"I am ready to meet my maker. Whether my maker is prepared to meet me is another matter."
-Winston Churchill

Friday, November 16, 2012

BBT Virtual Book Tour & #Giveaway with Fumi Hancock - The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell:Hydra's Nest

BK:  When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
This question always cracks me up whenever I’m being asked. Let me share a story my parents shared with me over 14 years ago. I must have been around 2 years old when this incident happened. Mother always told me that at two while most kids were getting into various things, I had one … it was to write on any paper available at my disposal. My mum told me that it didn’t matter what type of paper it was, I would scribble things on it. At first, it was cute but when I started writing on important documents, they soon did not find it funny. At one point, for almost two weeks, my parents would put me in a room with old newspapers, gave me a marker and told me to go at it until I was tired.  They felt that would help me to calm down a little where writing was concerned. They were wrong!
So back to your question, when did I first realize I wanted to be a writer, if you asked my parents, they would tell when at the age of 2! As for me, I can recall back as far as 6 or 7 years old when I started writing poetry.

BK:  Please tell us a little bit about your current release...
The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest is my “love child.”
A unique & thrilling African ambiance not familiar to many!
Lying gracefully between the Vaal River in the north and the Orange River in the south, the rolling grassland and fields of crops rising to a lovely sandstone mountain, is Milner Court, Bloemfontein, a suburb nestled in the middle of Free State, South Africa.
The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest magically transports its readers from the rolling hills of Bloemfontein to the beautiful farmlands of Bela-bela South Africa. It is a fantasy-based coming of age story of a rebellious 17 year old teenager who (through no fault of her own) is thrust into an environment ridden with unfamiliar and unsavory demonic activities when admitted into a prep school in South Africa.

As Jewel Cardwell is relentlessly being trailed by an unapologetic family curse, she races against time to find answers before the curse wipes out all of her loved ones. 

In the midst of this demonic war, she becomes entangled in a love triangle between a young rugged-looking Darwin Morton who she grew up with on Milner Court and the very wealthy and popular high school soccer team leader with the silver spoon in his mouth, Eric Broder.

BK:  What inspired this particular novel/book?
I was born in Africa but have lived in the United States of America for over 30 years. A little over six years ago, my father called me up and told me it was time to return home. I’d literally grown up in the US and this was home to me. Though father lived in the US too, he felt it was time to give back to Africa.

This was an important trip for me as I’d not been back for over 23 years!  The trip was equally important because one of my cousins was being crowned a king in one of the provinces and my father felt it was a great opportunity to reconnect with my roots. 

The journey was exhilarating yet filled with anxiety as I did not know what I was going to encounter.  I trusted my father, packed my bags and went back to West Africa with my family. It was the most incredible journey of my life… to witness a King’s coronation… no words could describe the feelings. What was more important was the surprise which awaited me! The community people rallied around me and reminded me of who I was… their princess who had been gone for long and was now back! I took the time to revisit my childhood boarding school and low and behold, all of my experiences at the school came rushing back.

The characters that readers will encounter in the Adventures of Jewel Cardwell are a culmination of my childhood friends as well as “the conjured friends in my head.” These characters have consistently plagued my dream and haunted my mind into bringing them alive. Every year I would return to Africa (with my American Friends) serving the children in the communities through my non-profit organization the Adassa Foundation, I am reminded of the colorful ambiance and the need to share this part of the world with book lovers.

As I began to paint this African adventure on paper, my sons, 17 and 15 ( now 22 and 19) nudged me with their support and their instant enjoyment of the plot.  Every time I would complete a chapter, they wanted more. They wanted to see what would happen to the characters. More importantly, they were intrigued by the description of the African setting, the culture of the people revealed through the different characters and the blended families relayed by the characters. Different characters elicited different emotions as they read alongside other young adults reviewing the story.

While there has been some popular fantasy books like Harry Potter, Amanda Hockings Trylle series and Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, with settings in Europe and America, there has not been one to present the other part of the world.  The characters urge me to fill this gap!

I wanted my readers to be transported to a place where they’d never been before. I wanted them to see how other people live in other parts of the world… I wanted them to also see how people like them, who have travelled to live in Africa… how they adjust to the culture and setting.  The characters though reside in Africa come from various parts of the world especially Europe. My sons were very helpful in painting vivid imagery of “the characters in my head.” Bola, my oldest son was inspired to travel across the ocean… and he made renditions of scenes directly from the book:
www.worldoffumihancock.com. He alongside his younger brother composed and arranged the trailer songs.

BK:  How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?
I love going places where many have never bothered or dared to. Such is the case with The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest. While many popular fantasy & paranormal books have featured settings within the US or Europe; I bring to my audience a different perspective… a new setting unknown to many.  Because I love adventure, my readers get to go on this intriguing journey with me to South Africa. While the characters have diversified background. e.g Dutch, South Africans, other Europeans countries; it is interesting to see how they adapt to a place like Africa. If you love adventure mixed with fantasy and ofcourse romance, this should be a great read for you. I do a lot of research when dealing with my exotic and sometimes rural settings. In fact, with this book my travels to and fro Africa have inspired me to write it.

BK:  What was the hardest thing about writing this story?
Going back to re-write certain parts of some chapters were cumbersome.

BK:  Which character was your favorite to write for in this story? Why?
Jewel Cardwell’s sidekick, Kaya Darkling, the Sorcerer’s daughter was so much fun to write. She is a culmination of what I would love to be in my magical world and some characters I have encountered in my life journey… full of strength with a little darkness and some light of course. She is a character you would love to hate because of what she represents yet her dark and mysterious side draws people to her.  She is an unpredictable lone ranger, yet people look for her to help solve their mundane problems. My imagination truly went wild on her. I love her so much, I am seriously looking at starting a totally new series for her. My next book in this series will be featuring her a great deal. I can’t wait.

BK:  Tell us about the one scene you had the most fun writing…
This is a challenging question. I lived and breathed every chapter for two years and have become very fun of them all. However, the blazing furnace chapter is the one I am most intrigued by.  This is a “show down” between Jewel and the dark force that’s been haunting down and killing all the female first born in her family since the 18th century.
It was fun unveiling the dark force to Jewel and having them face off!  The aftermath of Jewel’s encounter with the evil force and its revelation was equally intriguing to write as I know it would elicit different emotions from my readers.  

BK:  Will this become a series? If so, what inspired it to be a series? OR If it is a series, what inspired it to become a series?
Absolutely! It is a series, the Grimmlyn series that is. The whole idea started off with me knowing that I would create a series out of it. I felt that the characters were large enough; they had more depth to them that simply creating one book would do injustice to them.  The second in the sequel, The Sorcerer’s Purgatory will provide an opportunity for readers to get to know even closer one of the great characters, Kaya Darkling in the first book.

BK:  Now for a little fun, and into your everyday life, What is a day in your life like?
I’m afraid when I am not travelling to Africa with my non-profit organization, the Adassa Foundation, my life can seem boring. No matter how determined I get to sleep in; I wake up at 2.30 am and begin writing. When I am not writing, I am reading. At 6 am, I cycle for at least 1 hour and yeah, I just recently lost 45 lbs as a result. I am totally proud of myself, as this has been a life struggle for me. My day is pretty much running errands and attending meetings and then back to writing. Arh yes! The weekends are dedicated to watching movies with my husband.

BK:  What do you like to do when you're not writing?
My sons are now in college. So now, I have the time to devote to my African children… helping to raise funds for their education (www.adassafoundation.org). Other fun things I love to do are: watch movies with my husband and cook.

BK:  What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?
I am from an African Royal Family. Going back home to Africa after 25 years in the US was an incredible experience. More importantly, being indoctrinated back into the fold by the current King was extra superb and an experience I will never forget. This has ignited my love for African children.

BK:  What do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?
I love Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and of course adventure. The Hobbit, a prelude to the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolken. I am enthralled by his description of events. No wonder the Lord of the Rings is a big hit!

BK:  What is one piece of advice you can give to aspiring writers/authors?
Writing must be a passion and not something we simply want to glorify. We must go in knowing exactly what we are anticipating as our outcome. Do we want to write just to share with family or do we want others outside of our circle of influence to get a wind of it? Do we want to make a career out of this? Once you know what your vision and the expectations for your writing are, then set your eyes like a flint and pursue it. It could be a very long and windy journey but you must be focused; never dissuading but more importantly, PRACTICE YOUR CRAFT ON A DAILY BASIS. Thank heavens for the electronic age that’s changing the fate of many authors. Today, authors have been discovered through Amazon. SO, there is hope outside of the traditional publishers.

BK:  What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on the sequel: The Sorcerer’s Purgatory. ! I am hoping to get the 1st edition, the author’s edition out by March-April 2013. The Sorcerer’s Purgatory will be the second in the Grimmlyn Series. Here, one of the characters, Kaya Darkling the Sorcerer’s daughter in The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell will be a main contender.  Behind-the-scenes and Cover Reveal are already published at: http://www.worldoffumihancock.com/#the_sequel/crpz
I think the behind-the-scene and the cover reveal will titillate my readers and prepare them for a great saga.  This adventures promises to kick the fun and magical encounters up more notches! Thank heavens; this will not take me another two years to finish!

BK:  Where can readers connect with you?
My blog:                        www.fumihancock.blogspot.com
Facebook Like Page:
Mailing List:                 

Fumi Hancock is a walking example of how an ordinary person from a shackled life of broken promises and shattered dreams can live a fulfilled destiny. After twenty years of dropping her pen, she picks it right back up again by releasing the first in the Grimmlyn Series: The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest.
Though graduated with a postgraduate degree in communication arts, and undergraduate degrees in English studies and nursing, she ascribes her writing to her life experiences, which were many times challenging. According to her, the protagonists and antagonists in her novels often come from the darkest moments of her life—a tribute to the fact that something good can come out of mysterious and difficult circumstances, if we choose to turn our challenges around. Age is merely a number where success is concerned. She also pulls some of her characters from her travels around the world—in particular, exotic Africa—uniquely weaving her tales.
Fumi loves to write for young adults, particularly urban fantasy, and paranormal fiction with a touch of romance. She aspires to one day write a mystery/detective novel for the adult audience. But for now, she is content with her young adult audience. With her background in nursing, she gently nurses her unusual characters to life for her readers to enjoy.
She lives in Tennessee with her husband, Dr. David Hancock, and her two grown sons, Bola and Demola Thompson. She cherishes her two stepdaughters, who reside in Michigan. 

The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest
Grimmlyn Series: Book 1
Fumi Hancock

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy & Romance Fiction

ISBN-13: 978-1475945379 
Word Count: 96,567

Cover Artist: PhatPuppy Art


Amazon   Smashwords          BN

Book Description:

What would you do if you found out you inherited an ancient familial curse?

When free-spirited and more than a little rebellious, seventeen-year-old Jewel Cardwell gained admission to Grayton Preparatory School, a prestigious, girls-only, top-notch private institution nestled in the South African farmlands of Limpopo, little did she know it would begin a trail of mysterious and unfamiliar events, changing her life forever! At Grayton prep, a battle line is drawn between ‘good and evil’ especially when there’s a full moon and dark forces swirl and
turn up in the form of hideous monsters and frightening demons. With her school fre-nemies, rivalry and treachery become the order of the day and Jewel is forced to question everything she thought she knew as she struggles to stay alive in a dubious place riddled with demonic activity!
Armed with a magical secret from her dying grandmother, a golden locket, she sets a new course in motion. In the middle of this whirlwind of events, she is caught between two boys: Darwin Morton, a lad she's known growing up, and Eric Broder, a soccer team leader with a silver spoon in his mouth. Why her love life has to get interesting now is a question she can't answer!

“I welcomed death with open arms, closed my eyes and listened as the aircraft made rattling and shaking sounds through the dreary weather. If this was my time to go, I would embrace darkness, as I had nothing else to lose.” -- JEWEL CARDWELL

Will Jewel be able to solve the mystery before evil is unleashed against those she loves?


Nightly Cafe said...

Thank you for chatting today Fumi :)

Unknown said...

Thank you for having me. I truly appreciate your kind gesture.

Unknown said...

Great tour and interview!

Teddy Rose said...

Great interview! I hope you have a great time with your tour!

Unknown said...

I am totally stoked by all of your warm responses. Thank you so much for your support. I look forward to seeing more of you all as I journey on this virtual tour....