Lana McGraw Boldt

 

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Frequently Asked Questions ...

1.  Q.  Where do you get your ideas?

     A.  No fiction author I know can honestly answer that.  I think we're afraid that if we examine it too closely, it will disappear.  However, how you get your ideas often does have an answer.  I often find ideas by wondering "what if..." 

     In Flower of the Pacific, I was wondering what if one of the voices of Tokyo Rose was an American (some were) and what if she was forced to put on this radio program (some were) and what if she was in love with a man fighting for his life in the Pacific Theater of WWII?  Could she get information to him that would help save his life - end the war? 

     With Fionna's Will the idea for the book began germinating from two things: my life-long curiosity as to what kind of woman would have traveled the Oregon Trail and my love of antiques and the "stories" they bring with them. 

     Rhubarb Summer (Hexensommer) came from a different place.  An image, a sense of place and time came to me and from that one of the best books I've ever written began to form.

2.  Q.  Are you writing something now?

     A. Yes.  I'm actually working on two ideas right now.  One has a historical background and the other is set in 1984 and uses many of the same characters you meet in Rhubarb Summer.

3.  Q. Why 1984?

     A.  That's just the way it worked out.

4.  Q.  What kind of author are you?

     A.  I don't know.  I'm a story teller.  That's the only thing I can promise.  I tell stories I want to hear.  I'm fascinated by history and how it affects who we are today, so some of my stories are set in an historical time.  It's interesting to place characters in a crucible and see what kind of base metal emerges.  Good, Evil, Love, Life, Death, those are all parts of life and stories are about life, so my stories usually have all of the above.  Aside from that I just like a good tale.  Hope you do too.

5.  Q:  Why haven't I been able to find your books?  Have you stopped writing?

     A:  Several answers to that one.  My first two books, Flower of the Pacific and Fionna's Will were out of print.  They've been reissued and are now available through bookstores, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Authors Guild backinprint.com and your local independent bookstores, all as print on demand books.

     And no, I didn't stop writing.  But I did have teenagers.  They're now out of the house and my concentration and time are returning.  However, during that period of time, I did write Rhubarb Summer and another historical novel that became way too big, sort of the novel that ate California!  I'm now taking the characters and research from that unwieldy manuscript, reworking plot lines and placing them in what could be as many as five or seven much smaller books.

6.  Q:  What is a print on demand book?

     A:  I'm really excited about this new process.  Trees are saved because only the books that are bought are printed; "left-overs" are not shredded (as they usually are) because there are none.  There's no waste in distribution energy or warehousing space either.  Because in my mind, it's all done with smoke and mirrors, I'll explain it the simplistic way that I understand it.  Books are scanned into a very special, gigantic computer.  When someone places an order for the book, buttons are pushed and the book is printed within minutes, bound in a cover - just like any book you buy - and immediately shipped off to you.  Flower of the Pacific and Fionna's Will are both being distributed by iuniverse.com through an agreement with the Author's Guild backinprint.com program.  They are made available to all book retailers, whether e-tail or bricks and mortar, through the same distributing channels and data base as other books.

7.  Q:  When can I read Rhubarb Summer?

     A:  If you can read German, you can read it now.  The German publisher Aufbau Verlag beat the New York publishers to the post, bought the manuscript, translated it and published it as Hexensommer.  You can get it by going to Amazon.de, or Aufbau-verlag.de.  Otherwise, you will have to wait along with the rest of us English-speaking people for an English language publisher to publish it. You can read the first chapter here on my web site. Stay tuned!

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Lana McGraw-Boldt


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