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Do not wander in the deeps
Where the Shriker’s shadow creeps
When he rises from beneath
Beware the sharpness of his teeth.
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JLC Thanks, Charlie. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.
C.K. Will you tell your readers something interesting about yourself AND/OR your favorite character?
JLC Writing The Beast of Noor, I was keenly aware of how similar I am to Hanna. Though I don’t have one blue eye and one green, I do go on Dreamwalks. My Dreamwalks take me into the story world I’m discovering. I see glimpses of where the story is going and I follow the trail.
~As I walk, As I walk. The universe is walking with me~ (from a Navajo rain dance
Miles’s character was more difficult. Like Hanna he’s an outcast, but he’s angry about
it. He has the intense desire to prove himself, and to get even with the villagers who shun him. I had to learn how to relate to his anger and his drive. The way I got around it was to remember how it felt before I was a published writer – to tap into the years I spent working on novels and getting only rejection. I was on fire to get my stories out there. I only had to get in touch with that feeling of intense drive to prove I was a writer to write Miles’s part of the story.
C.K. What is it that compels you to write the fantastic fantasy worlds you so vividly put your readers in?
JLC I love writing fantasy. The genre gives me liberty to challenge my teen characters in unexpected ways. I sink in deep to make the worlds and creatures both beautiful and beastly; to make the setting very real and pithy, to let my characters (and the readers) feel the chill of every storm.
C.K. After reading The Beast of Noor, it was interesting to compare the Bear Hound in your story, and the Old English Mastiff in Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island. I found both dogs are used as an instrument to control and contain the wickedness of revenge…the retribution within the dog itself in the Beast or Noor, and the vengeance within another legendary creature, the Witiku, in Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island. What message would you like your readers to take away from The Beast of Noor regarding the power and
sin of revenge?
JLC I think it’s interesting that we both chose hounds as messengers of a sort, Charlie. Humans and hounds have been closely knit for eons. To answer your question about revenge, I’ll start with a quote. Friedrich Nietzschesaid, “Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one.” This quote nails the essential battle Miles faces when he fights the Shriker in The Beast of Noor. Miles wants revenge. He is very much like the creature he’s fighting.
Revenge is a twisted response to the need for justice. But when revenge breeds more violence; it’s a never ending cycle. Someone has to step in and break the cycle. It’s never easy but it can be done. Miles and Hanna find a way through the dark and out the other side in this tale, though I won’t give the end away.
C.K. Research plays a great part in a novel based on legend and/or history. I found researching the history of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island both interesting and mystifying as well as appalling when I discovered the cruelty committed against the Native Americans over the loss of a single silver cup. The Beast of Noor is based on a
fantastical legend, delightful in the sense of sight and perception. Please tell us how you
researched this legend and came up with such an enchanting world?
JLC I have to admit I work backward. What I mean is, I have the central story idea that hits me in the gut. For The Beast of Noor it was the image of a boy lost in the dark. One who becomes a monster by fighting a monster. Once I had the idea I turned to old
myths and legends trying to find the right setting, and the right monster to allow the story to come out. One of my books Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns, and Goblins:
An Encyclopedia, by Carol Rose, tells of a phantom dog known by various names – Black Dog, Mauthe Doog, Padfoot, Barguest, Shriker, Gytrash, and so on. Charlotte Bronte describes the Gytrash in Jane Eyre, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle seeks to hunt him down in The Hound of the Baskervilles. The phantom hound has existed long in legend and haunted many a tale. I knew I’d found the right creature for my story, and like all writers, I made the beast my own. So the legend of the Shriker, of Rory Sheen’s betrayal, and the Darro’s curse as told on Enness Isle is singular to the world of Noor.
C.K. Your main characters, Miles and Hannah, must right the grievous wrong their ancestor, Rory Sheen, has done. In doing so, they also learn to accept who they are and discover the power and wisdom forgiveness can bring about. My main character, Jack, must also confront the terror cause by his ancestor’s heinous deed against the Native Americans. He too learns one must forgive, and be forgiven, to stop the persistent hatred passed from generation to generation. Do you feel this message of forgiveness pertains to our youth of today?
JLC Yes I think it’s essential. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting or that crimes should go unpunished. Forgiveness has everything to do with shaking off the chains of the past so we can live full lives. Again, it’s not easy. It’s never easy. But it’s liberating to learn how to forgive ourselves and others. Good stories that explore violence, grief, and resolution can show us the way as can true to life heroes like Nelson Mandela.
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” ~ Nelson Mandela
C.K Tell us about The Dragons of Noor now you’re celebrating its one year anniversary.
JLC Book anniversaries are fun. I can’t exactly celebrate by taking my book to dinner, but I do giveaways like the one we’re doing here, and book signings at Children’s Literature Conferences and so on. I had to write The Dragons of Noor because I knew Miles and Hanna were ready for another challenge. I wanted to find out what Miles would do if he was called to use his dangerous shape-shifting power again. How Hanna’s prophetic dreams and her growing romance with Taunier would challenge her in a new story. Hanna comes into her power much more in this second book.
The Dragons of Noor is about mans’ misuse of nature and nature going awry. Trees
fall, worlds split, a Wild Wind blows in and steals young children.
After Miles’s and Hanna’s little brother is stolen by a Wild Wind, they sail east to find him. Their search brings them to the frontlines of the dragons’ battle to save the endangered Waytree forest –the ancient trees that bind the broken worlds. If they fail to save the old forest, the worlds will split in two. All magic will go out of Noor, and their little brother who was blown across the divide into the otherworld will be forever
C.K. Nature seems to play a big role in this story.
JLC. The power and majesty of nature is key to this story. I’m concerned about the state of our planet, and that comes into play very much in this fantasy. Growing up near the Pacific Ocean in the shadows of the giant redwood trees, I felt there were older living beings around me, that I was a small person in their world. As I studied forests to write the book, I began to see how trees are rooted in humankind’s childhood. When we cut them down we sever ourselves from our wild past and chop down our most ancient
C.K. In your bio it says, “Janet links each new book with a charitable organization empowering readers to make a difference in the world.” What kind of outreach did you do with the NOOR books?
JLC Thanks for asking, Charlie. For The Beast of Noor I hooked up with Search Dog Foundation http://www.searchdogfoundation.org/98/html/index.html I encourage readers put up a paw and help me contribute to training search dogs who rescue people after earthquakes and hurricanes. It’s a great organization. (see more about Search Dogs it in the “Janet’s Fantasies”section of my website http://www.janetleecarey.com )
Researching endangered forests for The Dragons of Noor, I was led to The Nature
Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees campaign which was a perfect fit for the book with its focus on endangered ancient forests. Plant a Billion Trees goal is to restore one billion native trees to Brazil's highly endangered Atlantic Forest over the next 7 years.
You can see more about Plant a Billion Trees and reader outreach on the “Giving Back” button of my website.
C.K. What advice can you give regarding the writing process?
~Keep dreaming. You never know when an unusual thought, image, or a word from someone else will spark an amazing story idea.
~Write for yourself. Revise for your reader.
~Keep reading other fabulous writers and absorbing stories. Keep writing. Keep sending it out and collecting rejection slips.
~Don’t give up on your stories. They deserve to live.
C.K. How can your fans find, follow or friend you?
JLC They can contact me through my website http://www.janetleecarey.com
Facebook fan page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Janet-Lee-Carey-Author/113029975405630
My blogs: http://Dreamwalks.blogspot.gom
Book Party Photos: http://litart-photography.smugmug.com/
On Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/165105.Janet_Lee_Carey
Thanks so much for joining me today, Janet. I thoroughly enjoy reading The Beast of
Noor and am chomping at the big to read The Dragons of Noor. Wonderful voice!
Remember to Leave A Comment to WIN a FREE copy of The Beast of
Noor, or The Dragons of Noor! TWO winners will be selected on
10/10. Good Luck!