Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Author Interview - Holly Barbo

Happy 12³ day, and welcome to the 12th day of the 25 Authors of Christmas Blog Tour organized by Bound2Astound. Today's feature author is Holly Barbo, author of The Founders (Sage Seed Chronicles, #1)

            The Founders 

             YA Fantasy/Science Fiction
Sage Seed Chronicles, #1
Recruited by an ancient race, a group of people from Earth colonize the lovely planet Ose in a far corner of the galaxy. Thirty-two years after the Founders settle the unanticipated happens. A small asteroid hits on the edge of the continent instantly throwing them into a "nuclear winter" weather pattern. Struggling to survive, the young culture slips ever nearer to a survival of the fittest world.

In this climate of hardship, Marisily comes of age. She flees for her life after watching her mother die. Unexpectedly, she discovers the cave in which she seeks refuge was a hidden Ancient's shelter and the secrets within it reveal that she is a sage: a small group of seemingly unrelated people with heightened extra senses that are strangely linked to the planet itself.

The conditions reach dangerous levels as more citizens become victims of the outlaw bands. Marisily struggles to stay safe when she is targeted for slavery. A clandestine plan is devised to take back the society and reestablish the founding culture. Can they do it in time?

Interview with Holly:

To which holiday to you subscribe? (X-mas, Hanukkah or Kwanza) I prefer Christmahanakwanzika myself.  I personally celebrate Christmas but wish people “Happy Holidays” as I recognize that everybody has their own core beliefs and I respect that.

If you could spend your holidays anywhere in the universe (real or make-believe) where would it be? Why? There is really no place like home. But if I had the magical power to be anywhere I would be on Ose, the planet I created in my Sage Seed Chronicles series and would visit with Ree in her cabin at the bend of the river. The character Ree was created as a close facsimile to my beloved Grandmother Chérie and I would love to see her again. She has been gone thirty years this month.

What is your favorite Holiday movie? My favorite is a Disney one. They don’t show it much but I believe it was called Pluto’s Christmas Tree. It had Chip n Dale in it.

If you could be a character in any holiday movie, who would it be? Why? Because I don’t have a favorite “people” type holiday movie this would be tough to answer..I wouldn’t mind being in the Disney one I just mentioned and watch Chip and Dale in Mickey's home .. or perhaps being at Hogwarts during Christmas break.

What is your favorite Holiday book? When I was little I got a big “golden” book of Christmas stories from many lands and cultures. I still look at it. :D

If you ever decided to write a holiday themed novel, what would it be about? I believe I just came as close as I ever will to writing a holiday themed novel. On Ose they don’t celebrate Christmas (see my answer to your first question) but do gather and exchange Winter Solstice gifts. I just finished “The Lost” (5th book in the series) where Erin, my main character is traveling to spend the holiday with Ree. Is it truly “themed” for holiday? Not exactly but it happens at holiday time. My faith and beliefs are a private thing.. so I probably wouldn’t write one specifically for Christmas.

What is the best gift you ever gave anyone?I have to answer this in a different way. To me it isn’t the physical gift.. a thing that can be wrapped. When my son was seven he was the typical kid who focused on what he wanted and would get for Christmas. I really wanted him to understand that what was behind the wrapped boxes was the spirit of giving..and giving without necessarily getting recognition and a “thank you”. We came up with a variation of a secret santa. All of our family live within a short walk of each other. I made candy cane bundles tied up with ribbon and an anonymous card saying that they were from Santa Claus. Then late in the evening of Christmas Eve my son would deliver the candy canes to the front door knobs or porches of our family’s homes. Our home got them too. We never have let on who delivered the candy canes. It has been a secret tradition for twenty three years.

That is such a cute idea. Do you, then celebrate Christmas like the Germans and Austrians, where Santa comes during Christmas Eve. In my childhood we celebrated on Christmas morning but I married a Norwegian American. They celebrate on Christmas Eve and that has been my pattern for many years. That is why the Candy Cane capers have been tricky. Every family's household is active in their festivities on Christmas Eve and my son would be dashing around surreptitiously trying to stay in the shadows and not leave footprints in the without expecting anything from it.

What is the best gift anyone ever gave to you? Again, because my reference point is more on the meaning than the item this is difficult to answer. I have received many thoughtful and lovely gifts over the years..too many to list but is always the love behind the giving that makes them special.

What is your favorite thing to do during the holidays? I love being with family.

What would you do if you and your family were thrown into a nuclear winter? I am a bit fatalistic about stuff like this. We have skills but it would all depend on how much we have stashed away in supplies and things like that. It actually was the theme in my first book: The Founders.
Then, do you watch shows like Doomsday Preppers? No I don't watch any of those shows. There have been programs on the History Channel and educational programs. I have listened to disaster preparedness programs but mostly I have a interest in history and the roots of that is there repeatedly. Just look at the Dark Ages feudalism and post Pompeii to hurricanes or tsunami aftermath. Think about the technological changes that have occurred since the invention of the lightbulb. In 130 years our society has become so dependent on all of the wonderful developments. Take away electricity and computers and our world would be drastically changed. It is a concept I use on Ose in my series. They don't have an electricity grid with power lines and such because their sun has frequent, strong sunspots which  act like EM bursts. They do have a great system of green energy (wind, solar, geothermal) and some cool goodies like "glow stones" and a great type of battery that helps them store energy.

What gift would you love to have (real or fictional, i.e. telepathy)? LOL Telepathy is one of six talents my sages have in the series. I would like to have Erin’s skills which is empath/telepathy with a touch of clairvoyance. She can talk to wildlife with this combination. I would adore having that ability.

What types of sleigh does Santa fly on in your dreams? (Regular red one, one with heat seeking missiles…) I see him in his regular red sleigh (sometimes it is a deep midnight blue) but it is saturated with magic.

Marionberry Pie
If calories didn’t matter, and the time to make or effort to find didn’t either… what would your all time favorite (3-course) holiday meal be? I am not a fancy eater and am perfectly content with a lovely salad, spiral ham, mashed potatoes, perhaps sweet potatoes and rolls. Dessert is another matter:Pumpkin pie, pecan pie, apple pie and marionberry pie would be a good beginning. :D
What is a Marion Berry Pie? Marion berry is a type of blackberry.

Author Bio:
Holly Barbo’s world is shaped by her love of her family, the beauty of the natural world in Northwest Washington State and an irrepressible creative drive.

Living where the scenery is incredible with a rich abundance of wildlife “is so special and soothing that it feels like a quiet kind of magic,” according to Barbo. She is drawn to creating stories where there is just a bit of something unworldly, perhaps it is magic or psychic skills. Her stories are mostly in non-urban settings and usually have some focus on nature, building a discordant drama inside the peaceful frame.

I have finished five books in the Sage Seed Chronicles series. The Founders and Divergent Paths (books 1 & 2) are out. The third:The Unraveling will be out before Christmas. We just got it back from the last editor today!  :D  I have sent the fourth book (Reweaving) into my publisher to start the edits and The Lost is waiting in the queue. I have an author page on Facebook that I keep current with news. :D 

Below is the entry form for the tour-wide giveaway. Be sure to enter!

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