With her new book primed for official release this May, Claire Banschbach started this blog tour, making the rounds of fellow writers’ and readers’ websites. Today is my turn and, following my preferred occupation of asking as many questions as possible, I’m interviewing her about the new adventure fantasy, “Wildcat of Braeton”.
Now, I gotta tell you, I was one of the beta-readers for this book. However, even though I know how it’ll turn out (big grin) I’m going to pretend that I don’t (mostly) so you can get the full effect of the interview. So, with that out of the way, let’s see what Ms. Banschbach has to say, shall we?
Since we’re good friends, we dispensed with all the usually pleasantries and just got down to the real talking. However, I know my readers are all more civilized than that, so I’m going to pretend we did and extrapolate.
Me: “How ya doin’?”
Claire: “Fine, fine.”
“You wanted me to do a blog post?”
“I did, actually, thanks for asking.”
“An interview, I think we decided on.”
“Exactly. For the 25th, remember?”
“Oh, yes, that’s right. Okay, then, let me get my little interviewer’s scratch pad. I ask the questions, right?”
“Okay, I think I got it. Here’s the first one.”
Q: When did you start writing seriously? In other words, with any thought other than just for your own pleasure?
A: Well, I started writing The Rise of Aredor when I was seventeen. I kept it to myself for a few weeks-months (I don’t remember) and then showed it to one of my younger sisters. After that I think is when it got serious because she was constantly popping in to get updates on the story. As more family members got involved, I became even more dedicated to writing. Before that I’d piddled with some short stories that never went anywhere so RoA was my first serious work.
Q: Publishing dreams; every writer has ’em. When did yours start?
A: Throughout the writing process of RoA, my sister and I always joked about it being published. It always seemed like this high, unattainable dream, and I didn’t think my story was any good. But it always stayed in the back of my mind so one day I googled publishers and found the company that would eventually offer me a contract. I contacted them at that time and they were open to moving forward but I knew I wasn’t ready and the story wasn’t. So about 2 years (I think) and a lot of edits later, I reached out again and now I’m a published author!
Q: Now, I’ve read the ‘Rise of Aredor’ and reviewed it before. It was the very definition of a fantasy adventure story and totally worth the read. However, I’ve gotta say, I think I preferred ‘Wildcat of Braeton’. Aiden just struck my fascination so much more than Corin did. Maybe it was the double swords. In either case, why did you decide to write the sequel to Rise of Aredor about a different character and nation?
A: Thanks! I’m very fond of both characters but I do agree that Aiden is a bit more colorful than Corin. Corin is a pretty straightforward character in terms of his story, but Aiden is a different personality. Throughout the writing of RoA, Aiden would pop in and say “here’s a fun fact about me”, some of which made it into the first book and some of which were squirreled away. The rest of his story was built off tendrils of ideas floating around in my mind or from previously discarded storylines. I also admit, I’d been dying for a closer look at the Clans of Braeton ever since a Clansman kind of shoved his way into RoA to meet Corin and the Hawk Flight. Another thing that drove the sequel was the realization that the Calorin Sultaan, ambitious man that he is, wouldn’t have been happy about being driven out by a rag-tag group of outlaws. Aredor is the keystone of the North. He wants it and he’s going to get it by any means necessary. Fun guy.
Q: When I read ‘Wildcat of Braeton’ it was still in draft stage. I’m curious to know how many changes your publisher asked for, if any. Were there any story-line changes requested?
A: There actually weren’t any major changes made by the publisher. Shout out here to the beta readers. 😉 And since I’d edited WoB with the anticipation of getting it published, I think I pretty much got everything where it needed to go.
Q: Not to ask for any information that might be considered ‘spoilers’, but you concluded “Wildcat of Braeton’ with an epilogue that was a story in and of itself. Are you done with the world of Aredor, or have you left open the possibility of more books/stories in it?
A: I do love that epilogue. 🙂 For now, yes, I’m done with Aredor. The series is concluded, but I do have numerous short stories involving most of the characters in some form and my sister is trying to convince me to get those published. But they all need some amounts of work. I do have an idea for a story about the descendants of those characters, but we’ll see if that ever gets written.
Q: Believe you me, ‘Wildcat of Braeton’ is going to end up on my shelf next to ‘Rise of Aredor’. With that, my job as a reader is complete. However, as a fellow author, I know your work still isn’t done just because you got the book on the shelves. Do you have any book signings or appearances planned? My online readers are scattered far and wide, but I’d be willing to bet any of them within range of one of your events would love to attend.
A: As of right now answering this question, no, I do not have any appearances planned. I do have a contact that is planning an event for local authors in Odessa, TX, in June, but that’s still in the planning stages. Unfortunately any upcoming events will most likely be in west Texas somewhere as grad school is keeping me pretty close to the home front. My Facebook page is a good place to stay tuned in with all the happenings.
All right, thank you, Ms. Banschbach! Personally, I’m still hoping you’ll revisit my favorite character, a certain sea-captain that made an appearance in “Wildcat of Braeton”, but I guess that will just have to wait for another day, eh? Thank you for letting me interview you and here’s hoping your second book does well.
So, there y’are! An interview with a published (now twice published) author of adventure fantasy. Hopefully, it was as fun for you as it was for me. Either way, I already got to read the book, so I know what happened. You… well, you’re going to have to find yourself a copy, so you can, too. Right? Right.
About the book:
“If you’re fighting our battle, we’d best make you look like a champion,” Tam said to Aiden. Tam and Blair began to apply the war paint the Clans had worn into battle since before they arrived in Braeton.
“You ready?” Tam asked when they finished.
“As I’ll ever be,” Aiden replied. “Tam, if everything goes wrong, you take charge after me.”
“I’m praying nothing goes wrong,” Tam said. “Just remember what Diarmad said when he built this place: ‘In times of trouble, a Champion shall rise up and Scodra shall not fall.’”
* * *
His term of service to Lord Rishdah now complete, Aiden returns to his home in Braeton. As he travels he hears rumors that trouble plagues Braeton. Clan Canich is being attacked from within. He arrives, determined to save his father, his brothers, and his Clan from the treachery of one man.
A year has passed since the Calorins were driven from Aredor and Corin is struggling to rebuild his country. Despite the peace, a fear haunts him that the Calorins aren’t far away. The Hawk Flight takes to the forest again to defend the borders against a possible attack from the neighboring country of Durna and its Calorin ally.
As Aiden and Corin struggle to adapt to their new lives they know one thing for certain – war is coming to the North!
About the Author:
Claire Banschbach was born and raised in Midland, TX, the fourth of eight children. She was homeschooled through high school and is now a proud member of the Texas A&M University class of 2014. An avid reader of Lord of the Rings, Narnia, and many other adventure novels, Claire was prompted to begin writing her own fantasy novel at seventeen after several years of daydreaming. She continues to write in her spare time (and often when she doesn’t have spare time). When not scratching out stories and homework with pen and pencil, Claire partakes in the joys of watching the Boston Red Sox, Aggie football, playing volleyball, and horseback riding. She hopes her faith and strong foundation in God will continue to help guide her writing. She is currently working on her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the Texas Tech University Health Science Center.
Release date info-
Due to circumstances beyond my control, the release date has been moved to (most likely) May. However, if you feel that you cannot live without this book, you can buy it here – https://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-68097-981-7 Warning- it costs about a hundred-million dollars (or I’m a poor college student and anything over $20 is expensive), so I would wait until its official release date and you can shop more cheaply! Stay tuned on my Facebook page or blog for more info on the release date!
Connect with the author:
Blog Tour Schedule –
Monday, March 23
Morgan Huneke, Shire Reviews – Book Review
Faith Blum, Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections – Character Spotlight – Aiden
Tuesday, March 24
Kendra E. Ardnek, Knitted by God’s Plan – Author Interview/Book Review
Mary Clare Archer, Virtuous Rebellion – Author Interview
Wednesday, March 25
Michael Gunter, Tales of Today and Yesterday – Author Interview
Claire M. Banschbach –Thoughts and Rants – Meet the Characters!
Thursday, March 26
Jaye L. Knight, Author Jaye L. Knight – Author Interview
Claire M. Banschbach- Thoughts and Rants– Interview with the Artist
Friday, March 27
Shantelle, A Writer’s Heart – Author Interview/Book Review
Elizabeth Rawls, E. Rawls – Author Interview
Saturday, March 28
Katie Grace, A Writer’s Faith – Author Interview
Claire M. Banschbach, Thoughts and Rants – Tour finish and excerpt
Opens at midnight March 23 and closes at midnight on March 28. Giveaway includes 2 signed copies of The Wildcat of Braeton and accompanying sets of four note-card sized illustrations from the series!