11-21-2011: Never to be forgotten! Today is the day that Ian Somerhalder responded to me on facebook! Hey, that may not be a big deal for you, but for me.. HUGE. *swoon*
Conversation copied from FB:
ME: Finally! After an hour of searching facebook, I find the REAL you. Hi Ian!
Ian Somerhalder: Thank you.Nice to meet you
ME: My pleasure! Thank you for taking the time to notice. :)
Ian Somerhalder: you're welcome
Ian Somerhalder: I try not to disappoint my fans!
ME: Well, you're doing a wonderful job. :) It's nice (and a bit scary) to talk to someone like you!
ME: lol... (I'm secretly freaking out cuz I got to talk to Ian! *sigh*)
Ian Somerhalder: Thank you Theresa!
ME: lol... you're welcome! Just do me a favor and don't knock when you invade my dreams tonight. The husband probably wouldn't like that. hehe!
Ian Somerhalder: well I will not:)
ME: Perfect! Thanks. LOL
Interview & Excerpt: Paul & Gail Gallacher
Larby Lodge (The Sword & The Flame: Book 1)
by Gail & Paul Gallacher
Print Length: 280 pages
Publisher: Gail & Paul Gallacher (June 2, 2012)
Can you tell us something interesting about your writing process?
The one thing people always ask us is: how do you write together? Well it just happens surprisingly easy. We started talking about writing a series of books together about 3 months into our relationship…maybe even less than that. We’re both booksellers at Waterstones, a chain of bookstores in the UK and books are our obsession; so it seemed perfectly natural to give it a go. We even wrote on our honeymoon – I have the photographic evidence.
In terms of how we break it down, I write the emotional heart of the story (so I guess you could say I am Eve’s internal thought process), while Paul writes the action and more masculine characters. Once we have written a chapter or key scene we will swap and edit each other’s work. When we think we are getting close to a final draft, I read it out loud and then we thrash out a definitive version that represents just one voice. The best advice we can give to any budding writer is: always read aloud what you have written, it’s the best way to see if it flows naturally. If something doesn’t sound right, it won’t read right either.
How long did it take you to write your book?
Although Larby Lodge is our first published book, it is not our first book. We have spent nearly five years getting to the stage we are at today and it hasn’t been easy. The first book that we wrote was called Mitford Falls and this is actually now Book 3 in The Sword & The Flame series, of which Larby Lodge is the first. Although Mitford Falls had promise and was helped along by some advice from an editor, it was over complicated with too many characters, too many subplots, and not enough world building. So we decided to be brave when we already tired from the previous four years of writing, and we opted to write a prequel to Mitford Falls. Larby Lodge took a year to write all in, but it has spawned so much story that we now have a whole other book in between – Book 2: Rise of The Youth League.
Describe your book in a tweet (140 characters or less)!
Part Carrie, part Witness (the Harrison Ford film), with shades of Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children.
Who is your favourite character (that you’ve written)?
We have to say Eve, although we love all of our characters. We could probably pick a couple of others like Swoosie for example, and Liergo and Pandora (who bob up in books 2 and 3 respectively). But at the end of the day we have to be obsessed with Eve – ultimately it is her story. She is our protagonist; a strong-minded girl who is put through her paces. Eve is very shy and inexperienced at the beginning of the story but her family’s circumstances mean she has to mature. The world she lives in is a spectacular one which will unfold with the sequels, but it is also very volatile and dangerous place, as the Change (a time of great chaos and upheaval when teenagers across the globe developed magical powers) causes a divide between those that embrace magic and those that will do anything to fight against it. One of the key themes of the series is a world that has been left confused and without answers, and Eve must do her best to make sense of this.
How do you go about telling a good story?
To tell a good story you need to have a plot with drive and purpose; a sense of uncertainty which forces you to turn the pages. Many of our favourite stories are layered like a jigsaw puzzle which we find very rewarding to fit together. J.K Rowling and Stephen King are great examples of authors who can catch you in a web of intrigue and even though it’s not a book, we really admire Inception and Christopher Nolan’s sense of narrative drive and complexity.
Is there a passage that you would like to share with us?
This is a passage from chapter two but it covers a lot of themes and issues which Eve has to come to terms with during the story. Her jealousy and concern around the Awakening, which is when a teenager’s magical abilities become apparent and, just as importantly, how those powers will manifest themselves, in her sister’s case flight, but it also touches on the tensions between Eve and her father. Without giving too much away there are many forces at play which affect the dynamics of the Rivers’ family, and these drive much of the narrative of Larby Lodge and beyond.
Eve rested her towel on the riverbank and sat down. At five and a half foot tall, her feet stuck out over the edge. She was painfully aware of how much taller she was than every other fourteen year-old she knew, and felt as a gangly as a bean pole, but no matter what she wore or how she styled her long auburn hair there was no disguising it. Her Mum had told her several times, that a day would come when the rest of her body would catch up, but it seemed an awful long way off.
Bronwyn giggled and Eve made the mistake of seeking her out as she swooped towards the rippling water like a kingfisher seeking its lunch. The morning sun was blinding and Eve happily closed her eyes to it all, but her mind wouldn’t cease its torture and she daydreamed of what it would be like to see the river pass beneath; to lazily dip her toes in the warm water then soar upwards like a bird, majestic and carefree.
It was all so frustrating. Maybe it was time to give up and accept the fact that she was a Dud, doomed just to watch as those around her developed their skills and laughed at her behind her back. Even her best and only friend, Fran, had Awoken recently, which had put a lot more pressure on their relationship than she wanted to admit. It would certainly explain why Fran hadn’t asked to meet up during the holidays, like she normally did. She would have to make it up to her when she returned to Treglown. It wasn’t Fran’s fault.
It seemed even her head-of-year was worried. Mrs Johnson tried to hide it under a veil of curiosity but Eve wasn’t fooled. Their Dad had made it quite clear at a recent parent evening that he was delighted with Bronwyn’s progress. “A right little Sky Lantern she’s turning out to be,” he had said. The very next day Eve had been called to the office. Mrs Johnson asked all sorts of questions that ultimately led back to the same thing; had Eve experienced any strange occurrences that could point to her Awakening?
After a long silence Eve shook her head. She had considered making something up but what was the point? She was managing to hold back the tears but it was obvious she was upset because Mrs Johnson told her not to worry herself. She began to spin off a story about being a late developer herself and how all the other children in her class had Awoken first. Apparently it had been far worse in those unenlightened days when the Awakening was still a new phenomenon.
‘Magic can take many forms,’ Mrs Johnson continued, leaning in sympathetically. ‘Your sister obviously takes after your father but what of your mother?’
‘She was telekinetic but her powers have worn off now. She was very powerful though.’
‘Oh she’s faded,’ Mrs Johnson chuckled. ‘Obviously singing takes it out of you.’ Eve wasn’t sure whether Mrs Johnson’s comment was meant to be patronising or just a simple joke. But either way it served to wind her up. ‘Why don’t you practice moving things? I’m sure it won’t be long before something happens. Don’t worry Eve your Awakening will come soon.’
Eve nodded but she had already decided to ignore her advice. There was no point. Eve was going to fly like her sister and that was that.
‘Come on,’ Bronwyn shouted from the water, breaking Eve’s reverie.
‘I’m working on my tan.’
Yeah and so is swimming compared to flying, Eve thought before shouting out ‘you’re annoying,’ in reply.
Bronwyn stuck her tongue out impishly and Eve gave her the finger. They both giggled.
Eve gazed beyond the river. Old willow trees lined the far bank and on the other side of the wood, just visible between the dangling branches, stood a moss-covered wall which bordered their estate and cut it off completely from the main road. The run-down collection of bricks had once exerted a powerful hold over Eve’s imagination. Inspiring thoughts of magical borders, faraway lands and princesses in castles; always in distress of course, because that was how Eve felt most of the time. Her parents’ celebrity lifestyle ensuring she was denied the one thing she craved above all else: A normal life.
A terrible scream interrupted Eve’s thoughts and sent her bolt upright just in time to see a large splash.
Do you have a website or a blog?
Social networking is something we’re heavily working on at the moment. I know the importance of bloggers – they really do get independent books the profile that they need and deserve. I was lucky enough to do an event with Amanda Hocking and she was adamant that it was the bloggers that had got her where she is today. So I would just like to thank all of those people out there that do take the time to read these features, or write reviews for Amazon etc. Authors really do appreciate every single one of you. Just one little nice comment can give an author the encouragement they need when they’re having a tough day. If you would like to make our day, please:
Follow us on Twitter @LarbyLodge
Visit our blog: www.gailandpaulbooks.blogspot.com
Like us on facebook www.facebook.com/LarbyLodge
Paul and Gail Gallacher are a husband and wife writing-team from the UK. Both full-time booksellers, somehow they also find the time to be authors, and regularly do creative workshops in schools. They moved to the coast for a slower pace of life to complete their series The Sword & The Flame. Larby Lodge, their current release, is part 1 in this series. They now enjoy writing to a soundtrack of seagulls and live on seaside delicacies like chips (fries) and Ice-cream, not at the same time of course. They also love the fact that if they are lacking inspiration they can go and watch the llamas and racoons that live on their local village green. That’s Normal for Norfolk (as we like to say in England)!