Good Question: I ask my characters on how they would like their story to be told. LOL. They mostly want to be part of a folklore legend. From there, I take the stories of mythology and create a story involving the gods and goddesses.
What appeals to you about mythology?
The fact that they were campfire stories that have been passed down from generation to generation. I would love to be part of the time of the Celts and experience their world.
Are there other world mythologies you are planning on exploring in future work?
There are many I would love to get my hands on, Native American and the ol’ Christian religion of angels and demons.
In New Dawn we see mythological figures that have become an integral part of pop culture, thanks to works by Marvel Comics, for example. How closely does your depiction of figures such as Thor and Loki reflect modern or ancient representation of them?
Everyone, from Rick Riordan to Marvel, have stories that are amazing. I don’t think anyone can compare to Stan Lee’s take on the Norse. Or, Riordan integrating his stories with each other as he brings out the Norse, Roman and Greek folklore. I stuck with the old folklore the Norse Gods and added a couple of twists to make them my own.
With all these representations, how do you make figures like these your own?
In the myths, Loki has always been wittier than his brother Thor. I decided to play a little joke on Loki himself, creating Thor as the loveable character who is the typical god that you read about, tall, built with some mascara on the corner of his eyes with brute strength and loves to party—but has smarts that comes with him. It makes it more entertaining.
Myths and stories are often tied to other aspects of a culture? In what other ways do you reflect Norse culture in New Dawn, outside of characters found in Norse Mythology? From what I have read about different cultures in the past, the Norse, just like the Celtics, were big with nature and the universe. So, creating the scenery to New Dawn was just as important as the characters themselves. If you think about one of the main characters is the Yggdrasil tree is also a part of the scenery. Imagine the only way to save the tree of life is through soulmates.
What inspired New Dawn?
It was actually a romance novel. A young slave falls in love with a vampire. But, I hated it. I forced myself to finish it and it was dull and boring. I tossed it and thought of Anya leaving the Earth and go into a different realm. There was something missing, I just didn’t know what.
It took a good friend of mine, Annie, who read the rewrite of the story and felt that Anya needed to be more than just a girl who lost her way in this world I created. So, adding the gods came to me while reading one of my daughter’s mythology books. I wrote about the Celtic Legends in The Descendant, why not add Norse in this book. And that is how New Dawn came about.
What was your favorite part of writing New Dawn?
I loved my characters, but the part I enjoyed the most was the scenery. Anya went from different realms and writing each realm onto a paper. I mean I still stare at the story and think to myself, I can’t believe I created these worlds.
What was different about New Dawn than your other work? It’s a love story. The Descendant is more of solving a mystery. New Dawn is about two souls from one tree who were destined to be together.
What do you hope readers take away from New Dawn? Well, I hope they don’t get mad at me with what happens to one of the characters. But, I’m hoping they fall in love with Anya and Jonah. I know, they are going to be confused on who she should be with, but in the end, I really hope they understand the love these two have for each other.
When did you start writing? And what got you into it?
It’s hard to say. I wasn’t the most popular girl in school. In fact, I was the geek who used to go home after school and pretend to be a princess who saved the prince. It was hard growing up being the geeky girl who the boys laughed at. So my best friend at the time, Sarah, gave me a journal to write about my day. I ended up creating poems.
It wasn’t until my son was diagnosed with Autism that I really zoned into it. His therapist had mentioned to me that I should take one of my stories and publish it—see where the outcome will bring you. I didn’t realize at the time, it was my own therapy on dealing with my son’s autism.
So here I am today, with one of my stories blossomed into something amazing and that it’s a part of the Pipe and Thimble family.
What advice do you have for other authors?
Don’t let anyone say you can’t make it. To me there is no such word as can’t if you focus and put your best foot forward. In other words, take the story inside of you and make it the best possible product of your imagination.
What advice do you have for authors writing fantasy or working with world mythologies?
Research, write and rewrite. You will have about ten or more roughs until you come up with the final product you will love.
And, let your characters tell the story. Sometimes you will have to have them tone it down a bit, but it happens at times.
Between The Descendant and New Dawn, you’ve worked with Celtic and Norse mythology. If you could be a figure from either, which would you chose and why?
Honestly, the Fairy Queen. I know she’s evil from the distant eye, but there is more of her story hasn’t be told as of yet, only Cat’s… Stay tuned.
What is your favorite experience with a fan?
I never really had fans. I have great followers who love what I am for. I’m for the underdogs and helping them become the girls or boys they are meant to be. And as for readers, well my favorite experience is my aunt.
Aunt Donna bought my first book, The Descendant. She called my cousins and they ended up buying the book. This group were my first readers. Who are now impatiently waiting for New Dawn, so I have to call them and let them know it’s out :D
Who are your favorite authors and why?
I don’t know. I love Jane Austin, mostly because of her own life story and how she was able to prove herself as a writer in her time. I guess, the biggest influences would be the authors of the past, like Tolkien. I know they aren’t like the authors now a days, but I can relate more to their writing.
What are you currently reading?
LOL. Harper’s Weekly and Google for research on a next project.
What are you currently working on?
Songs of Peace. It’s a novella from the Peace Series. The story is a historical fiction which takes place in the nineteen forties. It’s about a young attorney who has to prove her brother’s innocence in a murder trial. Little does she know: She falls in love with a Native American who helps her find the man who framed her brother. This is something I never done before, there is no Gods in this one and it’s adult. It will be going under the pen name of A.H. Stagg.