Monday, 27 August 2012

AUTHOR INTERVIEW - Heidi Garrett

Today, I am posting an interview with new author Heidi Garrett, about her new book NANDANA'S MARK and what she is reading right now! Here is the post  you have all been waiting for:

1. What is your new book about?
'Melia is an eighteen-year-old half-faerie. She really wants to fly, but she doesn’t have wings. She lives in Illialei, a country in the Realm of Faerie, where all the full-blooded faeries do have wings.
Being a half-faerie brings her other challenges as well. Her mortal father is a druid who wants to incarnate Umbra—the one entity everyone in Illialei and the rest of the Enchanted World fears.
Umbra is tricky because he is incorporeal, and making any connection with his consciousness opens a door to his dark influence.
Melia shares a telepathic relationship with her father, and his efforts to incarnate Umbra are effecting her in disturbing ways.
NANDANA’S MARK  is about Melia’s first encounters with Umbra, and what happens when she challenges her father.
She also gets her wings—in an unexpected way—and discovers the truth of who she is.'

2. What gave you the idea for this series?
'The seed of this story is in the 15th century French faerie tale of Melusine.
As a child, I loved the dreamy, other worldly feel of faerie tales. When I decided to write this series I wanted to create a sense of verisimilitude, so I researched faeries and existing faerie tales. I was taken with the tale of Melusine’s original "dysfunctional" family, i.e. three daughters who kill their mortal father and are cursed by their full-blooded faerie mother.

In the version of that tale, told in FAERIES AND ELVES, a volume in the TIME-LIFE BOOK ENCHANTED WORLD series, "The fates of the younger daughters, Melior and Plantina, are not important to the story."
I couldn't help but ask myself: What if a very different version of this faerie tale is being told—right now—in the Enchanted World? A version where the younger daughters are the story's central figures …
The Queen of the Realm of the Faerie series is my answer to that question.
I did take the liberty of changing Melior's name to Melia … and Plantina’s to Plantine.'

3. Why did you choose to write Fantasy?
'On a fundamental level, fantasy appeals to me. I have had experiences in my life that convince me there are multiple layers to reality. Working in the genre of fantasy gives me the opportunity to play with that concept and express my ideas about other worlds in a playful and entertaining way.'

4. Would you write in any other genre?
'I don’t think I would stray far. My other great passion is magical realism. I would love to write a brilliant book in that vein. The first time I read THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS by Isabel Allende, I adored it. I recently found THE SUGAR QUEEN by Sarah Addison Allen delightful.'

5. Why did you decide to open it up for E-reader owners only?
'This is an interesting question. I used to be raw, then I was vegan, and then I was vegetarian. Now, I consider myself a ‘conscious omnivore.’
The primary thing that drove my journey along that continuum was an awareness of the planet and the limits of its resources. I believe in maintaining a moderate carbon footprint, wherever possible. Committing to ebooks fits into that philosophy for me.
On a more mundane level, e-readers are practical. Like many readers, I have been attached to physical books. However, because I have been a voracious reader all my life—and have moved quite a few times—I have always been a book recycler, frequenting secondhand shops to trade, because I often didn’t have enough physical space to store my habit. However, even with that, when we moved out-of-state a few years ago, I had so many boxes of books I couldn’t believe it. So...I just decided to buck-up and get an e-reader.
I purchased a Nook, and even though there were some buggy things in that first generation, I fell in love with it.
With a physical book you have that thing in your hand, but with an e-reader you have ALL YOUR BOOKS in your hand...they also fit in your purse. If you want to go hang out at the coffee shop, or you have a flight, you don’t have to fret over which book to take. You can take them all. So, over a two-and-a-half year period, I have become a convert, and I love to tell folks about how much fun e-readers are.
Unbelievable to me, I now prefer to read a book on my e-reader. It always keeps my place; the cover graphics on the color e-readers are fantastic; and the highlighting, note, and bookmark functions are easy to use.'

6. Have you written any other stories?
'I have. Quite a few. However NANDANA’S MARK was the first work I was 100 percent committed to publishing.'

7. Do you enjoy writing?
'I do. It has come to be my refuge in this sometimes-crazy world we live in.'

8. Could you give some words of advice to any aspiring authors reading this?
'Read. Returning to the subject of e-readers. Ebooks offer a goldmine of fresh stories. You, the discerning reader, can cruise Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other sites to select book samples. If you like the first few pages, you can choose to keep reading. If the story doesn’t appeal to you, you can choose another one. Search until you find the ebook that makes you want to keep reading. What I am saying is: If you want to write, read. And having an e-reader makes that easier than ever.
   Read what you want to read. Don’t let other folks tell you what to read. Read what appeals to you. That’s really important. It will help you define yourself and know who you are. That, by the way, totally fits in with your message about learning to be confident with who you are. So, if you don’t like a book—unless it’s a school assignment—you don’t need to finish it. Get on to something you love.

Write. A lot. Experiment with different ways of writing. Get comfortable with getting what’s inside of you outside of you, and onto the page. I’ve written letters, journals, poetry, songs, etc. All forms of writing will help you understand how words work and how you can get words to work for you.
Don’t stop writing. If you share your work with someone and you don’t receive the response you want, consider whatever constructive feedback has been provided, and then keep writing. Don’t ever stop writing.
Enjoy the writing. If you are a writer who is not enjoying writing, you are probably not writing what you really want to write.'

           9. Are you currently reading a book right now?
'Yes.'
     If so then what?
'THE ENCHANTED ORCHARD. It is a sweet and tender story. It is hard to capture the magic of sweet and tender in a narrative; Kristin Maddock has achieved that.'

10. What would you say has been one of your favourite books to read?
'One of my favourite books to read in the past two or so years has been ELFLAND (Aetherial Tales #1) by Freda Warrington. She’s actually a British author who I cannot find on Twitter! The story is very intricate and I loved how she blended her faerie world with her real world. It’s a great book.'


Well, that's everything you need to know about the book AND MORE! Heidi's book NANDANA'S MARK can be found on Amazon and it is out now! You can also visit her new blog by clicking on this link http://www.heidigwrites.blogspot.com so it is well worth taking a look!

Hope you loved the interview as much as I did - sorry it took so long for me to post but you got what you were waiting for and more!

3 comments:

  1. @BookFangirling I really enjoy reading your blog and feel honored to be included on it. Thank you very much:) I suspect in the not-too-distant future we will be hearing about your debut novel!

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  2. Great interview! I am reading Nandana's Mark right now and I am totally hooked!

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  3. Camille, thank you for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment:)

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