Cate: Please welcome L. Carroll. Will you please share a short bio with us?
L. Carroll: Sure! I'm a wife, and a mom of five, who writes because if I pretend to travel to magical worlds; make up wild tales; and carry on conversations with the voices in my head; it's considered mental illness. BUT, if I pretend to travel to magical worlds; make up wild tales; carry on conversations with the voices in my head; AND write it all down; it's a perfectly normal "author" thing to do. I am the author of the YA fantasy series "Lor Mandela". Book #1, "Destruction from Twins" released in February 2010, and the second book, "Four Hundred Days" just popped onto the scene on July 15.
Cate: Too true about the voices. :) Tell us about FOUR HUNDRED DAYS and where it's available.
L. Carroll: "Four Hundred Days" follows a character introduced in the first book. Her name is Audril Borloc, the heiress to the Lor Mandelan Throne. Audril finds out that a dear friend of hers has been taken hostage by an evil tyrant on Earth, and that this villain is obliterating entire towns to get her to turn herself over to him. Against her father's will, Audril sneaks away to Earth on a rescue mission, where she meets a wildly eccentric old lady named Teedee who claims that her "imaginary" butler/fiancé is the one who can help. But how can someone help if he doesn't exist.
Audril's journey takes her to some frightening places, like the haunted halls of Alcatraz Penitentiary, an eerie abandoned sawmill in the Midwestern United States, and to the dark, dank Northern High Forests on Lor Mandela where mysteries will be solved, sacrifices made, and the fates of worlds decided.
You can get the paperback edition of "Four Hundred Days" on Amazon or at http://t.co/Nus9zKh and you can download the ebook at http://t.co/VLrqPaX
I'm also offering a special promotion right now on the first book "Destruction from Twins". Through August 31, you can download the ebook absolutely FREE at http://t.co/Q5lNKLW. Just use coupon code NK49M at checkout.
I highly recommend reading "Destruction from Twins" before "Four Hundred Days". You can do it backwards, but it's a little confusing…
Cate: Very cool. Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
L. Carroll: Sure… here are the first couple paragraphs:
The only visible thing outside of the cement, one-windowed room was a hazy blanket of black — a thick, inky gloom so dense that neither moon nor stars penetrated it. Inside, the small room was similarly shrouded in stale blackness, except for a tiny sliver of one wall weakly illuminated by three shining, green buttons. In their faint glow, the sharp edge of a metal door glinted on the otherwise barren slab of concrete. A musty odor — similar to that of a dust field stirred by the wind prior to a thunderstorm — hung heavily between the cold, damp walls and seemed a fitting aroma for a mill which was left dead and decaying by its former owners.
On a simple, grey, utilitarian bench — sterile and hard, and haphazardly jutting out from a corner — sat a tiny creature, curled in a dismal, rocking ball, quietly sobbing and shivering. The faint chirping of crickets in the distance no longer appealed to her. In fact, the sound that would have normally held an irresistible fascination now created a sickening knot in the pit of Tabbit’s bulgy, brown tummy.
“Squankis don’t tells,” she blubbered, “lady comes backs . . . lady comes backs . . . return the powers . . . four hundred days . . . four hundred days.”
Cate: Wonderfully ominous. Tease us with one little thing about your fictional world that makes it different from others.
L. Carroll: Lor Mandela is a world that holds you in a constant state of uncertainty. Friends aren't necessarily friends, enemies may not be enemies, and just because someone dies, it doesn't always mean that they're dead.
Cate: Wow, intense premise. What's next for you?
L. Carroll: Considering how this book ends, there are people who may threaten bodily harm if I don't write the third book. :o) Actually, I've already started it, and hope to have it published by this time next year. I am also writing a paranormal romance/thriller called "The Sleeper's Secret", and have an outline written for another YA fantasy.
Cate: Glad your readers are so enthusiastic. :) What inspired you to draft your first story?
L. Carroll: As cliché as this may sound, it was a dream. I dreamt about an epic battle where a young woman was taking down warriors with great skill, but she was grossly outnumbered. As the battle took a bad turn, she raised her sword skyward, shouted a cryptic message and everyone around her disappeared. I thought it would make a great part of a movie or a book, which got me wondering if I could actually write a book myself. I started writing the next day.
Cate: I envy authors whose stories come to them in dreams. Do you have a writing routine?
L. Carroll: My kids have named my office the "author's lair". It's an office in our garage, where I lock myself away and start each writing session by reading the last chapter I wrote. Then I actually act out the scene I intend to write next. I'm sure it looks ridiculous, but I find that it helps the continuity and believability of the book.
Cate: What a great idea! Where can readers find you on the web?
L. Carroll: Current book info can be found on my blog at http://www.lormandela.blogspot.com or on my website, http://www.lormandela.com
Cate: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
L. Carroll: I think every author out there would love more insight as to what draws readers to a particular book. So what's your motivation? Do stunning covers attract you? Do you only read books that have been recommended by someone you know, or does the synopsis/back cover blurb have to catch your attention?
Cate: Great question. Readers, L. Carroll is giving away a signed copy of book #1 in the Lor Mandela Series, "Destruction from Twins", to a random commenter... so start commenting. She'll pick a winner on Wednesday, August 10th and announce the winner here.
Thanks so much for being my guest! Best of luck to you.