Wow, I have been having an even more hideous time than usual getting this silly blog to run right. I have been posting here for over 9 years now, and really don't want to lose my blog, but it is exhausting trying to get it to run on my iPad, and my computer is out of the question. I really don't like posting without photos, too much text means most people don't feel like taking the time to commit, but unfortunately it seems to be the way I have to proceed for now.
I really enjoyed the book Fair to Hope, by Sam Reed. I appreciated the fact that it is a stand alone. I understand the appeal of writing a series - obviously since I am in the process of doing that myself - but there is something really great about picking up a book and knowing it's all inside. Sure, there may be things you're left wondering, room for potential expansion, futures that you might want to discover, but the story itself will take you from point A to point B and be nicely tied up in the end. It's just so satisfying.
In the course of this book, Sam created an underlying layer to our world that was full of detail, character, and an overwhelming spirit. It was a fast and compelling read that brought out thoughts of what motivates people to chose to do good and evil, and who defines what those two terms really mean. Definitely thought provoking and character developing as well. To make matters even better, I had the privilege of sending her some interview questions, and I just loved her answers. I'm sure you'll enjoy them as Well
1. In Faith to Hope you have developed a very detailed secret society. Can you share where you got your inspiration for the Taram and Eiram groups?
I think for me the Taram and the Eirum evolved from my fascination with the way all people are interconnected. I am an introvert by nature; it can take me a while to warm up to new people and new situations, so as a result, I find myself sitting and observing - a lot. You can pick up on tons that way, even in a group of strangers you can start to intuit who knows who and in what way, who is the leader, who's the confidant...even how strangers react to each other, who's kind, who's oblivious, who's trying to inch their way over to that other person because they find them attractive. I think the people watching evolved into me trying to categorize all of these interactions, what if they meant something more than I could see? What if there was purpose in the way we chose to connect with each other - even more than that, what if someone was controlling it? What if there was a master plan, and if there was, what would that look like? What would it all be for? I think sometimes it's easy to forget the 'power of the other'...that we need other people, even when we don't think we do, and so I think wanting to explore that, in a way that made that need - and the resulting interactions - truly powerful, drove the development of the secret societies.
2. Were there any surprising challenges you faced when trying to mix this society in with the modern world?
Yeah, I think there were definitely some challenges...although not so much in mixing the society into the modern world, but more so in how much of the fantastical was necessary for you to understand what drove the characters to do what they did in the 'real world.' I hope that makes sense...I knew that I was introducing a lot of new fantastical elements, but I still wanted the story to be more character driven - for you to be able to follow these folks making decisions for their lives, (for better or for worse), yes, driven by the society they are a part of and this extra knowledge that they have, but more as a reflection of who they are based on how they react to things within that framework. I was hoping to put out enough urban fantasy so that certain things were inevitable...certain things had to be faced and dealt with...but not so much that it stopped you from being able to relate to the characters as just trying their best to navigate their own stuff to the best of their ability, and to come to terms with things that could be true even without the fantastical elements...though those parts did definitely help to up the ante, plus they're fun to write.
3. Your characters' lives are pretty clearly on display, but are there any extra details about them that are not revealed in the story that you would like to share? (Secret hobby, celebrity crush, favorite band, color or food, etc.)
Oh man, I love this question! I think Velma, my main girl's celebrity crush would be Mike Colter, he's the guy who plays Luke Cage in the Jessica Jones Netflix series, and soon in the Luke Cage spin-off. She would relate to him, they've both lost people, he's also not quite normal but most folks would never know that. He is also incredibly lovely to look at, which is always a good trait for a celebrity crush :-), I think Enoch, (who was probably my favorite character to write) has a thing for old school R&B music, like his favorite radio station would be whichever one is playing the slow jams, I think for him his life has been so crazy that that music helps him to sort of take a breather and imagine that he could have been an old school crooner living a normal life. Sue secretly loves to cook, but only does it for herself, and sometimes for her fiancé, but not for anybody else. She's afraid if folks know she's good at it, they'll ask her to do it all the time, so she keeps it a secret hobby - it's why she's always stealing food from the diner, that way folks will assume she can't cook and she'll never have to address it. I think in her spare time Nita takes hip hop dance classes, she loves it, because it's such a completely different release from the endorphins she gets from fighting and fight training. She also happens to be horrible at it, she is very clearly not a dancer, but she doesn't care because she does it for herself and she adores it.
4. If you were stranded on a deserted island, which of your characters would you like to have with you, and why?
I would definitely want Enoch with me, he'd be funny - would definitely make light of the situation so it wouldn't feel like 'oh great, we're stranded and we're gonna die.' Plus I feel like we would hang out on the island, go swimming, catch some fish, have a picnic and then he would find a way for us to be rescued. Have no idea how, but that Enoch's got a fair amount of tricks up his sleeve.
5. Do you have any plans for a sequel in the near future?
I don't have any plans for a sequel. I'd always imagined Fair to Hope to be a stand alone. Probably because I have a soft spot for stand alone books, for getting that one particular slice of a story and nothing else. For me, that can almost feel sort of secretive, at least in the books I love that do stand alone novels well, you feel like you've been given entrance into the most important part, maybe not everything that came before, and certainly not everything that will come after - but this meaty middle that can leave you satisfied, and a little wanting; not in a disappointed way, but in that, "I'll think of those characters often' way. Though I think it probably takes a lifetime (at least for me) to get that effect of a stand alone completely right. So short answer, after my long winded one, no plans for a sequel...but then again never say never right? If inspiration strikes, maybe a sequel or prequel, but for now, no plans in the works.
Title: Fair To Hope
Author: Sam Reed
Summary from Amazon.com:
Velma had lived two lives: her first as a former foster kid, and her second as an unlikely recruit into
a secret order that satisfied her need for retribution. Her fifteen-year-old self had given up on hope,
but after three years with the Taram, she'd found her life's purpose.
That is, until she is surprisingly named Kachina, the fabled chosen empowered to fight the last
battle for the fate of the world. Having to kill someone she loves was never part of the bargain, even
if it means saving everyone else from damnation.
Building a normal life free from the pull of the Taram--seems like the only answer to her prayers.
Except her best friend, the other Kachina, is coming. The legend is clear that one of them must die.
Velma will have to weigh the cost of her life against a world that's constantly betrayed her and quite
literally decide if she'll be damned in dying, taking the whole world with her.
We sat in silence. The blushing waitress cleared our plates while searching Enoch’s face for flirty
glances, but his navy blue eyes focused steadily on me. I waited until she walked away before
breaking the silence, surprised at the steadiness of my voice. “You know that I’m the Kachina. You
know that I’ll ask to be cleansed.”
He nodded. “I do.”
“I don’t know a lot about Cleaners; in fact, as time goes on, I realize I don’t know a lot about
anything, but I do know that in choosing to help me, because of who I am, who I’m supposed to be,
things could be bad. For you.”
He laughed. “No, pretty one, things will be bad for you. You’re the one running from your destiny.
I suspect without warning it will come back and smack you upside your head.”
He was the second man to call me pretty, and I could think of no more profound hint of
premonition. The first man to call me beautiful had left me with pieces to mend. It seemed this
might end in much the same way. I also knew, regardless of any rational arguments to be made on
either of our parts, we were already resigned to our fate.
BOOK RELEASE: AUGUST 30, 2016
About the Author:
Sam Reed is a born and bred southern girl who grew up reading Toni Morrison, Archie Comics,
Christopher Pike, Octavia Butler, Dean Koontz and Stephen King. When she’s not thinking of what
to write she is napping or eating, going to church, wishing she could sing, dreaming of owning a
tiny house, watching A Different World reruns, trying to perfect her grandma’s biscuit recipe, or
reading a book.
Tangled ’N’ Books (http://tanglednbooks.blogspot.com/)
Blog Tour Organized by:
Happy Lil Book Tours
*Hosts were provided with a copy of the book for review purposes in exchange for their honest
reviews and opinions.