Saturday, 11 January 2014

Author Interview Stella MacDonald

Today we are featuring Author Stella MacDonald as a part of a virtual tour of her new book Rook.
She is Here with us and we will be having a lot of chit-chat but first let me introduce you to her

Stella MacDonald

Stella is a married graduate student with three boys. Utah is home right now, but the need to wander has extended beyond the fantasy world of writing and into real life. She’s lived all around the US and even into the Middle East. The world is really a small place, only made bigger through imagination.


Sanchit Bhandari

  • Congratulations on the positive reviews about your book! How does it feel to be a published author, with people liking your writing?

  • I really didn’t think it was going to go so smoothly! I haven’t seen anything too negative at all, and my biggest fear with those first reviews was I’d get someone say I was a total failure and it was so bad, it was embarrassing to read. Fear of failure is a pretty vicious beast.

  • You have faced a very grim event in Your life. Did it affect Your literary perception? does it have an impression on the novel?

  • Not really on both counts. When I fell from the horse, I had a lot of other difficult things going on in my life as well. I think during that period, if I didn’t have bad luck, I wouldn’t have had any luck at all! But, as I began to heal, it made me appreciate how amazing the human body really is, so in a sense, it gave me the belief that if I could survive that, then I could probably survive anything.

  • Do you plan to pen down your autobiography to inspire those who are struggling to regain their cognitive functions telling them your fairy tale journey of becoming an author?

  • No, not as of yet. Even with that story, I really don’t think I’m any where near as interesting as some of the characters I dream up. I’m not sure how entertaining it would be to read about me.

  • Dual POV is a rare ornament in literature not to mention its so difficult to write and follow and then combining it with two different timeframe and various supernatural characters together with a sence of emotion how did you pull it off?

  • Even writing from a single POV, you’re really doing the dual thing. You are who you are, and for that time, you have to become someone else in every sense, and write from their point of view. You ignore how you’d see things yourself, even though they can’t help but creep in. It’s not any different if you just add another character to the mix.

  • I came to know about you that in order to regain your cognitive functions you started learning Arabic. Why did you chose this eastern language against a lot of different western languages?

  • When I chose Arabic, I actually chose Japanese too. They were both considered some of the very most difficult languages, and I wanted my brain to be working the very hardest it could to get my cognitive function back. Western languages are much more simple, and I actually have a decent amount of Spanish under my belt as well. Ultimately, I had to choose one, and since I had a Palestinian brother in law at the time as well, Arabic ended up winning out. I’m currently working on German - languages have become a hobby of mine.

  • Why did you change your pen name from Monica MacDonald to stella MacDonald?

  • Because of my readers! Estelle is my middle name, and to my friends, I go by Stella. Once I started connecting with readers, I started getting to know them on a personal level - making some of them my friends. Because of this, I felt like I wanted these new friends to know me on this more personal level, and I wanted to remove some of the formality I thought I’d needed. The first step was to give out the name my friends call me.

  • Are you a plotter or a panther?

  • Plotter. I used to be a pantser, but it takes so much more time to write that way that I was converted to a plotter. That’s how I got almost all of book 2 done in a month.

  • ‘Rook’ is a fantasy novel set in a mythological landscape with corresponding characters. Are you a fan of any other novels in this genre,If yes please tell us which is your fav?

  • My very favorite is the Dresden Files. Book 14 should be coming out next year, and it feels like I’ve been waiting an eternity!

  • What gave you the idea for the story of this book? Were there any incidents related to the same?

  • One day I was driving home from the grocery store, and I was thinking about reincarnation for some reason, and I thought, “If there is a such a thing as reincarnation, why are there so many more people now then there were in the past? How does that even work?” From that idea, Rook was born.

  • Describe characters of your book 5 words each.

  • Kali - Brave mother, trying to do right by the world.
    Kate - Young girl, trying to figure out her place in the world.
    Sean - Devoted friend, trying to become something better.
    Chase - Arrogant boy, sure he’s got the answer to everyone’s problems.
    Christian - Timeless soul, controlling everyone else’s best interests.

  • What are the ingredients you consider necessary for a story to appeal to the reader on an emotional level?

  • Even your bad guy has to have something likable about them. In the same vein, your good guy has to be flawed. There is no black and white in the real world, and to get that sense of realism, you need lots of shades of grey for everyone.

  • What do books mean to you?Records of knowledge, magical fantasy lands, or way to spread your message to people?

  • Reading someone else’s writings give you a window into your own soul. I think it’s totally natural to measure yourself against people you meet in the world, real or not. By that comparison, you learn a lot more who you are, and why you do what you do. Books are an opportunity to grow.

  • Could you describe to us the journey of writing this book? The parts you enjoyed the most, as well as the parts that were difficult?

  • I actually wrote this book in its entirety a couple years ago, hated it, and hit the old delete button when I decided I hated it. Then I just thought about it for a year, knowing that going to the Middle East for my study abroad would leave me no time to work on it. Once I got back to Utah, I decided that I was going to rewrite it, and have it finished by the end of spring semester.

  • When did you start your tryst with literature?

  • I started writing for the first time in junior high. I wrote a dark short story about a sister and brother going out to their back yard with brand new Christmas ice skates, and finding the pond not frozen enough to be safe. Then later, after the older sister throws a huge temper tantrum for having to watch the little brother, she comes downstairs and finds his skates missing, and a giant hole in the pond. Pretty dark, but I was a big Christopher Pike fan at that time. Nothing ended well for his characters either.

    Thanks for being with us today


    Could you be the monster to save who you love?

    Two women, separated by generations, must leave what they know to start a new life. Seventeen-year-old Kate’s senior year is ruined when she’s moved from the only home she’s ever known. After an isolating month alone in her apartment, school starts, but neither her classmates nor her teacher are who they seem. Kali, a single mother living in the nineteenth century wilds of Montana, is stalked by a malicious past. She fights to keep her daughter safe while her freedom is threatened by her less than benevolent benefactor. Both find love, and with it hope, but that is quickly ripped away as one woman must learn the lessons of the other — before it’s too late to save either.

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