A Quarrel Called (Stewards of the Plane #1)
By: Shannon Wendtland
Publisher: Crossed Arrows Title
Publication Date: June 20th, 2016
The Sage, The Guardian, The Lantern, The Light – together we four are Stewards of the Plane, a Quarrel.
G. is the Guardian; he’s developed a strong protective instinct and a kickass sword of light that can chase away the baddies like nobody’s business.
Sam is the Lantern; his dreams shed light on possible futures – he’s always had dreams, but now he sees where we’re going and how far, and it scares the crap out of him.
Tara is the Sage; as our resident mystic, she can commune with the Akashic records: the big data warehouse in the sky. She can get information on anywhere, anywhen, if only she can learn to ask the right questions.
And me, I’m Melody, I’m the Light. I can channel the earth’s energy and according to Gramps, I can stabilize a vortex. It’s a good thing, too, or else we would be in a lot of trouble.
Before the summer started, we were a bunch of normal teenagers getting ready for our senior year in high school. By the time summer was over, we’d fought and won battles, lost friends and saved the world (except for that time when we made it worse).
This is our story. We wrote it all down; that way when it happens to you, when you’re called to be a Steward of the Plane – a member of a quarrel, you’ll know what to do.
**This book is told in first person from four alternating character viewpoints.
1) If you emptied out your purse, wallet, desk drawer, pockets, backpack, beach bag, saddle bag, or fanny pack, what would we find?
If I emptied out my purse you would find: my wallet and my glasses, a pocket knife and a mini tactical flashlight, lipgloss, feminine hygiene products, napkins, several pens, a small notebook, bandaids, ibuprofen, earbuds and a small piece of orgonite.
2) What is your writing process? Are you a plotter or a panster?
I combine the two styles into a hybrid style. I start writing a story for about five to ten thousand words to see how it feels and if it’s got legs, then I sit down and work on a very broad bullet-style outline which I more or less stick to (if I can). Usually this works for about the first sixty-thousand words and then I have to sit down again, re-read everything I have written and then fill in the end gaps with more bullets to carry me through to the end of the book. I have written three books this way so far and it really seems to help me finish them, which IMHO, is the most important part.
3) Describe yourself to us in five words or less:
Balanced, joyful, charming, fun, curious
4) Describe your book in 5 words or less:
Mysterious, Metaphysical, Paranormal, Ley Lines
5) What are some fun facts you can share about the characters from your book or the world you created for it that may or may not have made it to the final draft of the book?
Actually, I did not cut any scenes for this book, however, a certain amount of thought went into the naming of the characters. Names are powerful things and each one of them has a name that suits them and their personalities, talents and weaknesses. In addition to this, there are quite a few plot devices, etc. that are based on real life persons/places/things. For instance, one of the devices that the characters use to ward off evil is called a pog (positive orgone generator) and is based on a real-life adaptation of Wilhelm Reich’s discovery of orgone energy called orgonite. There are lots of easter eggs like this in the book if you choose to search for and research them.
A final fun fact: I have been to almost all of the places that the characters visit in the book — I had to road trip and camp like a Bohemian, but it was worth it!
6) Do you have a special story behind your inspiration for the book?
There were a lot of synchronicities that happened before and during the writing of this book. They continue to happen as I work on the other books in the series. Carl Jung described a synchronicity as ‘a meaningful coincidence’ but after my experience in telling this story, it is my opinion that there are no actual coincidences, and in fact all that seem to be coincidences are simply synchronicities that go unnoticed. I write a little about the synchronicities that occurred in the acknowledgements section of the book (it is at the end of the book) and will undoubtedly talk about more of the others as time goes on, but because some of them are a little spoilery, I won’t talk about them here!
7) Who was your favorite character to write and who gave you the most trouble?
I really enjoyed writing Sam’s POV in this book, and as strange as it may seem, Melody’s gave me the most trouble. Perhaps because her character experiences the most personal loss right off the bat, and I have been pretty fortunate so far in my life to not have gone through what she has.
8) If you could ask a character of your choice from A QUARREL CALLED one question what would it be?
I would ask Tara what got her interested in metaphysics in the first place? She is the most like me, so I expect she would say that she and her mom used to watch ‘In Search Of’ with Leonard Nimoy when she was little and the stories of The Great Pyramids and the heads on Easter Island always made her wonder what else was out there. But since she wasn’t born back in the seventies like I was, she would probably talk to me about Ancient Aliens instead ☺
9) What scene from the book are you most proud of (because of how you handled the atmosphere, characters, dialogue, etc)?
I really feel like the rave scenes came out well. I knew where I wanted them to go, but I tried not to over-plan them before I started, so they grew organically from the music I was listening to (dubstep!) and the atmosphere I was trying to create.
10) Is there a scene that you had difficulty with and just had to power through to finish the book?
Not really, though I will admit that this was a first for me. Other books I have worked on (not published) were much harder to write. I didn’t have any problem at all connecting my brain to my fingertips when I placed them on the keyboard… the words just poured out like water. It was a pretty great experience.
11) what is your number one writing tip?
For me, the hardest part was finishing a story. I would revise and re-write every time I sat down, so I would have a great beginning, but the story didn’t seem to get any longer. When I sat down to write this story I decided I wasn’t going to do that anymore… my number one goal was to FINISH and then let it sit for a couple of weeks before I did any revisions. This worked so much better that I will never go back to the old way again.
Shannon is a wife, mother, writer, database administrator and general pot-stirrer-turned-mystic. A Quarrel Called will be her first book in print.
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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. The author image, information, giveaway, and more were provided by The Fantastic Flying Book Club.