Every week the Good Reads Group
Welcome to Patricia (Trish) Reding
Please tell us a little about yourself. At the outset, I would like to thank you. It means so much to have this opportunity to share with readers and potential readers.
I am a newly published author. My first work, OATHTAKER, published in March 2013, is an epic fantasy. By evening and weekend, I write, but my day job is practicing law. I have found that the law and writing are similar in that one is always practicing; both are arts that are refined and improved over time. Outside of my work, I am still raising children and I have a number of other hobbies like performing in musical dramas, gardening and yoga.
Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. My debut novel, OATHTAKER, is the story of Mara, a trained Oathtaker, who swears a life oath for the protection of a member of the Select. Once done, her life is on hold; she may not pursue other dreams or loves for so long as her charge lives. So, what happens when, moments after swearing her oath, she meets someone who was released from his similar oath just moments before? Here is the blurb:
An Oath Sworn.
A Struggle Engaged.
A Sacrifice Required.
When Mara, a trained Oathtaker, is drawn by the scent of the Select to battle beasts of the underworld that were summoned by powers of evil to destroy the guardians of life, she swears an oath for the protection of her charge.
Armed with a unique weapon, her attendant magic and that of her Oathtaker cohorts, the knowledge of ancients and the assistance of a spymaster, Mara seeks safety for her charge from one who would end Oosa’s rightful line of rule and from assassins who endeavor to bring ruin to the land.
As Mara puzzles to decipher ancient prophecy concerning her charge, as she is haunted with memories of her own past failings, she discovers the price her oath will exact.
To renounce her word would be treasonous; to fail, ruinous; to persevere, tortuous.
Abiding by an oath requires sacrifice.
Currently, I am working on Select, the first sequel to Oathtaker. I am about 400 pages into the story, which—for epic fantasy—means I’m off to a pretty good start!
Where can readers find your book? Oathtaker is available at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/OATHTAKER-ebook/dp/B00BPZS1W8/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374331135&sr=1-1&keywords=oathtaker); at Amazon.co.uk http://www.amazon.co.uk/Oathtaker-Patricia-Reding/dp/1625096933/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374333317&sr=1-1&keywords=oathtaker; and at Barnes and Noble (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/oathtaker-patricia-reding/1114778887?ean=9781625096937).
How long have you been writing and what made you choose the genre in which you write? I have been writing for about six years. It all started when I read an epic fantasy series a few years back that left me begging for more. I kept wondering how the author had managed to do what he did. I would ask myself—did he know in book one, that some little fact or bit of history would become such a critical piece of a story told somewhere further down the line? I was so taken with the skill of the author that I decided that I had to try for myself. So, you see, I had to write fantasy. For me it represented the greatest challenge—it required me to exercise my creativity and imagination to the fullest extent possible. The other reason I chose to write fantasy was because—well, because I’ve never done anything small! Writing anything is difficult, but creating a new world that requires its own order, social mores, legal system, history and so forth, seemed the ultimate challenge. While anything goes with fantasy, the pieces must play together seamlessly. If they do not, the reader will feel her intelligence has been insulted—and that is not an option!
Who or what are your inspirations/influences? There are so many that it is really difficult to narrow this down. I read all kinds of books—classic, fantasy, mystery, and more. From the classics, no one ranks higher in my estimation than Victor Hugo and (for very different reasons) Charles Dickens. As to fantasy, perhaps the greatest influence was Terry Goodkind, author of The Sword of the Truth Series. I think he is utter genius.
Can you name a positive experience from your writing and a negative one? I sure can! A positive experience was just getting the book published! It was such an exciting day—and so frightening! Putting a work out is like baring oneself, body and soul to the world, with the certain knowledge that there are some who will love what they see and others. . . maybe not so much!
A negative experience was that in the course of my final edits, some files between my system and my publisher’s system were corrupted. Since the only copy I had of the last changes made were through a system controlled only by the publisher, I had to start over. I almost gave up—but, I am so glad that I did not. Seeing the book in print for the first time made me forget all the difficulties. It was like how seeing the face of your newborn makes you forget the labor!
With the rise of e-books do you still publish in print as well? Is this medium important and why? Oathtaker is available in print. I understand why someone would want to stick only to e-copies, but there are still those who prefer to read a hard copy. Truth to tell, I am one of them. Reading just feels different with a hard copy. Also, to me things read differently when you can see where you are in a work, flip back to pages from behind and—for that spectacular read—begin to dread the end that is coming when you can see in the physical copy, the unread pages become fewer and fewer. . . .
Do you listen to music or watch TV whilst you write? Sometimes I like it quiet. My head is so busy, my thoughts so loud, and the number of balls (the bits and pieces) of information that I am juggling at any given moment so numerous, that having anyone around or having noise in the background can be a real distraction. At other times, I particularly like the mood that music can help to create. For example, when writing something that is sad, that tugs at one’s heart, I like to use music to put my mind into a somber place. I can then take the feeling of the music and try to translate it into the heartfelt thoughts and feelings of my characters.
What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? This is a great question. I am reminded of how I picked the cover for my book. I wanted a picture that would convey the feeling, but I didn’t want a picture that gave a face to any of my characters. I wanted the reader, in her own mind, to fill in the faces of the characters. Why? Because no matter what face I chose, some would love it, be intrigued by it, demand to know more about it—while others, no matter the beauty of that face, might not see it in the same light as did I, and therefore, might “pass” on looking further into the book. This is a long way of saying that in a video game the player gets little more than what was created for him, whereas in a good book, many of the “blanks” are filled in by the reader herself. So, you can tell a reader about the characteristics of someone, but it is the reader whose mind will summon up the picture of that person. Perhaps this is why the same book can be so loved by some and not by others.
What advice would you give new writers? Again, this is a great question. When I started writing, I didn’t have tips from others. I kept my writing secret, for fear others would say: “What are you doing? And why!?” But if I were to help others with any insight, I would give three tips. 1. Writers write. Just sit down and start getting words out. Let the voice inside take over and see where it takes you. You might be surprised to find that the journey you take is one that you never expected. 2. Start—somewhere. Just—start—because no matter where you start, you will be in the middle of something. Sometimes, as writers, we hesitate to put the first words down, wondering what is the “beginning.” I find that if I just start putting words down, the rest comes to me. If there is an important history to be provided, I can fill it in, either with the musings of a character, or with editing. If I don’t like something later, I can just “cut.” As to the future, well ultimately, a writer is usually moving forward, so the future will play itself out in due course. 3. Read. Read, read, read, read, read! If you do not know how words sound going together, if you cannot hear the error of a grammatical misstep, you are destined to make many of them. So, again I say, read, read, read!
Most authors also like to read, what books do you enjoy? I read many different things—classics, fantasy, history, political science, current events, biographies, mysteries, and more. I usually have a few things going on at once but for sheer enjoyment, I love allowing an author to take me to a new fantasy world.
Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? Yes! I love odd and seldom used words. One of my favorites is “gallimaufry.” It means a hodgepodge or jumble. So, imagine a gallimaufry of gewgaw and frippery. (Hmmmmm.) Another favorite—and one I wish we used regularly is “overmorrow.” Wouldn’t it be so much easier to say, “I’ll see you overmorrow,” instead of saying: “I’ll see you the day after tomorrow”? I love to find opportunities to use fun and unique words—and I try to create ways to provide the reader with the meaning along the way so that she is not forced to interrupt her journey while she pulls out the dictionary!
If you are having a sale, new book release, do please mention it. Oathtaker is one of the books of the week in the Goodreads Paranormal, Fantasy, Dystopia and Romance group, this week (July 22).
Also mention your own blog/website if you like. My website and blog is at www.oathtaker.com. I conduct author interviews myself that I post on my site. I thought it only fair to try to answer my own questions, so I did and I posted my responses there.
Author profile – Goodreads/facebook etc. My Facebook page is at www.Facebook.com/PatriciaRedingAuthor. Readers are also invited to check out my author page on Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6983212.Patricia_Reding.
Amazon Readers will find me on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Reding/e/B00BQUN18G/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1.
Thank you so much, Library of Erana, for this opportunity to share with your readers!