Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pledged Blog Tour: Author Interview with Gwynneth White

Today we'll be chatting with Gwynneth White, author of the upcoming Pledged, which will be published by Swallow Press on September 1. You can enter to win one of five eBook copies of Pledged, as well as read our interview with two of the book's characters, Sophia and Jared, by clicking here.

Our Interview with Gwynneth White

Welcome to Rally The Readers, Gwynneth! Thanks for joining us today.

The pleasure is mine! I’m delighted to be with you.

When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer?

You know, it wasn’t really a decision. It was more like . . . it just happened. I was writing stories when I was very young. When I first started working, life thrust me into jobs where they needed someone with writing skills. I seemed to be it. Then my husband – he’s a writer/publisher/film-maker – needed a travel guide written, so I did that too. It became a bestseller. No one was more surprised than me. A second travel guide followed. Then I had a loooooong hiatus while I raised my children. But all through that drought, I had a story brewing in my head. When it refused to go away, I decided to give it voice. And I cannot tell you how happy I am to be out of the wilderness and back in the writing world. It is truly my first professional love.

What is your writing process like?

My stories always start with the characters, from there I move onto plotting. And do I ever plot! I like to write out a broad narrative of the whole story before I start writing. I need quiet to work, and often I burn aromatherapy oils, which seem to inspire my creativity.

What inspired you to write the Soul Wars Saga?

It was a process. The soul mates came first because I love the concept that we knew and loved our life partners before we were born. Then came the demons and angels . . . while I was writing one of the many drafts of Pledged, my mother contracted cancer. After she died it seemed like I heard her voice in my head, encouraging me to finish the series. Thus the involvement of the dead – angels and demons – was born. And finally the time travel? Well, at first Pledged was set in ancient times, but I decided it needed a modern twist. Enter Seth and Erin. With their story came the diamond Seer-Stone which enabled them to time travel. So I guess the creation of Pledged reflects the many layers contained in the actual story.

Are any of the characters modeled on real-life people?

Yes. Erin, Stephanie and Kate are modeled on my daughters (including their names) and the similarities between them are pretty startling.

Is there one character you especially love to write about, or is it too hard to pick a favorite? (After all, we don’t want to make Seth jealous or anything.)

Jared. I just love him. If anyone has leapt off the page for me, it’s that sardonic, arrogant young Warlord. He’s not uber good-looking, but he’s got a strong, commanding face, which pretty much tells the world what he’s about. When you first meet him, you’ll find him hugely egotistical, but if you win his heart, he will be loyal to you unto death.

If you could spend a day in Shenaya, what would your ideal day be like?

Is there are ideal day in Shenaya? I don’t think so. Fighting for your soul mate and avoiding Pledging to Reuel are all-consuming, leaving little opportunity for idle sightseeing. And then there are those pesky angels and demons hounding you all the time.

If you had a Seer-Stone and could travel back in time, where would you hope it would take you?

I’d like to go back to before my birth to see what promises I made before coming into mortality. I have no doubt that there were some - I just hope I’ve lived up to them all.

What can readers look forward to in the next book, Sacrificed?

The by-line for Sacrificed is: Everyone has a soul mate. But what happens if the only way your soul mate can live is for you to die? As you can imagine, in Sacrificed life is very dark for all the characters, both modern and ancient. Reuel seems unstoppable, betrayals are rife, and relationships are shattered. I’m sorry to say, but it ends on another cliffhanger.

And now for the obligatory random questions:

Favorite book?

That is a horrible question! How can I possibly answer that when I have dozens of ‘favourite’ books? But if you insist, then I will say current favourites are Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card and Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi.

Favorite fictional character?

Ditto my answer to the favourite book question! Impossible to answer. I love Harry Potter. I think the Hobbit is amazing. Tris is great. But so is Alina. How does one pick only one favourite?

Who would win in a fight: Gideon or Reuel?

Reuel, probably, because he would cheat.

If you could change anything in the past, what would it be?

Change the past? But that’s not possible – even with a Seer-Stone. As Seth and Erin learned, all we can hope to do is change the future through our choices in the present. That sounds really wacky! So how would I like the future to be? Simple. Everyone should have the best chance to be with the one they love.

Happy endings or tragic endings?

I’m a sap for happy endings. Life is often tragic enough without having sad endings in the books I escape to.

Thank you again for your time today, Gwynneth. We really appreciate it!

About Gwynneth White

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:
Twitter: @GwynnethWhite
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gwynneth-White/172095512890074
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/7360328-gwynneth-white
Blog: http://todayinshenaya.blogspot.com
Email: gwynnethwhite@4xforum.com

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