Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Meet the Author of THE FEY: Claudia Hall Christian

Welcome friends! I'm so excited to announce that I'm the Canadian host of Claudia Hall Christian's Book Blog tour. Through the virtual magic of "blog-energy," our writing paths crisscrossed a while back and ever since we have been regular readers of each other's hijinks, heartspills and hilarity.
Personally, I was pulled into her dynamic and interactive blog knowing I had found a person who was actively working on a dream, using both her head and her heart. I liked what I read and I loved the sassy personality that is my Colorado blogfriend. Optimistic, respectfully opinionated, and kind, Claudia puts out unconditional positive energy. I love visiting her site, Out on a Limb with Claudia (link on my sidebar)

Recently, Claudia launched the publication of her novel, The Fey, a gripping thriller chalk full of espionage, fast paced twists and turns, and a whole lot of page blazing passion. In fact, the story brims with threads of expressive feelings which weave the characters together with loyalty for one another and a deep sense of loving respect, all revolving around the main character, Sargeant Alexandra Hargreaves, also known as The Fey.

It had been a while since I picked up and read fiction, though it used to be my number one love before I began writing again, and my reading of choice morphed into mostly non fiction to feed my own muse. So, I was looking forward to getting lost in a story that would transport me into another world. Claudia's talents did not let me down. In fact, I sat down, cracked open the book and for the rest of the day I was happily lost in the lives of Alex the Fey and her band of risk taking, large living, sexy spirited team of dedicated men who worked for the American military. I was hooked from page 1. Now how often can you say that about a novel? The Fey is a terrific read, comparable to all the great spy genre books. And I've read dozens of them! Claudia has hit this one out of the park!

So it is with great pleasure that I welcome Claudia here as she tours the blogworld promoting her book and sharing a little bit about herself and the writing process..... Claudia? Welcome to Fredericton, New Brunswick. Let's just jump right into the questions shall we?

Where did the story idea for Alex the Fey originate?

Boy, that’s a good question. I’m not quite sure. In a dream like state, Rebecca Hargreaves came and sat down on the edge of my bed. She came night after night for at least a week. I couldn’t eat or sleep until I started working on the first draft of The Fey.

Once your imagination kicked into gear, where did you go from there in planning out your novel and the characters you've beautifully brought to life?

I didn’t really plan out the novel. I simply worked to understand, and speak for, these characters. I wrote a lot – back story, front story, and lots of side stories. I wrote three entirely different versions of this story until I felt like I had the story right. My attempt is to be a clear scribe for my characters.

How much research was involved in the process?

I did a lot of research. Although I’ve known quite a few people in the military, I’ve never been in the military. There was a lot to catch up on. I’m also not Catholic, so I needed to uncover minor details which help make the story feel more real. And, while my family is originally from Northern Ireland, there was a lot that I needed to research there.
Gratefully, the Internet is a vast resource of people and information. I was lucky enough to be able to find almost everything I needed to know either through someone on the Internet or on various Internet sites.
Newsweek is another fabulous research tool. I have a subscription to the magazine. I clip out interesting articles then scan them so I’ll have them always. I’ve learned a lot from different Newsweek articles.

Who is your favourite secondary character and why?
It depends on the day. lol. They are each rich and interesting characters. I like different things about them. And, as the Alex the Fey series continues, we learn more about them.

As I finished the book, I was left with a desire to know more about Alex and her relationships with her team. I also wanted to know much more about the men she's related to. I could see how so many of your characters had the potential to be the lead in a storyline. Tell me a bit about where you will take us in your next installment.
Learning to Stand is the second in the Alex the Fey thriller series. The books begins in Paris where Alex and Raz begin to clean out the Fey team storage locker. In this book, Alex must start moving on from the events in her past. Of course, there’s lots of romance, rip roaring action, and laughter along the way.
The third installment, Who I Am is the most personal book of the Alex the Fey series. In this book, we get an inside view as each character must come face to face with himself or herself. We also have lots of laughs, adventure, and romance.
Learning to Stand is undergoing final edits for publication right now and Who I Am is in first draft form. There are eight books outlined, but I will continue writing the series as long as the characters have something to say.

Now, for your own personal Unconscious muttering....words related to The Fey :) (this is a Sunday regular word association post on Claudia's blog, Out on a Limb.....check it out and join in!)

    courage :: to breathe
    conflict :: ed
    terrorist :: revolutionary?
    secrets :: kill
    queen bee :: lays 1500 eggs a day in the summer
    Colorado :: is near the center of the United States

    Paris :: my favorite city on the planet
    suffering :: passes
    intrigue :: fascination
    passion :: to live, laugh and love

Here are a few "Vanity Fair Proust" questions for you Claudia, ready?

    a) What is your idea of perfect happiness?
    I think happiness comes from knowing and accepting yourself. Perfect happiness is when I know that nothing is personal and everyone goes through what I’m going through. With my ego out of the way, I can just live my life, to the best of my abilities, in the manner in which suits me.

b) What is your most treasured possession?

The people in my life that love me.

c) Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

    Just <--sneaky little weed of a word.

    Simply <-- overhyped, toxic word that means almost nothing

    d) What is your greatest fear?
    That I will get caught up in my own dream and miss my life.

    e) What is your motto?

    “Why not?”

    f) Honey or maple syrup?
    As you know, I am a beekeeper. I will let you in on a secret. I can’t eat a lot of sweet things. In fact, I can only eat a tiny bit of honey or maple syrup. I do love our home grown honey. It’s different every year depending on the weather. I’ve heard people say that about maple syrup, but I don’t use it enough to notice.

Thank you! That was fun! Friends? If you're looking for a summer book to take to the beach, or if you live in the southern hemisphere and are itching for a story you want to sink your teeth into on a dark cold evening under the duvet, The Fey is just the right choice. If you're looking for a fresh new novel for your bookclub, why not choose a good fast paced thriller? I wholeheartedly recommend The Fey, and personally look forward to the next in the series.

Claudia? You've done well!!! Congratulations!!


kenju said...

That all sounds interesting. I never order over he internet; is it available in book stores?

Awareness said...

No. Not that I know of....YET. :) YOu can either purchase it through the link, or from Amazon.

Claudia from Alex the Fey said...

Gosh, thank you so much Awareness. I greatly appreciate your support! This is a wonderful piece!

Kenju - We are looking in to distribution. The book should be available via Cafe Espresso in a few months.

Awareness said...

Claudia...my pleasure!
I hope others will order your book. I know they will love it like I did.

Anonymous said...

I will definitely order it. Sounds fantastic. What an original idea. I really enjoyed the interview. Best of luck with your tour, Claudia!

Awareness said...

Selma.....You're going to love it!