Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra's Nest by Fumi Hancock: Guest Post: Bewitching Tour Stop


My Writing Journey…


            I began writing poetry my family just enjoyed reading. After few years and with people constantly telling me I was meant for this, I decided to take it seriously and began writing inspirational books for women. The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest is my very first Young Adult. I am so humbled by the experience and relishing every aspect of it.


Many have asked me what my inspiration for the Adventures of Jewel Cardwell is? Some have even gone as far as wanting to know how I was able to provide such vivid description of Jewel Cardwell’s environment. Here is my candid explanation: You know when you are always told to start writing what you know… they are right!

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.

Alright another question I have been asked by my one of my readers: Tell us your favorite scene in your book.

First my answer to that is that as a writer, you love your characters… period. Just like a mother, you really don’t love one over the other, at least, I don’t. Likewise with The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell, 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.  

In regards to my favorite character, 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.

And throwing this in as a bonus to my readers… and other authors like myself who have asked where I usually harness my story ideas:
Friends and family members have often described me as being colorful in my description of events. I love going places where most have never been; bringing great and new adventure to my readers. In the Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest, I want my readers to be transported to a place where they’d never been before. I want them to see how other people live in other parts of the world… I want 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. So, for this series… my characters will be settling in the heart of Africa for a while.  My trips back and forth from Africa have convinced me that there are extraordinary stories there… stories which could potentially be back drops to my fiction novels.


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