Monday, June 25, 2012

Savage by Willow Rose: Interview & Excerpt

YA Paranormal

The year is 1983. Christian is 22 years old when he leaves his home in Denmark to spend a year in Florida with a very wealthy family and go to med-school. A joyful night out with friends is shattered by an encounter with a savage predator that changes his life forever. Soon he faces challenges he had never expected. A supernatural gift he has no idea how to embrace. A haunting family in the house next door. A spirit-filled girl who seems to carry all the answers. An ancient secret hidden in the swamps of Florida. One life never the same. One love that becomes an obsession. Two destinies that will be forever entangled.

Savage is a young adult title with some language, violence, and sexual situations recommended for ages sixteen and up.

Kindle  |  Goodreads  |  Smashwords  |  Nook (coming soon)

“So how much do you know about St. Augustine, Chris?”
The woman driving gently touched her elegant yellow hair, careful not to mess it up with her colored nails. She spoke with a strong southern accent and was incredibly beautiful for her age, which I guessed was more than twice my age of twenty-two. Her name was Mrs. Kirk. I had just met her at Orlando Airport for the first time a few minutes before. She was waiting for me holding a sign with my name, Christian Langaa, printed on it.
The year was 1983 and I had recently finished my third year of med school at a university in Denmark. I had just left my country of birth for St. Augustine in Florida.  Leaving Denmark was my father’s idea, really. I guess he thought it was about time I left the nest, so he called in a favor with an old friend of his, an American eye surgeon, to take me in and help me get a year at a medical school “over-there.” I can’t say I was unhappy about it. At that time all kids my age wanted to go to the States where stone-washed jeans and Michael Jackson came from. His latest album "Thriller" had just been released and was played on every radio station all over the world. Like so many else I bought the cassette and played it again and again on my Walkman. Where I came from anything that was American was considered hip and cool. That summer before I left, my friends and I had watched the movie Flashdance that made ripped sweatshirts popular and we loved the TV show Dallas and Dynasty that made everybody wear increasingly oversized shoulder pads - even us guys. We drank lots of Coke and dreamt of watching MTV, which at that time wasn’t something you could do in Europe yet and especially not in my small home-country Denmark, where we only had one national channel on our TV.
The older generation in our country thought we were indifferent to the times we lived in and didn’t understand us at all. They named us the “So what-generation” or the “No future-generation” because they felt like we didn’t care about what went on in the world around us. We weren’t even rebellious. We didn’t have ideals and dreams about changing the world like they had back in ’68. Meanwhile they were terrified of the A-bomb, the Cold War and the communists. While we listened to disco music on our ghetto blasters and danced electric boogie, they fought with a bad economy and the fear of someone deciding to push the big red button, dropping the A-bomb and ending the world as we know it. Not to mention the increasing fear of AIDS that was spreading among people, commonly referred to as the "Gay-Plague" since it was believed back then to be an "epidemic of a rare form of cancer triggered by the lifestyle of some male homosexuals," as the headline said in one newspaper.
The older generation simply felt like our generation just didn’t care about anything. And maybe they were right. We weren’t that concerned about political affairs and foreign threats. Politics simply didn’t interest us, especially not me. I was fed up with listening to my father talk about politics and war during my upbringing. I was a dreamer not a fighter. You can’t be both. Not in my book. And AIDS? Well, I guess we thought we couldn't get it since it was a disease for the homosexuals. Plus we were in our twenties. We didn't think we could die at all.
We ran over a bump and I was rudely jolted out of my reverie.
“Not much,” I answered Mrs. Kirk a little timid. “I know it calls itself the nation’s oldest city. I know it was here Ponce de León came to look for the legendary Fountain of Youth. I know the city of St. Augustine is home to the Fountain of Youth National Archaeological Park, a tribute to the spot where Ponce de León is traditionally said to have landed. Though there is no evidence that the fountain located in the park today is the storied fountain or has any restorative effects, visitors drink the water. The park exhibits native and colonial artifacts to celebrate St. Augustine's Timucuan and Spanish heritage.”
Mrs. Kirk looked at me with a small impressed smile. “Very well, you have done your homework. Dr. Kirk will be pleased to hear that you have not come unprepared.”
“My dad gave me a book on Florida to read on the plane. I have a photographic memory. I remember things easily. It helps me a lot in school.”
I stared out the window at swamps and what seemed to me like wild-growing brushes and forests. I was desperately hoping to catch a glimpse of an alligator, an animal I had never seen before and of which I had been told you could find in pretty much every waterhole in Florida. I was deeply fascinated by creatures of the wild. By predators of any kind. But as a city boy, I had only seen them behind their bars at the zoo, never in the wild. By now we had passed several waterholes and I had still not seen any to my great disappointment.
It felt like my headband was getting tighter, and I was sweating in my tight jeans and jacket with shoulder-pads and rolled up sleeves. I took the jacket off and put it in my lap. Florida was a lot warmer than I had expected it to be. And a lot more humid, too. I wasn’t used to this kind of heat, coming from a country where we would be lucky to have three weeks of summer. I still remember the feeling when I stepped out of the airplane in Orlando airport for the first time. It felt like someone had taken a winter jacket and swept me in it. Like the air itself was hugging me and welcoming me home. I remember sweating just from walking from the airport to the big black Mercedes that Mrs. Kirk picked me up in.
She cranked up the air conditioning and I soon felt a little cooler. I touched the nice leather seats and suddenly felt so insignificant. Coming from a rich family by Danish standards I was used to some luxury, yet I had never been in a car like this. 
  “Well, maybe you will have to think about losing some of those unruly curls once you become a doctor,” Mrs. Kirk said.
I touched my hair gently. I liked my blond curls and had let them grow past my ears. And I wasn’t the only one who liked them. The girls did too. Along with my deep-set blue eyes, my curls were my finest feature. Why parents and others older than thirty-five insisted they want me to cut them off was beyond me. My dad was the worst. “You look like a savage,” he would say. But I didn’t care. Deciding what I was going to do for a living was one thing, but he wasn’t going to change the way I looked, too.
He was the one who wanted me to go to med school, not me. All I wanted to do was play my acoustic guitar. “But you can’t make a living out of just playing the guitar. You need to grow up, Chris. It is about time,” my father said just before he told me about his plans for me. It wasn’t like he gave me a choice. I was going to take over the family practice. It had always been his dream for me ever since I was a child, so I never questioned it, simply because it would break his heart. I never said no to my father in these matters and I didn't argue when he told me he was going to send me away for a year, either. Instead, I decided to make the best of it.

Welcome Willow.  Thanks for stopping by today.  I'm looking foreward to finding out a little more about you and your book. How did you start your writing career?

I have always told stories. I remember telling stories to my friends as a child in school and making them forget that they had to go out and play for recess. Even my teacher would listen in and he told me to keep it up and to write them down. I wrote several notebooks filled with stories that he read. He encouraged me a lot. I went on to become a journalist and wrote my first novel when I was 28. It was published by one of the big Danish publishing houses. 

Tell us about your current release.

In Savage we meet Christian who is a young man torn between the world of science and the world of magic. He has left his country of Denmark and is going to Florida to go to med school. He meets Aiyana who is a spirit-filled girl living in a completely different world than he is. Her family is descendants from the Timucua Indians that lived in Florida before the Spaniards came. They live in a world of magic, music and laughter and Christian feels so drawn to them.  At the same time he has a violent encounter with a savage beast in the swamps of Florida, an encounter that makes him doubt everything he has always believed.

When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?

I say goodbye to the kids at nine and then I write until three o'clock when they are out of school. I try to leave the computer alone the rest of the day in order to be there for the kids, but sometimes I just have to sneak back to it and write something that I just remembered. It's really hard not to write constantly once I have begun a new book.

Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?

I have a thing for James Blunt. I always listen to him when I write. Never when I am not writing. It is weird. There is something about the intensity in his lyrics that makes me want to write.

What was the scariest moment of your life?

New Years Eve 2011. We were back in Denmark to visit the family when my husband took the kids outside to watch the fireworks. He was hit in the right eye by a rocket. He lost the eye but nothing else happened. He was lucky the doctors said. If it had hit the brain he could have been killed. If it had hit any of the kids it would have killed them. That was one scary night when he was at the operating table. I was afraid I would lose him. Luckily he is fine today and lives a normal life with just one eye.

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

The story and the characters come to me. I like to say that they "pop up" in my head. That is the best way I can describe it. The characters are just there all of a sudden and then they start to do stuff and talk to other people and soon there is a whole story that I simply have to tell or else I will burst. I simply adore the characters from Savage and I know everybody else will too. They are so lovable. I have a hard time letting go of them. I will write three books about the main character Christian.  It is sort of a family-saga really. In the first book he is in his twenties and so is the woman he falls in love with. In the second book they have kids of their own and are in their thirties. In the last book they will have young teenagers. I am also planning on doing a book about Aiyana, the spirit-filled Native American girl that he falls hopelessly in love with. About her and when she first discovers who she really is. I might also do a book about her sister who does telekinesis and their grand-mother who predicts natural disasters. I love those characters so much that they each deserve their own book.

Are the names of the characters in your novels important?  How and why?

A lot of my characters are descendants from the Timucua Indians that lived in Florida before the Europeans came so they have Native American names. Each name has a meaning. Like the woman that Christian falls in love with. Her name is Aiyana which means "Eternal blossom".

Willow Rose writes YA Paranormal Romance and fantasy. Originally from Denmark she now lives on Florida’s Space Coast with her husband and two daughters. She is a huge fan of Anne Rice and Isabel Allende. When she is not writing or reading she enjoys to watch the dolphins play in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

Other Books by the author:
- One, Two ... He is coming for you
- The eye of the Crystal ball
- Beyond - Afterlife #1
- Serenity - Afterlife #2
- Endurance - Afterlife #3

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Blog  |  Goodreads  |  Smashwords

One lucky winner will get their choice of a Print or Digital copy of Savage. 
2nd winner will receive the other prize.
This is open world-wide.
The print copy can be shipped anywhere. 
Ends July 28, 2012


koddabear said...

I loved your interview with Willow today. This sounds like a book I'd enjoy reading. Thanks for the giveaway

Karielle Stephanie said...

Great interview! Can't wait to try Savage.

Abby Vie Flores said...

Tns for the giveway..:)

Jennifer Haile said...

I've been wanting to read this! Thanks for the giveaway!

Ana Maria said...

Thank you for the giveaway!

Rachel at thejeepdiva said...

Sounds good! Thanks for the giveaway! Can't wait to read it.

pefrw at yahoo dot com

Rachel at thejeepdiva said...

Sounds good! Thanks for the giveaway! Can't wait to read it.

pefrw at yahoo dot com

Leocadia said...

Thanks for the giveaway!
It sounds like a book I'd enjoy reading.

Darlene said...

Your firework story gave me the shivers! I can't imagine how traumatizing that must have been for everyone who was there! What a tragedy, but you are right - it could have been worse. Thank goodness eyes come in pairs and that his other one is just fine.

Thanks for the giveaway!

PaperGirl said...

Thank you for the entries!
I would love to win a print copy :D

Janita said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

Anonymous said...


Passing Pages said...

Looks good. Great Interview ;)

Kristall said...

this book sounds great! Thanks for the giveaway

wwe11 said...

sounds like a great book.

Inger Iversen said...

Ooo! This book sounds good :)

wni said...


Kara D. said...

Awesome interview! Would love to read this.

Stephanie Verhaegen said...

Thanks for the giveaway. This book looks awesome! :D

Dinda_SI said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

Aden Kassa said...

Thanks for the awesome giveaway. "May the odds be ever in your favor." (If you noticed, I got that last sentence from the Hunger games)

Daniel M said...

thanks for the giveaway! - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

Jen said...

Wow this book sounds really intriguing. It is definitely going on my to read list

Gale Nelson said...

Absolutely love the cover of this book. I would love to win a print copy. Thanks!

Michele Luker said...

Thanks so much for the interview and giveaway!!

ronnkelly3 said...

Thank you so much for your interview..the book sounds wonderful..

Suz Reads said...

Thanks for this amazing giveaway! This book sounds great and I would love to win it!

Diana said...

I really like the excerpt and the cover is so beautiful!
Thank you for the giveaway,


Lissette Martinez said...

Eternal Blossom That's sweet!