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Friday 8 February 2013

Wildflowers by Schledia Benefield {Interview & Top Ten}

We are celebrating the release of Wildflowers by Schledia Benefield. In honor of this release Paperback Princess has Schledia Benefield visiting us today with her Top Ten Favorite list and an Author Interview. Read til the end for your chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of Schledia.

 About the Author

Schledia Benefield 

Schledia Benefield was born and raised on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She presently lives in Big Point,Mississippi with her husband and four of her five children. She is the author of three YA novels: Plain Jane, Pretty Boy, and her newest release, Wildflowers. She also writes middle-grade fantasy under the pen name S B Scrillum. In her spare time she enjoys reading a good book, scrapbooking, sewing, spending time with her family, and visiting over a cup of coffee.  

Top Ten Favorite Items

    1. Coffee, the first thing I go for after brushing my teeth in the morning.
    2. Water, I drink about a gallon and a half a day.
    3. My laptop, a must have for writing
    4. A story in my head. I spend so much time indulging my imagination; I would be lost without a story to ponder upon.
    5. A good book to read
    6. Music. I come from a musical family, so music has always been a part of my life.
    7. Dancing
    8. Facebook. I admit it; I’m an addict. I’m not a technology person. I had the same cellphone for five years. I remember hesitantly handing it over to the woman in exchange for my Blackberry, but I had to have that Blackberry because I could use it to get on facebook!
    9. Art. I appreciate and love great works of art, including photography.
    10. Episodes of my favorite shows, including Friends, Bones, and Criminal Minds.


If you had to persuade a reluctant reader to read Wildflowers what would you say?

Hmmm…I guess it would depend upon why they were reluctant. For instance, if they happened to be reluctant because they don’t really care for graphic romance scenes, I would assure them that it doesn’t go there. I would tell them that it’s really more about how the love blossoms between the two characters and where that leads them. I would and have told potential readers that it is a beautiful love story between two young people considered to be an unlikely match; she’s sweet and innocent, and he is quite the opposite. Life has left him cynical, harsh, and struggling with an inner demon of violence. If you like books that grab your heart and pull on your heartstrings, then you should read Wildflowers.

You also write Middle Grade Fantasy books under the pen name SB Scrillum, what made you write in the MG and YA genre over say Adult Fiction? 
Well, you kind of have to have a target audience when you begin writing (not that it can’t be a crossover novel), but you have to know who you’re writing to. The stories I have written to date were written with that in mind. My fantasy book is meant to show young people that they can make a difference in this world. There are a wide range of characters with varying ages in that book, so I had to focus on the middle ground. My YA novels tell stories of young adults and the struggles they face in their childhood as well as their teenage years, so they were meant to reach out to those in the midst of those issues. I’m not saying that I would never venture into Adult Fiction, but honestly, I prefer reading books categorized as YA and MG. I do read Adult Fiction, but I don’t like the descriptiveness that can be in them. I’d rather leave some things to the imagination. I’m really not a rated R person. I don’t like a lot of foul language, and I don’t like explicit sex scenes. 

Why the pen name?

The Called Ones (And the Keys of Sight) is written as if one of the characters within the story has written it although you don’t actually meet her in the first book. You just get to read something else she has written. I’m about three-fourths of the way through the second book in that series. 

Which do you enjoy writing more, YA or MG? What would you say is the differences between the two? 

Young Adult, probably due more to the fact that they are contemporary fiction. They are realistic stories. The Middle Grade story is fantasy, which is more difficult for me to write. Yeah, it’s fun, but it is harder for me to stay in a fantasy world. I can put on a CD of music that relates to the contemporary story and stay in that world for great lengths of time.

If you were stranded in a deserted island and could only choose one character from Wildflowers to accompany you, who would it be and why?

Definitely Aster. I love him. My heart breaks for him and the things he’s been through in his life. He’s handsome with a dark side. Every girls dream, right.

 Three alternative careers that you'd like to do if you weren't an Author? 

  1. An algebra teacher. I love algebra. When I was in school, I helped others understand it.
  2. A counselor. I have a heart for teenagers struggling with depression and self-esteem issues.
  3. A wedding planner. I LOVE weddings. I helped my best friend plan her youngest daughter's wedding. When she saw the movie, The Wedding Planner, she called me and told me that I had to see it because it reminded her of me, the wedding planning part, not the love story part.
(Schledia that's what I always wanted to be. I'm a perfectionist so I think I'd be perfect and I'm very organized and love all pretty things.)

Must have items when your writing?

Coffee, a fresh mind (I write first thing in the morning), quiet (outside of music to inspire me), and an empty house. I don’t know why, but if my husband and kids are home, there is just too much chaos for me to write. During the summer, my kids sleep late, so I write before anyone else wakes up. 

How do you combat writer's block?

Music is a big tool for me. I usually have two projects going at once. When I hit a block in fantasy, which is easy for me to do, I switch over to the contemporary work. I haven’t experienced a block in writing contemporary YA yet, and I stress the yet. That is probably due to the fact that I can easily slip a CD in and start feeling the emotions that I’m trying to relay.
Any upcoming projects we should look out for? 

I’ve had a couple of people ask me to write a sequel to Wildflowers. I am seriously considering doing that. I’ve already laid out in my mind where things would go from where it ended. I’m planning to interview a homeless Vietnam Vet about his life. He has asked for me to tell his story, so I will be starting the interview process as soon as possible.

In hindsight, would you change/do anything differently with Wildflowers? 

Hmmm…being a perfectionist, I think that I would embellish all of my works more, but I think most writers (the ones I’ve talked to anyway) always feel that way, but you have to come to a place where you are satisfied with where it is, otherwise you’d never publish anything! I wouldn’t change anything about the plot or the characters though.

About The Book

Title: Wildflowers
Author: Schledia Benefield
Publisher: Three Keys Publishing
Release Date: February 8, 2013
Pages: 336 (paperback)

Have you ever feared what may be hiding deep within you?

Darkness often skulks in the blood of unsuspecting victims, but Aster McGrath is acutely aware of the violence coursing through his veins. After all, he is the son of a murderer, and everyone in the town of Bayville, Mississippi says he will end up just like his father.

When Susan Blackman moves into town, Aster has already embraced his brutal nature, but her gentle spirit draws him in and slowly melts the icy exterior of his heart. Taming his savagery, she professes her love, but will the good within him be able to overcome the evil lurking deep inside? Or will the fiend break free of its fetters and seek blood?
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Schledia Phillips, Author said...

Thank you so much for having me, Angelica! I enjoyed the interview. I also think it's kind of cool that you always wanted to be a wedding planner. It is so much fun to do, and watching two people in love make that committment is beautiful. I'm also a firm believer that the bride needs to feel like a princess that day!She should feel like the most beautiful person in the room.

Girl Who Reads said...

I love the look of your blog. How did you get the Goodreads add book button? I've been looking for something like that.


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