Can you tell me who or what was the inspiration for the book?
I had no ambitions to write a book. Writing was something I did for my own pleasure. That is until I had become so tortured by a vision that I thought that writing about it would stop the constant replay.
Though many might think I’m guilty of an over active imagination, I have to admit to having many paranormal experiences since childhood. No witches or vampires, but plenty of events that cannot be explained away through traditional science.
I met my spirit guide when I was about eight – in the flesh! It’s a long story, but suffice to say that experience had a profound effect on the rest of my life. Later, when I was drowning in a lake, and losing consciousness lying on the bottom, I again heard my guide say, “If you stand, you can breathe.” I had just enough resolve to do as he bid. Sure enough. My nose was just above the water.
What does this have to do with writing The Guardian’s Wildchild? While I’ve had many paranormal experiences, none have been as profound as the space/time travel that took place over ten years ago. In an attempt to steal the relentless wind from my vision’s sails, I sat at my computer’s keyboard and excitedly told the story. I sought explanations of the who’s and where’s and how’s. Answers came spontaneously. Page after page, day after day the energy of the paranormal experience never dissipated. I became a slave to the disembodied narrator of the story.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “She’s exaggerating. She’s being very grandiose with a flair for the bizarre.” No, I’m not clairvoyant (chuckling). But I do understand your skepticism. This is truly why and how I wrote The Guardian’s Wildchild. I wrote for five years. What was puzzling was the passion I felt while writing. The energy was empowering, dazzling with creative juices I never before believed was possible.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Writer’s block is not allowed in my world. I suppose there are days when inspirations fail to tantalize, my imagination becomes overly concerned with what is perfect. On those days I simply review previous chapters and rework, correct, perhaps even delete complete paragraphs. I either move forward into the story, or do research, or edit.
On rare occasions I’ll become overwhelmed with a feeling the story has suffered a sudden death, the sizzle has become fizzed out. I’ll force myself to upload the file, read the last paragraph, and sit in silence.
Meditation has always worked for me. No matter what demons are vying for power to overwhelm me with doom, meditation brings me back to my core. It’s a place of authentic power and my loving inner guide. It’s a place, I believe, where we connect with our source. I will actually feel a shift, a physical sense of the story’s reel resuming its forward motion. The visions become clear and my fingers will struggle to keep up on the keyboard with the disembodied narrator.
Can you tell me your experiences in finding a publisher for the book?
That was a learning experience. Friends will tell you I can be a smidgen stubborn. In writing classes, the instructor emphasized the importance of seeking a publisher that will be interested in the story’s genre. Unfortunately, I didn’t do my research as carefully as required. And, it was difficult to pin down my story’s unique genre classification.
I started out approaching publishers whose interest and business is in the area of fantasy and mystery. After months of waiting for a reply, it was disappointing to receive their “Thanks, but no thanks,” form letter.
I talked to an editor about how to get over this hurdle. She advised to cut my manuscript down from the 500 pages to 300. Her reasoning was that publishers are less likely to accept a huge manuscript from an unpublished writer. I spent the next two years rewriting. It was painful and intense work – but a superb learning experience.
I then went to the book stores. I searched for books that had a similar genre and noted who the publisher was. It was then that I realized my genre was more in the area of paranormal (without the vampires) than fantasy. Back at the computer I searched for ‘paranormal’ publishers who were accepting manuscripts. Up popped “Omnific Publishing.”
To my relief, I got a reply. The reason was that there was a part, an important part of the story that was missing. I realized that in my attempt to reduce the number of pages, I had hacked and burned too much. Again, I went back to rewriting, replaced the lost details about the Guardian’s background.
Amazingly, Omnific agreed to take a second look at my manuscript. When I received the e-mail stating they would publish The Guardian’s Wildchild, I let out a scream. I almost never scream. It was a thrill that is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
How long did it take you to write the book and how long did it take to get the book released?
I wrote The Guardian’s Wildchild while I was working fulltime as a paramedic and research assistant. Free time to indulge in my fantasy of being a writer was severely limited. After five years, the first draft was completed. I then interviewed five editors and accepted one, Elizabeth Medwid.
Together we went over every sentence, word by word. She assigned me projects to complete. I had to write a biography of each character in detail, from their birth to their death – most of which never appeared within the story. However, the characters became living, breathing, hauntingly real people in my world.
After three more years, I was ready to submit my manuscript to publishers. Two years later, I took a photo of my book on the Cole’s book shelf. A total of ten years to see a dream come true.
Who is your favorite character in the book and why?
Ah, you don’t know me. I don’t play favorites. I love all the characters – after all, they are like my children. However, if I was to pick one that I admire the most, it would have to be Captain Samaru Waterhouse. The man went through hell and gave up the most to save his sons and get his life back which, I might add, was on the verge of being lost to the Dark side. His strength of character, not to mention he’s great looks, endurance of his will power, nearly at the cost of his sanity, was incredible. At yet, he remained so human, believable, one that any person in a crisis could relate to.
What are your current / future projects?
You know, I thought that The Guardian’s Wildchild was my one kick at the cat (sorry kitties). No plans to write another book. However, just weeks after my book was available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, I was flooded with images from the Middle East, and a story that was too powerful to ignore. I have completed only half of the first draft. I hope be ready to do the editing by January 2013. That’s when the story is infused with its soul. The working title had been “Cursed Angel” but I’m guided to change it to “Forbidden.”
This is an intense story of a man and a woman struggling to survive the war torn city’s evil inhabitants. Witnessing a politically charged criminal event during her visit in Persia, Eliza becomes a quasi-prisoner. Captain Hashim Khan of the city’s police force is charged with ensuring she remains out of sight. His very life and that of his family depends on it. Within the benevolent main population, Eliza seeks refuge and hopes to escape home to Canada. The complication is that Eliza is struggling with insanity, a result from a horrific accident four years ago. It doesn’t take long before Eliza and Hashim discover their passion for each other. However, this is forbidden. Not because Hashim is Muslim, but because ….. Well, you’ll have to read Forbidden.
Do you have any tips for a young writer just starting out?
Write because you must, not because you wish to be famous or wealthy. Write only what you’re passionate about, not what appears to be selling hot.
Do your research. For example, I know nearly nothing about the Middle East or Islamic Law, or the Muslim faith. As it is not recommended to travel to the Middle East, I have to immerse myself into that culture which is available here. I’ve interviewed an Imam at his mosque and have been invited to return. I’ve was given an arm load of books and videos. I’m reading the Quran and several other books about life in that region. I’ll be interviewing more people who have lived in the Islamic countries.
Unless you are especially gifted and no other employment, expect your first manuscript to take years to complete. To maintain that dedication, the story must be one that haunts you day and night.
Take courses on development of plot, characters, dialogue, etc. It is also a great time to receive objective assessment of your work. One area that I had to work on was delving into evil, writing about intense hatred, motives bordering on insanity, or insanity itself. I feared that any intense focus on those feelings in the virtual world would invite trouble into my physical world.
Finally, don’t give up. There will be people who will love your work (family and friends are not useful when needing objective advice); and there will be people who can’t stand your creation. Believe in yourself every step of the way, with one caveat. Be big enough to accept sound criticism from a professional editor. You may be directed to delete words, phrases, even entire paragraphs that you believed was sacred. Listen to your gut. If you delete stuff, save a copy of the original file. You may need to go back and “undo” the delete. I love ‘undo.”
If your book was to be made into a movie, Who would you like the main character to be played by and why?
Sidney Davenport, is a strong willed young woman. Detests rules. She is a powerful Guardian and has grown up among her people who live an austere lifestyle on a remote, uncharted island. She’s not glam or sophisticated. It is difficult to find a movie star that has a profile photo which will fit Sidney’s character. When I began writing The Guardian’s Wildchild, I looked for photos of my characters. In a magazine I found Sidney. Not a movie star or glamorous model. But she is Sidney down to her bare feet.
It was similarly difficult to find a photo of my hero, Captain Samaru Waterhouse, who is a Japanese American. I needed to find not only a photo of a tall, mature Asian man, but also one that revealed a ruggedly handsome man with a determined look on his face. A man in control, and a bit threatening. A captain-of-a-ship kind of man. There were no movie stars that fit his profile.
Then, one afternoon while shopping in a department store, I saw Captain Waterhouse. He took my breath away. The advertisement poster hanging from the ceiling was huge, showing an Asian man with the perfect expression. Don’t you agree?
What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing? Where do you like to vacation? Can you tell us briefly about this?
Oh, you shouldn’t have asked that. My husband will tell you that I’ve always got several projects on the go all the time. It depends a lot on the season. I live in Canada, central Alberta. The weather pretty much dictates what we do. Right now, my flower gardens are showing signs they’ve beat winter’s wrath. In spite of wearing gloves while gardening, my fingernails are a disaster all summer long. In winter, I knit afghans, read books, play poker. Ongoing regardless of the weather, I walk my dog, Jasper, and my cat, Leo – well, except when the temp dips below -20C. I love photography, water color painting, and writing.
I’m a Reiki practitioner and love to meditate. I’m on a journey into the Shamanic traditions (non drug) and continue to experience the paranormal that has been a part of my life since childhood.
My favorite vacation spot is Hawaii, but away from the tourist traps. My hubby and I lived there while he attended university, so we know the great spots to hang out, privately. I’m blushing.
Can you tell me where we can purchase your book?
Thank you for inquiring. Here are the links where The Guardian’s Wildchild can be purchase.
The Guardian’s Wildchild is available for purchase at:
Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com
Omnific Publishing http://www.omnificpublishing.com
FEATHER STONE’S WEBSITES:
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