Sunday, July 6, 2014

#Giveaway & Guest Post with Author Alana Cash

Alana Cash is a multiple, international award-winning author, teacher, and filmmaker. Both of her prior books won awards, and she is acknowledged for her documentary work which addresses women in the sciences. Her films have been distributed worldwide and aired on public television in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. Driven by adventure, Alana had traveled alone in war-torn Serbia, slept in a former KGB building in Prague, explored underwater caves, and worn a bulletproof vest on ride-along in an NYPD patrol car.
Get in touch with Alana on Facebook and also "Like" the Madame Budska fan page. You can check her out on her blog or at GoodReads too.

The Inspiration for Saints in the Shadows

Alana Cash

The spark of inspiration for Saints in the Shadows came from a conversation with my son about a person he sat next to on an airplane flight.  The person he spoke with claimed to be returning from giving a psychic reading to a celebrity.  The psychic had no qualms about mentioning the celebrity’s name, a person so well known and so powerful in the entertainment industry, that I had to wonder:  What does a person that powerful ask a psychic?

Over time, different answers to that question came to me.

  1. Should I do this or that with my career?
  2. Who told that secret to the press about me?
  3. What people can enhance my project or my career?
  4. Is my significant other cheating on me? 
  5. Is this a good investment?

What was clear to me was that no matter what the psychic said, the responsibility for all decisions and actions was on the celebrity.

I didn’t start writing the book for over a year.  And when I did start writing, my intention was that it would be kind of a fantasy.  The psychic character would have magical knowledge and the protagonist (Maud) would learn how to do magical things like flying or shapeshifting.

However, I’m the type of writer that creates a solid character and then I have to write what that character would do, not what I want them to do.  In fact, I’ve had more than one reviewer and reader believe that the people I write about are real.  I once had a close, personal friend declare that my characters were real and when I insisted that I made them up, she said, “I’ve met those people.  You introduced me to them.”  I started laughing.  They were made up.

With Saints in the Shadows, not only did I consider the characters’ emotions, beliefs, history, and physical traits as I created them, I went on the Internet and looked at stock photos of people until I found faces that I felt looked like my characters.  I printed out the photographs and looked at them each day before I began writing.  In that sense, I guess my characters are “real,” but I never met those people, know nothing about their lives.  And this was the first time I’d ever done this.

When I had created Lina Sandór, aka Madame Budska, I knew that her generosity, attitude about life, and intelligence were much more important than any magical characteristics I could give her. And, I wanted her to teach Maud something that anyone could learn – to listen, to watch, to discern, and that judgments of others are superficial.  Of course, there was intensity to the training, a depth, that lead Maud into developing her extra-sensory perception, prophetic dreams, and precognition.

So, I used the theme of “psychic to the stars” from my son’s encounter, and I made up the rest.

AMAZON
Maud Strand has moved to New York because she is mourning the loss of her father in an accident.  The novel begins with Maud sleepwalking from her apartment in Manhattan to the Chinatown Police Precinct in her bare feet and pajamas. 


Maud has a secret, a secret buried so deep in her psyche that she can't even remember it, but it's running her life.  She's drifting in New York when she meets Lina Sandor (aka Madame Budska) a physicist turned psychic-to-the-elite. Some of Madame Budska's clients are a billionaire hedge fund manager, a political kingmaker, a TV celebrity, and a crazy Princeton professor. Is she a "real" psychic or a charlatan?  Actually, she's a bit of both, but she's very pragmatic and wise.

After a few months' acquaintance, Lina asks Maud to take over the Madame Budska business while Lina goes off for what she calls "the big reveal." She trains Maud to listen until you hear, look until you see.  It's the acts of listening and watching that help Maud unlock her mind and remember the secret that has kept her adrift in grief.

Beyond revealing secrets and the process of grief, Saints in the Shadows dabbles in provocative subjects such as psychic phenomena, economics, morality, masochism, color, jazz, history, and a small bit of romance with an NYPD detective.


AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY

The author had kindly offered up some great goodies.
The grand prize winner get a copy of the book and a PJ camisole that the author screen prints herself. Then we will have 2 more winners that just get the PJ cami's. 
3 winners in total.

US only!

Full terms & condition are at the bottom of the form.

GOOD LUCK!


a Rafflecopter giveaway




3 comments:

  1. This sounds like an amazing read! I've written it down and will get it to read! I know I can't enter the contest as I'm Canadian but just wanted to leave a comment saying I'm anxious to read this! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those are interesting questions

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the author's dialogue here. What a fate meeting that would end up as a written novel!

    ReplyDelete

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All opinions welcome. Be yourself, and have a blessed day!

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