-handedly save the world by age 16. And honestly that should be a big relief to you.” I've always been an avid reader and by age 13/14 I really began wishing to switch lives with the heroines and heroes in my favorite books and every year that went by filled with nothing but the normal mundane I would feel a twinge of disappointment combined with an urgency that I was running out of time. As I got older though I realized to switch lives with any of those characters would be WAY too stressful! I have zero desire to be “the chosen one” anymore haha! 

What are your 3 favorite books that you read in the past year? 

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis, Off Planet by Aileen Erin, and Vicious by V.E. Schwab. I could talk about books all day if you let me!

Could you tell our readers a little bit about ALARUM & SOLUS?

Each book is written to be pretty much a standalone however there are character cameos and little threads woven between each book that connects them so it's recommended that you read them in order. Alarum follows a character that lives under several different names, each one given as she's passed along to her next fate. She's lovingly born in a futuristic alternative version of the United States but too soon society shatters and as she's caught in the crossfire her focus is whittled down to one thing: survive. That is, until people she meets along the way try to rekindle a hope in her and slowly her path of vengeance bends into one of redemption.

Solus takes place about seven years after the end of Alarum when we first meet Bones, the main character. Unlike Fury from Alarum, Bones doesn't want to roam and rage against his past, he wants to find a home, to settle and belong. Because of certain gifts he possesses and his unique upbringing he's constantly sought after as someone to control and manipulate but he continues his search for family with a smile on his face and a laugh in his step. 

How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere?

The idea came to me in a collision of thoughts during a 13-hour road trip with my family. My brother was saying how he wished there were more apocalyptic movies like Book of Eli, I'd been randomly musing over how impressive it really is that the U.S. has remained one united country for so long (I mean, it's massive, plus each state practically has its own culture and geography) and how it's doubtful it will remain so forever, and the realization that there are almost never any characters in dystopian/apocalyptic books (or any books really) with glasses or they're usually just nerdy side characters. As someone with severe myopia I'd often joke that I'd probably die within five minutes in any apocalyptic scenario if my glasses broke, but nevertheless I wanted a main character with this disability.

I was also inspired by the 1930s Dust Bowl, the Berlin Wall, and more random musings over how different two neighboring countries can be. My brain tends to think too much and all of this was fused together during that long trip cramped in a car and I ended up jotting a plot brainstorm on my phone.

What 3 hashtags would you most associate with your book? (Could be a word or phrase or anything that would instantly make you think of ALARUM or the series in general.)

#apocalypticwestern #walkingshadowsbeneathanangrysun #cactusita 

Tell us your favorite quote from ALARUM.

I have to go with... “Roars chanting for our souls fill my ears and I swallow back my fear one drop at a time. Let them come.” It's Fury in a nutshell. She's human, she has fears, she has troubles, but she's also learned never to yield. She can be stubborn that way.

Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write?  Or which part was the most difficult to get through?

I had the most fun writing Fury's interactions with Connors and Riker. I love those characters and to watch their amusement as they clashed with a spitfire girl was always a good time. Most of my favorite moments between Fury and Riker ended up cut to help streamline the plot but I couldn't just toss them so they ended up in a novella I wrote titled Dust to Dust.

The most difficult part to get through were any death scenes. I won't spoil anything but each time a good person died the words would just flow onto the page even while tears blurred my vision. I know as the author I should be able to do what I want and save everyone, but when I write it's the characters that take over and they made their choices.

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for ALARUM– Which one would you pick?

“Through the Valley” by Shawn James. It was the first song I added to my playlist and I listened to it a lot while outlining this book. The sound, the lyrics, the acceptance and rawness all fit the story really well.

Are there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read The Walking Shadows series (specific music, snacks…)? 

Rub a little dirt on your face, listen to my “Alarum” playlist on Spotify, eat some beef jerky, light a candle that smells like a horse barn (in a good way), and dive in. That's good for the first book anyway but each book has its own aesthetic. For Solus I'd say stay in a mountain cabin or take a stroll in the woods, light a pine scented candle, drink some wine (or grape juice), and listen to acoustic tracks, while for book 3 you might want to eat sour gummy worms, get familiar with 70s disco and 90s hip-hop, and dye your hair purple. I'll keep the vibe for the last two books a secret for now.

What’s next for you? 

I'm currently wrapping up my YA fantasy series, Otherworld, with writing a prequel that also serves as a villain origin story. I'm also already plotting out the next book in the Walking Shadows series! It's set to take place in the Rochester Alliance so there will be more sci-fi fun to be had.

Thanks so much!!

Talis Jones has always been an avid reader and any good story filled with fantasy and adventure is bound to be on her shelf. Graduated Suma Cum Laude with a degree in Theatre she has explored both stage and film, now finding herself drawn towards the literary world as a new venue for storytelling. Inspired by her mixed heritage as a Mexican-Englishwoman raised in the wilds of America, she rallies for diverse characters and seeks to contribute with her own writing.

Jesus follower, dog lover, chocolate fanatic, and music enthusiast, Talis currently resides in North Carolina where she has found a home for now that provides all of those favorite things.

  • Prize: One winner will receive 1 signed paperback of ALARUM, 1 shotgun shell necklace, and 4 signed bookmarks
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1 comment:

  1. Sounds like an exciting series. I like that it is a series, yet they can be read alone. "Kill or be killed," and then head out in the decaying world, lead by a stranger, to a place without a map......that sounds like a great plan or an interesting adventure. Wow!