Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rae of Hope - Debut Novel for Wanita May

I'm proud to guest YA paranormal author, Wanita May. Isn't that a cool name! Anyway, I had the pleasure of reading an earlier draft of this novel, and I can't wait to read it again.

Rae of Hope
The Chronicles of Kerrigan

Fifteen year-old Rae Kerrigan is used to being invisible. Living in New York with her Aunt and Uncle after having been orphaned at a young age by a terrible fire, her life has been quiet, filled with excellent grades and not much else. Then came the letter from Guilder Boarding School, a mysterious place Rae had never heard of which will change her life. She crosses the ocean to enter a world she's never known existed, one where she's center stage and has a very important role to play.

Will the sins of a father choose her path? Or will she have the courage to change her fate? The decision will be made, by fate or teen, in the Rae of Hope.

The question is, as hero or villain? It seems most of Guilder is voting the later, and it's up to Rae to prove everyone wrong and bring hope to her world. But will she succeed, or will the shadows draw her in and swallow her whole?
Now, on to the Q&A portion of the program.
(Q) Thank you for joining us today. Before we begin, please tell our readers where they can find you.
It’s great to be catching up, Marva! It seems like forever since we’ve chatted…

Where to find me? Are we playing Hide and Seek? ‘Cause if we are, I’ve got to get my 17mth old in on it too – she’s figured out the game and tends to hide in the Tupperware cupboard or the little antique dry-sink we have!

But seriously – I'm home most days – running our online business, or writing/editing or playing with the kids. My website, etc. follow, so cyberly – I’m everywhere.


FB: Author W.J. May

Twitter: @wanitajump

Book Trailer:
Where to purchase:



(Q) Tell everyone a bit about your books.

Rae of Hope is the first book in the Chronicles of Kerrigan. I’ve signed a four book contract so it’s a great series, (obviously biased) – it includes fantasy, mystery, paranormal, bit of romance, bit of everything. Something different than what’s out there now.

(Q) Where did the concept for the book (or books) come about?

I’d written my first MS and wanted to challenge myself to find something different than what I’d been reading (I’m a big YA reader so there is lots to choose from, but still wanted something unique). I’m a huge fan of comic, vampire, action, etc… books & movies so I decided I wanted to combine it all. I’ve always been fascinated with tattoos and why people choose particular ones and locations. The idea of having a tattoo appear on you one day and finding it out is possess an particular ability - well, that hit me as something unique. I wanted to have the females marked on their lower backs (which is often referred to as tramp-stamps, which lead me to the idea of being labelled before getting to know someone, or judging a book by its cover.) The idea manifested and grew.

(Q) How long did it take you to finish, from concept to final product?

I wrote the first draft in about 3 months. Spent another 3 months revising and editing and then off to publishers. I signed my publishing contract with Mitchell Morris Publishing ( on January first and it’s official print date was November 15th. It was preleased in ebook from the beginning of September. It seems to have gone really fast actually.

(Q) What do you do for fun other than writing?

Laugh? Joke around J I love playing with my three kids. We set the tent up in the family room the other day and slept there for the weekend (too cold to be outside, but it doesn’t mean we still cant camp!)

(Q) Do you have any favorite place where you feel your Muse is more apt to come and play while you write? Or perhaps you listen to music? If so, what do you listen to?

I do my best writing in the evening. The day it too busy and full of the unexpected to sit down and get some quality work done. During the day, I do brainstorm constantly and send myself emails and notes on ideas for plotting or foreshadowing or characters. I like listening to music – I can’t say a particular band or group because sometimes a random song will come on and it will fit the scene I am working on perfectly. I could have heard the same song two days ago and not even registered the co-relation. So – the Ipods on shuffle or the radio gets switched to anything and everything ? Right now, I’ve got Adele in the cd player.

(Q)  In your ideal world, put in order those of most value to you: true love, family, success at writing, world peace, clean air and water, other.

World Peace (which will help to clean the air/water)

Family (as true love is equal and the same)

Writing success … and a movie made out of one of my books!!  J

(Q) What are your writing strengths? Weaknesses?

Dialogue – definitely my strength.

Enough Backstory, skipping time (cause I don’t want to write about the parts that have nothing to do with the main plot of the story), simple character description – those are my weaknesses. I started out having every character stand in front of a mirror. It gets annoying, let me tell you, and I reread the MS too many times to count. I’ve learned and definitely changed that habit!!

(Q) Coffee or tea?

Both! Not in the same cup and always decaf – I’m sure you can tell from this interview I don’t need the caffeine!

(Q) Do you have any new projects that you are working on? If so, what are they?

My agent has two other MSs that we are working on. One is going through a slight rewrite by me and the other is still in the editing phase. And there is always Works in Progress brewing on the backburner.

(Q) What do you do to market your work? How did you start and where do you learn to market?

Rae of Hope is my first published book. I have been learning the tricks of the trade as I go. Social networking is huge, and word of mouth. I’m lucky to have a publisher that knows loads of advertising routes as well. They already have a base so I just chug along for the ride and try my best to add my input. Blog tours are great, book reviews are even better. I also will be scheduling book signings in my area and at Barnes and Nobles shops (I live in Canada, no B&N here… so I’ll be border hopping.)

(Q) If you'd like to add anything, please do so.

Thanks for letting me stop by and visit. You helped with editing the first rounds of RoH so it kinda feels like I’m coming home a bit here. It’s great to be able to share starting projects and then show off the finished project. I’m so excited to see where this road is going to take me.

(Q) How about an excerpt to tantalize the readers?

Chapter 1
Guilder Boarding School

“You can’t undo the past. The sins of the father are the sins of the son, or in this case, daughter.”

Uncle Argyle’s ominous words had echoed in Rae’s head long after he dropped her off at the airport. “A proverb of truth” he had called it. Who spoke like that nowadays? Some good-bye. Tightening her ponytail and futilely trying to tuck her forever-escaping dark curls behind her ears, she looked at her watch, then out the bus window at the tree lined countryside. It seemed strange to see the sun. All she remembered was rain when she had lived in Britain nine years ago.

Trying to get comfortable, Rae tucked her foot up on the seat, and rested her head against her knee as she looked out at the scenery flashing by. A sign outside the window showed the miles before the bus reached Guilder. It’d be another twenty-five minutes. She popped her earbuds in, blew the bangs away from her forehead and stared out the window across the rolling farm fields, trying to let the music from her iPod distract her.

It didn’t work. Just when she felt the tension begin to ease from her shoulders and she started to get into the song, something caught her eye. Black smoke billowed just near the top of a lush green hill. Rae stared, her heart fluttering as an old memory began to take hold. She knew what that smoke meant. She’d seen it before, long ago.

Someone’s house was burning.

Crap, crap crap, no I don’t want to go there. Her heart started racing and her stomach turned over, making her feel nauseous.

Dropping her knee, she gripped the seat in front of her, burying her face in her hands taking deep breathes, like the therapists taught her to do. She’d gone through years of therapy to treat what had been called “panic attacks”. It didn’t matter what other people called it. To her, it was simply hell; like being sucked back in time against her will, to a place she never wanted to revisit. So she breathed the way she’d been taught, slow breathe in, all the way, then slow breath out, all the time chanting it’s not real, it’s not real in her head.

It helped calm her racing heart and made her feel more in control, but it didn’t erase the memory. Nothing on Earth could do that. Being back in England for the first time and seeing the strange smoke, Rae felt six years old all over again. She’d been in the living room coloring with new markers before bed when her mother told her to take them to the tree house her dad had built for her and play there until she called her in. That call never came. The blaze bounced horrific shadows around the inside of the tree house. The stinky black smoke slithered in and scared her little six year old self in ways the monsters under her bed never had.

Rae shuddered and lurched upright, forcefully bringing herself back to the present. Could this school be any further into the sticks? Glancing around the now vacant bus, she wondered if the driver had purposely left her until last. She’d watched the last few people get off at a school about fifteen minutes ago, Roe-something or other. They all looked the same, all pretty girls with blonde hair, not one of them thin, pale, and tall like her. They hadn’t been friendly. Big surprise there… She was used to it. She tended to fly under the radar at best. So she handled them the way she always handled the ones who instantly didn’t like her for no reason she could come up with. Rae avoided making eye contact and tried to appear immersed in the Guilder Boarding School brochure. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to make friends. She’d just never really had any. Most kids her age either didn’t like her or didn’t notice her.

It bugged her that Uncle Argyle had pushed so hard for her to go when Guilder sent the letter. He’d been the one to move them all from Scotland to New York when she’d come to live with them, taking her away from the horrible tragedy of her parents’ death, and now, he suddenly leapt at the chance for her to go back? It didn’t make any sense. It sort of sucked to leave her current high school. She lacked close friends, but she also lacked enemies, which was a plus in her book. The girls there seemed just as stuck up as the ones who’d gotten off the bus earlier, but they’d simply ignored her. Rae always told herself it didn’t matter anyway. Cliques were so passé in her opinion.

Another weird thing that she couldn’t seem to find an answer to was why Guilder would choose her? How did they even know she existed? …


  1. thanks for the fantastic interview, Marva!
    all the best in the upcoming holiday season :)

  2. Aha! Finally finding the time to stop by and read this interview! Wanita is being modest! She gots skilz! I enjoyed playing in her world!

    Kisses, hugs and spanx,