Thursday, January 31, 2013

Reader Questions Part 4

What research have you done to be able to write the magic and Wiccan practices so well?

I have done so much research there is no measuring stick I could use to tell you. I was very lucky to have parents that encouraged me to do my own research into the various religions and faiths and make my choice about what path I would follow. Because of that I learned a lot about Wicca and the various faiths that still believe in magic.

I started reading books on different religions when I was twelve years old. For the next ten years I would take the time to learn about as many religions as possible. I studied Wicca (other various nature based faiths), Christianity (lost count of how many types), Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, a few Native American faiths, many, many European pagan concepts. You would be surprised how many focus on the idea of living in balance and harmony with the world and your fellow man. Or maybe you wouldn’t, what do I know?

When I was a young teenager I had my cliché periods, which included my Goth phase, my grunge phase and the ideals of anarchy and rebelling against the accepted norm. During that time I spent many hours on the floor of my local metaphysical shop in the book section with dozens of books spread around me reading about magic and witchcraft. I’m really glad I did that because so many of the books reinforced the idea in me that I just needed to be a balanced person that tried to live in harmony with the world around me and appreciate the earth and what it does for us.

It was those hours, in that store, that gave me my greatest education to help me write realistic magic, spell castings and the character of Deb and her coven in this series. Read, read, read.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Reader Questions Part 3

What did you draw from to write Steven’s struggles with his faith and abilities?

Poor, poor, long suffering Steven. I love Steven; he’s my favorite character out of the entire cast in The Elemental Series. And I’m so happy so many other people love him as much as I do. One of the things I love about Steven is what a bright light he is in the face of so much darkness. Steven definitely has his issues and demons but he wants to be happy, unlike so many other people who enjoy their pain and anger, Steven just wants to be happy.

Steven’s struggles with his faith is an amalgamation of a lot of people I knew growing up. I was always really surprised how many Catholics, or Christians in general really, forgot how much mysticism was incorporated in their faith. I’m not going to get into the whole debate about how many pagan practices are incorporated in the various Christian faiths, that’s for another day, but there is magic in those faiths. Unfortunately people tend to think religion and the belief in magic cannot coexist in the same person. Steven’s parents are a couple of these people. This is something Steven struggles with.

For Steven, he has parents that don’t believe in magic and who also struggle with him being gay. Everything that Steven is goes against what they believe. This is the root of Steven’s struggles. I think if Steven’s parents had been secular Catholics or encouraged their children’s imaginations or were okay with the concept of magic, Steven would have had an easier time balancing his Elemental nature and belief in magic with his Catholic upbringing.

No matter how messed up parents make their kids, a lot of people always want to please their parents. Some will always want their parents’ approval no matter how old they are. Those people never want to disappoint their parents. Steven is one of these people. I understand that behavior so I understand Steven’s struggle.

I hope Steven serves as a character that reminds people it is okay to be who you are, even if it isn’t who your parents wanted you to be. And to remember to be happy.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Reader Questions Part 2

Do you plan to write more in the series? What about other books?

I can’t imagine not writing at any point in my life. I love writing; it’s what I was meant to do. Last week I wrote over 21,000 words and told myself I was going to take the weekend off to recuperate. Reasonable, right? Yeah, by Saturday evening I felt so guilty for not writing all day and Sunday was a huge struggle. I’m a writer because I have to write. I also have the same problem a lot of other writers have, in that, while I’m working on one project ideas for others blossom in my mind, demanding attention. So yes, there will be many other books in my future, I hope you’ll stick with me on these new adventures.

Right now my editor has Spirit in her hot little hands and is ripping it apart as we speak (read). So, while I’m waiting for her edits I am working on a whole new story, totally separate from the Elemental world. I don’t have a title yet, but it is my first NaNoWriMo novel, though it is definitely longer than 50,000 words so I did not finish it in November. This particular book is actually an Adult book – I needed a break from the Young Adult world. It is still Fantasy though because I love working with fantastical creatures and magic and awesomeness. I haven’t yet decided if this will be self-published like the Elemental Series was or if I will attempt to send it down the traditional route. We’ll see when it’s done.

As for The Elemental Series, will I ever write more in that world? I had always, always planned on this series being a five book series. As soon as the idea to write about the elements coalesced in my mind, I knew it would be five installments, though I had no idea the story would take the turn it did. Now that Shay’s true self has been revealed, I suppose the old adage, “never say never” is rather appropriate now. I’m not making any promises, mind you, but I will say, Shay has not stopped talking to me. I kind of expected her to, but she’s still in there, in the back of my mind, kicking around.

But I do think I need a little distance from Shay and her cohorts. They need some time to grow into their new roles and time to heal. In the meantime I’ll finish the story I’m working on and start another. Yep, already have an idea for the next book I want to write. After this adult Fantasy I think I’m going to try my hand at a Dystopian (end of the world) book. The other day, while working through some plot issues on the current work in progress, a new character appeared, fully formed, in my mind and the opening narrative of her story was just suddenly there, waiting for me to snatch out of the air.

So yeah. I’ll definitely keep writing, no question about that.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Reader Questions Part 1

I've been writing so much lately that I put it to my readers to ask me some questions they'd like answered to help me get back into the blogging groove. So for the next few entries I'll be answering questions from my readers.

When is Spirit coming out?!?! Any plans for a TV series or a movie deal?

These are two relatively short questions that I think I can answer in one post.

Spirit is scheduled for release on April 30th in the US and probably May 1st in the UK thanks to the time difference. I released Earth on May 1st 2011 so it seems appropriate that the final installment come out on the anniversary of the birth of the series. I am excited, sad and a little bit scared to release the final book in the series. It has gone by so fast and yet it will have been two years since the first book came out. It’s hard for me to understand how long and short the same amount of time can be.

As for the question about a movie or TV series, I have to say, thinking about that seems so pretentious! Lol! But I would never turn down the idea of either. Because Young Adult Fantasies are in such high demand right now, it is difficult not to hear talk about this possibility. But as of right now, there is nothing I can share with you. But if I had my druthers I would prefer a movie deal to a TV series. Seems like TV series never end up following the books, like, at all.