Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Interview with Fumi Hancock

What inspired you to become an author?

I have always known I would one day write a story. My parents made sure they reminded me of that, ever so often when I go on a tangent or change directions. Mother always said the way I weave stories were very captivating even at the age of 4! My parents though do not write are my inspiration.

My life experiences also triggered my commitment to writing, as a mother of two who suddenly found herself in the middle of a divorce war (when my boys were 2.6 & 4 years old) and trying to hold on to dear life, writing was my solace.

Alas, today my story has changed --- a happily re-married woman with my two boys both in college, writing has found me again.


Every life experience is an opportunity to write for me. When I wake up in the morning and hear the birds chirp, I am reminded of life’s gifts and the wisdom embedded in creation. Then, I write.  More importantly, in the case of my first young adult fantasy, the Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest, my trips back to Africa… retracing my steps back to my kingdom, Emure Kingdom in West Africa gave me a reason to pick up my pen and write again, after a long hiatus.

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

My adventures to and fro the outskirts of Africa inspired me to name my first Young Adult Fantasy Novel, The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest. I wanted my readers to go on a journey to a unique setting alongside my protagonist, Jewel Cardwell.  I wanted this novel to be seen as an adventure where my readers not only see themselves in some of the characters they meet in this unique setting; but are also softly educated about other parts the continent. One of my readers once wrote me to tell me, she would like to travel to Africa with me on one of my trips. According to her, my description in the fiction fascinated her well enough.  With responses like this, I consider my work done.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

It is a coming of age story of a young girl from a blended family, tossed in an unfamiliar setting. It shows resiliency, determination and hope even when all looks deem.  It tells us regardless of our age our resourceful and determined we are capable of, if we set our minds on whatever we want to accomplish. Above all, it reminds us that we are able to overcome circumstances; we just need to keep putting on feet after the other.  Our “promise land” is closer than we think.

What books/authors have influenced your life?

John Maxwell’s “The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader” has been and continues to be a source of empowerment for me as I progress in my writing career as well as the leadership role I take in my non-profit organization.  One major quality he mapped out in the book is “The First Impression Can Seal the Deal”. When writing, I am constantly reminded of that. I applied that nugget of wisdom to my first chapter in The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest.

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest is one in the Grimmlyn series. The whole idea started off with me knowing that I would create a series out of it. I felt that the characters were large enough; they had more depth to them that simply creating one book would do injustice to them.  The second in the sequel, The Sorcerer’s Purgatory will provide an opportunity for readers to get to know even closer one of the great characters, Kaya Darkling in the first book. The Cover Reveal of this can be seen:
http://www.worldoffumihancock.com/#!the_sequel/crpz. This is scheduled for release early next year. Stay tuned!

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

A unique & thrilling African ambiance not familiar to many!

Lying gracefully between the Vaal River in the north and the Orange River in the south, the rolling grassland and fields of crops rising to a lovely sandstone mountain, is Milner Court, Bloemfontein, a suburb nestled in the middle of Free State, South Africa.

The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest magically transports its readers from the rolling hills of Bloemfontein to the beautiful farmlands of Bela-bela South Africa. It is a fantasy-based coming of age story of a rebellious 17 year old teenager who (through no fault of her own) is thrust into an environment ridden with unfamiliar and unsavory demonic activities when admitted into a prep school in South Africa.

As Jewel Cardwell is relentlessly being trailed by an unapologetic family curse, she races against time to find answers before the curse wipes out all of her loved ones. 

In the midst of this demonic war, she becomes entangled in a love triangle between a young rugged-looking Darwin Morton who she grew up with on Milner Court and the very wealthy and popular high school soccer team leader with the silver spoon in his mouth, Eric Broder.

As they say in Hollywood, the saga continues …http://www.worldoffumihancock.com/

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

The Hobbit by Tolkien and the Lord of the Rains. I love the way the author have used language to drive the story. I am glad that those who have read my book, the Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest say the same.

Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?

Arhh… yes! My trips to Africa truly inspired me to dig further into using it as the setting for my book. Other popular fantasy books like the twilight and Amanda Hocking’s Tryll series have used the US; Harry Potter used certain parts of Europe.  I wanted to bring something even more spectacular and unique.

Though many of my characters are not true bred Africans, The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest truly explored the dynamics in their lifestyles. It also exposes the way they mingle or co-exist with each other.  

In addition, I had to do a lot of research on South Africa as well as other parts of Africa.  I pulled from my pool of experiences while born and raised in West Africa.  All of these provided the framework for my FANTASY novel.

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

Thanks to Phatpuppy Art’s Claudia (http://www.phatpuppyart.com), she was tremendous help at capturing my thoughts on Jewel Cardwell’s look, in The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest. I didn’t have to redo or rewrite or even have to think too hard on the cover. I am glad the way the cover has turned out. This far, everyone that’s seen my cover has given it a raving review. In in addition, my son, Bola Thompson- Inkblot Photography (https://www.facebook.com/inkblotphotos) did a rendition of one of the scenes in the book. This was used as my back cover. Totally awesome and continues to receive great reviews from those who have purchased the soft print.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write! Write! Write! Don’t write because you feel you will make money off it but write because you know your life depends on it. That is, LOVE IT. When you write with passion, your love for the craft will show in your writing and people will eventually get to love what you write.

Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?

Arh yes! Thanks to my darling son, Adebola Thompson, Inkblot Photography (https://www.facebook.com/inkblotphotos) he arranged and composed a track for the book. You can listen to it at www.worldoffumihancock.com

In addition, with the help of my friends- Song writers / Composers & Artists in Tennessee, Friend to an Angel a song honoring our African children was debuted and used in raising funds for our programs in Africa.  (Available at: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/theadassafoundationproje)

Today, I celebrate all of my African angels with the characters my readers will encounter in the Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest. These vibrant and most times feisty characters are a culmination of my childhood friends as well as “those conjured in my head.” These characters as well as my African babies have consistently plagued my dream and haunted my mind into bringing them alive.



Behind-the-Scenes:  http://www.worldoffumihancock.com/#!behindrhescenes/ckg3

Purchase  & Post Reviews at:
Click here to sample or buy (US) : Amazon.com
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The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest
Grimmlyn Series: Book 1
Fumi Hancock

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy & Romance Fiction

ISBN-13: 978-1475945379 
Word Count: 96,567

Cover Artist: PhatPuppy Art


Amazon   Smashwords          BN

Book Description:

What would you do if you found out you inherited an ancient familial curse?

When free-spirited and more than a little rebellious, seventeen-year-old Jewel Cardwell gained admission to Grayton Preparatory School, a prestigious, girls-only, top-notch private institution nestled in the South African farmlands of Limpopo, little did she know it would begin a trail of mysterious and unfamiliar events, changing her life forever! At Grayton prep, a battle line is drawn between ‘good and evil’ especially when there’s a full moon and dark forces swirl and  turn up in the form of hideous monsters and frightening demons. With her school fre-nemies, rivalry and treachery become the order of the day and Jewel is forced to question everything she thought she knew as she struggles to stay alive in a dubious place riddled with demonic activity!
Armed with a magical secret from her dying grandmother, a golden locket, she sets a new course in motion. In the middle of this whirlwind of events, she is caught between two boys: Darwin Morton, a lad she's known growing up, and Eric Broder, a soccer team leader with a silver spoon in his mouth. Why her love life has to get interesting now is a question she can't answer!

“I welcomed death with open arms, closed my eyes and listened as the aircraft made rattling and shaking sounds through the dreary weather. If this was my time to go, I would embrace darkness, as I had nothing else to lose.” -- JEWEL CARDWELL

Will Jewel be able to solve the mystery before evil is unleashed against those she loves?

About the Author:

Fumi Hancock is a walking example of how an ordinary person from a shackled life of broken promises and shattered dreams can live a fulfilled destiny. After twenty years of dropping her pen, she picks it right back up again by releasing the first in the Grimmlyn SeriesThe Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest.

Though graduated with a postgraduate degree in communication arts, and undergraduate degrees in English studies and nursing, she ascribes her writing to her life experiences, which were many times challenging. According to her, the protagonists and antagonists in her novels often come from the darkest moments of her life—a tribute to the fact that something good can come out of mysterious and difficult circumstances, if we choose to turn our challenges around. Age is merely a number where success is concerned. She also pulls some of her characters from her travels around the world—in particular, exotic Africa—uniquely weaving her tales.

Fumi loves to write for young adults, particularly urban fantasy, and paranormal fiction with a touch of romance. She aspires to one day write a mystery/detective novel for the adult audience. But for now, she is content with her young adult audience. With her background in nursing, she gently nurses her unusual characters to life for her readers to enjoy.

She lives in Tennessee with her husband, Dr. David Hancock, and her two grown sons, Bola and Demola Thompson. She cherishes her two stepdaughters, who reside in Michigan.


INTERVIEW:         "Tea at Home" with Fumi

Q&A:                        Video Reel

Behind-the Scenes:  Scenes from the Story

goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/fumihancock

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