Monday, June 20, 2016

FFBC: Welcome to the club, A Quarrel Called (Stewards of the Plane #1) by Shannon Wendtland

A Quarrel Called (Stewards of the Plane #1)
by Shannon Wendtland
Publisher: a Crossed Arrows Title
Release Date: June 20th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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The Sage, The Guardian, The Lantern, The Light – together we four are Stewards of the Plane, a Quarrel.

G. is the Guardian; he’s developed a strong protective instinct and a kickass sword of light that can chase away the baddies like nobody’s business.

Sam is the Lantern; his dreams shed light on possible futures – he’s always had dreams, but now he sees where we’re going and how far, and it scares the crap out of him. 

Tara is the Sage; as our resident mystic, she can commune with the Akashic records: the big data warehouse in the sky. She can get information on anywhere, anywhen, if only she can learn to ask the right questions. 

And me, I’m Melody, I’m the Light. I can channel the earth’s energy and according to Gramps, I can stabilize a vortex. It’s a good thing, too, or else we would be in a lot of trouble.

Before the summer started, we were a bunch of normal teenagers getting ready for our senior year in high school. By the time summer was over, we’d fought and won battles, lost friends and saved the world (except for that time when we made it worse). 

This is our story. We wrote it all down; that way when it happens to you, when you're called to be a Steward of the Plane - a member of a quarrel, you'll know what to do. 

**This book is told in first person from four alternating character viewpoints.

Favorite Book?

I have so many! But since you are making me choose, then I have to say the one book I have re-read the most number of times is A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. It was the first ‘real’ book I can remember reading and remains a favorite even now that I am an adult. I still sigh with happiness every time Meg and Calvin finally kiss.

Favorite TV show?

Again, there are many but my all-time favorite has to be The X-Files. The chemistry between Mulder and Scully kept me coming back for more, and the overarching conspiracy kept me thinking and guessing. Fun fact: I have Mulder’s poster, I Want To Believe, framed in my office. 

Favorite movie?

This is really hard! My favorite genre of movies is Disaster / Apocalypse movies -- man against man against the world! But if I’m going to choose a single movie above them all, then it won’t be an apocalypse movie… instead it will be one that I turn to for comfort or to make that little place in my heart shine with happiness: Practical Magic with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. I’ve probably watched this movie more than thirty times!!

Your Favorite Song?

Currently my favorite song is Hometown by Twenty One Pilots

Favorite Food?

ICE CREAM. And if none is available, then CHEESECAKE!

Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat.

1. Anne McCaffrey’s Pern

2. Maggie Stiefvater’s Henrietta, Georgia 

3. Lois McMaster Bujold’s Barrayar

Who is your perfect fictional boyfriend?

Wolverine is TOTALLY my perfect fictional boyfriend: Moody, sarcastic, emotionally constipated, strong, macho, unstoppable... Also handsome, tenderhearted (which he hides from the world), protector of the innocent. Yeah.

Favorite Quote?

No matter where you go, there you are.

I am not sure who said it first, but the first time I heard it was on The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th dimension (one of my favorite childhood/teenage movies, cheesy to the extreme, but awesome fun. If you like Dude, where’s my car then you might also like Buckaroo).

A trailer someone put together (he says the quote @ 7:53): 

What do you find yourself “Fangirling” over?

Oh, that’s an easy one: The Raven Cycle books by Maggie Stiefvater. They are poetry and magick that you can hold in your hands; once you read them, the story is a part of you forever.

If you could meet one author, dead or alive, who would it be?

Philip K. Dick; he was ahead of his time both as a writer and as a mystic. I really think that he and I would have had many great existential conversations over beer or French pressed coffee had he died later or had I been born earlier.

Something to say to our Book Addicts?

Please keep reading! I write so that I can share my stories with readers. Without someone to share this and other stories with, I am not sure that I would keep writing. Completing a novel is hard work and knowing that I can share my stories with readers, and that readers can connect with me through them is a huge motivation to keep on writing. 

Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about A Quarrel Called?

A QUARREL CALLED is a summer adventure that leads four teens to question their sanity and their perception of the world around them. 

What can you tell us about the main characters and the world in A Quarrel Called?

There are four main characters, two girls (Melody & Tara) and two guys (Sam & G.). They are getting ready to start their senior year in high school, when something weird happens (isn’t that how it usually goes? *grin*).

Melody has had a tough couple of years and she’s finally getting her life back on track when strange things happen during a party at her house. This traumatic event turns her life upside down (again) and she’s not so sure she wants any part in the aftermath that goes with it. Unfortunately the universe has plans for her.

G. is stoic and solid. He’s the paladin of the group, always ready to do the right thing and to caution the others when they are about to veer off-path. He’s a one-woman kind of man and once he lays eyes on Tara, he’s blind to anyone but her.

Sam is a little bit emo, a little bit anti-establishment and a lot sarcastic. He could be good at school if he tried, but between his crush on Melody and his love of music he doesn’t have much time (or patience) left for studying.

Tara is the resident mystic. When the woo-woo stuff hits the fan, she is the only one who isn’t surprised or frightened by what’s going on. Instead she takes it all in stride, helping the others to uncover what is really happening around them and what is happening to them.

How did you come up with the story? Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing?

I was researching ley lines and vortexes in the United States; unfortunately the most famous spot for vortexes here in the USA is Sedona, Arizona, which is a very long drive from Fort Worth! So I started researching other vortex spots that might be closer to where I live and found one in Dan Shaw’s book, Vortex Field Guide. From a road trip there and some research on Wilhelm Reich, the story was born.

Tell us your favorite quote from A Quarrel Called.

From Melody’s POV:

As I sat there, calm returned to me and my frayed patience knit itself back together. I could feel the deep pulsing of the earth in my fingers and in my feet, and I knew, just knew, that I was a part of something bigger. Bigger than I had ever imagined, maybe even bigger than a tesseract. And the bigness made me feel small but it also made me feel loved, so very loved.

Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write?

I really enjoyed writing the scene with G. & Sam at the car auction. A bad guy showed up there… he didn’t even tell me he was coming… I was writing it and then suddenly there he was and I was like Oh Yeah, you totally belong here. I love how my subconscious helps unfold the story even before I understand what is being written; it all fits together so neatly!

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for A Quarrel Called – Which one would you pick? 

Riders on the Storm, by The Doors. In fact, I use this song in the book -- here is a dubstep remix by Infected Mushroom that inspired that scene:

Imagine that we get to see your book on the big screen (how awesome would that be?). Who would you pick to play your characters?

Is there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read A Quarrel Called (specific music, snacks…)? 

French Pressed Coffee with whole milk and demerara sugar! Or if you don’t like caffeine, Rooibos Chai Tea with milk and demerara sugar! And snacks… let’s see, gingersnaps or shortbread cookies. And to listen to? How about a couple more dubstep mixes that helped to inspire another scene? You’ll know the scene when you read it: 

What’s next for you? 

I am working on Stewards of the Plane Book 4 and gathering notes and research for a future secret project. Keep your eyes open for the Stewards of the Plane Book 2, A CALLING OF QUARRELS, which is scheduled to be released in August!

Thank you so much for everything, Shannon!

No, thank you!

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Shannon is a wife, mother, writer, database administrator and general pot-stirrer-turned-mystic. A Quarrel Called will be her first book in print.

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