Today I have the pleasure of interviewing the author of The Talisman Series, Brenda Pandos.
Before I get started, I want to announce a couple of fun events happening soon. We decided to do a monthly theme for our Meet an Author Monday Blog Hop (see below), and January’s theme is “Where Do You Write?” I’ll be posting a photo of my favorite writing spot next week, after I clear the clutter and clean a bit first. *blushes*
Secondly, we’re approaching the one year anniversary of Omnific Publishing. Who knew the home of “Romance Without Rules” could publish so many great romances in less than a year? I’m currently reading Shades of Atlantis by Carol Oates and loving it. Omnific is hosting a “Lookin’ for Love Webhunt” with nine authors’ websites. Basically, I hid a heart somewhere on my website with a secret message (it could definitely be something Sophie tells Grant in Bad Behavior). Starting February 1st, if you find the hidden message on each author’s website and then go to the entry form, you might win the ENTIRE collection of Omnific e-books! Good luck.
The Emerald Talisman is the first book, featuring Julia, a sixteen year-old blonde living in northern California. Her life is rather normal except for the unexplained death of her mother when Julia was young. Julia reportedly witnessed the event but doesn’t remember what happened.
Her normal life shifts into the paranormal when a strong young man rescues her from peril. Nicholas seems so calming and warm that Julia falls into despair when he doesn’t return her calls. At one point Nicholas is downright cold to her and at others he simply avoids her, though she can still feel his longing for her. Talk about mixed signals! Luckily Julia meets a kind boy named Phil, who just moved into town. It seems like their friendship might help her deal with the loss of Nicholas in her life. However, Phil gets attacked, which sets into motion a threatening vampire triangle with Nicholas, Phil, and Julia—-will Julia survive?
I loved having the chance to hear more from Mizz Author herself!
Jennifer Lane (JL): First things first. Are you Team Nicholas or Team Phil?
Brenda Pandos (BP): How could I choose? They are both the types of guys I like . . . bad and good, daring and dependable, lovable and mysterious. Though, if I were in the car with Phil tempting me to come outside, I’d be a goner. The door would be open in an instant. Then I’d be a vampire and the guilt would ensue after I saw Nicholas again. I’m glad, in real life, I don’t have to choose. Team both!
JL: I thought you’d say that! Like many of us, it sounds like you didn’t necessarily plan to become an author. Please share your journey to publication.
BP: If you would have told me 10 years ago I’d be an author, I would have fallen over in laughter. But it makes sense that I am. I’ve always been overly imaginative and crave a good puzzle to solve. Writing gives me that outlet and it fits perfect into my wild-n-crazy life. It’s also fulfilling in a way I didn’t believe possible.
But the push was my son’s autism spectrum diagnosis. I needed something to keep me from sinking into a hole of despair during those really rough first months. Next to cancer, it’s the one thing you NEVER are prepared as a parent to hear, even if you think something might be wrong. I wish… I wish… I wish I would have researched vaccines better. Anyway. I started Twilight and thought “I could do this,” like so many of my new author friends have done. Most novels are so intimidating to me with the intricacies of the storyline and plot, but Stephenie made it look easy. We both know it’s not. Four months later, I had a really rough manuscript I entered into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel award contest, and I made it to the quarterfinals. That gave me the courage to press on towards publication.
JL: Congratulations of your award! Way to take life’s lemons and write hot lemons. How is your son progressing now?
BP: He’s doing amazingly well. We are very pleased. We’ve got the best therapy team ever and he’s going to be starting Kindergarten in the fall with typical kids.
JL: How much is Julia representative of you as a 16 year-old?
BP: Quite a bit actually. I’m keen into picking up on non-verbal cues, especially if someone’s just making things awkward, though emotion-reading could be useful. One criticism I often get from 20 to 30-something readers is that Julia fell too fast. At sixteen, if some hot guy saved me from a bloodthirsty stalker and carried me home, I’d be swooning for life (or even now at 38). But then I’m a fast faller. In high school, if cute boy said “hi” or even did a peek-a-boo look at me, he’d be on my mind for a while or until another caught my eye. But since Julia felt the feelings behind adolescent angst, it was a turn-off. Where I’m different is I’m outgoing and pretty decent at math.
JL: I loved the character of Enigma the cat. Do you have cats? How did you create her character?
BP: We’ve got a red-haired tabby named Buster we rescued from the pound. He’s got a great personality for a cat. In one of my brainstorming sessions, I thought a mysterious cat with the name Enigma would make an excellent character. With the fortune teller scene, I wanted the cat to react poorly to Sam and Julia to make things spooky. Over time her back story developed and I pulled her into a larger role. Since I write by the seat of my pants, I let the characters shape the story so I can’t remember exactly how she developed. Now she’s got a huge role in The Sapphire Talisman, which I never predicted and very pleased about.
JL: I understand there will be a third book in The Talisman Series, The Onyx Talisman. How’s that one coming along? Will there be any more books in the series?
BP: I’ve taken a little break to promote the Sapphire Talisman, but plan to pick it up shortly so it will be ready fall/winter of 2011. I’ve got a loose outline, but it’s still in its infancy. I’ve been writing crucial scenes as they come to me, like I did when writing The Emerald Talisman. The Sapphire Talisman was written from the beginning to the end, and I struggled a little more with it. But I predict, as it’s writing itself in my head, it’ll come together fast.
Thank you, Brenda!
Now on to the Meet an Author Monday Blog Hop, hosted by Lisa Sanchez.