Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Author Interview: A Portal in Time by Claire Fullerton

A Portal in Time
Claire Fullerton

About the Book:
It is the year 2000: Enigmatic and spirited Anna Lucera is gifted with an uncanny sixth-sense, and is intrigued by all things mystical. When her green cat-eyes and long, black hair capture the attention of a young lawyer named Kevin Townsend, a romance ensues which leads them to the hauntingly beautiful region of California’s Carmel-by-the-Sea, where Anna is intuitively drawn to the Madiera Hotel. Everything about the hotel and Carmel-by-the-Sea heightens her senses and speaks to Anna as if she had been there before.
It is the year 1902: Young Valeria Sienna has never been in love until she meets the mesmerizingly handsome artist, Ander Kristiansen, at an art gallery in San Francisco. She must make Domenico Sienna, her formidable and prominent Italian father, consent to allowing Anders Kristiansen to court her, and she knows her adored sister, Francesca, along with  her genteel Italian mother, Adriana, will help.
Combined, the three women will convince Domenico that the elegant Norwegian artist, Mr. Kristiansen, is worthy of Valeria in every way, even though he is not of their Italian lineage.
Rich in history, mystique and foreshadow, “A Portal in Time” is an intertwined story of two romances that are steeped in the language and social mores of two different time periods. The words and actions of the unforgettable characters fit seamlessly together, and bridge the time frames like pieces of a puzzle, creating an intriguing whole.
That which draws two people into the arms of love is often times eerily familiar, and that which resounds in the depth of our memory can sometimes spring from a portal in time.

PRFL would like to extend a very warm welcome to Claire Fullerton, author of Syphon's Song. Claire, can you tell us where you're from, and where/whom did your love for writing come from? 
I now live in Malibu, California but had the pleasure of growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, which is considered the Deep South.  I can tell you exactly where my desire to write came from: the rich characters that populated my world in Memphis were all natural born story tellers.  To me, they were so colorful and unique that they could turn a trip to the grocery story into an enviable journey. The art of communication is a revered art form in the South, and growing up in Memphis gave me an appreciation for the nuances of the people around me-- so much so, that I wanted to write my impressions down. 
Can you say that your journey to publication was difficult? If so, what were the hardest moments to get through?  
My journey to publication began with writing a weekly, first person column in the local paper wherein I talked about things that happened to me while going about town. From there, I submitted to magazines and the San Francisco Writers Conference's contest wherein I was awarded the runner-up position.  I also submitted to the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" book series and was published a few times. All of these were little first person narratives, which made me think I could try my hand at a longer form. I got it in my head to write the novel I would like to read, which meant one that wasn't predictable, didn't insult anyone's intelligence, and was a suspenseful page turner. I wanted to write about a woman with "dependable intuition" whom magic things seemed to happen to. I wanted there to be a point to the story, to give readers a question to consider that may color their own, so I wrote "A Portal in Time," which operates within a couple genre's ( paranormal, romance, mystery, a touch of historical fiction because it's written in two time periods.)  The real question was where to submit the manuscript!  I found Vinspire Publishing on-line by searching around for reputable publishers, and found my perfect fit.   

How do you overcome I-suck-at-this, that little voice in your head that tells you your writing isn’t good enough? 
I think you have to look at the "call to write" as a growth process which happens in stages. It is enough to heed the writing call and follow through with a writing project because you learn everything as you do so. Any writer begins with strengths and weaknesses, so it takes awareness and a willingness to continue to learn. It's imperative that writers read other writers because that's how the craft is learned. The important part is to be true to your calling, true to your voice, and stay the course. 

What is your dream vacation? 
I want to go to Scotland, see the castles, and walk throughout the Highlands at my leisure! 

Describe your writing style in five words. 
Hard for me to be objective, but I'd say fluid, insightful, lyrical.  I've had two people tell me I write like Jane Austin.  I just want my words to be beautiful.   

What movies are you currently excited to see? 
I want to see "Heaven is For Real." I'm fascinated with the subject matter.
What are you currently reading? 
I just finished Donna Tartts, "The Goldfinch" and just began Markus Zusak's "The Book Thief." 

If you weren’t a writer, what other careers would you pursue? 
I actually did this for years: I taught a combination of ballet and Pilates and loved it. I was also on the radio for nine years ( a music D.J.) and loved that as well. I'm thrilled to have done both, and grateful now to be a full-time writer, but if I were not, I'd go back to one of those.  

If you could create a holiday of your own, what would it be called? 
"Life Celebration Day" whose aim would be to let go of all negativity and revel in the joy of being alive! 

For people who haven’t read your novel, how would you summarize the plot? 
"A Portal in Time" is written in two alternating time periods that fit together like pieces of a puzzle that is slowly unveiled. The main character, Anna Lucera, is intrigued by all things mystical and has a highly evolved sense of ESP, which runs in her family. The development of her romance with Kevin Townsend begins in Los Angeles and leads the pair to Carmel-by-the-Sea on California's hauntingly beautiful Monterey Peninsula. While there, Anna's soul-memory is activated.  The chapters in this book occurring in another time period are there for a reason, which I shouldn't give away! 

What are two of your pet-peeves? 
Both of them are anybody who would ever harm a hair on an animal's head! 

To you, what makes a good story? 
A good story has to have a natural flow of one thing leading to another.  

What usually turns you off about a story? 
I am disheartened to read any story that has the life edited out of it. That takes away the writer's voice, and is a sad state of affairs.  

If you could collaborate with any author, who would you choose, and why? 
Pat Conroy because his use of language is second to none.  

What is on your night stand?  
"The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak 

What is your favorite book? 
Pat Conroy's "The Prince of Tides."  

Thank you so much for joining us today, Claire! We really enjoyed the visit. Good luck and great sales with Syphon's Song. 

About the Author:
Claire Fullerton is a two time award winning essayist, a newspaper columnist and a multiple contributor to the "Chicken Soup for the Soul book series."  She is the author of paranormal/historical romance, "A Portal in Time," ( Vinspire Publishing) and her second novel, "Dancing to an Irish Reel" ( set on the western coast of Ireland) will be published in 2015.

Author Links:
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