Thursday, December 12, 2013

Blog Tour: The Kelpie by Trisha Wooldridge @SpencerHillP

Welcome to the Kelpie Blog Tour!
Today, I'll be interviewing author Trisha Wooldridge!
So sit back and read on about this amazing book!


You may have seen this gorgeous cover around:

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Or maybe you've seen this one, which I absolutely love!

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Summary:
I can't honestly say I was joking when I suggested to my best friend, Joe - Prince Joseph, eldest son of England's Crown Prince - that we could probably find something the police had missed in regards to the missing children. After all, eleven and twelve year olds like us did that all the time on the telly and in the books we read 
When Heather and Joe decide to be Sleuthy MacSleuths on the property abutting the castle Heather's family lives in, neither expected to discover the real reason children were going missing: 
A Kelpie. A child-eating faerie horse had moved into the loch "next door."
The two barely escape with their lives, but they aren't safe. Caught in a storm of a Faerie power games, Heather, Joe, and Heather's whole family must face off with talking cats, scheming fey nobles, ghostly secrets, and a magick more powerful than any of them expected.
As one more child goes missing, time is running out to make things right.




So, now let's hear what the amazing author has to say! Welcome Trisha!
1. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else? 
I've definitely always know I wanted to be a writer or work in writing. I remember coming home from elementary school on vocabulary days, happy as anything that I got to make up sentences and hardly able to wait to share them with my mom!
2. How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
It depends on the book. The Kelpie, from time of writing the first sentence to publication date, took about three years. Its sequel, The Earl's Childe, which should come out next December from Spencer Hill Press, took me less than a year to draft, but now I've got to finish the editing process and go through all the other publishing stuff, so it will be two years from start to publication.
3. How do you come up with themes for your stories?
They kind of attack me. For The Kelpie, I actually had Heather's parents' story in my head, but it wasn't a book. It was long and complicated...and then they went and had a child, who ended up being Heather who was exploring with her best friend one day and what might they have found...oh, an evil child-eating faery horse. (Because I live in a world with faerie folk in it.) Probably, in my subconscious, there were a lot of pieces of working with horses at the horse rescue, too, which can be incredibly dangerous and incredibly moving because they've been abused and they have all sorts of emotional, psychological, and physical issues. And they can be aggressive. I've always loved mythology and folklore, too, so the Scottish tales about kelpies were something I've known for so long that I can't even remember when I first heard the tale.
For my novel coming out in July, Silent Starsong, there was a construction company I would drive by regularly called "Starbard" and I just loved the name! I thought it would be perfect for a hero in space...and all of a sudden, Kyra Starbard and her best friend, the snarky little pink alien Marne, both jumped into my head in an escape pod in the middle of an adventure... and that's how that story came about.
So, basically, winding ribbons of my life end up braiding together with my imagination and characters get born. And, like any child, they take after their parent in the most annoying way: they're stubborn, demanding, and get into all sorts of trouble while trying to save the world.
4. Do you have a schedule of when you write? 
My life is a cycle of saying, "I'm going to get on a schedule and get everything done!" And then I fail. And then I try again. And then I fail. And then I try again... I mentioned I was stubborn, right?
5. How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
I don't know if I'd call what I do a "balance" of everything, but I obstinately try to cram everything I can into life. Besides writing, I also edit for Spencer Hill Press, I'm the current president for Broad Universe (www.broaduniverse.org)--a non-profit dedicated to supporting and celebrating women's contributions to speculative fiction, and I have a horse who I like to ride and occasionally compete with. Oh...and I run a Tarot study group once a month. And I'm part of two writers groups. And I try to spend time with my husband and other pets. Occasionally, I sleep.
The thing is, I'm very fortunate in my life right now that I don't have to have an additional job beyond writing and editing. It's not easy, but I look at others who do just about as much as I do plus a full time job, plus they even have children! The kind of children you can't just leave home and pay someone to feed for a week or so. (I do love my bunnies and kitty...) As far as I'm concerned, if I don't squeeze in every opportunity to do something I'm passionate about or to help another person, I'm wasting this gift of time and freedom.
6. What elements do you think make a great story line? 
For me, I have to care about the characters. I can appreciate excellent plotting and art, but if I dislike the characters and don't feel I can relate to them, it's not a good story for me. I also can't abide a story that only tortures the characters. I'm perfectly willing to read (and write) terrible, horrible things that happen...and I can totally get behind a tragic ending if I can take something away from it.
But there needs to be a connection with the characters, first and foremost.
7. What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
This is just a "me" thing, but the hardest thing about writing a book for me is that I put my responsibilities to other people above getting my own work done. It goes back to that time-balancing question, for sure, but I almost always end up doing my own writing, editing, (and guest blogging/promotions) at the absolute latest just-under-the-line timing.
8. How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite? 
I've completed four novels of my own. Three have contracts with Spencer Hill Press--the first being The Kelpie which comes out December 17th. The fourth is the sequel to Silent Starsong, which I need to edit and get to my editor to be considered.
I've also completed one co-authored novel that still needs some work with a good friend of mine, Christy Tohara. I've written an awful lot with Christy in urban fantasy and for the Bad-A$$ Faeries anthologies.
In various stages of completion: I've got one nearly-finished YA Apocalyptic with Christy that we're working on; one retelling/sequel/interpretation of Peter Pan that I randomly did and won NaNoWriMo with this year (though, as a draft of mine, completing 50k words is far from a complete rough draft!); one science fiction android story I've been playing with on and off for five or six years... and many, many more that aren't on the top of my head.
For "books," I also have published an adult novella that plays with the Snow White faery tale and a chap book of a story poem and other poetry.
9. Do you have a favorite character?
It varies with my mood and which project I'm working on, honestly. :)
10. Where do you write?  
I write in many places. Often I'm at home in the wee hours at my computer, but I've also written at several different restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. I've also hit some of my friends' stores, like my glass artist friends at Stained Glass Creations & Beyond (www.stainedglasscreationsandbeyond.com) and the bookstore I started doing events planning with some years ago, Annie's Book Stop of Worcester (www.anniesbooksworcester.com). I've also been known to take my computer to the barn and type away in the office while waiting for the vet or something else.
11. When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took?
A lot of things, actually. I've been researching how to publish since I was in my teens. But I'm always reading, and I'm always listening.
For just about everything in my life, though, the strongest motivators come from people I get to know and trust. I had the amazing gift of being able to be one of A.C. Crispin's DragonWriters before she passed away; I took several courses with her and was very familiar with Writer Beware, so I was always hyperaware of the scams and bad deals out there. That also set me up to prefer a more traditional route as opposed to self-publishing.
Also, I know myself. I hate, hate, hate, hate having to do things on the computer: Layout, promotion, learning distribution stuff... that all just boggles my mind. I don't want to do all the work to self-publish properly. I know it can be done and done well; it's just not a good fit for my abilities or personality.
And finally, I met Kate Kaynak, the founder of Spencer Hill Press, through Broad Universe, and she very quickly became a person I respect. I had the opportunity to work with her and see her plans for the press, and I wanted to be part of that...so I was extremely pleased when we opened up to middle grade books and when another of the editors wanted to take on my books.
12. Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?
My husband reads just about everything I write and is an excellent beta reader. Mind you, I also trust him to tell me when a pair of jeans really looks like crap on me and makes me look really fat as opposed to curvy. He checks my science and logic, and he gives me insight into any male point-of-view characters.
Besides my husband, though, my family is amazingly supportive and buys anything they can that I'm part of...but few actually read or give me feedback. Granted, The Kelpie is the first novel they're getting their hands on, so it might be different. But honestly, I'm just very touched by their support. None of them are into science fiction or fantasy, but they've never thought less of me for doing what I love.
13. What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
I have a horse! <3 Her name is Calico Silver, and she's a rescue. And I have done a lot with horse rescue with The Bay State Equine Rescue (www.baystaterescue.org). I love riding, I love just grooming, I love just taking her for a walk, I love teaching her tricks on the ground, I love just leaning on her while she munches on hay. I also thoroughly enjoy hanging out with the other students and boarders at Whip-o-will Stables. (www.whipowillstables.weebly.com)
Besides that, I love hiking and exploring with my husband. Not only do I enjoy the outdoors, but he is my best friend and I thoroughly enjoy his company and sense of humor. And the fact that even though he's more fit, balanced, and agile--and thus capable of helping me not hurt myself--I never feel that I cannot accomplish something or that I'm less capable of physically doing something.
My other, other non-writing hobby is reading and teaching the Tarot, which I've done for almost seventeen years.
14. What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing? 
Finish your story, learn to edit, and practice your craft. Don't be in such a rush to publish that you're writing isn't ready yet or that you hurt your career by picking a publishing path you're not ready for yet. Being in a rush to publish is one of the worst things I've seen authors do: Many find themselves in awful contracts or in debt from scams or bad business decisions or with books that are getting poor reviews because the craft/editing is not what it could be had the author spent the right amount of time honing their craft and finding the best publishing route for their material and their personal business sense.
15. What is your favorite book? favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write? 
A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle. Well, actually, anything by L'Engle. She was one of the first authors who wrote books for the type of person I am: smart middle grade books that included science, magick, and faith--all in harmony.
I'm also a major Neil Gaiman fan, especially for The Sandman series, American Gods and Neverwhere, because he weaves faith, myth, and fantasy and fiction into real life believably.
16. Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such? 
I do. Quite a few of them! I have two writers groups who have been amazingly helpful, and many, many friends who have been willing to look at early drafts or chat with me when I'm stuck on something. I'm very blessed and lucky to know the people I know...I can ask those with the right skill sets and interests without burdening them with the many, many projects I work on at once.
18. Are you working on anything now? 
Many things, actually.  I'm in the process of finishing copy edit rounds for Silent Starsong due out in July, and I just started getting editing feedback for The Earl's Childe, due out next December. I'm doing my round of edits on Touching the Pulse, the sequel to Silent Starsong, and I'm drafting The Banesíth, which would be the third book in my MacArthur series that started with The Kelpie. On top of that, I've got my Peter Pan project that I'm doing whenever I can as well. I also have a short story that I'm co-writing due January 1st for one anthology, two novellas in various stages of editing, and I haven't written a good poem or story poem in a while, so when that idea hits me, I'll likely get on that...because poems are the hardest thing for me to write and I've lost so many because I didn't make time to write 

Thanks so much for stopping by today, Trisha! So great to have you here!

 photo AuthorPic-2_zps11ed789c.jpgTrisha J. Wooldridge is A Novel Friend. Since her grammar school days of proudly running home to read vocabulary sentences to her mother, Trisha knew that writing would be a major part of her life. She spent high school editing the school paper, then attended UMass Dartmouth and completed a double Commonwealth Scholar Bachelor of Arts degree in communications and history, adding a minor in Spanish within the 4-year program. When life forced her away from writing studies or careers, she found ways to work in the magic of words. In retail management, stolen moments were spent proofreading signage and scribbling fiction or poetry on receipt paper. Between customer service calls at a financial firm, she edited company guidelines and contracts--and hand-wrote a fantasy novel.

In 2005, she finally followed her heart and moved to a freelance lifestyle. Her first professional publications were stories about the Bay State Equine Rescue (BSER), but she quickly moved onto more gigs writing about food, wine, entertainment, music, and Tarot, in addition to horses. She also started editing both fiction and non-fiction regularly and started working as a part-time online tutor.

Fiction--particularly genre fiction, however, is Trisha's first love. She co-authored two short stories for the EPIC-award winning Bad-Ass Faeries anthology, has sold both fiction and poetry to various magazines, and is currently editing the convention-themed anthology, UnCONventional, for Spencer Hill Press. In addition, Trish has several novels she's working on and shopping out.

Her work in genre fiction, particularly in helping other women, led her to join Broad Universe, an international non-profit dedicated to promoting, honoring, and celebrating women who write science fiction, fantasy and horror. She is currently the president of the organization.

Trish calls herself A Novel Friend because she believes that a good relationship is at the heart of any business, but especially when working with writing. Some writers share their soul on paper while others find writing painstakingly difficult. A Novel Friend treats subjects, assignments, clients, and their words as friends--with respect, care and dignity.

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