Interview with Maree Ward-russell
Author of The Soul Keeper –
2nd book in The Castle Trilogy
Questions by R. Murry
Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I’m a 47 year old mother to five teens, a registered nurse and I’ve been writing stories in one way of another since I was about 10 yrs. old. I was raised in New Plymouth – a coastal city on the west coast, North Island of New Zealand but have spent the last 10 years living here in Auckland city. I love to travel and have had many trips overseas.
Do you remember the first story you wrote?
Yes – although I do recall I also have never completed it! It was a story about a nation of elves living at the bottom of a girls’ garden who enlist her help to save them from a terrible fate. “The Saving of the Eledenforth Elves.”
Were you inspired by someone or something?
I have loved C.S Lewis from a very young age. I used to seek old wardrobes wherever I saw them. Since then Tolkien and in later years J.K. Rowling – not only for her incredible writing skill but also her ability to draw readers, young and old in a highly computerised age.
What do you like about writing a story?
When I’m completely losing myself in the fantasy, I’m happy. Becoming someone or being somewhere that in today’s reality simply wouldn’t be possible and then sharing that with those who love this like me.
Can you tell us about your book?
I have several on the go; a bad habit of mine. Firstly I released Roses at Dusk – a paranormal suspense for Young adults; the first in a series called the Demonic Series. Just recently however, I have released The Transient. This is the first in The Castle Trilogy that is a teen fantasy romance about a young girl who moves from Australia to New York State to take up residence in a rundown castle, turned bed and breakfast with her dad. It is dripping with atmosphere, ghosts and villains with just a tangible hint of romance. In a way The Castle series is a prequel to The Demonic series as Roses at Dusk only came about when I felt the villains from The Castle Series needed a story of their own.
What genre best fits for the book?
Teen – Fantasy/Paranormal/Romance.
Are you working on something new at the moment?
Several! I am trying to get Snowdrops Wilt at Dawn – the second after Roses at Dusk, completed. On top of that I have three other quite different projects. Firstly, a collaborative work with English poet A.V. Barber called Lion Hearts. This is a medieval romance set back in the time of King Richard, which uses a combination of poetry and narrative back story to tell the tale of a Knight and his maiden. I also invest a lot of time in The Dragons of the Yew Maze – a teen adventure for all ages, set in Kent, which is an action packed story of two kids helping to protect a young prince’s kingdom and Dragon crop from an evil Governor called Tyrone. Finally – when I need a complete change of pace I am slowly working my way through a classical, steam punk mystery – called the Mystery at Bancroft Hall. – Phew!
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Don’t be put off by everyone else’s opinions or the system itself. You will never find a more fickle and subjective industry than literature; which is why there is very questionable material on occasions that find its way in to traditional high profile print while some extraordinary writers are struggling and passed over. Never give up, believe in what you do. Don’t read reviews and just keep WRITING… for the love above all else.
Where can people go to read your work?
Amazon, Smashwords – including all the usual additions like Kobo and Barnes and Noble. I also have three fan pages and a personal website along with Goodreads.com