Sunday, December 16, 2012

Meet Adult Paranormal Fantasy Author Regina M. Geither!




     Welcome to our Haven this week where we are on location with Regina to chat about her books and learn more about her. If you don't have your coat and scarf, grab it and let's get bundled up before we head out to sit among the ruins to get a feel for this wonderful story! We've set up our coffee stand to keep us warm...complete with Bailey's for your coffee or latte!

Reader’s Haven:  Regina, thank you for inviting us to the island! Wow. Tell us a bit about yourself.



Regina:  I’m a mother, teacher, writer, and self-proclaimed authority on the teenage psyche.  Along with being an intermediate school teacher, I also teach adult novel writing. 

     I grew up in the Midwest and was raised on stories of legends, curses, and all things paranormal.  I started my writing career at the age of twelve when I spent my summer vacation typing my first novel on a manual typewriter. 

     I love writing teen paranormal fantasy.  I guess it’s due to the fact that I’d rather put myself in the shoes of a sixteen year old girl than those of a forty-something year old mom.  And the paranormal is so much more fun to write about than the “normal.”  I admit it…I don’t want to grow up.


Reader’s Haven:  That's a busy schedule! Congrats on making it work for you. What made you want to become a writer?



Regina:  I attribute my talent for and love of storytelling to my grandfather who entertained all of his grandchildren with his tales of the Great Depression, World War II, Big Foot, and the creepy monster living in his basement coal bin.



Reader’s Haven:  Please share a bit about your new release ISLAND OF TORY without giving away any spoilers.


Regina:  Island of Tory is the story of a boy, a girl, and an Irish curse.  The novel begins with sixteen year old Arella Cline en route with her parents to Tory Island, Ireland for summer vacation.  Along the way, the family is involved in a tragic car accident.  As the sole survivor, Arella is sent to live with her aunt on Tory and soon discovers that something is not right with the island and its inhabitants. 
     Plagued by shadow figures, mysterious auras, and the haunting sound of her deceased parents’ voices, Arella doesn’t know where to turn.  Declan McQuilan, a handsome, dark-haired local tries to comfort her.  While Cannon Fidelous, a mysterious outcast, warns her that the island and its inhabitants are hiding a dark secret.  To survive, Arella must unravel the island’s ancient magic before her lifeline runs out.

Readers can read Chapter One HERE.


Reader’s Haven:  Do you write under a pen name?



Regina:  No, I wouldn’t want a pen name to receive credit for my writing.  It’s just too thrilling to see my own name printed on the cover of a book I created.
 
Reader’s Haven:  What types of hero or heroine do you like best?



Regina:  I’m partial to unlikely heroes and heroines.  I love it when a geeky, cowardly, plain, shy, or just plain average protagonist is forced to do remarkable things.  I think all of us have greatness hidden within.  Unlikely heroes give us hope and inspire us to greatness.


Reader’s Haven:  Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.



Regina:  I try to write every day, but I’m not always successful at keeping the faith. I’m a full time teacher, mother, and wife, so writing time is a coveted commodity. But when I am able to steal a few precious hours to indulge my obsession, my routine can best be described as painstakingly productive. I’m very careful about what I put down on paper, and this can be both bad and good. It’s bad because I can spend hours toiling over just a few paragraphs. But it’s good because the end product does not need much editing. My prime writing time is 7-9 pm, but on a day I’m not teaching I’ll write all day.  Summer is major writing season for me.


Reader’s Haven:  Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?



Regina:  Most of my books deal with the universal theme of good versus evil. And I love using the play of opposing forces in my characters and the situations they face. Everything in life is dichotomous, and good fiction reflects reality. We’ve all encountered sinners who do good as well as virtuous people who stray from the straight and narrow. Life is a constant struggle between the forces of light and dark. Incorporating both yin and yang in my characters and plot makes my writing authentic and true to life. 



Reader’s Haven:  How long does it take you to write and then edit a story?



Regina:  My writing time various. I’ve taken as long as two years to write one book in an Arthurian legend and as little as eleven months to write my current novel, ISLAND OF TORY. I can usually keep to a schedule of one year to write and edit a book, if I keep to a plan of writing at least two hours a night.

Reader’s Haven:  We do have to write every day and that also helps keep out the mistakes in plots too! Do you have to be alone to write?



Regina:  Yes, unfortunately I have to be in a quiet room by myself to concentrate. Thankfully, I’ve carved out a corner of my living room as my office. There’s no television in there, so my family usually shuns that part of the house. My productivity has increased significantly since my computer no longer shares space at the dining room table with the heaps of unfinished homework, piles of loose family photos, and stacks of unpaid bills that normally accumulate there.

Reader’s Haven:  How do you go about naming characters?



Regina:  Character names are a pet peeve of mine.  I’m very picky about the names I choose. To fit my characters with meaningful and unusual names, I use online baby name sites. The origin and meaning of the names I use normally reflect the personality or hidden essence of my characters. 

     In ISLAND OF TORY, for example, one of my characters is a kindly Irish priest named Father Cillian.  Cillian comes from the Gaelic word ceall which means church. Another of my characters is Declan McQuilan.  Declan means full of goodness, and on the surface, that’s just what Declan seems to be. My protagonist is named Arella Cline.  Arella is Hebrew for angel or messenger which fits because Arella uncovers the knowledge needed to break Tory Island’s curse.

     Using interesting and meaningful names adds another dimension to my writing. And I’d much rather write about a mysterious dark stranger named Cannon Fidelous than a guy named Joe Smith from down the street.



Reader’s Haven:  Is it easier to write about the characters if you find pictures of them before you write or do you write then find character pictures?



Regina:  I’m a very visual person and therefore a big fan of collaging. When I’m trying to get ideas for a new story, I peruse the internet for interesting and unusual images to inspire me. So for me, it is much easier to start with a picture and build my character from there. I do the same for my setting and plot as well. Once I have enough images, I paste all of them on a background. A tri-fold board is a great tool for displaying and organizing story ideas. For me, collaging solves a lot of the basic physical description problems like a character’s eye color or hairstyle mysteriously changing mid-story. 
 
Reader’s Haven:  What a great idea to keep your story flowing! How do you pick locations for your stories?



Regina:  I like to pick real settings that are naturally spooky and a little mysterious and then fictionalize them to fit my needs. And because I write paranormal fantasy, I look for locations where there is a lot of local lore which I can incorporate into my stories. Tory Island is a perfect example. When looking for a setting for my book, I searched the internet for an Irish island that had a lot of local myths and legends. Tory, as small as it is, is hugely abundant in folklore. There is lore about a wishing stone, a cursing stone, a shipwreck, a Cyclops, ancient ruins, and even magical mud. Yes, I said magical mud. You can’t make this stuff up. Well, you could. But why bother when it’s already part of real island superstition?



Reader’s Haven:  Wow! We love when stories come together like that. What are you working on now and what should readers be looking forward to from you in the future?


Regina:  My latest book is the sequel to ISLAND OF TORY. CURSING STONE is slotted for release in March 2013 and continues with Arella’s story a year after her escape from Tory Island. In this book, Arella is plagued by dreams and visions of returning to Tory. She comes to realize that the ritual she and Cannon performed to break the curse has gone terribly awry. The invisible barrier separating the human realm from the Fae domain is threatened. And if Arella does not find the Cursing Stone before her enemies do, the terrible creatures chronicled in Irish legends will enter the human realm and destroy it. There are plans for a third book, also.



Reader’s Haven:  Congrats and good luck with the sequel. Readers do love when they can follow characters into another book! Where can readers find out more about you and your books?



Regina:  You can find out more about me and my writing at the following:










Buy Links:



Amazon 


 



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3 comments:

  1. Hi Regina! Thank you again for visiting with us this week. Island of Tory sounds intriguing - a curse, a dark secret and a handsome Irish local - makes for a good read on a winter night curled up by the fire with hot cocoa! I like your collage idea to help formulate the characters and story.
    Happy holidays everyone and good luck! ~Louise

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Louise. I appreciate your having me on your blog. It was a lot of fun. Have a great Christmas and a terrific new year.

    Regina

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you again for visiting with us this week blog post for sharing.
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