Friday, December 6, 2013

Blog Tour: Spotlight/Interview/Giveaway!! "Lady of the Dead", by Gretchen S.B.

Welcome to this stop in the tour
for Lady of the Dead,
sponsored by
Bewitching Book Tours!!

About the Book

Lady of the Dead
(Night World, Volume #1)
Gretchen S.B.
Trade Paperback, 262 pages
CreateSpace, November 1, 2013
Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy

Goodreads Synopsis: A Lady of the Dead only comes along once in a century. Gwen knows this makes her valuable but she hates the constant supervision of her Warrior guards. Her increasing power has gifted her some independence until rumors of war spook her guards enough to report to the King Cesar has been King of North America through several wars and rebellions. When one of his generals informs him these new rumors involve the Lady of the Dead he flies to Seattle himself it investigate, posing as his second-in-command. The instant attraction he feels to Gwen becomes increasingly hard to ignore. Will Cesar be able to protect Gwen while battling his lust? Will Gwen stay with her warrior guards or will Cesar's dominating nature push her to switch sides? Hidden alliances surface in Lady of the Dead.

Maria: Could you describe the world you created for this novel?
Gretchen: The Night World is a paranormal addition to the real world.  There are Weres, Shapeshifters, Magical Practitioners, Immortals, Reoccurring Immortals, and a species called Warriors.  There is also a woman known as The Lady of the Dead.  This position is born once a century.
Maria:  What influences, if any, have helped to shape you as a writer?
Gretchen:  I would have to say Laurell K. Hamilton and Sherrilyn Kenyon were big influences on me.  They create their worlds so completely that I fall right into them.  Laurell K. Hamilton was the first author whose books I ate through as fast as I could get them.  I love the humor and style of her work.  Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series has roots in real world myths.  The History and Religious Studies graduate in me adores that.  There is also a quirky humor to her books that I identify with.
Maria:  In your opinion, why are people so fascinated with legends and stories regarding death?
Gretchen:  I think it is part of the fascination with the unknown.  We do not know what happens next.  There is no way to know for sure what happens until you are already dead.  I believe that in studying the unknown many of us feel that we will crack the code, so to speak.  That there is some way to get a heads up by knowing as much about death as we possibly can.

Maria:  Did you model your main character, Gwen, on a real person, or is she completely a product of your imagination?

Gretchen:  I would like to think that Gwen is all my imagination.  She certainly started out that way.  I think in actuality she probably has a little bit of me in her, in that her thought processes are similar to mine at times.  She sometimes reacts like I would in a situation than as an entirely different person.

Maria:  What types of challenges do you feel make a reader more interested in a character -- inner, outer, or a combination of both?

Gretchen:  I can't speak for all readers, but I prefer it when challenges are more organic.  By that I mean that if a story has the 'boy likes girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back' plot, I prefer it if the reason boy loses girl is a legitimate reason, versus him losing the girl just so the story can be longer.

Maria:  What do you think of the metaphor of the novel as a living thing?

Gretchen:  I have never given it any thought.  It makes sense, I guess, because so much work and creativity go into writing a novel.  I always see a novel as more of a gateway into another world.  You open it up and you are transported elsewhere.

Maria:  Do you see an entire plot in your head, and then proceed to write everything down, or does it gradually evolve as you write?

Gretchen:  I see plot points more than the entire plot.  I know we have to stop at certain places in our journey, but I do not know the route we have to take to get there.  I find that if I outline too much ahead of time I become boxed in, and the story seems less organic to me.  I also lose interest in writing because it has already been created.  I like being surprised as I go.

Maria:  In your opinion, is it better for a writer to self-publish a first novel, or publish the traditional way?  Please explain.

Gretchen:  I do not think I can accurately answer this.  I sent queries to several literary agents for two of my stories, but there was no interest.  It is my goal to become a fulltime author.  Once I did lots and lots of research on self-publishing, I saw that this was a plausible avenue for me to reach my goal.  An overwhelming plus to self-publishing is that all the Indie authors I have met thus far are excited about writing, super friendly, and very helpful to those of us just starting.  It is a great community.  I have no idea if traditional authors have that.  

Maria:  Would you say that creating a great villain is even more important than creating a great protagonist? Why or why not?

Gretchen:  I think they are equally important.  If you have an epic villain, but your protagonist is barely lukewarm, it is hard to believe the protagonist will win.  On the other hand, if the villain is limping along, there is no real challenge to the story.  It is harder to get invested because there is no doubt in your mind who will win.  

Maria:  Besides this series, what project(s) are you currently working on?

Gretchen:  I currently have two stories in the works which I hope to publish within the next six months.  The first is a book titled Berman's Wolves.  It is an urban fantasy about the aftermath of a science experiment that turned several hundred students into werewolves.  The government quarantined the affected and broke the students up into groups for testing.  The book's plot takes place years later, after the government officials have stepped out of the picture.  Or so it seems.

The second story is an urban fantasy about a homicide detective who is handed a gruesome case.  Following the killer's trail, Tony starts to become aware of a paranormal world he did not know existed.  The paranormal community would like to keep him in the dark and handle the killer themselves.  He not only has to catch the murderer, but come to terms with the fact that the world is not as simple as he has always thought.     


Interviewer's Note
I would like to thank Gretchen for
a great interview, as well as
Bewitching Book Tours for including
me in this fabulous tour!
About the Author

Gretchen S. B.

Gretchen happily lives in Seattle, Washington, where she spends her time creating new characters and situations to put them in.  She also enjoys cheering on her local sports teams, even though it sometimes seems they are allergic to winning,

She has loved reading and telling stories as far back as she, or anyone else, can remember.  Currently, she loves to read the same genres she writes for.  She also loves exploring her home state.  At the end of her adventures, she unwinds by curling up on the couch, knitting while catching up on TV shows.
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  1. Replies
    1. Hi, Gretchen!

      You're very welcome! I greatly enjoyed our interview! And I'm planning to buy your book; it sounds really fascinating!! : )

  2. Great interview that digs into the writing process.

    The Q and A on Death was particularly interesting. So much literature and art focuses on Death, it comes up so much when talking and thinking about books.

    I love the picture that you now have on your Blog header.

    1. Hey, Brian!

      Thank you!! Yes, the writing process is a fascinating one, and unique to each author. Since I'm interested in writing myself, I love to ask questions that explore each writer's own experience.

      As for the subject of death......this is just as dreaded a topic as it is a fascinating one. We humans have been attempting to deal with it for centuries, in various metaphorical and mythological ways. We have even anthropomorphized Death, as in Ingmar Bergman's classic film, "The Seventh Seal".

      I'm very interested in seeing how Gretchen handles it in this novel.

      Thanks for complimenting my header! I love to put up a seasonal header at this time of year! : )

  3. Thank you Maria! You will have to let me know what you think.

    1. Hi, again, Gretchen!

      Oh, I definitely will! Of course, I'm buying the printed edition, since I can't stand ebooks!! Thanks for commenting again!! : )


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