|Tina’s First of Many Books|
This is a first at my cyber house rules: an interview with an author. Tina, also known as Florida Girl, is a blogger whom I’ve been following for a few years. She’s a great writer and a beautiful young woman I admire. As soon as I discovered she’d been published on Kindle, I immediately went to Amazon.com and purchased her book. I gobbled down read her book in less than 3 days!
I decided to feature her work with an interview. And of course I’m hoping to one day be interviewed as an author. New dream of mine: writing professionally. Seeing other bloggers being published is not only an inspiration, but an encouragement and a swift kick in the derrière to put things in motion in order to see the dream come true.
My name is Grace. Tomorrow is my wedding day.
Staring across the dark waters of the Gulf, I am uncertain. I am exhausted and hopeful. I am both completely in love and irreparably heartbroken.
After these long months attending to the minutia, the black and white stationery, the elegant table settings, the tropical flowers, the chocolate dessert course—I suddenly find myself detached from it completely and, now, with the night sky rising up around me, I have surrendered myself to the deeper implications. I am standing in the moment that has defined my life. I am finally here and yet so much has been lost.
It was a delicious ache that lured me from my bed tonight, drawing me out beneath the cobweb of stars. Liam’s memory teases me, calling from the water’s edge as if he might materialize there, simply by my wanting him to. I thought for sure I had pushed him so far back into my mind that I had forced him away for good. Still, as much as he has denied me, as much as I have refused my heart, it seems he is determined to make an impression on this day. Agonizing really, how enduring love can be. Even after you have packed it up and put it away, it is still there—always there, yellowing around the edges and begging you to turn its pages again.
1.How much of you is found in your three main characters?
There is a little bit of me in all three of my protagonists. Grace’s insecurities, Skylar’s brazen appetite for life and Alina’s broken heart are all qualities born directly from my own observations and experiences of the world around me. After three years of coaxing each of these characters into literary beings, I feel deeply connected to all of them.
2.Do you favor one over the other?
This is a tough question to answer. Since they are all my creations, this is like asking me to pick my favorite child. I resonate with the vulnerability of both Grace and Alina, though they exist on opposite ends of the spectrum—while Grace is ultimately hopeful, Alina has given up on herself. Skylar speaks to me about courage—even though she is imperfect she loves herself anyway, and that is a philosophy very close to my heart.
When you read the story, all three of my characters are still figuring themselves out, as well as figuring out one another. They are all flawed, which for me is what makes them so real. And despite themselves, they still very much need each other.
To quote Alina’s words from my novel, “Maybe in our own disconnected and wounded way, all we really ever have is one another.”
3.When you first started writing your novel, did you have a plan of exactly where and how it was going to end?
I did. Throughout the process of writing I was constantly story mapping to keep track of my characters and where I wanted to take them, though along the way I discovered new scenes and new twists I wanted to explore. So even though I started out with a specific direction, the story also filled in organically along the way.
I believe in a creative process that is equal parts method and madness. Half of what I do is strict and regimented and the other half is experimental and open to change.
4. Have you started working on a next book?
Yes, I have started work on the second book for the Enchanted Series. I hope to follow my characters farther into their lives as well as go back and explore other background characters from the first story in new ways.
5.There are a lot of psychic and metaphysical activities happening in your story. How much research did you do? Do you know any people with über powers?
I have encountered metaphysical healers, energy healers, mystics, astrologists and psychics of all varieties over the years. There was some research involved here, including the ancient beliefs surrounding stars and comets and the science behind stars and comets themselves, though this was entirely a work of fiction.
A great deal of my research actually went to reading other books in or close to this genre, as well as plenty of character building activities to flesh out my characters. For example, I would often pick up my characters and place them in a scene unrelated to the novel, or approach them from different angles, such as writing a journal entry in the voice of one of my characters.
6.Do you feel you have a special power/Do you believe in them?
Alas, I have none, unless you count storytelling.
7.How much has blogging inspired you or played a role in publishing your novel?
Blogging at GirlwithaNewLife.com helped to build my confidence. The early stages of exposing your writing to the world can feel very intimidating. Blogging gave me a place to get started, to introduce my writing voice to an audience, and to network with fellow writers at different stages in their journey. My blog tribe has been my greatest cheering section on the road toward publication.