Thursday, June 21, 2012

Interview with fantasy author Susan Noble

Today's guest is fantasy author Susan Noble. She's talking about her novel Summoned: Book 1 of The Elemental. She's also offering a $15 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commentor during this virtual book tour. Details after the interview.

Susan Leigh Noble has always loved dragons and magic so it is no wonder that she became an author of fantasy novels. As a cat lover, she also threw a telepathic cat into the mix for her The Elemental Series. The first two books, Summoned and Quietus, have already been released in e-book format. She is currently working on the third and final chapter of the trilogy.
When she isn’t writing, Susan is an active volunteer in her neighborhood and at her children’s schools. She lives with her husband, two children and three cats in Texas.
She loves to hear from readers:
Check out her Facebook page, follow her on Twitter, or visit her author website.

Welcome, Susan. Please tell us about your current release.
Summoned takes place in a world where two types of magic - one that used spells and a natural form where the user had control of the elements - used to exist but died out long ago. At the age of four, Lina learns she has the power to start fires with a mere thought just like the Elementals from the past. Now at the age of eighteen, a strange, mystical compulsion overwhelms her and forces her to leave her homeland. She must travel north to find out what or who is summoning her. As she travels and encounters mythical creatures that haven’t existed in centuries, she must accept that someone is using spell magic against her. When she discovers the truth, it changes her life in ways she could never imagine.

Blurb for Summoned:
Lina wants an ordinary life in the Grasslands of Zena. But she isn’t ordinary at all. At the age of four, she discovered she could start fires with a mere thought - an ability believed to have died out long ago. Cautioned by her telepathic cat, Tosh, she keeps this Elemental power a secret in fear of how the outside world would react. There is something else different about Lina - she feels a strange force compelling her to go north.
Before she can decide whether to give into this mysterious urge, she is kidnapped by gypsies and wakes in a foreign land. The desire to travel north is as strong as ever. When a strange raging fire prevents her return home, Lina realizes she must find out once and for all what or who is summoning her.

On her journey, she befriends an odd assortment of allies including the son of a High Council member, a thief, a former guardsman and a large sarcastic black dragon. Together they battle mystical creatures and unnatural forces, although such magic had ceased to exist over 800 years ago.  During each battle, Lina must use her innate Elemental power as she becomes more certain that someone is using magic against her. When she discovers the shocking truth, it will change her life in ways she could never imagine.

Excerpt from Summoned - Battle:
Then he saw one of the men break away from the battle. His sword held ready, the man set his horse directly toward them. Tosh lashed his tail angrily against the saddle. He had succeeded in getting her out of the danger of the initial attack but that lone rider would soon be upon them, and Lina had no weapon. He considered his options. He only saw one clear choice. He lifted his paw, claws outstretched.

Lina, hold on.

He prepared to slash the mare again, but as he raised his paw, he caught a glimpse of her face. She was staring intently at the man racing toward them. Her face held a determined look as the wind began to blow her hair. The long honey-colored locks whipped around her face as the wind began to blow harder.  The force was so strong Tosh had to dig his claws into the saddle in order to stay on the mare. He whirled around in time to see the full force of Lina’s gust of wind hit the attacker. The man fell backward, his arms outstretched as if to grab the saddle. But his fingers missed and continued backward. Then Tosh heard the sickening sound of the man’s head hitting his horse’s rear hoof. The man hit the ground with a deadening thud and lay motionless. Lina cringed, a look of shock on her face. 

“I didn’t mean...” she whispered in a sick voice. Her eyes had a haunted look, and she shook her head slightly as if in disbelief over what had happened.

You had to stop him, Lina. He leaned against her, tucking his head into the crook of her arm.
Lina hung her head down. Her honey-colored hair fell around him like a curtain. “But I only meant to stop him.” She stared at the motionless man before her. “Not to kill him.”

What inspired you to write this book?
I have always loved reading fantasy novels, and I began thinking of writing my own when I got this idea in my head about a young woman being drawn away from the life she knew by a mysterious force. The more I thought about it, the more the story just began to develop.  

What exciting story are you working on next?
Currently, I am writing the conclusion to “The Elemental” trilogy. Book 3 (still unnamed) will wrap up Lina & Val’s story as both Lina’s powers and Val’s new-found magic will continue to grow and of course play an important role in concluding the series. The antagonist from Quietus (Book 2) will return with a vengeance and there will be all sorts of battles, including one involving the dragons.    

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I guess back in high school is when I first considered myself a writer. I wrote for the high school newspaper and later my college paper. My favorite area to write was in-depth features. It was after college that I decide to give writing a book a try.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your workday like?  If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
As a stay-at-home mom, I wish I could write full time but my days are filled with taking care of my four-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son. I try to make sure I volunteer at their schools, and of course, my son has music and karate classes. My real writing time comes early in the morning before anyone is awake or the few hours that they both are in school since my daughter only goes to preschool half days right now.    

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I actually enjoy doing some of my writing longhand. I know in today’s world with so much technology that this probably isn’t done much, but I keep a notebook with me and use the time waiting for the kids to jot down ideas or even start scenes. Sometimes I will actually combine two of my favorite things - writing and watching the San Antonio Spurs play basketball.  

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I remember wanting to be a teacher for a while but truthfully, I have always enjoyed writing and wanted to become a journalist. In fact, I have a degree in Journalism, though I haven’t worked for a newspaper in many, many years. Life has taken me in a different direction.  

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I have enjoyed writing these novels and hope that they enjoy reading them. 

Thanks for stopping by, Susan.

Readers, Susan will award a $15 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Leave your e-mail address with a comment here, and follow her tour and comment at other stops for more chances to win.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Susan today.

Susan Noble said...

Enjoyed the interview. Thanks for having me on your blog today.

MomJane said...

What a great excerpt. I can hardly wait to read this story.

Anonymous said...

I think the motion of writing frees up thoughts sometimes, so that's why longhand works for me for certain things.


Lisa Haselton said...

I don't come across too many folks who write stories longhand any more. I think hand writing is going to become a lost art! I feel I'm more creative with a pen in my hand than typing on a keyboard, too, but it's just quicker to type! :)

It's great to meet you, Susan.

Susan Noble said...

Definitely much quicker to type and I do write quite a bit that way - but with kids you have to be able to write anywhere which is where writing long hand comes in handy. Luckily I type 60 WPM so transcribing my thoughts is quick.

Catherine Lee said...

So many people HAVE to spend so much time at a computer these days. I think if you have an opportunity to write longhand, you should do it. It's a way to avoid repetitive stress/carpal tunnel.
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

Mary Preston said...

I love reading fantasy novels too & dragons would one of my favorite creatures.


bn100 said...

Nice interview. The book sounds good.


Rita Wray said...

I enjoyed the interview and excerpt.