Guest Author L. T. Vargus

Today I’d like to welcome author L.T. Vargus to the blog, yesterday I reviewed her book “Casting Shadows Everywhere” you can read the review here http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-4nq

Image of L.T. Vargus

1) Where is your home town?
I’ve lived in Kalamazoo, Michigan, for about 12 years. Actually, I’m about to go shovel a foot of snow off the of the driveway so I can go to the grocery store before it snows more tonight. It’s like I always tell people: Michigan is a great place to live if you like a lot of snow and murder.
2) How long have you been writing?
I’ve been serious about writing for about 4 years. I was interested in writing and stories from a pretty young age, though.
3) How do you see the title of your book “Casting Shadows Everywhere” fitting with the storyline?
I think of the “shadows” in the title in terms of the archetype – so more like the dark side of humanity instead of literal shadows. Nick casts his shadow on Jake in the story, and as he does so he basically reveals that all of his ideas are based on the underlying messages all around us in advertisements and wars and slaughterhouses and the way people treat each other and other beings in general. The idea that morality isn’t really real is sort of all around us these days, and Nick is following that premise to its logical conclusion. That’s the shadow that’s being cast everywhere, to me. It’s open for interpretation, though. I mean, they’re creeping into dark places, so I think there’s a literal connection as well.
4) You’ve written the book from the point of view of a 15 year old boy, how much of a challenge was that as you are female?
Jake is based on a mixture of some people I knew in high school. I knew them pretty well, so it wasn’t that hard to write from that point of view. I guess the idea of writing from the perspective of a different gender might be a little overrated in terms of difficulty. If you want to sound like the average 15 year old boy, just mention boobs a few times and you’re well on the way to authenticity in my experience.
5) The storyline took quite a sinister turn for Jake, what made Jake turn away from the road of no return?
I think Jake’s self-awareness catches up at the end. I liked the idea of a seemingly self aware character that slowly starts deluding himself over the course of the story and becomes a less and less reliable narrator. I don’t know if I executed that as well as I’d hoped. Anyway, grasping the logical conclusion of Nick’s teachings snaps Jake out of it at the last minute.
6) Do you think much of the storyline reflects issues that teenagers in America face today?
On a literal level, I actually think the book is tame in some ways and over the top in others. Loads of kids are drinking, smoking weed and having sex on a regular basis by Jake’s age. He’s really shy, so he’s barely dabbled in those. On the other hand, the majority of teenagers definitely aren’t burgling all that much. Morally and philosophically, though, I think the issues are relevant.
7) Would you agree that learning to live your life and finding a reason to get out of bed each morning is worth more than winning the lottery?
 There are many examples of lottery winners’ lives falling apart shortly after they get the money, and studies have suggested that earning anything above $75,000 a year doesn’t actually make anyone happier. So yeah, I think finding things to be passionate about and people to connect with both mean a lot more than money.
8) Are you working on your next book? Can you tell us about it?
 I actually have a few different works in progress, and I don’t know which will be finished next. If I had to guess, I’d say that the next to be released will be a comedy about a slacker girl in her late 20’s that seeks revenge by trying to ruin the wedding of a girl that tormented her in high school. It’s a lot lighter than Casting Shadows Everywhere.
9) Do you have an expected publication date for fans?
I’m hopeful that it will be out in the summer or fall of 2014.
Thanks again for the awesome review and featuring me on your blog. I really appreciate it.
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Casting Shadows Everywhere – Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com
Thank you L.T for being our guest today and good luck with the next book.

Casting Shadows Everywhere by LT Vargus

Casting Shadows EverywhereCasting Shadows Everywhere by L.T. Vargus

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reading as a series of informal diary entries this book is written from the point of view of 15 year old Jake. An American teenager of a single parent family, Jake strives to do more with his life. He wants a reason to get up in the morning.

The opening scenes are very vivid, we meet Jake’s cousin Nick who will play an important adult role in Jakes next few months. There are few males for Jake to look up to and Nick’s air of danger entices Jake. No longer prepared to be a victim to school bullies Jake accepts Nick’s offer to help him learn some important life lessons.

Jake finds that he likes the excitement and thrill that taking on Nick’s tasks give him and he can feel himself changing and wanting to keep changing. Jake’s college lessons help him analyse his feelings and actions which make him different from Nick. Nick ultimately becomes out of control relying on his one rule in life “Don’t get caught”.

The book deals with plenty of teenage issues such as bullying, bulimia, puberty and peer pressure. There is strong language and violence in Jake’s journey to find meaning in life. He came full circle through his lessons with Nick. Nick felt life had no meaning. Jake did something with his life experience, he changed his outlook and at the end began living his life once again.

There is a lot of strength in this story and if you can see through the violence and some of the points that no parent wants to think about, there is a lot of true life experiences. Many teenagers are trying to find themselves and they have to deal with issues today that we all need to face.
Find a copy here on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Author L.T Vargus will join us on the blog tomorrow for a guest author post, do come back and read more about the writing of this book.