Marion will be giving away a $20 New Adult Reading pack --i.e. selected NA titles on Amazon to one commenter on the tour) and encourage your readers to follow the tour and comment; the more they comment, the better their chances of winning.
The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/07/virtual-book-tour-oxford-whispers-by.html.
Hi Christine! Thank you very much for having me on your blog.
1. How did you come up with ideas for your books?
Oxford Whispers is the story of Madison LeBon, an American student at Oxford University, with psychic powers she prefers to ignore. But when the tragic lovers in a painting begin to haunt her, she must learn to accept her gift. Otherwise, life will imitate art and Madison's own first love will be doomed.
I’ve drawn inspiration from my own time at Oxford and my passion as a teenager for a Pre-Raphaelite painting by William Shakespeare Burton, The Wounded Cavalier. It is set during the English Civil War.
Also, there’s a strong Voodoo component through Madison—who is kind of an “Ivy-League Sookie Stackhouse”—because I was born in West Africa where Voodoo originates, and spent a lot of time in New Orleans and Louisiana.
2. What components are necessary for the genre of this novel?
Oxford Whispers is a New Adult Paranormal Romance (Upper-Young-Adult / Mature-Young-Adult). It’s a “college-lit” fiction.
So, yes, there’s some Voodoo, a few dangerous ghosts, and some psychic tricks, but the story is also about these “in-between” years.
“Coming-of-age” doesn’t only happen in high school. A lot of the excitement, joys and heartbreaks also fill those “in-between years,” when you’re legally an adult but don’t always know how to be one. Or why you should even try to be. But hardly any book deals with this transition into the “big bad” world, about these life-changing, earth-shattering “first-times.” The first time we leave home, our family, our parents, the friends we grew up with, but didn’t always choose. The first home, the first job, the first real love.
So these are some of the themes (independence, uncertainty, building your own life) or experiences (college dorm, finding a job) that the New Adult genre describes and explores.
3. If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?
I have only one published book, and the next two will be in the same series… so I’ll have to choose Madison. I don’t have any psychic powers or Voodoo Queens in my ancestry, but I can identify with her quest for her own identity. She’s a lot like I was in my early twenties, looking for who I really was, constructing my identity, away from my parents, my family.
4. Do you outline your books or just start writing?
Gosh, I am what writers call a PLOTTER. I used capital letters here because I’m at the absolute end of the scale. I have a scene by scene outline for the book, then a scene outline…
However, I don’t plan the series, but each book at a time. So that gives me some leeway. The journey for the second book—which I’m currently writing—is taking me to some unexpected places.
5. Do you have an all time favorite book?
Well, I won’t be very original here. It will have to be Gone With The Wind.
And if I had to give one reason, then it will be Scarlet.
6. Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your book?
Yes, I’m writing the second book in The Oxford Trilogy. It’s tentatively titled Oxford Shadows. It should be released in spring 2013. In that book, Madison explores the dark mysteries of the Tudor when she falls under the spell of the haunting melody, “Grensleeves.” We learn also a lot more about her Voodoo heritage, and her love for Rupert will be tested.
Humm… Maybe no tradition or recipes as such, but my maternal family has gypsy roots. I believe it has driven me toward the paranormal world, at least in my writing. I don’t have any psychic powers to report… unfortunately.
8. What is your favorite reality show?
True Blood!!! Madison is an “Ivy-League Sookie Stackhouse.”
9. Who is your favorite actor and actress?
I love Reese Witherspoon! One of her early movies—Sweet Home Alabama—is my favorite rom-com. Recently, I have been extremely impressed by Charlize Theron. She was scary in Monster, completely reptilian in Snow White and the Huntsman, and adorably enraging in Young Adult.
10. If you were a casting director for the film version of your book, who would play your lead roles?
This has to be my favorite question ever ;-)
For Madison, I can see Camilla Belle and Vanessa Hudgens.
For Rupert (yummy, yummy!), I had in my mind a younger Alexander Skarsgard or Eddie Redmayne (he’s a so very Posh British actor), or Max Irons. And I won’t be honest if I didn’t admit that Rupert had Prince William’s face and manners while I wrote Oxford Whispers.
Two star-crossed lovers in the English Civil War
A painting with haunting powers
A murderous ghost back for revenge
Madison LeBon is dead set against the dead. She has vowed to ignore her Voodoo-stamped heritage and the psychic gift passed down through her Louisiana family. The world of the living is where she wants to belong.
But her resolution shatters when the ill-fated lovers in a painting—the subject of her first history class at Oxford—begin to haunt her. The lovers warn her against their own nemesis, a Puritan from the English Civil War.
In misty present-day Oxford, Madison embarks on a quest to unravel the secrets of the past and understand her personal bond with the painting. To protect herself, she must learn to accept her gift before life imitates art, in all its tragedy.
College becomes more complicated when she falls hard for Rupert Vance, a troubled aristocrat and descendant of one of the characters in the painting.
With the spirit of a murderer in hot pursuit, Madison comes to realize that her own first love may be doomed…
Based on a real Pre-Raphaelite painting, Oxford Whispers is full of romance, drama and suspense.
Fall in love for the first time… Again
REVIEW SOUND BYTES
I am a true citizen of the world. I was born in West Africa, grew up in the South of France, and studied in Vienna, Paris, Berlin, Cape Town, and Oxford before finally settling down in London. This wide variety of cities has provided lots of inspiration for my writing. Talk about culture exposure!
In addition to being an author, I work as an entrepreneur, wife and mother-of-one but spend a good deal of time with books, DVDs and listening to my mp3 player; all for the sake of inspiration, of course. My debut series, The Oxford Trilogy, has been a blast to write because I can indulge in my favorite types of music: Country and English rock.
My main goal as a writer is to make readers dream bigger and cause their hearts to beat a little faster. Since my writing is all about sharing dreams and stories, I love connecting with fellow readers and authors.