Thursday, July 17, 2014

"Twist of Fate" by Shawna C. Jones

Twist of Fate
by Shawna C. Jones

Twist of Fate is currently on tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. The tour stops here today for my interview with the author and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Shawna grew up with a secret that she couldn't share with anyone. She thought of it as her "inner demon" and it shaped her life. When she became an adult, it sent her on a quest to try to find her Real Home. In Paris, she fell in love with a fellow traveler who changed her life, for better or worse. Their relationship was full of discovery and of lessons learned.
How could she come to terms with her "inner demon"? Can we change our fate or karma? Does love really conquer all?
This book is based on a true story of an independent woman's search for her true self and the meaning of life, and how she found answers in unexpected places.

“I wonder if those two are talking about us,” I thought out loud. “Oh well, I guess there’s nothing I can do about it.”
“You are going to visit me in Austria after the Canary Islands, right? Why are you going there?”
“For some sun before hitting colder weather and snow. Hopefully I’ll have a tan next time you see me.”
“I’m going to miss you. I need you to promise you’ll meet me in Austria.”
“I promise. I swear. But I don’t know how long I’ll be in the Islands, and then there’s the journey to Austria. Could be several weeks.”
He held me tight and whispered, “Just come back to me. That’s all I want. Or I’ll have to try to find you. And don’t think I can’t.” He kissed me again.
“You have my word.” I looked up at the windows to see Lyn and Mike out on their respective balconies, watching us.
“Don’t you two have better things to do?” I shouted up at them.
“No. You two are too much fun to watch,” Mike shouted back. Lyn just laughed.
John and I kissed each other goodnight. And that was the night my dream came back to haunt me.
As I jumped from the plane with my parachute in place, I felt excitement and fear at the same time. I was falling quickly towards the earth. It was exhilarating and I felt so free. Then the parachute opened, and I slowly descended to a grassy spot. Then I quickly looked up to see another skydiver falling fast. Too fast. The chute wasn’t opening. I stood in horror as I watched him fall and hit the ground, dead. I screamed. People rushed over to console me. The skydiver was my husband.

Featured Review
How nice it would be to wander the world, unfettered by the day to day? To have a chance to discover the deepest parts of ourselves, without carrying the weight of our families and our pasts? We’ve all daydreamed about this from time to time; then the real world comes crashing in and we realize that we should have indulged our wanderlust before the kids, the jobs and other responsibilities of adulthood took hold of our lives.
For me, reading Twist of Fate was the next best thing. Shawna C. Jones’ debut novel took me on an exploration, not only of the countries the main character visited, but of her internal journey as she tried to tame what she calls her "inner demon". I felt like I was walking in her footsteps as she moved from hostel to hostel, never quite knowing where the day - or her limited funds - would take her. The journey seems aimless, but at the same time has a sense of the predestined. This young woman is clearly being guided to the places she is to go and the person she is to become.
What I loved most about this book is that it is based on a true story. Shawna shows us the importance of the search for self and the meaning of life, as well as the beauty of finding answers in unexpected places.

Interview With the Author
Hi Shawna C. Jones, thanks for joining me today to discuss your debut novel, Twist of Fate.
For what age group do you recommend your book?
Young adults would probably like the book the most, however, I’ve had thirty years old, and older read it. The oldest person to read it is in her 90’s, and she told me it’s a woman’s book, and that she enjoyed it. Her remark was, "You’ve had an interesting life."
What sparked the idea for this book?
It’s based on my younger days of travel, romance, and the events that happened.
So, which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
Since it’s based on myself, it’s character first. For other books, I’d say idea.
What was the hardest part to write in this book?
The woman named "Marta" was the hardest part to write. I wrote that part in third person, and then went back to correct it to first person.
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
I hope readers don’t make the same mistakes I did, and find some inspiration in it. Plus I have lessons I’ve learned.
How long did it take you to write this book?
It took almost a year to get it finalized with editing, proofreading, and such.
What is your writing routine?
I write in the mornings when it’s quiet with pen and paper, and then I might spend more time in the afternoon to do this. I try to make it a routine, which will then become a habit. When I’m done writing, I use the laptop to start typing it.
How did you get your book published?
I self-published, first as an ebook, and then with CreateSpace.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Unfortunately, it takes money to self-publish and market. But it’s easier than going through a publishing house. I was going to go that route, but decided this was easier. So have some money saved, and write what you know, or want more information on. If you’ve had an interesting life, write about that.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I like meditating, traveling, hiking, walking, running, and yoga. Although I like reading, I’m fussy about what I put into my head. I always want something that makes me think or gives me inspiration.
So most of my reading is nonfiction.
What does your family think of your writing?
They are very supportive, and think having a published author in the family is great. Because of the nature of the book, some of my family are unaware, and I don’t know if I can keep it a secret forever.
Please tell us a bit about your childhood.
Well, that would be telling! I wrote that I grew up in Miami, which is not true. But I had to change locations to protect the people I was writing about. Let’s just say it’s the opposite of Miami.
Did you like reading when you were a child?
Yes, I read mysteries which were a favorite and still are. I also liked science fiction.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Well, this is my fourth or fifth career. When writers started self-publishing, I realized anyone can write. And we’re seeing that. The consequences are lots of people are writing because it’s much easier to do now. Not a bad thing, but it makes it harder to get a book out there that’s good. I had thought of writing for many years, and during a long vacation I started seriously writing.
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
A particular childhood experience happened that I wrote about in the book. I didn’t want to share it because it was a secret. I decided it fit in with the travel journey and wrote about it.
Which writers have influenced you the most?
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Yes I do. They give me compliments and tell me how much they liked it. I never know how my book is going to affect anyone, so it’s nice to hear, and I always appreciate it.
That's great, Shawna. What can we look forward to from you in the future?
I have a couple of projects in the works. One has been done for a while and needs editing. The other two are pretty different and they’re both vying for my attention. The muse lives on.
Fantastic! Thank you for taking the time to stop by today. Best of luck with your future projects.
You’re welcome. And thank you for interviewing me today.

About the Author
Shawna C. Jones lives in the US, when she's not traveling the world. She lives with her husband, and "inner demon" quite peacefully now. She is continuing her mission of helping others, and encouraging young people to travel and follow their dreams.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win some great prizes.