Summer Author Blitz: Heather Poinsett &Chris Dunbar Interview

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Hey! Azi am revenit cu interviul acordat lui Heather Poinsett &Chris Dunbar , in cadrul blog tour-ului ce are scopul de a promova autori.

Heather Poinsett &Chris Dunbar Interview

1. Describe the Morrigan’s Brood series in less than 100 words.

 (Chris): Morrigan’s Brood is a historical fantasy series, set beyond and within the Dark Ages, in which races of blood-drinkers, mythological beings derived from gods and goddesses of cultures the world over, strive for dominance in the ancient world, steering the course of human events from night’s sweet embrace… and they don’t sparkle.  Since each race is derived from different deities for unique reasons, each race bears its own gifts, weaknesses, and motivations.  Some seek balance, both with nature and with other blood-drinkers, while others strive to be the power behind popes, kings, and emperors.

 2. How did the idea for the Morrigan’s Brood series come to you?

 (Chris): It was all Heather’s idea… hers.  She came up with it, she did.  I just got dragged, kicking and screaming, into this writing thing.

 (Heather): Well, when I was an undergrad student, I lucked out one summer and managed to wheedle my way into an internship program that placed me in London.  I spent half of the summer working and the other half backpacking through Europe.  That journey changed my perspective on a lot of things.  One of my coworkers took me to what had been Boudicca’s last stand against the Roman invaders in the first century CE.  I could practically hear the chariots wheels rattle past us.  I felt proud to have a Celtic heritage (my family is primarily Germanic and Irish).  I also spent a great deal of my trip in Bath, studying the Roman ruins there.  After my travels, I went back home to Texas and I began to study everything I could about the Celtic tribes of Europe.  A lot of them suffered during the Roman era due to the constant invasions, and their culture faded and merged with the Romans, except in Scotland and Ireland.  One night, I had a typical incubus nightmare, where you feel weight on your chest and can’t take a steady breath.  I’d been reading Celtic myths about vampires, and after my dream, I turned on the lights, reassured myself I was alone, and started re-reading a myth about an Irish blood-drinker, or vampire, if you will, called ‘Deargh Du’.  I decided that writers needed to explore the different vampiric myths in books, and I thought it would be great to write more about it. The actual story of the creation of the first Deargh Du is very short, as primarily most of the tales were lost because bards told these stories and seldom wrote them down.  However, I decided it would be interesting if the Deargh Du were a creation that came forth during the Mílesian invasion of Ireland, as that is one of my favorite legends.

3. If you can have an actual conversation with any of your characters from Morrigan’s Brood series, who would it be? What would you ask them?

(Chris): I might try to talk sense into Máire about her relationship with Mandubratius.  While I don’t wish to give away anything for those who have not yet read the first novel, I will say that the phrase “Its’ Complicated” does not come close to describing her relationship with him.  Heather and I really need to smack sense into her, but she is strong-willed and stubborn.  “Roller Coaster” would be another phrase that comes to mind.

(Heather): I’m not sure if Máire would listen.  I’d probably love to pick any of the character’s brains about the various eras they lived in.  I just can’t pick a favorite.

 

4.Which character had been the hardest to write? The easiest?

 (Chris): Easiest – Mandubratius.  In the first two books, he came out rather two dimensional, but then something happened to him at the end of book two, which was explained in more detail in Madness & Reckoning.  Then starting in book 3, grew to encompass more depth, such that he might even becoming a 4-dimensional character, instead of just three.

Hardest – Seosaimhín, because she is in another zone, on another plane of existence, talking to us through the mists, so to speak.  She often speaks in metaphor, which is difficult to write.  Early on, we had to write out in normal English what she wanted to say and then convert it… but lately, we need no conversion; we just get her, now.

(Heather): I have to agree with those assessments.  I don’t mind being in Mandubratius’ head space, but Seosaimhín’s brain would make me quite uncomfortable.

5. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

 (Chris): I am not a writer… or an author.  Technically, I am a storyteller, but my performance is mostly via the written word.  I would say my storytelling started with Indian Guides, which was/is a scouting-type organization of the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) that incorporated stories, rituals, and crafts of the native peoples of our country.  During campouts, or powwows, the different tribes would conduct skits around the bonfire.  One of the fathers must have been a pyrotechnician, since many skits involved the creative lighting of the bonfire, whether with a flaming arrow, lightning strike, lava, telekinesis, or some other “magical” method.  Anyway, the storytelling is what captured my imagination, as well as the performance of these stories.  One I remember was a skit describing how the bear lost its long tail by being tricked by the fox… I think it was.

(Heather):  I think I was about eight years old, and I loved writing stories.  My mother claims there is a book I wrote on an ancient computer and that it’s very cute, but my grammar and spelling needed a lot of work.

6. What are you currently reading?

 (Chris): Curse of Venus: Morrigan’s Brood Book IV, trying to get the last re-write done in time to meet publishing deadlines.

(Heather): I’m reading George R.R. Martin’s A Storm for Swords.  I read the first two books of his series some time ago when I worked at a public library, so now is the time to catch up!  

7. What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?

 (Chris): I enjoy leather working and playing the occasional video game, and I thoroughly enjoy going to Celtic / Scottish / Irish festivals, renaissance festivals, and fantasy conventions… of course now, as a storyteller, going to these events is part of the job.  Oh, and I am an avid wearer of the kilt, and from time to time, I will play a didgeridoo, a Bodhran, or a Djembe.  Also, lately, Heather has me watching foreign horror movies.  We watched a few that were filmed in Romania, recently, as well as ones filmed in Vietnam, South Korea, and Thailand.

(Heather):  I have no idea where the horror film kick came from.  I just remember watching them a lot as a teenager and wanted to recapture it.  I work fulltime as a librarian for a small college, though work isn’t always ‘fun’.  I also make soaps, lotions, and scrubs, and play with our three cats, Lucius, Ophelia, and Clyde.  Oh yeah and read once in awhile.

 8What are you favorite books/book series? You can make a top 5 if you want to!

 (Chris): Forgotten Realms (all of them, but I haven’t read any in about 8 years or so… way behind), Star Trek Next Generation series (I really liked them when they had the numbered series, but when all they had were the sub-series, it became difficult to figure out what came before what), Star Trek Deep Space Nine series (love this better than Next Gen), Star Trek Voyager series, and Star Trek Titan series (nice start… great mix of very different characters.  I love this best because less than 50% of the crew and officers are human.

 (Heather): In no particular order….

1.            Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

2.            Red Branch by Morgan Llewellyn

3.            True Thomas by Nigel Tranter

4.            A song of Fire and Ice (series) by George R.R. Martin

5.            Blood and Money by Tommy Thompson (an odd pick I know)

 

9.What do you think about Romania, the country I live in? Would you like to visit it one day?

 (Chris): I think Romania seems like a nice place to live.  Of course, like most nations, it has had a troubled past.  Aside from Romania being the home of Transylvania and Vlad the Impaler, who kept out the Turks for a while, I recall Romania under Ceaușescu.  The situation in Romania in the 80’s touched me, a little.  You see, a friend of mine in high school had escaped from the Securitate in Romania during Ceaușescu’s autocratic rule.  Some friends had helped her escape, and while she made her egress, she was shot at by soldiers at a guard post near the fence she had penetrated.  I think her parents were left behind, until the 1989 revolution.  I assume they were reunited, but I don’t know whether she now lives in the USA, Romania, or elsewhere.  I am also aware that Romania is also a growing member of the EU and NATO, among other things, and that life there, so I have read, is becoming more enjoyable and prosperous.   I would love to visit, especially to explore castles, fortified towns, and other places of antiquity.

 

(Heather):  I like traveling, and Romania has many great characteristics that would make it a great place to visit.  One of my acquaintances in college went there (while I went to London), and she adored it and wanted to return there for a second trip.  I like visiting new places and discovering history and culture that I knew nothing about, although the cats might complain about us being away from home, I think.

 10. As an ending, you can say anything that comes to your mind to those who are reading! Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions!

 (Chris): Thank you for this opportunity to explore the Morrigan’s Brood Series.

 (Heather): Well, the first ebook of the series is available for free on goodreads!  http://www.goodreads.com/ebooks/download/11697411-morrigan-s-brood

 Hmmm… what else to say…  I hope people will enjoy the series.  We had lots of fun writing it, and the series is continuing.  We’re working on books 6,7, and 8 right now.  The publisher has books 4 and 5 ready to go soon, we hope.

Heather’s Goodreads

Chris’s Goodreads

 

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