Monday, July 14, 2014

Q & A with Author Regan Claire!

Beautiful book cover, no?  

A little insight into the world of Regan Claire, author of Gathering Water; interview below. Enjoy!

Is there any specific moment you got the idea for Gathering Water, or did it just slowly build up?

Well, my original version of Gathering Water was much different. Different characters, different backgrounds, actually the only similarity is the setting, and the Elemental magic and even THAT is different! When I first started writing what would one day mutate into GW, I was still a teenager and really missing home (The Outer Banks of North Carolina). So, I came up with a story that would take me back there. Some books have their beginnings with a strong character whispering in your head, or a unique concept you want to flesh out… Gathering Water started with a place. The story would have been completely different if it were set anywhere else, it’s as much of a character in my book as anything else… So, I guess there wasn’t a specific moment I got the idea for it. At its core, it’s a book that was started out of longing, and it takes years for something like that to build up!

Who inspires you most?

So, this one is easy. My two daughters are my inspiration. More specifically, it’s my oldest daughter. She has already proved herself to be so strong, and always so happy despite the challenges she goes through daily. Both girls inspire me daily to be a better woman, and a better mother; to be the role model that they deserve.

What kind of research did you do for Gathering Water (if any)?

Oh, I love research. Well, it’s a love/hate relationship. I did quite a bit, trying to stay true to my setting and my characters. I researched behaviors of foster children, and some of the things many of them have gone through before reaching maturity. I made sure my childhood memories were correct and spent a lot of time on Google Maps, finding the perfect neighborhood for Della’s house to be in. I asked questions to surfers in the area, and locals to make sure there weren’t any dialect issues. That part was easier for me, because I still have family there who are very invested in the history and culture of their home. I also spent a lot of time researching various symbols. Then there was the legends of the region, a little of ancient Greek culture and stories of Atlantis, and the Fae of Western Europe… Um… There’s more, I’m sure of it, but that’s the stuff that pops up the most!

Your favorite books?

Goodness, I have so many! Let’s see… Harry Potter will always get a mention from me. I feel like I grew up with that boy, and read those books so many times the binding is VERY well-worn. I’m in love with most of Anne Rice’s books, since she was the first author that really opened my eyes to how beautiful books can be. I really love Urban Fantasy as a genre, and YA Fantasy. Anything that retells, or re-spins any fairy tale/lore/legend is guaranteed a read from me.

Tell me a little about yourself as a person?

I’m a little strange, but I think that’s true of most people. I tend to procrastinate more than I should, have grand dreams of one day living in a castle… that’s right, a castle… and Love to eat. That’s “Love” with a capitol “L.” I’m incredibly passionate about a TON of subjects, so much that my nickname in my writing group, The Rebel Writers, is Soapbox. But I think that type of thing is normal for any mother, and especially any mother that is an artist. It takes passion to create, right? I’m shy, but only sometimes. Random times. Actually, I’m more shy (shyer?) around people I’m acquainted with, and am totally outgoing and chatterboxy with complete strangers.

What do you enjoy most about being an author or what do you find most difficult?

The best? Well, being able to go to work in my sweatpants and a bowl of cereal in my lap is pretty awesome, but I LOVE the feeling you have after you’ve sat down to write. It’s like therapy, and chocolate, and somehow a marathon, all at the same time. Sometimes you feel a little drunk afterwards, and sometimes incredibly drained… but either way, it seems to even me out. If I’m angry, or depressed, or just feeling bleh, writing always turns me back into the happy person I truly am. The worst? It doesn’t look like I’m actually working, and I’m home… and I always have this tremendous guilt bubble up and try to convince me that laundry would be a better use of my time. I suppose the flexible hours are really the best, and worst thing about being an author. Because there is no ‘set time’. No clocking in. You really have to hold yourself accountable, and then hope that everyone else in the house understands enough to leave you alone. Haha.

If you could say one thing to a large group of people, what would it be?

Follow your dreams. But more than that. Have the courage to dream big. Dream in such a way that can change the world for the better (even if it’s only YOUR world)… then follow those dreams.

Gathering Water Synopsis:

Della Doe Deare isn't like most people. Most people begin their life on the day they enter the world; the day they're born. Della, well, hers began on the day she turned eighteen. After all, it was the day she first heard her real name, and that of her mothers. With nothing but a couple of duffel bags and a folder full of questions, she travels home to coastal North Carolina to claim the house she inherited from a grandmother she never knew. She has two goals: discover why her mother ran away from home all those years ago, and avoid the family that had left her to rot in an inept foster care system. Hard to do when the family she's been trying to avoid is dragging her into an unimaginable world... a world on the brink of war, and both sides want her dead. All Della ever wanted was to know who she was, but the journey to self-discovery might just lead to her destruction.