Sunday, September 30, 2012

Part I Shardwell interview and International Giveaway

Welcome back, everyone! I am so excited to introduce my first ever author duo, Christy Hall and Amanda Gerry. One of the reasons I'm so excited (other than the fact that their books are REALLY fun) is that this is a feat that my own sister and I have been playing around with for years. But we have never gotten around to it. Maybe we should!

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. I'd like to introduce the Shardwell series, now two books so far. The first book is Phoenix Angel and the second book is called Guardians of Time.

Phoenix AngelGoodreads Book description of Phoenix Angel: Maggie is a normal teenager, trudging her way through senior year with her best friend, Lily. Then a boy named Kyle Spencer came to Idaho Falls, and since then everything has fallen apart. Something mysterious has passed among the three friends. They are developing terrifying abilities--strange powers that separate them from normal people.

Even worse, someone--or something--has taken a deadly interest in them. They never know when they are going to strike, or how to protect themselves, or even who they are. All friends know is that they want one alive and the others they want dead. Which one will Maggie be?


My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Amazon Review : Phoenix Angel Review

Guardian of TimeGoodreads Book Description of Guardian of Time: A secret has the power to destroy a kingdom.

I have learned this through both isolation and sorrow. My inheritance is a legacy of lies--they flow through my family like poison. Each new morning they become harder to hide.

But now my world is in turmoil. The Second Kingdom has already fallen. Demons rise from its ashes, crossing our borders to slaughter my people. Betrayal threatens to consume all I strive to defend. The Jeweled City is on the brink of war. Only my marriage to a stranger can slow its tide.

How can I choose between duty and love?


My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Amazon Review: Guardian of Time Review

About our Authors. A. Gerry developed an interest in fantasy at a young age. Her fondness for writing comes from many sources, but the most prominent is her devotion to video games. Some of her favorites include Mass Effect, The Elder Scrolls series, and anything that lets her shoot zombies. She received a Bachelor’s Degree from Southern Utah University and teaches at a local charter school. C. Hall has been addicted to the many realms of fantasy and science fiction all her life. A graduate of Southern Utah University, she now teaches at a local charter school. When she isn’t busy designing activities for her Mythology class or going on field trips with the Star Wars Club, she is spending time with her sister. C. Hall’s favorite authors include J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, and Tracy Hickman.

Authors Blog: http://shardwell.wordpress.com

Shardwell website: www.shardwell.com 


Author Interview Part I.
1) I love that you two are sisters and also an author duo. Tell us a little about when you decided you wanted to be a writer.
Both of us have loved reading and watching movies since we were little. I (Christy) am 7 years older than my sister, Amanda, but we both wrote short stories when we hit high school. As we entered our teaching careers (we both teach math at a local charter school) we decided that we wanted to write the stories we loved to read as young adults. One bright, sunny day as my sister and I were on our way to our family’s annual Yellowstone camping trip, she said to me, “Wouldn’t it be interesting to read a book about a girl who was reborn every time she died but couldn’t remember her past?” And the Shardwell Magic series was born.

2) How did you end up writing the book? Did you write alternating chapters? Tell us a little about the joint writing process.
We started by alternating chapters, but we soon learned that was a really messy way to write. Our writing styles are completely different. Amanda focuses on character development and dialogue, I (Christy) paint imagery and get sidetracked by culture and politics. We ended up writing a handful of chapters in Phoenix Angel that way, but they all had to be rewritten in the end.

But as we each discovered out strengths, a pretty intense process developed. We started by brainstorming the whole series. From the beginning we knew it would span 5-6 books. After the general session, we sat down and outlined each book chapter by chapter. After that, I (Christy) research and design whatever culture our characters are about to encounter. I also keep track of the magic system structure, while Amanda makes sure the character relationships follow an exciting route. Then Amanda writes the first draft of the first chapter, all the dialogue and blocking. Then I overwrite it with imagery and detail (Amanda also gives me a paragraph limit for description because I tend to go overboard with it). She reads it one more time to see if I've made any mistakes, and then we move on to the next chapter.

The best part about having two authors is that we catch each other's plot mistakes early on. For example if Amanda has her heart set on a certain scene between two love interest characters, I might point out that it could never happen because it contradicts the magic system. Likewise, when I have a really cool idea about some political intrigue that the antagonists are plotting, she lets me know that our characters are smart enough to figure it out before the trap is sprung. It makes our writing much stronger and less likely to have structural inaccuracy.

3) I especially loved Lily as a character. Did each of you have a favorite character and if so who was it? Were any of the characters mainly written by one of you? Were they based on people you know or some of your own personality traits?
Actually, both of us have characters that we are primarily invested in. Lily and Carter were designed by me (Christy). Lily is the compassionate, patient side of me—a person I strive to be (but for sure never manage!) Carter is the manipulative side of me, the personality I sink to when I really want something and will do anything to get it. Raeylan is also my creation. He is definitely a product of my love for the Japanese culture.

Amanda developed Maggie and Kyle. Maggie's strength is her anger, but it sometimes runs away with her. Kyle is the loyal protector, someone who really reflects my sister's disposition.

The only character who is based on a real person is Mark. When we started he was the token "red shirt," the character who was supposed to die to show how dangerous the situation with Feralblade was. But when it came time to sacrifice him, we just couldn't. When the real Mark read our novel he kept txting us about all his dialogue. Things like "I really would say that!" and "That is totally me." He also has a red truck that was destroyed in high school, just like the character.

14 comments:

  1. Guardian of Time Looks amazing with its striking, eye-catching cover! As an avid reader of the fantasy genre i am most intregued, and would like to thank you for your thoughts on this book giving me an insight on its blurb and main storyline. I am definately adding it to my to-read list, as it sounds fantastic.

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  2. I would love to have healing powers because this way I could help many people who are sick. Mind reading doesn't sound bad also.
    Thanks for the amazing giveaway and for making it international.

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  3. I would love to have mind reading as my power! Helps you know who's who!

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  4. Healing would be good--I don't like injuries. Plus, I'm a hockey fan, and seeing my favorite players banged up breaks my heart.

    eai(at)stanfordalumni(dot)org

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  5. Definitely healing! It would be terrible to always know what people are thinking, and if you're super fast then you might not slow down and smell the roses :) Thanks for the giveaway

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  6. reading minds..
    i want to know if people around me is being honest..or not...

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  7. Healing. It's the most practical. :)

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  8. I think I'd have to pick reading minds. It seems like it would really come in handy! Thanks!

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  9. Definitely being super fast because life is short and you have to make the most out of your time!

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  10. I would probably choose being able to heal. I mean, I don't know. Would it be good as long as it didn't make you live hundreds of years.

    Peter

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  11. i pick reading mind, so i can know who is my friend and who is my enemy

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  12. I'd really like to be able of reading minds *_*
    I don't know why, maybe I'm just curious about what people truly and deeply think... That's the reason I'm studing psycology I suppose :)

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