Tuesday, December 1, 2020
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- How did you come up with the name of this book?
The story of Julie Hunter was not originally planned. When I wrote ‘Pavey Boulevard’, the first in the Island Series, it was supposed to be a standalone novel. The vision for that story was so clear to me, the words so strong in my mind. I was thrilled to have it published. As the first book unfolded, I realized there was a much deeper story to Julie. Looking back at the storyline now, and then throughout ‘On Island’, the second in the series, I saw I was building her story all along. It was unintentional at first, but then opportunities in the development of the first two started presenting themselves for me. I couldn’t resist the chance to lay the foundation of incredible growth and maturation for Julie.
When Julie’s story begins in ‘Hunter’s Moon’, I wanted her to be tired. I wanted her to be ready for more, and yet still conflicted. She has never really processed what happened to her, nor has anyone ever challenged her to be anything different. On a superficial level, she is still seen as the island party girl. Those around her are waiting for the moment when she finally lets go.
For Julie, the sacrifice has to be extraordinary. It has to force her to give up control. When everything is at stake, she finds the determination to dig deep and let everything go. I believe that in opening her heart and her soul, she makes a decision that is true and honest and really culminates her transformation.
I read a poem called ‘The Promise of a Hunter’s Moon’ and it felt serendipitous that it should be the name of the story. A Hunters Moon is supposed to be a time of cleansing; of starting over. And that is exactly what Julie does.
- What is your favorite part of this book and why?
I would love to tell you that, but I can’t…it would give away the best part. What I can say about it, is that it is so classically Julie that you will be laughing, and rolling your eyes at the same time. The scene was so much more than her actions. It was about knowing that your friends (you true friends), will understand, and love you, no matter what.
- If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
I would totally hang out with Mia Brooks from ‘Dear Santa, Define Good”. She is a kick-ass, world champion snowmobiler and yet, super fun, and sweet, and smart. I would love to go out into the mountains of Wyoming and sled all day long with her.
- Are your characters based on real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Some are, some aren’t. Ideas come to me all the time, sometimes in horribly inconvenient locations. I carry a notebook with me ALL THE TIME so that I don’t lose an idea. I have a story coming out in 2022 that is set in Kentucky during the lead up to the Kentucky Derby, and some of my characters are based on the people I met while on a recent research trip. It was fun to add people to the story that I hadn’t originally planned on. That is the best part about writing…I get to make stuff up. Full disclosure? Jason in the Island Trilogy is based on a boyfriend I had. I never intended his fate when I wrote the story, and I remember writing that scene on an airplane, crying. My daughter was sitting next to me at the time, and she poked me asking, “What’s the matter?” I hadn’t even realized I was crying. That was kind of cathartic for me.
Monday, November 30, 2020
The Life and Times of Sherlock Holmes: Essays on Victorian England Box Set Volumes 1 & 2 by Liese Sherwood-Fabre Genre: Non-Fiction
Sunday, November 29, 2020
- Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
Sure. I’m C. A. Campbell, and I’ve been writing since I was eleven and Lord of the Rings inspired me to pick up a pen. I live in Kansas City, MO, with my husband and our three ridiculous but adorable dogs. I like to say I have three careers. Besides writing, I’m full time faculty at a nursing university, and a part-time neonatal intensive care nurse. I love my nursing career, but it’s always been a dream of mine to be a write and publish a book, so I decided to figure out a way to make both things happen. And here I am, publishing my first novel. Sometimes, you can have it all.
- How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
Funny story, actually. My characters began as original characters that I put into Harry Potter fanfiction. I’m sure you could find it out on the internet somewhere if you really tried (please don’t). When I knew I wanted to start original fiction, I decided to keep them with me, because I loved all of them so much. I had the concept of being a ‘Heretic’ -- being different than the world wanted you to be, so I knew I wanted something along that. And that’s where I struggled for the next ten years while writing this book.
The theme of ‘being different than what the world wants you to be’ is something I felt as a teenager (when I first started this book), strongly. But I had to go on a journey. I had to own that in my own life--truly make the decision to be myself even though the people around me may not like it. I also needed to see many other individuals--much braver than me--who have had to make that decision as well. Only then could I write this story that addresses the topic at the core of my own story.
How do you dare to be different in a world that tells you exactly what to be?
- Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?
The Heretics Saga focused mostly on two main characters--Shiloh Haven and Jacob Osgood--while also following three other ‘main’ characters - and a few friends who join them along the way. In Heresy, we get to see the POV of three of them.
Shiloh Haven is the orphaned daughter of heretics whose grown up in a cruel place, called a Haven, with other children of heretics. As a Haven, she has been despised and had to fight just to survive in Arcadian society. Because of this, she lives by strict rules in order to survive--which is all she really wants. This really gets tested over the whole of Heresy when the survival of people she cares about suddenly depends on her -- and saving them might mean signing her own death warrant.
Jacob Osgood comes from the complete opposite of society. As the son of one of the nation’s leaders, he could have anything he wanted--except freedom. Jake’s a rebel without a cause at the beginning--doing anything he can to disrupt the perfect dance his father, United Councilor Samuel Osgood, forces him to perform too. In the story, we get to see what happens when he actually finds a cause to stand with and something worth fighting for. But he makes reckless choices and the consequences will be devastating.
Nicolette Howell is a young rebel who has lived most of her life on the run. She’s driven by loyalty to the cause fighting against Arcadia, but when she’s captured, she’s dumped into a strange world where she’s unsure who to trust, but she knows she can’t escape on her own. And if she doesn’t escape--more than her life will end.
And Val and Stefani...well, you’ll just have to read to know a little more about them.
- Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
Oh goodness, so much stories. There were so many things that ultimately couldn’t make it into the book. I’m sure I’ll have to write bonus scenes or novellas to show all the things I know about the characters.
- If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
It would be smoky and woodsy, with a little sweetness-- like a fire burning cedar, wth just a hint of cinnamon. I would call it “Smells like Teen Revolution”.
- What can we expect from you in the future?
HERESY is the first book in The Heretics Saga. Right now, the series is slated to be four books, but it’s always subject to change. I hope to release them all within two to three years.
- Is there something specific you want to tell readers?
I hope you love my book, but more importantly, I hope you learn from it. I hope at the end you choose to be a Heretic--to be fearlessly, unapologetically yourself even in a world where sometimes that feels dangerous. Because who you are is not wrong. Who you are is perfect and amazing. And never let anyone convince you otherwise.
- Lastly, a few fun questions: What kind of world ruler would you be?
I don’t know. If it’s anything like being a teacher, it would probably involve a lot of hair pulling of -- “Why weren’t they listening?” “I know they hate this new law but can’t they see it will make them better?” “Why do they hate me? All I’ve ever done is love them.” And then I’ll probably have servants stress feed me chocolate.
- What book do you think everyone should read?
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. I know, I know, it’s not fiction, but it’s amazing. Here’s just one quote of a million from her book. “Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”
- The advice you’d give new authors?
Self-doubt is a liar. Punch it in the face, and just write your book.
Saturday, November 28, 2020
Phineas Varga and the Revenants of Windsor by A.K. Rouse Genre: Dark Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal Romance, Historical Fiction
- How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
It was tricky business coming up with a title as the novel is two intertwining stories with different characters, though some overlap, and in some ways, there exists an almost ensemble grouping of characters in many important scenes. The title refers to the lead character and antagonists of the main story-line. There is something about the ring of it that appeals to me, though I can't put my finger on it.
- Have you written any other books that are not published?
Yes. I have written one other book that is not currently published and I am going through extensive edits at the moment. It takes place in the 1950s through the '80s in The United States and has a strong paranormal element to it. I also have the third book, which is the second in the Phineas Varga series, in which I've completed the outline and written several parts, but I am now realizing I am farther than I initially thought from completing that.
- Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
Several. I find that writing two stories simultaneously for part of the time, at least, gives me perspective and the ability to notice things I might not otherwise see if I'm only focused on one work. Often, I'll take a week away from one book to write on the other, and then when I return, things jump off the page needing my attention that I think I would have otherwise overlooked.
- Pen, typewriter, or computer?
Computer, but occasionally I will print out a chapter and edit with pen, then return to make corrections in the electronic file.
- What is something unique/quirky about you?
I am not a fan of social media but use Instagram for work, and I am being told that I need to start using Twitter. I know that in 2020 this mindset is probably beyond "quirky," but I suppose I got a bad taste in my mouth years ago when I tried Facebook. I found myself simply overwhelmed by it all . . . the need to "like" posts, the expectation that I should in turn post things of my own, and the time-suck that could occur when going down rabbit holes regarding people I had neither spoken to nor seen in twenty-five years, etc. I know that there are many good things about these types of apps, and by my not using them, I certainly acknowledge that I am missing out on the daily occurrences of distant friends and acquaintances. However, I am increasingly wondering whether the bad that comes along with them has come to outweigh the good and if man is innately incapable of collectively and positively wielding a tool with such power. That being said, if you email me, I will always respond.