Fairy Tale

Call of Kythshire

Call of Kythshire - Missy Sheldrake

I always get excited about a good fairy tale, and Call of Kythshire did not disappoint.

I loved all of the characters and had no trouble getting caught up in the plot. But be forewarned, this is definitely a story that focuses on a lot of world building. It's easy to miss part of the plot if you're not reading carefully. But the plot moves at such a pace that it's easy to maintain a steady reading flow and catch all of the excitement that the author throws your way. 

The writing is excellent and the dialogue is smooth and easy to follow. I had a lot of fun learning about all of the characters and found this new world that they were exploring just as exciting as they did. 

Very very enjoyable. 


Some Bio Information

Missy Sheldrake grew up in rural Connecticut (yes, there is such a place!), the daughter of a blue collar dad and homemaker mom. Together they taught her to follow her dreams, and that true love is real.

She attended Western Connecticut State University to study Illustration and painting, and earned a BS in both. She was halfway through her Masters in Painting when she met her true love in an online video game and moved down the coast to the suburbs of Washington D. C. for her happily ever after. 

Missy, her husband, and their now elementary-aged son forge bravely ahead as a family through the traffic-congested adventure of life in Northern Virginia.

In addition to being an author, mom, wife, and pop-culture fan, Missy is an illustrator, mural painter, and art doll sculptor. The scope of her creations can be viewed at www.missysheldrake.com


Q&A

1. What inspired you to write this book?

Several years ago, I played an online role-playing video game, and my friends and I acted out the characters we played in game. One of my characters was Azaeli Hammerfel, a Paladin. I spent a lot of time writing out of game with friends, mostly stories for message boards. I wrote a long backstory for Azaeli, the paladin who was cursed and had to relinquish her sword in favor of becoming a Mage.  Azi’s story eventually turned into a novel, which won first place in its category in a state-wide contest. 

With the help of a writing group I had joined for a children’s book I was writing and illustrating, I polished up my manuscript and sent it to the publisher who had judged the contest. Months later I received my very first rejection letter (the story wasn’t as epic as she had hoped). 

At the time I was studying for my Masters in Painting, so I filed the story away in a drawer and forgot about it. 

2. Was there a deciding point in your life that made you want to become an author?

To be perfectly honest, even with two novels published, I still don’t think of myself as primarily an author! I’m also an illustrator, a freelance artist, a mural painter, and a doll sculptor.  I enjoy telling stories through a variety of media. Words are just one of the storytelling tools available to me, and we’re just beginning our adventures together.

I started seriously thinking about rehashing Azi’s old story when my freelance art opportunities were in a slump and I was looking for other ways to keep the creative juices flowing. A few of my friends had written during NaNoWriMo and later published independently, so I had a lot of support, guidance, and inspiration from them.

3. Are there any authors who influence your writing?

There are so many authors that have influenced my decision to start writing the Keepers of the Wellsprings series. Aside from my author friends, J.K. Rowling was a huge influence. I love her flowing narrative style and the depth of her characters and plotlines. I love how her stories are categorized for a younger audience but appeal to generations of readers. I was also influenced in some ways by Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth and many of the current popular YA authors. I was in the middle of reading Divergent when I thought to myself, “Hey, I have a story to tell, too, and I can do this.”

4. Can you tell me a little bit about your writing process?

I’m going to steal from Roth here and use a term I read at the end of her book: Word vomit. I write it all out and edit later. 

Usually I have a sweeping idea for the plot and I just sit down and write what comes to me.  I try to do outlines, I really do. I try to make a plan. I have a whole notebook full of plans. I have the best intentions to stick with them, too, until the fairies get into my head. The characters have their own ideas, and I just kind of let them take over. It’s more fun that way. It makes it an adventure for me, too.

5. Who is your favorite character in your work?

How can you even ask that question? You should know better! If you had to twist my arm I’d say Tib. He doesn’t come in until the second book, but currently he’s my favorite. He’s 12, and a former slave with lots of anger issues. He gets pulled into a plot he doesn’t want to have anything to do with. He hates magic and fairies, but the situation he’s thrust into earns him some seriously cool abilities.

But then there’s Azi, the aspiring Knight, and Rian, her adorably cheeky Mage Apprentice boyfriend, and all of the members of His Majesty’s Elite, and Saesa, and the princess, and the Sorceress Viala, and creepy Prince Eron, and the fairies! OH MY GOSH! How could I forget the fairies? I mean, Flit! FLIT! Please don’t tell her I forgot her. I can hear her now. Typical, she’d say. 

Okay, honestly, how can you ask me that question?

6. How would you describe your writing style?

Fun, narrative, flowing, easy to read, appealing to all audiences. I write in the first person present perspective because it allows me to really get into my characters’ heads and I hope it really gets the reader into their heads, too. 

I try hard to have a good balance between descriptive passages and dialogue, and while I make an effort not to be repetitive in my phrasing and vocabulary, I avoid overly flowery prose. As a reader, I find it distracting when the author gets overly zealous with pretentious wording. I prefer straightforward, quick-to-read storytelling. I don’t take myself too seriously.

It’s supposed to be fun, right?

7. What is your ultimate writing goal?

My biggest goal is to reach a wide audience and create a rapport with my fans. I don’t want to be a famous millionaire, but I want my stories and characters to be loved as much as I love them, and it’d be great to get some fan mail! Find me on Twitter and Facebook and drop me a line.

My ultimate dream is to have Call of Kythshire and the rest of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series turned into a major motion picture.

The Wishing Coin

The Wishing Coin - Antara Man

A cute story with a powerful message. 

Often times after watching a movie or reading a book, I struggle to determine what it was that the author was trying to say. Many people seem to write merely to entertain. There's no moral. No message. And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, but I do love a good positive message being driven home in a book. 

The Wishing Coin does just this. A reporter learns the hard way that getting everything we wish for may not be as exciting as it sounds. 

I feel that this is a message that the world needs to hear: especially with the sense of entitlement that so many people seem to grow up with. Regardless of what we deserve, often times we don't know what's best for us because we can't see the big picture. We don't know what we're missing out on by getting "what we want."

A great big thanks to Antara Man for this positive and delightful story. 


Some Bio Information

Antara Man started writing at the age of seven and continues to this very day. Apart from reading and writing, you can find her practicing yoga, as she has developed a keen interest in self-improvement, spirituality and becoming a better human being.

She is currently preparing her second book that is a mixture between contemporary fiction and sci-fi. She also enjoys writing criminal books and suspense stories and believes in unity in diversity. In her opinion, the best books and stories are a crossover between genres.

Subscribe to her newsletter http://eepurl.com/SBGFf to be the first one to hear about new releases, giveaways and special offers. You can visit her website at http://www.antaraman.com.


Q&A

1. Was there a deciding point in your life when you realized you wanted to write? 

Yes, it was when I was nine years old. I started writing at the age of seven but when I was nine I felt my calling was to be a story- teller.

There is an anecdote from my life that I always remember when I go back to these days. One day, back when I was a kid, I was in class and our teacher gave us the task to write on a piece of paper what we wanted to become when we grew up. One of my schoolmates suggested that we should write down that we didn’t want to grow up; that we wanted to remain what we were then. She was urging me heavily to do it but what I wrote on my piece of paper was "I want to become a writer". I knew I was already one. The teacher explained to us she was collecting all those paper pieces so that if one day she saw any of us and asked "What have you become?", she would be able to show us our answers.

2. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process?

I use Scrivener and I like to outline and use sheets with graphics to systematize the plot. Once I finish the first draft, I re-read the whole story again and if needed, I re-write some parts of it. Once I am satisfied with the final draft, I start with editing.

3. Who is your favorite author?

I loved Chuck Palanuick's Fight Club when I was a teenager; The Moon Stone by Wilkie Colins was my favorite book for a decade. Now I am hooked into J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter.

4. What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

The main idea that wishes are not always good for us and that we must be careful what we wish for. Sometimes by wishing something that is not meant for us, we create troubles.

5. Describe the perfect writing environment.  

To be in a house in the mountains with a lot of fresh air and fresh drinks.

6. What’s your least favorite part of the writing process?

Editing, definitely.

7. What’s your ultimate writing goal? 

To write a compelling sci-fi YA series and a fantasy series (it's already in a progress).