Interview with Carol Bond

Welcome to JBR.  We are happy to have you here today

I would like to thank Julie Ramsey for this wonderful opportunity in being a guest on her blog.

First, why don't you tell us a little about yourself?

            The song line ‘I still call Australia home,’ is so very true. I am Australian and so very proud. I live in Adelaide, South Australia and I have three children. I have over these past few years written my book, the first in the Tarkeenia Sagas, titled ‘The Unseen Promise.’
During this time, I found that like most writers, the process of telling a story has become quite addictive. I realise now, that I am hooked. Writing is a passion, a need and will be a part of me for the rest of my life.

            I write under the pseudonym of her children’s middle names - Ellen Mae Franklin.

            Working part time as a field merchandiser it gives me the freedom to enjoy activities that are of interest to me. I like to swim, especially when I need to relax and solve problems. Gardening to reconnect with the earth and reading to fulfil what I love most, the stimulation of my imagination.
There are other interests that I indulge in depending on my mood, for instance singing, knitting and road trips with friends for a day or two. Living in Australia provides excellent opportunities for this marvellous escapism.
Walking, watching movies, cooking and eating fabulous food - all these things brings a smile.

But what I love most of all, is creating. Words and worlds, long and short stories help add to my already vivid imagination.

Newest Release

Product Details

            Working with a co-writer, and one from the other side of the world certainly proved a challenge. Fortunately my partner and I think very much alike and as a result of collaborating these past 7 months, we have finally released our first book in the new Un-named Chronicles titled ‘Forthright & Clement.’ It is an epic fantasy that gives the reader a magical adventure.

            Here’s a taster
            The Un-Named, the magic wielders; loathed, reviled and feared for being different, forced to hide from constantly searching eyes; from the eyes of those who would strive to expose them to The Render.
As the Un-Named struggle to acquire their rightful position in a world that has hated and persecuted them for centuries, a fearsome danger escapes from its five hundred year old prison.
Two extraordinary companions begin a journey to discover the origin of the strange phenomena that is allowing wild magic to leak into the world, but they aren’t the only ones who are interested in that source and not for the same reasons either.
The world is under threat of total destruction and only through the powers of magical arts can it be saved and protected –
The use of Magic is forbidden!

What can we expect from your stories, action, drama, romance, sex or blood and guts?

            My stories are layered with many threads. Centred on a variety of messages, plots and emotions. Love and hate, self-greed and sacrifice, power, light and dark. My favourite part in the writing process is character development and with each new player, I feel that each story takes on extra depth and helps the reader to better visual what it is I am truly trying to convey.

Do you have a favorite character in your stories? Who? and Why?

            There are multiple characters in both my books, each with their own motivations and parts to play in. Some serve my stories with good intentions while others reflect evil and act accordingly. All my characters have individual personalities and traits that bring with it strengths and frailties, desires and dreams.
Since I cannot give you a favourite character. I can however offer an introduction to one I consider most worthy.

            Coal – Fire Sprite

            Coal is a great many things, capricious, dependable, impatient and childlike, he is all these things and so much more. Cherry red when filthy happy and more often than not, mischievous for he is the embodiment of playing the jester. But you have to watch out, for Coal is also easily offended. To say, that it’s a bad idea to upset a fire sprite would be an understatement, his silver tears although beautiful to behold, thick liquid molten drops can melt holes in stone and flesh.
This little man is perfect in every delicate feature and when he stands very straight and still (which by the way is not very often) is a delightful 4 inches.
It is often noted that the garb of a Fire Sprite can sometimes lend itself to the ridiculous, for Coal this criticism is aimed at the little fellows shoes. Pointed, purple shoes, one of a kind and he loves them almost as much as he loves, his friend and protector, Brar.
            The life of a fire sprite is a simple one, follow the sun and by doing so, live. Red and happy, pink and poorly, wet and dead, it’s quite simple, isn’t it? The bubbling hot fireball, we call the- sun is his God, his life source. You see, it’s a scary lot for a fire sprite, always having to keep out of the rain; ‘in fact’ getting wet period is a fatal error. For water kills a fire sprite as quick as a wink.
This darling little man, and I have to admit that he is a favourite of mine, and is nearly every waking minute, wickedly out spoken.
Being one of Tarkeenia’s children, and fey by nature, Coal has the unique talent of twinking. To explain twinking I will give you an example, let’s say Coal is standing on a rock, with the intention to sun bake the day away. Now as he settles down for a nap, he hears a noise. A loud growling sound and of course, the little man becomes frightened. One minute, he’s sitting on the rock, head tipped to one side, and then all of a sudden he is gone. Disappearing, leaving nothing but a sizzling trail of steam, then with a nasal laugh, he reappears a few seconds later, on the branch of a nearby tree.
How could you not love this little fellow?

How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?

            There is a piece in the book where a character is judged and sentenced by the Church and State. The Biscop (Head of the Church) is a man who represents the epitome of opulence and corruption. This obvious display of such wealth in the face of what should be, understanding and piety is rather sickening.

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:

            ‘The Unseen Promise’ is not predictable. I like to mix it up with good being on the losing side and evil sometimes prevailing when it is least expected. I think that can be a great way to keep a reader enthralled and eager for more. So, if you pick up one of my reads along the way and when you turn a page or a corner in my imaginary world - watch out!

Have there been any other authors who have inspired your work or helped you out with your stories?

            I do not personally know of an author that has inspired me. There are some in the facebook world that I have connected with, whom I consider great writers. These people I keep my eye on, to watch and see what they do, and if I can, then I endeavor to see if their methods will suit my genre of books.
As far as getting help for my stories, that responsibility falls totally to me. I have enough imagination for a dozen people and the writing process is a joy, so apart from asking the odd question here and there. No, I work solo and love it.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

            This is easy I believe. There are various ways to help any author become that little bit more of a success if you are a reader. After finishing the book they could -
Offer to give the author an honest review. Post it up on the various sale sites such as Amazon or Smashwords, Kobo, Goodreads etc.
Openly speak about the book to other readers, friends and family in the hope to spread the word.
Post on their news feed how they enjoyed the read.
Talk about on Linkedin and Google.
Tweet regularly about the book.
Create a pin for their Pin Board on Pinterest.
Be creative and come up with a slogan to help advertise in their corner of the social media world.

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

            For a reader, I would suggest to join as many groups as you can where writers hang out. More than often there are some wonderful offers to be had. Authors looking for reviews, free giveways, launch events to be won and interviews to be read and commented on to win a book. By becoming involved, you help not only yourself, but struggling authors.
            For a writer, the statement of writing for the love of it, is what each of us should be aiming for. Of course, we would all love to make writing the breadwinner but in reality, it is a bumpy road to ride.  Self-publishing is the easiest and most readily option to choose. At least here you are the boss, but taking on it on means lots of time lost from writing, with more of it being given to social media for marketing and sales. I worked with a small publisher initially but found that I was left to do all the marketing, and not being equipped with that skill my work suffered. Also, a publisher will take more than 50% of your royalties for simply signing with them.
I suggest to self-publish. Network and build a platform of friends who, when you need help can guide you through all the necessary processes that will allow your book to be uploaded for sale.

Do you have a favorite author? If yes, what draws you to that person’s work?

            Authors that write epic fantasy or stand alone novels, which are original, stand high among others on my list.
Joe Abercrombie is a favourite of mine. His work is gritty, fast paced, violent and uniquely original in its approach to the fantasy genre.
George R Martin and his famous ‘Game of Thrones’ leaves me smiling. His work is clever and intricate in the layering of its sophisticated threads.
Stephen Donaldson wrote ‘Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever’ and was one of my first epic fantasy series I read that left me wanting more and questioning the realm of what was possible in this fascinating genre.
Fiona McIntosh, Ian Irving, Sara Douglass, Guy Gavriel Kay, David Eddings, Stephen King, Robin Hobb, Robert Jordon and many others. I could go on for each author has their own perspective on translating what they see and hear into words.
I can only hope that my words, serves to give their legacy justice.

Can you remember one of the first things you wrote? What makes it memorable?

            We all write stories for English studies at school, on subjects that seem generic. Holidays, families and the things you love. I don’t particularly remember much of them except to say that it was a favourite subject and that I did well in this part of my schooling.
My book, ‘The Unseen Promise’ haunted me for years. The initial concept of the idea remained true always, but the content did change as time clicked by, layer by layer as the many threads evolved into what it is today.

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?

            I gather inspiration from many places and sometimes, I do not realize that what I see or hear is actually inspirational at all. It mainly comes in snippets - perhaps from a conversation there may be an idea for a new character or the naming of one. Even the ending of a chapter, or the solving of a problem can come from a place I am visiting.
I do not intentionally look for inspiration for since I am considered a pantser and write accordingly, I do not seek to plot for my creativeness, it is just there.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies, pets or stories you would like to share?

            I discovered just recently that I enjoy writing short stories. I never thought in a million years that writing enormous epics the way that I do, I would have the ability to tell a story with only a limited amount of words. As a result, of this I have 3 of my stories published by S Cuppari Publishers for their fabulous magazine ‘TakeABreakReads.’ You can chase it down on Facebook and enjoy many great reads and articles. I believe we should all support the smaller side of the literary industry else our words are in danger of disappearing.

Favorite places to travel or visit?

            I have been a glutton for travel these past 4 years and during that time have visited a great many places in the world. Mostly Europe and the United Kingdom with a total of 6 months worth of memories. My favourite places are Madrid in Spain, the Netherlands, Scotland and the French Pyrenees.

And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:( Include links to were we can find your work)

Blame, guilt and a warm fire

The sound of steel on stone shook the narrow laneway where the two brothers lay in hiding. Voices, dark growls threatening death and a most certain bloody end, roared in Roedanth’s ears. The hand clamped over Peetra’s mouth trembled, partly in fear, but mostly in worry. There would be no going anywhere now, not with half the city guard after them.
“Peetra, why did you do it?” It was a shaken whisper into the still ear of his only brother. “We had it all, a roof over our heads, two meals a day, and I was learning a trade. Why, Peetra?”
Blood stained his hands; it had soaked through to his under garments and the sticky feeling of Peetra’s life on his skin made him feel sick. Roedanth shifted, the damp, coarse stone against his back a chafing reminder that they were up to their necks in shit. Peetra groaned, the sound escaping from in between Roedanth’s fingers. Startled, Roedanth wriggled again, pulling his brother in closer and the bolt in Peetra’s breast thrummed.
“By the stars, I’m sorry, Peetra. I didn’t mean it.” More whispering, but this time Roedanth stroked and smoothed out his brother’s sweat-soaked hair. “You’re burning up.”
The voices were closer now; two in particular set his heart racing.
“I told you Sam, the old woman pointed down this-a-ways.” A Tolerian slur marked the man as a mercenary; half the city guards were mercenaries, paid for by the taxes collected by the current King of Crow’s Nest.
“So you’ll take the word of an old woman instead of a warm fire and a mug of beer,” grumbled the other.
Roedanth could almost hear the sulk in the man’s voice. It was cruel, and he once again felt the pang of guilt. The Tolerian grunted, but whether it was in agreement with his companion’s remark or from the veracity of his own duty the boy didn’t know. What he did know was that Mr. Bicky lay dead and Peetra dying. Who would believe him? Those two men with their hard eyes and hungry swords? Not likely. There were no friends in the city guard. The lengthening shadows were a friend though - they created deeper, darker corners to hide in.
The guards were almost upon them now. The sulky one, obviously bored with the chase whistled out to a woman, her large tits strained against the cheap cloth of her garish, far too small dress. She called back, a drunken invitation that promised more than just a passing fondle.
“Now, what I wouldn’t give to spend five minutes with the likes of that,” crooned the sulky one.
Again the Tolerian grunted. “Listen, the quicker we find these murdering bastards, the more time you’ll have in wetting that wick you so fondly talk about all the time.”
Harlots and thieves occupied the lower levels of  Crow’s Nest, gracing The Seed with their filthy company. It was a dangerous place to those not guilded. The setting of the sun usually sorted out the fools from the foolhardy. The two guards were almost on top of them. The damp air didn’t disguise the rank smell of unwashed bodies, stale spirits and for the most alarming part, irritation. The Tolerian hawked a large glob of phlegm; it arced over the barrels the lads were hiding behind. Startled, Roedanth moved his hand higher, covering Peetra’s mouth and nose. The terrified young man squeezed tighter. It would be the Seven Hells for them both after what his brother had done; there could be no forgiveness to murder.
The Unseen Promise
Amazon:  http://tinyurl.com/lphatqo (Kindle)
Forthright & Clement
Amazon:        http://tinyurl.com/oyb6lm3 (Kindle)
                                                http://tinyurl.com/mpza9pb (Print)

Thanks for visiting us here on JBR! We wish you great success!
Julie Ramsey


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