Indie Superstars with Raye Wagner + Giveaway (US and International)

Indie Superstars with Raye Wagner + Giveaway (US and International)

Welcome to YA Books Central's "Indie Superstars" column. This monthly event will spotlight the best and brightest of the indie community.

 

You don’t want to miss out on these talented authors

 

This week our staff reviewer, Kelly St. Clare is interviewing Raye Wagner, author of the The Sphinx Series

Kelly St. Clare: Welcome Raye! It is so lovely to have you joining us at Young Adult Book Central today. Could you please describe the area you are sitting in right now? And whether there is a reptile currently roaming close by….

Raye Wagner: Ha! No reptiles roaming by; we keep them in their own rooms in the basement (there is a hot room for desert/tropical animals and a cool room for the arboreal mountain species). They also have their own misting systems, but that is another crazy topic.

I’m sitting at my “desk” which is really the kitchen table. I have my laptop to the right, but it’s plugged in to a larger screen so my old eyes can see what I’m writing. There are stacks of 3x5 cards scattered underneath my keyboard that have oozed out to the right, scenes outlined for Fates and Furies (The Sphinx #4). To the left of the keyboard, I have my phone and a smattering of lists on yellow legal paper, envelopes and old bills stacked in a pile. Some are to-do, others I’ve done but I’m afraid to throw them out until I know I’ve completed everything. 

The sun is shining through the window behind me, pounding its warmth on my back. But the heat will disappear when I step outside to go to the gym. It’s still winter here in Tennessee, but I’ve made the mistake of going out to the car without a jacket more than a dozen times, fooled by the sun’s rays through the glass.

Kelly: I have had the pleasure of working with you on occasion. What blows me away is your absolute creativity. You fire ideas out left, right, and center! How do you funnel all that idea goodness and decide which you will incorporate into a story?

Raye: I pantsed my way through my first two books, but by book 3 I had to plot to make sure things were coming together. That being said, I feel like my characters still dictate a lot of the story for me.

And my PA can tell you I’m a hot mess. I have ADHD and I grew up with a dad who also has it, as well as several of my siblings (none of us were officially diagnosed until we were adults- another long story).  From the research I’ve read, lots of ideas tend to go along with the way the ADHD mind works. That being said, I’ve found that having ideas (and lots of them) is both a blessing and a curse. I get distracted easily, and my memory is not the greatest. Finding people that are highly organized and have good follow through (here’s looking at you Kelly) are a fabulous balance for me. Also, I’ve found being accountable to someone helps me “hyper-focus” so I can accomplish what I’ve set out to do.

Kelly: You talk about the power literature has to change us and teach us. What is the most powerful quote you have ever come across? Has it affected the way you write?

Raye: My dad used A LOT of inspirational quotes to help keep him motivated and often gave us kids (there are 8 of us) plaques and framed illustrations of “successories”. But my favourite quote is one he repeated over and over…

That which we persist in doing becomes easy. Not that the nature of the task has changed, but your ability to do has increased.

When I get frustrated with a task (and it happens often), I remind myself of the importance of persistence. The older I get, the more I realize that if I want something bad enough, I will find a way to make it happen.

Oh, another quote: Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.

There’s some perspective on creativity. ;)

Kelly: Confession: I cannot solve a riddle to save my life. Massive respect to the main character, Hope, for solving them throughout Curse of the Sphinx. Are you any good at riddles, yourself?

Raye: Um, not at all. I spent hours researching riddles online. I wrote dozens of them down in a notebook, now somewhere lost, and picked the ones that best fit a character, or the situation of a scene.

Even now, my oldest son will ask me a riddle and 90% of the time I have no idea. The other 10% of the time, I know the answer only because I wrote it down years ago.

Kelly: Can you tell us one? We can put the answer at the bottom!

Raye: When I was writing the first draft, I really wanted to find a riddle that would hint at the creature I was writing about. Of course no such thing existed (at least not that I was able to find), so I eventually, over several weeks wrote a poem/riddle.

Riddle me, riddle me. What do you see?

A puzzle of words, What can this be?

Come close, sit down, let’s have a chat

Now, what do you make of this big, lithe cat?

With tawny eyes like a bird of prey,

The face of an angel at the dawn of day;

Amber wings crimson lined,

Sun-kissed skin, an Egyptian shrine

Maiden hands, soft and fair;

Golden fur and honey hair

Atop a cliff with words she tangles;

Answer wrong, her strength will mangle.

A monstrous creature, cursed of a god,

Within the gray, was found a flaw

Wandering the earth, without family or friend,

Until she finds love, which brings a swift end.

You’ve heard the riddle,

‘Tis truth not lie,

Now tell me, tell me…

Who am I?

And here’s one from Curse:

If you break me, I do not stop working. If you touch me, I may be snared. If you lose me, nothing will matter. What am I?

Kelly: You have the best book inspiration story! You posed for a painting of a Sphinx in college – the picture is gorgeous and on Raye’s website if you would like to check it out. Tell us more about how this painting eventually lead you to write Curse of the Sphinx.

Raye: James C. Christensen was the artist of the picture. It’s in his book, Voyage of the Basset, and someday I hope to make enough money to buy the original (it sold at auction for $10,000 in 1994, and since Jim’s death last year, I’m sure it’s gone up in value- *le sigh*). As partial payment for modelling, he made me a print (the only one ever made) and signed it. It’s hung in my home for years, and I’ve always viewed the Sphinx as a beautiful, but sad, creature.

When I read the Percy Jackson series, in Battle of the Labyrinth, the Sphinx is portrayed as a washed-up game show hostess. It was like a personal affront (this is my ONLY complaint about PJO, it is such a fun, fabulous read), and I ruminated on it for weeks.

I knew the Sphinx had a better story than that. She had to. She deserved it! I thought a lot about what would drive someone to strangle men, what it would be like to be a monster among humans, and why would the gods create such a creature. I’m sure there were lots of other thoughts running through my mind.

I have two boys, and they were little at the time. It was late June, and my husband was in Mexico for lizard business, and Jacob and Seth were on the back patio playing in the $10 kiddie pool from Wal-Mart. I was sitting on a swing daydreaming and inspiration struck.

Kelly: The final book in your Sphinx series comes out soon. Please tell us you have more books on the way.

Raye: Ha! I’m plotting a new series now with dragon-shifters, fae, wicked kings, and a whole fantasy world I’m so in love with. I’m hoping to have the first in that series out before the end of 2017. That’s my optimistic goal.

I’ve also got plans for two spinoffs in the same world as The Sphinx series, as well as a prequel story of Phaidra (the original Sphinx). The prequel should be out this year. It’s written but needs a heavy revision. It might even come out before book 4, if I can get my stuff together.

I’ve got a couple short stories I’ve been working on as well, both prequel stories of side characters from the Sphinx series. Son of War is a Xan short, and Daughter of Discord is Dahlia’s prequel. Both will come out this year.

Finally, I got the rights back to Narcos, a YA/NA political realism story about the drug-traffickers in Mexico. I’ll publish that later this year, too.

Kelly: What is the answer to your riddle from above? (If you are reading this interview, be honest and comment below if you got it right! Or fess up if you have no idea, like me.)

Raye: One’s heart. 

 

--Interview contributed by Kelly St. Clare, Staff Reviewer

 

Meet Raye

Raye Wagner writes young adult urban fantasy with a mythology twist. She's a big fan of both the Percy Jackson series (shocker) and the Twilight saga (gasp), and those two series *might* have led her to pursue her dream of writing teen fiction.

Raye's a big believer in realistic characters and draws on her background in healthcare to ensure that her strong protagonists are believably flawed and act rationally. She loves reading young adult paranormal romance so there's bound to be some kissing in her books. That being said, Raye writes for all ages, so it's still clean romance. ;) Raye also relies heavily on her martial arts training to pen realistic fight scenes (3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do) with believable consequences.

 

No one is allowed to love her, except the god who cursed her...

Seventeen year-old Hope Nicholas is considered a monster. Cursed by Apollo, she and her mother scramble and hide from the demigods and shadow-monsters of the Underworld who hunt them.

Her mother is killed, and Hope flees, desperate to disappear among the mortals of a small town. When the attractive and persistent Athan Michael arrives at school, Hope's plan to stay overlooked and detached unravels. With demigods and Skia closing in, Hope struggles to trust in her new relationships, and there is definitely more to Athan than he lets on.

Faced with choices that could change her fate, Hope must decide what it really means to live--and what she's willing to sacrifice for love.

Raye's website | TwitterFacebook |Instagram

Goodreads | Amazon

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS*

One winner will receive a signed copy of Curse of the Sphinx (Raye Wagner) ~ (US Only) ~

Three winners will receive an ecopy of their choice of Raye's books + a Sphinx swag pack ~ (US and International) ~

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  

Rate this blog entry:
Author Of The Week: Chat with Beth Rodgers (Sweet ...
Spotlight on True North (L.E. Sterling), Guest Pos...

Related Posts

 

Comments 5

Sam on Tuesday, 11 April 2017 00:19

The is not eye catching, how the synopsis very interesting!

0
The is not eye catching, how the synopsis very interesting! :D
Jen on Wednesday, 12 April 2017 14:16

I LOVE Greek mythology, so this book sounds amazing! And the cover is absolutely gorgeous!

0
I LOVE Greek mythology, so this book sounds amazing! And the cover is absolutely gorgeous!
Linda Romer on Thursday, 13 April 2017 16:13

Curse of the Sphinx sounds like an awesome read! The cover is great! Love it thank you

0
Curse of the Sphinx sounds like an awesome read! The cover is great! Love it thank you
Danielle Hammelef on Saturday, 22 April 2017 15:42

I love the cover! The synopsis promises mystery, secrets, suspense and action and mythology which I love so I want to read this book.

0
I love the cover! The synopsis promises mystery, secrets, suspense and action and mythology which I love so I want to read this book.
Penny Olson on Monday, 24 April 2017 16:10

The cover and synopsis promise a lot of suspense and action. I like the cool grey hues.

0
The cover and synopsis promise a lot of suspense and action. I like the cool grey hues.

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Come Home, Angus
Angus woke up mad and knew today was not his...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Rulers of the Playground
A stunning picture book about sharing, friendship, and kindness in...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
June Sparrow and the Million Dollar Penny
June Sparrow and her best friend—a miniature pig named Indigo...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Story Sparks:  Finding Your Best Story Ideas & Turning Them into Compelling Fiction
Find rock-solid story ideas before you start writing ...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Girl in the Tower
A remarkable young woman blazes her own trail, from the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Coming Up For Air
Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework....
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Landscape with Invisible Hand
National Book Award winner M. T. Anderson returns to future...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
26091228.jpg
Follow-up to the New York Times bestselling novel, Forget Tomorrow!...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Follow Me (Amateurs #2)
It was the perfect night for a party. That is,...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding
Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fireblood
Against all odds, Ruby has defeated the villainous Frost...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Nothing
From Annie Barrows, the acclaimed #1 New York Times–bestselling...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome Home
Welcome Home collects a number of adoption-themed fictional short...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Even the Darkest Stars
The first in a sweeping and action-packed debut fantasy...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2)
In this hotly anticipated sequel to the haunting #1...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Many Worlds of Albie Bright
Stephen Albie Bright leads a happy, normal life. Well, as...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

A Court of Wings and Ruin
 
5.0
"Alright warning time. As with most books that I read, this has been labeled problematic. Though this one is completely..."
Wintersong
 
1.0
"This is going to be more like a rant/review than just a review. I am honestly proud that I finished..."
Enshadowed (Nevermore #2)
 
5.0
"First off... that freaking cliffhanger!? I can't even... I could not imagine having read this the year it came out..."
Nevermore (Nevermore #1)
 
4.7
" It's great! What I love the most is how dark and gritty the world felt. It was so cool..."
House of Night: Hunted
 
3.3
"So the Nerd Herd is now underground and hiding away from Kalona. Aphrodite and Stevie-Rae have imprinted, Stark is an..."
House of Night: Untamed
 
3.3
"So this one picks up right where the other left off and don't worry if you haven't read the others..."
House of Night: Chosen
 
3.3
"Zoey now knows that her old mentor is not what she claims to be. She's hiding something and doing things..."
House of Night: Betrayed
 
3.3
"This one picks up not far where Marked left off. Zoey is now in charge of the Daughters of Darkness...."
Roar (Stormheart #1)
 
N/A
"DNF PAGE 133 - I hate DNFing a book. I hardly ever do it. I personally feel like I'm giving..."
Truthers
 
3.3
"So, I've said before that for some reason I love conspiracy theories. Do I believe any of them? No. I..."
Mask of Shadows
 
3.3
"Okay I loved the premise of this book and I love the fact that it features a Genderfluid MC but..."
Hunted
 
3.7
"What I love most about this book is the setting. Medieval Russia, like hell yeah sign me up! I love..."
Come Home, Angus
 
5.0
"Most of us have days when we just get mad. We don’t know why. We don’t know who is to..."
Rulers of the Playground
 
4.5
"Jonah wants to rule the playground. And he’s a good ruler. Except when he’s not. The problem is that Lennox..."
Plant the Tiny Seed
 
4.5
" This book relies on the interactive nature of read-alouds for young children. Beginning with a single zinnia seed, the..."
The Hanging Girl
 
4.0
"The Hanging Girl was a quick, suspenseful read. Author Eileen Cook has a great writing style. The story picked up..."
June Sparrow and the Million Dollar Penny
 
3.5
"In JUNE SPARROW AND THE MILLION DOLLAR PENNY, June Sparrow is a very rich pre-teen living in New York City..."
Princess Breeze
 
4.3
"This is the second book in a very adorable, fun series. This book starts with Breeze Brannigan's end of eighth..."
Story Sparks:  Finding Your Best Story Ideas & Turning Them into Compelling Fiction
 
4.0
"This is an easy to read reference book on how to take creative ideas and thoughts and turn them into..."
Coming Up For Air
 
4.3
"Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat. All of Maggie’s focus and free time..."