Interview with Lucretia Stanhope, author of “Blessedly Bound”

Leigh Holland’s Interview with Lucretia Stanhope

Today I’m happy to be hosting author Lucretia Stanhope on my blog. Thanks for being here, Lucretia!

It is my pleasure. Thank you for having me.

Leigh: Tell us a little about yourself.

There is so little to tell really. I am the consummate hermit. Since illness forced me into early retirement I spend my days relaxing and exploring various hobbies. I have a wonderful husband, fabulous daughter, two extraordinary grandchildren, and a pack of dogs. The pack has adopted a cat too, but we don’t tell him he is cat, that upsets him.

Leigh: On your Amazon bio, it says (humorously) you’re from a small town in Kansas that, at times, can be a bit creepy. How much did your home town and the folks in it influence the mood, setting, and characters we find in “Blessedly Bound”?

In some ways, yes. I think the warm welcoming from the ladies like Kathy and Mel are reflective of how we were greeted when we moved here from Orlando. It was certainly a culture shock that might have made its way on the pages. The mood of foreboding in no way reflects small town life, well, not in my experience anyway.

Leigh: The Elemental Witch Trials Series now has 7 books in it. Did you plan on it being a series when you wrote it? What can readers of “Blessedly Bound” expect from the series?

I did plan on it being a series. The funny thing is I planned on it being a cozy mystery series. I was trying to branch out from the horror and dark fantasy I usually write. I think I kept that sort of tone in the first part, but it didn’t end up a cozy series at all as darker elements did find their way into the journey that is Gwen’s life.

I think readers will have to expect the unexpected as they start with a sweet, spell-casting witch in a story that has a cozy mystery feel and are taken to much less sweet places. There is an underlying mood that might let some know the series direction will shift. By part two when vampires get involved, things get darker. The progression takes my lead witch, Gwen, and readers from unassuming beginnings, to witches’ council, vampire tribes, and off realm kingdoms. The underlying theme is a quest for freedom of will as the witches struggle against the vampires, who control everything behind and sometime in the front of the scenes.

Leigh: I see you also have a book out called “Rather Be Fishing”. What can you tell us about this book?

I had so much fun with Rather Be Fishing. In this book, I wanted to let my humor out to play. It’s told in parts rather than chapters, each part being a self-standing story of a call where Mike has to handle a monster. The main character, Mike, is a rough around the edges southern boy, who would rather be doing pretty much anything other than hunting monsters. He says the things most of us think, but know better than to say. In addition to being my exploration in sarcasm, it was a great chance to explore myths surrounding monsters and make up some of my own.

Leigh: What project are you working on currently? What can you tell us about it?

I am working on another paranormal thriller. This one also features a female witch heroine. She finds herself thrown into the middle of a dispute outside her the woods where her coven is located. The issue between dark elves and light elves, is somehow wound up in the coven, and her.

Leigh: How many books have you written? What’s your favorite genre to write in? Do you have a favorite book you enjoyed writing the most?

Published, there are currently nine. I have seven more fully written, in various stages of editing and formatting. I’m not sure I have a favorite genre. I combine genres when I write, but they all have an element of the paranormal to them. Most have some romance, or at least a deep look at relationships that drive the characters.

The book I enjoyed writing the most is Sweet Suffering, part 8 of the Elemental Witch Trials, which will be out September of this year. It was powerfully emotional to write. One part in particular brought tears to my eyes, made my beta reader cry, and even choked up the editor. I leave my soul on display in each book, but I think that one took a piece of my heart as well.

Leigh: What do you enjoy most about writing? What’s difficult for you about writing?

I enjoy the adventure. Watching the story unfold is extremely exciting. I equate the thrill to reading a book. It is my escape to a happy place.

I’m not a fan of all the aspects that are not actually story telling. Editing, formatting, blurb writing, marketing, all the things that stop me from actually sinking into my imagination.

Leigh: What are some of your leisure activities?

I love yarn arts. Crochet gives me hours of enjoyment. I’ve created so much beauty with a little yarn and my crochet hooks. In addition to beautiful blankets and shawls, I’ve also crocheted some pretty cool dolls, Pinhead and Chucky are my favorites. Knitting on the other hand, makes me mad with my lack of skill. I’ve created a lot of piles of torn back yarn. If the weather is nice, I enjoy a day at the range. That is pretty much the only thing that gets me out of the house, aside from the required adult tasks that must be tended to. If the weather isn’t nice my husband and I enjoy gaming. We play a variety of styles from COD shooter types to fantasy RPGs.

Leigh: Coffee. How addicted are you?

Extremely. I always have a pot on. Always. The only thing I consume more of is chocolate.

Leigh: Do you plan your series, or do you go book by book and see where the characters take you?

I never plan. When I try to they always mess it up. In fact, once I get a good idea about the last few chapters I struggle to finish them. It feels like knowing has stolen the adventure and I am ready to move on to the next tale.

Leigh: How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Blog: Lucretia’s Blog

Facebook: I rarely update my fan page it’s easier to send me a friend request or just follow my personal page as I always make book related announcements public. Facebook Page: Lucretia Stanhope

Twitter: @dianas58

Amazon Author Page:  amazon.com/author/lucretiastanhope

Goodreads: Lucretia at Goodreads!

Thank you very much, Lucretia, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.

 

Thank you for having me. ❤

Advertisements

Blessedly Bound (An Elemental Witch Trials Novel Book One) by Lucretia Stanhope

Blessedly Bound (An Elemental Witch Trials Novel Book One) by Lucretia Stanhope, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, February 6th, 2017, 218 pages, Genre: Paranormal. Warning: May Contain Spoilers.

Review by Leigh Holland.

Blessedly Bound features a female witch as the main protagonist, depicting magic as a blend of shamanistic abilities and energy manipulation. After hundreds of years in Western culture of witches being depicted in an incredibly negative light, it’s refreshing to read a story in which they’re presented in a more positive manner. Although the genre is listed as paranormal, I’d also ascribe elements of romance and mystery to the work.

Gwen Hensley is a witch, a woman born with innate potential to tap into the natural elements and thereby use power for either good or evil as each witch sees fit. Gwen comes from a long line of witches. Raised in an orphanage since an infant, after the death of her mother, Gwen has never known her family but has always dreamed of finding a place and people to belong with. Gwen has a familiar, Lewis, who takes the shape of a raven or a man as needed and has been Gwen’s best friend and closest companion most of her life. Bonded to her, his job is to teach Gwen magic and boost her power. When her grandmother, Lizzy, is murdered, Gwen and Lewis arrive on the scene to solve the murder and inherit her sizeable estate. Traipsing about town, Gwen gets to know Lizzy’s friends and joins her knitting circle as she prepares for a memorial for her grandmother. Among Lizzy’s friends is the attractive, suave Sebastian. Sparks fly between them as Lewis grows envious over time.

Lewis is quite possibly the worst familiar ever. He teaches Gwen nothing, yet teaching her magic is his job. Lewis broke her heart when he rejected her romantic advances prior to the onset of the book. Apparently, if a familiar and his witch become romantically involved, the bond between them is broken, weakening them both magically. He treats her as a child, making choices that affect her future without her consent. Gwen, for her part, is a very young and inexperienced lady and witch, struggling to discover her family’s past and forge her own identity. Lewis makes mistakes, resenting his witch for his own romantic and magical frustrations. I was rooting for Lewis and Gwen to find a way to end up together, but by the end of the book, I decided Lewis needed to do some serious soul searching and maturing before he’d be the right fit for Gwen, as either a familiar or a lover. Gwen needs to grow and come into her own before she will be ready to commit to someone with all her heart, so I was satisfied that no permanent commitments were made. Sebastian is an intriguing character with a past still not fully revealed. The most mature of the trio, he serves as a balancing force and mentor for Lewis and Gwen.

There were two themes in the work that stood out to me. From the romantic aspect, this was about longing, reaching out for the fruits of love but never quite touching them. Every interaction seems to be permeated with this longing. I’ll never look at knitting the same way again. The second theme is about unpleasant truths. We like to think that honesty is always the best policy and truth is a goodness. But things aren’t always so clear cut. “Sometimes the illumination of truth makes things darker.”

The book was well written, but the mystery’s solution was predictable. I wish the mystery had been more difficult to solve as I relish an element of mystery in any genre. Overall, I enjoyed reading Blessedly Bound. I’d recommend this to those who enjoy a paranormal series featuring a non-traditional magical female protagonist, particularly if the reader enjoys romance and the interplay between male rivals.

This book is available at Amazon at Blessedly Bound (An Elemental Witch Trials Novel Book 1) .