Author Interview with Tahlia Newland, The Locksmith’s Secret

A message from indieBRAG:

We are delighted that Charla has chosen to interview Tahlia Newland who is the author of, The Locksmith’s Secret, our medallion honoree at indieBRAG. To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion ®, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, The Locksmith’s Secret, merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.

 

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I had the immense pleasure of contacting author, Tahlia Newland, for an interview concerning her book The Locksmith’s Secret. Ms. Newland is based in Australia. – Charla
What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
The Locksmith’s Secret was planned as a sequel to Worlds Within Worlds. I wanted to finish the romance that I began in the first book and also to explore more of the same concepts—that of a person being made up of several strands of experience including past lives, imagination, dreams and spiritual experiences. I think I achieved this pretty well.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?
I’ve been told that my writing makes people feel as if they’re in the scene with the characters, but other than that, I guess it’s the metaphysical aspects of all my work. There is always some spiritual or mental level to my stories.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Getting the different strands to weave together so it feels like one story.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I love the ephemeral city—a vacant transparent city floating in space and existing only by the grace of the lines of light that draw it like a sketch. Ella spends most of her time there trying to get to the locksmith who is the only other soul in the whole city, and he’s several floors up in a building with no doors. The story thread, particularly the end, is a symbol of what is actually happening in her real life.

How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?
There’s a strong emancipation theme in the book, and that’s just something that I’ve always been concerned about, and the idea of a person having many strands to their existence is also a subject that has fascinated me for years. So I guess these interests just came out in the book.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
My books are all fantasy or magical realism with a touch of romance. I like these genres because they have lots of scope for powerful metaphysics.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?
I’ve been an avid reader since I was a young child. I saw books as a doorway to worlds that I would never see any other way. Now I can share the worlds of my imagination with others.

How long have you been writing?
Since 2007. My first publication was in 2010.

What inspires you?
Ideas and mental images.

What do you like to read in your free time?
Fantasy and sci-fi and sometimes really good lit fiction or a cozy mystery.

What projects are you working on at the present?
My energy at the moment is going into a pod and video cast called Happiness Hints, which is on You Tube, Podbean, Stitcher and iTunes. I put out a show every week, so it’s taking all my writing time for the moment. If it doesn’t take off after a few months, I’ll go back to writing.

What do your plans for future projects include?
I have a steampunk book ¾ done (The Rise of the Aether Mages) and an adult fantasy romance in the works.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I never wanted to be a writer, it just happened when I got inspired for The Diamond Peak Series. Inspiration drove me to learn what I needed to learn in order to write well.

How do you find or make time to write?
I’m under-employed so I have plenty of time. When I’m in the midst of a project I get up early and write before the day gets going.

What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has?
Is mind really that powerful? The answer is ‘yes.’

What book would you like to write but haven’t or can’t yet?
I would like to finish Captive, which is the fantasy romance I mentioned above, but it’s a tricky one because the protagonist is taken for a ‘personal’ slave, so it’s a subject matter that needs to be handled carefully. The theme of the book is that real freedom comes from mental freedom. I’ve written two drafts, but haven’t felt ready to finish it yet. It needs a time when I can really focus on it.

 

Stop by Tahlia’s website to keep up on her writings: http://tahlianewland.com

 

Author Interview with Michelle Eastman, The Legend of Dust Bunnies, A Fairy’s Tail

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A message from indieBRAG:

We are delighted that Charla has chosen to interview Michelle Eastman who is the author of, The Legend of Dust Bunnies, a Fairy’s Tail, our medallion honoree at indieBRAG. To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion ®, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, The Legend of Dust Bunnies, A Fairy’s Tail, merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.

michelle-eastman

To know more, visit Michelle’s social media/websites at:
http://www.michelleeastmanbooks.com/
https://www.facebook.com/michelleeastmanbooks/
https://www.facebook.com/PBPiO

What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
The goal for publishing my first book, The Legend of Dust Bunnies, a Fairy’s Tail, was to create a picture book for my son. Initially, I had no intention of publishing it for others to read. I just wanted him to have something special from me. Thankfully, the story became much bigger than that, and I am delighted with the way things turned out. Collaborating with illustrator Kevin Richter was a wonderful experience, and that experience led to book number two, Dust Fairy Tales: Absolutely Aggie.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?
What most characterizes my writing is rewriting. I always begin with a legal pad and pen, and a messy, disjointed series of drafts. I cross things out, switch things around, and highlight pieces I like. When I feel I have most of the story fleshed out, I type the first draft on my PC. Then, it begins again. I write and rewrite over and over until I think it is ready to for others to critique.

What was the hardest part of writing this book? 
Oddly enough, the hardest part of writing both of my books was creating the synopsis for the back of the book. I find it very difficult to sum up the entire story in two to three sentences.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
One of the things I enjoyed most about writing both books was creating the dedication page. It means a lot to me to be able to acknowledge the people I love who encourage my writing journey. Being able to acknowledge my son in both books was fantastic.

How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?
The idea for magical dust bunnies came to me in college when we were asked to write our own picture books for a children’s literature class. The two books I’ve subsequently written borrow from the original idea, but there is very little of that original story in either book.
The theme both of my books touches on is the desire kids feel to fit in or belong. Both books explore the struggle kids can experience with peer relations, as well as the joy that comes with embracing your own individuality.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
Picture books are a passion of mine. I love to read old favorites and discover new titles. I consider it an honor to be a picture book author.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?
I have written and pursued creative arts throughout my life. Picture books have always held a special place in my heart. As a mom, reading to my son every night is a special tradition we still share (even though he’s now eleven).

How long have you been writing?
I have enjoyed writing since early elementary school, but I did not pursue publishing my writing until 2013. After researching agents and publishers, and submitting a few queries, I decided to explore independent publishing. For me, indie publishing turned out to be a great fit. Throughout my journey, I’ve connected with many indie and traditionally published authors, and I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge about the publishing business. At some point, I may pursue traditional publishing, but for now, I am happy with the flexibility and creative control I enjoy as an indie.

What inspires you? 
Reading all of the wonderful contemporary picture books as well as discovering, and rediscovering, old classics inspires me. As a mom, educator, and author, I am also inspired to have an impact in my community. When I learned that nearly 2/3 of children living in poverty do not own books, I decided to make a difference. I created the literacy initiative, Picture Book Pass it On, to get books to children of incarcerated parents. Since 2014, we’ve collected more than 800 books for kids in need. You can learn more about it at https://www.facebook.com/PBPiO/

What do you like to read in your free time?
With an active eleven year-old, I don’t have a lot of free time. In my spare moments, I like to read short stories and historical fiction. I love accessing titles from my public library via Overdrive. It really comes in handy while waiting in the stands during long swim team practices.

What projects are you working on at the present?
I am working on an idea for a new picture book series, as well as a Dust Fairy Christmas Tale.

What do your plans for future projects include?
In the future, I see myself writing juvenile historical fiction. It’s a genre I loved reading as a child, and I am excited about all of the possibilities.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I have written stories and poems since childhood. Becoming an author has been a life-long dream. I feel fortunate to have made that dream into a reality.

How do you find or make time to write?
I am not as disciplined as I should be. I tend to be more of a binge writer. Once an idea is in my head, I write incessantly until it is complete. Once I am committed to publishing a story, I do not work on other ideas. I may jot other ideas down for later, but I am not good at multi-tasking writing projects.
What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has?
Well, kids ask some pretty intriguing questions. They may have covered most of them. One of the aspects of being a published author I like best is traveling to schools and libraries and speaking with children. I always wish that Kevin, the illustrator of my books, could be with me to answer questions. His art work is amazing, and kids are always interested in his process. Unfortunately, Kevin is in the UK, and I am in Iowa. So, the logistics don’t lend themselves well to joint author visits.