Aurelious Forty: Interview and Giveaway

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Dianna Beirne
Aurelious Forty; Volume One Blog Tour
July 6, 2015- July 10, 2015
YA Bound Book Tours

Summary from Goodreads:

Aurelious Forty has led a lonely, troubled life. He stays disconnected from the world around him with no family and no friends. He lives merely to exist…to survive.

Aurelious’ life changes in an instant when an impulsive decision forces him to abandon everything he has ever known. Choosing to follow strangers into a new world, he discovers he was born with a gift so strong, so unique; it could give him the power to change humanity.

But the shadows of his childhood are long and dark and run through every fiber of his soul. Can Aurelious break the chains of his past and use his gift for good? Or will the nightmare of his tormentors set him on a path of revenge so fierce it could destroy us all?

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Aurelious Forty; Volume One Interview with Dianna Beirne

1. How did you come up with the title, Aurelious Forty?
Aurelious Forty is the name of the main character and it wasn’t the original title for this book. The original title for Volume One was Gypsies (it will make sense to anyone who reads it) but the editor that I was working with at the time thought it was a pretty dull title and wouldn’t catch anyone’s interest. She thought that his name was much more interesting so I deferred to her expertise. I’ve since gotten a lot of positive feedback about the title so that editor was definitely right.

2. Who are you trying to reach with the book?
Everyone. Young adults are the primary audience but this is a story that adults can, and do, enjoy as well. Whether it’s relating to an experience or emotion or just being entertained (hopefully) there is something for everyone. Everyone has known or currently knows at least one of these characters. Not, the gifts that they have, that’s were the fantasy comes into play, but in their personalities or physical characteristics, in the way they react, in the way they talk, in the way they present themselves or how they interact with the world. They’re people that we can recognize.

3. What themes are most relevant for readers of the book?
Aurelious goes through a lot. He changes throughout the course of the story, and in terms of the series he changes many times, but the point is that he changes and often times he struggles with that change. I think readers can relate to change, to growing up and how challenging that can be at times. I hope that they see the importance of interacting with other people and how interaction can impact how they develop. It speaks to the relevance of being surrounded by good people and how, when we do that, we can become better versions of ourselves as well. I also hope that readers recognize the idea that they should find, be proud of, and appreciate the things that makes each of them, and everyone around them, unique and amazing.

4. Can you give us a synopsis of the book (Volume I)?
Volume One introduces the reader to Aurelious Forty with a brief background about his life and how its trials and tribulations have impacted the person he has become. The story is about a young man choosing whom to trust on his path toward discovering who he wants to be. Throughout his journey, he recognizes his own unique talents and gifts, he recognizes his value, and he finds value in others as he forms human connections for the first time.

5. What does the gift Aurelious possesses represent?
All of the gifts are part of the element of Fantasy in the story and, in that sense, they serve the purpose of encouraging us to use our imagination. But they represent individuality; they highlight our differences and celebrate them. They show that, on our own, our uniqueness can be amazing and when we combine our distinct strengths and talents we can be extraordinary and can accomplish great things. But we first have to find, acknowledge, and learn to cherish what makes us different, and find, acknowledge, and cherish that in others. And that isn’t always easy to do.

6. What do the Gypsies represent?
They represent compassion, humanity, the struggle between good and bad, right and wrong. They represent the people that often go unnoticed but can be quite remarkable. They represent the idea that we should be looking around and noticing each other and recognizing how each of us interacts with and impacts the world.

7. Who do you think would most benefit from reading the book?
I think anyone that reads it can benefit from it because everyone is reading it for their own unique purpose and this book serves a lot of purposes. I think a reader will find what they are looking for in this book. If they are looking to be entertained by a Young Adult Fantasy novel, then this will serve that purpose. If they are looking to connect with someone who has struggled but not given up, then this will serve that purpose. If they are looking to relate to someone who just never really fit in until they finally found the group of people they were meant to be with, then this will serve that purpose. If they are looking for hope, for love, for friendship, for adventure, for action, then this will serve that purpose. At least, I hope it will.

A Deeper Look at a Main Character: Aurelious Forty

Aurelious is, at times, a bit of an enigma. He is a very emotional character and while he shares his emotional experiences with the reader, he tries desperately to hide them from the characters that he interacts with on the page. He is typically unsuccessful in masking his own emotions from those around him though he’s generally unaware of how unsuccessful he is because he’s fairly self-absorbed, at least in the beginning of the book. Enigma.

There is a lot to love in Aurelious but he makes you work at loving him, he doesn’t give it right away. There are times when you might think it’s easier to dislike him but then he draws you in and you’re reminded of what he endured as a child and you’re proud of how far he’s come.

Although he is the main character and the one telling us his story, he isn’t the hero. He is really more of a sidekick who has to learn from the hero and finds himself fumbling along the way, a lot. He fumbles so much that he makes the hero a little less heroic for a minute. But, when he starts to look outside of himself, when he starts to connect with and care for the people around him, when he shows us how much he changes and overcomes, then he does become a little bit more of a hero himself. Or at least makes us question how a hero could be defined.

Aurelious Forty struggles. He learns. He grows. He changes. He is an imperfect character, just like the rest of us. And, in his imperfection, he is worthy of being loved, just like the rest of us. As the person who created him, I must confess, I hope people will embrace his flaws and love him.

My Pinterest Board

I’m new to Pinterest. Actually I didn’t even understand what it was until I started using it and I might not be using it as it was intended to be used. There is a possibility that I am modifying it’s original intent to fit a need in my life. Or not, I really don’t know since I’m so new at it.

So as of writing this post, I have three boards, six followers, and 80 pins and I’m feeling pretty accomplished (until I happen upon someone who has 3,700 followers, 29 boards, and 5,500 pins…yeah I’m not too accomplished in terms of Pinterest, but I’m trying). I have the obligatory food board, which everyone seems to have. I have a board entitled ‘Nope…Unacceptable’, upon which I pin things that make me shudder or just generally shake my head. And I have a board called ‘For My Soul’ where I pin things that make me daydream or sigh, they make me wonder or imagine, they evoke a comforting memory or feeling, they warm my soul.

I am sharing the ‘For My Soul’ board here with you. If you’ve read or plan to read Aurelious Forty then you will notice, by some of the pins, how this series is a part of my soul. While other pins are glimpses inside my mind. I hope this board makes you feel warm inside like it does for me. And I’d love for you to follow me!

If I Could Live Anywhere Else…

I live in New York. I was born and raised there and I love living there. I am a 20 minute train ride from the city (Manhattan, we just assume everyone knows what we’re talking about when we say ‘the city’), I’m ten minutes from the beach (Atlantic Ocean or some bay, which ever you prefer), and the closest mountain for skiing or hiking is maybe an hour away. There’s plenty to do where I live and I haven’t found a reason to leave, at least not for more than a vacation. But if I had to live somewhere else (maybe even if I didn’t have to), there is one place that I would go to in a heartbeat.

If I could live anywhere else…I’d live in Narnia. Yeah, yeah Narnia isn’t a real place but that hasn’t stopped me from wanting to live there. How cool would it be to sit in a field talking to your friend, who happens to be a dog, about how hilarious it is when Reepicheep, a mouse, starts battling things 5 times his size with his adorable sword? Okay, he’s a really big, brave mouse but still, he’s a mouse battling a centaur (and usually winning), it would be a fun conversation.

The Dwarves could teach me how to use a bow and arrow and we could make a plan to try to get their old friends back from the clutches of the White Witch. I could have tea and cake with some fawns during our book club that meets during the winter, a winter where just wearing a scarf would keep me warm in the two feet of pure freshly fallen snow. Maybe I’d even go on some interesting dates with a River God, I mean why not, it’s Narnia.

Would I stand at the counter of my quaint little house built into a tree and, while wrapping up a cake in brown paper that I made special for the beaver family that lives just down the river, find myself reminiscing about New York? Would I think things like ‘it would really be easier if I could just go to the supermarket for berries rather than picking my own’ (assuming that I’ve started eating berries on a regular basis)? Would I find myself wondering what was happening on Game of Thrones while I was cavorting with Wood Nymphs? Would Aslan scare the crap out of me? I don’t know, but I’d definitely like to find out!

About the Author

dianna beirne

Dianna Beirne lives in a fantasy world. Okay not really, but part of her wishes she did and, since that’s technically impossible, she writes about fantasy worlds instead. Her first Young Adult novel entitled Aurelious Forty; Volume One quickly turned into her first Young Adult series with the addition of Aurelious Forty; Volume Two and, Aurelious Forty; Volume Three.

When not writing, she’s generally daydreaming which morphs into wondering if that last daydream could turn into a book. She has also recently discovered podcasts but doesn’t exactly understand what they are or why they’re different from regular radio shows. So it’s safe to assume that her next book won’t be about a podcast. Instead she’ll just keep listening to the ones that she finds that hilarious because laughing is one of her favorite pastimes and she finds way too many things funny!

Prior to dedicating her time to writing, Dianna taught undergraduate and graduate courses about using literacy in the elementary, middle, and high school classroom. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a Master’s degree in Literacy and a Doctorate in Education specializing in Curriculum and Teaching.

Dianna lives in New York and is the grateful mother of a son whom she misses terribly when he is away at college.

Author Links:
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