A few weeks ago I shared a review of The Tethered World and today I am pleased to bring you an interview with the author. She is part of the Books & Beverages Blog Tour hosted by Mountain Brook Ink publishing! Each stop includes an opportunity to enter for a FREE KINDLE FIRE as the grand prize, as well as three runner-up opportunities to win a $10 Starbucks gift card! Check the bottom of the post for a Rafflecopter link for your chance to enter! And now, everyone, meet Heather!
Hi, Heather! Welcome to my blog! And my first ever interview. I’m trying to think of questions that aren’t too repetitive so please bear with me. 🙂
To start off, I wanted to let you know – I’m the oldest of five children and my mother started homeschooling us right after I’d finished the 5th grade. (Back in the early 90s – we were among the trendsetters!) So I related to Sadie right off the bat. I know you’ve gotten a lot of attention for having a homeschooled heroine but I just wanted to let you know how awesome I thought it was. 🙂
Thank you, Kat! Your mom was definitely a trendsetter 🙂 I homeschooled my four as well, but it was much easier in the early 2000’s. You can thank your mom for me! Since homeschooling is on everyone’s radar to one degree or another, I felt like it was time to treat it as a regular part of regular people’s lives . . . because it is for so many (over 2 million families, I believe). But I did not want to make it “the point” of my story. I did not have an agenda. Someone in public school should be able to relate to the characters just as easily as a homeschooler—though they may miss a few inside jokes 🙂
Okay, question #1 has probably been asked before but it’s one of my favorite aspects of writing so I have to go there. We all know how an author’s mind works – the what-ifs can bunny-trail from something totally innocuous to the unique premise that makes a great story. Where did the idea for The Tethered World come from?
Good place to start! Two main places . . . I’ve always thought it would be awful to be awakened in the middle of the night by a knock on the door with bad news. I don’t function well sleep deprived and feel like I’d be a wreck if I had to handle an emergency at such a time. Seemed like a great way to start the story, LOL.
Secondly, I’ve always thought it to be curious that cultures all over the world share some common folklore. Creatures like dwarves, gnomes, and even Bigfoot are rumored to be seen around the world. These stories are hundreds of years old, sans the internet or even a newspaper. My thought was to give the creatures a common, unique origin: the Garden of Eden!
How many sequels are planned for the series? Any tidbits you can share for what we can expect in them?
It’s a trilogy. The second book, The Flaming Sword, is getting finished up now and will be out in October of this year. The third book, The Genesis Tree, will be out in July of 2017, I believe. There’s a new creature introduced in The Flaming Sword, and a secondary Point of View to keep things interesting. That’s all I care to divulge for now 🙂
I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for romance so my interest went on high alert when a certain winged prince put in an appearance. And I’ve been thinking about sending Sadie a barrel of Ent-draughts, if you know what I mean. 😉 Anyways… the minimal romance and gentler handling of grim situations made The Tethered World feel a little closer to a middle-grade novel than a YA for me. Will future sequels be about the same or can we expect the stories to mature a little along with Sadie?
Ha! I’ll make sure Sadie gets your gift 🙂 As for the romance and peril, I’d say a limited yes. More peril, for sure. More interest between Sadie and the prince. However, I’m mindful that the book will attract a certain niche of readers in the homeschooling community and wish to keep things on the conservative side. Not that I will shy away from where the characters are headed, because to a point, they surprise ME by taking over the story. But I do want to handle the situations with my audience in mind.
What do you hope readers will take away from The Tethered World?
I hope readers will come away experiencing the joy of the journey. The journey they took through the eyes of Sadie, seeing how she grew, as well as the over all experience of reading the adventure. When I read through The Chronicles of Narnia with my kids, I didn’t want the story to end. So we read them again! My desire is to leave readers wanting more, with a good old fashioned sense of the warm-fuzzies.
Freebie question – what question would you like to answer that maybe no one has thought to ask?
Hmmm. Maybe I’m creatively drained at the moment, but I couldn’t think of one . . . so I asked my daughter! She asked me how it felt to finally hold my book in my hands. That’s a good one! I think anyone who writes has allowed that fantasy to play out in their imagination. Are you ready for the word that comes to mind? Anti-climatic. I know. Terrible word! That’s NOT how I imagined it to be. *sniff*
I’ve tried to decipher why. And I believe it’s from all the times I imagined what it would be like. Even where I would be (at the mailbox, impatiently tearing it open?). The thing is, I had no idea my book was coming—which might have been part of the problem. I order a lot of stuff in the mail and thought it was another book I’d ordered. Instead, there was MY book staring at up at me (my proof copy). Surprise definitely hit first, but on it’s heels was an undercurrent of “this is not how I pictured this going down,” LOL. The good news is, the more I see it sitting around, the more I thrill at the fact that it finally does exist. All glory to God!
Well, thank you so much, Heather, for stopping by and doing this interview. I enjoyed The Tethered World and it’s been great learning more about it and the author behind it. Best wishes with your book launch!
Thank YOU, Sparks, for having me. I appreciate the opportunity to share more about the book and I’ve enjoyed getting to know you the last few months!
Heather L.L. FitzGerald lives in Texas with four someones that call her mom and one special someone that calls her his wife. She homeschooled her children–one of whom is autistic–and teaches ballet at a fine arts school in Forth Worth. Heather is a member of the North Texas Christian Writers, and helps to facilitate the Manet writer’s group in Fort Worth, Texas. She loves drinking ice lattes, cloud watching, and getting lost in a good book.
You can connect with Heather on her website/blog, Facebook, Pinterest: (Belongs to her main character, Sadie), Character blog: (Sadie’s mom has a blog about legendary creatures.), Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads.
The tour began at Annie Douglass Lima’s blog on February 15, 2016 and goes through March 1, 2016, ending with Anna Weaver Hurtts. Please check below for the complete schedule of the tour.
Heather L.L. FitzGerald – Debut author of young adult fantasy series, The Tethered World Chronicles
Kimberly Rose Johnson – Multi-published author of sweet romance series, The Wildflower B&B Romance
Angela Ruth Strong – Multi-published author of Finding Love in Sun Valley, Idaho, book one in the Resort to Love series
2/15 – Letters From Annie (Douglass) Lima
AND Brent King
2/16 – Anything, Everything
AND The Texarcadians
2/17 – Ginger Solomon
2/18 – Sandra Robbins
2/19 – J. L. Mbewe
2/20 – Plentiful Pursuits
2/21 – A Way With Words
2/22 – Autumn Macauthor
2/23 – A Greater Yes
2/24 – The Gathering Fire
2/25 – Diana’s Tea Time Reviews
2/26 – Liz Tolsma
2/27 – Sarah Ruut
2/28 – Not By Bread
2/29 – Sparks of Ember (you’re here!)
3/1 – Anna Weaver Hurtt