Saturday, July 9, 2011

Interview + International Giveaway: Eileen Schwab author of Shadow of a Quarter Moon

Hey everyone! I am very pleased to announce that we have a special guest today. Eileen Schwab is here to answer a few questions about her latest novel Shadow of a Quarter Moon and she has graciously offered up a copy to one lucky winner. This giveaway is open to everyone so feel free to sign up in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy!

Interview: Eileen Schwab



1.  Early in your novel, SHADOW OF A QUARTER MOON, a unique twist is revealed.  Can you give us a brief introduction to your main character, Jacy Lane?

A.   In SHADOW OF A QUARTER MOON, an unimaginable secret changes the course of Jacy’s life… not once, but twice.  First, when it is hidden from her, and then when it is revealed.  As the daughter of a plantation owner, Jacy has been raised in privilege until she discovers that she is the offspring of a dalliance between her father and a slave.

2.  How does this shocking discovery impact the story?

A.  The revelation destroys Jacy's sense of who she is and where she belongs in the world, especially when she learns her biological mother and brother are still slaves on the property.  Amid the shock and complexities of her mixed heritage, Jacy is simply a woman longing for love, happiness, and a sense of wholeness; however the 1800s are not a simple time.  Jacy begins a treacherous journey that is fraught with danger and life-altering choices and soon discovers that what she chases is as elusive as the secret network she seeks for help.


3.  America’s Underground Railroad is present to varying degrees in SHADOW OF A QUARTER MOON and your previous novel, PROMISE BRIDGE.  What draws you to this difficult time?

A.  Any turbulent period in history is fodder for great books and memorable characters.  The heroes are more heroic and the villains more villainous because they are woven from truths.  The years of slavery in the United States are no different, yet it is a time that we often avoid revisiting because of the horror and shame it stirs in our moral conscience. However, in keeping the door closed on this period, we miss the chance to celebrate and marvel at the incredible acts of courage and daring deeds that were the genesis of social change in our country.  The secret network known as the Underground Railroad is the perfect example of the best of America in the worst of America, and it serves as a vehicle of transformation for my main character, Jacy.


4.  Writing a novel against an historic backdrop requires a great deal of research.  What did you do to accurately portray place and character?

A.  For me, research is a process of discovery – not just of historical facts, but of tendencies, beliefs, undertones, and nuances of the time.  Through this process I become better acquainted with my characters and the world around them. I wanted to touch and see as much as I could, beginning at the library, as well as visiting places like the Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati and other historic sites found within our National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.  So often the surprises discovered in research shift plotlines or shape characters in unexpected ways.  For example, while doing some research in North Carolina, I came across Dismal Swamp.  As a writer, I could not overlook a name so vivid and descriptive, and I knew it would be mentioned in my story.  At the time, I had no idea that the bleak sounding region was so rich and storied in Underground Railroad history, or that it would play such a significant role in my novel.


5.  What do you hope readers will carry away from this novel?

A.  As an author, my hope is that readers find SHADOW to be a journey worth taking and that the characters resonate with them long after the book is finished.  I am inspired by the strength and courage of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.  It was an honor to look back and give voice to a generation deserving of acknowledgment, tribute, and literary life.  Remembering and discussing their trials and triumphs can be one way of paying respect for their role in our social evolution.

 Book Synopsis:

Shadow of a Quarter Moon is the suspenseful and moving story of Jacy Lane, the daughter of a wealthy North Carolina horse breeder in 1839. After Jacy's father is killed in a suspicious accident, Claudia (the woman Jacy knows as Mother) reveals a secret that shatters her world. Jacy is not the well-bred woman she believes herself to be, but rather she is the light-skinned offspring of a dalliance between her father and a slave.

The shocking revelation destroys Jacy's sense of who she is and where she belongs in the world. If her secret is revealed, she will be cast out of "white" society. But as she tentatively gets to know her true mother and brother, as well as a protective slave named Rafe, Jacy begins to see life in the South with fresh eyes. To secure their wealth, Claudia tries to manipulate Jacy into marriage with a well-positioned but lecherous suitor. Claudia threatens to sell Jacy's newfound family, forcing her to make a decision that will take her on a treacherous and life-altering journey.

This giveaway is an INTERNATIONAL giveaway and it ends July 20th.

Giveaway Guidelines:  
-You must be a Follower of this blog through the GFC follower in order to be entered into this giveaway.
-Please leave your name and email address in order for me to contact you if you are the winner. If an email is not listed then unfortunately you will not be entered.
+1 extra entry for being a new follower of this blog. 
+1 extra entry each time you post this giveaway on twitter, facebook and/or on your blog somewhere. To count please leave a link in the comment section.

15 comments:

  1. Thanks for this interview - American history is an area that I love to read about. Please enter me for this giveaway. I am a follower and have tweeted this giveaway - http://twitter.com/#!/dolleygurl/status/89883678666276864.

    dolleygurl[at]hotmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Shadows of a QuarterMoon sounds like an incredible book which i would love to read!!!

    thank you for the giveaway!!!

    will be sharing on my FB page: www.facebook.com/cyn209

    cyn209(AT)juno(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would love to read this one! Thanks!
    I'm a GFC follower.

    Margaret
    singitm@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the interview and giveaway!
    I'm an old GFC follower.

    susanna DOT pyatt AT student DOT rcsnc DOT org

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm a follower on GFC-Lisa Richards
    +1 http://twitter.com/#!/alterlisa/status/90183863548133377
    +1 http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=2255891515156&id=1184379567

    (\___/)
    (='.'=)
    (")_(")

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
    http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. Shadow of a Quarter Moon sounds like a heartbreaking story, but also full of hope. I can only begin to imagine Jacy's plight as she realizes her true identity and comes to terms with it.

    +1 new GFC follower
    Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the opportunity-- I enjoy American historical fiction! Much success with the book, Rae, Best O' Books bestobooks@gmail.com
    I am a gfc follower!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sounds great! I love reading about African America history. I'm a follower.

    dragonflame 720 at yahoo dot com

    I tweeted: @teralynpilgrim

    ReplyDelete
  9. This sounds like an interesting book. please enter me in the giveaway. Thanks.

    o2oole(at)verizon(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  10. Please enter me in the draw!

    I'm following you on GFC (Darlene), and my email address is darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  11. +1 for being a new follower

    My email address is darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  12. +1 for tweeting:

    http://twitter.com/#!/DarleneBookNook/status/90515957545574400

    My email address is darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  13. +1 for sharing on Facebook:

    http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=183398551720195&id=100002541526103

    My email address is darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Tasha Shahirah
    Old follower
    lostinbooks40@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I have to recommend reading The Underground Railroad (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel.
    I finished reading it today, and my conclusion is that its a very interesting book to read.

    I brought mine off Amazon and they delivered it in only TWO days.
    Here's the link for the book on Amazon:
    The Underground Railroad (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel

    ReplyDelete