Interview with Cheryl Mahoney, author of The Wanderers

Hey folks! Today I’ve got a fab little interview for you, courtesy of debut author and fellow blogger Cheryl Mahoney. I’ve been really excited to get this one out to you, and curious as heck to get my hands on her book and go exploring! Before I do that, though, here’s what I asked her, and what she’s got to say…

First off, hello and welcome! To begin with, let’s be having a bit about yourself and your book… What’s it all about?

Thank you for hosting! About me, well—I blog at Tales Of The Marvelous. I write book reviews twice a week, with other bookish posts in between. I’m reading all the time, and especially love fantasy stories with strong women, a dash of romance, and some humor…but I’m pretty open to most stories with compelling characters and an interesting world, be it the past, the future or magical lands.

About the book… The Wanderers is a Young Adult Fantasy novel, loosely inspired by fairy tales. It’s the story of Jasper, a wandering adventurer; Tom, a talking cat; and Julie, a witch’s daughter. They pursue quests and fight monsters, like a sea serpent, an ogre, and a very dangerous Good Fairy. There are a lot of elements from familiar fairy tales…but generally with a twist!

You keep up a very cool blog… How long have you been doing this, and how did you get from there to novel writing? Or did the fiction come first?

I’m so glad you enjoy my blog! I’ve been writing fiction much longer than I’ve been blogging—I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been writing novels since high school. The Wanderersis the first novel I’m publishing, but not the first I wrote.

I’ve been blogging for three years, as of November 1st. I started blogging as a way to connect with other readers and writers, and to have fun bookish discussions! The results definitely met my hopes, as I’ve been able to “meet” many wonderful people through my blog and my reading of others’ blogs (and my To Be Read list was never so long before!) I also always knew I’d want to publish eventually, and blogging was a way to start getting my voice out there.

Are there any books or authors (or both!) that have inspired you to try your hand at writing yourself? 

I don’t remember when I began writing, so I can’t say there were authors who inspired me to start… but there are certain authors I consider the masters of fairy tale-retelling, who of course gave me inspiration when I moved into that realm. Robin McKinley (Beauty, Rose-Daughter), Gail Carson Levine (Ella Enchanted, Fairest) and Patricia C. Wrede (The Enchanted Forest Chronicles) are the ones who come immediately to mind. I highly recommend them all! McKinley wrote two beautiful “Beauty and the Beast” retellings that draw heavily from the original tale and yet are completely unique, with compelling characters and engaging magic. Levine has a wonderful way of bringing practicality to fairy tales and doing marvelous twists on the traditions. The Wanderersis closest in structure to Wrede’s books, weaving fairy tale tropes (and all their inherent absurdities) into an original plotline.

The Wanderers is noted as YA. Is this the genre you feel most comfortable in, or do you think you’ll cross into others down the line?

I like writing (and reading) YA because it tends to be cleaner, and is more likely to have happy endings! I feel like my writing interests and style lend themselves towards YA in a very natural way. Since I’m writing fantasy (not set at all in the modern world), the YA designation is more about style than it is about being focused on traditional YA subjects (high school, dating, parent issues, etc).

I may step out of YA and “write for grown-ups” eventually, but I think it would be less about choosing a new genre as about seeing what a new novel needs. Besides, good YA has cross-age appeal, and I hope mine does!

If you’re wondering whether I’ll stay in Fantasy, I can tell you that I’m also working on a Historical Fiction novel, and may explore Science Fiction at some point too.

Lastly, because I must know how likely I am to be tortured by waiting – is this intended to be a standalone or the beginning of a series?

I do plan The Wanderers as the first in a series—but it’s also a standalone, in that it comes to an end with no cliffhanger or big loose ends for our main characters. So I don’t think the waiting will be too torturous! The second book (and planned subsequent ones) focuses on different characters in the same fantasy world; they’re characters you get to meet in the first book, who then tell their story in the next. The next book, The Storyteller and Her Sisters, should be out in Fall of 2014—so we’ll have to talk again then!

… So there you have it! Many thanks to Cheryl for the interview, and I’m pretty sure I just found a new book to add to my own TBR! How about you? If you’re interested, The Wanderers is available to buy at the links below:

Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Amazon UK 

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