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Interview and Tour: Deborah Lightfoot

Today I'm hosting Deborah Lightfoot for her virtual book tour!

Why do you write the genre you write? Was it difficult to decide, or did it come naturally?

Once I got past my self-doubt, fantasy felt as natural as breathing. Life-long, I’ve lived in my imagination. I grew up with Alice in Wonderland, Hans Christian Andersen, and the Brothers Grimm. Early on, I was reading Andre Norton, a prolific science fiction and fantasy author. I also love Edgar Allan Poe and such classics of English literature as Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, and Wuthering Heights. All these influences bubbled together, seasoned with everything else I’ve ever read, all the people I’ve known, all the places I’ve traveled and everything I’ve learned. Plus all the crushes I’ve had! Just because I’m no longer a teenager doesn’t mean I don’t vividly remember what it felt like, to dream of love and then to experience it. Falling in love is powerful. Those emotions shape us.

Did you base any of your characters on real people?

The characters are combinations of real people from my life plus fictional creations I’ve admired. Heathcliff and Rochester are the literary godfathers of my leading man, Lord Verek. My protagonist, Carin, is a little bit Jane Eyre and a little bit me. The housekeeper, Myra, owes some of her chattiness to a talkative friend of mine.

What’s the most exciting part about being a published author? What is the hardest part?

The most exciting part is connecting with readers! I love it when readers comment on my Facebook author page, on Goodreads, or my blog. Any and all questions are welcome. If you’ve read or are reading the books of WATERSPELL, I want to have a conversation with you. Please contact me.

The hardest part is juggling the added demands on my time. I make my living as an editor. The projects I edit tend to be long, messy, and complicated. They take serious time and concentration. Getting out on the book-tour trail is also labor-intensive. By the time my current WATERSPELL Blog Tour wraps up on June 22, I’ll be in Roswell, New Mexico, to sign books and do readings at the annual festival of science fiction and fantasy known as Ros-Con / Cosmic-Con. And of course, I’m also trying to write! The days are too short.

Do you have any other books planned in the future?

My work in progress is called “Out of Mind.” It’s a story of the paranormal set in the American West of the far future. Eventually, too, there may be a WATERSPELL Book 4. I’m mulling over the threads from the trilogy that could weave a framework for a fourth book.

Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?

My favorite character is the warlock, Lord Verek. He’s moody, arrogant, hot-tempered, dark-eyed, sensitive, handsome, mysterious, and dangerous. He’s Heathcliff, Rochester, and Mr. Darcy rolled into one. He’s a strong man in pain. What woman could resist?

But going into detail about any unlikable character(s) would be a spoiler, so I’ll only say that even the villains in WATERSPELL are understandable. They all have valid reasons for doing what they do. The antagonist is certain that the ends justify the means. You may not like their methods, but by the end of the trilogy you’ll understand what has motivated their actions.

What advice can you give to young writers who want to publish their books?

Join a critique group. It can meet in person, as mine does, or it can be an online group. Every writer needs to be able to bounce ideas off fellow writers. The group I’m in is a safe place. We bring our rough, first drafts and get feedback without fear of ridicule or condemnation. (Condemnation, after all, “is lack of imagination, when one cannot suggest something better,” said the English philosopher Theodore Zeldin.) My critique partners have given me invaluable support during all the years I’ve worked on the WATERSPELL trilogy. Every writer needs that support, and there’s not a writer alive who won’t benefit from the kind of thoughtful, insightful critiques that knowledgeable pros can provide. If you don’t have a professional critique group to join, start one!

What are your ten most favorite things?

My family, my friends, my work (I love what I do), my house (it’s in the country and is owner-built from a design drawn by my brilliant husband), books, mountains (Ozarks, Rockies, all mountains everywhere), long walks in the woods, rainstorms, the sound of the surf, coffee with cream and sugar, wildflowers, the “writer’s high” when I’m really in the zone ... oops, I think that’s more than ten. :-)

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I go for long walks in the woods. If I’m lucky, I get up to the mountains.

Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?

In designing our house, my husband (with my help) spec’d an upstairs room as my office. It’s not a converted bedroom—it’s a purpose-built space with built-in bookshelves and cabinets. It’s under the eaves in the quietest part of the house. This is my retreat, my sanctuary, my place for thinking.

Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you write?

Just coffee. Many cups of coffee with cream and sugar. I’m addicted. {I'm with you on that one. ~Haley}

If you could go anywhere in the whole world, either for a vacation or to live there, where would you go?

The Scottish Highlands. I’ve been to England, the Yorkshire moors, but we didn’t have time to push on north into Scotland. It’s a dream of mine.

What was your favorite and least favorite subject in school?

Favorite: Band! Least favorite: Speech.

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

I had an out-of-body experience. It was wonderful: the feeling of floating up through the ceiling. I gradually came to rest on the roof, and even in my “disembodied” state I could feel the sun-warmed shingles under me. I’d love to experience it again, that free-floating sensation of weightlessness. It was sublime.

Thank you for reading this! I’ve enjoyed this Q&A.

Thanks for visiting Deborah!

 

About the Book

Drawn into the schemes of an angry wizard, Carin glimpses the place she once called home. It lies upon a shore that seems unreachable. To learn where she belongs and how to get there, the teenage traveler must decipher the words of an alien book, follow the clues in a bewitched poem, conjure a dragon from a pool of magic -- and tread carefully around a seductive but volatile, emotionally scarred sorcerer who can't seem to decide whether to love her or kill her.

Book 1 of a series. The story continues in WATERSPELL Book 2: The Wysard and Book 3: The Wisewoman .

"Intriguing premise and original characters … Carin and Verek’s well-crafted relationship balances in a tense power struggle … Fine fantasy." —Kirkus

ISBN 9780972876841| Published January 1st 2012 by Seven Rivers Publishing | Amazon | Goodreads

Excerpt

WATERSPELL Book 1: The Warlock
by Deborah J. Lightfoot

From
Chapter 1. The Swordsman

It happened too fast to hurt at first. But, oh! the blood—lots of it, streaming from a gouge that crosscut her knee.

She hunched over the wound, her masses of unkempt hair tumbling around her face, strands of it trailing in the gore. Blindly Carin fumbled in her belt-pouch for something to stanch the bleeding. Her fingers met only flint and steel for fire-making, pebbles for arming her sling, and a length of twine that was useful for everything from tying back her shaggy auburn mane to rigging a brush shelter.

Abruptly a hand grasped the shank of her leg, and another shoved at her shoulder. “Straighten up,” her captor snarled.

Carin threw back her head and flung the hair out of her eyes. “You!” she gasped. “But—” She hadn’t heard the swordsman’s approaching footsteps—a seeming impossibility through the crunchy carpet of autumn leaves. Yet here the man was, crouched beside her and brandishing a dagger. Carin’s hand flew to shield her throat, but it was her knee he put the blade to.

Stay away from me! she wanted to shout at him. She couldn’t get the words out—not in a way that made sense. As sometimes happened when she came unglued, Carin lapsed into a language of her own. The sounds that passed her lips weren’t gibberish, but no one ever understood a word she said when she got like this. Carin yelled at the man, in her own private language, and tried to wrench free of his grasp.

“Stop your noise,” he barked. He held her leg tighter and waved his dagger in her face. “If you can’t be quiet, I’ll cut out your tongue.”

Copyright © 2011–2012 by Deborah J. Lightfoot. All Rights Reserved.

Sample Chapter 1 in full at www.amazon.com/dp/B00686UIFW

 

About the Author

Castles in the cornfield provided the setting for Deborah J. Lightfoot’s earliest flights of fancy. On her father’s farm in West Texas, she grew up reading extraordinary tales of adventure and reenacting them behind tall ramparts of sun-drenched corn. She left the farm to earn a bachelor of science degree in journalism and write award-winning books of history and biography, including The LH7 Ranch (University of North Texas Press) and Trail Fever (William Morrow, New York). High on her Bucket List was the desire to try her hand at the genre she most admired. The result is WATERSPELL, a complex, intricately detailed fantasy that begins with Book 1: The Warlock and Book 2: The Wysard, and concludes (for the present) with Book 3: The Wisewoman. But a legal pad filled with notes and tucked away in a desk drawer suggests a possible Book 4 before the saga may fairly be said to be finished.

Deborah is a professional member of The Authors Guild. She and her husband live in the country south of Fort Worth, Texas. Find her online at www.waterspell.net.

Check out the giveaway for this tour here!

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Copyright 2016 Haley Mathiot. All reviews are 100% honest and unbiased. One or more items featured in the blog post may have been free or discounted. Receiving free or discounted product does not affect review. For more please see my disclaimer page.