I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I wrote a short story in grade school that got published in a major kids’ magazine. I love storytelling and the plan was to go to film school after high school. Life took another direction, though. I got married and became a mom – and then a single mom. Once I did go back to college, I chose a more practical degree in Broadcast Journalism, writing fiction for fun on my own time. In 2003, my very first script won a major competition. I pursued it a bit, but you know, bills needed to get paid and that meant a steady job! The indie author revolution is encouraging and I decided to publish a novel.
Can you tell me a little about your novel, Manitou The Sky People Saga.
Manitou is a young adult science fantasy novel about a pale, blonde girl adopted by a Ute Indian family. Her name is Wray Sky and when her parents are murdered, comes home to Manitou Springs to live with her great-grandmother. Based on her appearance, Wray’s certain of her biological roots and her faith in logic. When things start happening to her that she can’t explain or understand, that faith gets shaken. In the end, her certainty about a lot of things is shattered.
Where did you get the idea for Manitou The Sky People Saga?
Having lived in Manitou Springs and still living nearby in Colorado Springs, the setting was a natural for this story. Manitou Springs has a rich Native American history. The word Manitou means god – central to The Sky People Saga. World famous Garden of Gods with its towering red rocks and abundance of energy fit the story perfectly.
How does it feel to have your debut novel out there in the world for people to read and also criticize?
It’s fun. Yeah, it can be a little scary given that not everyone agrees on what makes good art. I just told the story I wanted to tell in the way I wanted to tell it. So far, the feedback has been entirely positive.
Manitou The Sky People Saga is a fantasy novel. Is this a genre you like to read yourself?
Yes, definitely. I adore Madeleine L’Engle, J.R.R. Tolkien, etc. and also contemporary writers like J.K. Rowling and Suzanne Collins.
Manitou The Sky People is the first in a saga, how many more books will there be in the saga?
I’m planning on four, at least, two this year and two in 2012, when I’ll take a break from the saga to write a couple of other projects waiting patiently in the wings. The storyline in The Sky People Saga is so rich that it just begs for more installments. We’ll see if I come back to it then.
Are you currently working on any new projects at the moment?
Theoi, book 2 in The Sky People Saga.
Lexus Book History:
Favourite book as a child and why?
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. We read it as a class in sixth grade and I was hooked on fantasy ever since.
Favourite book as a teenager and why?
The Hobbit, of course! I think all teens should read it, especially shy ones like I was. The theme of The Hobbit, as I read it, is that when push comes to shove, shy people can summon enormous courage in themselves.
Favourite book you have read this year and why?
The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp. It’s a nonfiction book about how Ms. Tharp, a world-renowned Broadway choreographer, works her creative magic. Ms. Tharp works differently than I do, but it was simply fascinating and I recommend the book to all creative people.
A book that has taught you a lesson and why?
If you mean a lesson as a writer, I’d have to say Twilight. That debut novel by Stephenie Meyer broke practically every writing rule the gurus teach as must-dos-and-don’ts and people love the story of Twilight. It’s a great lesson for all storytellers to tell their story their way and not fall into the formula trap.
An author you would recommend my readers to check out.
Me! LOL. Okay, seriously, your readers should check out Amanda Hocking. She’s another contemporary fantasy author that breaks the writing rules with fresh and fabulous results. Her success as a self-published author is what encouraged me to publish my novel myself.
Thanks to Lexus for this awesome interview. Manitou The Sky People is available now!
Buy Manitou The Sky People: