Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Interview with Fantasy Author Anna del C. Dye

Anna was born in Chile and migrated to the USA at twenty-one. She married her beloved Rodney and is the mother of four talented children. Anna started writing eight years ago and has received four different awards for some of her works.

Emerine's Nightmare: “I loved this little book and recommend it to all children. I would also recommend that parents read this with their children to get the most of the meaning that has been written into this wonderful book.” —Mary Walling
I have a Book Giveaway on my blog every week and this week I have a Halloween giveaway. Welcome back to my blog, Anna. Your fantasy children’s book is perfect for Halloween. Please tell us about it.

It is great to be back, Linda. It is called Emerine’s Nightmare. The protagonist is a boy that is persecuted by dark fairies. He has never heard of Fairies, still his heart tells him to run from them.

What age group will enjoy reading this story?

Elementary age children will enjoy the mystery and suspense in it. Girls will love the fairies and the boys will be drawn to the “Halloween-like horror” feel of the story.

Did you have to do any research for this book?

Yes, I had to read books about fairies. I hadn’t before, so it was interesting and great fun to find out what other authors did with them.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

It was a challenge I gave myself. I never read a book with fairies and wondered if I could write one. So I wrote Amerine - Fairy Princess. That is what this story was originally called. It received two awards before I transformed it into a boy’s book that became Emerine’s Nightmare.

Do you ever put real experiences in your books?

Yes, in many of them. It is normal to write of things that are close and known to the author. In Emerine’s Nightmare the protagonist has to deal with fairies, dark and otherwise, a world completely unknown to him. In my own life, I left my country and family for my husband’s family and country. It is a world that was completely unknown to me. Like Emerine, I had to figure out things like the language, new customs, and their related ideas before I came to terms with this life, which has had a happy ending so far.

Thank you, Anna, for this interview. Your book sounds like a scary Halloween book to me. You can find Emerine’s Nightmare in the following formats: Kindle only $3.99, Nook only $3.99. The e-book is available from Anna’s website, www.annadelc.com.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Interview with Fantasy Author Serena Clarke

Serena Clarke has loved writing since she was young and has taken several writing classes. Her favorite genre is fantasy with a hint of romance. Serena has a Bachelors Degree in Graphic Design. She enjoys designing her book covers as much as writing her books. This is Serena’s first published novel.

“This story is captivating and has many twists and turns. It gives a new dimension to fantasy characters. It was difficult to put down.” –Linda Weaver Clarke, Author

Hello, Serena! Welcome to my blog. Please tell us about The Treasure of Isian. What is it about?

Prince Garin is a brave, proud, adventure-seeking prince. Elani is his most trusted servant and she would do anything for him, even die for him. Their quest to find the mystical Treasure of Isian is immediately interrupted and they find themselves confronted by angry giants, soul-stealing elves, bewitched dragons, a vengeful water-witch, battling foes, and a mysterious kingdom. Elani must face her greatest fears to save her prince and her kingdom. Garin must decide what the most important things are in his life. Will they be able to make a great sacrifice to save the kingdom? And will Elani find true love?

Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

Most of my ideas for my books come from dreams I have had. I had a dream about a prince who had a servant who had to do everything he told her to do. He relied on her. And her world revolved around him. And then suddenly she was unable to do everything for him and their relationship changed. When I awoke from this dream, all that day I could not stop thinking about it. What would such a relationship be like? And how would it evolve? And why did she have to do everything he told her to do? I had most of the storyline written in my head by the end of the day. And it became The Treasure of Isian!

What is it about fantasy that you love most?

I love that anything can happen! In fantasy you are not restricted by society or politics or history. Whether reading it or writing it, I love escaping into a world that is different than the one I live in. A world where there are princes and princesses, warriors, treasure, mystical creatures that you can’t be sure if they are good or bad, true love, happy endings, mystery.

Wow! I completely understand what you’re saying. What does your family think about your writing, especially your mom and dad?

My parents are my greatest encouragement! I have always loved to write, ever since I was a little kid. And I have always wanted to get a book published. But without the encouragement from my parents, I don’t know if I ever would have gone through with it. Thanks Mom for all your help!

You’re welcome, my darling daughter. I couldn’t have a better daughter and friend, and I love you very much. Okay, it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

I have a bucket list that I am currently working on. Things that range from “scream as loud as you possibly can” to “drive a wicked cool car” to “go to Europe”. So far, one of the weirdest things I have done on my bucket list was milking a goat. Coolest things I have done so far are “get a book published,” “ride in a helicopter” and “go to Hawaii.”

Awesome! Hey, you forgot to mention going to a Josh Groban Concert. As I remember, you were quite elated. In fact, that’s all you talked about and listened to for several months. Here’s a picture of you at his concert. Hmm, you look very happy. Haha. Thanks for this awesome interview. For those interested, Serena has received several 5 star reviews. I have posted excerpts below.


Superb story that brought a smile to my face and helped me remember that sometimes, we can overlook the most valuable treasures in life if we're not careful. Charissa Stastny, Author of Eyes of Light

I love a good fairy-tale. This one is delightful. I liked watching the mystery unfold and guessing how the characters would overcome the challenges they faced.Cheryl Larson

If all fantasy was written like this, I might read more fantasy.Debbie Curto

This was a great book! An adventurous tale that was quick paced! Something new always happened and there wasn't a moment to get bored! And who doesn't love a good love story? Loved it!Amarissa Hancey

Monday, October 8, 2012

Interview with Children’s Author Gail Westover

Gail Westover has a little secret. Today the secret will be revealed. Gail is author Tika Newman. For the past seven years, she’s hidden under this name. You see, Gail is an online Backgammon Tourney Director for GammonSite. She’s been hosting tourneys for almost nine years. Everyone knows her as Tika, so writing under that name seemed the logical thing to do. Gail is also the owner and operator of Thistlewood Publishing, since its conception in 2008. She is the author of The Eyes of Innocence series and a historical novel called For the Love of Anne.

Welcome back to my blog, Gail. You are the author of the popular series The Eyes of Innocence, which is about a girl growing up with psychic abilities and the power to heal. I read it and was very impressed with the story. You have now turned to children’s books. Please tell us about your books.

Thank you so much, Linda. I’m happy to be invited back. As grandmother to two large, and five little ones, they’ve reminded me of some things that we tend to forget as we grow older and adult things get in the way. One is to laugh with joy and wild abandon. I’ve also relearned to notice the small things, like a butterfly flitting across my yard and landing on one of my flowers. I appreciate the squeal of laughter as the kids go barreling down a slide or jump into the lake. Basically, they’ve taught me not only how to love them with every fiber of my being, but also to enjoy my life again. Yes, I still work seven days a week, but it’s more fun now.

Mrs. Mouse’s Garden Party in Giggleswick Village is the first book of the Giggleswick Village series. The book teaches children that it’s ok to be themselves and to make the best out of a plan that goes wrong. Each book will teach life’s early lessons. The next book will be about bullying.

If Horses Had Feathers and Pigs Could Fly sounds silly, and that’s a good thing, because the entire book is silly. Kids laugh as they learn to use their imagination, when they read about the horse that has wings, the duck that flies upside down, and the little boy who is on the ground squinting his eyes at them. It’s a wonderful “feel good book” and is perfect for bedtime because it leaves them with happy thoughts that will encourage pleasant dreams.

Compared to novels, I assume Children’s stories are simple. Is this true?

If you write only novels, you would think that statement is correct, but it is not. The stories may be short, but we have at least eighteen months in the first Giggleswick Village book.

What kind of research did you have to do?

As of yet, I have not had a whole lot of research, but that will change with the bullying book. I did search online for a silly name. Giggleswick Village is a real place in North Yorkshire, England. The minute I saw the name, I knew it was perfect. The illustrations were hand drawn by a very talented woman in New Zealand. Coordinating and designing the characters took a very long time because the characters in this first book will probably be in every Giggleswick book to come. We had to keep merchandising in mind, as well as coloring books, puzzles, and some other things. The other difficult thing was that the mouse is modeled after my real life best friend, who really is a nurse, loves the color pink, is incredibly polite, kind to everyone, etc. The animal characters? They’re all my grandchildren. 

Thanks to these two children’s books, Thistlewood Publishing had its best month ever. I couldn’t be more pleased. 

Congratulations! That’s wonderful. And I really love the name Giggleswick. By the way, I love it when authors add real life situations to their stories. Do you ever put real experiences in your books?

I haven’t done it yet in the children’s books, but in The Eyes of Innocence series, yes. The deer in the woods, the snapping turtle, and some other things were true life experiences.

Thank you, Gail, for this fun interview. Your books sound fascinating. To learn more about these books, visit http://www.thistlewoodpublishing.com. However, if you want Gail’s autograph, you must order your book from her website.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Interview with Author Emily Mah Tippetts

Emily Mah Tippetts writes science fiction and fantasy as Emily Mah and chick lit and YA as E.M. Tippetts. Originally from New Mexico, she now lives in London with her family. She has a bachelors degree in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford University and a juris doctorate in business law from UCLA. During her career as an attorney, she did real estate, contracts, and estate planning with a specialty in literary estate planning.

Welcome back to my blog, Emily. Please tell us about your new book, Castles on the Sand.

Madison Lukas knows her place in the world. She’s not pretty, not interesting, and therefore easy to forget. John Britton is serving his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and has been praying for fifteen years to find the sister he lost in his parents’ divorce. He remembers her as beautiful, talented, and makes kindness a fine art.

When John and Madison cross paths, he recognizes her at once, but Madison is certain that he’s got it all wrong. Even if she is his long-lost sister, she can’t possibly be the exceptional, amazing girl he thinks she is, can she?

This book sounds intriguing. Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?

I’d like to think I write strong women characters, but I never want my stories to exclude or marginalize men. This book is specifically about the difference a good man can make. One of my childhood schoolmates passed away as I was working out the plot for this book, and my memories of him are throughout the whole plot and many of the characters. It breaks my heart to know that he won’t see his children grow up, but I know that even the few years he had with them will make all the difference in their lives.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

Unfortunately, I’ve learned a lot of the negative stuff from life, though not my own life, per se. While I’ve never had a child taken away by the state, this happened to a close friend of mine and so I helped her research the law and procedures. I’ve also known and done some legal work for people who have disabled family members, which is another of the subplots of the book. When I put together this plot, it was with two small children underfoot at all times, so I incorporated things I already knew (with a little fiction mixed in - don’t try to use my book as a legal guide!)

Wow! Being an attorney has its advantages, doesn’t it? I love it when authors add real life situations to their stories. Do you ever put real experiences in your books?

Unfortunately, yes. Though I’ve changed things around a lot, the Beale family and their issues are very close to a real life child abuse situation I saw as a kid. We never understood why they treated their daughter like they did. I think writing them was my attempt to understand what I saw as a child, and at the end of the day, I just don’t get it. I can relate to parents who feel overwhelmed, or who fear losing “control” of a child. I can relate to feeling embarrassed when a child acts out and the desire to keep up appearances in public. What I can’t understand is the distance they keep from their daughter. The lack of attempts to engage with her and talk to her. Perhaps its fear, perhaps its laziness, perhaps it’s a failure to bond. Maybe at the end of the day, I don’t want to understand it.

Thank you, Emily, for this interview. I have learned more about you and the inspiration behind your book.