Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Author Interview: Carrie James Haynes (by Melissa)

   Author Carrie James Haynes, pictured above with her adorable dog, kindly took the time to answer some questions I had for her. Usually I'd jump right into some information about the author but she included a blurb, from her book Whispers, and I'm going to showcase that first because it grabbed me.

*BLURB* The legend, they say, is whispered within the winds along the magnificent Preda Mountain Range, the words and deeds never to be forgotten of the Time of the Nuxvenom, a time when the Sordarins crushed the impending threat, the dreaded Asmeodai, and once more Scarladin was safe. The mighty Sordarins, rulers of the sky! No, the Sordarins have slept well over the years secure in their knowledge the Great One watches over them, knowing the legends holds a mighty warrior will emerge if threatened again, born with a destiny only to defend their world. But subtle changes have emerged. Little by little fear beings to resurface that their world, their very existence is once again threaten. They look to the skies anxiously awaiting their warrior; questioning perchance if the Great One has forgotten them. I know this how? For I am the one born to defend their world. I, Kela Calledwdele, was born a Euchoun. I am their warrior.

   So starts this epic fantasy, the Whispers of a Legend saga. Kela Calledwdele was born with a destiny, an Euchoun with only one purpose in life, to protect. Torn between two worlds, Kela soon discovers she is the hope of both. Now she must find the courage to face the destiny fate has dictated to her. 

   Kela has always known what path in life she would follow. She was born a Euchoun. Half Witheleghean, a passive peaceful race where magic runs freely and the other half, Sordarin, a valiant warrior race of hawkmen who rule the sky, she knows well her parents gave the ultimate sacrifice to give her a chance to live. Yet, in so doing, they have left Kela unprepared to face the dangers that await her. Her instincts are to protect and in this she does, but in so doing it leads her into a world where she knows not whom to trust. In time her power matures and grows stronger when she bonds with a Sordarin warrior, Cono. She learns well why she holds the power. An evil as no other before, Asmeodai, has emerged but all is not what it seems as a dark cloak encompasses her family. Betrayal, distrust, treachery leaves Kela alone. She is torn by her desire for Cono and the purpose, the path, she has been given to follow. And when another emerges within her world, one who seemly wants only to help her along her path, she is pulled further away from her Sordarin.
   Shadows of the Past, Book One of the Whispers of a Legend, is the first in nine installments of the saga. It is a journey of a young woman’s battle to embrace her destiny. Whispers of a Legend follows Kela along this conflicting path, where as a young woman unsure of her ability and her confidence in facing the challenges before her to where she emerges as a strong leader who learns to lean upon her own strength, to stand not behind, but side by side with her warrior. Can you see why I wanted to showcase the blurb first? It sounds like the type of saga to grip any fantasy fanatic, such as myself. Now onto the questions posed to Carrie, and her responses.

*Where are you from?
I'm originally from the deep South, a small community outside of TupeloMississippi called Marietta. For the last twenty-six years, I have lived in New England outside of Boston. Never did I think as a child I would ever leave the home where I was born and raised, but I did. I even married a Yankee, happily I might add.

*What was your life like before becoming an author?
Wife and mother. I have also worked in the medical profession for over twenty years. The desire to be an author has always been with me. Not until my children were older did I venture into the arena so to speak. I've always had stories swirling around in my head. Finding the time to get the ideas down on paper was the challenge.

*How personal is your writing?
I believe that everyone pulls from their own experiences, but saying that I don't believe my work reflects my personal life. I confess I have used scenes from the hospital, but it's not often. I write mainly historical and fantasy. I find I love the control I have when I write. I have the characters and the setting working to create the scene I desire. I don't have that control in life. Wish I did. I do use people's names I know in my books. My first book, Dream Walker, I used my mother's name for the heroine. To this day, my mother thinks Dream Walker is about her. I told her that unless she's has done some demon fighting and world saving feats I don't know about, she's save from anyone thinking she's the same person as in the book.
*Which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
Good question. I would have to say most of the time the idea of the story. Usually the character develops after throwing her into some scenario. Most of the time, the plot stays the same. The characters evolve and change over the manuscript.

*What sparked the idea for your series?
I love epic fantasy. I wanted to take on the challenge of creating a different world. From the beginning of the first draft, Whispers of a Legend evolved. Whereas it started with one thought in mind, my storyline, maybe my characters pulled me in a different direction. Perhaps it was watching my children grow up. Seeing the difficulties they faced. Life's journey is full of hills and valleys. Mistakes and bad decisions will be made along with the realization that some things in life you have no control over. Whispers of a Legend is a journey of a young woman to fulfill her destiny in life. 

*What was the your favorite part of the book(s)?
I love to start fresh. Fresh idea, fresh characters, but I have to say my favorite part is writing the ending.

*What was the hardest part to write in the book(s)?
Writing about dangerous scenarios. The hardest scene I have written to date was in Patriot Secrets, once when the plantation was raided and at the end of the book when my heroine was captured. It may sound funny but you get attached to your characters. The second hardest- love scenes.

*What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
I would tell them what my husband tells me when I get frustrated. Remember why you're doing this. You love what you do. Don't worry if anyone is going to read it. Just write.

*When and why did you begin writing?
Writing was always in the back of my mind. Something I always wanted to do, but life kinda got in the way. In college all my electives were in literature, but I didn't have much time for electives when you are studying science. Then got a job, got married and had children. I have to say my husband encouraged me. My first Mother's Day he bought me a typewriter. (Telling how old I am.) He hasn't changed. Last Mother's Day he bought me a new computer.  

*When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I guess when I saw my book on a website.

*What inspired you to write your first book?
My first published book wasn't the first book I wrote, but Dream Walker was inspired by a dream, maybe you could call it a vision, I had. It seemed so real. Dream Walker developed from that moment. My other books I can't say exactly. My stories come to me. Maybe I have a muse.
*Do you have a specific writing style?
I believe everyone has a particular voice that is in their writing. I'm not sure if I could give it a specific name to my style. 

*What is your favorite authors/books?
This is hard. I'm an avid reader. I don't have just one favorite author! I love the classics. I would have to say that Victoria Holt had the biggest influence on me as a writer. I hate to mention authors I know because I would leave someone out. I'm going to stay safe with this answer.
*If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
If you asked me this a couple of weeks ago, I would have given a different answer. Today, though, it would have to be a woman by the name of Irena Sendler. A Catholic in Poland during WWII, she risked her life to save over 2500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto. She was captured and tortured herself. I write about brave, courageous women. To meet one in person would have been an honor. When people read my books and think women aren't capable of being heroic, they should read about this lady.   

*Tell us your latest news?
I'm excited about my series, Whispers of a LegendShadows of the Past is only the beginning. Shadows of the Past, Book One of the Whispers of a Legend is the first in nine installments of the saga. It is a journey of a young woman’s battle to embrace her destiny. Whispers of a Legend follows Kela along this conflicting path, where as a young woman unsure of her ability and her confidence in facing the challenges before her to where she emerges as a strong leader who learns to lean upon her own strength, to stand not behind, but side by side with her warrior.
Whispers of a Legend, Part One- Shadows of the Past is FREE! You can find it on Smashwords or Barnes and Noble. It's on Amazon, but hasn't gone over to free status yet.
The second installment, The Path Now Turned, will be released the last week in November. I also have a series with Whiskey Creek Press, Tides of Charleston. The first in that series, The Judas Kiss, is set to be released in January, 2012.

Links: Castles in the Air blog-
 **Shadows of the Past book**

Thank you again to author Carrie James Haynes and you, the reader, for taking the time out of your day to read my blog. I hope you have an absolutely fantastic day! -Melissa
A room without books is like a body without a soul. -Cicero


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