My fun friend, Cheri, has commandeered my blog today! You'll love this post and the free book.Thrilled to pop by to chat a bit about "Ole Arty." Many of you may not be too familiar with my work as compared to some of the other Indelibles, who have been incredibly prolific with series and multiple books. I have no idea if I'm prolific or not, really. My first novel, a YA historical fantasy, took me a decade to write and it's my only book on offer right now. I'm currently in the middle of ironing out the rough draft of my second novel, another YA. Artemis Rising, is an intense love story, one based on mythology but even I was surprised at the twists and turns the novel takes on its journey. This story is both a reflection of my past and a hope for my future. It is my magnum opus and for many years was the bane of my existence--ten years is a long time! =) I poured a large part of my soul and time into it, and my greatest hope is that it will touch the lives of others, just as it has touched mine. For just a few days--June 27-29--Artemis Rising will be free to all on Amazon! To check it out now, just click here. xoxo, ~Cheri
A bit about the story
On the voyage home to the Azores Islands, Eva accepts the pagan name of Arethusa but learns too late that her life will mirror the Greek nymph’s tragic end. Her mother reveals that her destiny lies with Diogo, the shipowner’s volatile son. But Eva has a vision of another…
When the ship founders in a storm off the coast, Tristan, a local boy, saves her life and steals her heart. Destined to be with Diogo yet aching for Tristan’s forbidden love, Eva must somehow choose between them, or fate will choose for her.
Cheri talks to Dr. Veronica Esagui about Artemis Rising
Want to know a little more about me or my writing? Here's a Q&A I did a while back with my publisher, Spirehouse Books.
Q: HOW DID YOU CONCEIVE OF ARTEMIS RISING?
A: This is a difficult question. How does anyone come up with a creative idea? I generally don’t understand the mechanism which allows me to breathe life into characters and weave plots and develop universal themes within the context of a historical setting. I am truly only grateful that I’m paying attention long enough to write it all down. Some days it comes easily, some days I think and think and nothing comes to me. But Artemis Rising? Wow, it is a mish-mash of all my longings and fears. It is an amalgam of all my hopes for the future and my memories in the pleasures of the past. It is a laundry list of my most treasured interests and passions. It is also complete and utter fiction. Does that answer your question?
Okay, something a bit more specific. I used to live in the Azores Islands, a profound privilege that went by far too quickly. But the place and its people have stayed with me some fifteen years later, and I knew that no matter what my book would eventually be about, I would set it on Terceira Island, one of the great loves of my life. The setting being carved in stone, I wondered what to write about for the plot. No answer forthcoming, I played on the Internet (what else is a writer to do?). I remember looking up the meaning of my favorite name in all the world, Tristan. That’s when I stumbled upon the Arthurian legend of Tristan and Isolde. Ooh, did I revel in this delicious story! Mad love and longing, knights and ladies, treachery and tragedy—what’s not to love? And then another day, perhaps months later, I was researching mythology. Can’t recall why. I came across the story of Alpheus and Arethusa and noticed strange similarities to the Tristan and Isolde myth. Something just clicked in my mind. I thought, what would happen if I squished those two myths together? What if they became the subtext to my own story. . .? And my mind went racing on with the possibilities.
Q: HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE ARTEMIS RISING?
A: I think I ought to be embarrassed to answer this question. In some ways I am, because for many years, I was actually terrified of writing. I would start a bit, confuse myself with the complex plot elements, and then give up, slinking away into the dark of night (or rather, into the TV room, where all my favorite already-written stories played out beautifully on screen). My goal was to take a universally well-loved story and turn it on its head, using multiple layers and characters who played not one role but three. This sounded all very well in my head, but it was another thing altogether to coax it out of my over-confident imagination and have it make sense on the page. It was like one of those giant puzzles of some scenic place with tiny, confusing pieces that rather frustrate you before you bother to finish it. I knew the pieces would fit, I just knew it. But how? And what would it all mean once I got the puzzle together? I began the research for Artemis Rising in earnest when I was 22 years old. I am now 31, and am only just now feeling confident in the puzzle. It was, I confess, the most difficult endeavor I’ve ever undertaken. But I wouldn’t give it up for the world.
Q: WHAT’S YOUR WRITING REGIMEN?
A: I suppose some writers have a daily regimen. Er, does it actually work like that? Ha! Okay, I confess: I’m a cheater. I generally kick-start another round of editing or writing every November for National Novel Writing Month. Yes, I know. I’m supposed to be starting a brand new novel for NaNoWriMo, but I can’t help it. I find that sitting down with my friends in cozy coffeeshops during the bitter cold days of November to be one of the most inspiring literary endeavorings (yes, I just made up that word) I can think of doing. And if I really need to get a WIP finished, then why not?
So I’m one of those writers who is an occasional obsessive. If I’m on a deadline–self-imposed or otherwise–I work like mad until it is done, and every other thing in my life takes a backseat. Is this healthy? I have no idea. But it certainly works for me. But there are two things I cannot live without as I write: coffeeshops and film scores. Nigh impossible to concentrate in my apartment with my laundry, Xbox (oh, yes, I’m a HUGE fan of gaming–bet you didn’t guess that, huh?), and vast movie collection to distract me.
And film scores . . . *sigh* I NEVER write better prose than when I’m swept along to the soundtracks of Mansfield Park, Lord of the Rings, and Atonement. Absolute silence makes me slightly insane, so I always have to have some noise in the background. But I can’t listen to Top 40 radio, because then I’ll just sing along. You see the dilemma . . . But being obsessed with movies since I was in the womb and subsequently majoring in film at university, I have a special little space in my heart for film–and most especially for scores and soundtracks. And since now, I’ve gotten into scoring piano music for local indie films, including my book trailer, I’m just that much more interested in the topic. I would go so far as to say I can’t write without a score in my ear.
Q: WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER?
A: A simple question and a simple answer: Tristan. Must I elaborate? He is my ideal, you see. Flawed, yes, but his intentions are honest. He has a good soul, and I treasure him for that. And Eva needs kindness, given what she’s been through. He is her perfect match.
Q: HOW DID YOU APPROACH YOUR RESEARCH?
A: With trepidation . . .? There is so little research available about the Azores Islands in the 1890s. Education had been abolished by the freemasons for decades, so much of what daily life was like has been lost to oral histories only. I did my utmost to create a world as authentic as possible while remaining true to my vision of the story. A great resource I must mention: James H. Guill’s A History of the Azores Islands.