Aaaaaaaand here it is!
As promised, ladies and gentlemen, we bring you the interview with our two budding authors. So whether you’re a book freak or hope to see your name in print someday, this tête-à-tête is one you don’t want to miss out on!
As we’d told you earlier MS Fowle aka Mel and Emily Guido are both newbie authors who’re awaiting the release of the second books of the series they’re currently working on. Mel also has another sci-fi book called Nora’s Sun to her name. You can find her at http://msfowle.wordpress.com/, while Emily is available at http://lightbearernovelist.wordpress.com
1.) First off, tell us, why writing? What made you take the leap into full-fledged writing?
M. S. Fowle: I started writing stories at a fairly young age, about eight years old. I began writing a fantasy story with one of my oldest, dearest friends about two girls that find a portal to a world of goblins and fairies in their backyard. I’d write a chapter and then she’d write a chapter. I still have it here somewhere. After that, I just couldn’t stop writing. For me, it was like an escape from the real world. When things got tough, writing helped me deal with it all.
Emily Guido: Me too! I had a story running through my mind and couldn’t get it out of my head. It was like you or me going to see a movie and someone asked us to tell them what went on in the movie. I just took a shot and started writing. When I started writing I couldn’t stop. I didn’t sleep for 48 hours and in a week I had over 100,000 words. Not being a novelist or a writer, I asked my husband what qualified as a novel and he said, “Oh honey, you have yourself a novel!” By the time I was finally finished in a couple weeks, I had over 130,000 plus! It was so simple. The same way with the second novel, I had the continuation of the movie going, and I just kept writing and writing. The third novel would be simple for me to write, but I’m out promoting the first and gearing up the second, so it doesn’t leave a lot of time for writing. The movie is still playing in my head though and I’m itching to get it out. I wrote the first chapter to the third novel and it scared me as I was writing it! People ask me at work because they don’t know me to be a writer at all and say, “Emily, how in the heck did you come up with the idea?” I just shrug my shoulders and say, “I really don’t know.” But really… do you have to know? Not really, you just have to have the story come and it did for me!
2.) So why fantasy? Is it a genre you’re personally fond of or was it just a coincidence?
M. S. Fowle: Fantasy is the ultimate escape, because it can take you anywhere to do anything. There are no limitations. You can fly or use magic, whatever your mind can come up with. Some of my favorite fantasy tales came from films like Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal. But the first fantasy book I ever read was Cinderella. And though these days I feel Cinderella should’ve found some way to save herself from her terrible life instead of Prince Charming whisking her away to his royal castle, the magic of the story had me hooked on the genre.
Emily Guido: I just thought that the story was “Charmeine,” it didn’t matter to me whether or not it was fantasy or non-fantasy. “Charmeine” was what it was and nothing else mattered. I do think of myself as a paranormal romance geek! I love the genre, so in that way, you could say that it was easy for me to write in that realm. However, the movie in my head was “Charmeine” this wonderful, loving romance between two souls who had to battle to love each other.
3.) It is important for stories to have well-rounded and empathetic characters. Have you ever based your characters on real people? Is there any one you could confess to? Do you sometimes see something of yourself in your lead characters, perhaps?
M. S. Fowle: I take a lot from the people I know as well as the ones that I don’t, to build my characters. Between family, friends and acquaintances I’ve met along the way, there are hints of their personalities and unique quirks in each of my characters. One in particular that I can confess to is the character Will from The First series. A good portion of him represents my little brother – his desire to help those in need, his leadership and his family values. But I’d be lying if I said that there wasn’t at least some bit of myself in my lead characters. I do have to say that I feel that I’m more like Nora from Nora’s Sun than Alex from The First. Like Nora, I’m a wife and mother who would take on the entire world for the sake of her family. But I wouldn’t mind knowing how to kick some serious butt like Alex.
Emily Guido: I have to confess, there are two characters in the “Charmeine” novel which are very, very loosely based on people I know. Of course I see myself in all the characters in different ways, “Charmeine” for her faith, acceptance and kindness, and “Tabbruis,” for always looking on the darker side from years of being lonely and too much into his self. The other characters too have all of little aspects of my psyche and beliefs. How can I write about aspects that I don’t at least know on a broad base level? I guess that is why it was so easy and so very fun to write. And I did have fun… a lot of fun writing down like a movie critic what was happening in my head.
4.) Are you guys avid readers? If yes, what kind of books do you like to read?
M. S. Fowle: Oh, I would love to say I’m an avid reader, but lately I just haven’t had much time. I have a day job, as there are bills to be paid. And I also have a two-year-old. But I’m lucky to have an extended family that helps us out a lot, letting me get some writing in. When I do find the time to read, or rather when I’m not reading Sandra Boynton books to my son, I enjoy anything by Stephen King and I’m in the middle of The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind.
Emily Guido: Why yes I am an avid reader! I love paranormal romance and am sort of a Vampire Connoisseur, so I read a lot of those stories. However, there is nothing from stopping me picking up Jane Eyre for the 20th time and/or Dylan Thomas Poems and reading them. I love English and American Literature. I work full time at a college in Campus Life and go to MBA school full time, so there isn’t a lot of time to do a lot of writing or reading other than homework! I stay up late at night and forsake sleep just to delve into what I like to do… read and write!
5.) Wow! That’s some passion! After all that work, do you think there are woefully few readers today? Did that ever discourage you from writing professionally?
M. S. Fowle: I do at times think that too many are distracted by our gaming consoles and computers, to which I am no exception. But every once in a while I hear friends or colleagues talking about how much their kids love to read, actual books even. And watching my son obsess over his own books, even if he is so young, gives me hope. But we can’t ignore the fact that technology has opened a lot of doors to get more people reading. Whether its on their computer or their Kindle or what have you, as long as they’re reading then I’m all for it. And I could never be discouraged from writing. As you need air to breathe, I need writing to keep me balanced and sane.
Emily Guido: In my humble opinion, readers are readers and in my lifetime it will never fade away. People like to escape in their minds to a world that is colored and framed by the author. Yes, I know there are tons of TV-aholics and Movie-aholics… so what? It doesn’t bother me. The people who want to read are reading and the others can do as they wish. Naturally, I’m not going to sit here and say I don’t care if people read my book or not! That would be silly. Of course, I want people to read my books! However, as my husband keeps telling me, “Emily, it only takes one; one person to read “Charmeine,” one person to like “Charmeine,” one person to tell others how they enjoyed “Charmeine,” one person to recommend “Charmeine.” It only takes one person and the news about “Charmeine” will grow.” I am always in a twist wondering what people think about “Charmeine.” However, I just keep my head above water and use my book friends for support and guidance. They, my wonderful friends, are my lifeline and I love them to death!
6.) Are there any books that you’ve read that really shine in your memory or that you remember for any particular reason? Do you think those works or those authors have influenced your writing in any particular way?
M. S. Fowle: One book that really influenced my writing was Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot. It was my first vampire novel and it left me awake in bed for hours in fear and wonder. King opened my eyes to the darker side of fantasy, as well as some new genres: science fiction and horror. The First Night would actually fall under all three of these genres.
But to be completely honest, my absolute favorite book is The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino about a rebellious young boy from the 18th century who decides he’d rather live the rest of his life in the trees than with his noble and often sadistic family. It was required reading in my high school English class and I loved every page.
Not a Stephen King fan but I really liked Salem’s Lot too. And it’s often like that, isn’t it? It’s the books that are compulsory reading in school that linger with us for ever! What about you, Emily?
Emily Guido: Of course the first paranormal book I read was Bram Stoker’s “Dracula!” I was way too young to read it but I found it on the shelves at the Public Library when I was a kid and I just had to keep coming back after school every day to read it in snippets because my mother would have never allowed me to read it! I do remember the Diana Gabaldon “Outlander” series. It took me a year to read them, and I was hopelessly in love with the hero Jamie Fraser! I loved him and just couldn’t get enough of him. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s, “Frankenstein,” was another that I just fell in love with. I am sorry, but the ‘Creature’ was so broken and in a way, I love broken characters, they are so juicy. Heathcliff, the character from Emily Brontë’s, “Wuthering Heights” is my all-time favorite twisted and broken character! I so want to comfort and help Heathcliff; he is so damaged by love, rejection, prejudice and hate; then he is warped by it all! I think all the writers I have read influenced my work. That is why I loved making my characters who and what they are, I just think it is so wonderful to open a door to a new possibility or plot.
7.) I’ve personally often felt that fantasy is a pretty difficult genre to write since you’re limited only by your imagination and yet have to sound believable to your readers. Do you think it’s easier or harder to be a fantasy writer?
Emily Guido: Fantasy is great for me. But in a way, I don’t care if it is fantasy or not, if it helps the story or if it is how I see it, then it is the way I write it. Do I make it sound believable? No, of course not! No one is going to believe my fantasy world exists, but you have to make it on the fringe of common belief. Like a couple of my characters from “Charmeine,” are Shane and Sandra. In the novel, they served in the US War in Iraq. I had to make sure they were on the fringe of believable. Just on the fringe. They needed to have those skills and characteristics learned in the US Army and being in harm’s way for extended period of time. I guess for me, being a fantasy writer is a joy because the writing can go wherever your mind tells it to.
M. S. Fowle: I think it’s more about who you are. Are you a realist or a surrealist? I don’t see fantasy as a difficult genre to write because our imaginations don’t really have to have limits. Of course, I think there are some parameters you may have to write within to keep it believable for readers, but you can invent a whole new world with all new rules if you want to.
8.) Tell us something about your works.
M. S. Fowle: Nora’s Sun is a post-apocalyptic science fiction short story about a young wife and mother who loses her family in a world war against a humanoid alien species, the Merus, that has invaded Earth. Despite having been a simple woman with little desire for much more, readers meet her as a merciless soldier fearlessly taking on the Merus after they snatch up her young son. It’s the first story I’ve written from a mother’s perspective.
My second book, The First Night is Book One of The First series, in which we meet Alex and her team of young militant friends as they hunt down Chimeras, genetically engineered monsters created by a wealthy and powerful corporation called Odin. It’s not until Alex meets Zeke that she learns Odin’s been making Chimeras to exterminate him and his kind, as they are the origin of the myths and folklore of vampires. Just don’t ever call them such a thing. They are only respectfully known as the First, for they have lived in this world “long since before the dawn of man, when the world knew only darkness.”
The First Blood (Book Two) will be out very soon, so just follow me on wordpress.com or Facebook for updates.
Wow! Sci-fi meets fantasy … something for everybody! And, Emily, what about the Light-bearer series?
Emily Guido: “The Light-Bearer Series” is really a set of novels centering around two very star-crossed, hopelessly in love people, Tabbruis and Charmeine. They are total and complete opposites from one another. Tabbruis is a blood-hunter who meets Charmeine who is a light-bearer. Blood-hunters and light-bearers are supposed to kill each other because one is from Heaven and one is from Hell! They are repulsed by each other. However, when they meet… Tabbruis and Charmeine are anything but repulsed! They are such polar opposites that they attract like magnets! Once they find each other, they struggle to stay together. Also there are tons of twists and turns. Nothing is certain for their future accept that they love each other and their family! The series of novels I plan to write are about those struggles and how their love multiplies. Tabbruis and Charmeine create a family of love and acceptance for all, no matter how unconventional they may be, all while they battle the Evil minions of Lucifer on Earth. I do include Heavenly and Hellish aspects from modern religion; however, the novels are not about religion. It is about love… pure, perfect and steadfast.
M. S. Fowle: Thank you both so much for this opportunity! I love that you love to read so much and the world needs that kind of passion for it.
And I’d like to offer Emily my best wishes on her endeavors as well. I can’t wait to read your interview!
We’d like to thank both, Mel and Emily, for taking the time our for this. Thank you very much, ladies! We hope you write heaps more books and someday some other writers say that the characters you created have influenced them!