Welcome to the Blog Tour for Heartifact! A very special thanks to Anne for interviewing and hosting me today! It is great to be here!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your writing?
I have a unique writing background in a number of ways, not the least of which is that I was raised by a prolific author. I have also written in multiple mainstream venues for years, and spent way too much time on sets watching films come to life for the silver screen. Though I have spent the past four years concentrating on young adult works for Dreamspinner’s Harmony Ink Press label (under C. Kennedy), I write primarily for adults—surprise! All of the information in the below short biography is true. My name may be new to readers, but my writing may not be.
How long have you been writing, and what inspired you to begin writing?
I began writing at the age of seven and have not stopped since then. I was also first published then. I wrote a story entitled “Hank the Unicorn.” It was about a unicorn who wished to be a Pegasus so he could fly. Given that a unicorn is a portmanteau of a Pegasus, clearly the age of reason had not yet dawned on me. But, hey, I was seven and wanted to be able to fly. My four-page masterpiece was published in a local newspaper.
I don't know that "inspired" is the right word. I think "told" is a better word. My grandfather put a pen (not a pencil) in my hand and said: write. I did. The editing process for Hank the Unicorn had me in tears for days as my grandfather drilled into my head: "Say what you mean, and mean what you say." It was a brutal process.
Can you tell us about your new release? What inspired you to write it?
My newest novella, Heartifact, is an enchanting romance that combines the contemporary adventure of an undersea archaeological dig with ancient Greek myth. The story centers on a risky salvage operation of a trireme, and quite possibly one of Alexander the Great’s warships.
Harper Kidd, (no coincidence that he bears a pirate’s last name), is a respected marine archaeologist, and is plagued by beautiful dreams of an undersea lover as he embarks on the excavation. His best friend, Stick, is a marine scientist with expertise in undersea robotics, and she possesses a wicked sense of humour.
As it turns out, the trireme they salvage sits over the ruins of an ancient Greek civilization. In the great hall of those ruins, Harper finds a statue of the ancient Greek god—the very god who stars in his dreams. Harper is caught between ancient myth and reality as he falls in love with the mysterious man, and struggles to keep a level head to oversee the archaeological dig.
I wanted to write a story that combined an undersea adventure with the mythical and mysterious.
How did you come up with the title?
I had a heck of a time coming up with a title. I thought of a million potential titles, I consulted fellow authors, and readers, and could not come up with a thing. So, I waylaid the idea of a title and wrote the story and blurb and, as I was completing the blurb, the title came to me like lightning. As I was pondering archaeological terms, artefact became Heartifact.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I spent more time researching marine archaeology than writing the story. Every time I do something like this, I say to self: write what you already know! However, my insatiable need to know things, any things, keeps me researching and writing about things I know nothing about.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t get it right, get it written. It is far more important to put your story to pen than it is to make it perfect.
Who is your favourite character and why?
Harper Kidd. He spent years in college to become a marine archaeologist and had high hopes of becoming the Indiana Jones of the high seas. Thanks to a poor economy, he takes a job that forces him to stifle his creativity and deal with the pressures of a heartless profession and the destruction of the undersea world he loves. His heart and soul exhausted, he struggles to cope with the disappointments life has thrown at him. When his best friend asks him to assist on a marine salvage operation, and more than one of his dreams comes true, he finally has a chance at the happiness he deserves. I think Harper is made up of a good portion of all of us. We are all fighting for happiness in one respect or another.
Are there people in your life that annoy you, and do you write them into your books?
Yes, and no. I prefer to write friends into my books... and then proceed to abuse the privilege of doing so. Michael Thompson, one of our awesome readers, makes an appearance in Heartifact. Fellow authors, Andrew Q. Gordon, Wade Kelly, Shira Anthony, and John Aames appear in Thárros.
Do characters and stories just pop into your head, or do you take your time thinking about them?
I have an overactive imagination and my mind is constantly popping with story and character ideas. Trying to slow my mind down is like trying to nail Jell-O to a tree.
Are you a panster or a plotter?
Do you write often? Is it on a schedule, or whenever you feel like it?
I write every day of the year, even if only to carve out an hour of writing on a particular day. It is ingrained in me, and I never plan or schedule it.
If you could have any superpower or magical ability, what would it be and why? What would you do with it? And, yes, world domination is an acceptable answer.
World domination is too much responsibility for me. I have a burning desire to be able to fly. Like, almost more than anything in the universe. It is a very deep-seated need. I probably need counselling. I digress. I would travel the world and see new things every day!
What are your writing and personal goals for 2017 and beyond?
Complete my top-secret bucket list. And, yes, lots of writing is involved.
What are you working on at present? Would you like to share a snippet?
I am working on two books now, Grotesque, and Mud Angels (a young adult novel to commemorate the youth who restored books and artwork after the 1966 Arno River flood in Florence, Italy). After that, I will write Corbeau for Dreamspinner’s Order of the Black Knights series. You can read a little of Grotesque here.
Are you obsessed with stationery? And, if so, what and why?
This is undoubtedly the most unique question I have ever been asked. The answer is, yes, I am. My stationary must have an appropriate header and footer. If used in real life (as opposed to emails), it must be printed on quality paper containing a watermark. I know! I know! Who does that anymore?
Thanks for having me, Anne! It was awesome to be here! Heartifact debuts in French and English on November 24th, and in Italian in January 2017, and comes to you from Men Over the Rainbow and our lovely Bénédicte Girault. I hope you enjoy Heartifact as much as I enjoyed writing it. Go read the book!
Harper Kidd is a highly respected marine archaeologist. Yet, with the economy in a slump, he’s trapped working in an oil company’s exploration division. Now, at the ripe age of thirty, Harp is disgusted with his employer’s damage to the undersea world he loves, tired of his ATM-card-filching ex, and tormented by beautiful dreams of an undersea lover. It’s time for a change and when his best friend, Stick, pleads with him to assist on a deep-sea dig in the Mediterranean, he jumps at the chance.
Harper’s spirits are high when they discover the ruins of an ancient civilization, and soar to the heavens when they discover a statue of an ancient pelora, a mysterious hybrid creature said to mediate between the worlds of reality and fantasy—and the very lover who holds the starring role in his dreams.
When the crew discovers the site is teeming with unexploded ordnance from the conflicts in the Middle East, and the excavation turns deadly, Harper must choose between saving his best friend and saving the pelora he’s fallen in love with.
Net proceeds from Heartifact benefit the The Trevor Project in the US,
le Refuge in France, and Arcigay in Italy
Heartifact is available from Men Over the Rainbow
Amazon, Amazon UK, All Romance eBooks, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords
en français Men Over the Rainbow
Amazon FR, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords
About Aisling Mancy
Ash is an author who lives, most of the time, on the West Coast of the United States. Ash writes mystery thrillers, fantasy, science fiction, romance, and fiction for gay young adults as C. Kennedy.
Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Ash doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, is epic awkward, and lives to perfect a deep-seated oppositional defiance disorder. In a constant state of fascination with the trivial, Ash contemplates such weighty questions as If time and space are curved, then where do all the straight people come from? When not writing, Ash can be found taming waves on western shores, pondering the nutritional value of sunsets, appreciating the much-maligned dandelion, unhooking guide ropes from stanchions, and marveling at all things ordinary. Ash does respond to emails because, after all, it is all about you, the reader.
Find Ash on blog, Twitter @AislingMancy, Facebook, Google+,
Goodreads, Booklikes, Dreamspinner Press Author Page, and Amazon.
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