July 8, 2013

Guest Post + Giveaway: Solstice High by Ardash Vartparonian

Title: Solstice High
Author: Ardash Vartparonian
Publisher: Strategic Book Group  
Publication Date: October 22, 2012
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy/Sci Fi
Format: eBook and Print,  360  Pages

It's the first day of school at prestigious Solstice High. Seniors Matt, Rochelle, Daphne and Jonas each have a big surprise waiting for them. When the four friends undergo a freak accident, they begin to develop superhuman abilities and come to realize that all is not as it seems within the bleak walls of their high school. While dealing with the day-to-day challenges of being teenagers, they must also confront their sinister principal, Mr. Devlin, who seems to have more than just education on his agenda.

***Guest Post***

Describe your writing process for Solstice High:

I got the idea for Solstice High while I was still in school because I was a massive daydreamer and whenever I was in some class that I found boring, my mind would travel. I’d imagine something exciting happening right there in the class. I’d imagine someone hovering over their desk with wings protruding out their back and all the school kids running around scared, or someone flicking a hand and sending all the benches crashing to one side of the room. Now that I think about what I just wrote I sound kind of psycho, but not all my daydreams were action-packed and filled with fear and excitement. Sometimes I’d just look out the window and look at the patio of the school while I felt trapped within the confines of some soul-withering Math class and imagine myself flying across the patio, free as a bird, not just from Math but from so many overbearing feelings that come over you when you’re around 16-17.
At first I wrote for myself. It was cathartic; it was like my own personal form of therapy. I was your typical angry teenager, and writing really helped vent some of the overflowing emotions. Then I started sharing some of the things I was writing with friends, and under their encouragement I kept going. I’ve been writing since I was around 11, but I’d never finished a whole book before. I would always start these massive and extremely ambitious projects but get no farther than 10 or 12 chapters. With Solstice High something similar happened: I wrote 13 chapters when I was 16 and then I abandoned the whole project completely, until I rediscovered it when I was 18 and decided to rewrite what I had done and keep going from there. It was a surprisingly smooth process; all the ideas for what I wanted to do were still there.
The funny thing is that, rather than having the whole novel planned out, the only thing I had in my head were certain images or pieces of dialogue that I knew I had to include (I don’t want to specify because I want to keep this spoiler free ;) ), so most of the time I’d finish a chapter and have absolutely no idea what would be happening in the next one. That was fun because it kept the whole process of writing fresh and spontaneous. I had the basic concept, or the skeleton as I call it, already worked out, but nothing to flesh it out with, which gave me a lot of freedom.
Every couple of chapters I’d think ‘right, now’s the time to write in that image or dialogue I had in mind’, but other than that there was absolutely no planning. I kept a little journal where after writing a chapter I’d write a little summary of the chapter in it so I could keep tabs on what had happened and who had done what or who had talked to who for example. It was really permissive in a way but it also complicated things because it had me worried at one point as to how tight the plot of the novel and what the day to day occurrences would be. Obviously at certain points I’d have to go back and rewrite something one character had said which clashed with what he did later in order for everything to make sense, but I feel that the end product isn’t a hot mess but quite structured.  Solstice High was never meant to be a published novel. It was something I did at first because I love writing, secondly because it was therapeutic, and thirdly because I realized my friends were enjoying it. It was only a few years after I had written all three books in the trilogy that the idea even crossed my mind of ‘why shouldn’t I try and get this published?’ and that’s how that whole other roller coaster of getting published started.
Anyways, I’ll admit that the writing process for Solstice High is not the most common and might not even sound the most professional, but I’m quite confident I managed to pull it off okay, and I hope others will agree with me (not just my friends, since they’re basically forced to say that lol).
About the Author:
Ardash Vartparonian was born in London but raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the age of 18 he began his debut novel, Solstice High, and continued writing throughout his last year of school and first year of university, where he moved back to the UK to study English Literature at Edinburgh University. Now a fourth year student, Ardash enjoys going out with his friends, watching horror movies and reading fantasy book while trying to keep up with his university work. 

Purchase Links:

One print copy of Solstice High
Open in U.S., UK, and Canada Only
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour:
 So Many Precious Books July 3 Review & Giveaway
Shelf Addiction July 5 Review, Interview, & Giveaway
Heck of a Bunch July 8 Review
Jessabella Reads July 8 Guest Post  &  Giveaway
Saving for 6 July 9 Review & Giveaway
Romance Bookie July 15 Review
Cmfg! Books July 17 Guest Post  & Giveaway
Ordinary Girlz July 18 Review
A Walk on Words July 19 Interview
Little Lovely Books July 23 Review
Little Lovely Books July 24 Guest Post
Ja Ĩitam, a ti? Jul 25 Review & Giveaway
In This of World of Books July 26 Review
Sammy the Bookworm July 29 Review
JC’s Book Haven July 29 Review
Teen Blurb July 30 Review
Teen Blurb July 31 Guest Post  & Giveaway
Cozie Corner Aug 1 Review
Every Free Chance Aug 5 Review & Giveaway
Dab of Darkness  Aug 6 Review
Little Book Star Aug 7 Review
Laurie’s Paranormal  Aug 8 Interview
Between the Lines  Aug 12 Review
Sweeps4Bloggers Aug 13 Review & Giveaway
Synchronised Reading  Aug 15 Review & Guest Post
Cmfg! Books Aug 16 Review
Book Mark Belles Aug 19 Review
Book Mark Belles Aug 20 Interview
 Serendipity  Aug 20 Review
 Serendipity Aug 21 Interview
Networking Witches Aug 21 Review & Giveaway
Manic Mama of 2 Aug 22 Review
Moonlight, Lace, & Mayhem Aug 23 Guest Post
Up In the Bibliosphere Aug 26 Review
Up In the Bibliosphere Aug 27 Guest Post & Giveaway
Icy Cold Reads Aug 28 Review   
Hosted by:


  1. Thanks so much for taking part in the tour and hosting Ardash!

  2. Great post, I enjoyed reading how he started writing the book.

  3. Great guest post and giveaway! <3

  4. This sounds like a book that I would enjoy very much. I love that the author wrote it without having a plan in mind. Just went with it, and let it be cathartic for himself. Hopefully that comes across in the writing!

  5. I would love to read. Should be a good one! and that's a great giveaway!

    landscape painting


I truly appreciate each and every one of your comments!