-excited squeal- Welcome to the first post of Vivian's "Special Feature Showcase"!!! Today, I'm so honoured and excited to welcome author Gwynneth White to Vivaciously, Vivian for an interview and a peek at her upcoming novel "Pledged", which will be released on September 1st, 2012.
Author:: Gwynneth White
Issued by:: Swallow Press
Summary:: Everyone has a soul mate. But what do you do when your soul mate would rather give his soul to the demons than be with you?
Seventeen-year-old Erin has a problem. Seth has been hers forever, but now an ancient promise is tearing him away. And Reuel, the demon to whom the promise was made, will stop at nothing to force Seth to forsake Erin and to worship him.
How can Erin win against a pledge so binding that it has damned countless others to the same fate she and Seth will face if Reuel wins – an eternity alone?
The answer lies in the past. To find it, Erin and Seth must risk all, travelling back in time to a dangerous world where love is forbidden, and life – and death – hang on a promise.
Follow Erin and Seth as they travel to ancient Shenaya to break the pledge that has plagued their families for millennia. Caught in a war between the Angelic Guardians and the Gefallen, the disembodied dead, they must fight to keep their souls in tact and their love untainted.
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I have spent my entire life living in a parallel universe of make-believe characters, only coming back to reality for long enough to check that no one burnt the house down in my absence. A few years ago I decided to commit some of those ‘friends’ and their stories to paper. The Soul Wars Saga is the result of those efforts. Before that I co-authored two non-fiction travel books – The Complete Guide to 4x4 Trails and The Ultimate 4x4 Guide. Both books became instant best-sellers in South Africa where I live. And before that even, I studied a degree in African History and Politics at the University of Stellenbosch. When I’m not writing, I am a wife to Andrew and a mom to Stephanie, Erin, and Kate, our teenage daughters. My family and I live in a small town outside Cape Town with two dogs, a cat, a horse, and some neglected fish. Now that you know a little about me, I would love to get to know you.
Please befriend me at:
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AUTHOR INTERVIEW TIME!!!
Vivi: Hello Gwynneth, and welcome!
Gwynneth: Vivian, first off, let me thank you for having me on Vivaciously, Vivian – and for being the first author you interview. I really appreciate it. Now to your questions.
Vivi: No, not at all! The pleasure's mine, and yes! First question is...In Pledged, Seth and Erin travel to a place called "ancient Shenaya". Where or how did you come up with the setting for this story? Is it based on a particular place or myth?
Just as well you don’t have Erin answering this question. She would give you a quick lecture on the difference between myth and reality, pointing out in no uncertain terms that Shenaya is a REAL place – and don’t you ever forget it. Seth would go into instant denial – just mentioning Shenaya fills him dread. But even he is too honest to claim that Shenaya is a myth . . .
Hidden in the shifting sands of the Kalahari desert in southern Africa is a Lost City. The Great Farini, the man who first found it in 1886, wrote a book describing in detail how he came upon an ancient city built from ‘cyclopean’ blocks of stone. Set in its heart was an altar on which people offered sacrifice to their gods. Sadly, Farini left no reliable mapping coordinates to get there. That doesn’t mean that countless others haven’t tried to find it – and failed. The Kalahari hides her secrets well. But, as Erin and Seth would tell you, unless the angelic Guardians or the demonic Gefallen lead you to Shenaya, you will never find it. Having a diamond Seer-Stone to guide you definitely helps too.
Okay. I see you thinking, ‘She hasn’t answered my question.’ Since my earliest age I’ve had a fascination with lost civilizations (at one point I seriously considered archeology as a career. Instead I studied African history and politics). So when it came to world-building for Shenaya, I merely looked into the ancient civilizations of southern Africa where I live. There are a wealth of unexplained ruins dotting this part of the world, and as I know the countryside so well, it seemed logical to set ancient Shenaya here.
Vivi: That is really cool! I can't wait to read Pledged and "see" your Shenaya for myself ! Now, you often include very amusing conversations tossed between Seth and Erin on your blog! As a writer, did it take you long to create these two people so vividly in order to do that?
Seth and Erin never leave me. In my mind, they are living-breathing people. My family and I even talk about them around the dinner table. So I suppose it’s easy to just toss off what I know they would they say in any given situation.
Vivi: When you stumble upon a writer's block, what helps you leap over a difficult barrier during your writing process?
Over many years of writing I’ve learnt that there is no such thing as ‘writer’s block’. Not for me at least. It is better described as ‘plotter’s block’. And when it strikes, regardless of the time of day, I climb into bed, pull the covers over my head, and I lie there until I’ve worked through the plotting issue that has me grounded. It works almost every time.
Vivi: First time hearing that, but I like the way you think of the barrier! To have some fun with Erin and Seth,
if a reader were to be able to spend a day with either Seth or Erin and getting to know them, and have your characters choose a location, where would each of them choose?
Gwynneth: This is easy!
If you had caught up with Seth before he went to Shenaya, you’d have hung out at his home in New York - he shares a tiny apartment in Brooklyn with his older brother Kyle. You’d have spent the day shooting hoops, watching old movies and eating pizza. But since Shenaya that’s all changed. With Erin safely welded to his side, Seth would invite you to Cape Town (He’s grown to like southern Africa). The three of you would climb Table Mountain (Seth’s athletic, but he’d have to drag Erin, huffing and puffing, up after him). Then you’d have dinner – still pizzas or burgers- followed by an evening at the theatre. Erin does drama and she loves cultural things. Seth would make sure you got a balance of that too. After all, he and Erin are soul mates – a truth he learnt at great personal cost. And Seth is a negotiator – keeping the people he loves happy is important to him.
Had you chosen Erin, she would have taken you to London. You (and Seth) would have yawned your way through the Natural History Museum, followed by the British Museum, then the Victoria and Albert, with maybe a few art galleries thrown in before Seth took pity on you (and himself) and suggested dinner. More pizzas or burgers because now it’s Erin’s turn to compromise. (She would have preferred a meal of real English food served in a pub). The evening would be spent at a rock concert. Coldplay. Or Muse. Maybe The Killers if they were in town.
Gwynneth: To be honest, I didn’t think a book about soul mates, angels, demons, time travel and ancient civilizations would find a ready audience amongst adults. But my teenage friends (I have a bunch of them through my daughters) all told me they loved the idea. And so the book took flight. I am now sold on young adult fantasy because teenagers have such open minds, and are so willing to believe.
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And there you have it! There will be a giveaway coming soon, so stay tuned as we inch closer and closer to joining Seth and Erin as they travel deep into the world of Shenaya! Thank you again to Gwynneth, for coming over and answering those questions for us! -applause-
And thanks to all of you too for reading and joining us for the first post of Vivi's Special Feature Showcase!!!