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Monday, 25 January 2016

Author Interview & Giveaway: Near the Wild by Maureen Willett





About the Author:

Maureen Willett is a writer of fiction that pushes the boundaries of established genres.  Her stories mostly come from her own family legends that have been passed down through generations, but then she tops them off with a twist of faery dust and angel wings.

But at the core of each story are great characters in very human conflicts that anyone will find compelling.  Each novel is crafted as an experience that will take readers beyond their day-to-day lives, incorporating themes of time travel, reincarnation, and magic.  

She lives in Hawaii and finds its ethereal beauty a source of inspiration for her writing.  She is a former journalist, public relations professional, and media marketing specialist.  Writing fiction has been her passion since grade school.

website:  www.mwillettnovels.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/maureenwillettbooks

Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/mwillett

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7235871.Maureen_Willett

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About the Book:

Near The Wild
Maureen Willett
Genre: paranormal romance or historical fantasy
Publisher: independent
Date of Publication: June 27, 2015
ISBN: 9781524209926
ASIN: B010JLKZZY
Number of pages: 229
Word Count: 82,500

Book Description:

Cowboys and leprechauns both occupy Maeve MacKeighry's world in 1870, and she must decide which will win her heart. Leprechauns are feared, even in Ireland, but that doesn't prevent Maeve from striking up a friendship with one who lives near her village. But once Maeve becomes a young woman, the local villagers start to gossip, especially since the MacKeighrys are known to practice magic in their home. It's just for entertainment, but the town folk don't see it that way. Rather than be outcasts, the MacKeighrys set off to America to homestead in Kansas, vowing to leave their magical ways and friends behind. Little do they know that Maeve's friend follows and protects them on their journey.

The MacKeighrys encounter many adventures along the way to Kansas, only to find a simple sod house on their new farm at the end of the journey. The untamed land offers a fresh start for the family, as well as two very interesting men who both compete for Maeve’s attention. Pretty young women in a wild western town are a rarity. But can she forget her magical friend, and turn her attention to two of the most interesting men she has ever met? Perhaps cowboys and outlaws have a certain charm that a leprechaun doesn't, after all.

Most of the novel takes place in Kansas in 1870 and is based on the author’s family history. The idea of the MacKeighry’s sod house came from the home of Willett’s great grandfather. She was lucky enough to visit it as a teenager before the house was destroyed. One of the characters, Nikki Fuerst, is based on an ancestor, a prince from Austria who was disinherited for marrying a commoner and sent off to America. Stories Willett has been told her entire life about her family’s history and traditions, such as levitating tables, are included in Near The Wild.

Buy Link: Amazon

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Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

I let the story flow, and I’m always surprised by my characters. They grow and develop before my eyes and create a story I hadn’t planned at all. Most of the time, I set out to write a certain story, but by the time I’ve finished the first draft, it’s something else entirely. That’s what makes writing so much fun.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story?

Constantly! It becomes quite annoying. I revise, revise, revise. I have to go back and put in all the missing elements the characters wouldn’t let me write about. They’re usually greedy for page time and don’t let me devote space to anything descriptive in the first draft.

What is your favourite food?

Because it’s the beginning of the year, I’m on a green drink kick right now to get all the toxins out. Most of the year, it’s barbecued filet mignon with a crisp green salad. I live in Hawaii, so we can cook outdoors year round.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Definitely a night owl, but my son’s school schedule forces me to be a morning person. I’d like to say I get up an hour early to write every morning, but I just don’t feel very creative at the crack of dawn.

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?

My dream is to visit Ireland. I’m half Irish and have heard so many stories about how beautiful it is, so I feel I must experience it myself. My novel Near The Wild helped to fulfil part of this fantasy for me.

Do distant places feature in your books?

Sometimes. But more often, distant times or alternate realities take hold of my stories. I live in Hawaii and have written a novel set here, The Soul Stealer. Those dreaming of traveling to Hawaii someday might find it appealing.

Do you listen to music while writing?

Never. I need quiet when I write.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?

Near The Wild is a blend of paranormal romance and a wild west adventure. It’s taken from many of the stories of my ancestors I heard growing up as a kid—family legends. My family also has a history of practicing magic, so I’ve incorporated that into the story as well.

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?

You must write in order to be a good writer. It’s a craft that takes time and practice to conquer. With each novel, I become a better storyteller and learn so much about my craft.  It’s an endless journey that I hope to enjoy the rest of my life. Publishing? It can be quite discouraging as a novice author to try to get traditionally published. I felt like I was beating my head against a brick wall for many years. I’m happy that the industry is changing with online technology and there are more open doors for authors these days.

Is there anything you would do differently?

Yes, I’d believe in myself as a writer at an earlier stage of my life.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?

Since grade school I’ve been an avid reader. My genres have occasionally switched over the years, so many types of authors have influenced me. I also love to watch movies, and often get inspiration there.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?

Keep writing no matter what the odds. Take classes in creative writing as much as possible, and join online critique groups. Listen to the bad reviews, as well as the good, because both can help you improve as a writer.

What are three words that describe you?

Smart, creative, independent.

What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?

I have many, but one of my lasting favorites is Diana Gabaldon. I love the Outlander series.

Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book

COWBOYS AND LEPRECHAUNS. Both occupy Maeve MacKeighry's world in 1870, and she must decide which will win her heart. Leprechauns are feared, even in Ireland, but that doesn't prevent Maeve from striking up a friendship with one who lives near her village. But once Maeve becomes a young woman, the local villagers start to gossip, especially since the MacKeighrys are known to practice magic in their home. It's just for entertainment, but the town folk don't see it that way. Rather than be outcasts, the MacKeighrys set off to America to homestead in Kansas, vowing to leave their magical ways and friends behind. Little do they know that Maeve's friend follows and protects them on their journey.

The MacKeighrys encounter many adventures along the way to Kansas, only to find a simple sod house on their new farm at the end of the journey. The untamed land offers a fresh start for the family, as well as two very interesting men who both compete for Maeve’s attention. Pretty young women in a wild western town are a rarity. But can she forget her magical friend, and turn her attention to two of the most interesting men she has ever met? Perhaps cowboys and outlaws have a certain charm that a leprechaun doesn't, after all.

List of previous books if any

The Soul Stealer
A Guardian’s Tale

Both are available on all ebook platforms.

Any websites/places readers can find you on the web.

www.mwillettnovels.com
www.facebook.com/maureenwillettbooks
www.facebook.com/willettauthor
www.amazon.com/author/mwillett

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Tour giveaway 

4 $10 Amazon GCs

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for featuring Near The Wild on your great blog!

    ReplyDelete