Yikes! You don’t waste any time getting to the tough questions, do you?
There are many amazing works that I might wish I’d written, but the one that keeps coming to mind, again and again, is Little Witch, by Anna Elizabeth Bennett, first published in 1953. You can find it at https://www.amazon.com/Little-Witch-Anna-Elizabeth-Bennett/dp/1616089644. This is a great read for middle-graders, and one I’m confident has withstood the test of time. I recollect reading a copy that looked like the 60th anniversary edition at the link above—except that the background of the cover of the book that I read was blue—or maybe it was green . . .
I recall checking Little Witch out of the library many, many times. I loved the story of magic—and of a little girl who lived a rather sad life. I guess I identified with her in some ways. I actually think that most children would. It seems that each of us has to come to an appreciation at some time about how we are indeed “different” from those around us—and that it is those very differences that make everything worthwhile. Likewise, we all undergo some hardship and we all face incidents of unfairness. But kindness, creativity, and perseverance, can see us through. (Just talking about it convinces me that I’ll need to get my own copy one day.)
What exotic setting would you like to visit and then use for a new book? Why?
It’s difficult to know just what qualifies as “exotic,” but I’m going to go with Budapest, Hungary, an old city with an amazing history. It has known times of independence, and times when freedom was but a distant dream—one either recollected from the past, or conjured up in anticipation of the future. In just the last century, having experienced the oppression of both the Nazis and the Soviets, Prague is sometimes referred to as the “Paris of the East” due to its evening illumination, as its lights reflect off the Danube’s waters. Oddly, it is also known for its baths and spas, the consequence of some natural water springs. The area intrigues me, as Hungary is surrounded by Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Solvenia, and Austria. For me, it evokes mystery, espionage, and even a bit of magic. I’d like to approach the city via a cruise on the Danube. I think its centuries old buildings would make interesting settings, and its people—who I understand are sometimes considered rather stoic (by outward appearances, anyway)—could make for some intriguing characters.
Who most influences your writing? Why?
Hmmm . . . I don’t think anyone necessarily influences my style. I do, however, find that I’m deeply moved by stories of self sacrifice. Of course, to be meaningful, the sacrifice must be something chosen—not something imposed on a character via outside forces. Thus, I suppose I’m influenced by Victor Hugo who wrote two of the greatest works of self-sacrifice that I’ve ever read. Les Miserables is of course the first. Another—a lesser known work—is Toilers of the Sea.
What one thing do you hate most about being an Indie author?That I don’t have more time for it. I’m still a working mom—and though my two youngest are in college, in my experience, young ones don’t require less of your time over the years—they require more. At least that’s true until after they reach their mid-20s or so. In addition, young adults require much more in the way of support, which comes in the form of tuition, rent, car insurance, cell phones, internet access . . . you get the idea.
What projects do you have in the works for your readers?My newest work, Ignorance is not Bliss, provides information for authors on protecting their brands and copyrights and on how to avoid infringing on the rights of others. It will be available soon.
For my fantasy fans, I’m working on an audio version of Oathtaker: The Oathtaker Series, Volume One. I hope to wrap it up (someday!) and then move on to the others. I’m also working through how volume four of The Oathtaker Series will shape up. It’s great to let the story just happen as I write it—but I have to have at least a general sense of where I’m headed. If things change along the way, I simply change my plan. However, if I don’t have something at the outset, writers’ block sets in.
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C.M. Huddleston's Reviews of Oathtaker, Select and Ephemeral and Fleeting.
Oathtaker is a book I might never have read if its author had not gifted me a copy in exchange for an honest review. Nevertheless, I found myself enthralled in the story, unwilling to put it down unless forced to do so. Unlike many fantasies, the human characters reign supreme in the story and the “creatures,” while inventive, are only used for background. There is magic in this created fantasy world and evil quite supreme. The story and the characters grab the reader drawing them further and further into a world you will desire to know and will come to cherish. Reding’s fantasy is not this world she has created, but the images of it floating in your mind throughout your day urging you back into this book.
Select continues the story of Mara and Dixon and all the characters of Oathtaker, and many more for you to enjoy. There are prophecies and more magic, but again, the characters are what keep you reading. Reding’s storytelling enhances a drama, a plot, built around human emotions and needs. You will recognize all the bits of humanity in her story. You will revel in their commitments to each other all while living in a fantasy world full of danger and evil. I could not get to this book fast enough after Oathtaker.
Okay, I have to say, after two books in a series I am usually ready for a break, and I read something else. However, I rushed from Select right into Ephemeral and Fleeting without even a minute’s delay. I had to keep enjoying about Reding’s fantasy world, her characters, and even her evil oppressors. I wanted to see good overcome evil. I wanted to keep the enjoying, and I did. Ephemeral and Fleeting is dark and full of danger, horrible circumstances, and trickery, and but it is also full of human resilience, honor, and bravery. I can’t wait for the next in the series!