Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Linda Crate ~ an interview and her novel Blood and Magic

Linda Crate


Q: How would you describe yourself as a color? Think personality here. Are you a light and airy pastel person, or more of a deep, dark, sultry and mysterious color?
A: This is a difficult question, I would say it depends on my mood. Sometimes I know I'm a light and airy yellow and other days I'm a dark and moody crimson laying as close to the black spectrum as possible. I always carry an air of mystery and a quiet confidence so I'm not quite sure. Something tells me I'm a shade inbetween.

Q: Tell me one thing about each of the four seasons you like. It can be anything.
A:        Winter = I love freshly fallen snow when the season is still new. The snow reminds me of diamonds or glitter and looks especially beautiful in the moonlight. The whiteness of everything is beautiful and I love the way it contrasts with the green of pine trees.
            Spring            = I love birdsong nesting in my ears and the flowers. I am always happy to see that the first crocuses and daffodils have arrived. I have always admired wildflowers and the myriad of insects that they attract.
            Summer = I love the warmth of sunshine against my skin. I love the smell of campfires and being able to swim in a pool. As a child I used to swim so much that my nickname was mermaid. I still love to swim but I don't get to do it as frequently what with work and everything.
            Fall = I love the changing of the autumn leaves. This autumn I watched as the leaves fell into the water and they looked like ornaments bejeweling the water in a myriad of colors—combined with the sunlight it was just lovely.

Q: Dress up or dress down?
A:  I love to dress up. Skirts, dresses, blouses, high heels...I love it all! I am especially fond of jewelry and I already have too many pieces, but I'm always acquiring more. I love to be bejeweled. I guess I get that from my grandmother—she always seems to love dressing up, too.

Q: Coffee or Tea?
A:  Tea. I don't know why but I've never really liked coffee. I always tell people it's too bitter for me and someone once quipped that it was supposed to be. As far as tea goes my favorites are white, black, and sweet wild orange.


Q: When did you start writing and why?
A:  I started writing when I was thirteen. At first it started as a form of catharsis. However, as I became more involved with the craft, I began to think that I would like to write books that I would like to read. There were so many authors that I loved and so many that I disliked. I wanted to try my hand at it because I've always had a vivid imagination and it seemed like fun.

Q: Who's your favorite author?
A:  My favorite author is a rather difficult question as I have many that I love—but if I had to choose one I would say: C.S. Lewis. I loved the narratives of his Narnia series and how they had varying perspectives and many different characters that made up a cohesive whole.

Q: Do you always know how a story will end when you begin writing it?
A:  I always have a general idea of how the book will end. However, the characters sometimes change from what I originally thought and evolve along the way which can alter the ending slightly from what I previously imagined. Yet when I'm done with a book I really get excited because sometimes the vision isn't as great as the final product and that's always fun. I like to blow my own mind.

Q: Have your characters ever taken the story in a different direction than you had originally planned? Do you have a for instance, for us?
A: Oh, yes. My characters often change their minds and decide to take the story in a different direction. For example two villains in my current W.I.P. Centaurs and Magic decided that they were going to be heroes and the one insisted he was the love interest of a character that I had originally promised to another character. To say those two hate one another is the understatement of the year, they're constantly arguing in my head.


Q: What are you working on now? Would you like to share anything about it?
A: I'm currently working on the third book in the Magic Series entitled Centaurs and Magic. It centers s around the perspectives of the centaurs of the wood and a villain from the first book, Evan. It is a prequel of sorts that explains a little of Atriel's history and further explores back-stories of characters in both the first and second books and characters that will be in future books.

Q: Do you have a new book coming out soon? Tell us about it.
A: My book Dragons and Magic is still in need of getting a good edit. However, once I'm finished it could be available a year from now or maybe sooner. It really depends on how many releases my publisher will have and where she can fit me into the publishing schedule.

Q: How can we find you? Do you have a web page, FaceBook page or any buy links?
A:  I'm on facebook and a lot of other social media sites and I do have buy links, as well.
Deviant Art:
Linked In:

I am more frequently on facebook, twitter, and instagram than any of the other sites. However, I do log onto the others to connect with people I may not otherwise get the chance to know.

Q: Are you currently participating in a blog tour? If you are let’s tell everyone where you’re going to be so they can catch up with you again.

Q: Let’s talk about Blood and Magic. How did you come up with the characters?
A: Well, that's an interesting question. I developed the characters from a roleplay I was having with my friend Rory. We were on a Marauder's Era HP based rp and had two characters a part vampire named Lorcan d'Eath and his human lover Petula Rosier.
These characters were crazy and had a really twisted, complicated history which I pretty much came up with but Rory helped me develop into something more substantial and helped iron out the details.

I wanted to find a way to immortalize the characters.
So I decided that I'd take them from their HP universe and throw them into a completely new world—one that had magic but was completely different from Rowling's world. I wanted not only to develop them and flesh them out more than our roleplays did but to turn them into slightly different alter egos altogether so they could thrive and survive in their own world which I later named Atriel.

I have always loved vampire and monster slayer novels and so it was only natural for me to turn my "Petty" into Lucille the monster slayer whose heart would soon belong to the part-vampire Florian. I've also had a fascination with part-vampires and vampires ever since I was a little girl. I once wrote a short story about a part-vampire named Charlotte who Florian closely resembles in some mannerisms but he's completely different in others.
Florian and Lucille will forever be my favorites because they were based off my two favorite characters. Although there are several differencesfor instance Florian is a lot braver than Lorcan and Lucille is a lot more outspoken and fiery than Petula. Not to mention there was no Solomon in our story, but I threw him into the tale because I figured Lucille could use a father figure.

After all, Florian had Clorian, which I so named to amuse myself. Florry and Clorry I call them much to their annoyance.

I had actually intended Solomon to be a minor character, but he soon took on a mind of his own (as my characters often do), and decided he needed a larger role in the story along with his wife Deborah.

Evan just came to me. He's a combination of several people in my life that rubbed me the wrong way and people who were rude to my character Petula in the roleplay. He took shape on his own and quickly became quite a troubling, vexing character in his own right.

Veronique is one of my favorites, too. I figured that Evan needed a reason to be against half-breeds and having a half-sister who was a part-elf seemed the perfect idea. I have always loved the idea of half-breeds because I believe you cannot choose whom you fall in love with and why couldn't humans and other species breed? I also liked the conflict with-in her between darkness and light, wanting to do the right thing and not knowing how. She's not quite an anti-hero but she's not a villain, either. Just somewhere juxtaposed between the two.

Petula and Petro were two characters that really intrigued me when they popped into my mind because I always knew they were vampires. I wanted to know why Evan was a hypocrite and would employ people like that in his counsel and soon became apparent to me that he would use any means possible to carry out his aims. What his aims are, however, I will not say. I can't give away the entire story, after all.

All the other characters just sprang up as I needed them or as they needed me to introduce them as they always remind me (my characters are quite forceful, I've noticed, some more so than others).

I always wanted to experiment with the idea of an ensemble piece which is quite frankly what Blood & Magic is. A myriad of personalities and situations meshed together to describe what happened in Atriel. I really enjoyed the way it turned out and I'm quite glad that it got a chance to breathe life on its own.

I think it will always be one of my favorite stories and I really do hope that everyone enjoys not only the first novel but all the subsequent novels because these characters get into a lot of misadventuresbut what could one expect from a part-vampire and part-fae? Especially ones as mischievous as Florian and his love?

A monster slayer is in for the adventure of her life. Does she decide to follow her heart or does she kill the monster she loves to stay in favor with the counsel she serves? Not to mention all these broken memories are confusing – are they things that really happened or is it all just in her head? Lucille Roddingale is in pursuit of the truth and she’s not going to like everything that she finds in her journey.

"Don't worry," he reassured her moments later, after the struggling werewolf laid still. "I'm still here, you haven't lost me to the monster. You never will. I promise." He wrapped an arm around her waist lovingly, giving her a small peck on the cheek. "You taught me humanity is more important than my rage, than this destruction this beast inside of me is capable of. I don't want to hurt anyone, but especially not you. You are the only one I could love."

Buy links:

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. She currently resides in Meadville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. Recently her two chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press - June 2013) and Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon - January 2014) were published.

I’m happy you could join me on Books and Banter.  I hope you had fun!  
Just a reminder to the reader ~ before you leave please take a look at the  
Funny/Stupid and Interesting Tabs.

Come back and visit again.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to visit and comment. I appreciate your input.