Monday, July 9, 2012

Author Spotlight: Interview with Cheryl Landmark

1. Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline.


My latest book is a fantasy called “Pool of Souls”, which is set in the fictional world of Regalis.

Joining a rebellion against a renegade queen and her soul-killing talisman, the Pool of Souls, leads Cazlina Narzin and her mare, Miris, into a world fraught with danger and evil.

2. Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

This should appeal to those lovers of fantasy who enjoy a fast-paced, action-packed, character-driven story with a strong but vulnerable heroine, a dashing rogue with an irrepressible sense of humour, many other interesting and provocative characters, and plenty of humour, evil and danger.  There is a hint of romance in the book, but it doesn’t overshadow the action or fantasy elements.

3. How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

When I first had the idea for the book, I was searching for a different type of magical talisman than, say, a medallion or a crystal orb or a magical sword.  Somehow, out of the fertile field of my imagination, I thought of a pool of some kind, which drains its victims of their energies and life forces.  Thus, the Pool of Souls was born.

4. Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

Well, naturally, I love my heroine, Cazlina, who is the embodiment of every good quality I wish I possessed myself!  But, aside from her, I think my next favourite character would have to be Miris, Cazlina’s faithful mare, who shares a unique and unbreakable bond with Cazlina and sometimes acts as her conscience.  I just love Miris’ sense of humour!

5. How about your least favorite character?  What makes them less appealing to you?

Well, in terms of who is the most evil character in the book, Captain Lerant, Queen Saranor’s commander in charge of her army, takes that dubious honour.  You would think it would be the queen herself, who, make no mistake about it, is indeed as evil and terrible as they come.  But, Lerant has no conscience and is truly repulsive with his deliberate cruelty.

6. If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be?  Why?

Don’t get me wrong.  I love absolutely everything about my book.  But…I suppose if there is one thing I wish I had spent a bit more time on developing, it would be the background of Jorin Montrill, the dashing rogue I referred to in Question 2.

7. Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:

Some readers may think “Oh, no, another Disney talking animal!” story, but I believe they will be pleasantly surprised by the relationship between Cazlina and Miris and their interactions with each other.

8. What other books are similar to your own?  What makes them alike?

I think there are plenty of fantasy books out there that encompass a lot of the elements I have incorporated into my book.  But, I’d like to think that, because it’s my story, it’s totally unique, LOL!

9. Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?

Well, I’m not sure how unique it is, but I do love putting together challenging jigsaw puzzles--shaped puzzles, two-sided puzzles, puzzles which depict a picture totally different from the one on the cover--you name it.  The more challenging, the better!

10. How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

You can check me out on my website at www3.sympatico.ca/cheryl.landmark or on my Author Profile on Goodreads.com.

My books are available in both ebook and paperback versions on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and CreateSpace.

11. What can we expect from you in the future?

I’m currently working on a dog detective series and another fantasy, both of which I hope to have published in the very near future.

12. What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Readers can help immensely by posting reviews of the book on such sites as Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, etc.  Word of mouth is so important to getting authors, especially indie and self-published ones, noticed in the reading community.  Most of us don’t have a lot of ready cash to shell out for expensive advertising and promotion, so I think having reviews on these various sites goes a long way toward helping to promote our writing.

13. Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?


Never give up, first and foremost.  If your passion is writing, stick with it through thick and thin and work at getting it published, whether it’s through the traditional route or self-publishing.  If you choose to send your manuscript to a big publishing house and they send you back a rejection, don’t let it discourage you.  Keep trying, if not with that publisher, with another.  And, if your choice is self-publishing, don’t be intimidated by the process.  It’s really not as challenging or formidable as you might think.

Above all, believe in yourself and your talent.  Don’t let it languish in a dark closet or drawer somewhere.

14. Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Only a very big thank-you, Jenna, for posting this interview and giving me a chance to introduce myself to your readers!

15. And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:

The mare sounded apologetic but urgent. I’m sorry to disturb you, Caz, but I think you should know that someone is trying to steal me.

Cazlina Narzin became fully awake but didn’t move. She kept her breathing quiet and steady, as though still in the rhythm of sleep, but every nerve and sinew in her body tingled with alertness. Her hand tightened on the hilt of the dagger tucked into the waistband of her trousers.

She spoke to the mare through the telepathic link that bound them. I’m awake, Miris.  Where is the scoundrel?

She heard the mare snort gently. He’s near my head and about to grab my halter. I really think you should do something, and fast. The mare's tone suddenly changed. Oh, my, Caz, he’s a handsome devil!

Miris! Cazlina thought, reproachfully. Now is not the time to admire the rogue's looks.

Sorry.

Cazlina opened her eyes cautiously. In the pale moonlight, she could dimly make out the shape of a dark figure standing near the mare’s head.

Miris, move closer to me, Cazlina instructed. I want him where I can reach him easily.

The mare tossed her pretty head and sidled away from the dark figure reaching out for her. Cazlina heard a soft curse from the would-be thief and then his low voice trying to coax the mare back to him. Miris pranced skittishly toward where Cazlina lay silently on the ground under the big oak tree, staying just out of reach of the figure and forcing him to follow her.

This is fun, Caz! Miris said. I’ve never had anyone try to steal me before.

Well, don’t enjoy it too much, dear one, Cazlina replied, dryly. Just move a little closer now.

When she judged that the thief was near enough to take him by surprise, she jumped to her feet, drawing the dagger out at the same time.

"Touch that horse and I’ll slice the fingers from your hand," she said, coldly.

Caz, such violence!

Quiet, Miris. Let me handle this my way.

The figure stopped dead when she suddenly rose from the ground in front of him. Then, he straightened to his full height, which was well over six feet. In the light of the moon, his keen eyes scrutinized her closely, and a faint smile tilted the corners of his firm mouth. He wore dark clothing and a shabby cloak.

"I mean you no harm,” he said, holding his hands out to the side.
Cazlina stared accusingly at him, the point of the dagger just under his chin. "You were trying to steal my horse."

He chuckled and shrugged. "She’s such a fine specimen. I couldn’t resist taking a closer look at her."

Miris pricked her dainty ears forward. Well, Caz, he can’t be all bad. At least, he appreciates splendid horseflesh when he sees it.
Never mind, Miris. He’s still a scoundrel and a thief.

The mare snorted delicately. Yes, but what a handsome thief.
 
*****
Thank you Cheryl for taking part in my Author Spotlight interview! I hope your writing continues to flourish and we hope to see more of you in the future.
*****
If you or an author/illustrator you know is interested in being interviewed, feel free to send me an email at
jejoescienne@yahoo.com

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