Welcome once again to my Thursday Throng interview and this week it’s my great pleasure to introduce you all to Gwynneth White, the author of the Seth and Erin novel, Pledged. Gwynneth hails from a small town outside Cape Town in South Africa, where she lives with her husband, not one but THREE teenage daughters, two dogs, a cat, a horse and some neglected fish.
In Pledged we follow Erin and Seth as they travel to ancient Shenaya to break a pledge that has plagued their families for millennia. Caught in a war between the Angelic Guardians and the Gefallen, the disembodied dead, they must fight to keep their souls in tact and their love untainted.
Pledged is the first novel in a brand new epic tale and reading it had me desperate for next one. It tells of a story of ancient Botswana when the dead and the angels walked amongst us, influencing us (perhaps they still do) and of a millenial war of souls locked in constant combat. This first novel introduces us to all the main protagonists and explores how the the complex relationships that sit beneath the surface came about. As you read, it draws you in thoroughly. The ending is still some way off, but I already know who I’m rooting for.
Hi Gwynneth, it’s a pleasure to welcome you and my first question is ‘What is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?’
My first ‘child’ was a seal-point Siamese cat called Woodie. Well, her real name was Nikita, but we never called her that. She died just after my first human child was born. I was devastated. But I guess it was nature’s way of making space in my heart . . .
Are the names of your characters important to you?
Very. Happily, most of my characters seem to arrive with their names firmly attached. But sometimes a character’s names can be illusive. Like Caleb, from Pledged. He’s one of the key players in the book, and I agonised for months over his name. In fact, he had about four name changes until I finally settled on Caleb. I think it’s important that names reflect the personality, and the time and place in which a character lives. The internet is useful for this because you can find listings of baby names from all countries, all cultures, and even timeframes.
Have you ever written naked?
Indeed I have. Often, in fact. Inspiration is wont to strike while I’m in the bath. So I have no choice but to leap up, rush to my computer and write. Luckily, my desk is in my bedroom (by choice because it’s my private space) so running around naked isn’t really a problem.
Are there any occupational hazards to being an author?
I can list a few . . . Hazardous driving due to mind being on the job while in traffic. Blisters on feet from walking around parking lot at Mall looking for lost car – due to mind engaged in plotting while parking. Burnt food caused by the urgent need to make a critical plotting note while stirring white sauce. Flooding bathroom thanks to sudden need to jot down riveting dialogue . . . Jeez, Linda, I could go on and on. I’m a walking occupational hazard!
Who would you like to play you in a film of your life?
Meryl Streep. She’s my best and has been since The Deer Hunter. The Deer Hunter? I’ve just seriously aged myself, haven’t I? And I love Maggie Smith. And Dame Judi Dench too. Are you seeing a pattern here?
How do you remain sane while working?
Sane? What’s that? Wait . . . I’ll get a dictionary. (See answer to question 3) (Linda’s Aside: Mmmmm, let me see … I think I might have difficulty answering the question as well …. 🙂
What has been the best experience you have ever had in your life?
Just after we were married, my husband and I escaped from the ‘real’ world to the Okavango Delta in Botswana. We spent a year there, running a luxury lodge. It was truly magical. There, we met amazing people from all around the world, got to love the very superstitious, but delightful local Botswanans, and had some incredible animal encounters, including elephant pushing down trees in the camp, and hyena destroying our kitchen. I have drawn heavily on that experience in Sacrificed, the second book in the Soul Wars Saga trilogy.
Are you jealous of other writers?
‘You mean woman to ask a question like that,’ she answers, shame-faced. Okay, I admit. I hate reading books I love. I hate it, I hate it! So often, instead of leaving me happy, I just feel grumpy because I didn’t write something so amazing. I am a complete wuss, I know. There’s no hope for me. (Linda’s Aside: Actually I can relate to what you say very well indeed!)
If you could commit the perfect murder where would you hide the body?
Feet wedged in concrete, and then straight into the closest lake . . . that’s why I don’t write crime thrillers! Although, that said, in my youth I spent many a month plotting just such a demise for a particularly nasty ex-boyfriend . . . Thankfully someone much more deserving came along and wiped those angry emotions away.
What was the most important thing you learned at school?
That I hated it, and the sooner I got it done and moved on with the rest of my life the better I’d be. And I was right! I passed my finals, moved on to university and never looked back. Now I’m attending school vicariously through my three daughters, and it hasn’t improved much! But for all that, I am a great believer in education. How’s that for a paradox.
Linda, thank you again for having me and Pledged on your blog. I really appreciate it. (Linda’s Aside: Gwynneth, it’s been a pleasure)
How to get one of FIVE eCopies of Pledged
Gwynneth has offered FIVE lucky readers the chance to get a free eBook version of Pledged via the Smashwords website. You’ll be able to choose from versions suitable for a variety of eReaders (Kindle, Nook, Sony, Apple) as well as PDF to print out as well. To be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is leave your comment below and in about ten days or so I will use Random.org to fish out the winners.
Where to buy the book and find out more about Gwynneth White
You can meet Gwynneth online on her website at: todayinshenaya.blogspot.com, you can also join her on Twitter @gwynnethwhite and on Facebook as well at: facebook.com/pages/Gwynneth-White/172095512890074
If you would like to get a copy of Pledged then you can find it on Amazon in the UK and on Amazon in the US too, you’ll also find my reviews of Gwynneth’s Book on Amazon in the US, the UK and on Goodreads too.
Why ‘The Thursday Throng’?
These posts are called The Thursday Throng in honour of the throng that waits eagerly outside the book store when a new author is doing a book signing event or appearance. On this website it takes the form of a ‘Meet the Author‘ online event with some information about our author’s latest book and an interview. If you would like to take part in the Thursday Throng then why not email me to find out more.
If you would like to see all the Authors who have been featured on The Thursday Throng you can click here: womanontheedgeofreality.com/2012/06/17/the-thursday-throng/