Today, I’d like to welcome not one, but two authors to the Thursday Throng, say hello to Joanna Gawn and Ron Dickerson who collaborated on the YA novel, The Cordello Quest. Joanna and Ron are also offering a lucky commenter the opportunity to win a free PDF or Kindle copy of the novel and whoever wins won’t be at all disappointed.
According to Amazon “What would you do if you found yourself in another world? If you were told you had a key role to play in the lives of a people you never knew existed? That you had been a part of their legend for centuries? Who would you rely on?”
I approached The Cordello Quest with the same trepidation I felt when I first encountered Diana Murdock’s book ‘Souled’, thinking to myself this is Young Adult and it’s not something I read. Within the first page I was hooked, and not just because of the story. As I read from page two onwards I found myself thinking ‘this is just like Shamanic journeying I’ve done in the past’. You can imagine my surprise when a little further in, it becomes obvious that this is in fact a journey that is outside the physical body. The book for me was like a UK version of The Celestine Prophecy where the story was almost secondary to the messages that were being shared. These were messages I have heard many times, acted on a lot in the past and left behind in more recent times, I am pleased to say that it has reconnected me to that earlier self and I feel more whole and connected than I have done in many years. I am now looking forward to reading parts 2 and 3 of the Lazuli Portals.
Hello to you both and welcome to the interview. My first question for the day is ‘What is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?
Joanna: Some of my friends know I’m quite a rock chick (soft / melodic rock is my favourite) but most won’t know that I play – albeit badly – electric and acoustic guitar. I also tinkle the ivories reasonably well, and have played a church organ on a number of occasions, which uses two hands and feet simultaneously – now that’s multi-tasking!
Ron: Probably that I like to write poetry! With a background steeped in rugby (6’3″ and 18 stone) and the money side of business, perhaps the use of words to create images may not seem to sit. On the other hand, it could be said that it is the other side of me showing through – so it may be more obvious than I think. So, how do other people actually see me??
What did the best review you ever had say about you and your work?
Joanna: We’ve had lots of great reviews, the best ones being from people who understand the themes of The Lazuli Portals series and the energy that underpins it. Some say they felt a spiritual healing take place as they read the book, with a few sensing the energy of ‘lovelight’ itself – even from across the room in the case of the paperback edition!
Perhaps I could include a few words that readers have used in their reviews: Captivating. Imaginative. Magical. Inspiring. Engaging. Uplifting. Empowering. Spellbinding. Absorbing. Breathtaking.
Are the names of your characters important to you?
Joanna: Up to a point, yes. Ron chose the names of our key characters, Keira and Jason, when he started the first few sentences of The Cordello Quest – luckily I was happy with them! For Mosaic of Light, the novel we’re currently writing, we offered our readers the chance to choose one of our new characters’ names. Naturally, our poll included only names that we liked. The name chosen was ‘Catryn’ which I am very happy with, as it’s Welsh for Pure. I’m convinced part of my soul is Celtic. 😉
Are there any occupational hazards to being an author?
Ron: Occupational hazards . . . not wanting to have a “real job”?? Drifting off from the daily routines into my (well, our, since I am joint author) own world, and not focusing on what “needs to be done”. Hopefully this will end soon, if I can swing early retirement, and I will be able to concentrate on . . . um . . . not concentrating!
Have you ever wished that you could be or do anything else instead of writing, and if so what?
Joanna: I have always wanted to write as a career, but until 2010 I hadn’t found anything to inspire me to ‘go the distance’ with longer works. Writing The Lazuli Portals series dovetails perfectly with my other vocation/career, that of Reiki and energy-healing practitioner. Working creatively with subtle energies, living consciously, and awakening spiritually are strong themes for Winter Jasmine Reiki and for the Lazuli Portals trilogy.
Do you think there is any elitism attached to the different genres of books, both in the fiction and non-fiction worlds?
Ron: Well, I am sure that Hawking’s “A Brief History Of Time” is viewed as a more ‘worthy’ book than, well shall we say something “Grey”! But is that the view from a writer’s or a reader’s perspective? From a buyer’s point of view, elitism did not come into it. I would think from the media coverage that books by personalities are more elite than those written by unknowns who never have coverage. So yes, elitism exists in media selection, which affects the actual sales; but that is more about the writer than the book genre. There appears to be a different feel to hearing about a biography than a travelogue, or “chick lit” as opposed to an historical novel. If that response can be taken to be “elitist” I am not sure – perhaps down to the perception of the sender/receiver of the concept?
How do you remain sane while working?
Ron: Sane – who on earth said that I was sane? (Joanna: Hmmmm……)
Where do you find your inspiration?
Joanna: From my own spiritual journey, and from working with natural energies such as Reiki and crystals. A great deal of my inspiration arises from Nature herself – wind, sea, cloud, rain; light and shadow; moorland and forest; stone circles and alignments; planets, constellations and galaxies. I can also become inspired by music, colour, photography, or simply a sentence I read or overhear. Inspiration is everywhere if you pay attention. Sometimes, though, I have to remind myself to fully immerse myself in an experience rather than trying to find the perfect words to record it!
What was the most important thing you learned at school?
Ron: From school, the most important thing I learned was that teachers are not always right! And that questioning approach, which upset some old school academics (not that you get many in a secondary modern!) still leads me to consider that many facts we are provided with are no more than accepted opinions. History is written by the winners/leaders, Science is changing almost hourly, even 1 = 1 can be expressed in so many ways. I am still sure we have lost as many “facts” as are known.
What is the book that you wished you had written?
Joanna: This is such a difficult question! It probably varies day by day (I’m a Gemini, after all!) When reading Daphne du Maurier or Mary Stewart, I have that pang of almost-regret that I hadn’t written those phrases. I think I’m part poet, so I love the lyrical sound and shape of words, how they fit together, and the images I can create from them. Writing is magical! Oh, I also wish I’d written A Discovery of Witches, too. Honestly, Linda, I’ve read so many superb books recently, it’s too hard to pick just one!
If you could commit the perfect murder where would you hide the body?
Ron: For a perfect murder there should not be a body. Most stand the chance of re-appearing at some time. So in a coffin on the way to the crematorium, or an acid tank. (Joanna: I’ll bear that in mind and watch my back!)
How to get a FREE copy of The Cordello Quest
Joanna and Ron have kindly offered a free copy of The Cordello Quest to one lucky commenter, you can choose from a PDF or Kindle version, it’s entirely up to the winner. All you need to do to be in with chance of winning is to to leave a comment or a message below for either me or the authors.
Where to buy the book and find out more about Joanna and Ron
I have a whole set of links to sites for Joanna and Ron and I thought I’d include them all together this time:
- Website: lazuli-portals.com
- Twitter: twitter.com/LazuliPortals
- Facebook: facebook.com/lazuliportalstrilogy
- Goodreads: goodreads.com/lazuliportals
Why ‘The Thursday Throng’?
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 visit Thursday Throng Author Interview Guidelines to find out more.
If you would like to see all the Authors who have been featured on The Thursday Throng you can click here: womanontheedgeofreality.com/2012/06/17/the-thursday-throng/