Ah, yes…. A Grateful Heart for all the awesome people that’s crossed my path, an Author of Inspirational Books and Fantasy & Paranormal Romance Young Adult Novels… an avid Book Lover who resides in Spring Hill, Tennessee!
Oh, I said it- absolutely crazy about these authors: Stephenie Meyer, Amanda Hocking, Samantha Young…and a Self Proclaimed Writer of the Year (Ok, perhaps a stretch but I’m on my way!).
Alright so I’m not in my twenties… probably starting my writing career just a tad-bit late… but I’m determined to be a success story too! I heard 40’s s the next twenties in this century… If they are right, then I just peaked! Hooray for me. My friends range from ages 14 – You know… let your imagination run wide…. Ha!
Some call me an Humanitarian and a Life Changer for Children in Africa (http://www.adassafoundation.org)…. Host of “From Scratch TV,” an Online Inspirational TV Programming (http://www.fromscratchtv.com), Mother of 2 Terrific Sons and Daughters, and an Adventure Seeking Adult with an unquenchable love for Young Adult Novels.
To find out more, please visit http://www.worldoffumihancock.com
Q: Thank you for this interview Fumi Hancock. Can you tell us what your latest book, is all about?
A: 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.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?
A: Jewel Cardwell’s sidekick, Kaya Darkling, the Sorcerer’s daughter was so much fun to write. She is a culmination of what I would love to be in my magical world and some characters I have encountered in my life journey… full of strength with a little darkness and some light of course. She is a character you would love to hate because of what she represents yet her dark and mysterious side draws people to her. She is an unpredictable lone ranger, yet people look for her to help solve their mundane problems. My imagination truly went wild on her. I love her so much, I am seriously looking at starting a totally new series for her. My next book in this series will be featuring her a great deal. I can’t wait.
Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
A: Wow! This is a pretty loaded question. 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. I guess as my readers know more about me; they will probably figure that out. I leave that question up for their imagination.
Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?
A: I pretty much have a slight idea of where I want to go; then I continue to write. Funny thing, most times when I write, my plots often will introduce me unique them, in a new environment.
Q: Your book is set in South Africa. Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?
A: The Unique setting … South Africa.
As a lover of fantasy stories, I’d read many which are set in Europe as well as the US (Stephenie Meyer set in the US; Harry Potter in some part of Europe; Amanda Hocking set in the US etc); I wanted to bring a different perspective. Africa has a lot of colorful culture as well as exotic places which many readers are not familiar with. In my journeys, I have gotten so many wonderful and raw “spookie” stories I wanted to share with my readers. I wanted my readers to taste other places through my characters, though the characters’ struggles are similar as teenagers. I wanted to transport them to a place outside of what they are familiar with and to present it in characters which come from different parts of the world. The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell is not about Africans but about people from different parts of the world living life in Africa! I want to make sure that my readers go in understanding that. Jewel Cardwell’s family background is mixed … dutch and some other European background…My chosen setting is my playground to display characters from all over the world.
Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?
A: Absolutely yes! The setting was pivotal in describing the various nerve wrecking events the characters experienced. Choosing Africa, also gave me a chance to present unique encounters with demons that would not ordinarily occur here. I believe my choice of setting (South Africa) gave the adventure more depth. A goodreads review said this that while reading the book; she literally saw herself planted on the streets of South Africa and experiencing what the characters were experiencing. As a writer, I was content with it and indeed very grateful to all of my readers.
Q: Open the book to page 69. What is happening?
A: Page 69 in the Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest is titled “The Indwelling”. This was Jewel’s first day in boarding school. She had just been through a tremendous experience at the dining hall, where she was punished by a senior for being late to the dining hall. In addition, she desperately wanted to forget that her cousin had lied on her and gotten her in trouble with the seniors she’d just met. To make matters worse, she’d been entrenched in heavy rain and wanted to do nothing but just crawl into her bed. Jewel is met with the reality that she was going to be sharing a room with at least 11 other girls; a situation she was unfamiliar with when she was at home with her family. As she slowly settles into her area, adjusting her pose; she meets another character, a Lebanese-African speaking lad with a quirky look- Brie who later became Jewel’s best friend.
Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?
My weary eyes opened to an ominous sky speckled with dim stars and a huge full moon dappled with unsettling, flaming balls of fire. I was in an unfamiliar setting, an open space surrounded by terrifying, blazing fires, and the humming of a charter aircraft shattered the stillness of the night.
Mum and Darwin hopped out of the car, with me following, and we hastened toward the small aircraft.
“What’s this?” I kept asking, with no answer from Darwin or Mum.
“Are we going on that?” I asked again, ducking a cloud of sand blown from the ground, a result of the blazing fires and rumbling aircraft.
In front of us was a six-foot-tall, dark-skinned man, dressed in a dark blue pilot’s uniform. His eyes showed great anticipation as he struggled to move toward us. No sooner had we closed the distance to the aircraft when we heard the terrifying staccato of gunshots.
Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Fumi Hancock. We wish you much success!
A: Thank you for having me. It was delightful.
Free-spirited and more than a little rebellious, seventeen-year-old Jewel Cardwell isn’t too thrilled when she gains admission to Grayton Preparatory School, a prestigious, girls-only, top-notch private institution nestled in the South African farmlands of Limpopo. Unfortunately, it’s a move that will change her life forever. Almost from the moment she arrives, a string of misfortunes and strange occurrences begin trailing her. The comforts of home have been swept away, and she is plunged into a world where she has to fend for herself. But that pales in comparison to what happens on the nights when there’s a full moon. Dark forces swirl during those nights and turn up in the form of hideous monsters and frightening demons. Though Jewel has always been drawn to the darker side of life, this is more than she bargained for. She’s also 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! The key to it all may be in her grandmother’s locket, which Jewel always wears. Will Jewel be able to solve the mystery before evil is unleashed against those she loves?