So today I have an extra interview as I am taking part in a new blog tour. I hope you enjoy it!
The airship crew saved Ben’s life from a dragon, of all things.
When Ben wakes up, he has no memory of his family, his home, or how he got to this strange world. All he knows is what his new crew members tell him: the magical Barrier that protects their land is weakening. Unless they find the artifact that can repair it, all of Terrene will be destroyed and enslaved by the enemies beyond.
But when Ben suspects that danger may lurk closer than dragons or sky pirates, he has to decide: stay and fight with the airship crew, or focus on regaining his lost memory? If he leaves, he risks losing his newfound friends–but if he stays, he might never return home.
Welcome to Terrene–where dragons exist, the past haunts, and magic is no myth.
Welcome aboard the Sapphire.
Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Hmm. I’m not sure what part of my background you want to know. ^_^ I hadn’t planned to be an author for at least another two decades, but my beloved friend and fellow author, Jamie Foley, heard that my husband and I had a story in our hearts, and she demanded that we start writing it sooner rather than later. And she’s been a beacon of wisdom and guidance for us as we learn the ropes.
Before that, I’d been a stay-at-home mom with my two little boys (now 6 and nearly 4), as well as a seamstress. (before kids, I had been ASL interpreter, but I hung up that hat when I had my first kid) I’ve since retired from being a seamstress, and have fully devoted myself to writing and homeschooling my kids.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Honestly? In one sense, I’d say I have no big ambitions, but in reality, I can only hope that what I write will be influential and positive and touch the hearts of my readers. I have many books that I think of and re-read because of how they shaped my life in high school, college, even in my early years of marriage. I want the same for my books. To reach hearts. To touch souls. To give hope. And, while it’s not my true goal, I know one of the best ways to reach readers is to become a well-known author. So, with that in mind, to a degree, I’d say I want to be known…while somehow maintaining my anonymity. =p
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
I have two main characters–Ben, and Jade. Ben is a special case, as he wakes up with amnesia, and cannot remember anything about himself. He knows his name, and that’s about it. So he starts having memories and flashbacks that fill in those blanks throughout the book. And I can’t really say much more than that, for fear of spoilers. ^_^ As for Jade, she’s a mechanic onboard the airship, the Sapphire, which is captained by her father, Slate Stohner. Her dream is to be an airship captain like her parents–but fate has different plans for her destiny.
Would you mind sharing a favourite quote from your book?
I have been struggling over this one! There are so many lines and quotes that I dearly love, it’s hard to pick just one. So I have two, one of my favourites, and one of Mike’s.
“If regrets and wishes were currency, I’d be a rich man.”
“I’m not on edge. I’m just allergic to arrogant idiots.”
Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s? (* please provide a link to trailer if you have one)
I’ve been debating back and forth on a trailer, and to be perfectly honest, I still haven’t decided!
Where do your ideas come from?
The idea base story–the world, the characters, the plot, the dragons–all that came from my husband, Mike. He’s the brains behind the bones. I infuse the story with heart and life and vibrancy. As a team, we bounce ideas back and forth as they come to mind. Sometimes from music, a life experience, a movie or book that grips us and won’t let go. It varies!
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
Both. It’s an interesting process, when there’s two people working together. Mike and I talk out each book and make sure we’re on the same page, then he writes a several page synopses for me to build my outline and pre-writing off. So in that regard, I’m very much a planner. But I’ve had countless times where I look at the outline as I’m beginning a chapter, and I’ll have those characters tell me to scrap everything and change everything. And then I have to wing it and work to fit everything else around the new canon!
Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?
My goal is to write every day, but it’s more like five days a week or so. I love Thursdays, as I have a nanny come over to play with my boys during the afternoon, and I can hole up in my room with my laptop and electric kettle, drinking chai while writing as much as I can wring out of my brain. As much as I prefer writing during the morning, it’s just not feasible as a mom of two young lads, so I predominantly write at night, once they’re in bed. Like right now, it’s 22:33. I’ll probably be up, working and writing until 01:00 or so again. And if I’m lucky, I’ll get a nap tomorrow afternoon.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
No. I work in chapters. Sometimes they’re best done in segments, because it’s all connected, in which case I’ll say that I need to get four chapters done in one sitting, or whatever the set number is. My current record is seven chapters in one day–over 12,000 words. My brain felt like mush, and my body, like a brick.
How much research do you do?
**laughing** Mike would sometimes say ‘too much!’ I like things to be accurate, even if all the details aren’t in there. I consulted with a mechanical engineer about how my airship engine rooms would look and work, even though half the tech is magic-based stones. I needed everything else to work and make sense, even if it was only for my own knowledge! Each book probably gets at least ten solid hours of research. Whether it be engines, dinosaurs, architecture (and the why, how, when, behind it), customs and clothing, etc.
Do you ever get writer’s Block?
Not so much writers block in the sense of not knowing what to say–my outline prevents that much. But there are times where I’ll look at the outline, know what emotion will be needed for it, and I’ll have to wait a day or two so I can pour myself into it, and not cheat myself or the reader of what the chapter should be.
What book/s are you reading at present?
I recently was at a bookstore that was closing, and I ended up coming home with two bags of free books! To my great excitement, I found a series by Maggie Furey that I remembered loving back in high school. Thus far, half of it is as I remembered and it’s awesome. The other half is slower than I remembered, or more detailed in ways that don’t hold my fancy quite so much. Just before this, I’d finished CJ Redwine’s Shadow Queen, and that was fantastic!
Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
I think so. Especially when it’s in a series. Give away the first book, and folks will (hopefully) want the second book, so they’ll be amiable to paying for that one, and buying your hard work for their enjoyment. If nothing else, it works for me as a consumer!
Did you format your own book?
Nooooo. I know my skill set. And formatting and technology is not a part of it. I have a team that formats my books for e-readers and for paperback, and they’ve been marvelous to work with. Very gracious when I come running with “one last page, can we please add this??”
If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
Before I was an author, I’d been a stay-at-home mom and seamstress. Now I’m a stay-at-home mom, homeschool teacher, and author. If anything, I’d love to return to designing and making costumes. But I’ve learned that my mind can only focus on one or the other. There’s no ‘both’ over here.
Are there any more ideas for future books on the cards?
Indeed, there is! Stones of Terrene is a four book series, along with a prequel, anthology, and a stand-alone book. Beyond that, there’s ideas simmering for a sci-fi, and a few others that are just starting to take form.
Advice to aspiring writers?
Don’t give up. It’s going to be hard. You will need to sacrifice. Time. Money. Sanity. Surround yourself with a good team who can support you, encourage you, and tell you when that chapter you love so much has to be re-worked. Accepting criticism with humble acceptance and a discerning mind is invaluable.
About The Author:
During the day, Becky is a stay at home mom of two active little boys. When she has ‘free time’, she enjoys reading, writing, baking and sewing.
After many years of creative writing classes, writing fanfiction drabbles and daydreaming, it was high time to start writing her husband Mike's story. She dove into the world of Terrene and hasn’t looked back—except for when she runs out of dark chocolate.
Any free time not spent in Terrene is typically expended on hosting dinner and game nights, running amok with the two little monkeys or watching nerdy movies with Mike.
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Calling all book readers! Join author RJ Metcalf as we chat about her fantasy novel RENEGADE SKYFARER on July 6th from 8 PM to 10 PM EST (7 PM CST and 5 PM PST).
Grab your favorite drink and snack and be prepared for a fun time of chatting with RJ, games, and giveaways.