Wednesday, August 10, 2011

❤author: T. P. Boje Interview and Giveaway!

 I'm thrilled to welcome author YA and fantasy author, T.P. Boje, to the blog today. Welcome to ¡Miraculous!, T.P.! Will you please share a short bio with us?

I am a Danish writer currently living in Florida. I have written three mystery-novels in Danish that are published in Scandinavia and Germany. I have also written two books in English. One is a mystery novel and the other is a YA fantasy novel. I am a mother of two, a "bonus mother" of another two and a huge family person. I love anything that causes me to use my imagination.

 Tell us about your new release, The Eye of the Crystal Ball.

It is a fantasy novel for teens and young adults, but I really think that anyone who likes to use their imagination would enjoy it. I know I enjoyed writing it.

Here is the official synopsis:

When Sara was newborn, her parents left her at the doorstep at Mr. and Mrs. Schneider’s house.

When Sara was ten, she discovered she was telekinetic. She began to move stuff around when she got angry just by her will alone.

When Sara was twelve, her real parents came for her and took her with them to live like the Gypsy that she was -- or Romani as they like to call themselves. They told her she was going to fulfill a prophesy. That it was once said that out of the Romani people the greatest sorceress who had ever lived would be born.

When Sara was thirteen, she had a baby brother and when she was fourteen, he got very sick with a strange illness.

To save her baby-brother Sara sets off on a quest to find his cure -- well-knowing that it will cost her dearly.

Soon, Sara finds herself going through the Singing Cave, crossing Wild Witches Valley, talking to a ten foot giant snail, rescuing the Beads of Souls from the Hell-hounds, escaping a spell in Vamila, the Forest of Vanity, visiting the king at the City of Lights before she finally reaches the Black Castle where she is told the Eye of the Crystal Ball can tell her how to cure her brother’s strange illness.

But nothing is free in this world -- and as Sara soon will know -- everything has a price.

 Sounds intriguing! When and why did you begin writing?

I have always told stories to whoever would listen. In school, I remember sitting in class during recess and telling stories to my friends, making them forget that they were about to go out and play. Even my teacher would often listen in as well. Later he asked me to start writing the stories down and he would read them and comment on them. But it wasn't until I was 31 that I had my first novel published.

 So it was talent to begin with! What inspired you to write your first book, and then how did you get published? Tell us your call story.

After high school, I went to a nuniversity and became a journalist -- and I worked for several years at a Danish TV station. One day, I was sent to Poland to do a story about a Danish truck driver that had been found dead there. When I got there and followed the police investigation, I thought, This would make a great mystery-novel. Two years later, it did. I sent the manuscript to a publisher and she loved it right away and after editing it for about another year, it was published.

 Based a little bit off reality then, huh? How much of your actual life gets written into your fictional stories?

The story in The Eye of the Crystal Ball is inspired by stories my dad used to tell me. I have always had an interest in gypsies and loved the stories my dad would tell about their music, dancing, and fluttering skirts. Actually, I think Sara has been with me ever since I was a child. My parents used to tell me (for fun!) that I wasn't their child, that they had found me on their doorstep with a note, that I was probably a gypsy. That made me very interested in gypsies and I would always ask my dad about them. I didn't believe that I wasn't their child (they told my brother that they had bought him at the zoo -- from the monkey cage!). I knew they were joking and making me use my imagination, but I think some part of me wanted to be that special girl from a distant and exotic place and family. I think Sara is that child that I wanted to be.

 Oh gosh... the nostalgia. How did you arrive at writing fantasy and YA novels?

Actually, I have just started writing YA fantasy, but I do think this is where I belong. Mystery novels were usually what I wrote, and with them, I have always felt like the characters and the places were way too boring, because they had to be so realistic. I love adventure and making up strange and exotic places and creatures and now that I have started writing fantasy I am kind of surprised that I didn't think of it before. But I guess the right story just wasn't there.

 What are your biggest motivations for writing?

I can't stop. I get restless. I have to write. The stories pile up inside of me and at some point they just have to get out.

 Sounds like me, minus the writing part. I'm pretty much like that about everything! Do you ever sometimes wish you hadn't begun a writing career or had gone down a different path?

It is the best job in the world! It is also a very hard one, because you put yourself out there to be criticized. I never wish I hadn't begun a writing career. I love it too much for that, but getting reviews can be hard. The best part is getting feedback from the readers. That makes it all worth it.

 How would you describe your writing style/tone?

That is a hard one. I guess it is in a little "old fashioned fairytale" kind of way. I use humor as well.

 Give aspiring writers a piece of advice you wish you had known before getting published.

Receiving a bad review doesn't mean your book is bad. It just mean the one reviewing isn't your audience. The book is not for them.

 I am so relieved that you acknowledge that. Sometimes, authors and publishers get really defensive when I give negative reviews. Sorry, but this is a book REVIEW site, not a book worship site. Requesting reviews risks that sort of criticism, so it's a dumb thing to get upset over. Who are some authors you idolize?

Jules Verne. Tolkien. C. S. Lewis.

 A roundup of the world's most timeless fantasy authors. What's a question you always want to be asked during interviews? How would you answer it?

Do you think eBooks are the future?
I do. I love that they are so easy, but I also think people will keep buying real books, because nothing beats the feeling of holding a real book in your hands. I heard someone compare it to the lightbulbs vs. candles. We still buy both because we like candlelight, but lightbulbs are easier and cheaper.

 Holy wow. That's an incredible way to put it. What's the most interesting comment you've received about your books?

This one, I got just the other day from a reader: The character of Sara is so fine drawn and haunting, that I was stunned by the reality so smoothly mixed with fantasy. 

 What's next for you?

I am currently writing another fantasy novel that hopefully will be out in August. Then, I will begin the sequel to The Eye of the Crystal Ball.

 Where can you be found on the web?

 Before we conclude this interview, is there anything you’d like to say to our readers?

I would like to tell them that I really love writing and hope that everyone will enjoy my stories. I often think about how I used to sit in front of my friends at school and I now know that is what being a writer is all about. Spellbinding your audience so they will forget everything else around them.

 Thank you for being here today, T.P.! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your books better :)

❤  T.P. has generously offered an autographed copy of The Eye of the Crystal Ball for one lucky reader! To enter, tell me your favorite fantasy book and why. Not a fan of fantasy? Tell me your favorite book of all time (regardless of genre) and be sure to give a reason.

Giveaway runs through August 25th, 2011 at 11.59 pm (your time) and is open internationally!
Please make sure you properly answer the giveaway question for your entry to count.
Include your email in your comment so I know who to contact as the winner.
As a reminder, you do
not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated :)
Can't wait to hear your favorite fantasy stories. Good luck!