Saturday, January 12, 2013

Showcase: Balkan Magin and The Silver Tread by Emigh Cannaday


Balkan MagicBalkan Magic
Free-spirited Annika Brisby has just turned down a marriage proposal that promises a lifetime of security but no adventure. Seeking some distance between herself and her ex, Annika travels to Eastern Europe, where a day hike gone to havoc sends her through a broken portal to another world. She is discovered by wood nymphs who seem convinced that Annika's presence is more than just chance, and they vow to get her back home with the help of a slightly debauched elf named Talvi. Unnerved at his brazen advances, Annika makes the best of her situation by learning all she can about this dream-like new world. But the more she gets to know the genuine Talvi, the more she wonders if there's a path leading them toward each other. Together they sail over a siren-filled sea, navigate through a forest of flesh eating trees, and encounter a family of trolls, but the greatest obstacle will be Annika's ability to trust her new friends and confront her deepest fears.




The Silver ThreadThe Silver Thread
Talvi Marinossian has slain maenads and fought off vampire attacks, but nothing has prepared him for marrying one of those forbidden ‘Modern Girls’. As soon as he gets ahold of Annika, she starts slipping away from him, after learning more about her elven husband’s past than she ever expected to. Of course, it doesn’t help that he’s still a shameless flirt, unforthcoming about his livelihood, his secret cell phone, and the reason he keeps another woman’s handkerchief in his pocket. Waiting for the other shoe to drop, Annika bides her time focusing on her music and her job, and it isn’t long before the newlyweds find themselves completely out of sync with one another. Just when they start to find their rhythm, Talvi is called away on business and whisks Annika off to Paris for what is supposed to be a working vacation. But one bad decision leads to another, and the chaos that ensues may cost someone their life.





Emigh CannadayI've bounced around from Paris to Portland. Sometimes it's just a short visit, sometimes I've stayed a few years. I'm fascinated by how to live more harmoniously with the world around me, which is why I enjoy writing about nature, intuition, and unseen forces. Elves, fairies, and aspiring rock stars lend themselves well to my creative writing as they are larger than life, yet we can relate to them.

When I'm not working on the next book in the series, I like to play in the dirt with my plants, work on home improvement projects with my musician husband, and play outside in the company of our three crazy Welsh Corgis. You can follow my blog at www.emighcannaday.com, and like me on Facebook to get the latest updates and connect with other fans.






Q.  What inspires your writing?
     
A.   What doesn't inspire it? I wrote extensively throughout grade school and high school, but never considered studying writing in college. Instead, I earned a bachelor's degree in fine art because I was constantly drawing and painting. I think that background has enabled me to view life a bit differently than other folks, and I eventually found it easier to write down my daydreams instead of trying to paint them. It's so much fun to imagine being a sensitive fairy who's afraid of vacuum cleaners, or a depraved elf that's more comforable around vampires than small children. As far as specific things that inspire me, I'd have to say a big influence is psychology and the reasons why people do what they do. Many readers comment that my books are easy to relate to because the characters are dealing with issues that we all deal with. It doesn't matter that they're elves, fairies, wood nymphs, and vampires. I'm also inspired by trying to find ways to embrace technology while trying to live closer in harmony with nature. I heat the house with a wood stove, but I also love my iPhone!

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being an author?

A. I can sum it up with a quick story about one of my fans. She read her first copy of Balkan Magic so many times that it was literally falling apart, so I mailed her a new one. She was so excited, she posted a picture on her Facebook page. It's the best feeling to know that gals like her exist, readers who love this story as much as I do. I don't follow plot line formulas or let publishing trends dictate the story. I let the characters decide where it goes. I write because it's something I have to do, and I simply lucked out that there's such a large and growing market for paranormal romance & urban fantasy.

I also love how the characters take on a life of their own. When Talvi Marinossian, the male lead character originally came to me, I expected him to be sweet, polite, and a tad on the innocent side. The more I got to know him, the more I realized he was anything but sweet and innocent. In fact, he was a downright jerk at times. I tried to make him act different, but it felt forced and inauthentic. Talvi is just one of those guys you love to hate and hate to love, but he gets under your skin regardless. And honestly, he's so much fun to write, I wouldn't want him any other way. His sweeter, more innocent brother Finn is pretty fun to write as well. Oh, those Marinossian boys!

Q.  What is the toughest part of being an author?

A.  Quality means a lot to me, and it's a bit frustrating being lumped in with self-published authors who clearly haven't had anyone review their work. This is a huge part of the reason for discrimination against self-publishing. The power of self-publishing is a blessing and a curse that way. Anyone can publish a book, but that means anyone can publish a book. When a writer can't grasp the difference between you're, your, and yore, or doesn't appear to know what a thesaurus is, it casts a negative light on the rest of us. I spend a lot of time fine-tuning my work, because I want to produce something I'm proud to share. I work with professionals for the editing, graphic design and typesetting, because I'm in the business of gaining the reader's trust and respect, along with entertaining them. I think readers deserve a quality product, whether it's an $11.99 paperback, or a $2.99 ebook.

Q.  If you could not be author, what would you do/be?

A.   When I was a kid, I'd create elaborate societies made up of animals, drawing maps and layouts of homes, along with the animal villagers themselves. I would love to go back to school and study anthropology, and perhaps become the female version of Indiana Jones.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

A.  "The Road Less Traveled: How I ended up living thirty minutes from where I was born, taking over 16,000 miles to get there."

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

A. The Little House on the Prairie series. I love these books because they're so tender and genuine, and they're a huge influence on my life, and my writing. They really take you back in time, while focusing on themes like family life, surviving bears, blizzards, droughts, and even girls like Nellie Olsen at school. It makes me appreciate how easy we have it nowadays, in comparison.

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?

A.  Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series. She's not exactly popular at Hogwart's, but she doesn't seem to care that other kids think she's odd. She notices things that others are oblivious to. She's comfortable with herself and her quirkiness.

Q.  What character from all of your books are you most like?

A.  Some of my readers would say Annika, the main character, because we're both short redheads who love shoes, but I was a blonde with a terrible shoe collection when I started the series. I also don't play guitar or know any kickboxing moves like Annika does. I think I'm more like Runa, who is Talvi's best friend. She's optimistic, warm-hearted, sensitive, loyal, very expressive, and a bit of a ding-a-ling sometimes. My husband can vouch for me on this.

Q.  What is your favorite season?

A. Autumn, because I love being able to dress in layers and boots after living in tank tops and flip flops all summer. When the leaves start to fall, I go a bit overboard collecting them. I find leaves pressed in books, stashed in my pockets, my purse, my grocery bags, my car, my desk... I'm also a big fan of Halloween because it's so much fun to dress up. One year, my husband had his heart set on going out for Italian, and it just happened to be October 31st. I put on a cat costume and refused to leave the house unless he dressed up too. Hey, he didn't marry me because I'm boring!

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?

A. Well, I just mentioned how much I love leaves, and there's nothing like standing underneath a towering white poplar tree on a sunny day. When sunlight shines through the canopy, it looks more silver than gold. This is what inspired me to have the main elves from my series be from a forest full of these beautiful white trees. I thought featuring the leaves would be an elegant way to unite each book cover, while allowing the freedom to individualize them for each story’s theme.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.

A. It's not funny/haha, but it's funny/peculiar. I had finished Balkan Magic and was in the midst of querying agents when I got a phone call out of the blue from a woman claiming to be my long lost sister. It turned out that I had an entire family that I never knew about...exactly like what Annika discovers in Balkan Magic. Shortly after that, I met the man I'm now married to, who's tall and slim like an elf, plays guitar and piano, loves wine and nature, and has a bow...again, eerily similar to who Annika meets. I was so blown away by these 'coincidences', I wrote a fan letter to Neil Gaiman, telling him about this major case of life imitating art. He wrote back and said that "It's one of the oddest things about being a writer, that you write true things before you know them."

Q.  Are you working on something new?
     
A.  Yes, I'm working on the third book in the series. Although I don't have a title yet, I do have a lot of notes and a fair amount of writing begun, and I'm excited about getting deeper into the story of the characters' lives. I'd like the third book to be finished by the end of 2013.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A.  I'd like to say thank you so much for stopping by, and I hope you'll leave a comment or question. You can find links to my books on Amazon and my Facebook page at www.emighcannaday.com.



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