Monday, May 18, 2015

Author Spotlight: T.A. Maclagan (author of They Call Me Alexandra Gastone)

Today, on the blog, we have a special guest.And that special guest is...

T.A. Maclagan
For more info about the author...

T.A. Maclagan is a Kansas girl by birth but now lives in the bush-clad hills of Wellington, New Zealand with her Kiwi husband, son and four pampered cats. With a bachelor’s degree in biology and a Ph.D. in anthropology, she’s studied poison dart frogs in the rainforests of Costa Rica, howler monkeys in Panama and the very exotic and always elusive American farmer. It was as she was writing her ‘just the facts’ dissertation that T.A. felt the call to pursue something more imaginative and discovered a passion for creative writing. They Call Me Alexandra Gastoneis her first novel.


1. Hello Miss Maclagan! I'm really honored to have you here on my blog.  They Call Me Alexandra Gastoneis your [upcoming] debut novel. For those who don't know much about it, could you tell us more about your novel?

Thanks for having me visit Kyla and for helping me get the word out about my book!

It’s about a teen sleeper agent living in the US who gets activated. She’s asked to serve her nation at the expense of important people in her life and is essentially in a no win situation. The main character is someone struggling to find her own identity after years of living someone else’s life. Alexandra has kept her emotional distance from her boyfriend and ‘grandfather’ but the walls she erected to protect herself are starting to crack.  The novel explores themes of identity, loyalty, and family amidst a backdrop of international intrigue.

2. How did you come up with the idea of They Call Me Alexandra Gastone?

The first spark of an idea came when I was watching the movie SALT with Angelina Jolie. In it, she’s a sleeper agent from Russia who is placed in the US as a child. This got me thinking about what her life as a teenage sleeper agent might have been like. What kind of relationships would she have? What if she was activated?The teen years are about finding your own identity, but what if your identity is dictated to you? What if who you are is a lie?

3. Alexandra Gastone/Milena Rokva, the main character of They Call Me Alexandra Gastone, seems like an interesting character based on the synopsis. What trait of Alexandra/Milena do you love the most? 

(Kyla: P.S. I love the name "Alexandra" because it sounds sophisticated + it's my sister's name + it's mentioned on Nikita.) 
(T.A.: I love Nikita! And I totally agree with you about the name! If I ever have a daughter I’m totally lobbying for Alexandra to be her name.)

I love that she’s both extremely strong but also quite vulnerable. I think that makes her very ‘real’ as a character and someone we can all identify with. She’s a badass heroine but also a heroine with depth and dimenions.

4. What's the best thing about writing They Call Me Alexandra Gastone?

I love getting into my character’s heads. It’s like I get to live their lives in addition to my own. Alexandra is a very cool and strong girl and someone I would love to be, so writing her was a ton of fun!

5. Recommend your novel [They Call Me Alexandra Gastone] to the readers.

If you like fast-paced novels with lots of twists and turns and kick butt heroines with heart then you’ll love They Call Me Alexandra Gastone.

6. What's next for T.A. Maclagan?

Lots more books I hope! And a sequel to They Call Me Alexandra Gastone.


Twitter or Facebook?
  • Facebook all the way!

Chocolate or vanilla?
  • Chocolate. Everything else pales in comparison.

Cookies or cupcakes?
  • Cupcakes! I’m currently doing a no sugar challenge and your questions are starting to make me regret that decision.

Pepsi or Coke?
  • Coke.

TV series or movies?
  • TV series. I like the extended storyline arcs.

Sunrise or sunset?
  • Sunset.

Singing or dancing?
  • Dancing. I can’t sing, AT ALL! Although my dancing isn’t much better.

For more info about They Call Me Alexandra Gastone...

They Call Me Alexandra Gastone
by T. A. Maclagan
Young Adult - Contemporary
Publication: May 20th 2015 by Full Fathom Five Digital
PURCHASE: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
When your life is a lie, how do you know what’s real?

Alexandra Gastone has a simple plan: graduate high school, get into Princeton, work for the CIA, and serve her great nation.

She was told the plan back when her name was Milena Rokva, back before the real Alexandra and her family were killed in a car crash.

Milena was trained to be a sleeper agent by Perun, a clandestine organization from her true homeland of Olissa. There, Milena learned everything she needed to infiltrate the life of CIA analyst Albert Gastone, Alexandra’s grandfather, and the ranks of America’s top intelligence agency.

For seven years, “Alexandra” has been on standby and life’s been good. Grandpa Albert loves her, and her strategically chosen boyfriend, Grant, is amazing.

But things are about to change. Perun no longer needs her at the CIA in five years’ time. They need her active now.

Between her cover as a high school girl—juggling a homecoming dance, history reports, and an increasingly suspicious boyfriend—and her mission in this high-stakes spy game, the boundaries of her two lives are beginning to blur.

Will she stay true to the country she barely remembers, or has her loyalty shattered along with her identity?

And this post would not be complete without a...

1 comment:

We love getting comments from all of you, dear Trogs. :)