Hey there, everyone. It’s Paul here today and I am pleased to be participating in the Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer. I had a ball reading and responding to all the comments we received while participating in the Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop. I’m featuring another book from Jay Hosler and Peggy Harrison. I had so much fun promoting their children’s book Norm and Burny: The Black Square that this time around I’m featuring their YA book Rockslide. The authors have been kind enough to agree to give away one paperback copy (U.S. only, sorry!), and one e book copy (open internationally). We’ll read the blurb for the book and then I’ll interview the authors. So let’s get to the fun!
About the Book: Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:
An epic adventure story Two couples pit courage, resourcefulness, and loyalty against the arctic winter and barbarian raiders–and establish a dynasty A story of strong women
A story of ancient technology
A story of love,
A story of war Five thousand years ago . . . Two very different young couples are thrown together by a powerful fall storm and must join forces to survive the coming winter.
One couple fled the distant north to escape barbarian savagery. The other–far from their peaceful southern fishing village–believes the Raiders from the North are nothing more than an old story.
Together they establish a secure winter stronghold, but when they learn that raids endanger even the peaceful fishing village itself, they must act. The race to warn the village leads to a surprising and violent conclusion.
This story–told by three women–will change your view of prehistoric people “Rockslide”
For readers twelve and older
The first book of a new series by the authors of “Norm and Burny”
Full information at NormAndBurny.com
Now let’s get to the interview:
Paul Hewlett: We’re talking about your new book, Rockslide. The story takes place five thousand years ago. Why the ancient setting?
Jay Hosler: Not so ancient. Much more recent than Clan of the Cave Bear, for example. Our characters resemble us in many ways.
Peggy Harrison: Blah, blah, blah. Don’t listen. His explanations are boring and academic. The story is set before recorded history. We were fascinated by the question of what those people would be like.
Paul: So you invented some ancient people, to find out?
Jay: We didn’t have to invent. Prehistoric simply means they didn’t record their own history. It doesn’t mean they left no traces, and you don’t need to be a research scholar to find them. Ötzi, the Italian/Austrian glacier mummy, is from that time and that part of the world. He’s a rich source of information.
Peggy: Don’t listen. We invented them. We channeled them. We became them.
Jay: Ötzi had a copper axe but stone arrowheads. Our characters use both stone and copper. Ötzi had a magical medicine pouch, as our characters do. He showed us that people then could live relatively long lives. He was 45 when he died, and healthy enough to have lived years more. Until he was murdered, that is.
Paul: Were these people hunter-gatherers? Did they have fixed settlements?
Jay: They were farmers. They lived in houses, in villages.
Peggy: Women were important to Neolithic communities because they tended the crops. Rockslide has many good characters, but the very strongest are women.
Jay: There are many things we don’t dwell on. High infant mortality. No indoor plumbing. Fleas. Life in the Neolithic was hard.
Paul: How do you work together? Do you share an office?
Jay: We don’t even share a region of the world. We live fifteen hundred miles apart. We work over Skype, using Google Docs.
Paul: How did you begin working together?
Peggy: We’ve worked together for forty years as musicians. We met in the sixties playing in an orchestra in Los Angeles.
Jay: After Peggy moved to Texas, we visited each other to play chamber music. We still do. We were together for a week of music in 2011 when we decided to try writing fiction. Rockslide is the first thing we wrote.
Paul: You still haven’t told me what inspired the ancient setting.
Peggy: Shoes. We were just trading paragraphs by email then, not yet working with Skype. I sent him a paragraph that included hide shoes, and the story grew from there.
Paul: Rockslide was your first book? Why did you publish Norm and Burny first?
Jay: The first version of Rockslide was a learning effort. It came out wordy and disorganized. We put it aside and worked on Norm and Burny and many other books. When we finally decided to publish, Norm and Burny was an easier choice.
Peggy: Actually, we published Norm and Burny first because it makes us laugh.
Paul: Many other books?
Peggy: We have three more Norm and Burny books. Rockslide is also the first of a series. We have other books and short stories as well. We hope to put together a collection of our shorter works soon.
Jay: We wrote almost half a million words before we decided to publish.
Paul: How much time do you spend writing, working together?
Peggy: Two hours in the morning, as a rule, five or six days a week.
Paul: How do you do your editing and rewriting?
Jay: We read aloud to each other. It’s fun and it works. Many people have told us they dread editing. We think they should find another writer and buddy up.
Paul: So you’ve given up music for writing?
Peggy: Never. Music is what we do. He plays violin. I play viola. We’ll both play in orchestras as long as we’re physically able, and music isn’t the only thing that cuts into our writing time. We both have grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I’m director of a heritage center. Jay is a daily cyclist. Producing and promoting the books takes more time than writing them. Not enough hours in the day.
Jay: But writing has become important to both of us. We’ll never stop doing that either.
Well, that was interesting! I can’t wait to read Rockslide. Now let’s head on down to the giveaway. After you enter for your chance to win make sure you click on the linky to “hop” on over to some other great blogs offering family friendly giveaways. Thanks for stopping by.
Okay, start “hopping!”
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