This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. June will be awarding an ebook copy of Benjamin McTash to two (2) randomly drawn commenters during the tour and one (1) randomly drawn commenter will receive an autographed print copy of the book (international) during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
How did you get started writing?
Believe it or not it was with this first book. I’ve always been good with words and daily writing when I worked as a personal assistant to a CEO, and many years ago a really famous psychic told me I was going to write a successful book when I got older...so maybe she planted the seed? I believe your second question here will answer more succinctly, so I’ll just head down to that one if you don’t mind.
What was the inspiration for your book?
So, a couple years ago I decided to try my hand at illustrations of the whimsey nature, not my forte, and ended up with a favorable outcome. After a week of pulling these out of my imagination and having four or five of them, I began giving them names, Benjamin McTish, Finely Heaton-the Star Hanger, Chantilly Lily and so on. And one day I was looking at all of them and realized, wow!, here’s my book! And I haven’t looked back since.
What’s the one genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
I’m enjoying two genres of late, dystopian and steampunk. Now I’ve added a pretty sizable element of the steampunk flavor into the second book in the McTish Series, so I’m getting excited about how that will be received, however, I could go further with it. I have to say, I read an AMAZING dystopian novel this past summer, Viral Nation, and between that and the Hunger Games, I’m thinking that could be a very interesting combo to pull off.
So, what are you working on right now? Got any releases planned, or still writing?
I literally just finished the second book this past weekend (end of Feb.), and I’m starting on the whole editing, cover, proofing process. I really hope to have it in print in my hot little hands in the next couple of weeks. Then I’ll begin book three. There will be at the very least four books in this series, and possibly as much as six.
What was the book that inspired you to become an author?
I didn’t have that kind of experience...however, what I did have is an unending thirst to read. I live among stacks and piles of books throughout my home. We’re changing over the big den to be a serious library someday. There’s nothing like a good book. Today it’s raining hard and grey and the wood stove is lit and I wish I could just curl up with one of the many books sitting on my TBR pile...however, there’s just too much work to be done today, this interview is an example of that.
Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?
Oh, that’s a good one, because my three main protagonists all have a piece of me, however, being forced to choose I suppose I would say Mathilda (Hmm, she’s my favorite character too...wonder what that means? Ha!).
As with everyone I have many sides and depths to my personality. Different times in life when certain circumstances afforded me the opportunity to show a particular face for various reasons. Some flourished more than others at different times, yet they all reside in my psyche. These children are close representatives of different times in my life.
Mathilda is a free spirit. She speaks her mind and thinks outside of the box. She sees things that most people miss and either saves that knowledge to use at another time, or she comments on it immediately, making certain others see it too. She likes all sides to have the same playing field, she always wants everyone to look “good”, not necessarily physically but in their endeavors. She roots for everyone to win. She loves music and dancing, she’s the eternal entertainer, and she’s not afraid to show it. She has a terrific laugh. She dresses kooky and doesn’t care what others think, usually. Sometimes when a person loves as hard as she does, they bruise easily as well, so her little feelings are a tricky thing. And she loves toast with gobs of melted salty butter and strawberry cupcakes are her weakness...I’d would say that pretty much sums me up.
Any writing quirks?
No quirks per se...lately though I’ve taken to lighting a candle and I sit on the daybed with a throw over my lap and my cat curled up either at or on my feet, and sometimes the dog is in front of the fire. There’s a big window next to the bed and the greenery spills in, and I take a moment to gather myself, do a couple deep breaths, maybe even a tiny meditation, then boom, time to write.
What advice would you give to your teenage self if you could go back in time?
Oh, geez, I don’t think we have the time for that one! I’d probably tell her to get over the idea of fear. Fear gets in the way of so many things that either don’t matter, or never happen, or changes your direction towards something ‘less than’ and then you live with regret. Fear and regret...two very un-evolved ideas. Now, unless you can walk up to your fears and address them and make grand opportunities out of them, like singing in front of people, okay, then go for it...however, it’s best to just get past the what if’s and the self imposed doubts about your worth. I’d tell her, you are worth every single ounce of love you receive...and even if you don’t receive a lot of love, you’re still worth it as long as your love comes from you first, the others will follow..or not...it really doesn’t matter in the big picture. None of this matters so you may as well have fun and enjoy the people in your life and just be happy.
Favorite book that was turned into a movie?
Wow! I don’t know that I have an answer for that one because most movies are simply not as good as the book. I mean I could give you a list of movies that didn’t do it for me. Or remake movies of foreign films are almost always never as good as the original, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. I’ve never read all the Harry Potter books or the Hunger Games..although I received the latter for Xmas and am looking forward to reading them this summer, but I‘m told both of these stayed really true to the books, so I guess I’m going to cheat here and say that’s my answer, because I love both of these movie series.
When did you know that you were a writer?
I think that happened sometime in the distant past when my choice in the words I use to speak or write to people was something I actually thought of consciously...to make things sound...more. You know, attempting to use language in a more poetic or evolved way, not simply succumbing to the speak of the day. Now having said this I must tell you that I was considered the original “Valley Girl” to my friends eons ago! “Like, totally”, was an imbedded speech with me once upon a time. I worked at it to remove that a long time ago...like and you know, still slip in there from time to time, however, when I write, it pulls from an entirely different catalog in my brain. I love the language of YA fantasy, it kinda flows from me. As long as I can remember, people commented on my use of words and writing.
What advice would you give to other writers?
Just make sure you love what you do. If this doesn’t fill something in you, if you don’t feel a passion and joy from doing this you’re probably not going to survive what it takes. This business is brutal and it takes a serious effort to gain any kind of momentum, and even if you happen to be in the right place at the right time, you can get eaten up alive from the insanity that will whirl around you. If writing is what you love, you will always find the time to do it.
Is there anything you would like readers to take away from your book?
The main theme running through this story is to find the courage to see who you truly are, and once you have this figured out, then you need to live that Truth to the fullest, no matter what anyone else thinks. You must be aware that all your actions have repercussions and many of those can affect others, you need to own up to accountability. You need to walk your talk. And in the end...the love you take is equal to the love you make.
About the Author:
June spends her days writing and sometimes painting her well known series of Rock n Roll icons. June and Ray own Madrona Rust, a line of unique, hand-made rustic furniture.
This series of work, the McTish characters, are a part of June in every sense of the word. “This work brings a deep sense of joy and passion for me in a very profound way, like nothing else that I do."
There is local legend in the small town of Grandlochcheshire that has been passed down for a 100 years about the mysterious disappearance of the Chickering family, that trails on the coat tails of the equally shocking abduction of the Skeffington Union Rails heirs. The circumstances that follow this notorious tale enter into the modern world of Benjamin and his two best mates.
One day Benjamin watches as a mysterious little woman steps out of a taxi and in one synchronistic moment their eyes lock and a series of visual snippets of unfamiliar events unfold in his mind’s vision. His razor sharp sixth sense allows him the freedom to explore the extrasensory messages coming at him like a derailed freight train. And when Benjamin finds a peculiar relic of a key in his grandmother’s garden shed, he could never know his world was about to change forever.
Annabel and Mathilda, two sisters who have come from America, have become more than mere friends to Benjamin, they have all become the three Muskydeers (Mathilda’s mispronounced version of Musketeers, which was a huge laugh and of course it stuck), as they are plunged head first into this curious journey.
In the Gilley Forest they discover that the path they have chosen is inundated with many obstacles as well as intrigue. Alliances are made with the Forest clan of Gnomes and with the aid of the Vila sisters, Sethina and Morel, as well as some surprising and unexpected allegiances, the three friends take on the test that is the Grandfather Tree. They must stay on the pre ordained Path of Prophecy, whose ancestry comes from the home of the oldest living beings on the planet, the Elves of the Darmon. However, this is no easy task for the Muskydeers as they have the foulest of sorcery hunting their every move, the powerful dark beauty, Tar Vigorn.
This ruthless Queen is not without humor however and loves a good game of cat and mouse, as long as she’s the cat. With her biting sense of sarcasm and calculated taunting, she knows just how to unnerve Benjamin. Her phantom army, the Blunt, are searching for a way into the Grand Tree and will stop at nothing to infiltrate the pristine world beneath his giant roots.
Once in Coranim the children make the acquaintance of the greatest Medicine Elder alive, Esmerelda Fet. A most powerful Light Sorceress with a brazen in your face attitude, who guides the trio on their Path of destiny. However, a Path can change in the blink of an eye...what could alter the overpowering trajectory Benjamin has followed to Coranim? How will it change his life?
Find out as our three heroes delve into the mystic, as well as their own inner character, as you watch from the edge of your seat.
Book Two, Benjamin Mctish and the Wizards of Coranim, coming beginning of 2014
Buy the book at Amazon or Smashwords