Saturday, June 16, 2012

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, CHEREE ALSOP

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR OF, "THE SILVER SERIES," CHEREE ALSOP



Hello Cheree, thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview. It is a pleasure to have the chance to get to know more about you and your writing. First tell us about your newest novel and why you decided to write it.

Hi Kitty, thank you so much for the interview. I love your site and find myself adding droves of books to my TBR list when I read your reviews. The authors you showcase are very talented, and I’m honored to be included among them.

My newest novel is Azure, book five of the Silver Series. The Silver Series is about teenage werewolves trying to survive in today’s world. I’ve always been intrigued with wolves and the legends associated with werewolves. The thought of the dangers and challenges of being a werewolf along with the trials and joys so close to the surface in teenage life drew the stories to my mind as fast as I could write them. In book five, Azure is about Vance who saves a human girl from his werewolf pack despite the danger her presence brings. In wolf packs, wolves choose one mate for life. The devotion they show to their mate and pack is selfless and self-sacrificing. I felt that the same things would apply to werewolves; Vance is torn between protecting the werewolves and choosing the ‘safe’ path, or following his heart despite the risk. Here’s the book blurb:

Azure, the fifth book of the Silver Series, is about an alpha werewolf who rescues a human from the vengeful grasp of his pack. Nora is the only person who is not afraid of Vance’s size or strength, and in return she gains his respect. When Vance is pushed to the edge of survival, his heart is torn between loving Nora and a werewolf who befriends him with the kindness that is greatly lacking in his life.
Azure is a story of strength beyond the endurance of the body. In a world turned upside down by violence, the choice between what the heart wants and the safest solution can be the most important decision of all.

Tell us about some of your hobbies, things you like to do in your spare time.

I have two-year-old twin boys and a nine-year-old daughter who are the very epitome of joy. I spend most of my time chasing them around the backyard, reading stories, being silly, and just enjoying being a mom. In the other few moments of the day, I write, read, and escape with my husband on motorcycle rides. I play the bass for my husband’s band, clean sporadically, and take my daughter to her acting classes. When everyone else falls asleep, my husband and I watch more than our share of television. We are currently huge fans of Survivor, How I Met Your Mother, and Justified. I love going to movies, especially movies with soundtracks that sweep me away. My favorite movies are The Last Samurai, Titanic, Braveheart, Avatar, and many others I probably don’t have room to list. I also love superhero movies like The Avengers with heart, courage, and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.

What is the one most rewarding thing in your life right now?

My family. I am so blessed to have a family that laughs together, shares hobbies and interests, and that goes on adventures anywhere and everywhere. Without my family, my dreams would still be dreams instead of reality. To honestly say that I am living my happiest dreams is the full, completely amazing truth.

When reading for pleasure do you tend to stick to the same genre you write or do you like to read other genres as well?

I like to read other genres than what I write to keep things fresh. It gives me new perspectives on character development, relationships, different points of view, and the chance to stay current on what is popular. I love all of the dystopian fantasies coming out; I enjoy reading westerns, steampunk, and the classics, along with anything else that catches my eye. I am currently in love with the Regency era, especially Sarah Eden’s books.

When was it that you realized writing was what you wanted to do with your life?

I realized I wanted to write when I was quite young. I used to climb a tree with a book and stay up there until I either finished the book or it was too dark to keep reading, then I continued under my covers at night with a flashlight. The first book I ever wrote was a Western hand-written in a notebook when I was fifteen. It showed me the exhilarating experience of developing my own worlds and characters.

When can we expect your next book out and can you give us a sneak peek?

The next book I’m working on is Mist, the second book of Shadows. I plan to release it in late July/early August. As far as a sneak peak, here’s a scene that’s still in the rough stages of editing:

I stepped into the cell. My eyes took a moment to focus in the darkness after the bouncing light of the torch. My ears strained for any sound of movement as my Duskie eyesight slowly made out the form crouched against the far wall. His breathing sounded harsh to my ears, and as I drew near I saw a dark trail of blood crusted down his shirt from the wound in his shoulder.

He sat with his head lowered and his knees up. His hair, stark white against the dull rocks, was pulled back in a ponytail. His elbow rested on his knee and his hand held his shoulder, though his grip had slipped and his fingers merely rested against the wound. I shouldn’t have been surprised that the guards didn’t try to bandage him, but seeing anyone in such a condition made my heart turn sideways in my chest.
“I’m here to clean your shoulder,” I said softly. He didn’t move or make any sign that he heard me. I took a calming breath and spoke louder, “The Prince sent me to see that you were tended to.”
He still didn’t move. I pushed away my caution and crouched in front of him. I touched his knee and his head lifted slowly until pale gray eyes stared into mine. He blinked and recognition dawned in them. A slight smile touched the corners of his mouth even as pain creased his brow. His silence unnerved me but I was determined not to let it show.
Stefad’s warning rang heavy in my ears, and the fact that I was alone in the cell with an assassin wasn’t lost on me, but there was something in his eyes. I didn’t know what a killer looked like, but nothing of the cold ruthlessness I expected reflected in his gray gaze. Instead, I saw someone who looked world-weary and in pain far beyond the wound in his shoulder.
He was younger than I had first guessed, close to my age with lines around his mouth that deepened when he smiled as though he did it often. His knuckles bore scars of battle and a faint white line ran along one of his cheekbones. His skin was gray with white jagged Duskie marks like lightning across his cheeks and around his eyes. His skin was tanned and weathered with travel, and there was a shadow to his eyes as though things he had seen scarred his thoughts. He studied me quietly and I turned away from the intensity of his gaze.
I set my pack down and pulled out clean bandages, rags, thread, needles, a flask of clean water, and a salve I had made of pressed lavender, mint leaves, evergreen needles, and the yellow flowers of the heal-all that grew in the Queen’s gardens. The ointment stung, but it chased away infection and helped reduce fevers.
The assassin watched me set the items out carefully on the soft hide I used to keep them from touching the floor. I mixed the ointment to make sure it wasn’t too thick, folded a few bandages, threaded the needle, and poured water into my tiny bowl. When I couldn’t do anything else without obviously stalling, I took a breath and glanced up at him.
“You don’t have to do this,” he said. His voice was gentle with a soft lilt that made the words turn up at the end.
“The Prince sent me-“ I began, but he cut me off with a slight gesture of his hand, opening it palm up as though offering me something.
“I can take care of it myself,” he said in the same gentle cadence. “Where I come from, women don’t wound a man, then heal him.”
I gave an unfeminine snort. “Where I come from, men don’t climb in windows and try to kill women.”
“I didn’t want to kill her, I just,” he winced and held a hand against his bleeding shoulder. When he took his hand away, he glared at the blood that coated his palm, then closed his eyes and set his head back against the wall. “It doesn’t matter anyway. I assume I’m to die soon, so don’t bother.”
He didn’t open his eyes and his words sounded resolute, as though he had already accepted his fate. I put a rag in the water and wrung it out. “They wouldn’t send me to tend a prisoner sentenced to death.”
He opened his eyes again and his gaze lingered on the flask of water. I hesitated, then decided if Prince Axon wanted the man fit to travel, he would heal faster if he wasn’t dehydrated. I picked it up and offered it to him. Surprise showed on his face and he paused, searching my face. I don’t know what he found, but the creases at the corners of his eyes deepened before he accepted the flask. He put it to his lips and drank deeply of the remaining water.
When he handed the flask back, our fingers touched for the briefest second. I put it down quickly and fumbled for a bandage.
“If not death, then what is my sentence?” he asked.
I figured there was no reason to beat around the bush as we would be leaving shortly. “You’re to take us to the Nadarians.”
A laugh escaped him before he could stop himself. He shook his head and looked at me incredulously. “That’s a death sentence for anyone who comes with me.”

Back in your high school career, who was the one teacher you would say made a profound difference in your life, if any?

Mrs. Karen Chandler, my high school band teacher, had a great impact in my life. She entrusted my brother and I as drum majors our senior year. The leadership and dependability I learned in that position helped me gain confidence in myself. I loved leading the band and helping others better appreciate their own abilities. We came out of that experience with many friendships and I feel it helped me learn to reach beyond my comfort zone and stretch myself to greater possibilities.

What dreams do you have for future generations that you'd like to share with others?

That’s a fun question. World peace sounds like a beauty queen answer, but it’s the truth. There are some who say that without conflict, we do not grow, but I believe that our need for discovery and stories waiting beyond the horizon will keep us progressing. If there was true peace, there would be no hunger, no wars, no violence, and no fear that the basics needs of human life will not be met. With those difficulties resolved, the possibilities left to the future are endless.

One off the board question I like to ask, is what are your views as far as 2012, and do you believe in the Mayan Calendar?

The Maya civilization collapsed…I think their calendar was wrong, but it definitely is fodder for a few great stories….As for 2012, I’m very much enjoying it. I’m not a end-of-the-world type, but if it is coming, I’d rather live my life the best I can today without fearing the future.

Finally, do you have any advice you'd like to give to other aspiring authors, also please leave us your links where we can find out more about you.

To other authors I would say believe in yourself, believe in your writing, and take all criticism as constructive. Writing is a profession like any other. It takes plenty of time, education, and patience to learn the craft. Don’t ever give up, and most of all write right now. Don’t wait until you have time ‘later’. Later is just an excuse to keep pushing it back until your ideas are lost. Write now.

I would love to hear from you. Please visit my website at www.chereealsop.com and find me at Goodreads. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Cheree Alsop


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