Today's Author Spotlight will feature a giveaway!!! 3 Random comments will be chosen for an eBook copy of The Guardian’s Wildchild and one GRAND PRIZE winner will be chosen for an autographed print copy. (This prize is being offered by the author) We will draw winners on Friday 9/12/14!!! Winners will be announced on Saturday!
What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
Great question. When I sit down to write, a movie reel begins to flicker in my brain. Rapidly I’m drawn into a scene no one has ever seen before, including me. The voices of the characters quickly drown out the sounds of my world. Their joy, passion, pain, desperation rivets me to my chair. I’m hooked on their adrenalin.
The challenge is to translate that experience into a novel. While it is exciting to create something that never existed before, it always must make sense, be plausible to the reader as well as electrifying. I love that challenge. To know a reader is going to gasp or cry while reading my novel, that’s a rush. To know my reader fell into a world I created, and didn’t want to leave, that’s bliss.
What genre(s) do you write?
To write a novel that is strictly romance, or suspense thriller, or whatever is cheating the reader.
When I pick up a book to read from the romance genre, I also want suspense, mystery, even plausible supernatural. Same goes for suspense / thriller. I’ve read mystery books that felt like the characters were made of paper – no dimension, no feeling. The focus rested solely on the plot.
Hello! Unless the main character is a plant, the author needs to paint the plot with interesting protagonists and antagonists. And that means creating characters that are mysterious at times, unpredictable, passionate about something, changeable. The reader is captivated by the plot, and happily held hostage (sorry for the alliteration) by fascinating characters.
My novels contain a full spectrum of genres. They are both plot and character driven. Each of my characters must have a full spectrum of good and evil in their personality. Of course, some will be more inclined to create suffering than another who might suffer from paranoia, or another who is willing to sacrifice his life for his love. This affects how they manage conflict and the kind of situations they encounter. They have a full range of emotions and a variety of relationships. Therefore, my novels contain romance, mystery, suspense, even paranormal.
The only categorization that should be noted is if the novel is children, young adult, adult, or erotica. There are so many genres and sub-genres that it is becoming comical in (1) assigning a genre to a novel and, (2) finding a book to read. Perhaps one solution would be to use tag words to identify the primary setting, antagonist, protagonist, and conflict.
For example, in my first novel, The Guardian’s Wildchild:
Protagonist: Guardians, powerful mystic, naval captain
Antagonist: fallen Guardian, evil woman, Admiral
Conflict: control of crystals, find killer, battle with Darkness, evil, and discover love
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
While writing a novel, some scenes, perhaps characters are included in the first drafts that do not contribute enough to the conflict and resolution. The author enjoyed their personality. They were fun and had some great moments. During the editing process, the author needs to ask the big question – what stays and what gets dumped. Those pieces are identified by asking, “If I take out this action, event, scene, character, will it have a negative effect on the plot?” If the honest answer is, “No,” that is an indication that piece is mere fluff.
An author is usually emotionally invested in every line of the story. Deleting any portion, even one line can be painful. My first manuscript took ten years to write, mostly because of taking time to study writing at our university. When I came to that dreaded editing part, the hardest part was deleting about one hundred pages.
The remaining pages had to be re-edited to account for the lost scenes and characters. Ugh! If a deleted character was mentioned throughout the manuscript, I had to hunt for those mentions and rewrite those lines. It took months. My butt got sore (and wider, I think) and my husband still lacked for a decent meal and supper time.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Both actually. Although it may appear I’m a pantser, in truth I’m a plotter. True plotters will map out the plot, scenes, characters, timing of events on a wall with sticky note paper. I dive into writing the story from beginning to end. My first draft will appear complete with dialogue, plot twists, subplots, character shifts, and detailed scene descriptions. However, it is still only the framework of the story, an outline in detail.
When I finish writing that first draft, I head on back to page one, paragraph one, and begin the rewrite. Everything is fine tuned. More character nuances are flushed out. Surprise plot twists surface. Emotions deepen and scenes are more clearly defined. In my most recent manuscript of Forbidden, even the ending changed dramatically.
Hmmm, looks like I’ve created a third writing style. How about “DipnDive”? LOL
This is a toughie. People are complicated. At writer’s conventions and on my blog I ask readers this question, “How do you choose a book?”
The answers range from book cover, title, synopsis, to reading a few pages. The most common answer is, “word of mouth.”
Why should people choose The Guardian’s Wildchild? Because it is different. That could be risky to reveal. Many people like to stay within their comfort zone. I suppose that is why some critics will advise an author to follow a formula. Romance authors are encouraged to follow a formula that is different from how a horror novel is written, and so on. I don’t follow a formula.
My novels do conform to the standards of constructing a story. Then I branch out. Recently, I hired a critic to provide feedback on my current manuscript. Her negative response sent me seeking soothing comfort from my author friends. The critic complained that I did not follow the proper formula. Subsequently, risking total meltdown, I sent a copy to reader reviewers. OMG, what a difference. The common remark was that they couldn’t put the story down.
In creating a story, an author will ask her/himself, “What if?” That’s the trigger. If the story is told well, the reader will wonder, “What if this could be true?” A great story will have a lasting effect on the reader long after the last paragraph is read. That is why a reader should choose to read The Guardian’s Wildchild.
Caught in a reckless attempt to stop Dark forces, Sidney Davenport, a young, rule breaking, spirited member of the secret paranormal community of Guardians, finds herself imprisoned on a naval ship and slated for execution. Her struggle with the unfamiliar emotions of fear and anger becomes even more complicated when she can no longer fight her attraction to the very man who has orders to perform her execution.
Captain Sam Waterhouse, a meticulous naval captain who’s suspected of treason, teeters on a precipice between Darkness and Light. When he receives an unusual prisoner, a paranormal journey begins to unravel his disciplined life. All the while, humanity is unknowingly at great risk when two Dark forces team up to acquire control of an elusive power. Sidney and Sam attempt to quiet their powerful feelings for each other, only to discover they can save each other, and in doing so, they might even save the world.
Through stunning imagery, an intricate and adventurous plot, and a strong cast of characters, Feather Stone gives readers a fascinating glimpse into the future—a future that is chilling, yet full of hope.
She (Sidney) was awakened by footsteps approaching her cell. They were pounding, like those of a man strutting and sure of himself. Butchart stopped in front of her cell door, smiling with contempt and satisfaction. With a wave of his hand he dismissed the two security guards.
“Good morning, Miss Davenport. That is your name, according to what you told us when the serum went to work.” Butchart stood tall, his arms across his chest. “No need for further questioning, my dear. Did you sleep well?” he asked sarcastically.
Sidney mustered up some strength. She wondered just how much she’d revealed. Most of the previous day was a blank. Her mind was so muddled she could barely recall how her hand had been injured. She shuffled to the cell door.
“I’ve been better, Captain.”
Butchart smiled. “So, how is dear old Greystone?”
Sidney was taken aback. “Who?”
“My dear little witch, it became obvious when that bullet wound in your hand was healing so rapidly. Then, too, the serum had minimal effect on your brain, though it just might kill you in a day or so.” He paced a few steps back and forth in front of her cell’s door. “And another Guardian will be eliminated.”
“Frank, Greystone hasn’t forgotten you. Someone will soon come to bring you back home to him.”
“He can try,” he said with a pasted on smile.
Sidney hung onto the metal bars of her cell door. “Tell me, does the admiral know who you really are?”
Butchart pounced at her. “Shut your damn mouth,” he hissed.
How would you describe yourself if you were “speed dating” your readers?
If you already have met me in the flesh, you'll know the photo on the left is a reflection of my inner self - that part of me which lives on the edge, pushes my limits to the extreme, dares to be different, and desires to create stories that make you wince, cry, laugh, and feel the pleasures of lovers in the throes of passion.
During my career as a paramedic I came face to face with scenes most people would rather not think about. Having experienced life in the most deadly and gut wrenching events, and work with the police service, I have the fodder for creating intense novels.
All my life I've loved the challenges and pushed myself to reset my boundaries to include more of everything life has to offer - with a few exceptions.
I've steered clear of drugs, alcohol or any other practices that take away my self-control. However, if the activity was legal or would not harm anyone or anything, I've probably tried it - or wanted to. I've never gotten around to bungee jumping or sky diving. I had signed up to get my pilot's license but ran out of cash when my car needed repairs. Damn!
I live with passion - that feeling in my entire being that pulls me forward, like the excitement of a child discovering the magical world. And I love to learn. I've studied French, Japanese, Spanish and a bit of Cree and Ukrainian. I can play the piano, accordion and guitar. Genealogy has been my latest passion and discovered my ancestors in England and Scotland dating back to the 1500’s.
I love to paint (oils and watercolours), knit, garden, hike, canoe, read and, most of all, I love my animals (currently one sheltie, Sammy; and two cats, Leo and Smokey). I've raced snowmobiles and snowmobiled in the Rockies in Canada and USA.
The paranormal has followed me since childhood. My journey has led me to wild experiences during meditation, shamanic exercises, Reiki, and ... a relationship with a variety of spirit guides. I manage to keep my feet firmly planted on the ground through loving my family, and being with special friends.
Please share with us your future projects and upcoming releases.
My latest project is a manuscript which is undergoing its final editing. When the inspiration first grabbed me I resisted for months. The images would not leave me alone. Finally I had to surrender and begin the process of intense research. Two years ago, I sat down and began the first page of Forbidden.
Truthfully, I’ve never even read a book that grabbed my heart and soul so mercilessly. Though romance is relegated to the background, the passion of the male and female protagonists sizzles. It is a murder mystery, a suspense thriller, an epic tale of international intrigue, and a romance that is unforgettable. Here is the synopsis draft.
Within hours of arrival in the Middle East city of Samarra, Eliza Leigh MacKay and fifteen Americans are plunged into a desperate struggle for survival. Eliza, alone, survives the massacre. A cover-up ensues.
Police captain Hashim Sharif, a devout Muslim, is forced to become the keeper of the impetuous MacKay woman. When she escapes and is cornered by madmen, Sharif discovers she is no shrinking violet and awakens to his deep affection for her.
Sharif and Eliza are immersed into the shadowy world of espionage, corruption, murder, and kidnapping. From shabby back alleys, a crumbling mosque, mountain caves, to the splendor of the marble columns in the federal building, Captain Sharif hunts for the American’s killers.
As Captain Sharif’s investigation progresses, he and Eliza become the hunted. Compelled to trust each other, they hold back feelings they’ve considered forbidden. When Sharif discovers who was behind the massacre, it hits him with deadly force - as if shot by his own AK47.
Feather Stone takes you on a richly textured epic adventure through stunning landscape and into the minds of desperate men. A strong cast of characters will grab and hurl you into a plot full of treachery, and passion that refuses to be silenced.
Thank you, Bernadette, for asking me these thought provoking questions. I am available to your readers to answer more questions and respond to comments.
Connect with Feather Stone:
THE GUARDIAN’S WILDCHILD: Available at
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-guardians-wildchild-feather-stone/1105955976?ean=2940013429079
Omnific Publishing: http://omnificpublishing.com/
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6L_YX24kzs
Twitter: FeatherWrites https://twitter.com/FeatherWrites
Facebook: FSauthor https://www.facebook.com/FSauthor
The Guardian’s Wildchild Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GuardiansWildchild?ref_type=bookmark
Forbidden’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Forbidden-What-are-the-limits-of-devotion/221772654548897