Good morning, dear Reader! Today I am so excited to introduce you to a good online friend of mine! I can’t remember exactly how I discovered Deborah’s blog, but I am so glad I did. She is a blogger and aspiring author as well as a “Kindred Spirit” as Anne Shirley would say. (Our mutual love for Hawkeye as the best Avenger, hands down alone would have clinched it, but seriously, we have a lot in common). And though she doesn’t have any books currently available, I’ve been reading her blog for quite a while now and know from the snippets I’ve gotten to read over there that this is one author whose books I will be buying the second they are available. And I’m so glad she’s agreed to do a Featured Artist Friday post over here! So, without further ado: Deborah O’Carroll.
Deborah has many projects that she is currently working on, but she agreed to share a bit about her latest obsession: The Siren and the Skyship, a retelling of fairy tale The Little Mermaid, as well as a working cover for that project.
It’s just another voyage through the clouds for Her Royal Highness Princess Tasmania Peckham-Archley, Captain of the HRSS Star-Dreamer. Until she is saved from a fall from her skyship by an unseen rescuer, and a mute young man comes into her life with sky-blue eyes and cloud-white hair. Add the cloud-siren queen being peeved at her only son becoming human (and trading away his voice, at that), the sorcerer of the mist collecting things that don’t belong to him, cloud-city dignitaries, assassinations, sky pirates, the uncertain past of Princess Tasmania’s closest friend, a young ex-imperial-navy-man’s dark secrets… and, oh — maybe a little love. These cloud voyages may turn out more interesting than the Star-Dreamer’s crew anticipated.
And now for some interview questions:
Where did you get the idea for your book?
I was thinking about fairytale retellings, and had been also thinking about steampunk things lately… and I suddenly thought: “What if The Little Mermaid had airships instead of nautical ones, and instead of in the ocean was set in the air… and therefore had air people instead of merfolk; and what if the “mer” (or in this case, air) person was a guy… and the prince was instead a princess and also captain of said airship…” And then… Boom! The story exploded full of a colorful cast of characters, and The Siren and the Skyship was born.
When and why did you start writing?
I started when I was a wee thing of eight and got serious about finishing my first novel around twelve. I started because I always had some story ideas roaming around my head, and thought it would be fun to write some down. I’m still writing because I can’t NOT write. (Believe me; I’ve tried.) I just have all these stories that need telling!
What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?
Just tell a story you love, and have fun with it. Don’t worry about being perfect, or trying to get published, or whether anyone else will like your idea; just write. You’ll improve as you go, but if you don’t love your stories, you’ll get nowhere. And never stop, even when you’re stuck or discouraged. Don’t. Stop. Writing. That was the best piece of advice anyone ever gave me — to just keep going and not give up.
Can you pick a favorite character from your book or series? Why is that character your favorite?
I feel like a traitor to all of my other characters for picking anyone in particular (sorry, guys! I’ll make it up to you!) but definitely Tare from my Kedran’s Wood series. I don’t even know why. He’s just… my favorite. I think about him all the time and he’s the reason the story went from being a random one-time novel to a series that’s ever growing. He’s what I term a “dark guy”, which is my favorite character-archetype, and he’s had a lot of problems in his past, but he always keeps going, and beneath his tough-guy exterior he’s a selfless hero who ends up willing to sacrifice everything for his friends. Plus he can fight like nobody’s business and wears a black leather jacket and his mysteries have mysteries. The coolness factor may be biasing me a bit.
I know that from what I’ve read on your blog of him, Tare is probably my favorite, too. Deborah’s had some fun interviews with him over there. My personal favorite is this one HERE.
What is your favorite thing you have written? Why?
I think that changes from time to time… Currently, my favorite is probably a short story I finished in August, called Darkling Reflections. As a shadowy, elegant, contemporary murder-mystery romance, it’s unlike anything I’ve written before, and I love it and am very proud of it.
Who would you most like to thank for their involvement in your writing career?
My sister, who is a constant source of inspiration and brainstorming, and is basically my alpha-reader; she sees everything first! And my friend and fellow writer Christine Smith (http://musingsofanelf.
What is something (book, short story, poem, paragraph, sentence) that you wish YOU had written, and why?
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. It’s my favorite book (other than The Lord of the Rings… but with me, that’s a given…), and I constantly want to reread it, and it’s just… perfect. I can hardly describe it better than that one word. Perfect. It’s superb fantasy, with fabulous characters whose interactions are just the best, brilliant dialog you want to quote aloud, sizzling plot-twists, humor that will have you laughing hysterically, deeper hidden meanings if you want to look for them, and of course Howl himself who is one of my favorite characters of all time. It’s just downright FUN. Diana Wynne Jones was a genius who wrote the most original, colorful, hilarious and fascinating fantasy I’ve ever read; I only wish I could be like that. So yes, definitely Howl’s Moving Castle.
Yes, Howl’s Moving Castle is quite epic and well-written.
What do you do when you’re NOT writing? (hobbies, things you do for fun, your day-job, etc?)
READ! Naturally… I like to rearrange my bookshelves ALL the time… Yes, that’s a hobby. I might play the pennywhistle, crochet a little… At times I read books for reviewing, and I help run a local writing group. I keep busy.
Favorite season? Why?
Autumn! After very hot summers, it’s just so nice for the weather to cool off, and there seems to be some elusive quality about autumn that is just… exciting and adventuresome. (NaNoWriMo may have to do with that…)
Favorite song? (or, if that’s too hard, favorite band/musician… or genre?)
Never-Ending Road by Loreena McKennitt. Band/musician… might have to be Silly Wizard because of Andy M. Stewart. My favorite genre is Celtic music.
What is your favorite movie?
Probably either The Avengers (fun, I never tire of watching it, all the characters, Hawkeye…), Prince of Persia (timey-wimey plot twists, all the characters…), or The Return of the King (sheer epic, and, well… The Lord of the Rings; enough said). It’s so hard to choose! And oh, I forgot How to Train Your Dragon…
All excellent choices. Love all of them (and how you related Prince of Persia to our favorite Doctor! Very nice). Thanks for visiting and telling us a bit about your writing, Deborah!
Thank you so much for having me over on your blog, Jenelle!
If you want to know more about Deborah and her writing endeavors, you can visit her blog HERE. (I highly recommend it, her posts are awesome!)