Of Italian background, I was born and raised in Brazil and had strong influences from my grandmother, who had always been an avid reader herself, and who first introduced me to the path of literature.
I created a lifetime bond with my great-grandmother, who gave me my first insights into philosophy (though neither of us knew there was a name for it).
The first book that made me officially an obsessive reader is called “My sweet orange tree” by Jose Mauro de Vasconcelos.
After that, I could not put a book down.
I only started writing when I came to London in 2003. Ever since High School back in Brazil, I’ve loved studying English like nothing else. But when I came to live in England there was that “click”, and I thought: why not?
I’m also studying for a BA Hons Degree in English Language and Literature (what a surprise…), while looking after my son of 6 years old, and my dear husband who always supports my ideals.
--Quoted from FA's Blog
And her creations:
The Outsiders Trilogy #1
Sixteen-year-old Julia finds herself leaving her London life behind to move with her parents to the Amazon jungle.
A native descendant, she becomes familiarized with her own roots for the first time in her life. However, she never imagines she is about to discover much more than her own past but also just how crowded our little planet is...
This is a present time sci-fi/ fantasy story about trust, friendship, love and self-discovery.
The Outsiders Trilogy #2
Months after Julia Ixel first moved to the Amazon forest, she never thought her life could have become so messed up. She now faced the challenge of putting back together the remainder of her family even if it came with a heavy cost. …
As she follows her path to unravel the truth about old alliances, Julia will get deeper and deeper into the hidden world of the Guardians.
She will find answers whether she wants to know them or not.
She will hold on to love if it’s the last thing she does.
Hi FA, thanks for coming to the blog today! Can you tell me about yourself, say, in 1 sentence?
I’m a young mother, writer, wife, lover of books with a teenager soul.
What do you like to do when you're not being an author?
I love reading (what a shocker!), watching TV (I have a few favourite TV series in many different genres that I like to see over and over again: sometimes I feel like watching Charmed, but I can be in the mood for Little House in the Prairie, then maybe House (note the contrast). I often feel like going back to the past an watch Bewitched or Get Smart (the OLD series...hehe), and when the weather is nice we all like go to the park to play with the dog (an Old English Mastiff named Conan, who stays inside the house way too long for his own good), or go out in a family-friendly restaurant.
But mostly, I like to stay in and spend time with my family.
(*Gasp* Yes, that reading part was a shocker! Haha.) But that sounds really nice and relaxing. Has your dream always been to be an author?
Nope. I’ve wanted to be a veterinarian, a lawyer, a judge, a fashion designer, until I realised my true passion: the English language. I’ve always been a nerd (as my friends from school frequently pointed out to me) and so studying has never been a chore to me. I’ve become a teacher of English as a Second Language and am pursuing my degree in English Language and Literature. It was only recently (about 3 years ago) that I had that “click”, and realised I had become a writer!
Same! I have so many ambitions too! But I think I will stick to science though, cause I still think it's ultra fun. :D What was the hardest part in your path to becoming an author?
It does get lonely sometimes, and so it’s quite easy to get unmotivated and think about giving up altogether. I think this kind of feeling happens to most writers, but when you overcome it, it feels like a victory.
What age did you start penning down all those crazy ideas of yours?
I was 23 when I had this crazy dream (Julia’s dream) and decided to make a novel out of it. I had been jotting down a few short stories outlines about a ghost named Hugh, and I have also started to work on a “mini novella” called Ethan Trevena Chronicles, which is a ten-part short story about the life of a human turned vampire. I’m still working on it, but my focus has turned to The Outsiders Trilogy for the moment. The first 3 parts of Ethan Trevena Chronicles are available to download on my blog for free. They are also available through my Goodreads profile.
Is SWIRLS the first novel you ever wrote? Any that didn't get published?
Yes. Swirls is my debut novel. I decided to go Indie from the beginning and I’m happy to have done so. There are so many amazing self-pub stories out there! This is a new era for Indie writers.
Agreed, man! There are quite some self-pub books which are indeed awesome. Like Promises by Amber Garr. Seriously, if she didn't tell me it was self-pubed, I wouldn't even have guessed! Anyway, can you briefly give the gist of SWIRLS?
Swirls is a story that follows the abrupt and unexpected changes in Julia’s life and the path she takes in order to understand her own existence as a human being.
There is a lot of the science fiction and fantasy genre in Swirls but the main thing here is to focus on the daily struggles of a very unique teenage girl of sixteen.
You can expect a spot of romance, of course, but not in a mellow kind of way, as this will be a very unique sort of romance. There might be a love triangle, but then, there might not...
Julia’s relationship with her family is one of constant love and constant struggle. Her Grandma is her fortress, while her mother only holds the title as a technicality.
Strong friendship is what holds her together.
Julia is Kanuayed tribe descendant, so her going back to the Amazon – to her roots – will be the first step into understanding what’s changing in her.
OOHOOOH Amazon and love triangles!!!!!! My favourite.... Haha, what was the inspiration behind SWIRLS? Why the Amazon?
It all started with this dream I had of being abducted. It was the most vivid dream I have ever had and I will never forget it. When I decided to make a book out of it, I tried to think of the context in which this idea could successfully develop. As I grew up learning a lot about the native tribes of the Amazon since Primary school, the idea of adding the Amazon forest and tribe folklore into the plot just made perfect sense to me. The Kanuayed tribe is a fictional native community from the Amazon forest that I have created from scratch.
You dreamt of being abducted...Hmm, scary dream... Lol, did you base any of your characters on real life people/experiences? Which ones?
I like to think of my characters as a collage of traces of everyone I’ve ever met or maybe just passed by on the streets. But there is one character that is based on a real person. Halola is a lot like my best friend back from High School (who I still keep in touch these days) but she doesn’t know that she’s inspired me to create Lola. I have only great memories of her, and especially her bubbly and carefree personality.
Wow, you must've been really close! That's so cool. I wish I was written in a book... Hahaha, kidding! Which is your favourite quote from SWIRLS?
“The gift of protection has been given to the noble, brave and pure-hearted.
Generations to come will benefit from their leaders,
To find wisdom, harmony and togetherness,
And truly live in peace.”
(Inside info: This quote was taken from the folk tales of the Kanuayed tribe history book, written by one of the tribe’s most ancient and cherished leaders, Nahuatl. We’ll learn more about him in Threads (The Outsiders #2)).
Hm, that's really philosophical and deep... Which character did you enjoy writing about the most?
It’s hard to say. I love each and every one of them. I wish I could have said more about Gabriel. Back when I was planning the trilogy I even thought about telling Julia’s story through Gabriel’s perspective, but then I had a feeling that Julia could be seriously misunderstood, as she isn’t a very easy person to read. She can be quite whiny and introspective in a very unpleasant sort of way.
Halola is always light and fun. Sometimes I think that Julia and Lola are like two perfect pieces of a puzzle. Isn’t it amazing when you have a best friend that is more like a sister? It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, you know there will always be this person who will be there for you no matter what? That’s Lola. So I love writing about her.
Yoji is one of my best advisors. He is always overlooking my decisions, tsking and nodding, consoling me and scolding me whenever he sees fit. ;-)
Hahaha, it's like he has a life of his own!!! But he does seem very, um, of the intellectual type. :P Any parting words to the readers?
If you’ve read this interview so far, I want to say a big fat thank you to you for taking your time to find out more about this new trilogy and this new author that is only just beginning. And I hope that you will give Swirls a try!
Where can readers buy your books?
Here are the links to get your copy of Swirls: The Outsiders #1:
Amazon US – Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Swirls-The-Outsiders-ebook/dp/B0058EAGYI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315395327&sr=8-1
Amazon US – Print: http://www.amazon.com/Swirls-Outsiders-F-Hershey/dp/1463652623/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1315395327&sr=8-2
Amazon UK – Kindle: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Swirls-The-Outsiders-ebook/dp/B0058EAGYI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315395256&sr=8-1
Endless digital formats!: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/86942
Thank you, CYP, you rock! :-*
Thank you!!!! And, likewise. B)
Fun interview!! Haha. Anyway, seen anything that caught your eye? If you'd like to find out more about FA, her books or the tour, you can visit her at:
FA is so kindly giving away 1 ecopy of SWIRLS to one lucky ABS winner. Following is not mandatory - but it is highly encouraged :P - and this giveaway will last for 2 weeks, which ends on Feb 25th, 2012. Just fill in the Rafflecopter form below, and you're all good to go!
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