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Interview with Stina Leicht and Giveaway - March 16, 2012

Please welcome Stina Leicht to The Qwillery. Stina's most recent novel is Of Blue Skies from Pain (The Fey and The Fallen 2) published by Night Shade Books.


TQ:  Welcome back to The Qwillery!

Stina:  Thanks for having me back. I'm both honored and thrilled to be here.

TQ:  What do you wish you'd known when the 1st book, Of Blood and Honey, came out that you know now?

Stina:  I'd tell myself three things: 1)Don't worry so much. 2)Don't freak out about writing the next book. You don't need another three more years of research. Have a little faith in yourself. 3)You're a terrible judge of your own work. Lighten up a bit, will ya? Sheesh.

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Stina:  I've a love-hate relationship with my own writing. That's not unusual, really. Most writers are that way. The upside to that bit of bad news is that I'm driven to improve my writing. Then there's research. Luckily, I enjoy research, but I have to admit that aspect of writing can be pretty daunting. Particularly when the research in question involves history that people living today have witnessed. The touchiness of subject matter only added to the stress -- I certainly wouldn't recommend that anyone do what I did without being careful and thorough, but in the end, I'm very, very glad I wrote about The Troubles.

TQ:  Please tell us about And Blue Skies from Pain, the second novel in your Fey and Fallen series.

Stina:  I'll quote from the lovely jacket copy from Night Shade's website.

"Northern Ireland, 1977. Liam Kelly has turned his back on his land's bloody sectarian Troubles, but the war isn't done with him yet, and neither is an older, more mythic battle--between the Church and its demonic enemies, the Fallen.

After centuries of misunderstanding and conflict, the Church is on the verge of accepting that the Fey and the Fallen are not the same. But to achieve this historic truce, Liam must prove to the Church's Inquisitors that he is not a demon, even as he wrestles with his own guilt and confusion, while being hunted by enemies both earthly and unworldly.

A shape-shifter by nature, Liam has a foot in two worlds--and it's driving him mad."

Blue Skies is where Liam grows up a bit. He still has his problems communicating. Any male who went through what he did in the first book would. Plus, it's hard to learn to communicate when you've grown up in an environment that actively tells you your voice doesn't count -- let alone that it's dangerous to speak up. (Americans tend to forget this.) He's learning how to make choices for himself too and learning a bit more about his heritage as well as his powers. Unfortunately, he's also dancing on that thin line between sanity and insanity, and for Liam, the consequences are more than just a padded room. Father Murray, on the other hand, is learning how to navigate his new relationship with his Order -- who he can trust and who he can't. His dream of forging an alliance between the Church and the Fey is beginning to look more possible. At the same time, he's having to come to terms with the mistakes he's made in the past. Bran has a bigger role in the second book too. And can I say this time we've extra-added combat nuns?

TQ:  Which character has surprised you the most in the series so far?

Stina:  Father Murray, tops the list. He did some things in the first book that even I wasn't aware of at the start.

TQ:  Which character in the series is most like you?

Stina:  They've all got a bit of me in them -- even Haddock. That's just how things work. I can't say any of them are 100% or even 80% like me. They're all a mish mash of qualities I see in others and exaggerated bits of myself. Liam has a lot of my husband in him as well as a healthy dose of my own personality. I gave him my dyslexia and then made it much worse -- for example. Mary Kate is who I'd love to think I could be were I ever in that situation, but I know I'm nowhere near as brave, smart, or as foolhardy. Kathleen is aspects of who I used to be combined with some of the older women I know. Father Murray holds my childhood love and loyalty for the Catholic Church. That said, I think Liam is closest -- personality-wise. Only (I hope) I'm nowhere near as crazy.

TQ:  What appeals to you about writing urban fantasy and are there any other genres in which you'd like to write?

Stina:  I enjoy writing in a modern historical setting. The idea that something might be possible -- if you squint just so -- is something I enjoy thinking about. The more realistic the setting and the characters, the better. It's a lot of fun, making the mundane into something magical.

I'd love to be able to write Science Fiction. I'm afraid my science skills are utterly lacking, however. Although, I've a huge interest in biological technology and once thought I'd be a geneticist. (Until I hit chemistry and then I was eaten by eels.) Genetics is fascinating. Obviously, I adore good mystery-thrillers and might dabble in that pool some day.

TQ:  What's next?

Stina:  I've a YA Fantasy with a historical bent that I'm in the midst of finishing. It's a late 1700s era setting with my own set of evil twists. I'm afraid to say anything more than that, though. There's a part of me that will decide it's finished before it's finished when I talk too much about a work in progress.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Stina:  Thank you so very much for having me. If anyone has any more questions, they can feel free to contact me on my blog or on FB or Twitter.


The Fey and the Fallen

And Blue Skies From Pain
The Fey and the Fallen 2
Night Shade Books, March 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Interview with Stina Leicht and Giveaway - March 16, 2012
Northern Ireland, 1977. Liam Kelly is many things: a former wheelman for the IRA, a one-time political prisoner, the half-breed son of a mystic Fey warrior and a mortal woman, and a troubled young man literally haunted by the ghosts of his past. Liam has turned his back on his land's bloody sectarian Troubles, but the war isn't done with him yet, and neither is an older, more mythic battle--between the Church and its demonic enemies, the Fallen.

After centuries of misunderstanding and conflict, the Church is on the verge of accepting that the Fey and the Fallen are not the same. But to achieve this historic truce, Liam must prove to the Church's Inquisitors that he is not a demon, even as he wrestles with his own guilt and confusion, while being hunted by enemies both earthly and unworldly.

A shape-shifter by nature, Liam has a foot in two worlds--and it's driving him mad.


Of Blood and Honey
The Fey and the Fallen 1
Night Shade Books, February 2011
Trade Paperback and eBook,  300 pages

Interview with Stina Leicht and Giveaway - March 16, 2012
Fallen angels and the fey clash against the backdrop of Irish/English conflicts of the 1970s in this stunning debut novel by Stina Leicht.

Liam never knew who his father was. The town of Derry had always assumed that he was the bastard of a protestant--His mother never spoke of him, and Liam assumed he was dead.

But when the war between the fallen, and the fey began to heat up, Liam and his family are pulled into a conflict that they didn't know existed. A centuries old conflict between supernatural forces seems to mirror the political divisions in 1970s era Ireland, and Liam is thrown headlong into both conflicts.

Only the direct intervention of Liam's real father, and a secret catholic order dedicated to fighting "The Fallen" can save Liam... from the mundane and supernatural forces around him, and from the darkness that lurks within him. 


About Stina

Interview with Stina Leicht and Giveaway - March 16, 2012
Stina Leicht’s debut novel Of Blood and Honey, a historical Fantasy with an Irish Crime edge set in 1970s Northern Ireland, was released by Night Shade books in February 2011. The sequel, And Blue Skies from Pain hits bookstores on March 6th, 2012. She also has a flash fiction piece in Ann and Jeff VanderMeer’s surreal anthology Last Drink Bird Head.

Stina's Links:

Website
Blog
Twitter








The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a Trade Paperback copy of Of Blood and Honey (The Fey and the Fallen 1) from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

What are some of your favorite books that feature the Fey? 

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Friday, March 23, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with Stina Leicht and Giveaway - July 15, 2011

Please welcome Stina Leicht to the The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews.


TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Stina:  My husband likes to call me a "Method Writer." That is, I prefer experiencing things before writing about them. Which means I do silly things like race outside when it snows so I can memorize what it feels like. (For the record, it doesn't snow much where I live.)

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Stina:  Some of my favorite writers are Stephen King, Shirley Jackson, Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury, Terry Pratchett, Charles de Lint, and Holly Black. I like to think that Stephen King influenced me in that I'm a writer who likes to delve into the psychology of characters to provide motivation. Always felt that Stephen King did that very, very well.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantster?

Stina:  Pantster. Definitely.

TQ:  Describe Of Blood and Honey in 140 characters or less.

Stina:  "Of Blood and Honey" is set in 1970s Northern Ireland and is one part old school Urban Fantasy and one part gritty Irish Crime novel.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Of Blood and Honey?

Stina:  A nonfiction book called "Those Are Real Bullets: Bloody Sunday, Derry, 1972 by Pringle and Jacobson -- two British reporters who were present when British soldiers fired on unarmed civilians. Thirteen protesters were killed and a fourteenth died of injuries he received that day. One of my favorite things about Science Fiction and Fantasy is that it uses story to address sensitive subjects. After reading that book and watching what was happening in the USA, I felt Americans could and should learn a great deal from the mistakes the British made with the Irish during that time.

TQ:  Why did you set Of Blood and Honey in Ireland?

Stina:  See above.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do to for Of Blood and Honey?

Stina:  I read a great deal about the Troubles and visited the University of Ulster's Conflict Archive online. (http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/) I interviewed people who'd lived in Belfast at that time, or had visited Derry during that era. I've been taking Irish language lessons for four years. (To help with the dialog structure.) Listened to Irish Crime novels written by Irish writers on audiobook. (Also to help with dialog structure.) And I took rally racing lessons.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Of Blood and Honey?

Stina:  Oh, let's see. It's kind of packed with those, really. I like the scenes between Kathleen and Bran. I especially like when Liam meets Oran at the taxi association. The rally race was particularly fun to write. The scene where Mary Kate attempts to fend off Liam with a thermometer made me grin. And the scene where Father Murray goes all Yoda while talking to Liam toward the end is a favorite of mine too. Oh, and I have to include the scene where we first meet Haddock. He's the best bad guy I've ever written, I think, and that scene highlights his complexity.

TQ:  In Of Blood and Honey, who was the most difficult character to write and why? The easiest and why?

Stina:  I thought Haddock was pretty tough at first. Mostly because Americans are taught that cops are to be trusted and Haddock is definitely not one of those. Overcoming that was rough. But once I got through that, he was a breeze. He's a fanatic, you see. For him, the ends justify the means. The easiest character to write? That was Liam, I suppose. He's pretty easy for me to relate to. We're both dyslexic for a start.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the Fey and Fallen series?

Stina:  I prefer the way Terry Pratchett handles a series. Each book can stand on its own, and yet, they're related. So, off the top of my head... I know there's a third book, but beyond that, I don't know. There are other characters -- Liam's sister Moira for example -- that I'd like to expand on. We'll see if I get the chance.

TQ:  What's next?

Stina:  I've started a teen fantasy series set in a world with a Georgian era feel to it. We'll see how that goes. I'll be happy to write more about Liam and Father Murray, but I feel the need to do something else for a little bit. Writing about the Troubles is pretty stressful for me -- particularly since I've never been to Northern Ireland.


About of Blood and Honey

Of Blood and Honey
Of the Fey and the Fallen 1
(Night Shade Books, January 25 2011)
Interview with Stina Leicht and Giveaway - July 15, 2011
Fallen angels and the fey clash against the backdrop of Irish/English conflicts of the 1970s in this stunning debut novel by Stina Leicht.

Liam never knew who his father was. The town of Derry had always assumed that he was the bastard of a protestant--His mother never spoke of him, and Liam assumed he was dead.

But when the war between the fallen, and the fey began to heat up, Liam and his family are pulled into a conflict that they didn't know existed. A centuries old conflict between supernatural forces seems to mirror the political divisions in 1970s era Ireland, and Liam is thrown headlong into both conflicts.

Only the direct intervention of Liam's real father, and a secret catholic order dedicated to fighting "The Fallen" can save Liam... from the mundane and supernatural forces around him, and from the darkness that lurks within him.

Amazon : Barnes&Noble : Book Depository : Borders : Indie Bound


About Stina

Interview with Stina Leicht and Giveaway - July 15, 2011
Stina Leicht was born in Missouri where she attended Catholic school, climbed trees, fought pirates and rescued her sister's dolls from terrible fates. Currently, she lives in central Texas with her husband. She's totally famous for singing too loud to punk music in her car, reading too much, taking photographs almost no one has seen, and making art out of wooden cigar boxes. In the course of her research, she has driven in rally races, taken Irish language lessons and studied Northern Irish politics. She still fights pirates but has traded her trusty wooden stick for a rapier and dagger. Of course, pirate ships being somewhat rare in central Texas, she makes do with a friend's back yard--which is fine since she gets stabbed quite a lot and would only end up tossed into the sea anyway.

Links:

Stina's Website: http://www.csleicht.com/
CAIN (Conflict Archive on the INternet) Web Service - Conflict and Politics in Northern Ireland:  http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/


The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:   One commenter will win a copy of Of Blood and Honey generously provided by Night Shade Books.

How:   Leave a comment answering the following question:

Approximately how many books do you read per month? 

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Friday, July 22, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 25, 2011

I'm happy to announce that Stina Leicht has joined the 2011 Debut Author Challenge. Stina's debut novel Of Blood and Honey was released earlier this year.

Of Blood and Honey
A Book of the Fey and the Fallen 1
(Night Shade Books, January 25, 2011)
2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 25, 2011Fallen angels and the fey clash against the backdrop of Irish/English conflicts of the 1970s in this stunning debut novel by Stina Leicht.

Liam never knew who his father was. The town of Derry had always assumed that he was the bastard of a protestant--His mother never spoke of him, and Liam assumed he was dead.

But when the war between the fallen, and the fey began to heat up, Liam and his family are pulled into a conflict that they didn't know existed. A centuries old conflict between supernatural forces seems to mirror the political divisions in 1970s era Ireland, and Liam is thrown headlong into both conflicts.

Only the direct intervention of Liam's real father, and a secret catholic order dedicated to fighting "The Fallen" can save Liam... from the mundane and supernatural forces around him, and from the darkness that lurks within him.



Look for an interview with Stina on July 15, 2011.
Interview with Stina Leicht and Giveaway - March 16, 2012Interview with Stina Leicht and Giveaway - July 15, 20112011 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 25, 2011

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