Welcome to Adrienne Woods who stops by on her Firebolt tour.
Please tell us a little about yourself. I live in South Africa with husband and two beautiful little girls where I write full time. I used to work in the hospitality industry for eighteen years so I’m quite good with body language signs. I’m a Christian and I try to add God into all my novels. Even if it’s just a riddle about him or a thought but He is always present in my writing as I wouldn’t be able to have done this without him.
Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I like to write all sorts of genres from YA, fantasy, paranormal, woman’s fiction and mythology. I’m sure my list will grow as the stories do. I do have different pen names, so you would find that Adrienne Woods is the name I use for my YA novels. Isabella White is for my woman’s fiction/erotica and Melony Ping is for my paranormal/mythology NA novels. There is in all of them a bit erotica but not so much as in my woman’s fiction, which I’m using the pen name Isabella White. This novel is the first in The Dragonian Series. It’s called Firebolt and it’s about 16yr old Elena Watkins, dragons, abilities etc, and she has to ride one.
Who or what are your inspirations/influences? Everything. I mostly get my stories from music lyrics. One line can inspire me and I can built an entire novel just around that one sentence. When I started with The Dragonian series it was only one novel, in one month it changed into four, I have three additional stories that I got as I started writing The Dragonian series to go with this series.
Another inspiration I get from T.V shows. I will see something I like and I will always built around that one thing. A lot of story ideas come from other stories. The most important thing is to make it you own and not to copy and paste from that author.
Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? I love everything about creating my novels. I do a lot of research, especially if it’s about something I don’t know. Like with my first woman’s fiction, the guy is studying for a doctor, so I had to do a lot of research on medical terms and how everything works. It was so much fun. I’m a google freak. You can find almost anything you want on google. I couldn’t have done any of my novels for google. For the dragons, I found sites and I used a lot of the history around them. That I really enjoyed, learning about them and day dreaming about them
In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these? I have them available in e-books. All format. I would love to get audio and hardcover. At the moment Firebolt is only in paperback. But I do see the other two in the future for all my novels.
Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? A book does suffer if you don’t get an editor. But I also know that an editor won’t be able to capture all the mistakes. They are human and you will always found one or two mistakes if not more in your novel. Some readers really don’t concentrate on grammar, small mistakes but if you have a lot, then it does get distracting. So yes, I do my own editing till a certain length but I do get an editor afterwards to try and perfect it.
What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? It depends. I always say thank you, but I never comment when the review lean toward a negative side. It’s hard to read those reviews as an author and yes it is upsetting to us, but it’s the readers opinion and not everyone will agree. I respect all opinions and learn from most of my negative reviews. So there are no bad or good review, they are all there to help you grow as an author. I’ve seen wars on goodreads between authors and reviewers. It’s something you don’t want to get involved in as an author. It reflects badly on you and I do believe it harms your sales, so No Comment on bad reviews.
Do you listen to music or watch TV whilst you write? Neither. I like the quiet and my imagination to flow while I’m writing. But I do have songs that reminds me of my novels, when they play on the radio.
What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? Depth, emotions, thoughts. That is what I love about books.
What advice would you give new writers? Never give up, even if negative reviews make you want to stop writing. Change your attitude toward reviews. Believe me the negative ones help you grow into a better writer, story teller, etc. The good reviews made you feel all fussy and warm inside.
What are your best marketing/networking tips? Facebook, create a book page or author page and post everything about your novels on there. Goodreads, giveaways, twitter, and virtual book tours. There are plenty to choose from and they do help a lot.
Most authors also like to read, what books do you enjoy? Anything with a good story line. I do suffer a bit with sci-fi. It never was one of my favourite genres to read and historical fiction. I like present, don’t know why.
Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I make up silly songs for my little girls, especially when it comes to things they need to do, like potty training or cleaning up they room. So in my house we have a loo song, a cleaning up song, and a song that teaches them about their body parts. It’s quite funny.
I sometimes laugh at myself and then my husband just looks at me as if I’m crazy.
Book links, website/blog and author links: Blog
Links to purchase: http://www.amazon.com/Firebolt-Adrienne-Woods/dp/1491244658
Dragons. Right. Teenage girls don’t believe in fairy tales, and sixteen-year-old Elena Watkins was no different.
Until the night a fairy tale killed her father.
Now Elena is in a new world, and a new school. The cutest guy around may be an evil dragon, a prince wants Elena’s heart, and a long dead sorcerer may be waking up to kill her. Oh and the only way Elena’s going to graduate is on the back of a dragon of her own.
Teenage girls don’t believe in fairy tales. Now it’s time for Elena to believe in…herself.
For the love of blueberries, Elena Watkins was destined for greatness, even though she didn’t know it. Forced to travel from home to home every three months Elena’s life was a never ending blur of new towns and new faces, that is, until the night her father was killed by a creature she thought only existed in fairy tales – a dragon. With her father’s death leaving her orphaned, Elena is whisked away to her true birthplace, Paegeia.
Arriving at Dragonia Academy, the premier school for young Dragonians, she begins to feel a sense of belonging in this strange world; a school she was never meant to attend because her father was a dragon. Elena is soon swept up in the rigor of her new life and the new set of skills she now needs to survive: Latin, Art of War, and Enchantments.
Entranced by her new reality Elena learns about the dragons and humans who inhabit her new home. There are two classes of dragons that soar through Paegeia distinguished by their instinctual pretense for either good or darkness. The distinction between these two very different species is vital to Elena’s success in her new world because she has been marked as a Dragonian, a human preordained to ride and tame a dragon of her very own.
With the help of her new friends, Elena is able to navigate the complexities of her new home. Her new roommates Becky and Sammy are even more amazing then she could have ever imaged and to top it all off, Sammy was a dragon. Sammy’s is also the devoted sister of Blake, the most attractive boy at school and the Rubicon; the only dragon of his kind with the abilities of all the dragon species with a pretense for evil. Elena soon finds the love she always wanted with Lucian, the Prince of Tith, who actively pursues Elena throughout her time at Dragonia Academy, winning her heart with his absolute adoration and unshaken dedication.
Unbeknownst to Elena danger is lurking behind the enchanted vines concealing the once thriving capital of Paegeia – Etan. Goran, the darkest sorcerer to ever practice his evil arts in the realm, has lain dormant for over a century behind the crumbling city. The first step in his menacing plan is to destroy the only weapon that can kill him – the King of Lion Sword.
When the sword is stolen Elena doesn’t think twice about seeking it; knowing deep down that it is her destiny to save her new home. She travels to the Sacred Cavern, and discovers the nefarious actions of an unknown man lead to the swords destruction as she follows the trail revealed in the prophetic waters of the cavern.
Elena and her friends engage the mysterious man revealing their existence to Goran and fighting for their very lives.
I was born and raised in South Africa, where I still live with my husband, and two beautiful little girls. I always knew that I was going to be a writer but it only started to happen about four years ago, now I can’t stop writing.
In my free time, If I get any because Moms don’t really have free time, I love to spend time with friends, if it’s a girls night out, or just a movie, I’m a very chilled person.
My writing career is starting with Firebolt, book one with the Dragonian Series, there will be four books in total and two to three books that is about the stories taking place inside The Dragonian Series.
I do write in different Genres, I have a woman’s fiction called the Pregnancy Diaries, but it would be published under another name. And then I have a paranormal series, called the Watercress series. There are about ten novels in that one.
So, plenty of novels to come out, so little time.
I hope you are going to embrace the Dragonian Series as much as I loved writing them.
A girl singing her heart out about a miracle boomed inside my ear. A miracle would get me what I needed: a chance at a semi-normal life.
The bedroom door hitting the wall expelled the thought from my mind. With his hand tangled up in his copper hair and with huge brown eyes, Dad’s figure filled the entire doorway. “Pack your bags.” He had that set to his jaw, the one that meant there was no way out of this. He bolted out of the room just as suddenly as he had appeared.
My teeth ground hard against each other, and the sharp pain behind my eyes, I guessed from the lack of sleep, grew stronger. Every fibre of my being wanted to explode.
Ever since I could remember my name, Dad and I had been on the run. From what? Beats me.
For the last two weeks, I’d been pacing up and down through the house, struggling to fall asleep at night, waiting for this day.
For the love of blue berries, no sixteen-year old should live this way!
I climbed off my bed, and the first step I took left my toe tangled in the wide leg of my jeans. I tried to regain my balance as the closet inched closer, but with wildly flailing arms, I came crashing down. The thud reverberated across the wooden floor, and it sounded as if I’d broken something.
Dad darted back into my room. “Are you okay?” He lifted me back onto my feet as if I weighed nothing.
Tears lurked in the corners of my eyes, threatening to burst, as I stared up at him.
“Don’t give me that look, Elena. Please, we need to hurry.” He pulled my suitcase from the top shelf and chucked it haphazardly onto my bed. “We need to go. Now.”
He started to grab my clothes from the shelf and tossed them messily inside my small suitcase. Then he paused, sighed, and looked up with soft eyes. He stroked the side of my cheek with his hand gently. “This wasn’t the right place, bear. Please, you’ve got to trust me.”
His hand reached back to pull everything off my shelf, while my hands curled up into balls of fury. My heart pounded fast as those two words bounced inside my skull. “Trust you, Dad?”
“Elena, we don’t have much time,” he yelled. “Pack your bags! You can ask questions later.” He left, and the hollow “doof” sound from his footsteps stomped loudly as he made his way into the hall.
Ask questions? Yeah right! I’ll only get answers that don’t reveal why we are on the run for the gazillionth time.’ “Trust me” and “I’ll tell you when the time is right” were the only two answers Dad gave. ‘Guess time with him will never be right.’
It was no use arguing with him anyway. The last time, he threw me over his shoulder and carried me out without any of my things.
So I grabbed the stuff I needed: my mp3 player, a photo of Mom that Dad didn’t know I had, and my journal from underneath my bed. I tossed them into my backpack. It wasn’t much, but it was the stuff that made my miserable life felt less pathetic. I zipped up my suitcase and took a deep breath. Looking around my bedroom for the last time, I said goodbye to my sixtieth-something room.
Dad almost ran me over in the hall with his army bag slung over his shoulder. He grumbled, which I assumed was an apology, took my suitcase, and ran down the stairs. He always rented these huge old houses, pre-furnished and near the countryside, and we always left after three months.
The pickup’s horn honked as I shut the front door. I closed my eyes and took another deep breath. Just two more years, then I’ll be eighteen and free from this freak show. Huge raindrops fell hard onto the ground. The smell of wet dirt filled the air. It was my favorite smell.
The water that pooled on the ground covered all the gaps in the driveway, forcing me to hopscotch around all of them. My shoe got caught in one of the gaps and I smacked down hard in a huge puddle. By the time I reached the truck, my jeans and shoes were soaking wet.
Warm heat from the vents inside the truck hit me full blast as I jumped in; a million goose pimples erupted across my skin. As soon as I shut the rusty door, Dad floored the gas pedal. Tires screeched and the truck spun away as if the Devil chased us. My lower lip quivered softly as he swerved onto the road. The streetlights flew by in a blur as I plugged in my earpieces. The same stupid song about a miracle boomed from my mp3, drowning the sound of the engine and the hard dribbles on the roof, a percussion that became the perpetual soundtrack to my misery.
A feeling of utter loneliness consumed my heart as I stared out the window. Homes with white picket fences and the convenient store whizzed by in a flash. A tear rolled down my cheek as I said goodbye, and my breath on the glass created a foggy condensation. Reaching out my index finger, I drew a small heart. These were the reasons why Mom had left. She couldn’t handle his paranoia, but why she’d left her daughter to deal with it was a mystery. Dad constantly reminded me of the latter, and that was the only time he ever spoke of her. If he ever discovered I had that picture, he would kill me. That was how much he hated her for leaving us.
The lights of a vehicle in the upcoming lane shone directly into my face. I shut my eyes, waiting for it to disappear. As a little girl, I used to watch Dad as we drove away from yet another house. He would glare into his rearview mirror every five seconds, every muscle in his face clenched, and his knuckles white on the steering wheel. I hadn’t been able to force myself to peek out the window then, as it used to scare the living crap out of me to consider the possible reasons he was fleeing from, or who might be following us. Now, I didn’t look at him or care much for what he was going through. He created this problem. With me becoming the luggage. It was a ritual I endured every three months, and nothing over the past sixteen years had ever changed that.
The “Interstate 40” sign flew by in a whirl, and the pickup slowly moved onto the turnoff lane.
My eyes started to burn as I stared at the rain running down my window. Each rivet resembled another town, another place I would never again call home. Exhaustion consumed me and my eyelids felt heavy. I laid my head against the window and struggled to stay awake.
Suddenly, a dark and huge figure flew past me. Dad swerved to the left, which made me crushed into the side of the passenger’s door. My entire body pumped with adrenaline. I jumped straight in my seat and wrenched the seatbelt over my shoulder to buckle myself in. I tore out my earpieces as I tried to process what had just happened.
“What was that?” I looked at Dad.
He stared straight ahead with huge eyes. Beads of sweat rolled from his hairline down to the side of his temple. He looked terrified, something that conflicted with his personality. I’d never seen Dad look that scared in my entire life.
“Did you see where it went?” he asked, attempting to inject calm into his voice, but I could hear the fear lacing each syllable.
“See where what went? Dad what was that!”
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
“For once in your life, just tell me!” I screamed. Sixteen years of frustration exploded from my lungs. I couldn’t take the unknown anymore.
“Fine.” He mumbled something else that I didn’t catch. “Do you remember the stories I used to tell you?”
“Stories? What stories?”
“The ones about Paegeia, Elena.” He looked in his rearview mirror again with huge, unblinking eyes.
Vaguely, but I didn’t tell him that. “What does that have to do with this?”
I froze and I stared at him.
“All of it, it’s real. The dragons, the magic, the wall, everything is real.”