Monday, September 5, 2016
Interview - Freeze by Michele Barrow-Belisle
Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.
This new book is called Freeze, and its part of the Faerie Song Trilogy. The series which originally was meant to be three books, has now grown into six. Possibly seven, if my readers get their way. It’s the story written from the point of view of Zanthiel, the dark shadow faerie who the main character Lorelei is entangled with. He unexpectedly became the fan favourite after the first two books came out and I thought it would be fun to delve into his life to see what makes him so compelling. So that’s where this story originated, but it’s really a continuation of the series from where the second book leaves off, only told from Zanthiel’s perspective.
If you are a parent do you find it hard to juggle writing and parenting? Any tips for time management or sneaking in writing time?
I have to admit it is so much easier now that I’m parenting a teenager than it was when I was parenting a toddler. I used to have to sneak in time to work between naps, getting up early and staying up late. Now I have massive chunks of uninterrupted writing time. And an awesome husband and son who will deliver dinner when I’m so desperate to meet a deadline that I forget to eat. You have to do what works for your family and your own style. I didn’t mind working in parts during the day and I loved the quiet of getting up before everyone else. If late nights work better, opt for that. And remember that eventually those little ones grow up and it happens all too quickly, so savour every moment and take as much time off as you possibly can to be with them. That’s what worked, and still works, for me.
Have you ever based your book or characters on actual events or people from your own life?
Not really, although there are some elements of real people I’ve known, within those characters. There could also be the occasional habit or physical trait that I might have borrowed from someone I know.
Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect to?
There are a few themes throughout the books, love conquers all and such, but I think the central theme is about choice. The story really goes into the debate over whether we make our own destiny the choices we make, or if our destiny is what guides our choices. I find it a fascinating question to ponder.
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
I sometimes go all day eating nothing but chocolate. Shhh. Our little secret.
When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures?
I love reading and sculpting and binge-watching tv series. Outlander, Nashville, Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars. How’s that for guilty pleasures, lol.
Which romance book or series (or other genre, if you don’t write romance) do you wish you had written?
Um...Twilight, Hunger Games, Harry Potter….for obvious reasons. Pretty much anything by Colleen Hoover or Rachel Van Dyken. I LOVE their books. I mean really crazy-love them!
Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet?
I might like to try historical romance at some point in time. Or perhaps contemporary, but I have a feeling that I’d eventually get bored and become obsessed with trying to throw in a witch, or a vampire or two.
Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why?
I love the character in this book, FREEZE, Zanthiel the shadow faerie knight from the Winter Court. It was the reason I was so eager to write his story. He has fascinated not only me but most of my readers as well. I guess it’s because he’s got that whole dark-side bad-boy anti-hero thing going on. There’s something fascinating and compelling about those characters, so riddled with battle scars worn like badges of honor, behind the fortress surrounding their heart. You want to know what lies behind all of those emotional wounds.
If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share?
Well as I mentioned this series was original intended as a trilogy. But the secondary characters were begging to have a change to tell their own story. So there are three novellas coming out before the third book in the trilogy is release. The next in line is MELT, which is told from Venus’s point of view. For those who don’t know she’s not the nicest character in the book-world. I won’t say too much so as not to give away any spoilers. And after her story is BURN, which is Adrius’s story. For those who’ve read FIRE & ICE, the first in the series they’ll remember him as the first love interest for the main character Lorelei. Now that the series has been optioned for a motion picture, something we’re all extremely excited about, there may even be additional books added to the series. Which is find by me, since I have no shortage of ideas!
What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?
Right now I’m working on the last two novellas, a children’s picture book series and a brand new young adult dystopian series.
What book are you reading now?
Court of Thornes and Roses by Sarah J. Maas.
What is in your to read pile?
More books than I could possibly read in this lifetime plus a dozen others. I love books and when I walk into a bookstore, my eyes are definitely much bigger than my reading-time.
Thanks so much for letting me drop by today!
Faerie Song Trilogy
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Astraea Press/ Cleanreads Publishing
Date of Publication: September 1, 2016
Word Count: 70,000
Cover Artist: AM Designs
In a twisted game of following impossible clues to ceaseless dead ends, The Shadow Faerie Zanthiel is forced to search for the girl he'd let go.
Lorelei may be out of his life, but she’s never far from his mind with the prophecy pulling them together. They both feel it, yet they both have reason to fight it. He might not be able to have her, but no force in this world, or any other will stop him from saving her.
Time is running out, and Zanthiel has only a fraction of it left to find her, before those hunting her find either one of them.
My blood froze to ice in my veins when I saw her.
Lying there broken. Bloodied. Bruised.
I'd kill whoever did this to her. Then I'd slaughter their entire family line. My steps hurried, but I could not reach her quickly enough. She was pale. Weakened from the loss of too much blood, and too much cold, and too little hope. Her light was fading from this world and all others.
"No. No. NO. I will not let you die. I forbid it, do you hear me?" My voice rose as I scooped her into my arms, barely any weight at all, which set my fears even deeper. Live. You must live. Live. For me.
I had to get her help, but I feared there wouldn't be anything left of her to save once I had. My powers were useless against whatever treacherous magic this was, but there was always an undoing. A workaround for nearly all spells, even a curse or hex. Something had to be able to change this, reverse the effects and restore her life. A cure existed—I wanted to believe that. It just meant finding it.
This was my fault. Things of beauty are never meant to be broken. But I did this. I allowed her into my world, into my life, and I broke her. I deserved to suffer the same fate. Worse than her fate. I never intended to be her nightmare, only her savior. And I failed. Vows signed in blood, giving me ownership of something no one deserved—her body and her soul.
Flames ignited from within, consuming her whole, ‘til only her ashes remained. Like a breath of snow and ash they fell gently upon subtle winds—air and shadow carrying both in equal measure to their final resting place. To love someone is to grieve them. For it thrusts you into a black hole—an abyss from which you can never escape.
She was worth fighting for. This time, I would fight for her, until my last breath.
I awoke with a sharp gasp, ripples of fear tensing every muscle in my body. It took several breaths to realize it had been a dream. No, not a dream. A dream implies something unreal. Wild imaginings of the mind. This was something else. It was a foreshadowing. A glimpse of what may come to pass. But why was I seeing it? By now she'd be leagues from here, safely back in her own world. There should be no cause for what I'd witnessed. Pain and suffering were not supposed to be her future. I'd rather it was mine.
I pushed off the fur pelts and climbed from of the wilted mattress stuffed with dry leaves. I was grateful to the Dwarf Tilak for allowing me to stay in his home. A hovel really, but shelter nonetheless. I was still being hunted by Queen Mab's armies. I'd deserted her and the marriage agreement I'd entered into, and word would have spread by now. Thankfully, Lorelei was safely back in her world, with the elf Elf Adrius. I could almost hear her chastising me for not using his name. And I knew it well, for we were friends once.
The human world was her home, but it could never be mine. I did not belong there. Each visit was the same as the one before, and it was only her presence that made those visits tolerable.
Humans—you could smell their weaknesses. Their needy desires. Their constant craving for more. Their eternal fear. Like a toxic cloud that hovered over their land. It sickened my stomach with each inward breath. I'd hold it for a moment. Then another. Then gasp for air when I could hold it no longer. Ignoring the stench, I'd searched for her. For her face. Her smile. Her eyes that shone in the dimness of her world. The fear strangely mixed with curiosity when she would set her eyes upon me. And without fail, she’d smile.
No one else would see me but her. I was careful. For to break that code would mean my death. Her father was specific in his orders. "Watch her. Keep her safe. But remain unseen by the humans." But she wasn't human. Not fully. She was part fey, like I was. And from the very first moment I saw her, she stole my heart away.
I shuffled to the wash basin, splashed icy water over my face and dried it on my sleeve. My hand slid across the uneven surface of the mirror. The cracked glass scraped my palm, but I kept it there, watching the blood drip down the surface before it froze to crimson slush.
Leaning in, I stared at the reflection, at the steely eyes glaring back at me. Full of accusation and blame.
I lost her.
No, I didn't lose her. I threw her away.
She was my protégé.
We were never supposed to be together. Never meant to fall in love.
I was careless.
She got hurt.
And now she was gone.
A dreamer at heart, Michele Barrow-Belisle has always lived with one foot in this reality and one foot in another, one of her own imagining. So it follows that she would grow up to write about the characters from those enchanting worlds she knows and loves so well. A fan of all things romantic, her young adult novels are populated with scintillating witches, vampires and fey. Her bestselling debut book series Fire and Ice (Faerie Song Trilogy) was optioned for a major motion picture this year. Michele resides in southern Canada with her hubby and son who indulge her never-ending obsession with reading, writing and most importantly… chocolate.
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