Saturday, October 8, 2016

Interview With Author Lena Pate

1.      What inspired you to write your book?
My inspiration was my granddaughter.  She was always playing princess, fairy, or rock star.  Her middle name is Alivia which I found very unusual and as unique as she is.  Her intense imagination forms worlds where she can be or do anything she wants.

2.      What is it about?
Princess Alivia discovers that she is not only a sorceress but also the guardian born to halt the returning terror of a black-magic wizard named Abaddon. Along with her beloved pets and familiars, Conall and Erskime, she lives hidden in a cave protected by three hobgoblins and twelve ancient warrior faeries in the town of Brightenbeam. She is brought there to sharpen her skills and to avoid capture by the horrific warlord Guthrie and his black-magic seer Necromanticus. Sent to Clavenburn to learn magic, she becomes best of friends with well-mannered Genevieve, sassy and outspoken Catriona, Dooley the warrior, studious Waverly, and handsome but mischievous Alasdair, while being thwarted by the evil orphan twins Tearlach and Broch, along with their sidekicks.

Headmaster Professor Hesperus Orfeo wears a mysterious pendant similar to the one worn by Falon, head guardian of the faeries. Also on staff is a mystifying school sentinel named Sir Cayden, who is keeping a puzzling secret. Surviving a kidnap attempt, Alivia acquires one of the twelve hidden amulets. During holiday, Cat and Genevieve help Alivia rescue a baby Skye dragon she nicknamed Spitfire. Attempting to return the dragon to his home, they befriend a berg troll named Hernhaugen, who helps them battle bewitched bats and boggarts sent by Necromanticus to steal the Ring of Nature. At the end of the school year, her friends convince Alivia to enter a magical tournament where they learn that teamwork is the strongest magic of all.

From the start, my imagination went into overdrive, imaging a kingdom where alternate forces worked with and against mankind.  Where humans felt it was fate that caused changes in the atmosphere, in our futures, and in history.  Behind the scenes, however an alternate yet existing universe, whose magical decisions caused the changes that form our universe.  Consider a child’s imaginary friend.  The child gives credit to or blame for what they do or how they react by stating that their buddy told them to do did it and that they are to blame.  Alivia was naïve.  Although she grew up knowing that others in her kingdom were different, she accepts them as one of her own.  It isn’t until the battle that she realizes that the magical realm is a real universe whose very existence impacts her own.  She has to then adapt and change to fight for the right to regain her kingdom someday and protect both the existences of mankind and the magical realm. 

3.      What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book?
My hope is that first, this book is able to transport readers back into the dreams of children who are able to release reality for a time and be whatever they want to be.  Secondly, I wish to show that we can’t fix all our problems alone; rather, that there is power in numbers and friendships that ties us together.  It is the binding, no matter how different we are, that gives us the ability to overcome and remain strong and true to ourselves.  Third, I have faith that no matter how different we all are, we contribute to the success of the whole and are worthy of respect, love and understanding.  It is our differences that make us all unique. 

4.      What advice do you have for writers?
Keep pads and pens around you everywhere.  Inspiration rears its head in the strangest places.  It may be an idea, just a description, a word, or even a squiggle that later will turn into a story or a poem.  Imagination doesn’t have to be all glitzy or sweet.  Imagination is sometimes where our nightmares come from.  Both good and bad affects our worlds and our writing.  It is through these differences that our characters take on a form and a life of their own. 

Never stop writing.  If you get blocked, listen to music, take a walk or a drive, sit in a crowded location, or pull up random pictures on the internet.  Then just write about what you see.  Use all your senses to describe how you feel, what do you smell; the textures of life that make a specific thing distinctive.

Don’t give up and never let opinions get you down.  Rather learn from others.  Relook at what you have written as if someone else wrote it and it is your job to critique it.  Join book clubs.  Research thoroughly eras, foods, clothing, soils, foliage, and beliefs.  Jot down what you learn.  Read and decipher other author’s words.   Pick apart what you liked and didn’t like.  What areas of the story did you skip passed to get to the good stuff?  What part made you hold your breath? What made you stop and say, “Oh no she/he didn’t go there”?  What is it about your favorite author that makes you wait impatiently for the next book and pay full price the minute it hits the stands?  Those are your mentors.  Take one paragraph of theirs and rewrite it.  Their event took place in sunshine.  What would change if it was storming?

These things will build you into a writer.  Stories are lodged in many people’s heads.  It takes a person with imagination, a glossary of words, an ability to form scenes that makes one into a writer.

5.      Where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
I feel it will evolve and survive.  Mankind went from storytellers who passed on the lore and history, to writing the words down, to production of copies, audio and now electronic.  People will always want to read or experience an alternate universe where they can escape from their intense lives even if but for a moment.  Tales are told in plays, movies, and even video games.  Each of these things always begins with a story.  There will always be those who collect the paper book forms.  There is a special bond with the book when you hold it in your hands, when you smell the parchment, and when you flip the pages.  As with books, there is a need for tablets, phones or computers; where people are able to jump into a story, while they wait in line or eat lunch.  We are creatures who thrive to learn and be entertained.  Books do both.

6.      What challenges did you have in writing your book?
Time to write, is my largest challenge.  I work full time.  By the time I get home, make dinner, take care of things at the house, I barely have time to get six hours of sleep.  So I use my lunch hours and some weekends to write.  Writing means you must make sacrifices.  It entails having a supportive spouse or family.   It also requires setting priorities.  If you want to write, you will find the time.  It may be at a loss of something else; but if it is inside you, you will find the time.  Writing and reading are my outlets.  They relax me.  I am seriously introverted.  I regenerate from being alone.  Even my job entails working alone on a computer mostly.  If you are a social person, people stimulate you, activity charges your batteries; writing may be a tedious job for instead of a form of relaxation.  Writing takes work, editing, rewriting, throwing away something you loved when you wrote it, starting again, then edit many more times.  Even once you have written your book and published it, the work only then begins.  Now you have to find time to market and still fit in time to write.  Dedication is a must.

7.      If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?
As Catrina says, “That’s why we fare so well. We complement each other. Wild, prissy, and a princess. Who could want for more?”  The book involves friendships, adolescence, magic, plots, intrigue, and twelve godmothers who are warrior fairies.  You have a blend of fantasy and real history.  I’ll even explain my take on the Ice Age.  Hopefully, if nothing else, this book will leave you smiling.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2016 ©.

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