Friday, 29 March 2013

Wildflowers by Schledia Benefield Blog Tour - Interview

Wildflowers 99 Cent Tour

Wildflowers by Schledia Benefield

WildflowersTitle: Wildflowers

Series: N/A

Author: Schledia Benefield

Published: 8th February 2013

Publisher: Three Keys Publishing


Have you ever feared what may be hiding deep within you?

Darkness often skulks in the blood of unsuspecting victims, but Aster McGrath is acutely aware of the violence coursing through his veins. After all, he is the son of a murderer, and everyone in the town of Bayville, Mississippi says he will end up just like his father.

When Susan Blackman moves into town, Aster has already embraced his brutal nature, but her gentle spirit draws him in and slowly melts the icy exterior of his heart. Taming his savagery, she professes her love, but will the good within him be able to overcome the evil lurking deep inside? Or will the fiend break free of its fetters and seek blood?

Book Links

Interview with Schledia Benefield

Tell us a little about your latest book, Wildflowers.
Wildflowers is a YA romance set in the fictional town of Bayville, Mississippi. The main character is Aster McGrath. He’s been labeled by the town folk as a bad seed doomed to end up like either his mother or his father or both. His father is in prison for murder, and his mother is an abusive drunk. Because of the life he has lived, he has a natural tendency toward violence. He’s angry, cynical, and rebellious. When Susan Blackman moves into town, she reaches out to him. Aster is instantaneously attracted to her, but he doesn’t believe that he would ever have a chance with her. She’s kind, pure, and beautiful, and he sees himself as quite the opposite.

When did you decide you wanted to be an author, and when did you take the leap?
I’ve been writing for most of my life, but I lacked the confidence needed to actually believe that I could be an author, but even during elementary school, I wanted to write books when I grew up. In 2006 the idea for a fantasy series came to me. I wrote the overview, saved it, closed my computer, and walked away. The story wouldn’t let me go, so a year later, I started doing the research needed for that series. That took me 6 months. It was mid-2007 when I started writing. I was 35 when I took the leap!

How big a part did/does your family play in helping you write?
My husband is a huge help! After I finish a chapter, I read it to him. He is always faithful to give me honest input and encouragement. He has financially supported me by being willing to fly us to New York so that I could attend my first writer’s conference. My children are supportive as well. My fantasy book is middle grade, so I read it to them after I finished my first draft. They gave me their input and helped me to come up with comprehension questions for it. My youngest son is doing his reading fair project on that book right now! They all help by understanding that sometimes Mom can’t cook breakfast on a Saturday morning because she is writing. They share me with my characters, but I try not to do that too often because my family is the most important thing in my life.

How do you handle bad reviews of your books?
Honestly, I had to work myself up to expecting that before I published my first book. I’m a very sensitive person, so I knew that I would have to prepare myself bad reviews. You have to have thick skin when your work is out there for people to review, critique, and even sometimes criticize harshly. First and foremost, I know that my style of writing is not for everyone, so naturally there are going to be some people who do not like my books. I can accept that because there are also people who will and have loved my books. I have a couple of cards that were mailed to me by fans. They were very encouraging and told me how much my book touched them, so I keep those close by as a reminder. That’s the reason I write, to touch the hearts of readers. Another thing I did to help me handle bad reviews is look up the reviews written on other books I love. Some of my favorite books have received harsh and even cruel reviews, so for me to know that a book that made a bestseller’s list and had thousands of positive reviews also had its share of bad reviews, helps me. Obviously a bad review doesn’t mean that the book is bad; it just means that the person writing the review didn’t like it for whatever reason.

What's your favourite thing to do to relax and unwind?
Well, up until recently, my husband and I would watch our DVDs of Friends to relax before bed, but we were just introduced to The Big Bang Theory, so now we are addicted to winding down the night watching it! That’s our nightly relax and unwind routine, but if it’s for a rare, me-time relax and unwind, I like to be by water with a book, although I should emphasize only during spring or fall. I live in Mississippi on the coast. Summer is miserably hot!

What three people (alive or deceased) would you invite to a dinner party and why?
Ellen DeGeneres. I LOVE her! I’ve been a fan since the 80s. She’s hilarious, kind, and generous. One of my dreams is to be able to make a trip to California and visit her show. Jane Austen. She’s one of my favorite authors. I would love to be able to talk to her about her novels. My Paw Paw, my Mom’s dad. I’ve lost all of my grandparents, and I miss them all, but I was only 9 when he died. One of his dreams that he never had the opportunity to fulfill was to write a book, so I would love to be able to visit with him again and tell him that I’m an author. I think he would be proud.

Which of your works has had the most impact on you, as both a person and a writer?
That’s a tough one. My first novel, Plain Jane, had a huge impact on me as a person, but Wildflowers has had a bigger impact on me as a writer.

Where is your favourite place to go for inspiration (whether a real place, or a place in your mind)?
Anywhere outside in nature, especially if water is around. Feeling a cool breeze blowing across my face while listening to the sound of water (whether it is waves crashing or a river flowing), allows me to enter the worlds hiding in my mind.

A huge thanks to Schledia for the interview. I always love to hear the different stories from authors and it was great fun reading through Schledia's answers!

Schledia Benefield's novel, Wildflowers, is currently on sale at Amazon for .99c!! It's only on sale until the end of the month, so check it out now!

And Find the Rest of the TOUR HERE!

1 comment: