This happens to be the week of blog tours, or at least it feels like it. I have a blog tour post both today and tomorrow. :) Blog tours are always great fun. Today I have the pleasure of sharing an interview with author Claire M. Banschbach celebrating her newest book, The Wildcat of Braeton! You may remember I helped share in the cover reveal a little while back. Before we get on to the interview, here is a bit about the book.
“If you’re fighting our battle, we’d best make you look like a champion,” Tam said to Aiden. Tam and Blair began to apply the war paint the Clans had worn into battle since before they arrived in Braeton.
“You ready?” Tam asked when they finished.
“As I’ll ever be,” Aiden replied. “Tam, if everything goes wrong, you take charge after me.”
“I’m praying nothing goes wrong,” Tam said. “Just remember what Diarmad said when he built this place: ‘In times of trouble, a Champion shall rise up and Scodra shall not fall.’”
His term of service to Lord Rishdah now complete, Aiden returns to his home in Braeton. As he travels he hears rumors that trouble plagues Braeton. Clan Canich is being attacked from within. He arrives, determined to save his father, his brothers, and his Clan from the treachery of one man.
A year has passed since the Calorins were driven from Aredor and Corin is struggling to rebuild his country. Despite the peace, a fear haunts him that the Calorins aren’t far away. The Hawk Flight takes to the forest again to defend the borders against a possible attack from the neighboring country of Durna and its Calorin ally.
As Aiden and Corin struggle to adapt to their new lives they know one thing for certain - war is coming to the North!
A little note from Claire regarding the release of the book:
Due to circumstances beyond my control, the release date has been moved to (most likely) May. However, if you feel that you cannot live without this book, you can buy it here- https://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-68097-981-7 Warning- it costs about a hundred-million dollars (or I’m a poor college student and anything over $20 is expensive), so I would wait until its official release date and you can shop more cheaply! Stay tuned on my Facebook page or blog for more info on the release date!
1. What inspired you to write The Rise of Aredor and The Wildcat of Braeton?
I think seeing the Lord of the Rings movies in the theaters really jumpstarted my imagination to start creating worlds. It was shortly after seeing those movies that I began to do some writing. It was truly terrible. But I always kept the story idea in my head and a few years ago started writing The Rise of Aredor. The Wildcat of Braeton picks up a year after RoA and follows my sister’s favorite character. So you could say she inspired the second one with her incessant hounding for his story.
2. Where would we be without LOTR? I was writing before that, but I probably wouldn’t have started writing fantasy if not for those movies. :)Now, which of your characters would you most love to spend the day with?
I would love to spend the day with Kara and Kieran, the twins from Braeton. They’re both basically my age and they love horses and could teach me a few riding tricks.
3. Creating and working with characters is my favorite part of writing. What is yours?
I’d have to say the same! I love it when characters stop and tell me little fun facts about themselves, or when a completely new and awesome character just shoves his or her way into the story and it really takes off from there. I think it’s almost easier to take a character and what you know about them and then backtrack to find out where they came from and what their home might look like.
4. I love it when I can find just the right “casting” choice for my characters because it helps clarify them in my mind. Do you have any casting choices for your characters? If so, who are some of the main ones?
One of my sisters is actually putting together a “casting list”. For Aiden, the main character in WoB, Richard Madden (Cinderella) pretty much has the part. As for Corin, the main character in RoA, Alexander Ludwig (The Hunger Games) currently holds first place. But it’s not official yet. :)
5. For me, actually getting my stories written is the hardest part of writing. Planning, rewriting, and editing are much easier. What is your least favorite or hardest part of the writing process?
Editing! I go from being really excited about the story to never wanting to see it again! But it’s really hard to let some parts go or convince myself that other parts actually really need to be rewritten. It’s a long process that I wish didn’t have to happen. Haha!
6. Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress or what’s next for your writing and publishing plans?
One of my current works in progress is titled “The Mountain Baron” - The man known as the Mountain Baron turned his back on the world after it turned on him. Branded a traitor and accused of killing the prince, he takes to mountains and builds a stronghold of outlaws and outcasts. He believes in nothing but the justice he was refused. He wants nothing more to do with his God, Alsaya, or his Clan. But when word reaches him that a lord has seized his brother, a Seer of Clan MacDuffy, he rides from the mountains. That would be the lord's last mistake. MacDuffys look after their own.
As far as publishing? I might prepare my short sci-fi for publication next.
7. What hobbies do you have outside of writing?
Does studying count? Haha! I love reading, horseback riding, and playing sand volleyball. I don’t get to the gym often enough for it to be a hobby. I also love watching movies!
8. What are some of your favorite books?
Shadow Hawk by Andre Norton, Triss by Brian Jacques, The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis, I don’t think I can pick a favorite from the LOTR trilogy, Cinderella and the Colonel by K.M. Shea, and I’ll give you a shoutout here because I really really really love Resistance!
9. What are three random facts about you that most people probably wouldn’t know?
1- This I recently discovered about myself- I don’t like putting butter on my bread.
2- Gladiator is my favorite movie
3- Even though I live in the great state of Texas, I do not like Dr. Pepper. It’s much too sweet for me. I am a Coca Cola drinker.
10. Gladiator! I LOVE Gladiator too. :D But anyway, final question. What advice would you give other authors seeking to publish?
I would say to keep writing. Step out of your comfort zone and get other people to look at your work. Realize that you will get good feedback and bad feedback but it will prepare you for editing. Be able to stay true to your story and the reasons you wrote it. Treat everything as a learning process. I have two books out and I still have so much to learn about writing, publishing, marketing, etc.!
Claire Banschbach was born and raised in Midland, TX, the fourth of eight children. She was homeschooled through high school and is now a proud member of the Texas A&M University class of 2014. An avid reader of Lord of the Rings, Narnia, and many other adventure novels, Claire was prompted to begin writing her own fantasy novel at seventeen after several years of daydreaming. She continues to write in her spare time (and often when she doesn’t have spare time). When not scratching out stories and homework with pen and pencil, Claire partakes in the joys of watching the Boston Red Sox, Aggie football, playing volleyball, and horseback riding. She hopes her faith and strong foundation in God will continue to help guide her writing. She is currently working on her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the Texas Tech University Health Science Center.
To see the rest of the awesome stops on the tour, make sure you check out the schedule here!
And now for a giveaway (because what kind of tour would it be without one, right? ;)
Opens at midnight March 23 and closes at midnight on March 28. Giveaway includes 2 signed copies of The Wildcat of Braeton and accompanying sets of four notecard sized illustrations from the series!