This is the second interview in an ongoing series where I interview authors of books that I have read. Joanne Brothwell has agreed to be my second subject and she has graciously offered to give away an eBook copy of her current book, ‘Stealing Breath’ as well! Thank you so much, Joanne!
My questions are bold/italics.
Joanne found me through another review that I did. She contacted me and asked if I would like to read and review her book. You can read my review here.
She lives in Canada and has a couple of interesting pets – a former police dog with titanium teeth and a feral cat who’s a few toes shy of 20 (wait, do cats have five toes per foot?). Joanne has no spare time as she is juggling being a full-time family therapist, wife to a shift-worker, soccer mom of two school-aged kids and queen of weed/snow removal (depending on the time of year).
Let’s get to it…
How did you choose the subject matter for your book?
I didn’t really choose the subject matter, if just sort of came to me. It was a number of events that triggered a snowball effect – my discovery of the concept of the Indigo Child, followed by a creepy story told by a friend about her encounter with a Skinwalker. The two concepts somehow started to weave together, until voilà! I had the idea for Stealing Breath!
The thrust or catalyst of this book is supposed to be from Native American folklore. Are Skinwalkers a real Native American belief or a composite of beliefs? I assume your friend you mentioned says they’re real!
They are really found in Navajo folklore. It is often difficult to find a lot of first-hand stories, because it is said to talk about the Skinwalker will invite an attack. I learned about them from this cool story. One of my friends, an Indigenous Canadian, told me of a time she was on a road trip in the US. It was the middle of the night and she was growing too tired to continue driving, so she pulled her car over to the side of the road, somewhere in Arizona near the “four corners” (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah). She planned to have a nap, but was startled awake when her car started rocking as if someone was jumping on the hood, their mocking laughter outside sending shivers up her back. Quite abruptly it stopped, and when she spoke to some of her Navajo relatives later, they said these tricksters were Skinwalkers, people who practiced “Bad Medicine” and could perform astral-projection, shape-shifting and all sorts of other magic for evil purposes.
The idea behind your book is certainly a fresh one. Was this a conscious choice?
Yes, it was a conscious choice. I don’t want to write about anything I’ve ever read about before. I want it to be new to me, because I have to spend so much time with the story in the first place. I couldn’t bear to write a story about vampires right now, it would bore me to death!
Had you decided the genre first, then went looking for something new or did you have the idea first?
I suppose the idea came first, and then I wrote the story. I thought the genre was horror while I was writing it, but later discovered this whole paranormal romance genre.
There is a lot of action going on in this book: the missing child; the Skinwalkers; the connection between the main characters, Sarah and Evan; the creepy stranger Sarah encounters. Comments?
I get bored easily when I’m reading, so I assume my readers will as well. I enjoy the break-neck pace.
Many YA characters “damn the consequences” and keep moving in the direction they want to. Is this a device to make the action explode or is the main character just showing they are young and perhaps irresponsible?
Since Sarah is 21, she isn’t technically YA age, but I suppose she has a certain level of naïveté to her, yes. I didn’t write this book with teenagers as the target audience, so I really focused my efforts on entertaining, rather than providing a healthy role model in the protagonist.
Everyone knows that there are kids who do drugs, have sex and are foul-mouthed, yet when it comes to books, there seem to be rules with regard to what age it is appropriate to be writing about these things. What are your thoughts?
I think the rules should become more formal, with a rating system on the cover or something. I think the challenge would be – who would police the system? Would bookstore employees enforce it? That’s where it falls apart, in my opinion.
For what ages do you think your book is appropriate?
My target audience was 18 and up. I know some 16 and up may read it, but that would be the absolute youngest.
What is your opinion about books being turned into movies? Do you think this book would make a good movie? Have you been approached to turn your novel into a movie?
Love it! Absolutely! Sort of. I pitched my book to a Hollywood producer who asked to read it. Unfortunately, she turned it down because there was “too much romance.”
What’s your opinion regarding having a classification of New Adult, where the characters are all over 18 or 21 so there are not the same prohibitions as in the traditional Young Adult genre?
I think it’s great. Mostly because of my own experience with reading YA. I enjoy most YA, but is does get tiring reading about the angst and ongoing sexual tension as authors tip-toe around it. I enjoy the way New Adult has that freshness and innocence that an early adult would have when navigating the world of grown up responsibilities and experiences.
When does the sequel to Stealing Breath come out?
Silencing Breath, book two in the series, is coming out in March, 2013.
Now, for the giveaway! One copy of the eBook will be raffled. It starts today, Monday, November 5th at 12:01 am EST and ends on Monday, November 19 at 12:01 am EST. Enter below and do as many things as you can to get as many entries as possible! This IS an international giveaway. This is a blog tour, so if you’d like to check out the schedule, go to These Paper Worlds.