Monday, January 23, 2012

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, FEATHER STONE

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR OF
"THE GUARDIAN'S WILDCHILD"
FEATHER STONE


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First, I must say thank you for allowing Great Minds to interview you and secondly, after reading your Bio you are an amazing woman! First I want to know more about your novel "The Guardian's Wildchild" tell us more about it and give us some insight into your writing process.

Thank you for those glowing comments about me. I’m just an ordinary woman. I simply have had too much energy and able to channel it in positive ways. Having a zest to learn and create has been something I have shared with my mother.

The Guardian’s Wildchild came into being following an intense paranormal experience. Normally my experiences with the paranormal have been quiet ‘wow, that was nice’ events, then forgotten or filed away as a pleasant memory. However, this event had been so powerful that it followed me for days. I decided that in order to silence the memory, the best thing to do was to write about it. Thinking that it would take only a few pages, I sat down at the keyboard and described the experience of the time/space travel, a journey to a ship on the ocean.

I wrote about the experience of physically standing beside a man in uniform, the captain of the ship; of seeing the ocean and the moon on the waves; of the man’s energy, quiet and strong, and troubled. No words were spoken but I felt we were deeply connected, a bond that transcended time and space. As I wrote, I asked questions. The why’s and what’s, where’s and how’s to gain insight into the man’s life. With each question, I received the answer. I typed on and on, keeping pace with the inspiration and information as it came, hour after hour until I was exhausted.

I’d written over 1000 pages. That now had to be reduced to 500. I then reduced it further to 277 pages. That’s that painful part. I learned a lot about saying something in one sentence that had been in a paragraph or a page. I learned how to decide what added to the story and what was just fluff. My ego to a beating.
You know, even with all that time and energy put into writing the story, the feelings of my encounter with the captain on the ship has remained powerful. In fact, while I was writing I’d often turn to the main characters and get their feedback. Especially about the ending, being that it’s quite bizarre. Many times I felt it was Sam and Sidney who were actually writing the story. You may be surprised to know that when I think of Captain Waterhouse, I still see him at the ship’s railing. He is still quiet and strong. But now he turns to me and smiles. He is pleased.

I have often heard that Canada is not only beautiful but perhaps one of the lesser polluted areas in the world. Tell us more about your home and one of the things you enjoy most about it.

It is beautiful but I see beauty in every country. Desert, rainforests, mountains, even swamp land – all have beauty. The beauty can’t always been seen until you stop, close your eyes, and after silencing the mental chatter, feel the energy. Then open your eyes again and see with uncluttered eyes, an open mind. I love to sit on a mountain ridge as much in a desert landscape.

Canada has its pollution problems. I’m sure many people have heard about the issues we are having with the tar sands operations. The Great Lakes are a disaster. Our Polar Bears are in trouble up at Churchill. Grizzlies and other wildlife are being hunted to near extinction. And we have concerns about the salmon population. We are grateful for our world renowned scientist, Dr. David Suzuki, who has been passionate in educating people of the consequences of mishandling our lands and resources worldwide. We better smarten up soon!
What I enjoy most about Canada? That’s a tough one.

Freedom comes to mind. The people, too. I can travel with width and breadth of this vast country and feel at home. I’ve travelled extensively across the provinces, the North West Territories, Yukon, and always felt welcomed. Although we have different heritage, a variety of religions and language, being Canadian has unified us deeply. I think we are unified not in the ways of beliefs about politics or culture. We are unified in our love of the land, its beauty and diversity. We stand on guard for thee, as our national anthem says.

As an author how do you come up with ideas for novels and is there a certain way you come up with names for your characters?

So far, I have one published novel – my first attempt. That’s incredible since my many ambitions hadn’t included being a writer. I thought The Guardian’s Wildchild would be one my great achievement in the world of literature. However, one needs to be open to their path taking unexpected turns. No sooner than The Guardian’s Wildchild was published I once again was overwhelmed with another story. It is now half completed in the first draft – soooo looking forward to the next many months or years of research, slugging it out at the keyboard and my ego taking a back seat. It’s true, though. I do enjoy it. Not sure my husband appreciates my long absences, messy house, and sandwiches.

I didn’t go looking for the second novel. If anyone out there can explain why I suddenly must write a story that takes place in the Middle East, I’m listening. It’s intense. So, like the first novel, I obey the inner guidance. It works. I trust my spirit guides, my intuition, and my ability to create something special. Key word is ‘trust’, so important in our lives.

Coming up with a character‘s name is challenging. Not any name will do. Much of what I do is listen to my gut. So I will mentally rattle off name after name. When I get the mental ‘ding, ding’ the search is over. In the Guardian’s Wildchild, many of the names have some relevance to the subject of water (Davenport, Waterhouse, Bridge, Paddles).

You mention knitting afghan's and my grandmother did this a lot when she was able. (I want one by the way ;-)) Where did you learn how or are you self taught?

If you would like one of my afghans, I will happily send it to you. I have several and don’t know what to do with them. Knitting is one of my activities where I appear to be doing nothing.

However, unseen by all observers, I’m secretly creating more than a warm blanket. With each knit and purl, my mind is going over dialogue, plot, subplot, scene descriptions, facial expressions, character development, on and on. I will have to admit that I have had to undo several rows of knitting when I wasn’t paying enough to the knitting instructions.
My mother was a great teacher, especially all the arts that ladies in previous generations were expected to excel at. This was a challenge for her as I prefer to be out doors. Also because I’m left handed and she was right handed (poor lass).

You remind me a lot of my stepmother, she is an 'on the go' type of woman, but you also mention taking time to relax and sit in silence. When do you find the time to do this and where is your favorite place to go when you do?

I like to sit in silence in a forest. The energy there is both peaceful and vibrant with a myriad of life, thriving yet incredibly patient and accepting of each moment. Lessons for humanity. Digging in my flower beds is another time of relaxation. Stroking my cat’s fur and listening to him purr is also therapeutic. There is always time to relax, if only for a moment. Living in the moment is something I endeavor to become better at. Life becomes a spiritual experience when one awakens to living in the moment.

I have often argued with people over the existence of the paranormal and I'm glad to have found someone with a like mind! Can you tell us about other experiences that you've had in your life that has led you to feel as strongly as you do about it?

I could write pages about my experiences, but I will contain my enthusiasm. To begin, I met my spirit guide when I was about 7. It was an incredible event, and too difficult to describe. The English language is too limiting. Many experiences followed, small but powerful like the seed of a rose. The next major experience occurred when I was drowning in a lake. Exhausted from frantic struggling, I sank to the lake bed and accepted death. Again, I heard my guide’s voice calmly say, “If you stand, you can breathe.” Sure enough. I stood and my nose was just above the surface of the water.

Most of my paranormal events occurred spontaneously. Gradually I learned how to initiate these event. One lovely afternoon I was engaged in the breathing exercises to contact my guides from the Light. Suddenly and clearly I heard a voice of a guide that responded to my request. It was my dad. He had died two years previous but I had not expected him. Not even thought about him for some time. It was a wonderful experience.

Meditation is something a lot of people find relaxing, does this tie in or help at all with your writing process?

Meditation is powerful in the way it promotes a healthy mind and body. Balance is important in our wellbeing. And by that I mean in all aspects of our life. The body’s systems need to be in balance. Your mind needs balance, rest and learning activity. Your spirit needs balance in socializing with like-minded friends and quiet time alone. I have studied Buddhism and learned about finding the Middle Way. All of this lays a fertile ground for creativity.

But, if you do nothing else to ensure your complete well-being, I advise everyone to meditate. It takes practice. At first I was very discouraged, especially since I have chronic tinnitus. The ringing in my ears never stop. However, with daily practice going from five minutes to half an hour over a period of a year, I can stop the useless chatter in my mind. In so doing, I become open to my connection with the Higher Power and creativity, to answers to my troubles, to peace.

What other projects do you have in the works and when can we expect another novel from you?

Oh, you’re after all my secrets, aren’t you! Yes, a second novel is in the works. I have a ton of research to do as it involves the Middle East and an understanding of Islamic Law. I am reading books, meeting with an Imam and talking with Muslim people. I have discovered so much about the Afghan people and how hard they work, and risk, making their lives better, even though they have so little and suffered so much. The Middle East has a very complicated history, especially given that area of the world is ancient.

Unfortunately, much of the world has focused only on the extremists and terrorists in that part of the Middle East. I would like to tell you a short story on why I was inspired to write this book, the working title being, “Cursed Angel.”

A few years ago, after the tragedy of 911 in New York, I was driving home from work. It was a typical grey Canadian winter day. I noticed an older woman walking on the sidewalk in the same direction I was driving. Her head was down, focused on her steps, fearing she might slip on the ice. Her gait was awkward as though each step was painful. Each breath was evident by puffs of frost from her mouth. She was dressed in clothing I’d seen worn by our northern Inuit women – simple, practical long skirt and coat and boots.

I hesitated for a minute, but then I stopped my vehicle slightly ahead of her and lowered the passenger window. When she reached my vehicle I called to her, “Let me give you a lift.” She looked at me puzzled. Then looking around and down the long street ahead, she approached the passenger door. She appeared frightened when checking out the interior of my vehicle. She saw that I was alone. “It’s okay,” I tried to encourage her. “Come in.”

After another moment, she grabbed the handle and opened the door. I smiled at her and she climbed aboard. “Where are you going?” I asked. We were at the outer edge of my city, beyond any homes. She shook her head. “Where can I take you?” I asked.

She brought up her hands and waved them at me, “No speak English,” she said apprehensively.

“Oh, okay,” I said nodding. With my hands I motioned what direction does she wanted to go. She motioned for me to continue driving in the same direction. I proceeded, driving slowly so as to not alarm her and to be ready to change directions. I continued to chatter away, hoping it might make her feel safe. Each question I asked was received with the same answer, “No speak, no.” I kept driving for several more blocks and she indicated for me to turn down another street, then another. She knew where she was and her destination.
Finally I hit on a question she could answer. I asked, “Where are you from?”

She replied, “Afghanistan.”

I was shocked. I repeated her answer, “Afghanistan?”

“Yes,” she said with pride,” finally smiling.

I smiled back. I was astonished.

I dropped her off in a parking lot where her friends were waiting for her. I offered my hand to shake hers and wish her well. She took my hand but leaned over and gave me a gentle kiss on my check. Then she was gone.

All the way home I was in a state of shock. What were the odds I’d pick up a woman from a country for whom I’d been praying? For the people whose lives’ were so horribly troubled with continuous warfare. The civilians were as much traumatized by corrupt governments and terrorism as the American’s had suffered on the nightmare of November 11th.

The difference being Americans had the world coming to their aid with support and sympathy. The civilian Afghan women had nothing, poverty and no foreseeable future. I prayed for hope, prayed that in the dark night, they would be comforted by the Light of the One Most High. I even prayed for the dark souls orchestrating the terror that they might be open to receive the Light.

What other genres have you thought about writing in and when you read what genres do you like most?

I’m not a genre person or writer. I read all kinds of books, fiction and non-fiction. When I want to relax and enjoy light reading, I’ll pick up a romance novel. When I want adventure, I’ll read books like Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series. I’ve read non-fiction about people who have been in extreme situations, like Sir Ernest Shackleton’s account of survival.

The Guardian’s Wildchild was difficult for me to pinpoint as one genre. I never intended it to be a romance novel. It started out as a murder mystery, then action/adventure of Sidney hoping to stop Madame, and paranormal of the Guardian’s mystic lifestyle of time/space travel. But you know what happens when a girl meets a guy, and the more she tries not to like him, well you know how it goes. Well, then it also became a romance novel. The Guardian’s Wildchild is all things to all readers, whatever genre you prefer.

Do you have any advice you'd like to share with other authors?

Its work, lots of work if you want to do a great job. And don’t give up with the first rejection. The Guardian’s Wildchld was rejected three times. Be prepared after it’s been published to dedicate a lot of time to marketing programs, websites, and book signings. The upside is that if you are passionate about the story you are writing, it will be a success.

When I finished writing The Guardian’s Wildchild, when it was ready to give it to the world, I had learned a lot about myself. It was an incredible journey. I had accepted that it may never be published, and I was okay with that. The time spent with Sidney Davenport and Captain Waterhouse borders on the sacred. I had taken pieces that were from my soul and allowed those pieces to become something more and different, better. I had become changed, better. It was enough.

Here is a gift. If you read my book AND place a detailed review on Amazon.com and Goodreads, I will send to you a gift – a coffee mug with The Guardian’s Wildchild graphics.(Please be aware this offer is good for the month of February 2012 only).[image]

Thank you so much for listening.


Feather Stone
http://www.featherstoneauthor.blogspot.com/



THE BAD BOY/GIRL YEARS


[image]   Tell me honestly folks. Have you ever fallen for the bad boy/girl, the one you know is poison, can't take home to meet your mother. But, oh damn, it sooo much fun to be wild and a bit crazy.I had a year of nothing but bad boys. Now, they weren't bad to the core, no jail time - that I know of. Well, except for maybe one. Yep, momma never met him. He and I got into more trouble in one year than, well, you get the picture. You probably don't want to hear about that, right?

You do? Shame on you (snicker). Let me give you a summary of just one night. Its midnight, and bad boy Hank and I are heading fifty miles past the city limits to who knows where. Didn't seem to be a big deal. The car breaks down. Motor has burned up cause the oil leaked out. Did I mention this is my car? We were always using MY CAR!

Anyway, Hank and I went scrounging around the back yard of homes along the highway looking for a can of oil. Hank figured no one would mind if we lifted one can of oil (first hint I'm really in BIG trouble, visions of my hands gripped onto prison bars). After a half hour of, yes, trespassing with the intent to abscond with a can of oil, Hank was tired. We walked down the highway to a hotel. You know the kind. One light bulb hanging from the ceiling, musty smells, curtains missing hooks, proprietor with a week's worth of stubble.

My boyfriend, Hank, bless his tiny black heart was oh so willing to pay for the night's rent. Of course, he figured I would understand that I should share the room with him. There was just one teensy problem. I had this policy, you see. The first man who qualified to put a ring on my finger would have the pleasure of .... you know. So dearest Hank slept in the room while I sat in the 'lobby' working up my nerve to call momma.

Hank was just one of a string of bad boys. Hank was good for a few beers when he was in town. The rest were one night stands - me standing in my doorway at the end of the date saying, "NO!" It didn't take me long to figure out that the night would end with me getting my exercise wrestling with some lush in his front car seat. Wrestling to get his hands off of me and making a quick dash to my apartment.

I figured eventually I'd meet someone worth the expense of clothes and makeup. It called for a new strategy. While on a date with the current bad boy, I'd do a bit of social networking and get next week’s date lined up. After all, I knew that the guy I was with wouldn't be back as soon as he learned about my policy. Usually took one night for the smart ones to figure that out.

After a year of getting my black belt in front seat wrestling matches, I quit dating. I had my fill of bad boys. I went cold turkey for almost an entire year. Cold turkey? Funny! A girlfriend felt sorry for me sitting home every Saturday night and invited me to her house party. Ended up getting a ride home with her friend, a turkey farmer. A year later, he put the ring on my finger.

Okay, it's your turn. What is your bad boy story? Come on. Confession time!


Read more:http://www.greatmindsthinkaloud.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=interviews&thread=1025&page=1#ixzz1kIh0uCsS

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