Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Author Interview and Giveaway: Double Star by Cindy Saunders

By Cindy Saunders 
Published: November 28, 2012 
Publisher: Book Baby 

When Cepheus, a dark god, forces seventeen-year-old Ally Ashworth off an isolated overlook, she has no idea she's falling into his world, or that the necklace she’s wearing is actually a key - one with the power to ignite the next world war. But she’s carried beyond his reach and into the one place where he’s powerless ... the forest of Gilgamesh.

Ally’s never been Miss Popularity, but her outsider status takes on new meaning when she’s rescued by Liam Cheveyo and his peculiar friends. After seeing them shape-shift into their freaky humanimal counterparts, Ally smacks hard into a few truths: magic really does exist and, although getting here took no effort, finding her way back might be impossible. Feelings between her and Liam begin to grow along with the realization that, in this world, she’s stronger, better ... until she’s caught in a trap set by the creepy spider-boy Cepheus sends to retrieve her. But Ally’s not going down without a fight, not after learning the horrible truth about the passageways.

The survival of both worlds depends on it. -Goodreads

Interview with the Lovely Cindy Saunders!

 ~M: What was your inspiration for Double Star?

CS: I’ve always been fascinated with the possibility of other worlds existing either in the heavens or running parallel to our own. I was looking around one day and thought ... “What if ...?”

I remembered a vortex site I visited on a trip to Sedona a few years back and discovered that vortexes are thought to be gateways to other worlds. As a matter of fact, Stonehenge and The Great Pyramid of Egypt are thought to be centers of vortex activity and again, thought ... “What if ...?” At that point, the ideas started to flow. I’ve always been interested in Greek mythology and wondered what it would have been like if the gods really had existed. What if they still do?

Then, I began thinking of love. What if you found your one true love (if you have experienced it, you know what I’m talking about it. If not ... wait for it. It’s the most unbelievable feeling) but what if the odds were stacked against you? What if you found yourself in another world and this ‘soul mate’ was there? What if there were other forces, as well? Ones which threatened everything you believe in. What would you be willing to do? What if all the craziness in this world right now (the violence, the wars, the devastating weather, etc.) was being caused by something or someone traveling into our world? What if you had the power to close that door?

I started to write down all these ‘what ifs’ and my story was born. I actually told my daughter about my ideas and she said, “Mom, how about the name Double Star?” I liked it and it stuck. I wanted the story to be based on a Greek goddess (I made up Ascencia) who died in swan form. When I did some research, I discovered that Cygnus (the swan) actually has a double star in the constellation and figured it was meant to be!

~M: Well, besides dead swan goddesses, is there an author that you admire who has really inspired you?

CS: I have always been a fan of Stephen King. He is not afraid to explore “what ifs”. I especially like his fantasy novels about other worlds such as The Talisman and The Gunslinger Series. I love the way he develops his characters so you feel invested in them regardless of how crazy they might be! He’s an awesome writer.

~M: Stephen King rocks!! ALL HAIL STEPHEN KING OF MAINE!! Anyway....

Who is your favorite character and why?

CS: Probably like any author, there is a special place in my heart for all my characters. I wanted to write a story where the characters were relatable but not too hard or too flawed. They have issues but what’s going on around them is what creates the conflict. Shane, Oisin and Ian are loosely based on people I know. Corm ... he’s probably the guy I would have fallen for in high school. I like Ally’s strength and resiliency, given the situation she’s had to deal with. But of course, my favorite is Liam. He’s strong yet vulnerable and, of course, in my mind he’s very hot!

~M: Because time travel should totally exist, if you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self?

CS: Start writing now! I don’t know why I waited so long. I’m not an English major. I wasn’t even fond of writing in school ... my grammar is still atrocious (talk to my editor and she’ll agree!). But I think I’ve always thought like a writer. I like observing people, what they’re saying, their body language, trying to get inside their heads, figure out what makes them tick. I’m probably way off base but it’s all about creating an illusion because perception is reality. So my advice to anyone thinking about writing ... go for it! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

~M: Grammar sucks! Good thing, but sooooooo pesky! 

Was there any part of the book that you had hard time writing? Please explain.

CS: The final scene where Ally and company confront the Shenfo. I was involved in only one fight in my entire life and that was in high school. Sadly, I didn’t do very well. Trying to visualize in my head how it would go down at the end of the book was one thing but actually writing it was another. Because Double Star is, for the most part, through the eyes of Ally or Liam, they couldn’t possibly see everything that was happening. It took many re-writes but in the end, I’m pleased with how it turned out. Maybe I need to watch more Chuck Norris flicks! Also, I need to thank my brother, Ned, for his help with this scene and countless others in the book. He knew what I was trying to do ... I couldn’t have done it without him.

~M: I see, I shall take notice of your obsession with Chuck Norris. Besides writing and Chuck Norris, what else do you obsess yourself with?

CS: I love music. I find it very inspirational. It’s amazing how a song can bring back memories of another time or place and bring tears to your eyes or a smile to your face. I’ve always been a big concert- goer. Nothing compares to the energy at a live show. My tastes are always changing but I remember listening to Coldplay’s Viva la Vida CD (“Death and All His Friends”) and the Merrows piece in the book literally wrote itself. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to hear that song and not be reminded of Ally’s day at the lake. Musical inspirations for Double Star were lots of Coldplay (to be quite honest, I never was into them before I started the book), Collective Soul, Manchester Orchestra and Cage the Elephant. For Double Star II, I’m listening to Lana Del Ray, AWOL Nation and Imagine Dragons.

~M: The ending of Double Star was left very open ended, can you give us any hints as to what will happen (we will even accept musical hints!)?

CS: Honestly, I’m not sure what’s going to happen! I didn’t know where the story was going in the first book until I got there. What I do know is that the group will find two others who complete the star. They will confront Cepheus ... but there is an alliance, a trinity of evil so to speak, that is stronger than anyone could have imagined. And if good is to win over evil, it will not be without casualties.

~M: Sigh.... Just waiting for some spoilers. 

What are you currently working on, and what can readers expect to see soon?

CS: Double Star II, of course! I don’t think I’m one of those writers that can put the story aside and work on something else. The characters are alive in my head and I don’t want to lose that. They need closure, too! I’m hoping it will be available by the end of 2013.


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1 comment:

  1. I love the advice about writing! I love to write but I hated grammar in school and I went to an art school for college that barely required English classes for my major. Needless to say, my grammar is probably terrible. It's nice to see someone who is sort of in the same boat!

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction


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