The Tethered World: An Interview With Heather L.L. FitzGeraldBy Brent King On February 15, 2016 Under Authors, Books
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The time has come for The Tethered World to shout out its existence! Needless to say, Heather is excited (and swamped). I caught up with her in the middle of her pre blog tour overload and procured the answers to a few fascinating questions about her and her debut novel:
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
This is sort of a blurry answer in my brain. I had a long list of things I wanted to do as a child. Writing a book was on that list, I remember distinctly. Though English and creative writing were a favorite subject, I didn’t go to college because there wasn’t anything that interested me enough to invest in. Over the years I’ve come to realize that I am a lazy creative person. If I can’t do something easily, I don’t expend much energy on it. Once my children were older and more independent, I wanted to use my “free” time pursuing something that had long term benefits—for after they were grown and out of the house. Writing was a natural creative fit. I could do it from home, or on a road trip. I didn’t have to invest money in it. And I had lots of ideas for stories from reading to my kids voraciously. Once I began, I determined that this would be something I would see through until the end, unlike so many of my creative endeavors.
What inspired you to write about legendary creatures in your first novel?
A combination of love for creative, mind-expanding stories like The Chronicles of Narnia, and ***hangs head in embarrassment*** laziness. Yes. I’m afraid you’re getting all my sinful confessions in this interview! I don’t have the time or inclination to research and fact check. ANYTHING can happen in a fantasy (though you still have to allow it plausible). I make the rules. Easy as that! Plus, world building is just FUN. I’ve always proposed “what if” questions to myself, so that tendency fits well with fantasy.
Why do you think monsters fascinate people?
I think they fascinate people because we’ve all got that inner-child that once had a love/hate relationship with the notion of monsters. And we want to believe that if monsters exist then other supernatural ‘good’ things do as well…like faeries and dryads and Hobbits. Also, the idea of monsters leave us wanting to find ways to deal with the otherworldly things that are beyond our own human ability to deal with. It makes us tingle with possibility.
How is The Tethered World different? What makes it stand out from the crowd?
I think it leaves readers feeling like, “hey, this could really happen.” I’m not asking for total suspension of belief like some fantasy stories. The characters are relatable. The main character, Sadie, is a very reluctant heroine that resents this interruption to her teenage life. I also think that having an autistic character sheds a fresh interpretation on why some people are different. Maybe they don’t quite fit in with this world because they are meant to be in another. As a mother of an autistic son, this is a thought I’ve turned over in my mind as I’ve written The Tethered World.
What did you learn in writing this book?
I guess you could say that I’ve learned all of the stuff I would’ve learned in college, had I chosen to study creative writing and English. The Lord brought a fabulous mentor into my life who has given me hours of writing help and has passed on her extensive knowledge of writing and publishing. I’ve also learned that there really aren’t any shortcuts. You have to write, and rewrite. You have to network with other authors. You need to be open to criticism and stay teachable. No matter how much I’ve learned, I’m truly stunned by the amount of stuff still to be learned! Though having natural talent is helpful. It’s not enough. You must apply yourself and, as the Bible says, “don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought.”
Are you working on any other books?
The Tethered World is part of a trilogy. So, yes, I’m working on the second book right now (due out in October). After this trilogy, I hope to launch into my ultimate writing project…a spinoff of one of the Narnia stories. It’s my top secret agenda, LOL. I came to realized that no one would take this idea of mine seriously if I didn’t establish myself as a writer first. You could say that I’m writing this trilogy in order to one day write the story I REALLY want to write!
Thanks for taking a few moments to share your passion with us Heather, and I invite our readers to continue the adventure into The Tethered World on the following blogs:
February 15 w/ Annie Douglass Lima
February 16 w/ “Beckah”
February 17 w/ Ginger Solomon
February 18 w/ Sandra Robbins
February 19 w/ Jennette Mbewe
February 20 w/ Erika Keswick
February 21 w/ Marisa Deshaies
February 22 w/ Autumn Macarthur
February 23 w/ Crystal Scott
February 24 w/ Stephanie Florentino
February 25 w/ Diana Montgomery
February 26 w/ Liz Tolsma
February 27 w/ Sarah Ruut
February 28 w/ Ashley Taylor
February 29 w/ Kat Vinson
March 1 w/ Anna Weaver Hurrts
Title: The Tethered World
Author: Heather LL FitzGerald
Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink
Published: February 1, 2016
See more on this book and author here.
Heather L.L. FitzGerald writes from her home in Texas, while dreaming of being back in the Pacific Northwest, where she grew up. When her four kids were young, she enjoyed reading aloud until her voice gave out. (Her son, who is autistic, would just move on to his favorite book on CD).Certain stories became good friends–the kind you want to revisit. The kind you wish never needed to say goodbye. Those are the sort of stories Heather aspires to write. Stories worthy of delicious coffee and tea, that are difficult to leave.
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Mountain Brook Ink will be giving away ONE KINDLE FIRE as a grand prize, and three Starbucks gift cards ($$ ?) as runner-up prizes. Winners will be chosen at random through Rafflecopter from all names collected throughout the blog tour–there are no individual prizes per blog.