Author Interview: Ginny Karoub

8 02 2013

This week we are interviewing Ginny Karoub about her works. Ginny Karoub is a children’s author, publisher, and is currently working on a YA novel.

What makes a good story?

For me, an inspired story is always good.  When something comes from the heart, it can always touch another heart. When reading, if the story and characters can reach out and touch the reader, you have a very good story. Reading a book is not just reading, but it can be a wonderful life changing experience.

What attracted you to writing stories for children?

When I was thinking of ‘writing a book’ one day, I would never have thought of writing books for children. But when I sat down to write that is what came to me. Oliver and Arthur, my very first book, literally flew into my head one early morning. My attraction is making reading fun for children. I loved reading to my children and I do believe a love for reading happens in your youth. I love creating colorful, fun stories to be read again and again.

What do your children think about your books?

My children, especially my daughters, the readers, love my books. They are my greatest fans.

Why did you decide to tell the story Mulberry Lane from the point of view of a pine tree?

Mulberry Lane was born from the publisher of Oliver and Arthur asking me for a Christmas manuscript for children. I sat down and typed, ‘There once was a little pine tree..’ then nothing came to me. After a day or two, I went back to my office and looking out the window at the huge snowflakes coming down, Mulberry Lane was born. It was no longer a manuscript for a book for children, but a book the whole family could enjoy. I was blessed with the whole story right at that moment in my office. The pine tree stayed special throughout because that was what I first typed.

Which character from Mulberry Lane is your favorite?

I love them all, it took courage to do what each did. We don’t always do what we should, due to fear or embarrassment. But, I will have to say Melissa is my favorite. In her loss she still moved forward in faith. And by doing so, she was used to bless many other people.

Can you tell us about your Young Adult Novel, Lilliana?

Lilliana is a wonderful, inspired story. The book and character’s are really coming to life. Lilliana is sixteen and has a ‘big purpose’ in her high school. God is using her to help several students. Her father is the pastor of the local church. He is suffering from a great loss, and it is affecting him more than he wants to admit as a man and a pastor. Lily doesn’t realize it yet, but she has a purpose in his life also. How does a teenager trying to figure out her own life, help others? In Lilliana, the bigger picture is in place… there is always a purpose and sometimes the past can be changed with a miracle.

Which of your books was the most difficult to write?

 Looking Through the Water, my first novel, had to be the best experience and the most difficult to write. It was difficult in the way, that it became so real, I had to write with tears in my eyes many times. I experienced what, Author Steven King, has taught about and that is, you have never experienced writing until one of your character’s speaks to you. I experienced that with, Looking Through the Water. What was so great to me, it was not the main character, but one of the other important character’s asking me for a second chance. My character’s second chance changed the outline ending. I had something else in mind for the ending but I was questioning it. The change in the book, for my character, made the book so much better. It was true inspiration at its greatest. My ‘difficult’ was a moving experience I am so glad I had.

I heard you are starting your own publishing company. What sort of books are you planning on publishing?

I started, Turn the Page Publishing because the publisher of my book, Adventures With Samantha Fellows, The Big Move! had to close their doors due to the economy. I did not want to lose the book, so  at the advice of another publisher of one of my books, I started my own to get the book re-published.  At this time I am only publishing my book but who knows in the future, I may want to take on a book or two! A good point to point out here is, I am making an author name change on my books. Over the next few months my books second printings are going to happen, so I am going to use, Ginae Lee Scott as my author name. Please find me there also.

What are your upcoming projects?

Lilliana is in the writing process and almost done. Munchkin, the Baby Vampire, is in the illustration process. What a cute book for children. Munchkin is adorable and he is learning not to bite. I am at the beginning of gathering the stories for, “I Wish I Had Known” a non-fiction book of ‘after’ the abortion. This book is on a very touchy subject but I felt very led to tell it. The response so far is overwhelming! I have women lining up to tell their stories. Some have even thanked me because they believe this is the start of their healing. I have been so touched and blessed in this project already and I am just starting it. I am starting another Adventures with Samantha soon too!

Where can we buy your books?

Amazon, Kindle and other finer bookstores. I also have them at my website’s online store.

Learn More about Ginny Karoub here:

http://ginaeleescott.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ginaeleescott

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ginaeleescott

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Author Interview: Jilll Malone

25 01 2013

Hello, Readers!

This week we have interview Jill Malone about her upcoming title Giraffe People which will be out in May, 2013 by Bywater Books. It is a fantastic read about adolescence, rock and roll, love and army life.

1.  What makes a good story?

I prefer character-driven stories with tension and subtlety. Jack Gilbert called it the engine. Is the engine big enough for this story? What kind of engine does this story have? I’m a sucker for grace – for stories that redeem the character(s) in some way. I don’t mean spiritually, but I am talking about soul. Why is this story told with these characters? The story needs to feel surprising, and inevitable. I have to want things with them, and for them. I have to buy in to their conflict in some way. It’s not important to me to like the characters; I’d rather they be recognizable than likeable. I read to be compelled.

2. What inspired you to become a writer?

I’ve been writing stories since I remember holding a pencil. I grew up with Bible stories and Shakespeare. My mother read Jane Austen, and bought me piles of mythology stories – Greek, Roman, South Pacific, Norse. My parents read me an odd mix of Southern American writers and English writers, and when I listened to my father’s sermons, I realized they were stories, too. In elementary school I wrote plays for all my friends, and printed newspaper sheets to entertain them. It was more fun to invent news than report actual happenings.

3. How did you come up with the title Giraffe People?

For a while, I wasn’t sure what to call it, but Cole describes her family as Giraffe People early in the manuscript, and it seemed so perfect. They are these strange lumbering creatures — familial and foreign, wandering and tribal. And it allowed for the beautiful awkwardness of Cole herself.

4.  How much of the military life presented in Giraffe People is based off of personal experience?

My father was an Army chaplain for twenty years – he retired when I graduated from high school. The military details are true to my experience as a military brat. I combined the bases at Fort Monmouth and Oahu to allow for richer details and to help camouflage real people. I read this amazing story, Dog Heaven, by Stephanie Vaughn, and it seemed to me that the experience of military dependents was this trove that had rarely been explored.

5. Does Cole’s band, Doggy Life, survive her move to Hawaii?

Probably not, but I imagine something else will find her. The islands are filled with alluring music, and she has learned that new sounds are out there and it’s important to seek them.

6.  Where did the idea for the word lists come from? 

My family did sponsor cadets when I was in school at Fort Monmouth, and the cadets had these awful vocabulary lists they’d bring over to the house. It seemed like the ideal way to allow for a private conversation between Cole and Meghan as well as Cole and the reader. And you get to see how Cole’s mind works in ways that the narrative doesn’t necessarily allow.

7.  Sex and the loss of innocence is a recurring theme in Giraffe People– is there a message you want the reader to grasp about sex?

Sex is a recurring theme in everything I write. I think I’m trying to take sex and shame apart — to separate them so that I can see each clearly. Initially, for Cole, sex seems almost an empirical experience, but that changes as the story progresses, and that’s the part I love. I love that sex unfurls. That it seems, at first, to be one shape, but is, in fact, many.

8. Music is such an important influence in Cole’s life- what is your ultimate play list?

Oh! I love this question. I’ve just been listening to a lot of Jazz because Dave Brubeck died, and so there’d be horns and piano and drums. Duets with Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. There’d be Ramones, and CCR, and Fiona Apple. There’d be Spanish guitar, and Florence and the Machine. The National, Gillian Welch, Arcade Fire, Metric, Santigold, Jack White, Loretta Lynn. There’d be old country and punk and club-kid music from the 80s and Bikini Kill and Warpaint and djembe and all sorts of weird stuff.  If we could dance to it, we’d play it.

9.  Which of your characters would you like to have dinner with and why?

I’d like to have dinner with Jane from Red Audrey and the Roping, and Cole from Giraffe People. I feel like those two would have a lot to talk about and I could just sit and observe them. We’d eat Island food and watch the tide and drink beer from green bottles.

10.  When will Giraffe People be published?

Giraffe People is due out in May, 2013.

11.  Can you tell the readers about your other books?

Red Audrey and the Roping is a story about self. About self-injury and self-forgiveness.

A Field Guide to Deception is a story about family. About the kind of honesty it takes to live in a family and function.

In different ways, I think my first two novels are love stories. It just takes time to get there. Sometimes lifetimes.

12.  Where can my readers buy your books?

My books are available through my publisher’s site: www.bywaterbooks.com, on Amazon.com and at your local, independent retailer. They’re available in print and e-books.

Check out Jill Malone and her awesome book, Giraffe People at the following links:

http://www.jillmalone.com

http://www.facebook.com/jillamymalone

http://www.twitter.com/jill_malone





Interview with Wodke Hawkinson.

23 11 2012

Hello, Readers!

This week the dynamic writing duo: Karen Wodke and PJ Hawkinson,  have met with me to discuss their books Zeke and Tangerine. You can read more about these books in my promotional post: http://www.charleshenryeditingblog.com/2012/11/19/promotional-author-interview-with-writing-duo-wodke-hawkinson/

How did the collaboration known as Wodke Hawkinson start?

K & P– We have known each other for years. In high school we wrote some silly stories, but that’s about it. In 2009, we were each laid off from our jobs. It was then we began writing together in a serious way. We decided to put our last names together for our pen name. Since we live in different towns, we do a lot of our collaboration via phone and email.

How does your collaborative writing work? Does each of you have separate tasks in bringing a book to fruition?

K &P– We start off with a plan and then one of us writes the first chapter or so. Then we send it to the other for review and revision. Then we move on to the next chapter. Sometimes we do assign certain parts of the plot, but we both add to what the other has written. We don’t always agree either, which leads to compromise. Sometimes one of us will take a revision we may not especially like in return for getting a revision or element in another part of the book. It works out pretty well most of the time.

In your book, Zeke, the main character, Zeke is dangerous and disturbing was he as difficult to write as he is to read?

K &P– The book started out as an entirely different story and then we chose to make a genre change. Even so, he was very difficult to write, so much so that we often procrastinated and put off working on the book because we disliked him so much. He is truly despicable and maddening. Fortunately, once we finally got going, the writing went much easier and we finished in good time.

 What motivates Zeke to be evil and does he have any redeeming qualities?

K & P– Zeke is purely a sociopath. He has no redeeming qualities. Anything good that he might do is only to advance his own best interests.

 Why does Susan stay in a relationship with Zeke?

K & P– Sue is lacking in self-esteem and Zeke is well aware of the fact. He plays her along slowly, fulfills many of her needs, and gets her hooked before he shows his true colors. She deludes herself a lot, at least until it’s not possible anymore. By that time, she feels she has no choice but to remain with him. It’s a question all people ask about anyone who stays with an abuser. The answers probably vary a bit from one person to the next, but we think at the heart of it is the victim’s continual hope that things will get better. Or they convince themselves that if they leave they’ll be tracked down and killed. Though in a lot of the cases, if they stay they will also be killed. It’s often a no-win situation.

Do you look up to any psychological thriller writers ?

K &P– We appreciate the work of all good writers. Our reading interests stretch across genres.

Your most recent work, Tangerine came out last month! Tell us about it.

K &P– Ava Majestic is a biologist with advanced degrees in the sciences. When her parents are killed, she takes a job analyzing planets for possible habitation. Around the same time, she inherits a mysterious device and in doing so, gains an adversary, a wealthy collector (Agnotico) who intends to get the device from her, one way or another. Since Ava’s job puts her in space, the collector hires someone to tail her, a finder named Needle. The story is about Ava’s struggles with grief, her growing feelings for Needle and the sense of betrayal when she discovers he’s been working for her enemy. She also must learn to use the device she’s inherited, all the while being pursued by Agnotico’s men. Along the way, her job takes her to intriguing places. The fun of writing Tangerine was deciding what the future would look like, coming up with interesting aliens and worlds, and outlining the rules of using the device she inherited.

 What makes Dr. Ava Majestic such a powerful and compelling heroine?

K &P– Ava is pretty much a regular woman to begin with (although she does have an unusual heritage), but life forces her to undergo the transition to a stronger self after having to deal with tragedies in her life and the relentless pursuit of the sinister collector who is determined to obtain her treasure.

Why do you classify Tangerine as light Science Fiction? Is there another genre that you see it as being?

K &P- Tangerine is mainly a character-based story. It doesn’t have the techno-edge of hard sci-fi. It’s a tale that just happens to be set in the future where space travel is an ordinary part of society.

Even though Tangerine is set in a future, fantasy world are there elements of the story that are based on things in your present lives?

K &P–  Maybe a few. For one thing, we love cats. So we made Ava’s companion, Pisk, a small feline-like character. The other elements are the questions we probably all have about how we might change our past, if we could, and speculating on the “butterfly effect” and similar dilemmas inherent in time travel.

Your collection of short stories, Blue was my favorite book I read by Wodke Hawkinson because of the hauntingly beautiful setting. Out of all the books you have written together can you tell me which one you each like best and why?

K– I’ve enjoyed writing each one, with the possible exception of Zeke’s character because he’s so twisted. But I would have to say Betrayed is still my favorite. I really like the characters of Lance and Brooklyn.

P– My favorite short story would be Callie’s Fiddle in Catch Her in the Rye. It is a touching story of a family that is being forced from their home in order to create a lake. The family is so believable you feel you are there with them, and the little girl and her fiddle are entrancing.

My favorite novel would have to be Tangerine. All the characters were fun to develop and building a world was awesome.

Can you tell us about any upcoming works from Wodke Hawkinson?

K &P– We are currently writing two books: a fantasy set on another planet and a sequel to Zeke. Many readers have expressed their desire to see Zeke come to a bad end. He certainly deserves it, but as the story is still unwinding, we don’t even know how Zeke will fare.

 Both of you also write solo projects can you tell the readers about recent or upcoming titles?

K– I wrote a book for young readers entitled James Willis Makes a Million. It’s a story for all ages really, about a boy in the 70’s who is tired of being poor and takes matters into his own hands. I have a few other projects started, but none of them are really ready for any kind of reveal just yet. It’s so much better working with a co-author that I tend to concentrate more on the books PJ and I are writing. Someday I’ll get around to finishing my solo projects.

P – Teenager Trudy Purdy, a self-described plain Jane, is ecstatic when football player Tray Farquar asks her to be his girl. Not only is Tray handsome, but his father is the most distinguished man in town. Trudy realizes she’s made a terrible mistake when Tray lures her to a deserted beach where he and three buddies rape and beat her.

When she awakes uninjured in her home, she initially remembers nothing of the horrifying assault. But as days pass , her mind flashes back to the night on the beach, and she begins to feel a new power within herself. Trudy uses her new-found strength-gained by drinking the blood of others-to plot the “accidental” deaths of the boys who brutalized her.

As Trudy exacts revenge, she realizes she is changing in a big way and seeks answers to the unsettling questions about her new powers. She wonders what she is changing into and how it will affect the rest of her life.

I am actually in the process of rewriting this novel and hope to release the new version early in 2013.

 You have a website, a blog, and another website called ‘Find a Good Book to Read’ can you tell the readers what they can expect to find at each website?

K- findagoodbooktoread.com is a place to showcase not only our books and writing, but those of other indie authors as well. This blog features Our Books, Short Stories, an Online Store, Fiction and Nonfiction Book lists, Poetry Book List,  and Flash Fiction.

Wodke-hawkinson.com, is strictly for our books and writing and has a link to wodke-hawkinson.com/blog1/. This blog features Our Books, Flash Fiction and Poetry, Stories and Articles, Rumination on Words, and Fake Phony News.

 Where can my readers buy your books?

K &P– Our books are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and other ebook outlets.

If you want to  learn more about Wodke Hawkinson go to their website: Wodke-Hawkinson.com: http://wodke-hawkinson.com/ or check out their blog: http://wodke-hawkinson.com/blog1/

To read their writing and connect with other indie writers go to:

Find A Good Book To Read: http://findagoodbooktoread.com/

Blog: http://findagoodbooktoread.com/wodke-hawkinsons-blog.php

To buy one of their fabulous books, go to:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Wodke-Hawkinson/e/B00572KLX2/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/wodke-hawkinson

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/wodkehawkinson

Tangerine:

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/244612

Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tangerine-wodke-hawkinson/1108150981?ean=2940045023993

(Coming soon to Amazon & paperback)

Connect with Wodke Hawkinson:

Twitter ID is @WodkeHawkinson: https://twitter.com/WodkeHawkinson

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wodke-Hawkinson-author/120926291258004

Many thanks to Karen and PJ for doing this author interview! If you are interested in being interviewed please visit the ‘Other Services’ tab of this blog to learn more about giving an author interview and then email Carolyn Elias at carolyn@charleshenryediting.com. Please note the earliest available week to do an interview is Friday, December 28th.





An Interview with Susan Bays of Arbutus Press

16 11 2012

Hello Readers!

Today we have an interview with the founder of the small literary press, Arbutus Press, Susan Bays.

Can you tell my readers about Arbutus Press?

My company was established in 2002 with the self-publication of the award winning book, Historic Cottages of Mackinac Island. People began to ask me to publish their books and I began a rewarding career in Regional Book Publisher.

Why does Arbutus Press focus on literature with a connection to Michigan?

Starting small, it was what I felt I could handle and it was what I knew since I am a life long Michigander. We have expanded now to the Midwest but have no plans to expand beyond that reach.

When reviewing a submission, what do you look for?

I look for what a reader would look for. A well-written compelling story or history. I have learned through experience what sells and what does not. Literary fiction is a tough sell, no matter how well-written, however some stories must be told. I believe that I have an obligation to publish great stories regardless of their potential profit.

Does Arbutus Press publish authors without an agent?

Yes. All of the manuscripts that come my way are unsolicited and without agent affiliation.

What should an author expect, if anything, when dealing with a publishing house?

I can only speak about Arbutus Press’s writer-publisher relationships. Small presses like Arbutus are readily available and responsive to writer participation at every phase of the process, from editing to marketing.

Any suggestions or comments on how a writer can break into the publishing industry?

By breaking into the publishing industry do you mean work for a publisher? There is an active jobs listing on Publisher’s Weekly web site and perhaps others. Working for a local newspaper or even the college newsletter will provide some experience for creating a resume that would relate to publishing.

Aside from excellent writing skills, what are the literary factors that make an author successful?

I have seen one factor consistently in successful authors, but it’s not a literary factor: a tireless marketing efforts. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, book signings, library talks, event sales, interviews, book club interviews, anything you can think of to get your book out in front of people.

How does Arbutus Press distribute their titles?

 I have contracts with many distributors ranging from national distributors to regional ones. We also have distribution for specialty markets such as libraries and box stores.

Where can my readers buy titles from Arbutus Press?

 Books are available from bookstores everywhere. If they don’t have it in stock, they can get it. Online through Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com and through Arbutus Press directly through www.Arbutuspress.com or by contacting us directly at info@arbutuspress.com.

Are there any upcoming releases from Arbutus Press that you would like to tell my readers about?

Snowblood’s Journal is an American novel about men and dogs in Vietnam. This literary fiction is described by Jerry Dennis, author of the Living Great Lakes.

I’ve long been a fan of Bob Linsenman’s writings about the outdoors, but nothing I’ve read by him prepared me for Snowblood’s Journal. With a cast of unforgettable characters, both human and canine, and set in a place brought to vivid, poignant, and sometimes terrifying life, it is a wild ride on foot and by chopper through a war. From the moment Jason Snowblood set foot in Vietnam I was hooked. I couldn’t put this astonishing book down.”

Look for this title, Snowblood’s Journal in summer 2013

Interested in being interviewed for this blog or purchasing editorial services from Charles Henry Editing? Email Carolyn at carolyn@charleshenryediting.com or go to http://www.charleshenryediting.com





Promotional: Interview with Arbutus Press

13 11 2012

Hello readers!

On Friday, November, 16th Susan Bays the founder of Arbutus Press is doing an interview with Charles Henry Editing. Arbutus Press specializes in literature that has a connection to Michigan. Recent titles include :Page One Vanished by Nancy Barr and Motorcycling Across Ohio by William Murphy. Interested in submitting a manuscript? Read the submission guidelines here: www.arbutuspress.com/submissions

Contact by email : info@arbutuspress.com

Arbutus Press

2364 Pinehurst Trail

Traverse City, MI 49686

Are you a publisher who wants to get interviewed? Email carolyn@charleshenryediting.com to set up an interview. Want 1/2 Off all editing services through out the month of November? email carolyn@charleshenryediting.com.





Q & A with an Editor

6 11 2012

Editor’s name:

Carolyn Elias

Genre you most like to edit: 

Fiction novels, short stories, poetry, and professional academic work.

Genre you don’t want to edit:

Self help books, health, spirituality, (religious is fine) business/management, economics, erotica.

What is the best way for writers to solicit your services: 

Send an email to carolyn@charleshenryediting.com with a brief statement on what sort of editing their work needs and what their publishing plans are along with 5 page double spaced pages for an initial read through that are in MS word and are attached to the email. Also, making sure to put their name and contact info.

Do you charge a reading fee:

The initial 5 page read through is free.

Can you provide an approximation by percent of what you tend to edit by category:

50% fiction, 50% academic non-fiction.

What are the most common mistakes writers make:

Quite a few forget to provide contact information or don’t know how to use email/word processing. The second most common mistake is not having a long enough manuscript. Most writers forget that in publication the book is single spaced with 500 words per page. To see how many pages thier manuscript is they should divide the total number of words by 500. Then they should subtract 20% from their total because that is how much is cut when going through the editorial process.

How would you describe the client from Hell:

The client from hell is a person who tries to haggle over price; has no interest in learning the publishing world; believes that their writing is perfect; a person who does not want to abide by style guide books; or a person who cannot write well.

How would you describe the perfect client:

The perfect client understands that the editorial process and style conventions. Someone who is confident, humble, and willing to work hard to perfect their craft. Someone who understands that as an editor, we want the best from them because we want their manuscript to be a book that sells well.

How and why did you become and editor:

I started off as a writer but people always came to me to spruce up their work. I eventually realized that I loved editing a tiny bit more than writing.

What can a writer do to increase the odds that you will edit their work:

Having solid, concise prose backed by a publishing vision.

What are your impressions about writers and publishers:

Writers are wonderful!  If they can handle the advice of people trying to help them get published then they will going to fare well once the book is published and anyone can tear apart their work. I love working with publishers they are straight forward and easy to talk with.

Please list who you have worked with:

Fiction: Arbutus Press, Alfred Warkentin, James McCrohan, and several other authors.

Non-Fiction: WDET Radio, Common Ground Publishing, SAGE and several individual authors.





Interview with fantasy writer, Dyane Forde!

6 11 2012

Welcome, Dyane Forde!

Dyane Forde is the author of Eagle’s Gift, a children’s fantasy book and The Purple Morrow which is the first book in her epic fantasy series.
From Dyane: 

Writing has been a passion of mine since I wrote my first story in the first grade. At the time, I was amazed by the fact that by combining everyday words, I could create something new or generate a reaction from a reader. Most of my writing background is in short stories and poetry, so The Eagle’s Gift and The Purple Morrow are my first books. Regarding my work in general, what people tend to appreciate the most is my ability to craft realistic, memorable and multi-faceted characters as well as in creating a ‘sensual’ reading experience, meaning that readers often feel that they are ‘in’ the story. One of the greatest compliments a reader could give me, would be that they were ‘moved’ or ‘transported’ to another world by something I wrote.

1. Where did the inspiration came for using eagles as the narrators for The Eagle’s Gift?
Charlotte’s world in The Eagle’s Gift is made up of humans and a lordly race of eagle protectors, or Ancients, as they are referred to in the story. Basically, I was looking for a creature that naturally invoked a sense of stateliness, wisdom, and beauty as well as a certain wildness, and eagles fit the bill. I also loved the idea of depicting flight in a book. Thinking of Charlotte being ‘lifted up’ by the eagles so that she soared above the horrors occurring in the world below also seemed a perfect metaphor for the story.

2. Do you see The Eagle’s Gift as a children’s story or as an adult fantasy novel?
That was always a tough question for me to answer. Originally, I intended to write an ‘adult’ fairy tale. I’ve always loved fairy tales and children’s stories and still get lost in stories like The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit or tales like Arabian Nights. I suppose I just couldn’t believe I was the only adult in the whole world who wanted that sort of escape from reality, and figured there must be others like me who wanted to be immersed into the whimsical world of a fairy tale, but with a different slant than the traditional stories we’ve heard all our lives. That said, despite the slightly advanced language and rich descriptions, I like to think that young people could still love the story. I was 12 when I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the first time and loved the challenge of getting through it. I like to think there are other advanced younger readers who also crave a similar challenge and that they might gravitate to a book like The Eagle’s Gift.

3. Why do you think Charlotte is such an engaging heroine for readers?
Charlotte’s world is in the verge of crumbling because it has been invaded by an evil spirit, and she battles feelings of helplessness and frustration since she believes she can’t do anything about it. That is until she discovers she has been chosen by Terryl, the eagle king, to stop the evil. At its root, The Eagle’s Gift is a story about Charlotte’s journey from self-doubt and despair towards hope and finally towards action. In the process she ends up discovering things about herself she didn’t know were there. Despite how dark things appear, she chooses hope over despair, which is a message I think many people could be encouraged by.

4. What is your the favorite part of the Purple Morrow?
There are so many! First, I enjoyed creating an entire world with different people groups, like the Northmen and the Southernmen, as well as developing cultures for each of them. It forced me to stretch my imagination and my skills as a writer. In terms of storylines, though, I think one of my favorite parts was moving Jeru from his outright refusal to remarry after the death of his wife to unexpectedly falling in love with Nyssa. He’s actually surprised when it happens! Both of them have to overcome such difficult personal issues as well as situational ones that it was so satisfying when he finally expresses his feelings to her. Writing that scene actually made me smile. A lot.

5. What makes the Rover’s so evil?
The Northern Rover army, led by their commander Kelen, are the epitome of an evil army: ruthless, merciless, and driven. Whether it’s enslaving their enemies, razing villages to the ground, or slaughtering whomever crosses their path, they do not hesitate for a moment. In chapter 4, Nyssa’s village is attacked, which gives the reader the first glimpse of the evil they are capable of. On the other hand, one of the things I enjoyed about writing the book was letting the reader in on their side of the story, revealing what is at stake for them and what it is that drives them to do the terrible things they believe they must do.

6. How many books will be in The Purple Morrow Series and can you journey in each of them?
There are three books planned. The second, Wolf’s Bane, is in the process of being completed and I’m very excited about that. It follows Jeru’s journey as he continues to discover his role as the savior of the Southernlands, and as he searches for Kelen, whom the reader learns has an unexpected role to play in Jeru’s life. Kelen himself realizes that he has been wronged by the very people who raised him and so sets off on a mission of revenge. We also get to see more of the Northmen’s way of life and of their endgame. Book three is yet unnamed and is still in the development stage but it concludes the story of the clash between the Northmen and the Southernmen, and all mysteries are revealed. Big surprises await the faithful reader!

7. The settings are described vividly in both your books are they based on real places or purely imagined?
All the locations are fictional, but certain details are inspired by real places or things I‘ve seen in movies. For example, Erne’s Drop, Nyssa’s Water clan home in The Purple Morrow, was inspired by a scene from a movie. As soon as I saw the village built into the cliff and the ocean crashing against its base, I knew I wanted to recreate my version of that. In general, I don’t tend to write long descriptive passages, but I try to maximize what I do write so that the end result packs the greatest punch. Words are tools, and I like to use them to build images that evoke an emotional reaction so that whatever I’m describing has meaning to the reader that is beyond the intellectual.

8.Which character in any of your books has been your favorite to write and why?
That’s an unfair question! I am so passionate about each and every one of them, and I spend so much time crafting them that I am loyal to each! In regards to Eagle, I love Enian, the eagle prince. He’s like the perfect man only in eagle form: brave, caring, and full of integrity. In Morrow, I loved writing Jeru’s transition from a state of melancholy and his stubborn, martyr-like resistance to change to a man of substance and determination, committed to doing what is right regardless of the cost to himself. I also loved that he got blindsided by love. Lastly, I have to say that I fell in love with Kelen from the moment I conceived of the character. He can be vicious and cruel but he guards a sensitive heart. It was a challenge to write such a complex character since I had to walk a fine line between making readers hate him or love him. Hopefully, the result will make the reader squirm a little.

9. What is the most challenging aspect about writing for you?
On a practical note, not having as much time to commit to writing as I would like. I do have a full time job as well as a husband and family, so as much as I would love to spend 12 hours writing and improving my craft, sadly I can’t. On writing itself, I would have to say planning out the story. I wrote Morrow with a loose mental outline, focusing first on defining my characters and setting specific goals for what I wanted to say in each chapter. As the story progressed and as the characters matured, the story took on a life of its own and the results are so satisfying. But this method of writing makes writing a series difficult because now I have to write a coherent story that spans three books! So I’ve been working on keeping better notes, following my outline more carefully but also trying to be flexible enough to ‘go with the flow’. It’s not an easy balance at all!

10. Tell us about any upcoming projects or publications.
Right now I am working hard to get The Purple Morrow into the hands of agents and publishers. I’m also working hard to complete Wolf’s Bane, the sequel to Morrow, as well as preparing to outline the third and final book. As stated above, my journey as a writer started with short stories and this is something I would love to get back to. However, Jeru’s story won’t let me rest until it’s all told, so it looks like I’ll be involved with this project for a while. Lastly, I’ve been approached to co-author a book, which is something I have never done, but which presents a really interesting challenge. I am really looking forward to that project when the time comes.

Finally, I love to hear from readers, so I invite anyone to message me on Twitter @PurpleMorrow or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DyaneWriter. Support and encouragement are important, so if you like what you read or want to know more about the books, let me know!
My greatest thanks go out to Carolyn and Charles Henry Editing for the chance to do this interview. It was a real pleasure.

You can read her work at:

http://authonomy.com/books/3y5921/the-eagle-s-gift/

http://authonomy.com/books/39531/the-purple-morrow-book-1/read-book/

Read more about her on Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/DyaneWriter

Or friend her on Twitter @PurpleMorrow

Would you like to do an author interview or do you need an editor? Email Charles Henry Editing at carolyn@charleshenryediting.com. Check out our website for services and fees http://www.charleshenryediting.com.








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