I’d like to welcome our guest today, Gabi Stevens. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.
I understand you have a new release out called AS YOU WISH Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?
AS YOU WISH is the second title in my trilogy about fairy godmothers. Raised in a magical family, Reggie Scott has made a successful life for herself despite her lack of magical powers. She is content to live out her life as a Groundling until the outgoing fairy godmothers tell her she’s one of them. In the space of a few days, she faces a plot to overthrow the Arcani world, a new man in her life, and an entirely too enthusiastic mother. And she doesn’t know which will be the most difficult to deal with. Can Reggie balance trust, magic, and danger and still find the happiness she deserves?
AS YOU WISH is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?
My editor and I wanted a title that reflects magic. Since fairy godmothers are all about wishes (although mine have little chance simply to grant them), we thought a phrase about wishing would be appropriate. So the first book in the series is THE WISH LIST, this second one is AS YOU WISH, and the third will be WISHFUL THINKING.
What made you decide to write in this genre?
I have always loved a great paranormal story. Who doesn’t like to dream about having powers, making troubles disappear with the swish of a wand? Of course, having magic adds a whole new bag of troubles, which my characters have to face.
Where did you get your idea for this particular book?
I wanted to write something a little bit different from the vampire and werewolf stories out there. They’re wonderful, but I started thinking along different lines, remembered my love of fairy tales, and violà.
What are your favorite paranormal research books or sites, and why?
I go to the masters, the Brothers Grimm. All kidding aside, the thing I like best about paranormal is that you can make up your own rules. So you can have vampires that sparkle in the sun, and ancient Mayan curses that explain why someone is a werewolf. Oh, sure some things you do have to look up, but the freedom is the most appealing aspect for me.
Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?
I have two special characters in AS YOU WISH, Tommy and Joy. They are Arcani (magical humans) but they have special needs. Tommy has Down syndrome and Joy is just Joy. I wanted to showcase a population in our own world that is often overlooked or underestimated. Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) are capable of so much. And, yes, their achievements in the book are quite possible. I should know. I have a daughter with IDD. I have an author’s note in the back of the book that I hope everyone reads, and I have pledged ten percent of all my royalties from this novel to Best Buddies International, an organization that creates friendships for people with IDD and helps them in their communities. I would like to bring attention to Best Buddies™, a truly worthwhile organization. And, yes, my daughter participates in her local program.
Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research and/or world affect your character development?
Characters jump into my head, and I start writing. As the story unfolds, more and more of their personalities are revealed to me. That means I have revisions when I finish, but the exploration and discovery are part of my process, and I love the surprises along the way.
How do you go about building your world if you use one? Do you use maps, charts or drawings?
AS YOU WISH is set in San Diego. You bet I use maps for that, and Google Earth. I went to school in San Diego and my husband is from there. My magical world is part of the real world, so the Arcani have to learn to live among the Groundlings (non-magicals) and fit into the San Diego Community.
Do you have any authors that inspired you?
Too many to list all of them here, and after submitting a list I always remember more. But to name a few: Jodi Thomas, Lori Wilde, Ray Bradbury, Mark Twain, Agatha Christie, Isaac Asimov, and so many, many more.
What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?
Tough question. I like to get the word out as best as possible, so interviews and reviews I believe help. I also try to maintain a presence on the Internet at Facebook, Twitter, and my own blog (www.GabiStevens.blogspot.com). I love corresponding with readers, but I think the best promotion is to write a great book. I hope I’ve done that.
What do we have to look forward next?
WISHFUL THINKING is the next book in my trilogy and it will be released in March 2012.
To celebrate her book release, Gabi is offering a free book of THE WISH LISH, book one in the series, to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see if you won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)
She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...
Check out author’s website at http://www.gabistevens.com/bio.html