INTERVIEW WITH HEATHER S. FRIEDMAN RIVERA

 Custom Book Cover Heather Rivera Exaltia Ebook

I first became acquainted with Heather’s work through reading her book Ultreia. It’s a wonderful book about a woman named Tess and her spiritual journey while running a past-life travel agency. Such a great premise! Recently, I’ve begun reading her fun, fantasy series for middle-grade readers (ages 9-12) called The Prism Walkers.

In the first of the series, entitled Into Exaltia, we meet twelve year old Sara and her ten year old sister Molly. They are visiting their grandmother over spring break. The girls are bored and it’s up to Sara to keep Molly entertained and out of trouble. Things take a turn when a magical portal is opened and they find themselves in Exaltia. Sara and Molly are drawn into an adventure and towards their destiny.

Welcome Heather. I’m glad you could join us to talk about your books for young readers.

How did the idea for Prism Walkers come to you?

Thank you so much, Ellis, for having me today. I was working on the books about Tess that you mentioned above. My husband and I were flying to Europe for a vacation and some book research for that series in May 2014. Earlier that morning I had read an Edgar Cayce reading about myself and it mentioned that I would enjoy writing children’s books. I dismissed the idea immediately. However, the first night that we slept in Dublin, as I was waking up, the story of the Prism Walkers “downloaded” into my head. Most of my stories come to me as I am waking up and this one was no different. I told my husband that morning over breakfast, “Well, I guess I am writing a children’s book.”

Are you more like Sara or Molly? And, how so?

I am more like Sara. Although I think I may have a bit of Molly’s sass too. My younger sister and I spent a lot of time at our grandma’s house when we were growing up. We enjoyed our time with our grandmother very much. The house in the Prism Walker books is modeled after my grandma’s house.

When I was growing up, I took it upon myself to keep my sister entertained. I would make up fantasy adventures for her and make-believe the backyard was a magical land. Our uncle also gave us a prism that we loved to look through.

What were your favorite kinds of stories at their ages? Any favorite authors come to mind?

Good question. I had to go back in my mind a bit to remember. I did like the Nancy Drew mysteries. I also enjoyed Judy Blume books, E.W. Hildick’s “The Active Enzyme, Lemon Freshened, Junior High School Witch.” I also enjoyed “The Hobbit” by JRR Tolkein, and “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster.

I also read and re-read Henry David Thoreau’s “On Walden Pond”. Some of it was beyond my level of understanding as a child but I was determined to keep reading it. I took that book everywhere and still have that beat up copy.

Since you write fiction for both grown-ups and kids, I’m curious if you have a preference for one over the other, or find each allows you to express a different creative side?

I enjoy writing for grown-ups and kids and tend to write my young reader books in between the adult books. I love allowing the child-like part of me to play and explore wherever my imagination wants to take me. Writing about fantasy worlds gives me a lot of freedom. As a child I imagined all sorts of magical worlds so I’m just continuing this as an adult.

Can you give us a hint of what’s to come as the series unfolds? You leave us a tantalizing clue at the end of book 1 that Exaltia may have spilled over into the girls’ world. What kinds of things will the Prism Walkers be up against next?

In the second book, “In Search of Emerald Bay”, there is indeed a crack between worlds that threatens the survival of magical Exaltia. Sara and the other Prism Walkers are in a race against time to save Exaltia and all who live there.

In addition, I just completed the third Prism Walker book. It’s called “Inside the Crystal”. In this book the Prism Walkers, along with their elven friends, find themselves in a world very different from Earth or Exaltia—a land called Mandriland. “Inside the Crystal” will be out this year.

All of the Prism Walker books are illustrated by Martin Kaspar from Prague. He is an amazing artist who quickly understood the vision of the books and captured the characters and setting perfectly.

Thanks for spending some time with us today, Heather! To learn more about her work, please follow the links below.

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Heather S. Friedman Rivera, RN, JD, PhD was born in Los Angeles. She founded a research institute for advancing past life research, PLR Institute. In addition to speaking and researching about past life and related therapies, she writes fiction and hosts writing workshops on healing through fiction. She is the author of Healing the Present from the Past, Quiet Water, Maiden Flight, Ultreia, Into Exaltia, and In Search of Emerald Bay. When not writing, she loves to bike ride by the ocean. Her best friends include a Puggle, a neurotic Chihuahua, and a black cat.

For information on her work, to read her blog, or to just say “hi”, please visit https://www.facebook.com/heather.friedmanrivera

Her website: www.heatherrivera.com

Amazon link for Into Exaltia: goo.gl/VsfOjm

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, ABIGAIL BORDERS

Abigail Borders is a fellow children’s writer. She has a brand new fantasy available from MuseItUp. Abigail grew up in Asia and is fluent in three languages. There’s no doubt her experiences abroad fuel her writing from her home in Southern California. She has one son she refers to as “El Kiddo”. I’m excited to host her here to talk about her new book entitled, Cyrion.

prop12 (3)The blurb: Jon and Saul come home to find their village torched, and everyone they know kidnapped by evil goblin troopers. Armed with little more than rotten eggs and help from their new friend Anya, they take the goblins on and rescue their parents. Only, they somehow end up trying to save one race from slavery, and another from complete annihilation.

Welcome Abigail.

Thank you, Ellis. I am honored to be here.

What was your inspiration for Cyrion and can you tell us a little about it?

I started writing Cyrion roundabout July of 2012. El Kiddo was bored out of his skull and driving me up the wall. I needed to come up with something fun to do with him (like write a story) or lose what few marbles I had left.

I hope “desperation” counts as “inspiration”?

As for the rest, well, I suppose I’m a bit of a magpie. I drew inspiration from my life experiences, people I’ve been lucky enough to befriend and/or am related to, and conversations with my Kiddo.

As a teen, were you the cheerleader, nerd, geek, or something else?

Honestly, I’m unsure how “geek” differs from “nerd”, but I was definitely not a cheerleader. I did my own thing in school, and I performed well enough academically to encourage my grumps (grown-ups) to continue letting me do my own thing.

I do have small groups of close friends – much like my characters in Cyrion. I was going to say “MCs”, but most of my characters have a close group of friends. Even a secondary character like Naeem has Greta.

I can’t imagine going through life without my friends. People I can count on to laugh, cry, and celebrate life’s crazy moments with me. People who are on my side no matter what or when or why, but never hesitate to call me on my bullsh!t. When my notes went missing a week before finals, my friends came through by lending copies of their notes to help me prepare. When I was sick, lonely and far from my family in college, my friends came through with phone calls, emails, packets of Lemsip and cups of soup. When faced with tough decisions, my friends came through with support and prayers.

My friends talked me out of deleting my WIPs when I felt down about my writing ability. I almost chucked Cyrion into my recycle bin at least five times when it was still a WIP. They challenge me to move out of my comfort zone, and write in new genres like romance and science fiction. Although my foray into science fiction resulted in the Burned Bridges Protocol, my attempt at romance is definitely a dead duck.

I don’t think we ever had a label, my friends and I. I know I always thought of labels as irrelevant.

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What impact would you like to see your books have on the world?

I’ve written two books thus far, The Burned Bridges Protocol, a young adult science fiction novella published by Giant Squid Books in December 2014, and Cyrion, a middle grade fantasy published by MuseItUp in June 2015.

This is a tough question for me because I never actually expect to be a published author. I only started Cyrion because Kiddo was bored, and the Burned Bridges Protocol started out as a dare. That being said:

  • From Cyrion – Cultivate and cherish your friends. Good friends will help you become a better person, and you, in turn, can help them become better people. Friendship is a two-way street, never take your friends for granted.
  • From The Burned Bridges Protocol – You are the author of your own destiny. Lilliane was chosen to be expendable. Her actions made her indispensable. Lemon was chosen to be a machine. His actions made him more human than a few of the human characters in the book. God gave us free will for a reason.

What’s your next project?

I am currently working on two projects. One is a short story I co-wrote with Kiddo that involves a minotaur, blueberry pie, and the properties of a circle. The other is a middle grade (for now anyway, who knows what it will morph into in the future) fantasy that involves a New-Yorker and two snarky fairies.

For more about Abigail and her books, please visit:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Abigail-Borders/180906748773138

http://www.amazon.com/Cyrion-Abigail-Borders-ebook/dp/B00XIFZ94Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436811717&sr=1-1&keywords=Abigail+Borders

http://www.amazon.com/Burned-Bridges-Protocol-Abigail-Borders-ebook/dp/B00QG5YBLM/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1436811751&sr=1-2