Today we have a special treat for you! Today is day 5 of the promotional Blog Tour for The Wildcat of Braeton, and I will be participating by holding an interview. We will be interviewing the author of The Rise of Aredor Series (books 1 & 2, and appropriate for all ages) author Claire M. Banschbach. We will now hear about her and her journey as an author. Be sure and enter the raffle giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy of her new book and a set of illustrations. First, let’s read what the book is about, before we dive into the bombardment of questions our guest author must face!
About the book:
“If you’re fighting our battle, we’d best make you look like a champion,” Tam said to Aiden. Tam and Blair began to apply the war paint the Clans had worn into battle since before they arrived in Braeton.
“You ready?” Tam asked when they finished.
“As I’ll ever be,” Aiden replied. “Tam, if everything goes wrong, you take charge after me.”
“I’m praying nothing goes wrong,” Tam said. “Just remember what Diarmad said when he built this place: ‘In times of trouble, a Champion shall rise up and Scodra shall not fall.’”
His term of service to Lord Rishdah now complete, Aiden returns to his home in Braeton. As he travels he hears rumors that trouble plagues Braeton. Clan Canich is being attacked from within. He arrives, determined to save his father, his brothers, and his Clan from the treachery of one man.
A year has passed since the Calorins were driven from Aredor and Corin is struggling to rebuild his country. Despite the peace, a fear haunts him that the Calorins aren’t far away. The Hawk Flight takes to the forest again to defend the borders against a possible attack from the neighboring country of Durna and its Calorin ally.
As Aiden and Corin struggle to adapt to their new lives they know one thing for certain – war is coming to the North!
Release Date Info:
Due to circumstances beyond my control, the release date has been moved to (most likely) May. However, if you feel that you cannot live without this book, you can buy it here- https://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-68097-981-7 Warning- it costs about a hundred-million dollars (or I’m a poor college student and anything over $20 is expensive), so I would wait until its official release date and you can shop more cheaply! Stay tuned on my Facebook page or blog for more info on the release date!
I encourage you to “Add to goodreads” to put The Wildcat of Braeton on your “to read” list, so you won’t forget to later. Now, onward we sail to the interview! 😀
Welcome, Claire M. It’s wonderful to have you here with us today!
What inspired you to take up pen and paper (or laptop) and become an author?
Pen and paper! I’d had the idea for The Rise of Aredor in my head for about four years before I decided one day, spur of the moment, to find a notebook and start writing it! But growing up on LOTR, Narnia, Redwall, and numerous other adventure stories and movies really prompted me to start writing my own adventure!
Those were all great stories to grow up on! So, you have a new book coming out soon. Congratulations! Can you tell us about it, and the series overall?
The first book, The Rise of Aredor, is about a young prince named Corin who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the foreign country of Calorin. He grows up there and when he gets a chance to go home, his country has been invaded by Calorins. He becomes an outlaw and begins the fight to retake his homeland.
The second in the series, The Wildcat of Braeton, picks up about a year after RoA, and follows Aiden, one of Corin’s friends from his time in Calorin, and his own journey home to Braeton. When he arrives he finds his clan under attack from within. Since Aiden’s not one to take no for an answer, he begins the process to return the Chieftain to his proper place as head of the Clan. Meanwhile in Aredor, Corin believes that the Calorins will attack again and begins to prepare for the attack he knows will come.
Which character do you feel you relate to most, and why?
I think I can relate most to Kara, a young half-Braeton woman who appears in both books. She is actually one of the few female characters in the first book and I poured a lot of myself into her. Although I think she developed into someone waay cooler than me in the second. 😉
Hehe, characters have a tendency to do that; they become the cool guy/girl we wish we were! 🙂 What were the challenges you faced in bringing your story and characters to life?
I think one of the hardest parts of writing the story was keeping it true to what I wanted. My sisters would read it as I wrote and they would tell me what they thought should happen (which most of the time wasn’t what I had planned). So it was tough some times to stick to my plan and not try and cater to my audience. Another hard part was taking all my story ideas which were influenced by my favorite books and movies and taking it a direction that I could call my own without just retelling those stories.
Ah yes, the difficulties between keeping your audience (and siblings) happy while above all staying true to what you want for your book. I’m sure many authors out there can relate! What is the overall message you want readers to gain from reading your books: The Rise of Aredor and The Wildcat of Braeton?
The theme of family is very strong throughout both books. Family doesn’t end with blood relations, it’s also those relationships you’ve forged over time. Most of the characters view each other as family or as brothers and they never give up on each other. If one is in trouble, you can believe that someone’s coming to help them up. I think that’s one of the main messages to gain from these books.
In what way does your faith bleed into the stories you write?
I think a book can be Christian without having an overlying allegory or mentioning God on every page. For my writing I fall back on my morals and the rules of my faith to build up my characters. Because what makes a person a true Christian? In the end, it’s how they act and how they stick to what they believe. That’s what I try and write into my stories. The characters always have strong morals, respect their enemies, they love their country and are going to uphold its law and what they believe in. It’s also always important to me to make sure there is some overall deity figure even if I don’t spend time delving into the belief structure. People need earthly laws to follow but they also need heavenly guidance.
Many authors are influenced by their surroundings and the environment they grew up in, and it translates over into the books they write and the worlds they create. How has growing up under the hot sun and blue skies of West Texas influenced your writing and the way you approach world building for stories?
Based on the way the country looks around here I already knew how I wanted the Calorin country to look. I added in some more vegetation to Calorin, but overall it’s really similar. Flat plains, horizons that stretch forever, hot days and no real season changes; rain storms that only lasts for a few minutes, etc. Another thing I put in was how some characters began to appreciate the landscape. I love it out here in west Texas. I love being able to see for miles and see that brilliant blue sky stretch out above you. I don’t think a lot of people quite know how to appreciate the way the mesquite smells in the summer or how purple sage blooms when rain is on the way or the raw power of the wind in the spring. Don’t get me started on the sunsets! In the series, the characters begin to see more to Calorin than flat grassy plains and hot temperatures. True it’s not their forested home, but they begin to appreciate the land for what it is. When it comes to world building, I try and come up with environments I’m familiar with and really get the feel of the land and pass on that appreciation to the characters.
It sounds beautiful the way you describe it. I must visit Texas some day! I hear you are currently working towards obtaining a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. What are your plans once you obtain your doctorate? And how, if at all, will it affect your writing career?
Right now in my first year of school I have no idea where I want to work. That’s plan numero uno after graduation- pass my licensure, get a job, and learn how to be a grown up. 🙂 I hope it won’t affect my writing career as I’ve got many many more stories planned! I’m actually hoping it will become easier than currently trying to juggle writing with school.
I hope so, too! The WIPs on your blog are crying to be published; they cannot be ignored! What other books can we expect to be coming our way in the future?
I think my sci-fi story Worldjumpers! is at the top of the list for future potential published books. I’ve included a brief synopsis!
David Standish thinks he’s in for another ordinary summer on his grandfather’s west Texas farm. But that illusion is quickly shattered when Captain Zoey Blackheart crash lands in their backyard. One repair job later, David is signed on as a crewmember on the Saltador, a ship that can travel between planets through portals accessed by long forgotten technology. Captain Blackheart’s past is racing closer with every job they complete and she, David, and her crew must stay one step ahead of her enemies. David is in for the ride of his life, making new friends and enemies and uncovering a plot that could destroy an entire planet!
Worldjumpers! I’m looking forward to that one, and A Faery Tale. Thanks for the synopsis. Now we will all be bugging you to get it published ASAP! 😀 Thank you for bravely answering all these questions, Claire M. 😉 Stop by again, anytime!
Now that we’ve heard about the book, and learned some cool things about the author herself, it’s time for all of you to mark your calendars for May when the book will be released! Add it to your goodreads to-read list!
About the author:
Claire Banschbach was born and raised in Midland, TX, the fourth of eight children. She was homeschooled through high school and is now a proud member of the Texas A&M University class of 2014. An avid reader of Lord of the Rings, Narnia, and many other adventure novels, Claire was prompted to begin writing her own fantasy novel at seventeen after several years of daydreaming. She continues to write in her spare time (and often when she doesn’t have spare time). When not scratching out stories and homework with pen and pencil, Claire partakes in the joys of watching the Boston Red Sox, Aggie football, playing volleyball, and horseback riding. She hopes her faith and strong foundation in God will continue to help guide her writing. She is currently working on her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the Texas Tech University Health Science Center.
Connect with the author:
Opens at midnight March 23 and closes at midnight on March 28. Giveaway includes 2 signed copies of The Wildcat of Braeton and accompanying sets of four notecard sized illustrations from the series!