Saturday, January 18, 2014

An Interview With April Delphinium, Author of Then the Moonstone Sang

I am so excited to have April Delphinium with me here today. She is the author of Then the Moonstone Sang, the feature of my review yesterday on this blog. Welcome April!

Please tell us a bit about yourself.
      I'm a homeschooling mother of four with a honours degree in physics and chemistry.  I grew up in Washington State and moved to the South for college (because of a full scholarship), where I met my husband and consequently fell in love, married, had babies, and discovered that graduate school and babies don't least in our household.  I went into science because it's a field in which I've always excelled, but I've found that mothering and writing are much more emotionally satisfying.
      My family has always loved the outdoors, and so playing in the Cascade mountains and the Olympic rainforest became an important part of my heritage.  The setting in my novel is meant to replicate some of the places in which I remember building snow caves, skiing, and hiking as a kid. 

Do you write under a pen name?
     I write partly under a pen name (April is my first name), but changed the last name for anonymity and because my last name is common and not very eye-catching.  That

being said, my maiden name was every bit as fantastical as my pen name, so it feels quite natural to me.

What is your favourite positive saying?
     Seize the day!

What is your favourite quote?
     “For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain,” - the apostle Paul.  Even though my novel is not in the Christian genre, my faith is very important to me.  I believe that Jesus is able and willing to give me the fullest life possible both now and in heaven if I follow him.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
     I entered my first young author's contest in third grade and got to go to a pizza party! It was very exciting.  I've been writing ever since.  Also, my mother is an avid reader, and she inspired me to become interested in the written word. After that, I began writing poetry, short stories, articles or beginnings of novels for fun, but Then the Moonstone Sang is my first complete novel. 

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
      My children were finally sleeping through the night, but I was not.  Instead of waking them up with some loud, but tasty, culinary masterpiece (very tempting), I decided to start writing a novel.  I always wanted to write one, ever since the one I began in eighth grade disappeared during a computer crash.  I even picked a somewhat random subject, so the first novel wouldn't break my heart if it didn't turn out.  However, I discovered that it is impossible to write a novel without it somehow becoming something precious to the author and taking a part of one's heart with it.  Perhaps that's because one shares so much of one's self in the writing.
      This first book was something of a personal challenge that I started writing with the support of my friend Rachel.  We edited each others' chapters for the first several, until she became too bogged down in research to keep writing. Rachel was so good about laughing in all the right parts.  Honestly, I kept going after she quit because I was hoping to make enough money off of it to buy my husband a truck.  Wouldn't that be a nice surprise?  Plus, I'd get to say I'd finally finished one of my novels, and I began to love my characters.  It wouldn't have done them justice to leave them without their happy ending, silly as that sounds.

Why do you write?
     I enjoy a good story, and I find that the written word is powerful because I have the time and the means by which to express myself more fully.  I relish using my imagination to come up with interesting people and situations that I wouldn't be bold enough to interact with in real life or would be impossible.

Please tell us a little bit about your book.
     Then the Moonstone Sang is a romantic fairytale about a young lady named Celeste who discovers that she is the heiress to the throne.  She suddenly finds herself running for her life from a rival, learning to control dangerous magic and deciding whether marrying for love is a viable option anymore. Of course, along the way she meets a handsome hero who wants to whisk her away...

What genre are your books?
     Fantasy romance

What draws you to this genre?
     I love fantasy books and romance books, but put them together and then you have escapism at its finest.  For me, reading a good book is all about immersing myself in something beautiful that couldn't possibly happen, seeing good defeat evil (as we all know deep down will happen in time), or seeing true, selfless love blossom.   These can all be deeply satisfying themes that are easily explored in the fantasy romance genre. 
      I also enjoy the freedom afforded by making my own world.  I would get so bogged down by research otherwise that the book may never be written.  There are few enough fantasy romance novels out there involving just fairytale elements (not that I haven't read some vampire/time travel/zombie books from time to time), that I feel like I'm adding to a relatively unexplored genre.
      Also, what's more riveting than a handsome hunk? Few things, my friend.  That being said, the hero is partly based on my husband...

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
     I think that as kids we are told we can do anything, but the truth is that we all have many choices and predetermined circumstances that make up the sum of our lives.  Sometimes we have to decide whether to put ourselves first or others, to pick the lesser of two evils, or the greater of two goods.  No one can have it all, but the resulting tapestry of our lives can be unexpectedly beautiful nonetheless. 

Your faith in God is evident throughout your book. Why was it important for your characters to believe in a Creator?
      I just couldn't imagine a world without God.  It seemed too bleak and hopeless to me, and I felt my characters deserved to have a power higher than themselves even though it was a fantasy world (and therefore was difficult to fit in my particular faith, which is based on history).
      The other thing is that the concept of silvite is based off of ideas from quantum mechanics, which I feel meet particularly well with my faith.  The idea that anything is possible, but most things are improbable, brings to my mind the Bible verse that says that anything is possible with God.  I think of God (in part) as a perfect micro-manager of probability, weaving together the most lovely, intricate story the world has ever known.

What are your current projects?
     I'm working on some How To articles for 501 Life magazine and brainstorming ideas for the sequel to Then the Moonstone Sang, which will be about Yolanda, Bo, and Evalina's attempt to steal the moonstone and usurp the throne.

     Thank you for reviewing my book!

Then The Moonstone Sang
By April Delphinium
Published by: April Delphinium
Published: Sept. 28, 2013

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