Tuesday, July 9, 2013

In the Winds of Danger Blog Tour. Interview: Linda Ulleseit

Hi. I'm so glad to have Linda stop by at my blog for her tour with Turning the Pages for her sequel to On a Wing and a Dare, In the Winds of Danger, a lovely flying horses YA series set in medieval Wales. She took time out for a little chat, and today, I will share all the goodies.

Nineteen year old Nia is shocked when she is secretly offered the leadership of Third  Barn. This new barn full of flying horses will need someone confident, experienced, and innovative, so why are both warring factions pursuing an untried girl? Suspicious that both sides want a puppet instead of a leader, Nia races to discover their secrets before making the biggest decision of her life.

Some of those secrets are unknowingly buried in the disconnected memories of a young groom named Owain. Terror and guilt haunt Owain’s dreams – and then a face from his nightmare arrives in High Meadow. Owain looks for answers in his past and uncovers a dangerous plot that could doom High Meadow's future. How can he foil the plot and save his people as well as the winged horses?


What inspired you to write your series, where did the idea come from?
I wanted to write about that time in a young person's life when they realize they need to grow up and take charge of their future. I've always loved the idea of flying horses, so I combined them.

What was your favorite thing about writing In the Winds of Danger, the sequel to On a Wing and a Dare?

I enjoyed exploring the world through different characters' eyes. We still see Emma, Davyd and Evan, from the first book, but the focus is on different characters.

Tell me about your main character(s)? What is/are he/she/they like at the core?
Owain is a good young man. He loves his work, and he works hard. He is troubled, though, by a lack of self-confidence. Nia, on the other hand, is super confident, almost condescending. She makes judgments about people's motivations and becomes flustered when she doesn't understand them.

What is/are the best and worst thing(s) about him/her/them?

Owain is loyal and sweet. He is a terrific friend. On the down side, he doesn't believe he is as important to his friends as they are to him. Nia is a very skilled rider of the winged horses. She is exactly what any barn leader needs to make his barn successful at the Aerial Games. Unfortunately, she knows it.

What’s your creative process like? Outliner or pantser?  How and why does it work for you?

I've done both. I find that when I just sit down and write without a plan I often go pretty far off track. Sometimes, though, there are wonderful bits I can use. When I outline, I tend to move too quickly through the plot and end up having to go back and slow it down with description, backstory, and explanation.

Do you have any go-to releases when you’re suffering from writer’s block or a sticky plot?

I play a lot of Candy Crush Saga. Oh, you mean to help me write? If I go back a few chapters and read what I've written, it usually gets me back into the story and I can pick it up and continue. Sometimes I force myself to continue the story even when I know I'm writing junk because eventually the muse wakes up and I'm in the flow again.

Where do you prefer to write?

At home I have a wonderful space. It's a desk that faces a window. I can see my beautiful yard and pool, and my dogs curl up on my feet. I can type away on my laptop for hours there.

What has worked in your marketing plan and what has flopped?

Using my free days to push the ebooks worked well. Being consistent about marketing is my epic fail. I have not had time to make a sustained effort to keep sales momentum going. I am a teacher, so days are hectic. I get caught up in marketing, and I have no time to write. If I am in the midst of a great writing streak, I have no time for marketing. I don't think I'm unusual in this.

What genres do you enjoy reading?

I love historical fiction, fantasy, and young adult, but I will read almost anything. I categorize my own novels as historical fantasy.

What totally kills a story in your mind while you’re reading?

With the abundance of self-published books available now, there is a lot of poorly edited books. I cannot get through a book that has grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting mistakes.

What do you like to do for fun or during your spare time?

I write! Oh, you mean besides that? I love to read, walk my dogs, swim, and spend time with my family.

Do you have any idiosyncrasies, super powers or other talents?

I am sure I have magnificent super powers lying dormant within me. I am so busy, though, I have not had the opportunity to discover them.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

As a teacher and as a writer I am very particular about grammar. I get very upset when I see poor grammar or spelling in public places. On my classroom website, I collect pictures of public signs that are incorrectly punctuated or spelled. Probably the most famous is an old tire billboard that said, "Something special is riding on your Michelin's." It should be plural, of course, not possessive.

What is your best quality?

I'm a good friend, willing to help however I can. I've been known to supply meals during a crisis, lend an ear when needed, and share moments of joy. I also have a good sense of humor.

Got any other books in the pipeline? If so, what?

I have just finished a historical fiction book for adults called Under the Almond Trees. It is set in California, beginning during the Gold Rush, and follows three of my female ancestors who were very independent women. I am also working on a novella, tentatively titled Tremeirchson, that will be a prequel to my flying horse trilogy. It will be a free ebook. And, of course, I am outlining my third flying horse book, Under a Wild and Darkening Sky. I have plenty to keep my busy for awhile!

Linda Ulleseit was born and raised in Saratoga, California, and has taught elementary school in San Jose since 1996. She enjoys cooking, cross-stitching, reading, and spending time with her family. Her favorite subject is writing, and her students get a lot of practice scribbling stories and essays. Someday Linda hopes to see books written by former students alongside hers in bookstores. Her first novel, ON A WING AND A DARE, was published in spring, 2012. It is a Young Adult fantasy set in medieval Wales, complete with flying horses, a love triangle, and treachery. The followup novel, IN THE WINDS OF DANGER, was published in February, 2013.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi, Courtney & Linda,
    It's nice to know a bit about Linda and it's always good to see how other writers get their books written.