Wendy: Thank you very much for having me, Michael, and thank you for the compliment. Yes, I knew from the get-go that a good cover was paramount. I was very lucky to have found Catherine Nodet to do the artwork. I found her on DevianART.
Michael: I only have a few poignant questions for you today, but I am really looking forward to your answers. I want my blogger friends to get a good feel for your book. I know they will love it, judging by what I've seen so far.
Wendy: Thanks again and I shall do my best.
Michael: When did you start writing Fire's Daughter and how long did it take you to finish the final draft?
Wendy: I'm afraid to tell you when I first started it because I had about two pages written and then put it away for a good number of years. Put it this way, when I wrote those two pages my kids were small and when I took them out and dusted them off, my kids were grown. But now we're getting dangerously close to talking about age, and who wants to do that! But seriously, I would always think about this particular story, I even knew exactly how I wanted to end it, even though I wrote a whole other novel first. I have always been drawn to the medieval-ish, Robin Hood-ish period of history, but that wasn't quite good enough. The fantasy aspect lets me create my own world with my own rules. It's awesome. So, once I did dust those few pages off, all I wanted to do was finish it because I really yearned to write this story, but as you know, life happens so I worked on it when I could and then made a real push the last two years. Mind you, a lot of the last two years was spent researching agents and riding on the query-go-round.
Wendy: Before I even finished the first book I thought that there could easily be more to the story, plus, I was in love with characters and didn't want to leave them. One day I opened a notebook, thinking I would just write a couple of paragraphs to get me started, but that turned into several pages that just spilled out of me. Now the book is more than half done. I'm not sure how to describe the other two books without spoiling something in the first. Suffice it to say, the second book is titled Fire's Children and I'll let you make of that what you will. The one thing I can tell you is that all three books would never be classified by an agent or a traditional publisher as being precisely the same genre - I do cross a few lines and muddy up the water a bit by the end of the third book, but that's what's so cool about imagination and having complete control over your work. I can guarantee that you won't just get a re-hash of the same plot in book 2 and 3.
Michael: Now that's interesting ... I like that you're doing your other novels as a cross over. Wendy, I find the premise of your novel is quite intriguing. The heroine, Zehdra Kilgam is forced into an arranged marriage and also has a special gift. Could you tell us more about her? What is her focus? Her dreams? And especially what is her unique gift?
Wendy: Zehdra is in quite a lot of turmoil when we first meet her. Fiercely independent, she wants nothing to do with her betrothed or her inherited gift of fire manipulation which has just begun to surface. Her goal is to thwart her marriage, master her gift before it destroys her, and find a way to be with the man she really wants, who is in fact, the man she doesn't want - or so she thinks. That's all I can say about that. There's a lot that goes on in this book that Zehdra is not privy to and I love that. You, the reader get to gasp and go "oh no", and poor Zehdra is oblivious. Did I say I love that?
Michael: Yes, you did, but that's okay, I love your enthusiasm. What about her future husband, Gilliam Bellvane, how does he feel about her? Why is he agreeing to the marriage? Does he have an ulterior motive?
Wendy: His sole reason for undertaking the marriage at the beginning of the story is to align himself with the house of Kilgarn. He wants to marry her for her bloodline plain and simple, even though he himself is not looking forward to the pairing. An enemy has reared its head and Gillam knows that he cannot defeat the coming threat without strong allies. Neither he nor Zehdra have set eyes on one another before. Let's just say things change when they finally do meet and Gillam finds himself deep into a deception that he might not be able to crawl out of in order to win Zehdra over.
Michael: Ah, a bit of mystery.... I like that! One question has been gnawing at me since I saw the cover. We have been blogging buddies for quite some time now, and I know you are a strong and determined woman. I have a sneaking suspicion that you share similar qualities with your heroin. What specifically do you and Zehdra have in common? Are you and she one in the same? Do you also have a special gift that has been handed down to you?
Wendy: Wow. No, I don't think we are one and the same. Zehdra is much braver than I, perhaps she is my alter ego; the woman I aspire to be. The red hair was a must - I always wanted red hair. Actually I have it now, but it comes out of a bottle! And the eyes - I knew her eyes had to be green - mine are blue. As to special gifts - if I have one, I don't know what it is. I've always joked that I was a jack (or Jill) of all trades but a master of none! Maybe others would have a different opinion.
Michael: Fascinating answers Wendy. We all now have a very clear picture of the world you created and the woman behind it. Thank you so much for dropping by today. I really enjoyed hearing about your new novel and I am sure many of us will be getting a copy to find out more.