Thursday, July 12, 2012

Interview with a Danish YA author, Willow Rose

I reviewed The Eye of the Crystal Ball by Willow Rose a while ago and was delighted to get the chance to interview the author now as she celebrates the release of her latest YA novel, Savage.

The year is 1983. Christian is 22 years old when he leaves his home in Denmark to spend a year in Florida with a very wealthy family and go to med-school. A joyful night out with friends is shattered by an encounter with a savage predator that changes his life forever. Soon he faces challenges he had never expected. A supernatural gift he has no idea how to embrace. A haunting family in the house next door. A spirit-filled girl who seems to carry all the answers. An ancient secret hidden in the swamps of Florida. One life never the same. One love that becomes an obsession. Two destinies that will be forever entangled.

Savage is a paranormal romance with some language, violence, and sexual situations recommended for ages sixteen and up

Willow Rose writes Paranormal Romance, fantasy and mystery. Originally from Denmark she now lives on Florida’s Space Coast with her husband and two daughters. She is a huge fan of Anne Rice and Isabel Allende. When she is not writing or reading she enjoys to watch the dolphins play in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

As another European ex-pat and writer, I guess we have quite a few things in common. So, Willow,
thank you for visiting my blog and agreeing to answer my questions...

 I read on your site that you come from Denmark but live in Florida now. What brought you to the States? 
My husband and I just wanted to get away from the cold and live in a country where winter-boots are something you wear once a year with your shorts when they bring in snow in december for the kids to play in. We haven't regretted it. I love Florida, I love the heat and the ocean. I never want to go back.

We moved to the States from England when our kids were in elementary school. I miss quite a few things about England (especially family). Can you tell me what you miss most about Denmark? 
Only people. My family, our friends. It is tough some days but luckily they all come and visit during the year and then we get to be with them for a longer period of time. We have more quality time with our family and friends this way but see each other more seldom.

I know what you mean. Can you tell me what drew you to writing fantasy and paranormal stories?  
I started out writing mystery-novels in Danish. I have written three books that are published in Denmark, Norway and Germany. But I became bored with them since everything had to be so realistic. I wanted to use my imagination and when I started writing in English I wrote another mystery-novel first but then I made a shift and wrote a fantasy novel called "The Eye of the Crystal ball". I have never had so much fun writing and I was hooked. Then I wrote a series. A paranormal romance series about a girl who dies and goes to a school run by angels. That was a lot of fun. My latest book is a shapeshifter/romance novel about jaguars. It is for the more adult audience.

 Do you think your fantasy writing is influenced by the culture you grew up in? 
My first fantasy-novel that I ever read was The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. It is still my favorite fantasy-book of all times. It had a great influence on me and so did the books and movies through the 90'ies - so yes I guess it is influenced by that.

The art on your new book cover fits the theme so beautifully. I think it's gorgeous. Can you say how it came about? 
My husband makes the covers. He is really good at it. He reads the book and then we discuss how we both think the cover should look. 

  The story of Savage sounds intriguing too. I see it's going to be another series. Did you always end it to be a series, or did it grow while you were writing it? 
It was a series, a family saga from the beginning. It is supposed to take place over three decades. In the first book the main characters are in their twenties, in the next in their thirties and in the last in their forties. I am also planning on doing a book about the main female character, the spirit-filled Native American girl Aiyana's childhood and when she discovers what and who she really is.

 I noticed Savage begins in 1983. How did you choose the date? 
Some of the book is based upon my husband's experiences when he was 19 and was shipped off to Florida by his parents to live with a very wealthy family. That was in 1983. I used some of what he experienced and stories he still tells from back then. The rest of the story is fiction though. 

Okay, one final question. Since you've told me Willow Rose is a pen name, how did you choose your name? 
My husband and I discussed names for months. Our Danish name is too difficult for Americans to pronounce and remember so it had to be something completely different. We wanted a name that was both fantasy-like and romance-like and we wanted people to think of a rose when they saw it. 

Thank you Willow. It's been learning more about you, and I'm really looking forward to reading a reviewing Savage.
You can find out more about Willow Rose or connect with her at
twitter: @madamwillowrose

                             or find out more about Savage by following these links.

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