Please welcome June M. Pace to the blog today to talk about her new release, Benamin McTish and the Door Through the Grandfather Tree.
- Tell us your name, and a link to where we can find you (blog, Facebook, etc).
Hi, my name is June M. Pace and these are the links to my sites.http://benjaminmctish.blogspot.com
- How many books have you written? This can include both published and unpublished works. Describe each of them in 1-2 sentences apiece (if published, feel free to include the links as well).
I’m in the middle of the second book in the Benjamin McTish series, titled Benjamin McTish and the Wizards of Coranim. The first book, Benjamin McTish and the Door Through the Grandfather Tree is published and you can find it on Amazon, both in print and kindle (soon to be other ebooks avail as well). The link for Amazon and Kindle are easy to locate on my blogspot (the links are really long so it’s easier just to go to the blog and hit the button).This book is about having the courage to know who you are and not be afraid to live your true authentic self, it’s about loyalty, not only to your friends but to the Planet as well…and it’s all wrapped up in a world of adventure, discovery, suspense and magic, magic, magic. It’s Harry Potter meets the Celestine Prophecy.
- Tell me a little bit about your current WIP.
Well, the second book is far more exciting to write because I know everyone so well now…I know where the story is truly headed..and it’s so exhilarating to create.The first book introduces the characters and gets the background stories situated, in a small way, not in a boring chapter after chapter of history…I don’t like when books begin with all that, I want the first few pages to grab me, then we can learn a little background, if necessary, at the right time and place, but I’m all about the fun, the adventure, the magic.
We learn about the Forest and the many different beings that live there and their roles in the big picture. I’m building a world in the first book and inasmuch as the story evolves and flows and the magic begins rather quickly, the excitement is going to build as you come to the end of the first book when the cliffhanger leaves you dangling, then you open the second book and have it take off exactly where I left you and doesn’t let up for one single moment. No additional story to get things started…right into the action immediately, this is what drives the second book in a different way.
By the second book you know who you’re dealing with and what you are rooting for and the adventure can be all consuming as you are already familiar with the world of Coranim and the Gilley Forest.
- What does writing preparation look like for you? Do you do full outlines and character profiles, or do you just start with a general idea and write?
Yeah, actually I didn’t have a full idea when I began this series…I had a basic idea that I must say has evolved into other areas I hadn’t expected. It actually made it a bit challenging in the beginning, I ended up rewriting and pulling out chapters, moving things around. It’s probably better to have a clearer picture, maybe, I don’t know, because either way, I ended up with a full story and I know where it’s headed now.However, I allowed the story to dictate where I went with it. I would be writing dialog and it just went some place I hadn’t intended, but I followed anyway to see where it would take me and I usually preferred the outcome to my original idea.
I did do minimal outlines, because the story is so involved with the different worlds and dimensions, and the background story from a hundred years before our current story takes place. I had to have some sort of guide just to remind myself of why I wanted something particular to happen and how it would relate further in the story. I have tons of research on different topics because I do want the reality of a subject to be legit. I wanted some things based on true science or follow some traditional folklore that could be mixed in with my own ideas. I mean Fairies are Fairies…but what could I add to make them unique?
I did create a new magical character, a Whisper. I’ll let the book explain that one to you..suffice it to say..they’re pretty cool.
I’ve created a language that will need to be included as a glossary as the story progresses and a map will be in the second book as well…a map of both Coranim and the Gilley Forest, with Grandlochcheshire.
So to answer your question, as I stated earlier, I really want the first sentence of a book to gain my interest immediately, I want to get excited to continue and see where it’s heading. So I literally pulled a random thought straight out of the air to begin…something that if the narrator of the story found intriguing would hopefully in turn make the reader intrigued as well…
“ Well, that’s very odd, thought Benjamin. He had never noticed the peculiar looking key, hanging from a very worn and tattered green ribbon, on the rusted nail in the garden shed before. “
- Editing is a challenge for many writers. Give us some of your tips for editing efficiently and well.
I’m really not one to give too many tips on that topic. In the fourth chapter I think it is, I spell clothesline as closeline..twice! And I had someone read the entire book over in detail to catch all those extra commas and misspelled words and weird punctuation, missing sentences, etc., he missed that one too! You can’t trust spell check because so many words are spelled correctly but they are simply the wrong word in context. Also, if you’re lucky you have proofread on your computer, which really helps a lot, giving you other options for words, or terms, suggesting changes and catching those missing commas.That’s when you need to not only look over every word that is underlined, one at a time, don’t skip any thinking you know it’s okay, and you need to read your book until you simply are sick of it..ha ha. And let me warn you, you will read it and read it and read it because you want it right…you want professional. And you’re always going to want to make changes…oh geez…let me tell you, you can keep making changes and cleaning things up till you’re old and grey, just do your story proud and let it go.
- Research is another challenge writers face, but is an important part of the writing process. What are some of your research tips?
As I said, I do involve a lot of research. It’s important to keep things even and have a continuity as well as be accurate. Even something as simple as names. I thought I was making up some good ones and I couldn’t believe how many crazy names are being used already…and by real people! For things like this I simply typed in google and checked that I wasn’t infringing on someone else’s persona. But Wikipedia is my hero…anything you want to know in detail, just go check it out. I would find one page would lead to another page and the domino effect would end me up with some very clear understandings about whatever it was that I was questioning.
- if you have been published (self or traditionally), what type of marketing did you find worked the best for you? What was the least helpful?
Well I am published, by my own company Pressed Leaf Publishing. A company I intend to expand on once the dust settles from my recent wedding and I can get back on track with finishing up the second book by late October, mid November. I have researched and read until my eyes were blurry about the business of publishing and the book world in general.I feel like I could have used someone like myself to help my process along, especially the self-publishing aspect of isbn numbers and who is the best to print with and why, what are the best methods of marketing and finding your audience, etc. So I really would love to help other authors on their journey without becoming one of the vanity self publishers out there…I have and am learning about distribution and marketing. I’m an artist so illustrations and book covers were no worries for me…but they are for a lot of authors. And I found that most of the companies out there are just after the buck. They may get you started and printed on Amazon, but that’s where they stop…or they may go further for a big fat pile of cash…and let’s be frank, most of us would be successful authors don’t have the capital to go into a big marketing campaign.
So I’m currently in the throws of getting my campaign off the ground, which has a myriad of paths to take. One being the blog tour…thank you by the way.
And just as an aside, twitter is not going to get you fans or people buying your book…it only gets you other people attempting to do the same and most of them could care less about your book. Don’t waste your time on too many of the social media aspects…you definitely need to include all of them, just don’t put all your energy and time into them in the beginning…you need to go bigger and in person. You need to get your book every where you can and you need to promote it any time you can without bugging people…if you get my drift. Just be yourself and stop in the local book stores and ask them to help out a local author and you’ll be amazed where that can lead. Do enough of these kinds of things and it will begin to happen…at least that’s what I’m doing.
- What genre do you write in? What are some of the challenges to writing this particular genre well?My genre is fantasy…I don’t seem to have too many obstacles writing this world…I have a very active imagination and I love love love writing the indepth details of description. I’m extremely visual, and I write that way. I write the action as if it were a movie and I was watching it unfold. So I will get into the little details of the way someone moved their head to view something so you feel like you are watching a movie as well. My narration of the drapery or the wall coverings are detailed and unique, the world is very very clear in your minds eye. It really makes the story more personal and brings a lot of magic to the flow. Actually that is the biggest comment I keep getting from people who have read the book, that it is so visual they could hear the characters personalities coming through…now THAT’S what an author wants to hear!
- What advice would you give to a writer who is starting out?Just love what you are doing and go into it full steam ahead. If you don’t have the passion and you don’t believe what you are writing…no one reading it will either.
- What are your writing, editing, marketing, and research goals for 2013?Well as I said, the second book will be out very soon…want to capture that audience by giving them what they want…the answers to the questions left in the first book. However, the second book will leave more questions, but by then my fans will be willing to wait for the next installment because they are hooked! I know, devious of me…but that’s the way it goes..ha ha.
- Pretend I am from a publishing house and you are looking for me to take on one of your books. Pitch it to me in 1-2 paragraphs.Benjamin McTish and the Door Through The Grandfather Tree, an adventure for the young at heart. Anyone seeking a thrilling tale filled with suspense, fantasy and magic will latch onto our little trio and their explosive journey in a heartbeat. The characters are current and relatable, with big personalities. They are alive with wit, humor and moxie!
This story is about being accountable for your actions. It’s about having the courage to figure out who you are and to be confident with what you find. It shows that synchronicity can change the course of our lives, if we simply have the guts to follow its lead.
Benjamin has inherited his grandmother’s ability to “see” things. His razor sharp sixth sense affords him the courage to plunge, head first, into an amazing journey deep within the Gilley Forest, through a mystical dimensional Gateway on the old abandoned Chickering farm, (an iron clad deed has laid the farm in dormancy for 100 yrs). However, this magical quest for the three friends is no simple matter, as they are placed smack in the middle of an ancient battle between the Forest clans of Gnomes known as the Set, against the ruthless Tar Vigorn. The ancient prophecy foretold from the Elf of the Darmon speaks of the three children who would facilitate in bringing the dark Queen to immobility, all while helping the Gnomes of the Fet (the underground clans), to preserve the “Heart of the Planet”.
Follow along the path to the Grandfather Tree with our three heroes and discover the magic of Coranim..the mystical land beneath the giant root tendrils of the Great Tree….and discover, along with Benjamin, something that will change his world forever.
I know a tad bit more than two paragraphs…however, this is a big story…it needs a proper intro. I hope you all give Benjamin and his friends a chance to charm and capture your imagination…I promise you won’t be disappointed.