Here’s a different premise:
The primary character in the series is…a Wish Maker…well, she calls herself a “Wish Mistress”, which I like better. Her whole job is to fulfill wishes the universe deems worthy. To be more precise, these wishes have to be born out of an individual’s very soul, way down deep, and very genuine.
Or at least that is what I get from it.
I had the privilege of reading both “Sticks and Stones” and “Break My Bones” and I totally recommend them.
Let me be honest. The first one I put down halfway through, and started the second one. For some reason I just COULD NOT connect with the first one. Occasionally that happens. However, I LOVED the second book, and after I finished it, I immediately went and finished the first book.
Backwards, I know.
BUT I really liked the first book, after I went back and finished it! So, instead of dong a whole r3eview and stuff, I am going to interview the author! Read on to hear what she has to say! Also, I am doing a giveaway! Go to my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/katsindiereads, and comment on the post about this specific blog, and tell me what your deepest wish is!
I know! It’s so personal! But go for it! I’ll share mine as well!
AND NOW!!!! How about a Q&A with the author?!?!?!
This is such a hard question to answer because there are so, so many books I love. I read diversely and it really depends on my mood at the time I’m reaching for one. I read a lot of YA of course since that’s what I write. But I love a good scary horror now and then. Or a women’s fiction that takes me to an exotic land. And a feel-good romance is sometimes just the thing I want.
Must have item when writing?
Music, but no lyrics because they distract me. I put on my headphones and disappear into the story.
Keep in mind I am a therapist, and so my questions may slant towards that direction. I am always curious when I read an author’s stories, how they reflect their lives? Does that makes sense?
This question ties in with the previous: You write about some really hard things, and maybe this is too nosy, but I am wondering if you write from experience?
Not nosey at all. There are a few reasons I write about the hard topics. First, I grew up with a therapist father. His clients suffered unspeakable horrors in their lives – his area of expertise is incest, primarily the perpetrators but also victims trying to come to terms with their abuse as adults. My first job was typing his dictation so I grew up knowing that these awful kinds things happened. I feel like I was given this education and I need to do something with it. Becoming a therapist never held appeal for me but writing, obviously, did. Nothing would make me happier than finding out that I’d helped people with my writing.
Some of my writing does come from direct experience. In STICKS AND STONES, Mandy deals with the loss of her sister. Ten years ago this November my niece was killed while crossing the street. I saw how her death affected my brother and the rest of my family. Writers write and writing Mandy’s story was kind of my way of dealing with her death, but also exploring how both the adult and child members of a family deals with the death of a member. In BREAK MY BONES, Crissy deals with a controlling, abusive boyfriend. I, thank goodness, have never been physically abused but I did date a few guys who were controlling to the extreme and that level of control is a form of abuse. I am very passionate about people being able to stand up for themselves and finding the strength to not simply take what’s being handed to them.
How did you come up with the premise of a wish mistress/maker?
Honestly, I’m not even sure! I first wrote this story eight years ago. It was a middle grade novel at the time and Desiree was more like a fairy godmother. As the story morphed it became what it is now, so did Desiree. In the first book in the series, STICKS AND STONES, Mandy accidentally wishes her childhood imaginary friend to life. I’m pretty sure that’s where it started. I wondered how something that could happen and it led to Desiree the Wish Mistress.
Some author’s come up with pictures of how their characters look. I am wondering if you have one’s of Kaf and Desiree?
Oh yeah! Check out my Pinterest page (http://www.pinterest.com/shawnmcguire1/) they’re all there! Sorry if Kaf is distracting. J
I’m very visual so the other thing I do is to make collages of each major character during the first draft. Since I write YA, I get teen magazines and start tearing out pictures that jump out at me. I don’t think about it, I just flip through and tear. As I tear the pictures out I place them in stacks according to character. Once I’m done collecting, I go through and weed out any that don’t belong and there I have a whole character. I don’t know how it works but it does every time. Then I paste all the pictures onto a sheet of paper and tape it to the wall in front of my computer. As I write, I can see my characters.
Release day must be nerve-wracking, what does that day look like for you?
The nerve-wracking part with STICKS AND STONES was waiting for Amazon to put it up! I hit the publish button at 8:00 in the morning and it didn’t go live until 5:00 that night. I didn’t want to tell anyone it was available until it was everywhere. Once I did, it was a total rush. So many people telling me how happy they were for me. My dream of becoming published actually came true!
With BREAK MY BONES the 7-10 days before release day have been kind of intense. Preparing for blog tours, making sure all the links are live, all the information properly filled in with the various vendors. Since I’m still pretty new to this, I’m still trying new things. I’m sure that when book #3, NEVER HURT ME, releases in January, it’ll be a different experience again.
What is your favorite thing about being an author?
As I alluded to above, I love the idea of being able to make a difference in a reader’s life. Even if it just means giving someone an escape from a bad day (or whatever the situation may be) for a few hours while they read my words, that’s awesome. While writing, it’s fun to be able to slip into another world for a while. I’ve been interested in the hippie/Woodstock era for as long as I can remember. Writing about Desiree and her world let me pretend to be a hippie for a while!
During the writing process with every book, there comes a moment for me when everything comes together. That first draft is usually such a mess that I doubt that I know what I’m doing. But then, all of a sudden something happens and words come to me and I go, “Oh yeah. There’s my story, that’s what I’m writing about.” I love that moment.
What about being a reader?
The escape that comes when you find a really great book. You lose track of time and maybe even the world around you. I remember reading one of the Harry Potter books and being so totally engrossed in the story that I looked up from the book and literally couldn’t figure out where I was for a few seconds. While reading, I was at Hogwarts.
Favorite Genre of books?
Like I said above, I have varied tastes. If the story is good, I like just about any genre.
What do you look for in a book? And how has that affected your writing?
I love complex characters. Whether I’m reading a contemporary or a fantasy or whatever, I love the books that have characters I can cheer for one moment and think what a jerk the next. Characters are the most important aspect in my writing. All of the girls, for example, in The Wish Makers books – Mandy, Lexi, Crissy, Desiree, and Dara who we’ll meet in book #3 – all have a lot going on inside as we all do.
I noticed you live in Denver, CO. I live about 20 mins (on a good day), north of there. What is your favorite thing about Colorado?
We moved to Colorado from Wisconsin almost three years ago. It didn’t take me long to notice first, how friendly the people are here. I feel myself getting friendlier by association. The thing I love the most though is the mountains/nature/weather here. When I’m feeling a little down or un-centered or like my writing muse needs a jumpstart, I want to head to the mountains. Even a simple afternoon drive through the majesty of the Rockies makes everything better again.
Favorite place to hike?
We live close to a state park called Castlewood Canyon. It’s perfect for a shorter, couple hour hike. Last year we did the Hanging Lake trail near Glenwood Springs. It was like a mile straight up the mountain. A real workout. We were rewarded with the crystal clear lake the trail is named for and it’s waterfall when we got to the top. Oh my goodness. Absolutely worth every aching muscle!
I am from the midwest and there are definitely things I miss about it, do you miss anything in particular?
We left Wisconsin after my older son had started his first year of college there. I miss him horribly, but I’m sure I’d miss him just as much even if he was only a couple of hours away. He’s happy with this new chapter in his life though so that helps. I miss the rest of my family too. They’re spread between Wisconsin and Minnesota and it’s really hard being so far away from them all. I can say I don’t miss the weather there even a little bit – humid summers and bitter-cold winters. Or the mosquitoes. Definitely don’t miss the mosquitoes!
Finally, do you play fantasy football? If you do, what player did you draft that was the best? Worst? Most embarrassing? (sometimes it happens!)
Never played fantasy football, but I am a big Green Bay Packers fan. We can’t get all the games here so we got the Sunday Ticket. Gotta watch my Pack!
Any last words?
Thank you so much for hosting me. To any readers out there, please let me know what you think of my books. I truly want to know.