As some of you know I have been working at Nerd Girl for the last couple of months. It has been pretty amazing as I love the people there and I love the authors I have gotten to meet. This weekends Author Spotlight is special because it is dedicated to one of those very special authors Sonia Brock. who thanks to all the wonderful people at Nerd Girl I was able to meet and bring to you today!
Amanda - #NerdGirlWitch
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See My Review of Sonia Brocks The Inheritance of the Swamp Witch on Nerd Girl
See my Review of Sonia Brocks A Witch's Welcome on Nerd Girl
I got to interview the wonderful and talented Sonia Brock author of The Inheritance of the Swamp Witch and A Swamp Witch's Welcome. Both were fantastic books full of amazing fights, love and most of all fantastic people and creatures!Sonia has come today to tell us all about her wonderful books so lets sit back and enjoy the ride!
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you delve into the world of writing?
Wow! That’s actually an easy one! In high school, my English teacher told me that I had a gift that needed to be developed. As a dedicated Art student, I thought she was crazy. As I grew older, I began to tell people what it was like for me growing up in Southern Louisiana, the myths and legends, customs and Cajun way of life and my adventures as a child. Many times I had been told that I needed to write a book. ( I know, I know, EVERY new author says that, but it really is true!)
I tried a couple of times to write my own story and it just never seemed to get very far. Then I took some wise advice. Write what you know, write what YOU want to read. I am a horror fan. I love vampires, witches and monsters that you can DO something about. (Not like the everyday monsters we face in reality). I found myself with time on my hands and the stories just started pouring out so fast, I could barely get them written fast enough!
Q: Can you please tell us a little about your books The Inheritance of a Swamp Witch and A Witch's Welcome and what inspired you write them?
The Inheritance of a Swamp Witch started out as an experiment to see if I could do it. By the time I was halfway through, I had planned a whole series of books based on the characters I had created. My Grandmother played a big part in the inspiration for these books. (You want to talk about a colorful character? Boy! Was she ever!) Several people thought that I had injected myself in the character of MaMere, but those that knew my Grandmother, understood.
(Trying not to get too long-winded here) The Inheritance of a Swamp Witch and a Witch’s Welcome are the first two books in the Swamp Witch series. They revolve around a reporter who takes a chance and risks everything for the story that will change his life. He travels to Louisiana to uncover a mystery and gets more than he bargained for when he meets the legendary Swamp Witch.
I am sure you have realized by now that the titles of the books are a play on words. If I revealed the real identity and purpose behind the Swamp Witch, the books would be the same old thing everyone else is doing and you would get bored really fast. I have a virtual gumbo of characters for you to enjoy and savor! Just be patient and let your literary pallet enjoy the ride!
Q: Can you tell us about your writing process? Which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
A little of both actually. The first book, well all rules were broken! I wrote as I created and let it lead me. I have been criticized for this by other writing professionals, but my fans seem to have enjoyed my rebellion. For the second and third books I used a different tactic and made an outline of the where I wanted my story to go and who I wanted to have in it first. Then having a blueprint to keep me from getting lost, I let the creativity take over again.
I am currently in the process of flushing out the remaining outline for book 4 Hawk’s Spell!
Q: I loved all the elements and the different characters you brought together for these stories. How did you bring together so many characters and not get confused on who was who?
In my mind, the characters are real people to me. They are a close knit community struggling to overcome the adversities that come their way just like we do in our everyday lives. Some of the characters, I will admit were somewhat inspired by people that inspired me. Each character has a unique personality and purpose. The Cajun people are always colorful and full of life. I was fortunate to have grown up surrounded by people that were always having adventures!
Q: In The Inheritance of a Swamp Witch we meet MaMere and the family and see some incredible powers, in particular some extinct and mythical creatures. Why these creatures? And What did you do to research them?
You know, this is the first time I have been asked this question…THANK YOU! Although I love horror, I am a Christian and have a strong faith in God. Throughout my life, I have experimented with several religions trying to find the right fit for me. I will be honest, my Grandmother did practice a bit of her own brand of magic, but she encouraged me to find my own path. She also taught me that ALL things come from God. I know that this sounds like a dichotomy, but if you think about it, she was right.
Anyway, through my research, I found some basic similarities in all religions. So, I began with mythology because it dates back further than our modern Christianity, but the religious implications are still evident. I wanted a Grandmother figure, but found that the Greek and Roman versions just didn’t strike the right note I wanted, so I went further back to the Titans.
When it came to their powers, I took the advice of a Greek Scholar I connected with on LinkedIN and he told me that the history of the Goddess Tethys was vague, but that she embodied the spirit of maternity or Grandmother hood. I created her powers based on the deal she made with our Christian God when he banished all other Gods and allowed her to remain. Tethys is the mother of Nereids creatures similar in description to mermaids though her connection with Poseidon. Many of the other creatures come from various legends and myths and are part of a world of supernatural creatures trying to function in a Human population.
Q: In A Witch's Welcome we meet the big bad fea Queen. How did you come up with all the brilliant battle strategies in this one?
Another good one! I have read about and been surrounded by the possibility of magic all my life. It was natural for me to use one of my favorite evil characters to be Maab.
As far as the battle strategies, I am a former United States Marine Corps Military Police Officer! I have a green belt in Hapkido and have studied Tai Kwan Do. I also have a martial arts specialist that will work out the scenes in live action with me so I can get them just right! Here is a pic of Troy so you will understand.
Q: Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
HAHA! I pace! I walk around the house working out the story and dialog out loud. My neighbors think I’m nuts! Sometimes I begin sketching out a scene on paper and then turn it into words. By the way, I do all my own artwork for the covers! I have the complete drawings available in prints as well.
Q: What books/authors have influenced your life?
Too many! Just kidding, I read a lot of Jim Butcher, Steven King, Kellie Armstrong, Illona Andrews, Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, Laurell K Hamilton, are just a few! I am an avid reader!
Q: What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?
As a matter of fact, yes I have just released the collection of short stories that center around MaMere called De Lady Down de Bayou and I am working on Hawk’s Spell that should be ready for release later this fall.
Q: Thank you so much for the interview, Sonia Brock. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and where everyone can buy your book?
Sure! You can contact me on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. I am currently working on a new website, but it isn’t completed yet. You can always reach me by email. You can buy the books on Amazon or Barnes and Noble websites. I have included all the links and addresses for you.
https://www.facebook.com/SoniaTaylorBrock (Author Page)
THANK YOU GUYS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO TALK WITH ME!!!!!!