Okay, it’s December-ish 2012. I have been learning more and more about this new-fangled thing called a Kindle Fire. It has been in my possession now for exactly one year and I’ve finally figured out that I can use it for reading. However, was I supposed to get rid of my paperbacsks and eschew them for (gasp) an electronic thing-a-ma-bob? Ultimately, the answer became a resounding YES!
In searching the Kindle store for something good to read, something to whet my reading whistle, I find the Emily Chambers’ series by C.J. Archer. The first book in the series, The Medium, was free and I decided to try it. The cover was interesting, vibrant, professional looking and engaging. The main character, Emily Chambers, is 17 years old and can see spirits. It’s a novel set in Victorian London and it is filled with suspense, drama and…demons! What’s not to love? I didn’t write a a full-fledged review, nor really post about it. However, I did join a No-Kiss Blog Fest blog hop where I used a scene from this book because it affected me so! You can read that blog post here.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. I wondered if this author had done any more writing about my favorite character who I thought about from time to time over the past couple of years. Imagine my surprise when I emailed the author and she got right back to me in less than 24 hours! I was an honored and very happy reader-fan! While there are no more Emily Chambers’ books, there is a spin-off series featuring characters from the Emily Chambers’ series to follow in new adventures!
This new series is called the FREAK HOUSE series and book 1 of this trilogy is The Wrong Girl. Both the FREAK HOUSE and the Emily Chambers series are set in the Victorian Era. So, just for fun, I will intersperse cool Victorian images for your viewing pleasure.
If you have not read anything from this best-selling Indie author, C.J. Archer, you should take a minute and read our chatty interview below. Get comfy, sit awhile and then pick up one of her books. You’ll be glad you did.
Oh! Don’t forget to enter the raffle below to win a free paperback copy of The Wrong Girl.
C.J., tell us about yourself.
Thanks for having me on your blog! I’m a chocolate-eating, housework-avoiding, cat-loving author, reader, mother and wife from Australia. Like most Aussies, I go to the beach when the weather’s warm, despite having the sort of skin that gets burnt after five minutes. I don’t read as much as I used to, but when I do read, I go for stories that are a little different. Oh yeah, and I love history. I used to wish I lived in the past, but when I grew up and realized I was more likely to have been a servant than a heroine from one of Jane Austen’s books, I decided to be grateful for the here and now. It doesn’t stop me from occasionally dreaming of Mr. Darcy though 🙂
What first attracted you to this genre?
I’ve always been fascinated by paranormal phenomena. Not vampires and werewolves, but the sort of supernatural things that make you wonder if they’re real – ghosts, second sight, telepathy and hypnosis, are just some examples. I don’t have any spooky stories of my own, but I’ve heard normal, intelligent people speak about something that happened to them and they’re totally convinced what they saw was real. I enjoy exploring the story possibilities of these phenomena, and setting my books in a historical context just seemed natural to me, particularly the Victorian era. The Victorians were curious and inventive people, but also deeply superstitious and open to believing in the paranormal. It’s a wonderfully atmospheric and gothic time. Plus the clothing is just gorgeous!
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
Tying up all the plot threads and making sure there are no plot holes or inconsistencies. This becomes especially difficult as I write the 7th book in a 9 book series. I’ve got to remember which character knows what, and weave the many plot threads together for a satisfactory conclusion.
Tell us about the FREAK HOUSE series. And, can you share a little of it with us?
At the moment I’m writing the 3rd trilogy in the FREAK HOUSE series. The first book of the trilogy, GHOST GIRL, starts where the 2nd trilogy finished off, but with a new hero and heroine for readers to fall in love with. Cara, a spirit medium, is sick from a supernatural curse inflicted upon her by a ghost, and the only cure is to be near a warrior from another realm. Enter Quin St. Clair, a man of mystery who doesn’t quite know how to fit into the world of modern inventions. Toilets fascinate him, neckties defeat him, and he can’t go into churches. Oh, and he can handle himself in a fight. Cara and I have our hands full with Quin, but we also have a lot of fun. 🙂
Can you tell us about your main character?
Cara is intelligent and spirited in an age when intelligent and spirited women were encouraged to hide their vibrant personalities from potential suitors. No man wants a wife more intelligent than himself – it was social suicide!
How did you develop your plot and characters?
The entire FREAK HOUSE series (3 trilogies in all) was inspired by my fascination with old gothic novels and the characters that inhabited them. Namely, the cliché of the mysterious woman in the attic. The first trilogy features Hannah, a girl who has lived in Lord Wade’s attic most of her life as a companion to Wade’s daughter. The plot and characters grew organically with that basic premise in mind, by answering a few questions – why is she there? How does she get free and why? What sort of man would she fall in love with, and what would keep them apart?
What do you look for in a cover?
For these books I wanted something dark and mysterious, harking back to the Gothic novels with a spooky looking house. I’m lucky in that my cover designer understands the mood I’m after.
What do you love about independent publishing?
I get to write the books that I want to read. Historical paranormals aren’t popular enough for the big publishers to publish, but I don’t need to sell as many copies as they do in order to make a living. I also love that I can write to my own schedule which means I take time off when my kids are on holidays.
Author, C.J. Archer
Are you a pantser or plotter?
I’m a little of both. I always plot out the beginning and the end before I start, with some major turning points in between, but sometimes those change as I write and I flesh out the plot as I go along. Nothing is ever set in stone.
Would or have you considered writing in another genre?
I’ve written in a variety of genres for years. Contemporary romance, mystery, humour and historical romances are some of the ones I’ve tried.
What are your goals as a writer?
To keep my readers happy and find new readers who like the sorts of books that I write. I believe that if I write a consistently satisfying story every time, my readers will trust me to deliver and come back for more.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I would love to travel to England where I set my books! But it’s expensive from Australia, not to mention time consuming. I visited Britain and Europe many years ago, and I would go back in a heartbeat. One day…
Where can readers find C.J. Archer online…
My website: http://cjarcher.com
Twitter handle : @cj_archer
Where can readers purchase C.J. Archer’s books?
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/c-j-archer?store=allproducts&keyword=c.j.+archer
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=c.j. archer&c=books&hl=en
UPDATE: The winner of the paperback copy of THE WRONG GIRL is Regina Mader! Congratulations Regina! C.J. will contact you directly. Happy Reading!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway – ENDED 10/30/14