Thursday, March 7, 2013

"What's In a Name?" Indie Author Spotlight: Clare Marshall

Today's Indie Giveaway featured writer is Clare Marshall, author of The Violet Fox. Clare is another one of the eleven talented indie authors who have come together to create the Indie Giveaway going on until March 11th. The prizes in the giveaway are 11 free ebooks, and 3 free print books plus a $20 Amazon card! So let's find out "What's in a name?" according to Clare...

Clare Marshall grew up in rural Nova Scotia with very little television and dial up internet, and yet, she turned out okay. She has a combined honours degree in journalism and psychology from the University of King’s College, and is a graduate from Humber College’s Creative Book Publishing Program. She founded Woulds & Shoulds Editing and Design in 2010 for self-published authors and businesses looking for quality editing and design services. She enjoys publishing books through her publishing imprint, Faery Ink Press, and released her first novella, Within in 2011. When she’s not writing, she enjoys playing the fiddle and making silly noises at cats.
The Violet Fox

There are two kinds of people in the land of Marlenia. The Marlenians, who live on the surface, and the Freetors, who are forced to live underground.

The war between them ended two hundred years ago, but the Freetors still fight for the right to live under the sun. Fifteen-year-old Kiera Driscoll embodies the Freetors’ hopes as the Violet Fox. In a violet cape and mask, she sneaks around Marlenia City stealing food and freeing her people from slavery.

Then the Elders task her with a secret mission: retrieve a stolen tome that contains the secrets of Freetor magic, something the Marlenians both fear and covet. Kiera must disguise herself as a noblewoman and infiltrate the Marlenian castle before the Freetor-hating Advisor finds out her real identity, before her brother is imprisoned because of the secrets he hides, and before she falls any more in love with the prince she’s supposed to hate.

More is happening in the castle than she realizes, and Kiera is faced with a difficult choice. Will she be loyal to her people and their fight for freedom, or will she be loyal to her heart?

Do you write under your actual name or a pen name, and is there any special meaning behind your name? 
Clare C. Marshall is my real name. The “C” is my middle name, which is Campbell. On my mom’s side of the family, it’s sort of a tradition for the middle name to be a surname. Campbell is my mom’s middle name, it’s her mother’s middle name, and it comes from being descended from the Campbells. 

What are the names of your main characters and what can you tell us about them? 
The main character’s name in The Violet Fox is Kiera Driscoll. Kiera is an Irish/Scottish name, meaning Dark One, and it suits her as she’s quite impulsive, and she also has black hair. Driscoll is an Irish surname, meaning messenger, which has some importance within the story. 

Kiera is known on the streets as the Violet Fox because she is slippery and clever, like a fox, always escaping tricky situations. She fights for equality because her people have been forced to live underground—so she’s kind of like Robin Hood, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor! The royal family in the story wears violet, and she adopts it as part of her “costume” on the streets to mock everything they stand for. Hence, The Violet Fox!

Do their names have special significance to your story or were they just names that you liked? 
Yes, names are extremely significant. When you’re writing fantasy you can’t always just choose names you like—they have to fit and make sense within the world you’ve built for the story.

When I first started writing this story when I was young, I chose the names Kiera and Keegan as my female and male protagonists’ names. Because I liked those names so much and wasn’t willing to change them, I had to build my world (or at least, the part of the world the story takes place in) with Irish and Scottish influences so the names would make sense within the world.

A name I changed to keep everything consistent was the name of Kiera’s best friend. Her name is Laoise (pronounced LEE-sha, also Irish), but originally, her name was Laci. 

What are some fictional names of places where your characters’ stories unfold? 
The world that The Violet Fox universe exists in is called Marlenia, and is divided into four provinces: north, east, south & west. The events of The Violet Fox take place in the western province, where the culture has Irish/Scottish influences. An example of a place name in the western province is Feenagh Forest.

The other three provinces draw from different cultural influences. The East is more Germanic, the South has African and Indian influences, and the North is Spanish/French. We see a lot of the north’s culture in The Violet Fox because Kiera must impersonate a noblewoman from the North named Dominique Castillo. 

How did you choose the names for your fictional settings? Do they have special significance? 
I tried to keep the names as cohesive as possible to fit with my Irish/Scottish theme. Feenagh is Irish for “wooded place” (I know, such a creative name for a forest!). I have a book of Irish place names and their significance, that was a help. It will continue to be a help in the sequel to The Violet Fox, called The Silver Spear, as we see a lot more of the countryside in the second book. 

Thanks for stopping by, Clare! 
No problem, thanks for having me!

If you’re a fan of fantasy adventure tales with strong female characters undertaking huge risks for love and duty, The Violet Fox is for you! At this time of writing, The Violet Fox is on special for 99 cents. So, it’s the perfect opportunity to at least download some sample chapters (http://www.faeryinkpress.com/books/the-violet-fox/the-violet-fox-sample-chapter-1) and check out my take on a Cinderella/Robin Hood tale.

Find Clare Marshall all across the interwebs....


Don’t forget to check out the Indie Giveaway for a chance to win an ebook of Clare's novel, The Violet Fox, along with 10 more awesome ebooks by some great indie authors!

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