Thursday, August 29, 2013

Welcome @SondraCarr #Author of The World of Pangaea Series to #ThursdayswithTaryn

Thursdays with Taryn
Sondra Allan Carr

(click image above to go check out Sondra's Website)

What book(s) most influenced you as a writer?
Some years ago, I read Robin McKinley’s first book, Beauty. It’s a little gem of a YA novella that forever hooked me on the Beauty and the Beast theme. My first published novel, A Bed of Thorns and Roses, is a historical romance set during America’s Gilded Age. It follows the Beauty and the Beast story fairly closely.
Apparently, one book wasn’t enough to get Beauty and the Beast out of my system. My second full-length novel is titled—wait for it—The Beast. This book is the first in my fantasy romance series, The World of Pangaea. Despite its title, the book doesn’t follow the Beauty and the Beast story quite as closely, though it deals with the theme of redemption through love. My hero is really beastly. His father subjected him to horrible abuse throughout his childhood and youth. As a result, he suffers from what we now call post-traumatic stress disorder. He lives with a hair-trigger temper that sends him into fits of rage and causes him to commit acts he later bitterly regrets. He’s the darkest hero I ever have or ever hope to write. Thankfully, the hero of the second book in my series, The Savage, is anything but savage. He’s the exact opposite of my hero in The Beast and very easy to love.

What book do you read over and over again? A debut novel by Toby Barlow called Sharp Teeth. It’s the only book I’ve ever read straight through three times in a row. I rarely buy hardcover books any more, but when I came to “The End” for the third time and immediately flipped back to page one, I decided it was time to buy it, and I returned my library copy. I said all that before describing the book, because when I tell you, you’ll probably have the same Say What? reaction I did when I first heard of the book. It’s a story about werewolves set in modern-day L.A. and written entirely in blank verse. Please don’t let that turn you off. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read, and it’s beautiful. I still dip into it every so often, and I’ve probably read through it half a dozen times by now.

Tuesday/Thursday Trio-
1)      Movie- I can’t name just one! I love comedies, though really good ones are few and far between. Legally Blonde; Dirty, Rotten Scoundrels; A Fish Called Wanda; and here are some more obscure ones that are worth searching out: Jabberwocky (with Michael Palin); Death at a Funeral (NOT the American remake but the original British comedy starring the actor who played Darcy in Pride and Prejudice); and an indie production called A Film with Me in It, great if you like those English farces in the tradition of Kind Hearts and Coronets, where people keep dying off hilariously.
2)      Music- The Beatles, always and forever; Brahms; current favorite performer: David Garrett (Sometimes the gods walk among us. He is Apollo and Adonis rolled into one, I’m sure of it.)
3)      Decadent Dessert- Any kind of pie made by Sweet Magnolia, the world’s best pie shop, which is fortunately (or unfortunately) just down the street from me.

What’s the most interesting or bizarre bit of trivia you’ve learned from researching for a novel?
Really, it’s almost too gross to share. The second novel in my series, The Savage (coming in the late fall), takes place in the rainforest. There are really heinous parasites there, and my heroine keeps refusing to remove her ugly woolen cap the whole time she’s there. I knew she had a good reason for this but didn’t understand until I finally came across a news article about a story that happened recently. A woman vacationing in Peru had a fly get in her ear. She didn’t think anything of it until she got home and started having horrendous headaches. The MRIs showed she had maggots hatching out in her brain. Yuck! Sorry, I’ve probably put you off your dinner now. If you’re not so squeamish and want to know more, here’s the link to the news story: Flesh Eating Maggots

Novel on your Nightstand:
Who/what are you currently reading? Actually, it’s a book I’m re-reading. The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. It’s one of those books I study for craft {Tweet This}. I’ve never read any other book that takes me as deep into a character’s psychology. It’s written in third person POV, not first, but stays in the title character’s perspective the entire time. It’s claustrophobic and enthralling. I won’t say anything more because I don’t want to give away any spoilers. Just read it!

Whom would you cast as your Main Characters/Hero/Heroine if your book became a movie?
Chris Hemsworth, as he looked in Thor, definitely. He’s exactly how I imagined my hero, King Armander, in The Beast. And his brother Liam would be perfect to play Armander’s younger brother, Aurik, who is a secondary character in The Savage, and the hero of the third book in the series, The Swordmaster’s Daughter. I’m definite on the hero, but in a complete quandary for my heroines. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them. 

The King’s Witch: A Short Story Introducing The World of Pangaea  

The Knowledge. It shows her what has been, what will be, and--even more fearful--what may be. Some call it a gift, but Koreen knows better. The Knowledge is a curse.

Her story is a tragic one; The Knowledge has revealed as much. Though she cannot save herself, she may yet save others. Then her sacrifices were not in vain.

An unspeakable evil is about to overrun the earth, while the only man able to defeat the demon hordes remains ignorant of his destiny. The future depends on her ability to convince him of the truth. But will the young king listen? Especially since he has sworn death or exile to all who practice the black arts.

King Armander finds it difficult to believe the vile creature standing before him was the dead king's consort. She seems more demented than evil, and unaware her life hangs in the balance. His sense of justice demands he allow her to plead for herself.

"Can you tell me, Witch, any reason why I should spare your life?"

As soon as she speaks, he regrets his question. She reveals his past, and the dark deed no one else could know he committed. Her knowledge of his secret adds weight to her dire prophecy: that with her execution, he will lose his only ally in defeating the dark forces loosed on his kingdom. His own life, in fact, will be forfeit.

Does he dare defy his own edict to save himself and his people? Can he trust the woman known to all simply as The King's Witch?

Reader's caveat: This story contains a single sex scene that is fairly graphic and may be disturbing to some. Those who prefer to avoid such content and those under 18 please be advised, this story may be inappropriate for you.


The Beast, Book One of The World of Pangaea

Young King Armander inherits the throne determined to restore his kingdom to its former glory. The years of abuse suffered under the old king’s reign have taken their toll on his people—even more so on Armander. The torments visited on him by his demon-worshipping father have disfigured his soul and left Armander with an enduring anger that no longer has a target. His barely contained rage, unleashed at the slightest provocation, has earned him a name whispered behind his back: The Beast.

When Armander learns a neighboring king has plotted his assassination, he demands the king’s daughter as reparation. Immediately captivated by the beautiful princess, Armander discovers it is he, in fact, who has become hostage to her charms. As his love for her grows increasingly apparent to those around him, Armander fails to realize Princess E’laiahna has powerful enemies within the palace, men who will stop at nothing to keep her from becoming Queen. Yet only one man can drive her away forever—the one people call The Beast.

You can also find Sondra on Facebook HERE.


1 comment:

sibi said...

Thanks for the objective review. Inspired to read.