June M. Pace stopped by The Library to chat with us as part of her virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly dawn commenter will win an autographed print copy of the book and two other commenters will receive downloads of the book.
First, tell us about yourself – where you live, your family, and those sorts of details.
I live in northern/central CA in a little beach community, in the foothills of the giant Redwoods, called Santa Cruz. It’s a perfect place to live, and I love it here! I recently got married to my best friend, Ray, in SeptEMBER of 2013...my first marriage ever! So I waited in my life to do that and I’m really glad I did. We have three kids....stepkids to me....one that still lives with us, LOVE him! and the older two are in San Francisco and LA. We have two dogs, Louie, a big white/tan lab and Bodhi (your guess is as good as mine), a tuxedo cat, Frankie and five chickens, Esther, Maxine, Marilyn, Wynnefred, and Petunia..and one duck, Vida. She had a mate, Dulce, but alas a hawk got him. Then we had Doug, however, Doug loved to go after my little chickies...so Doug is gone. We’re now looking for a new female friend for Vida.
How long have you been writing?
I actually started writing with this first book back in 2010. Wow, that seems so long ago and we’re just promoting the book now; for clarity, it didn’t take three years to write this book. I began writing in the beginning of the year in 2010 and wrote until I moved in Aug/Sept. then I laid off for about five months and got back to it and finished the book in 2011. I attempted to shop it for about a year then decided to self publish in 2013...so here I am. I just today, finished book two in five months...so more settled into the real life of writing. It’s better than anything I’ve ever done in my life...writing I mean. I have a tremendous passion for this work.
Do you have a favorite place to write?
Yes, I live in my den when I’m writing. Someday soon we’re going to make this into a library, wall to wall bookshelves and my big fat desk. It’s a great room! Wood burning stove, big tall windows, super high ceiling and all my books surrounding me..I love it in here.
Why did you decide to write Benjamin McTish and the Door through the Grandfather Tree?
I’ve always had a way with kids, they flock to me. I’ve always felt a need to champion for our young people. I wrote this book, this series, with a deeper meaning than merely a tale to tell. I hoped to touch on the idea of the courage it takes to figure out who you are, and then to live that Truth freely. To be accountable for your actions and realize they may have repercussions for others as well, and to own up to your actions. I believe in Walking your Talk. There’s a spiritual thread that runs through this series, and hopefully it will allow someone the insight to observe the synchronicity of their life and see where they can make the changes, if any, to uplift themselves and others, to stay on the Path to their highest good. I’ve wrapped it all up in an exciting adventure of fantasy, magic and hope.
Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
Mathilda! I just want to scrunch her cheeks. She makes me laugh, she’s a real character. She’s not afraid of anything and thinks outside of the box. She says what she feels, and loves with all her heart. She’s all the best parts of me.
How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
Sorry, no answer for that one. How can any character you write be less than? They are a part of the whole, you need them to complete or embellish, or make sense of, or antagonize...fill in the blank...you need every character, so as a writer I’m invested in all my characters. I love them all, even the nasty evil Tar Vigorn. Actually, that’s one of the reasons I made her so over the top beautiful. I don’t think evil is always produced by something dark and ugly. Truth comes in many different packages...so does a lost soul.
Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
7. Yes, and yes. Ironically a bunch of us writers have been talking about editing the past two days. It’s a torturous job. You read and re-read and read again..and you STILL miss things! It’s absurd. So I give the book to my husband and he goes over all the grammar and punctuation and gives me back a really marked up book and I go about the tedious task of re-writing and corrections. Although he missed a good one too...not once but twice...I spelled the word, clothesline...closeline...for god’s sake!
I originally gave my work to a teacher who proof reads and she wanted to change up my entire story...so I don’t do that anymore!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love my garden and plants, so I get very involved with the property. Then there are the girls I like to call them...my chickens...they are so much fun to visit with...they’re like shoes, they are all so unique and unusual you just want to keep buying more. And they are used to my voice so they hang out with me, it’s very sweet. I plant live vegies in their pen and the duck pond needs cleaning out, etc. so it takes time. The pups of course, they need tons of attention. My husband and I make a habit of taking them for a long walk on the beach on Monday mornings.
And as I mentioned earlier, I paint. I’ve had a pretty good run with my Rock Series...large scale paintings of Rock n Roll legends, I’m in the middle of Stevie Nicks...well, I was in the middle last summer until wedding fever took over...so I need to get back to her and finish that up. And the house is never finished with the little things, like a ceiling mural I began in the hall and stair landing...the mosaic fireplace and the guest bathroom re-do...can’t wait to get into that one. We have a new orchard...gardening and plants take up a lot of time. When things are on a regular routine I do Yoga almost daily, hike, run, things of this nature..I like to keep fit. Right now I’m dealing with a major injury, so it’s not as consistent...and holiday chunk is hangin on still...ha ha. But I always do a week fast every spring, so that will shift things up for me. And we go to regular ball games (Go A’s) with my husband's dad who is 95! Geez, no wonder I’m always so tired...I’m too busy!
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I don’t read like I used to because I’ve been working on this series so much (and did you get a load of the stuff I do when I’m not writing, when do I have time?). It’s really sad to me because I would literally read for five hours straight once upon a time. I love reading. I had this great day bed in my dining room at my old house, right in front of a gigantic picture window that looked down over the forest mountains and I could see the coast line all the way to Carmel..it was spectacular. I would lay there among a huge pile of pillows and a blanket and read forever. I miss those days. I used to lay out in the sun and read for hours as well, and I still like to do that so that’s when I get the longest span of free time here. This past summer I read a great dystopian novel by Shaunta Grimes called Viral Nation...loved it! Her main character Clover is extremely well written. Now that I’ve opened my life up to YA Fantasy, I’m coming across a TON of amazing authors and their work, so I’ve got a pile going that I’ll begin very soon...Etiquette and Espionage, Wander Dust, Aquifer and a new one that I just ordered today called The War Inside...and there’s a couple more I have on a list, it will keep growing.
What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.
Do you think your work is good...do you think you’re a good writer?
There is local legend in the small town of Grandlochcheshire that has been passed down for a 100 years about the mysterious disappearance of the Chickering family, that trails on the coat tails of the equally shocking abduction of the Skeffington Union Rails heirs. The circumstances that follow this notorious tale enter into the modern world of Benjamin and his two best mates.
One day Benjamin watches as a mysterious little woman steps out of a taxi and in one synchronistic moment their eyes lock and a series of visual snippets of unfamiliar events unfold in his mind’s vision. His razor sharp sixth sense allows him the freedom to explore the extrasensory messages coming at him like a derailed freight train. And when Benjamin finds a peculiar relic of a key in his grandmother’s garden shed, he could never know his world was about to change forever.
Annabel and Mathilda, two sisters who have come from America, have become more than mere friends to Benjamin, they have all become the three Muskydeers (Mathilda’s mispronounced version of Musketeers, which was a huge laugh and of course it stuck), as they are plunged head first into this curious journey.
In the Gilley Forest they discover that the path they have chosen is inundated with many obstacles as well as intrigue. Alliances are made with the Forest clan of Gnomes and with the aid of the Vila sisters, Sethina and Morel, as well as some surprising and unexpected allegiances, the three friends take on the test that is the Grandfather Tree. They must stay on the pre ordained Path of Prophecy, whose ancestry comes from the home of the oldest living beings on the planet, the Elves of the Darmon. However, this is no easy task for the Muskydeers as they have the foulest of sorcery hunting their every move, the powerful dark beauty, Tar Vigorn.
This ruthless Queen is not without humor however and loves a good game of cat and mouse, as long as she’s the cat. With her biting sense of sarcasm and calculated taunting, she knows just how to unnerve Benjamin. Her phantom army, the Blunt, are searching for a way into the Grand Tree and will stop at nothing to infiltrate the pristine world beneath his giant roots.
Once in Coranim the children make the acquaintance of the greatest Medicine Elder alive, Esmerelda Fet. A most powerful Light Sorceress with a brazen in your face attitude, who guides the trio on their Path of destiny. However, a Path can change in the blink of an eye...what could alter the overpowering trajectory Benjamin has followed to Coranim? How will it change his life?
Find out as our three heroes delve into the mystic, as well as their own inner character, as you watch from the edge of your seat.
Ms. Pace has created a magical world that reminded me a bit of some of the books I read as a child--a world in which the fantastic happens and where children have the power to help others and themselves, power which is often absent in their every day world.
I enjoyed very much the characters she created. During the course of the story, they became friends I would enjoy hanging out with and I'm very interested in their next adventure.
I did find the formatting of the book a little odd--with all the dialogue being in italics. It was a little off-putting at first, but I got used to is.
Although marketed as a young adult, in The Library I would put this in our Middle Grade collection--I think this book is most suitable for 10-13 year olds, although it could be read with enjoyment by adults.
I'm definitely looking forward to the next entry in this series to see what other adventures Benjamin, Annabel, and Mathilda encounter. 4 stars.
June spends her days writing and sometimes painting her well known series of Rock n Roll icons. June and Ray own Madrona Rust, a line of unique, hand-made rustic furniture.
This series of work, the McTish characters, are a part of June in every sense of the word. “This work brings a deep sense of joy and passion for me in a very profound way, like nothing else that I do.
Blog Buy the book at Amazon and Smashwords.