Tuesday, March 26, 2013

3rd Blogoversary Party ~ Meet Lena Goldfinch!

Welcome to my 3rd Blogoversary Writers Party! Our first guest is Lena Goldfinch, a super-sweet, super-talented indie author.

I was introduced to Lena and her work via Juju's blog, Tales of Whimsy. I didn't win the book giveaway Juju was hosting, but I decided to buy Lena's novella The Language of Souls, since it was only $.99 on Amazon.com... And I promptly fell in love with Lena's writing style! So when Lena was looking for beta readers for her upcoming release, Aire, I obviously volunteered. Thus began a beautiful friendship that has been a true blessing in my life.


As far as my freelance editing business, Editing Through the Seasons, goes, Lena offered some fantastic advice on making my website more author-friendly and pretty. She spiffed up my editor picture and gave me my first endorsement. And reading her stories has given me invaluable experience in providing general and proofreading feedback to authors. I've so appreciated her help, and I'm so excited for you all to meet her! Read on to learn more about Lena and today's giveaway...

***

Amber ~ Welcome, Lena! Since this is a blogoversary party, why don't you share with us a little bit about your own blogging history? When did you start blogging, and where do you see your blog heading in the future? And do tell about the “Scene 13” blog!

Lena ~ First: Hi, Amber! Thanks for having me, and Happy Blogoversary!

I’ve been a sporadic blogger for about five years. These days, I post mostly book news on my blog. I also like to do short, lighthearted interviews with other authors occasionally, under the theme "Three Things & a Cupcake," where they answer three quick questions, and I post a drool-worthy picture of a cupcake. LOL It’s been a while since I’ve done an interview, so I look forward to getting back to those after my book release.

I also participate in a couple of group blogs, which prods me into being more active. :) I’m a member of The Enchanted Inkpot (a blog for writers and readers of YA & MG fantasy), where I serve as a blog moderator/admin, and on The Scene13 Blog too (a blog for “Debut Authors, Published Authors, and Indie Authors with new book releases in 2013,” in a variety of genres).


Amber ~ Fun stuff! 

How would you describe the current “season” of your writing career? (Slow? Growing? A harvest of creativity? A dry spell? Hopeful? Frustrating? However you want to describe it!)

Lena ~ After writing seriously for about twelve years, I recently dove into indie publishing. And, I have to say, I’m having the best time! This is the most exciting part of my writing life yet. It feels like I’m reaping a harvest of my work. Autumn happens to be my favorite season too. (I love the air in New England when the temps are around 70 and there’s a crispness to the air, and the apples are in season.... :))

Amber ~ Yay for harvest-time!! 

Being a beta reader for you has been such a privilege – your stories are so fascinating and sweet! Could you share a glimpse from one of your upcoming releases with my readers? 

Lena ~ Awwww, it’s been such a privilege to have you as a beta reader, Amber! You have such wonderful insights and have helped me so much with molding my books and helping me get them ready for publication! THANK YOU!!! (Amber: *blushing* It's been a blast!)

My YA fantasy romance, Aire, is coming out soon (checks watch ;)). It was such fun to write (and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite ;)).

Aire is about a princess, Annalisia, who sees visions, and a handsome young commoner, Jovanni, who’s secretly a sentinel and can change into a falcon. My world-building research led me on paths to ancient Italy & Turkey, which I found fascinating. I was led there in part because I was curious about the era of silence between the Old Testament and the New Testament, and wondered what it would have been like to be an outlier in those times, a person with a special gift when no one else had them, and, in fact, many had come to think of those times as legends or myths...

Here’s a photo from my research, which actually ended up on the new cover:


To me this captures the essence of Isalla, where the book is set. (This particular shot is of Old Port in Dubrovnik, Croatia, but the book is set in a fictionalized ancient Italy/ Mediterranean. It’s so beautiful, isn’t it? I want to go!)

Amber ~ I love the story, and that pic totally captures the setting! I want to go there, too! We should plan a trip. ;)

These next questions are fun, brief-response questions. Your favorite season?

Lena ~ I jumped the gun there, I guess. ;) Autumn. I love it!

Amber ~ Two quirky dreams (small or big) that you have?

Lena ~ I want to see my books in a library someday. I grew up hauling sacks of books away from the local library every week and devouring them (we didn’t have a ton of money growing up, so didn’t buy a lot of new books. Going to the library for books was a real treat—still is!), so it would be wonderful to see my own books on the shelf.

Another dream... I just want to connect with readers. Writing is an isolating endeavor and you spend a lot of time alone. But it’s not meant to be a one-way communication. So I get a real thrill out of hearing from someone who’s read one of my books, especially if they liked it. :)

Amber ~ Three blogs you love to visit?

Lena ~ I have a whole list of publishing blogs I follow. I rely on Google Reader for this, so when I learned they’re shutting down Google Reader (noooooo.......), I’ve been searching for a new service. Open to suggestions!

Amber ~ Four Twitter friends you enjoy following?

Lena ~ Well, I follow @SeasonsHumility of course! :-) (Amber: Aww!) I follow lots of my writer friends, and chat and share links about books & writing, and occasionally mention delicious food. ;) I also follow folks who tweet about publishing-related news, like @thecreativepenn, @PublishersWkly, @WritersDigest, @GuyKawasaki, and @PassiveVoiceBlg, among others.

Amber ~ Five different themes for a party that would be fun to attend or host?

Lena ~ Oh gosh, I am so bad with party planning, even though I love hanging out with friends. I’m so impressed by anyone who can plan a party with a theme. Perhaps your blog readers could help me come up with a cool/original/fun way to celebrate my book release? Maybe something related to ancient Italy? Help? :)

Amber ~ Fun responses, Lena! I hope you get some great suggestions for a way to celebrate Aire's release. :) Thanks so much for everything!

***

Giveaway!

I had the privilege of reading an early copy of this, and it's a great story! (And isn't that cover just beautiful? Kudos, Lena!) To enter for a chance to win an e-book version of Aire, all you have to do is leave a comment with your e-mail address.

This giveaway is open internationally due to the format of the book. A winner will be chosen via the List Randomizer on Random.org and announced on Saturday, March 30th. (The expected publication date is some time in April, so the winner will receive his/her book when it becomes available.)

Good luck! (And if you want another chance to win the book, check out the Goodreads link in the sidebar!)

24 comments:

Ganise said...

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO SEASON OF HUMILITY!!

Whoo-hoo.

Well now, this is a good way to wake up in the morning.

Fun interview here. Nice to meet you, Lena! :)

Just wanted to wave a quick hello and thank you for the post. (Gotta go but will be back later on in the day.)

Have a good day everyone!

Jesse Hayworth said...

Great interview, Amber! I, too, am a big fan of Lena's writing, and have benefited from her website suggestions a time or two.

For those of you who haven't discovered this author yet, run to your favorite place-to-buy-things-with-words and preorder AIRE!

Lena Goldfinch said...

Hi, Ganise! Nice to "meet" you too. :)

Waves at Jesse! Thanks for stopping by! :)

Serena Chase said...

Happy blogoversary, Amber!!!

I absolutely cannot wait to read AIRE. Every little snippet of info I get on this book makes me drool. Congrats on the upcoming release, Lena!

Rissi said...

Happy Blogoverasry, Amber! So exciting. CONGRATS and I look forward to the next three years.

And how great to "meet" you, Lena. :) Congratulations on your new novel - it looks lovely. :)

Amber S. said...

Ganise,

Aww, thank you so much for your enthusiasm!! :) So glad you enjoyed the interview! Isn't Lena just so sweet??

Thank you for stopping by before your day got busy - I appreciate it! :) Hope you have a great day, too!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Jesse,

Thank you! It's great to meet another of Lena's fans - and friends. :) She's awesome! And I'm totally with you on that - it was wonderful to discover Lena's work, and I hope more people do just that!

Thanks for visiting!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Lena,

So wonderful to have you here! :) Thanks for all you do!! And congratulations on the upcoming release of Aire!! Excited for all those who will get to read it soon. :)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Serena,

Thank you so much!! And happy release day to you!!

(If anyone has yet to hear about Serena Chase, here's the link to her debut novel, which just released:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Ryn-Eyes-Everia-ebook/dp/B00BZF1S28/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364324337&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Ryn+by+Serena+Chase

If you like Lena's fantasy romance, I think you'll also become a fan of Serena! These two ladies are super talented!)

Anyway, hope you love Aire, Serena! I'm pretty sure you will. ;)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Rissi,

Aww, thank you!! You're so sweet, my friend! :)

Hope you get to read Aire when the paperback version becomes available! It's a great story! :)

~Amber

Ganise said...

Thanks Amber and Lena. :)

JillStengl said...

Thank you, Amber, for introducing me to another fun author, and thank you, Lena, for your interview!

That photo is just gorgeous. I've always wanted to visit Italy but only got as far as France. Maybe someday! One of the joys of books is how they take us to exotic locations at very little expense and no jet-lag. What a beautiful place to set your story!

I would love to read Aire and will look up Lena's other books.

Amber S. said...

Ganise,

Thank YOU! :)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Jill,

My pleasure! So glad you could stop by! :)

Isn't that photo gorgeous?? I'm happy Lena was able to incorporate it into the cover - so perfect!

I totally agree about books and the joys of visiting different places through them. :) One that did that for me recently? Grave Consequences by Lisa Bergren. So much fun!

Good luck in the drawing! If you get the chance, I hope you can check out Lena's novella, The Language of Souls - so lovely! :) And I'm super excited for her to publish Songstone sometime!! It's a great story!

~Amber

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Awesome! Lena's fabulous and I'm so glad you found her work and interviewed her Amber.

Amber S. said...

Juju,

Thank you for introducing me to the fabulous Lena! :) I'm so glad I found her work - and friendship - too!

Thanks for stopping by, dear friend!

~Amber

Bluerose said...

You and Juju both have me really wanting to read these books! It was fun to learn a little more about the author behind them! :)

bluerosesheart at yahoo dot com

Rachelle Rea said...

Oh, what fun "meeting" you, Lena! :) Your book sounds very intriguing. A raven? :)

I'm sad about Google Reader leaving, too, but an alternative I've found is BlogLovin. :)

Thanks for the giveaway, Amber and Lena!

inspiringdaring (at) yahoo (dot) com

Amber S. said...

Bluerose,

Our work is done then! ;) Hope you get a chance to read them! And Lena is so sweet, isn't she?

Good luck in the drawing! :)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Rachelle,

It's definitely an intriguing story! :)

I need to hop on that BlogLovin bandwagon soon! So sad about Google Reader...

Thanks for stopping by! Excited I got to host you, too, today! :)

~Amber

Lena Goldfinch said...

Hi, everyone, thanks for all the lovely comments. :)

(waves at Juju! I will be in contact soon! :-))

Also, Rachelle Rea said...
"Your book sounds very intriguing. A raven? :)"

Thank you! It's a falcon btw. :) On my way to check out BlogLovin..., Thanks!

Amber S. said...

Lena,

So fun to have you here! Isn't this a great crowd?? I love all of the encouragement! :)

I'll have to check out BlogLovin sometime, too...

~Amber

Anonymous said...

Wow! I love the photo and the cover--that alone makes me curious enough to read the book!

Audrey

audreyoregon (at) gmail (dot) com

Amber S. said...

Audrey,

Seriously, right? ;) I love both, too, and I am definitely swayed by beautiful covers, LOL! But I can tell you that this one has a beautiful story to go with the beautiful cover. :)

Good luck in the drawing!

~Amber