Monday, September 11, 2017

The Accalia by H.L. Girton Excerpt & Interview

The Accalia
The Accalia Series
Book 1
H.L. Girton

Genre: YA paranormal

Date of Publication: Aug 14th

Cover Artist: SK Designs

Tagline: The truth hurts more than secrets and lies

Book Description:

After traveling the country with her aunt, Genesis Berkley finally feels like she is home. Settling in Tillamook, Oregon, she begins a new life and everything seems to be going smoothly. That is, until she runs into a mysterious young man.

The feelings that he awakens are unsettling, and soon, her simple, peaceful world shatters. Lies and secrets are revealed, and danger lurks in every corner.

Now, Genesis must discover if she is strong enough to fulfill her destiny. Will she learn to accept the truth before it is too late.

Excerpt One:

“Please! I’m not theAccalia as you all believe. I cannot be her.” I looked around at them, their eyes locked onto me as I denied their silly prophecy. “I’m not a savior. I’m not the girl they describe in here. I don’t know how to love like that. I don’t have the power or strength to stop whatever it is the Accalia’s meant to stop. I’m just me. I am just a normal girl who graduated high school a few weeks ago. I’m sorry, but I’m not who you think I am.”
I was apologetic, but firm. I couldn’t be what they wanted me to be. I just wasn’t that girl. The only love I had ever known was the love I had for Aunt Cammie, and until I met Madeline, I hadn’t loved a friend before. They expected me to be this all powerful, unconditional loving, Accalia, but I was nobody.
“You are the Accalia, Genesis, and you will come to realize the importance of it in time. You are also my daughter and both roles come with responsibilities and expectations.”

About the Author:

Heather Girton has been a creative writer since her childhood, writing creative stories and poems for the love of imagination and literacy. It started out as an outlet for personal struggles and a way to cope with them through fictional fantasy and turned into a passion and need to share her aspirations with the world. It wasn’t until 2013 that she decided to share her talent through fictional novels due to the encouragement from her family and friends.

Since graduating high school in 2006, Heather has spent the last eleven years being a dedicated mother and military spouse. In that time she nurtured a family of four children all while traveling the country following her husband’s career. She spent the last five years working towards her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology with a Minor in Sociology. She has done volunteer work with grief support organizations gaining experience with her field of study.

Currently Heather lives in Texas with her husband, children, support dog, and lazy cat. She is an avid reader and loves it as much as she adores writing. She spends her free time sharing her devotion for it with her children. When she isn’t reading, writing or focusing on her family, Heather has a personal admiration for photography.

1.      What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
To be honest I don’t think I have ever forced myself to go on one. There are many places on my bucket list, but being a full time mom to three kids, they take most of my time and effort. If I went on any, it was to Harry Potter world. This mama is obsessed with Harry Potter and that was something my kids and I share for a place we just had to go to. We are holding our tickets for that trip coming up as a family outing. So I can say that I am excited for this pilgrimage.
Aside, my family and I travel often. We love going to new places and seeing new things. We actually did a road trip to Alaska one year and the drive through Oregon gave me the inspiration to make the setting of The Accalia on the coast of Oregon. It was absolutely breathtaking there. I fell in love with it instantly.
2.      What is the first book that made you cry?
The first book that really made me cry, like broke my heart and ached into my soul, was a book titled A Child Called It by Dave Peltzer. I read this story as a young girl, I was probably around the age of twelve. This story about the abuse and tragic life of the little boy gutted me. I lived a confusing life, one that wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows, but it was never anything like the horror this boy lived through. It broke my heart and opened my eyes for the first time to the horrible living conditions some children live through. It was the first time I wished I could help another child. I wanted to show them that the world was not so horrible and kindness and love still existed.
3.      Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing energizes me. I enjoy it. I don’t find it frustrating. I don’t cry over it or get angry with it. It’s relaxing. Peaceful. It gives me the ability to get lost in my own mind and create an image with words on paper.
4.      What is your writing Kryptonite?
There are lots of small little writing kryptonites out there that distract me from writing. I would have to say my biggest one would be time constraint. My time is constantly being divided up and I will be needing to give my sole focus to other priorities in life but my mind will be going crazy with ideas that I need to write down. Or the opposite will happen and I will finally be sitting down to write and my mind will be thinking about how I have an hour until my girls need to be at gymnastics or I have twenty minutes until dinner. My time gets divided throughout the day, pulling me every which way that I just think I need more time in my day to give a full work day to writing so I don’t get distracted by other responsibilities.
5.      Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Not really. My name is my own and I kind of like it. I don’t want to hide myself from my work. I like that I can put my name or initials on it and say, this is mine. This is what I have accomplished. I worked hard for it. I spent years writing it and molding it into its finalized piece. It feels nice to look at it and see my name across the cover. I would see it no different than an artist signing their artwork.
6.      What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I have had so many authors reach out to me to help me in many different ways. It has been a great circle to entrust myself into. Everyone has something to offer. I have one author to thank just for motivating me to believe in my work and say it was good enough to publish. Just having her read and encourage me in that way was inspiring. I had another author who has been absolutely blunt and honest with me about every little thing. The criticism has helped shape me in my writing to be able to step back and see some of the flaws that I wouldn’t normally see and be able to improve on them. Then I have had some that have giving me the ins and outs and dos and don’ts of the author world where others are really just supportive and cheer leaders, encouraging you every step of the way. I have yet to meet another author that I would say couldn’t be a friend. Everyone is welcoming and kind with something to offer.
7.      Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
Each story I have is a story within itself. The Accalia is the beginning of a whole series. So every book to follow in that series would follow the story of Genesis and all the characters within the series. I have other stories that will release that have absolutely nothing to do with The Accalia and will give readers another character to fall in love with and another story to reach out and relate to. Every story I have will be of its own. Some may be a part of a series where others are a one book and done deal. It really depends on how the story plays out and how much of that story needs to be shared with the world.
8.      What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?
That's a tough one. I can't say I've meet any authors I didn't like, so personally, I feel like I can't say I dislike anyone. There are, however, and unfortunately, books that weren't for me, but I think it's like that for everyone. There are genres that are not my forte and I struggle getting through, but I can say every book I have started I have finished.
9.      What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
I am uncertain if it is under appreciated, but it is a novel I have read that is a part of a trilogy. I had never heard of this book or author prior to reading it and when I mention it to others they have never heard of it. I always send readers to this trilogy when they are looking for a new book to read. The Kiss of Deception, by Mary E. Pearson is the first book in the trilogy. My husband by chance got me this book as a gift and I loved it from page one until I closed the final book. I wish more people knew about it. It is a great read that I have loved reading again and again.
10.  As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
I am going to have to say that my spirit animal would have to be the tortoise. I say this because my ability to write and publish has taken years to accomplish. It reminds me of the tortoise and the hare. The hare is always faster to get to where he is going and the tortoise follows the same path along the race, but he always wins. I feel that, for myself, I have taken my time to understand this world and what it entails and I made sure to provide myself and my book, The Accalia, along with the others, the proper time needed to get out there and create this wonderful work of literature.
11.  How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
To be honest, all of my books are unpublished or half written, except for The Accalia. This is my debut book. My baby. I have three fully written books waiting for edits and publication. Two of them go along with the Accalia series and one is a standalone. I have three half written books waiting for completion, one which is the continuation of The Accalia Series, and two are standalones. I find I write them as they speak to me, so to say. I’ll have a good week where I will think of nothing but the one story and need to get it written on paper. I will write until I have completed the goal in my head. It all depends on story line, if I find myself stuck on a plot issue, or if I have time to just sit down and write the day away. Being a full time mom to three babies takes a lot of my time. (Four if you include my husband in that!) I try to divide my time for writing in my spare time evenly by setting small goals to achieve the bigger goals.
12.  What did you edit out of this book?
It's never easy editing, mostly because deleting words you spent so much time putting in is hard, but also because you have to make those big decisions, like which scenes stay or go. Sometimes, whole chapters need to be removed, or rewritten. Fortunately, my editor and I both agreed that all the scenes in The Accalia were necessary to paint the full story for this book. I can't say it'll be the same for book two The Curse, but we'll see.
13.  If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
If I wasn’t a stay at home mom and didn’t write for the love of it, I would want to be a grief counselor. I would really love to work with patients and their families that suffer from grief due to loss. Being able to help those who are suffering from grief became important to me after the loss of my own son. I had to learn and cope with grief and help my own family in the process. Helping others became a healing process for me which led me to a passion to serve others. It’s what I’ve gone to school for and hope do still do as my children grow and alongside my writing career.
14.  Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Actually, yes. I have hidden innuendos all throughout the series. I am a religious person and have used my beliefs to connect the book to my faith in an inconspicuous way. It’s subtle and would hardly be recognized unless you were looking for it. Also another thing I did was character names were chosen based on who they are and what they are destined for.  Every main character has meaning and their names define them.
15.  What is your favorite childhood book?
Harry Potter without hesitation. I have loved this series from the very beginning. I read them growing up and still read them now. I even share the love for it with my children. We have read every book and seen every movie. If it involves the wizarding world, we love it. I have always been a huge fan of this series and I don’t think I read anything I have loved more as a kid.

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