‘Throng’ is n. – A multitude of persons or of living beings pressing or pressed into a close body or assemblage; a crowd.
Welcome to this weeks Author interview, Thursday Throng and this week I’d like to welcome Stacy Mantle, the author of ‘Shepherd’s Moon’. Stacy is very generously giving away a copy of Shepherd’s Moon to one lucky commenter – so get those comments in below and I’ll use random.org to choose the winner next Thursday 🙂
Fate hasn’t exactly been kind to twenty-year-old Alexandra. Unless you count the fact that she can communicate with animals, the only piece of luck she’s ever had was being rescued by a werewolf and landing in a forever home with an eccentric couple and their unusual pack of animals.
It’s taken twelve years to earn the official title of Shepherd but she’s now mostly trained, fairly effective, and the first female in over two centuries to hold the position as protector of animals. All animals…
The Territorial Council isn’t thrilled with her new title of Shepherd, but they don’t have any more control over the appointment than they have over her. All they can really do is wait for her to screw something up – which Alex is determined not to do.
Everything changes when a chance encounter with a genetically modified Shifter leaves Alex shaken and initiates a quest to locate its maker. In a desperate bid to save her pack, Alex must infiltrate the Parallax Corporation – an international organization with their hands in everything from biomedical engineering to publishing. They have now expanded their efforts to include terrorism and are attempting to breed the perfect weapon.
Despite years of training and enough money from her live-in pack of misfits to finance a small country, Alex finds herself woefully unprepared to tackle the new threat. To make matters worse, Alex must work with a mysterious man who’s been trying to kill her since the day they met. Together with her pack, Alex must learn how to stop the biological cloning and find those responsible for the plan before it really does become a global threat.
So, on to the interview.
That’s a tough question because I’m pretty much an open book (pardon the pun). I think that most people do not know I play piano and have played since I was 4 years old. They probably don’t know that I have a BA in English, a post-baccalaureate in Education, and an MBA. Most do not know that I would rather be learning something new than working on subjects I already know. And most would not know my secret fantasy is to live in a remote cabin far away from civilization.
Are the names of your characters important to you?
I put a lot of research into my character names. For example, Billy (our coyote shifter) is Apache and I wanted to make sure that his name signified a casual, friendly feeling while conveying deeper meaning. His full name is William Goyaalé. His last name means “One who yawns” in Apache – that is important because, while he’s a bit high strung in this novel, he’s normally quite laid back and relaxed in his approach to life. In fact, the only thing that really upsets him is when Alex is threatened or injured (which is quite often in this first novel).
We also have a lot of characters from different areas of the world and I wanted to make sure that their names were authentic and reflective of their country. Tristan means, “Child of sadness” and I think that really reflects the inner personality of our Nephilim – of course, he covers up that sadness with a lot of hostility and sarcastic comments, but we all have our personal coping skills… Alexandra’s last name is “Wilde” which I thought conveyed her personality and of course, her occupation.
Are there any occupational hazards to being an author?
For me, absolutely! Despite a life of adventure that includes a year of breaking wild mustangs, racing motorcross and camping in some of the most dangerous places in the world; my worst injuries have been from mundane activities. I once snapped my collarbone while walking down the street collecting for Multiple Sclerosis (I was kicking a rock down the street, tripped, and landed on the curb). I once had a concussion after a cow skull fell on my head while I was cleaning my office. I was nearly trampled to death by a horse after accidentally touching a hot wire, which knocked me unconscious in the animals’ small stall. So, yes – for me, writing is a high-risk activity!
Have you ever wished that you could be or do anything else instead of writing, and if so what?
Never… I’ve always wanted to be a writer my entire life. I started keeping a journal from the time I could write and I still have them in a special storage unit. Writing has been the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do in life.
What is the single biggest challenge you faced when writing your book?
Outlining… I have a really difficult time outlining because I like to see where the characters go on their own. I think writing without an outline is a more authentic style, but it does make life needlessly difficult for me. The characters can sort of take over the novel and take you places you weren’t expecting to go. The most random and unusual events can occur when you least expect them. For example, one of your characters could open the front door to suddenly find herself face-to-face with a character that you didn’t even know existed! The characters can take you places you’ve never even dreamed of going. It’s a fun way to write, however, it’s very easy to lose control with this style. In the second book of the series, Blood of the Shepherd, I have done my best to modify my writing process and at least have the major events outlined before I write. I really envy writers who can create detailed outlines and stay with them – it’s something I’m really focused on learning to do for myself.
Do you have any hints or tips for aspiring writers?
Write, write, write. Even when you don’t feel like it. Get things out to the public but, at the same time, don’t release something that isn’t ready. I’ve done that a few times and while it’s a good way to increase traffic, it is also a good way to damage a reputation. Listen to your editors and beta readers – they are your best friends even if they feel like your worst enemies – and they want you to succeed.
How do you remain sane while working?
Sane is a very subjective term… I’m not sure how many of us are really completely sane and I’m not sure I would be qualified as sane if someone had to categorize me. If you’re thinking about being a fulltime writer, I think you have to be off your rocker a bit. This is a career that only a very tiny percentage of people succeed in making a living at. But, if you’re flexible, willing to work more hours than you ever dreamed possible, and love what you do – success will follow.
What is the best excuse you have ever come up with for missing a deadline?
I don’t miss deadlines… That’s one of the defining characteristics of my writing career. It doesn’t matter if I have to work 60 hours straight; I get the job done well and on time.
What has been the best experience you have ever had in your life?
Well, of course meeting my husband and getting married was one of the highlights! Other than the big “life experiences,” I think that interactions with wildlife rate the highest for me. I once went swimming with stingrays (you can read about that here). I swam with dolphins in Mexico. I watched a deer and her fawn approach my tent in Colorado. I’ve ridden my horse amongst wild mustangs in New Mexico. I’ve been chased by an elk in Arizona. Those are a few of my most memorable experiences.
Are you jealous of other writers?
I think anyone who says they’re not is lying. Of course I get jealous – but then, I also spend a lot of time applauding their victories with positive book reviews, supporting their success with purchases, downloads, and reviews, and encouraging their growth with word-of-mouth advertising. Why? Because they paved the way for writers like me to come along with something as crazy as a book about a woman who can communicate with shape-shifters and Chimeras, Nephilim, and other amazing creatures. Besides, I truly believe that my time is coming and I hope when it does, that I will also have their support…
Tea, Coffee, Water, Juice, Wine or Beer … which do you prefer when writing?
Tea! Cold or hot, it only depends on the weather. I’m a tea connoisseur and love to explore the hardier flavours. My favourites are the Assam and Golden Monkey teas from Adagio. Yum!
Where to buy the book and find out more about Stacy
You can find out more about Stacy on her website at: http://www.stacymantle.com/
You can also buy Shepherd’s Moon on Amazon in the UK and on Amazon in the US too. Stacy has a hard-back version available from Lulu at: http://www.lulu.com/product/hardcover/shepherds-moon/18795718
Oh, and don’t forget to go and meet Stacy on Facebook too at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shepherds-Moon/161543100603408 and on Twitter as well at: http://www.twitter.com/stacymantle.
Stacy is also active on Goodreads and you can meet her here: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20450.Stacy_Mantle
How to get a FREE copy of Stacy’s book, Shepherd’s Moon
If you would like to get your hands on a free copy of Stacy’s book, Shepherd’s Moon, all you need to do is leave a comment here on her interview. Next Thursday I will use random.org to select one lucky person and will get in touch to find out your contact details to pass on to Stacy directly. Good luck everyone 🙂
These posts are called The Thursday Throng in honour of the throng that waits eagerly outside the book store when a new author is doing a book signing event or appearance. On this website it takes the form of a ‘Meet the Author‘ online event with some information about our author’s latest book and an interview. If you would like to take part in the Thursday Throng then why not email me to find out more.
If you would like to see past Authors featured on The Thursday Throng you can click here: womanontheedgeofreality.com/category/thursday-throng/