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The Spirit Shield Saga Blog Tour – May 24 – June 24, 2019

HOSTED BY SILVER DAGGER BLOG TOURS!

Hi there! I know you are dying to know more about me, so let’s get this party started, with an interview by Silver Dagger Tours! Running for an entire month, there is an active blog or two every single day! Stop in and say hello! The links follow the interview.

SDT:  Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?

ASF:  My journey as an author began with a corporate merger. I loved where I worked, and I had this feeling that I would not survive the transition. I grabbed a bottle of wine, went out onto my deck, drank the whole thing and had a good long cry, while I thought about would do. I decided then and there, that I was going to write the book that had been swimming around inside my head. I got up, went inside, and started writing Seer of Souls, my debut novel.

SDT:  What is something unique/quirky about you?

ASF:  I am a rabid Harry Potter fan, and I own a prop wand (‘swish and flick!’) from HP & the Sorcerer’s Stone movie set.

SDT:  Tell us something really interesting that’s happened to you!

ASF:  Wow, there are so many! I worked as an insurance adjuster for many, many years. One thing that stands out in my mind was the day the burnt house I was in, decided to rekindle. Occupational hazard, but fire departments are really good about not leaving a smoldering fire scene.

SDT:  What are some of your pet peeves?

ASF:  As an author, I’d have to say troll reviews. It’s sad that common decency is in such short supply these days. I understand if someone doesn’t like a book, I have books I don’t like, too. I have big girl pants; I can handle honest criticism. But there seems to be a segment of people who get their jollies tearing people down. Bullies exist everywhere, and online forums give them a platform, which is unfortunate.

SDT:  If you knew you’d die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?

ASF:  If I were to die tomorrow, my idea of the perfect final day, would be having high tea with J.K. Rowling.😊

SDT:  Who is your hero and why?

ASF:  J.K. Rowling. Her story, and the adversity she has overcome, is just as heroic as Harry’s journey, and I see her soul bleeding on the page, throughout the series. If I can be half the author she is, I will have accomplished a lot.

SDT:  What are you passionate about these days?

ASF:  I am passionate about two new projects I am working on. One is a gaslight fantasy series called ‘The Guardians of Legerdemain’. A family of art restoration experts carry a heavy secret. Wizards and witches all, they have an ancient magic that is used to imprison the worst tyrants in history within their portraits and statues, a wizard prison of sorts. The first book, Tainted, involves time travel as our hero, Edwin, must chase down a rogue Napoleon, determined to change the course of history, and his demise at the Battle of Waterloo.

The second project is a LGBTQ retelling of King Arthur & The Knights of the Roundtable, with a focus on the injustices of the church, and a crown prince, confused about his sexual identity.

SDT:  What do you do to unwind and relax?

ASF:  I watch Master Chef, and Survivor 😊. I’d like to think I could compete at that level. Have you seen Master Chef Australia? It plays on GUSTO, here in Canada. I really like that version of the show.

I am also on the hunt for the next great fantasy series, but strangely, I didn’t like Game of Thrones. Not enough heroes, for my tastes, I think.

SDT:  When did you first consider yourself a writer?

ASF:  I considered myself a writer from the beginning. Now the real question is ‘when did I consider myself an author?’ I think that came about when I started winning awards. I must be doing something right?

SDT:  Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?

ASF:  I can see the whole series being made into a movie. In fact, I entered Seer of Souls into the Book Pipeline competition, back in 2017 and they pretty much said the same thing. It’s interesting to me that Amazon Prime is doing Robert Jordan’s The Wheel Of Time series as a tv production. I can totally see my series in that vein, too.

SDT:  As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

ASF:  For a mythical mascot, it would have to be a black pegasus. How could I not honour Brimstone? 😊 I already have a logo created. And for a real animal, it would be the wolf.

SDT:  What inspired you to write this book?

ASF:  My mom died a couple years earlier, and I think I needed to explore the concepts of life and death. The series pulls from a broad range of religious interpretations of life and death. There are Hindu, Christian, Norse, Greek and Native American beliefs intertwined within the series, to create a unusual take on life after death.

SDT:  Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?

ASF:  Not currently written, but I do have a cover created for a spin off, that will follow Artio & Genii as they are recalled to the temple of the gods, to face judgement.

SDT:  Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in The Spirit Shield Saga?

ASF:  The names of the main characters are not chosen at random. Each name gives insight into the character’s character 😊 Easter eggs, if you will!

SDT:  How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?

ASF:  I am as pantser. I knew my beginning point, and my end point, but not much about the middle, when I started writing Seer of Souls. Being my debut effort, I can look back at that first book now, and see ways to improve the book. But that way lies madness. You need to let a book go, and move on as an author. But I digress. When I write, I am that character. In the moment, I stare at the world through their eyes. And I write. The characters tell me who they are.

SDT:  Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?

ASF:  There are multiple POV characters in this series (every epic fantasy does this) but the main thread revolves around Cayden. I knew Cayden’s fatal flaw from the beginning, and stayed true to that flaw throughout the series. I cannot even mention it here, as it would be a major spoiler, for those who have not read the series. Suffice it to say, that it creates no end of problems for those around him.

SDT:  How did you come up with the title of your first novel?

ASF:  The title is another Easter egg. It has two meanings, which should become clear as you read the book. Beyond that, I googled the name and also searched amazon and other book sites to make sure that the title was not like anyone else’s.

SDT:  Who designed your book covers?

ASF:  The Spirit Shield Saga covers were designed by Greg Simanson Design, you can find his website here:

https://www.simansondesign.com/book-covers

SDT:  If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

ASF:  I am going to stick with actors from the Harry Potter films 😊 Helen Bonham Carter would make a perfect Helga. I think I’d like to see Emma Watson play Avery, and for Cayden, I’d pick someone like Matthew Lewis. Evanna Lynch would make a great Artio. And Mordecai by Ralph Fiennes. It would be great to see him do something comedic. Ziona is a tough one, more like Legolas’s love, of the LOTR, I think.

SDT:  What is your favorite part of this book and why?

ASF:  My favourite part in Seer of Souls is when Cayden saves Ziona from certain death. Magical and mystical, its something I wish I could have done for my mom. I cried.

SDT:  If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

ASF:  I’d love to explore the temple with Avery. It would change my view of the world, forever.

SDT:  Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

ASF: They are all from my imagination, although I will admit that Rand Al ‘Thor is inspiration behind Cayden’s character.

SDT:  Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?

ASF:  The story isn’t mine. I am just the vessel being used to tell their story. So yeah, the characters reign supreme. Have you ever forced a screaming child into a snowsuit? Yeah, it’s that bad.

SDT:  Convince us why you feel your book is a must-read.

ASF:  Some authors feel that awards are not important, and shun contests. As an indie author, it is difficult to even find a legitimate contest to enter, as most are geared toward traditionally published books. Chanticleer is a clear difference. If you are not familiar with Chanticleer, here is the link to their website. They are running the real deal, with top, anonymous reviewers. Their conference attracts top talent to present.

Authors Susan Faw, JD Barker (left to right) and Tikiri Herath

In April, I attended for the third time, and had the honour of dining with International Best Selling (traditional author) JD Barker. And at the awards banquet on Saturday evening, I received my Ozma First In Category award, for Heart of Shadra, from his very hands. Where else can you get that kind of exposure and networking opportunity? This is my fourth award, and never the same book twice. Yeah, I think I can write 😊 Did I mention that JD is best buddies with Stephen King?…

https://bit.ly/2ohn7Ke

https://bit.ly/2LbThU2

https://bit.ly/2w14Gwb

https://bit.ly/2VvSgGG

SDT:  If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?

ASF:  Brimstone…which is why I don’t make candles 😊

SDT:  What/who are your top 10 favorite books/authors?

ASF:  Anything by Robert Jordan, JK Rowling, Brent Weeks, Terry Goodkind,

SDT:  What book do you think everyone should read?

ASF:  Ah, well this isn’t going to be what you think. It’s not even fantasy. Once in your life you will come across a book that changes you, and this one was written by an unknown indie author by the name of Nico Laeser. He lives in Vancouver. His book “Skin Cage” is an absolute must read. I cannot rave enough about this book. Here’s the link! https://amzn.to/2VJkQJG

“Daniel Stockholm was fifteen years old when a parasite hijacked his brain, rendering him paralyzed and reliant on machines that run day and night to keep him alive. For nine years, Danny has been confined within a biological prison with only two small windows, through which to view the world around him; a silent witness to the selfless compassion of some and the selfish contrivance of others. When the malicious actions of care worker, Marcus Salt, threaten to push Danny farther from the ones he loves, and deeper into the dark recesses of his skin cage, he is left with only one option. He must find a way out.”

SDT:  What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?

ASF:  I do a lot of research before I begin writing, and do still more once I start writing. Research is never ending. I write in Scrivener, so I keep links and pictures at hand as I write as a reference. In the old says we might have put these things into a folder, but I find Scrivener very handy for keeping my files straight,

SDT:  Do you see writing as a career?

ASF:  It is already my career. I can’t stand the idea of not writing.

SDT:  What do you think about the current publishing market?

ASF:  There has never been a better time to be a writer. Hands down, the opportunities have never been greater. That having been said, it is also that much harder to be seen, as the market place becomes more crowded. Indies have to be nimble and creative, not only in their writing, but also in their marketing. A career as an indie author is not for the faint of heart.

SDT:  Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?

ASF: I don’t know how one can write and not be a reader. Fantasy is my number one go to, but I like a good mystery too.

SDT:  Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?

ASF:  I always have music playing. Silence gets to me after a while. I think because writing is so solitary, that music fills the void, so you do not feel so alone. Especially for someone like me, who lives alone.

SDT:  Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?

ASF:  Several, although I don’t like to do that as I lose my momentum switching between projects.

SDT:  If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?

ASF:  HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE.

SDT:  Pen or type writer or computer?

ASF:  Computer.

SDT:  Tell us about a favorite character from a book.

ASF:  Rand (Eye of the World, Wheel of Time) and Richard (Wizard’s First Rule, The Sword of Truth). Harry & Hermione (Harry Potter) I love a good coming of age story, which is why I chose to write YA fantasy fiction.

SDT:  What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?

ASF:  It’s in my blood. How can honoring my blood be wrong?

SDT:  What is your writing process? For instance, do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?

ASF:  The sum total of my outline is a one sentence purpose statement for the chapter to follow. Forty sentences, forty chapters. And done.

SDT: What is your writing Kryptonite?

ASF: Facebook. Such a time suck, but a necessary tool to interact with other authors.

The Spirit Shield Saga Schedule

May 24
Kickoff at Silver Dagger Book Tours
The Bookshelf Fairy

May 25
I Love Books And Stuff Blog
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too!

May 26
A Wonderful World of Words
Reign of Fantasy

May 27
Nana’s Book Reviews
J Bronder Book Reviews
Bedazzled By Books

May 28
Immersive Fantasy Fiction
Rita’s Reading Room
A Pinch of Bookdust

May 29
Readeropolis
Java John Z’s
2 Chicks And A Book

May 30
Twisted Book Ramblings
Speculative Fiction Spot

May 31
Jazzy Book Reviews – GUEST POST
Literary Gold

June 1
JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder
ⒾⓃⓉⓇⓄⓈⓅⒺⒸⓉⒾⓋⒺ ⓅⓇⒺⓈⓈ

June 2
The Magic Of Worlds
4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼

June 3
Tome Tender
Triquetra Reviews

June 4
Tracie’s World of Books
The Book Dragon

June 5
raeblake.com
Paranormal Palace of Pleasures

June 6
Always Love Me Some Books Blog
Reviews and Promos by Nyx

June 7
The Pulp and Mystery Shelf
Yearwood La Novela

June 8
❧Defining Ways❧
@jypsylynn Instagram

June 9
Paranormal Romance Trance
Inside the Insanity – GUEST POST

June 10
T’s Stuff
Sylv.net

June 11
Bookworm for Kids
Teatime and Books

June 12
Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author
Stacking My Book Shelves!

June 13
Scrupulous Dreams
Sapphyria’s Book Reviews

June 14
Luv Saving Money
Girl with Pen

June 15
Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read
Educated Book Freak

June 16
Book-Lover
Book Review Virginia Lee

June 17
The Flip Side of Julianne
Midnight Book Reader

June 18
Maiden of the Pages
Dragon’s Den

June 19
Lisa Book Blog
eBook Addicts

June 20
Craving Lovely Books
Books, Authors, Blogs

June 21
Breanna Hayse Romance
Books Are Love

June 22
Anna del C. Dye Official Page
Book Corner News and Reviews

June 23
Books All Things Paranormal And Romance
Better Read Than Undead

June 24
Books A Plenty Book Reviews
Book Reviews by Steph

WHEW! That is quite the tour! Enjoy!

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1 Comment

  1. Phthon says:

    This is an awesome series! I loved reading it!

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