Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Interview with Gwendolyn Druyor, SHIFTER SCHOOL



Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Shifter School is the first book in my Shifter School series. It’s the story of Laylea, a werehuman who has little control over when she’s a dog and when she’s a girl. For everyone’s safety, she’s condemned to a super-secret, underground shifter academy until she learns how to shift. Not surprisingly, her Private Investigator soul sniffs out diabolical dangers to the shifter kids and like any good terrier, she won’t let it go until she’s gotten her answers.

Do you have a favorite character?
I am surprised by how much I’ve fallen in love with Kyle. Kyle was one of Laylea’s only normal human friends until he got bitten by a vampire. Even after that happened, I wasn’t sure if Kyle had what it took to survive. He’s a funny guy. But he’s got a lot of love in his life and that gave him a reason to live. He’s still funny. He’s battling the dangers of living as a demon now. His soul is at risk. Laylea is the only friend from his life who knows and their relationship is crazy dynamic. He’s an adult. He was a homicide detective. He had a wife and a child. But he’s new to this wyrd world that Laylea grew up in. Her adoptive mother is a witch. She’s a shifter. So, he knows more about the world. She knows more about the curse.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
I did. My epic fantasy Hardt’s Tale won a book publishing contest and was traditionally published. I didn’t enjoy that adventure as much. I learned about indie publishing from the authors whose books I was narrating and I gave it a shot with Geoffrey’s Queen and fell in love. I have a lot to learn. But I have the time and passion to search out everything I need to learn.

Briefly describe your journey in writing your first or latest book.
My first book was a crazy journey. I got the idea for it, the idea to write it in the form of a Möbius strip with no beginning and no end, in college. I finally really found the time to work on it when I lived in Amsterdam. I fleshed it out back in the states during my 45 minute daily commute to downtown Chicago. I happened to be dating a guy in Denver at the time and I was very active in the Society of American Fight Directors. It’s all in the book and reading it, for me, is like watching a slide show of those twenty years of my life. 

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I listen to instrumental hip-hop, Bach, film scores, video game scores, anything fun and creative with no words. I can’t have words. And YET, I keep forgetting that and putting big band on Pandora. Whoops! Not only do I start singing along, there are certain songs that demand you get to your feet and dance. Big Band is not a good writing soundtrack for me.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I outline my stories and then go where my muse takes me. She’s not into plans.

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
I’m learning every day. The most important lesson I’ve learned is to ask for help. That’s the best way to find the humans that will make your life beautiful.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
YES! I need to get back to Act III of WereHuman: The Warrior’s Son right now. It’s poking at the back of my brain and it won’t stop until I’ve finished, edited, and narrated the book. WereHuman: The Hunter’s Heir is already making me daydream scenes. I’m in this to write the stories.
Marketing drives me batty. When I come up with a good sales blurb, it’s like bursting through the tape at the end of a marathon (minus the endorphins). I’m possibly equally as sweaty.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
Acting. Dogs. Dancing. Hiking. Fighting. I am not short on passions.

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?
DOGS! Yet, Laylea is going to learn in Shifter School that you can’t judge all cats by the evil Lucid. My partner’s cat scratched me every day for the ten years I lived with her. She hated me.
VANILLA! I LOVE vanilla, except in sex. (whoops, overshare!)
TEA! I am sipping a vanilla creme Earl Grey right now. I also love chai. I learned to drink tea in Amsterdam because I cannot stand coffee but I needed something to drink at the cafes on those days when the sun came out and nobody went to work. In Amsterdam, they bring you cookies with your tea. I am an expert at dunking cookies to JUST before they disintegrate.
TEXT! I am awful on the phone. I need to see a person’s face to have a good conversation. I’d say I need to work on that but my mom loves FaceTime and my girl Kissy and I chat through MarcoPolo these days. So, it’s okay.
I’m a theater person so night has always been my answer. But I’ve taken up running and prefer to do that early in the morning. If I could do a couple hours of dawn straight into early evening for the rest of my writing time, followed by night for shows, dancing, and playtime, that would be ideal. If we consider dawn to really just be the end of night. I think my answer is NIGHT.
 
What’s next for you?
I am finishing up WereHuman: The Warrior’s Son and rolling straight into WereHuman: The Hunter’s Heir. Then I’m going to go play with some funny friends at Boom Chicago in Amsterdam. Which means I’ll have to write a few international episodes in my Killer on Call thriller series. In the fall I’m going to write Shifter Blood, the next chapter in Laylea’s adventures and I’ll finish up my epic fantasy trilogy, Mobious’ Quest. It’s going to be an amazing year!

It’s been really nice chatting with you. Thanks for the opportunity!



BLURB:

She’s gonna get them all killed.

So they locked her away.

Laylea has been hiding her entire life. She’s never been to school. She’s never had a friend her own age. She’s never known anyone else like her.

All that is about to change. 

In a world hidden from wyrdos and humans alike, shifters are still recovering from a vicious plot to destroy them all. They have two laws they live by now:

1) Hide 

2) Protect the children at all costs.

Laylea has just broken rule number one. But she’s only fourteen. So they’re sending her to school. Where she’s going to learn . . .

Anyplace can be a prison.

The Lincoln Park Shifter School is not your grandma’s uber-secret, underground academy.

Buy link:

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Gwendolyn Druyor was born at the Quonset Point Naval Air Station Hospital, North Kingston, RI. The ID bracelet wrapped three times around her little wrist. She could swim before she could walk and read before she started school.

She has traveled the world telling stories. After a year in Amsterdam writing and performing sketch comedy at Boom Chicago, she toured North America with Shenandoah Shakespeare and with the incredible educational show Sex Signals. From Paris, FR to William’s Bay, WI, you’ll find her gypsy life reflected in her books. If you met her on the road, read her closely, you may find yourself in there.

For now, Gwendolyn lives in Hollywood with her Irish Jack Russell, Josh Lyman Zyrga, who is still pouting over the fact that she didn’t put him on the cover of WereHuman.

For more information on Gwendolyn and her projects sign up for her newsletter at www.GwendolynDruyor.com.

LINKS:






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