“I’m interested in how people respond to unusual circumstances. Choice interests me. What is the metaphor for power, for choice? In SF it tends to be technology (good, bad and balanced) while in Fantasy the metaphor is magic – who has it, who wants or does not want it, what is done with it, and who/what the person or culture is after the dust has settled. A second metaphor, both grace note and foundation, is the need for and art of healing." She adds, “A trope in fantasy is great power after passing through death. Well, at my crisis point, I didn’t die. That means that I’m a wizard now. Who knows what I may yet accomplish?”
What is the working title of your current book? Spirit Tracks
Where did the idea come from for the book? It's the third Alfreda novel, about how her family ships her off to fabled Cousin Esme's school for young wizards to get that pesky need for ritual magic under control.
What genre does your book fall under? It's dark fantasy for ages 8-108.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Oh, that's hard. The actress who could have been Allie has grown up. Now? Who do you think? My friend Mike Moe could be Allie's father, and Claudia Christian could be her mother. Diane Lane could be Esme -- beautiful, professional, enigmatic, everything a wizard should be. Jodie Foster could play Marta, I think! And the Asian wizard in Spirit Tracks could have been George Takei in an earlier incarnation.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? A young wizard discovers that you can survive fantastic change.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Excellent question. Haven't decided if I will offer it to NYC or not. Will discuss with my agent after it's complete.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of this manuscript? It's not quite finished, and too long, ARGH!
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Allie was unique when she came out -- if anything, Night Calls and Kindred Rites were "Little House on the Prairie with werewolves and vampires." Check out those two books -- if you like strong, grounded, very brave heroes, whose stories take place in an alternative early North America, Alfreda might be the teen for you.
Who or What inspired you to write this book? Jane Yolen talking about an anthology for young adults that she was opening for submissions. My subconscious sent me the image of Allie hanging a woven braid of garlic over an interior door. It was such a strong picture I thought I'd swiped it from somewhere.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? It has magic, humor, sentient magical creatures, spirit guides, and a touch of romance. Oh -- and a cat decides that Allie belongs to HIM. We also get great food!
No matter how this book is going, I plan to get Night Calls and Kindred Rites into ebook next year. So progress is happening.
In the meantime? Fires of Nuala, the first of my SF series The Chronicles of Nuala is on sale at Book View Cafe, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The queen of thieves meets the mutant king, and the planet Nuala will never be the same again. Far future science fiction driven by character and culture.
You can reach all formats through Backlist eBooks.