Author Interview: Lea Doue

Those of you who follow my blog may remember my recent review of her new release – The Midsummer Captives. It was such a fun novel. And today, author Lea Doue has so kindly agreed to do an interview with me!

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Author Bio

Lea is the author of The Firethorn Chronicles, a series inspired by fairy tales and other classic stories. Homeschooling and writing take up most of her time, but she also enjoys directing a small puppet team at her church. A native of south Georgia, Lea currently lives in Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband, their two boys, a rescue greyhound, and three cats. But, sadly, no dragons.

 

The Interview

If you could trade places with any book character (your own or someone else’s) for a day, who would it be?

That’s so hard! The first thing that pops into my head involves dragons, of course, so I’ll say someone from the Pern series who owns a telepathic dragon. They also teleport, so I would be able to visit as many places as possible in a day.

What is your favorite fairytale?

If I have to pick just one, it’s Beauty and the Beast, but I like many of them. I have to say The Twelve Dancing Princesses, too, which inspired the first book in my series. I blame that one on the book becoming a series at all. The twelve princesses started talking, and they each wanted their own story. Who am I to argue with royalty?

Those are two of my favorite fairytales too! 😀
How about favorite reading genre?

Fantasy all the way, especially retold fairy tales or stories inspired by them.

Favorite movie?

The original Star Wars trilogy.  midsummer-captives

Describe your latest novel in five words.

Don’t mess with the princess.

Now that Midsummer Captives has been published, what’s coming next for you?

Firethorn Chronicles 3 will be next and will follow Melantha, who is the fourth princess. I kind of skipped Hazel, who appears in the second book and may still get her own story down the road. Melantha’s story is (for now) inspired by Rumpelstiltskin.

That sounds like fun! I can’t wait to read it!
What are your hardest scenes to write as an author?

I would have to say maybe descriptions. I have to stop and “look around” a bit before I can pick out the details to include, which takes longer.

How long does it usually take you to write a novel?

If I could sit down and just write all day, it would take about two months. But I homeschool two boys, and other things inevitably pop up (my husband had bypass surgery this summer, for instance), so the first two have taken around a year from start to finish. I would really like to have the third out sooner this time.

What kind of research did you have to do while writing Midsummer Captives?

Besides rereading A Midsummer Night’s Dream a few times, I did some research on bugs. The antagonist has an unhealthy fascination with them, as well as other critters.

firethorn-crownTell us a bit about your journey to publication.

I’ve been a storyteller for as long as I can remember, even when I never wrote anything down or shared the stories. About a year before a milestone birthday, and after reading countless indie-published books on my husband’s Kindle, I decided to finally jump in and go for it. I read dozens of how-to books and website articles as I was outlining and writing the first manuscript. Once that was done, I hired a cover artist and an editor, which finally led me to the finished product and publishing on Amazon. It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I’ve met some incredible people along the way.

 How many drafts do you usually have to go through before the manuscript is complete?

Two or three? I’ve never counted. I start with notes and plotting in a notebook, and then I move on to a detailed outline of all the scenes (usually 60-80 pages, typed). Once the outline is done, I write the whole first draft scene by scene in order, adding details and little changes along the way. After that is a second draft and a few polishing runs before sending it off to the editor. The Midsummer Captives needed some big rewrites and another pass with the editor before being finished.

Thank you Lea, for taking the time to do this interview with me! It was a lot of fun.

 

 

 

 

 

The Midsummer Captives: a book review

Description: 

A sorcerer’s fortress. A lost heir. A determined princess.

Princess Gwen, second in line to the throne of Ituria, has given up on happy endings. After a neighboring kingdom’s heir stole her heart and then disappeared four years ago, she buried her heartache and vowed to serve her eleven sisters. Her most recent mission: to arrange a match with her sister Hazel and the lost heir’s youngest brother.

But when her traveling party is ambushed, her flight from danger leads her into the path of a blindfolded man with a familiar smile. Imprisoned with him deep in the forest, Gwen and her fellow captives are at the mercy of a treacherous beauty on a mission of her own. Contending with her schemes—and a love potion gone awry—they must find a way past enchanted guardians, who are capable of crushing not only their bodies but also their dreams.

The Midsummer Captives, inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is the second novel in The Firethorn Chronicles, a series drawn from fairy tales and other classic stories. Follow the sisters on their adventures in a land where sorcery is feared, women can rule, and dragons fly.

My Review: 

What was supposed to be a short trip to a neighboring country turns horribly wrong when Princesses Gwen and Hazel are attacked. Their attempts to escape only end them up in an enchanted castle – with no way out. Now they must find a possibly nonexistent route of escape past the stone dragons, with the assistance of one longtime resident of the castle. Add in mis-aimed love potions and a few little dragons into the mix, and you have a recipe for disaster.

I was very eager to read this one after thoroughly enjoying Firethorn Crown. I’m not exactly certain how much later this book takes place after book 1. The book was not too clear on that detail and I’ve long since forgotten the ages of the characters and other little details of Firethorn Crown. Midsummer Captives is loosely based off of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, though since I have never read that story, I really can’t say how much this book is or is not similar to it.

Gwen was a great main character, honest and loyal. She knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to fight for it, or anyone she cares about.

And contrary to how the book description makes things sound, the identity of the blindfolded man and his reasons for wearing it are quickly discovered. I was a bit surprised by that, but not in a bad way. I’m glad that Doue didn’t drag things out involving that scenario, like so many authors are prone to doing. And Sissi? Honestly, I wanted to strangle that girl! She is one seriously weird and creepy character.

The plot kept a good pace and held my attention until the very end, but it left us on a bit of a cliffhanger, and we are left to wonder what will happen with both Sissi and her as of yet unseen benefactor, as well as find out what Tharius’s true plans really are. I’m eager for book three’s release.

My Rating: Four Flames

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Romance: Clean, some mild kissing.
Language: clean
Drinking/drugs: clean
Blood/violence: There was a little fighting in the book, mostly against the stone dragons. Little to no blood.
Other: Magic is used, and the antagonist’s choices in clothing is more than a bit creepy.

Amazon Kindle Link:The Midsummer Captives (Firethorn Chronicles Book 2)
Amazon Paperback Link: none yet

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Happy Reading y’all!