Emily-Jane Hills Orford will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Author Interview: Emily-Jane Hills Orford
1. How did you choose your genre? What made you write this book?
Actually, I think genres choose me. The fantasy/ science fiction genres have certainly captured my attention lately, perhaps partly due to the genres of books I’ve been reading. The recent retelling of fairy tales by Tricia Mingerink started me thinking of alternate plots for some of my favorite fairy tales. I have always loved a good fairy tale. It’s not the happily-ever-after romantic lure that attracts me, but rather the fantasy elements, the battles of good against evil and the triumphs of all that is good. I love the beautiful, strong female character who epitomizes all that is good. “Beauty and the Beast” is perhaps one of my favorite fairy tales. I wanted to recreate this romantic original, and the crime-stopping 1987-1990 television series, “Beauty and the Beast,” and suggest that there is some merit behind the many legends that inspire the mythical ‘beast’ in so many cultures, like the D’Sonoqua and Sasquatch which I used in this story. And then there’s the possibility, with growing advancements in science, to create test-tube babies that are really mutants with multiple genes from various creatures. Science fiction and fantasy at its finest. I love a good ‘what if’ theme.
2. Writers write what they know, and must observe the world. Are you a firstborn, middle or last child and how does this shape your view of the world?
Anne Shirley in L.M. Montgomery’s “Anne of Green Gables” loved to write. She sent her stories to magazines and received (like we all do) many rejections. One editor advised her to stop writing fantasies and write what she knew: about her life growing up on Prince Edward Island, about the people she knew and loved. Once she did, her stories were accepted, published and she received considerable attention for her writing skills.
In a way, I think like Anne. I started my writing career writing creative nonfiction, stories about real people, people I knew, telling real stories. That was my first big success and even though I’ve now branched out into other genres, historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction and mystery, I continue to include some of my stories of these real people and real events in my life. And I continue to write little pieces of creative nonfiction for various publications. I’ve even written about writing what you know: https://fundsforwriters.com/is-there-something-else-you-can-write-about/
As soon as I could hold a pencil or pen in my hand, I was writing stories. Being the youngest in a family of aural storytellers, it was hard to get a word in edgewise. So, while everyone else shared their stories aurally, I wrote them down.
3. Where is your favorite place to write?
I have an antique spinet desk positioned in front of a large picture window overlooking part of my wooded area. I can watch the birds at the feeder and other wildlife, including wild turkeys and deer, galivanting around while I’m weaving another compelling plot or describing a scene to set the stage. This is my favorite place to sit and write.
4. How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains?
I’m a very peace-loving person. I find it difficult thinking about killing any living creature, let alone one of the characters (darlings) in my stories. So, I’m not sure I could kill the good people, my protagonists. Now, the evil beings that haunt my stories, are a fair target, and I have no qualms about killing them off and disposing of their remains in whatever means best suits. In “Beauty in the Beast” I tend to have the evil antagonists blown to smithereens.
5. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them?
I have so many favorite authors, this is a difficult question for me to answer. Okay. I’ll choose Genevieve Cogman, author of the “Secret Library” series. And, my question: Why the library?
6. Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows.
It’s all in my head. My stories, my music (I’m also a composer), and my art, even working in my garden, takes root in my thought processes before I take action and make things happen. I’m a very deep thinker.
7. You are stranded on a deserted island with only a backpack for company. What three items are in your survival pack?
Pen, lots of paper (so I can write, you know) and lots of chocolate (so I don’t starve).
8. If you could have one superpower in your existence, what would it be?
I like to believe that at one time, before my young people grew up and left home, that I was a bit of a supermom, teaching, taking care of the family, making meals, baking, cleaning, sewing, and, when I was lucky, a little bit of writing thrown in for good measure. Now, I just wish I still had the energy to be that ‘supermom’ again. My grandmother always claimed time went faster as she got older. I believe her now; I didn’t back then. And my mother always warned, “Don’t be in a hurry to grow up, because you’re old for an awful long time.” Superpowers? Yup – I need more time and more energy. If there’s a superpower for that, bring it on!
9. Favorite snack?
10. Indy 500 – Do you know how to get where you’re going or do you drive the speed limit?
I have a good sense of direction and I prefer to stick to the speed limit, then laugh at all the speeders who have passed me and end up stopped at the next red light, waiting for me to catch up. Now, metaphorically, my answer to this question might be totally different. There are times when I race through my writing and get totally lost on the way, only to have to back up and redo certain sections. Writing is my passion, but I also tend to drive myself relentlessly and allow the direction to unravel of its own accord.
Beauty in the Beast
by Emily-Jane Hills Orford
GENRE: fantasy/science fiction
Priya, a name that suggests beautiful. Amell, a name that suggests all powerful. One is a beautiful young lady; the other a beast. Their paths have crossed before, only Priya doesn’t remember Amell from her past. Or does she? And what does it all mean? The Amell she meets is part beast. So are the others at Castle Mutasim. Is she one of them, too? How can this be? What manner of creature would experiment on other living creatures, to mutate them into something bizarre and, sometimes, downright dangerous? Priya has to know. She wants to know. And she wants to make things right.
“Amell,” she screamed. “Amell. Help me.”
She was pinned in a hunk of metal, the world around her growing darker by the minute. And it was cold. Bitter. Bone-chilling. A soft tongue licked her cheek. Whines and a warm breath slipped into her ear. Bear. Her three-year-old mutt, a Border Collie-Black Lab mix. Black and white. Full of love and mischief. Her strength in a time of need. Like right now.
She had rescued Bear. A puppy tossed in a dumpster. Left to die. The two were inseparable. Now, she was failing Bear. And they would die.
One final scream, “Amell.”
“I’m so sorry, Bear,” she whispered.
As she slipped into oblivion, she felt a fog of confusion slither through her brain. Who is Amell?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Emily-Jane Hills Orford is a country writer, living just outside the tiny community of North Gower, Ontario, near the nation’s capital. With degrees in art history, music and Canadian studies, the retired music teacher enjoys the quiet nature of her country home and the inspiration of working at her antique Jane Austen-style spinet desk, feeling quite complete as she writes and stares out the large picture window at the birds and the forest. She writes in several genres, including creative nonfiction, memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction. http://emilyjanebooks.ca