It’s zero hour…
Naomi has just two weeks to find a new home for Joseph’s grandfather. The old Ute shaman is fighting for his life against a mysterious injection of toxin he received at the hands of the Norse Trickster god Loki. If Naomi is to defeat Loki once and for all, she must learn what it is he seeks under the old man’s wickiup.
She has just one week before she must mediate between the Earth’s pagan gods and goddesses and the Christian God. If her efforts fail, all of humankind will suffer the consequences. And her baby is due any day.
In this, the fifth and final book of the Pipe Woman Chronicles, Naomi is in a race against the clock to balance the demands of her body, her family, and her friends – and she must do it while the whole world is watching.
*SPECIAL SERIES SYNOPSIS*
Naomi Witherspoon lives in interesting times. At the winter solstice, she was Seized by a Native American goddess to mediate a power-sharing agreement between all the pagan gods and goddesses and the Christian God.
Then, as her relationship with her new boyfriend Fissured, she Tapped a wellspring of strength – her Native American heritage. Now, Gravid and due any day, she must conduct the mediation of her life.
Will she succeed? Or will it all go up in smoke? The answers to those questions, and more, can be found in Annealed, the final installment in the Pipe Woman Chronicles, an urban fantasy series by Lynne Cantwell
It began at the winter solstice
And it ends…
1. Can you tell us what inspired you to become a writer?
When I was in the second grade, the kid who sat in front of me brought in a story that he had written. It was probably something about rockets or cowboys – second grade was a long time ago now – but I remember looking at his book and thinking, “I could do that.” So I went home and wrote a book that I called, “Susie and the Talking Doll”. And the rest is history.
2. How long did it take you to write each book in the series?
Seized and Gravid were my NaNoWriMo projects for 2011 and 2012, respectively, so the first drafts took about a month to write. I started Annealed in mid-March of this year and finished the first draft during CampNaNoWriMo in April. I write pretty clean first drafts, owing to all those years I spent in broadcast journalism, where a first draft was all I had time to write. But still, the
two-month turnaround for Annealed was tough. I don’t ever plan to do that to myself again!
3. What inspired you to write this particular book?
I needed to finish the series! The Pipe Woman Chronicles’ story arc is set up in the the very first book: White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman enhances Naomi’s powers of persuasion so that she can mediate a power-sharing agreement, if you will, between the Christian God and all the pagan gods and goddesses whose worship He supplanted. Annealed is the book in which the Big Mediation happens.
4. Do you have any special or unique rituals? Do you write in the day or night?
I’m a night person, so I tend to write at night. I usually get started after dinner and keep at it ‘til my eyes are slamming shut of their own accord. Also, when I’m working on the first draft, I’ll often put in a full day of writing on the weekend. But as for rituals, no. Journalism pretty much beat that sort of hing out of me.
5. Who is your favorite character in this book, and why?
Naomi is pregnant through most of this book, and the baby has a personality all its own.
6. What was your favorite scene to write and what was the most difficult?
I wrapped up a number of storylines in this book, and so I can’t talk much about my favorite scenes without giving a fair amount away. But the most difficult scene to write, by far, was the big mediation. A whole lot of wisdom traditions from all over the world are represented there, and I needed to make sure that I was fair to all of them. In addition, I had to make God and Jesus believable characters. I spent a lot of time dreading the writing of that scene.
7. Do you have a favorite story to tell about being interviewed about your book?
I did a launch day interview for Annealed with Bill Thompson of thebookcast.com. He caught me
off-guard when he asked me whether I was surprised that I had so many fans. Later on, someone suggested a great answer: “Why, no – I like to write with a breeze blowing on me, and in
fact I installed ceiling fans in every room in the house!” I’m memorizing that for next time.
8. What question are you never asked in AN interview but wish you were?
I can’t think of anything off the top of my head.
9. Which (if any) authors have been most influential to your own writing?
My favorite urban fantasy authors are C.E. Murphy and Carrie Vaughn. I love it that their protagonists are smart, funny women, and I tried to make Naomi smart and funny, too.
10. If you were not writing, what would you want to be doing for a living?
What are some of your other passions in life?
You are assuming that I write for a living. I wish I could say I do, but alas, I still have to have a day job in order to keep the cats and me in kibble. My other interests include reading and knitting.
11. If you could have written one book in history, what book would that be?
Any of the Harry Potter books would do. I’d love to have J.K. Rowling’s royalties on even one book.
12. Tell us about the biggest challenges you face in your writing process.
Probably finding the time to do it (see “day job” above). I’m still trying to find a balance between my writing business and the rest of my life, including work, family, and friends.
13. Please list seven random likes; then do the same for dislikes, go way random.
Likes: chocolate, bananas, my daughters, our cats (most of the time), my car (a bright blue Honda Fit named Fitzy), writing, autumn.
Dislikes: movies where the plot is replaced by stuff blowing up real good, most TV shows, dust, sweet tea, boiled hot dogs, writers who do not think they need an editor, summers in DC.
14. Is there anything that you are working on that we need to be looking out for?
I am thinking of starting another urban fantasy series, which would be set a few years after the end of the Pipe Woman Chronicles. The mediation’s going to have some fallout, and I think it might be fun to explore those changes with a new set of characters. However, it is very early days in the
Lynne Cantwell has been writing fiction since the second grade, when the kid who sat in front of her showed her a book he had written, and she thought, “I could do that.”
The result was Susie and the Talking Doll, a picture book, illustrated by the author, about a girl who owned a doll that not only could talk, but could carry on conversations. The book had dialogue but no paragraph breaks.
Today, after a twenty-year career in broadcast journalism and a master’s degree in fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University (or perhaps despite the master’s degree), Lynne is still writing fantasy. In addition, she is a contributing author at Indies Unlimited and writes a monthly post for The Indie Exchange.
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