Who’s ready to talk about some exciting, good magic in a priceless fantasy tale?
I am, I am!
Grab a blanket and a few pillows for my fun chat with Joan about inspiration and hanging out with her characters from her debut novel, Chains of Gwyndorr.
Joan Campbell is the author of Encounters: Life Changing Moments with Jesus, a collection of short stories, reflections, and prayers. Chains of Gwyndorr is her debut novel. Joan lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, with her husband, two daughters and their Labrador, Tabeal, named after one of the characters in the novel.
– Hi Joan! I’m so excited to have you on the blog! For those who don’t know you, can you share three words to describe yourself?
Wow, only three – tough limitation for a writer!
Word-weaver (does that count as just one word?)
Mom (of two teenage girls)
– I saw in the “About Me” section of your blog, that you live in South Africa. What are some of your favorite things to do there?
I love our beautiful nature and wildlife, so visiting one of our national parks and taking in the wildness and majesty of animals such as giraffe, elephants, rhinos and lions is right at the top of my ‘favorite’ things list. Because of our wonderful climate, we have a very outdoor lifestyle with lots of hiking, biking and outdoor eating – barbecues (called ‘braai’s in SA) are always a firm favorite.
– That sounds so very exciting! Shara from Chains of Gwyndorr learns about power rocks. If you had the opportunity to have any of the power rocks, which one would you like to have?
I’d like a Verity Gem, which is clear when somebody tells the truth, and goes cloudy when someone lies. Don’t you think it would be great to know when someone isn’t being completely honest with you? The Mind Rock would be interesting too – reading someone’s thoughts – but I’m not sure I’d want to know what everybody thinks all the time!
– Haha! I totally agree, Joan! I wouldn’t mind having a Verity Gem. It was really hard for me to choose a favorite character from your novel because they all tugged at my heart. Though I’ve heard on numerous occasions that most authors can’t choose a favorite character, I am curious about who you would want to hangout with for a day. Who would you choose? What would you guys do?
I think hanging out with the monk, Brother Andreo would be great because he knows so very much! I’d take him to one of those national parks I mentioned earlier and hopefully he could tell me all there is to know about the birds, animals and plants. Kind of like having an on-hand talking guide.
– Brother Andreo would be a wonderful guide to different animals and plants. I could use his enlightenment about the many birds we have around where I live. As I mentioned above, all the characters tugged at my heart in someway. Which of the characters do you most relate too?
Probably Shara. She has this burning desire to know the secrets of her past and will do almost anything to uncover them. For a long time I had a burning desire to be published which, at times, threatened to become quite an idol in my life. I had to learn to put God first and trust Him, whether my publishing dream came true or not. Shara also has to learn that the choices she makes can lead her either to freedom or deeper into captivity.
– I had to come to that same place in my writing as well. Nicho is such a sweet guy! Can you share what inspired some of his character?
I love a guy whose smile lights up his entire face and eyes (my husband Roy has a smile like that) and so I gave Nicho a beautiful, dimpled smile. Nicho’s life is tough because he is an oppressed Lowborn in a very divided society. He has to choose not only how to fight the oppressive system but also whether he allows the hatred and discrimination to change him. These are things I see playing out all the time around me in South Africa, which is often still a very divided, angry society. Life in such circumstances can bring out the very best or the very worst in people and, in Nicho, it ultimately brings out the best.
– For my last question, what is one thing you want readers to take away from reading Chains of Gwyndorr?
My desire is to take readers on an exciting journey, and Chains of Gwyndorr is only the beginning of that. But I hope that some of the lessons the characters learn along the way – about the importance of making good choices and living a courageous life –also leaves an imprint on my readers.
– I am definitely excited to see where you will take us next in this journey! I appreciate you stopping by today, Joan, and sharing about Chains of Gwyndorr.
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About Chains of Gwyndorr
Secret schemes. Stolen magic.
Trapped behind Gwyndorr’s towering walls, Shara longs to unlock the secrets that surround her. She believes the Cerulean Dusk Dreamer is the key. The power rock gives vivid dreams of the past and future but it also has a dark side.
Its forces lay siege to her future, tightening her chains. In seeking help, Shara rekindles a forbidden friendship with Nicho, the Lowborn lawbreaker facing banishment to the Rif’twine Forest.
Together, Shara and Nicho must thwart the plans of their enemies. But what if the power they unleash is an even greater chain than what they’ve come to bear?