Today’s featured author is C.L. Pardington. As a member of the Romance Writers of America and stay-at-home mom, C.L. Pardington recently decided to put her creative energy into writing books and we are glad she has. Talin’s Echo, Book One in her upcoming series – Warriors of the Atlantean Empires series will be available Winter 2012 likely before Christmas.
I sat down with C.L. and asked her a few questions for this interview. She happily answered them as well as provided a not-before-seen excerpt from her book. You’ll be able to read Chapter 1 below.
C.L. is having a giveaway today as well. She‘ll be give away two bookmarks and a mermaid jewelry box. (Click the image to enlarge it). To enter the giveaway, post a comment on this article only (other comments on other articles will not be selected) and you’ll be entered in the drawing she’ll have. C.L. will notify the winner via email.
What is Talin’s Echo About?
Talin Ariskan has spent his life being groomed to become the future emperor of Atlantis, which has given him little time to find his future empress, much to his mother’s dismay.
Echo is a head-strong mer-princess, who’s being forced by her father into a mating she doesn’t want. When she discovers a hidden abyss, an unexpected transformation begins…
In a strange world, unsure of everything and hiding her true identity, she meets Talin and realizes he is the man she has always dreamed of.
When he discovers what she really is, will their love survive or will they be torn apart forever?
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Yes, and there is no short answer for this question. To answer it I have to give you a little background.
In May of 2009, my husband and I were at home one evening and there was nothing on cable, so we decided to see what was on Pay-Per-View. That’s when we came upon a movie called ‘Twilight’. We had never heard of the movie before, so we read up on the synopsis, and decided it sounded interesting enough to rent.
That, as the proverbial saying goes, was the night that changed my life…
To say I loved the movie was an understatement. At the time I had no idea it was based on a book until the ending credits. So I did some research on the series and bought them. Now, at this point I hadn’t read a book since I was in the fifth grade, which was around 1980. I had lost the desire for reading and frankly didn’t have the time for it. But when I got the Twilight books, I told myself; this would the series that would rekindle my interest. But, they sat on my bookshelves for quite a few months untouched.
Now move ahead to November 2009…the movie New Moon came out in the theaters. At that point I was so enthralled with the Twilight phenomenon; I bought tickets to the midnight showing. After leaving the theater that evening, I told my husband, now I have to read these books. So the next day, I picked up the first book and 3 1/2 weeks later, I had read all four. Then immediately read them all a second time. After that I started buying vampire romance books by the dozens and in one year I read 67 books. I was enjoying reading so much that I actually started considering writing myself, but didn’t act on it.
Move ahead again to February 2012, after months and months of tossing it around in my head, I realized this wasn’t just a passing phase and I decided to sit my husband down and tell him what I wanted to do. Of course, I thought he would think I was crazy, but he didn’t, he said let’s see what you need to do to get started and we’ll do it.
Fast forward one more time to today…I can’t believe I’m doing my first interview and about to publish my first book.
How did you come up with the title?
While doing research, I was Googling names for Atlanteans, and I came across the name Talin. Echo, on-the-other-hand, has always been a name I loved. I came across it when I was a kid playing a popular Sega Genesis video game, called Echo the Dolphin. So I thought that would be a perfect name for a mermaid. Anyway, now I had this long list of names for both sides, so as I was picking eight Atlantean names and eight Mer names for the series, these two particular names kept standing out, and I thought to myself these two must be made for each other (as a couple). So I jotted the names down side by side and all of a sudden it hit me…what a unique title for a book, something that really stands out and roles right off the tongue.
What motivates you to write?
Two things keep me motivated. The first is…as long as I am reading a romance book; I always feel the need to write. And the second is…I always have the scores from all the Twilight movies playing in the background of my office. For some reason the dramatic sound of the music soothes me while writing and puts me in the moment.
Did you learn anything from writing your book? If so, what was it?
While writing this book I’ve bought numerous books about Atlantis. And since everything points to Atlantis following the Greek lifestyle, I heavily researched the ancient Greek and Pompeian civilizations. I even recently went to the Denver Museum to see the ‘A Day in Pompeii’ exhibit. (Pompeii lived very much as the Greeks did). So what originally was to be just a fantasy romance series has now turned into a history lesson for me. Seeing the exhibit changed me inside. I felt it as I left the museum. It left me with such sadness. But it also gave me the inspiration to make my books as accurate as I possibly could with details of things that were part of these worlds. In a way, it’s my way of honoring their lives.
What authors have influenced your life and writing?
This is a very easy question to answer, you, Ally, as well as, Amanda Ashley, Everly Drummond, Gabrielle Bisset, Laura Kaye, Sharon Hamilton, and Tina Folsom.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I actually have four mentors, Gabrielle Bisset, Laura Kaye, Scott Prussing, and Tina Folsom. Each and every one of them has been there for me whenever I had a question or needed help with my writing.
What book are you reading now?
‘Desire the Night’ by Amanda Ashley
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Abigail Gibbs, author of ‘The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire’
What are your current projects?
I’m currently working on Talin’s Echo, hopefully to be released by Christmas. Then I’m planning to write the first book in a new trilogy I’ve created. It’s the ‘Liquid’ Trilogy and the first book will be ‘Liquid Descent’. Once that is completed, I will then write the second book in the ‘Warriors of the Atlantean Empire’ series, ‘Atlas’s Rogue’.
Who designed the covers?
Cover Artist Fiona Jayde. Cover Model Jimmy Thomas introduced us and she has done an amazing job of creating what was in my mind’s eye.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part for me had to be creating two new worlds that don’t exist. At least with Atlantis, I could get ideas of their civilization from ancient Greece and Pompeii, but Oceania, there was nothing to go on. So to be able to create those worlds in my head and then try to explain it through words to readers is no easy task.
Are you an Indie Author? If so, what do you like about independent publishing?
I like, no I love, the fact that ALL creative control is mine, from my characters, to my book covers.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
If you had of told me a year ago I’d be writing my own book, I’d have told you, you were crazy. Not everyone gets to find out what it is they were meant to do in life. It took me 41 years to finally figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. So when it happens, don’t let it pass you by.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Yes, I’d love to. Here’s Chapter One from ‘Talin’s Echo’…
King Atargatis watched his oldest daughter, Echo, stand before him, her arms crossed in defiance. Her flowing white hair swayed across her pale face and down along her arm, hiding her markings. She had always been strong-willed and he usually let her get her way. Not this time.
“You will marry Aramis and that’s final! Do you hear me?” he shouted back, harsher than he intended.
Echo balled her hands into fists, fury burning at her insides. “Why would you make me marry him when I don’t love him?”
“Your mother and I’d like for you to have an heir or two, to take over the throne someday. And at the rate you’re going—”
She cut her father off before he could finish. “If you think for one minute I’d ever let him touch me, then you have clearly lost your mind!” A chill ran down her spine. What a disgusting thought, to have Aramis’s hands touching her.
“I will not have you speak to me like that!” Whether or not he was her father, he was also the Ruler of Oceania. He couldn’t allow someone to swim in on their heated exchange and overhear her speak to him in that manner.
“If you’re going to force me to marry Aramis against my will, then I’ll speak to you however I choose!” She gave him one last look through narrowed brown eyes before she flicked her tailfin and swam as fast as she could out of the royal cavern and far away from her father.
Streaks of sunlight from the surface beamed through the holes in the coral rocks which made up the palace walls, casting a beautiful reflection of waves throughout the entire room as Naia entered. Frowning, she watched from the doorway as her husband held his forehead against the palm of his hand. He sat on his gold throne across the vast room which was filled with ornate items that had been collected throughout their kingdom’s history. The coral walls were filled with life. Small groupings of anemone lodged themselves sporadically throughout the room, and protecting themselves within the security of the anemone’s venomous tentacles, were small Percula Clownfish.
At that moment her attention was drawn to a small school of Yellow Tangs passing through. She loved watching the surrounding sea life thrive. It meant all was well in the kingdom, even if all was not well at home.
Naia turned her attention back to her husband and gave out a long sigh while looking at him. The passing years had been very good to him. He was still as ruggedly handsome as the day he made her his queen. She loved the way his gold crown complimented his dark tan complexion. The way the sunlight shimmered on the golden brown scales of his tailfin sent shivers down her flowing pink fin.
She swam over to him and brushed a strand of his white hair away from his face. She cupped her hands on his cheeks and looked into his brown eyes.
“Before I came through the door, I heard your conversation with Echo through the door. You can’t expect her to abide by your commands instantly this time. She’s always dreamt of falling in love and having a family of her own. Being told to marry someone she’s obviously not in love with can’t be easy for her.”
The lines hardened across Atargatis’s forehead. “She has no choice! And neither do we,” he growled. Staring back into his wife’s shimmering brown eyes, he couldn’t help but soften his expression. Nearly whispering now, he said, “How much longer am I supposed to hold my patience with her? Echo’s almost twenty-eight years old for Triton’s sake! That’s nearly three years past when she should’ve mated. We can’t postpone this any longer.”
Dropping her hands from his cheeks Naia settled onto her own throne. “Well, you already know how I feel about this situation,” she said with disappointment in her voice. “You shouldn’t have promised our daughter to Hekili’s son in the first place. Giving him a position in the Guard would’ve been reward enough.”
She didn’t feel Aramis treated their daughter with respect. And she definitely didn’t see love in his eyes when he looked at her. No, in Naia’s opinion, Echo was merely a means to embed himself deeper into the family in an attempt to further his position in the Guard.
She knew her husband would never allow that to happen! The only position above Captain was General; that rank was only held by someone from their bloodline. Their oldest son, Sian, held that privilege. Even if something were to happen to Sian, their other son, Finn—who currently held the rank of Guardian—would become the new General, skipping right over Aramis.
“Yes. I’m well aware of your feelings, or lack thereof, toward Aramis. But I didn’t have a choice. Hekili saved my life and in return I had to give him whatever he wanted,” Atargatis responded. Although he regretted promising his daughter’s hand, he had every intention on keeping his promise.
* * *
Letting the flowing current of the water assist her, Echo darted through the dimly lit passages toward her chamber. The sun above was starting to set and soon the floating orbs of light that laced the passages would brighten to full capacity, making it easier for the Mers to see. Even though they had the capability to see in full darkness, it was a draining magical power that they reserved unless they truly needed it.
Upon entering her chamber, she spied her younger sister’s orange tail and flowing long brown hair. Nerissa had been waiting by the entrance for her. Echo swam by her without a word, too upset to speak. Nerissa started to enter the chamber after her, but paused when she heard Echo’s best friend, Ariana, call her name.
“What’s wrong with Eck?” asked Ariana.
“I’m not sure yet,” Nerissa answered. “She just swam by me without saying a word, but I’d bet my life our father is involved somehow.”
Nerissa and Ariana entered Echo’s chamber and found her resting on her kelp bed. Cradling her face in her hands, she was crying with an occasional wince thrown in. Mers hated to cry because clear crystals would form in the corners of their eyes instead of tears, stinging them.
Echo looked up and dropped her hands to her lap when she realized she was no longer alone. They could then see the last of the tiny crystals falling from her eyes.
Ariana hung back as Nerissa swam over and rested beside her sister. Growing up, Nerissa and Echo had always been very close. And although many of their physical features were different, she and Echo were very much alike.
Putting her arm around Echo, her voice laced with concern, she asked, “What has our father done this time?”
Before she answered, Echo looked around her spacious chamber. Her eyes fell upon the layers of coral rock adorning the farthest side, some of the layers protruding out farther than others. Those particular layers were the ones she used to display the numerous treasures their father had given her throughout her life. She’d spend hours looking at them when she was alone with just her thoughts. Her favorite was a palace her father had carved from seashells when he was a young merchild. But now she looked at them as if they were his way of buying her off so she’d do what he wanted—to marry and mate with the person she hated the most—Aramis.
“He’s refusing to budge! He won’t release my obligation to marry you-know-who!” she finally answered. It made her almost ill to say his name, so she avoided it whenever possible. “I just don’t understand why he’s forcing me to marry that blowfish!”
“I wish I had an answer for you, sis. But who knows what runs through our father’s mind when he does the things he does.”
Nerissa was all too familiar with the way their father tried to control their lives. She knew she was fast approaching mating age as well and was already preparing herself to have to deal with him. He could go to Scylla or Charybdis before she was going to let him have a say in who she married.
In the next moment Ariana swam up to Echo. They’d grown up together. Her father was once a Guardian for the Royal Guard under the command of then General Atargatis. The girls had become fast friends and were inseparable.
Stopping in front of Echo, Ariana tucked her turquoise fin beneath her and gently settled against the sandy bottom. She brushed the strands of her long brown hair away from her face, draping them over her bare breasts and then rested her hands on top of Echo’s.
“I hate seeing what this is doing to you Eck. And I’m so disappointed in your father for putting you through all of this.” She turned her head and winked at Nerissa before looking back at Echo. “But we promise to find a way to help you get out of this mess.”
I’d like to thank C.L. for being on my blog and wish her the best of luck with her the launch of her new series. Please check out her contact info below. I’ve asked C.L. to come back and be a featured guest on my blog in December when her book is released and she agreed to stop back by.
C. L.’s Sirens Facebook Group: