Author of DRAGONSWOOD
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WIN a FREE Copy of Dragonswood!
In a dark time when girls with powers are called witches, Tess escapes the witch hunter and hides with a mysterious huntsman until magical voices draw her deeper into Dragonswood where she learns the secret of her birth. Caught between love and loyalty, Tess chooses the hardest path of all – her own.
* “A dark fantasy illuminated by piercing flashes of hope.”
--Kirkus starred review
“.. perfectly crafted combination of history, mythology, and fantasy. . . The political intrigue, mythology of Merlin, and romances that bloom . . . . will have readers racing toward the end and then going back to savor the events more slowly.”
--School Library Journal starred review
Thanks for joining us today Janet. I'm so excited to have you. And it's so gracious of you to offer a FREE book giveaway. All our readers have to do is leave a comment for a chance to WIN a FREE copy of Dragonswood!
I’m terrified of spiders (Like Ron in Harry Potter) I go all squeamish around them and used to have my brothers suck them up with the vacuum cleaner. Strangely enough spider webs appeared in a few places in Dragonswood:
“I found a small alcove near the top of the waterfall where I might sit away from the swirling mist. I watched a spider spinning her web across the entryway. The mist hung in droplets from her silk, each drop seemed to catch fire as the wisps sped past.
Onadon already had marriage plans in mind. How was that any different from the blacksmith who eyed me like his raw metal he could shape by force? Was one father’s magic much different than the other’s mallet? I am not property.”
I realized after writing the scene that the spider web represented Tess’s feeling of entrapment. She’s expected to marry a man she doesn’t love. I’ve learned the things I fear have a power that can translate into my fiction in surprising ways.
It's fascinating to hear you find out things about yourself as you write. I'm the same way. What was your favorite book as a teen? Tell us about it and how it affected you as a person.
I loved reading Tolkien’s and Ursula Le Guin’s fantasies as a teen, but the novel that was the most life-changing for me at age 16 was Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha. The book opened me up to a whole new world. I was already on a search for authenticity, self-knowledge, and spirituality. I started a regular meditation practice after reading Siddhartha. The novelalso led to my first charity event, a music and dance festival with Indian music to raise money for famine relief in Bangladesh. All of that life change came out of reading that one book.
Because of my own life-changing experiences through books, my novels tend to touch on awakening spirit.
I'm going to have to check that book out. Sounds delightful. Tell us about Dragonswood. How did it come about?
The idea for the first part of the novel came when I learned the details of the witch trials in medieval Europe. I discovered women accused of witchcraft were not only tortured and made to confess, they were often forced to give up names of other women they knew. The idea appalled me. I instantly knew there was a story in it. I imagined a tale of friendship and betrayal. The novel tests the main character’s loyalty to her friends, her family, to her first love, and ultimately to herself.
I'm so excited about this book. Would you share your favorite excerpt/scene?
One of my favorite scenes happens midway through the novel when the fairies steal Tess:
“As I squatted, damp and shivering, holding my hands out to the fire, darkness weighed down over the world like a hushed, black wave about to fall. I was far from humankind, yet I felt I was being observed like an insect under a mage-glass. I glanced about. No eyes glared from the woods. I heard familiar scuttling noises of small forest creatures and the dry, dusty sound of flitting wings.
Still I sensed something else. Who watches? I looked left and right.
Then in that hour light came, thrown like a ball to the base of a tree. One circling flame falling, then another, and another. I screamed as the light orbs piled up on all sides. Heat washed over me, drying my damp clothes to the stiffness of brown leaves. The rushing sound of flames hushed all else in the night wood. In brightness, I was lifted, swung, paraded through the forest on waves of living fire that did not scorch or burn, but sang beneath me:
Eshkataa breelyn kataa. Bring her in, her in, her in.
Fairy bound in human skin. Bring her in, her in, her in.”
This was our first time making a book trailer. We collected photos. I wrote the script/music and sang. My husband, Tom, played the Turkish saz. Our son, Aaron, recorded the music. I loved creating the trailer. Our goal was to “deliver the shiver.”
How awesome that you wrote everything in your trailer and even sang your recorded son. Excellent job. How has writing affected your life? And what’s your favorite part of being a writer?
Writing affects every part of my life. Story is a source of inspiration for me. I don’t know what I’d do without it. I need stories like I need food and water. My favorite part of being a writer is that moment when the story sings and I’m carried away into another place and time. A story is a doorway. You only have to open it and go inside:
~Open as you have before
Let the traveler though the door
From the opening begin
The only way out is in~
--from The Beast of Noor
What advice can you give regarding the writing process?
Apprentice yourself to the work. It takes a lifetime to learn how to write a good novel, but we all start at the same place – a blank page. Begin where you are and start the climb. It’s worth it.
Regarding publication and marketing, what advice can you offer aspiring writers?
Writing is a solitary profession. That said we writers need a lot of support. It helps to find a good critique group and learn how to revise from critique. (Learning to revise in my critique group saved me years later when I received my first long editorial letter.) Read. Read. Read. Write.Write.Write. Attend writing conferences, but don’t contact an editor or agent until your novel is complete, revised, and ready to send. Finally every writer gets rejections. Believe in yourself and keep writing.
How can your fans find, follow or friend you?
My Website http://www.janetleecarey.com
Blogs http://dreamwalks.blogspot.com AND http://LibraryLionsRoar.blogspot.com
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Janet-Lee-Carey-Author/113029975405630
Thanks for being here today Janet. I'm a big fan of your work and I hope our readers will enjoy your stories as much as I do. And remember everyone...
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