Today I have Susan Noble, author of Summoned, visiting The Life and Lies!
1) Why and when did you begin writing?
I have always had a love for the written word, whether it is reading it or writing it. I have been doing both for as long as I can remember. I began writing this book just after I graduated college though it took many, many years before I would publish it as an e-book.
I love fantasy novels and thought I could write one. When I came up for the premise for Summoned, I decided to give it a try. Of course, the book has changed and grown a lot from that early work.
3) How did you come up with the title?
When I began writing Summoned, I had planned on calling it “The Elemental” because that is who the main character, Lina, is. And in the beginning, I envisioned that story would only be one book. But when I reached the end, I realized I hadn’t really finished telling the story. In Summoned, Lina finds out she is “The Elemental” and is destined to save the Land. Books two and three are about that part of her story. I then realized that “The Elemental” was a better name for the trilogy and had to rename the first book. The title Summoned just made sense as Lina is being drawn (or summoned) by a mysterious force throughout the book.
4) What books or people influenced your writing? Was it positive influence, or negative?
I don’t know that I can name which books or people actually inspired me to write. It is more the feeling I get when I read a book that I really like. I like when you are wrapped up in the story and characters and are totally absorbed in the book. Those stories are what inspired me to decide to write my own.
5) How do you go about researching for your books?
Since Summoned is a work of fantasy and set in another world that I created, I haven’t had to do too much research. But occasionally I will need to learn more about a topic to keep the story believable. In those cases, I usually do my research on the internet.
6) Did you base any of your characters on real people?
I take bits of people and put those small parts into some of my characters, but none of them are truly based on anyone I know. And the few bits I do include would not be recognizable to anyone else.
7) What’s the most exciting part about being a published author? What is the hardest part?
The most exciting thing is actually seeing your book on sites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Reading reviews is pretty exciting too (assuming they are positive :)). The hardest part for me would be marketing. As an unknown author, you have more of a challenge getting people to even look at your book, let alone purchase it.
8) Do you have any other books planned in the future?
After I complete “The Elemental” trilogy (book 2 is out and book 3 is in the works), I have the idea for another stand-alone fantasy novel, tentatively called “Alexandria."
9) Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?
It is hard to pick a favorite…I really like my main character Lina as well as her telepathic cat, Tosh. There is a young thief in the story named Coy, and his scenes are always fun to write. And then there is a large black sarcastic dragon named Zoot which I enjoy writing about. I really don’t dislike any of my characters.
Just for fun:
1) What do you do when you’re not writing?
I love to read but finding time between writing and taking care of the kids has been hard lately.
2) Do you have any pets?
Yes, I currently have three cats - Nikki, Tails (my son named her when he was 3), and Spooky.
3) What are your favorite (and least favorite) foods?
Favorite foods would be strawberries and ice cream. I’m having trouble coming up with a least favorite food. I must be blocking those foods from my mind.
4) Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?
Especially when I am having trouble writing in front of the computer, I like to take a pad of paper and sit on the couch in the living room and write.
5) Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you write?
I don’t usually snack while writing, but if I do pick something, it is usual a trail mix called Texas Heat.
6) What was your favorite and least favorite subject in school?
My favorite subject - again so hard to choose just one - would probably be English class or journalism. My least favorite subject would be math but science would be a close second.
7) Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.
Well, I am a petite 5’2” and also a black belt in Aikido.
About the Book
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out her Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Susan-Leigh-Noble/200225396700412
Follow her on Twitter: @SusanLeighNoble
Author website: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/susan-leigh-noble.html
Susan will award a $15 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour and a $10 Amazon GC to the host with the most comments!