1. What inspired you to write this book? I have been writing stories since I was 8
years-old, and then in the sixth grade, my teacher let me read my stories aloud
to the class. I often think about the courage that I had to read my stories
aloud and the impact it had on me. But over the years, I lost that boldness. And
now many years later, I have found that ability again. But this time, it was
Covid that spurred me on to write the story of The Guardians.

 

2. What exactly is it about and who
is it written for?
Piper, the protagonist, comes home one day to learn that her
mother and sisters have been kidnapped. Her mother’s friends believe the
kidnapper will return and so try to protect her by hiding her on an isolated
farm, but Piper goes off on her own to find them. Along her journey, she is
tasked with a troublesome fairy who guides her through the Dark Mountains, a
place already tormented by the dark magic that perhaps the fairy let loose.
Meanwhile, her mother’s friends, who have also set out in search of their
friend and her daughters, meet a number of creatures who are determined to
help, but none know how, leaving the women intuiting what to do.

The story is written for preteens; Piper herself is a preteen.  Or, if you want a book to read aloud to your
children, this is the one.

 

3. What do you hope readers will get out
of reading your book?
 I
love folklore – especially when it allows us to understand why we do the things
we do. And for me, that understanding goes back to the Middle Ages. So much
happened in that era that still influences how we live today, especially about
the holidays – Halloween and Christmas stand out as two holidays whose
histories really strengthened in the Middle Ages. Western hospitals began in
the Middle Ages, and although they were established along the routes of the
crusades, they brought in a more caring system than what we had which was to
leave the dead and dying on the battlefield or to have them taken care of by a
family that could barely afford the medicines that were required. The Beguines
first established in Brugge in the early part of the Middle Ages were secular
institutions that tended to the needs of the people in towns and villages,
often working a second job in order to care for the people, and paid taxes,
unlike the isolated monasteries of the times. The medical school in Salerno,
Italy not only allowed women to attend but also to become doctors. Male doctors
were sought by the financially able as a point of prestige, but the women were
trained physicians as well.  What I hope
readers will get from reading my book is a better understanding of that era,
that women were more active and did much more than what we realize. They kept
the home fires burning while the men were away at war. It was they who were the
keepers of progress – not the men. I hope to dispel the myths about the Middle
Ages as well as stir up some interest in that era.

 

4. How did you decide on your book’s title and
cover design?
The Guardians is a book about community, people helping
others, and I put that in the context of the Middle Ages, a time when the women
rose. We see that in both Piper, an innocent, and in the women who also look
for her mother, the wise women, the experienced women. I hope that shows that
learning is ever-present, regardless of age. Other characters in the book –
like the witches, Nisse, and fairies also provide support. They are The
Guardians
, the intuitives that serve and protect. The cover design invokes
a feeling of foreboding that first comes with intuitives though they know they
will.

 

5. What advice or words of wisdom do you have
for fellow writers – other than run!?
Oh my – so many ideas come to mind. But perhaps the idea of
community is uppermost. I know writers work in solitude, but the time comes
when all writers need feedback. Don’t be afraid of feedback. Work in a writers’
group, take your turn to read your work in progress – and it is a work in
progress. Make changes if necessary but always know that it is your work, your
characters, your story. You make the decisions to change your work – or not.

 

6. What trends in the book world do you see —
and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? 
 I honestly haven’t given this much thought.
I haven’t been a published writer long enough to have any thoughts about where
the publishing industry is headed. But the trend in the book world – well, now,
that intrigues me. I like variety, so my hope is that books – the kind that you
hold in your hand and turn the pages and just know there’s something magical
about them – prevail.

 

7. Were there experiences in your
personal life or career that came in handy when writing this book? 
 Yes. I believe that is true for all
first-time writers. You “write what you know” and it becomes tangled in your
imagination. I am a traveler. I have traveled all over Europe. So, when I
learned that people in the Middle Ages traveled a lot more than what we were
led to believe, I was beside myself. It was an a-ha moment. I remembered all
the cathedrals and castles I had visited, the roads I had traveled, the sites I
had seen, and I could truly see my fellow travelers from the Middle Ages
visiting those same places – the travelers in Canterbury Tales or the commoners
walking down that rocky road to Dublin, looking for work. 

 

8. How would you describe your writing style?
Which writers or books is your writing similar to?
I don’t know that my writing is similar to
other writers. I would hope not, but at the same time, I find myself wanting to
be like other female writers. I write stories about the unnamed commoners who
make a difference in their world, both of which – unnamed and make a difference
– women do and have done for ages. So, I guess, my style is soft feminism – and
I use the word “soft” because women’s voices have characteristically been
unheard and unsung. We have been nurtured that way. I want to change that.

 

9. What challenges did you overcome in the
writing of this book?
 As
I mentioned before, I wrote the book during the Covid lockdown. We live in
Sicily where the restrictions were greater than in the US. We could not go
anywhere that a piece of paper didn’t acknowledge – and then only one day of
the week. I wrote during that time – and that was a huge challenge as I often
found myself restless. So, I had to keep to a routine. Research helped me
focus, so I became absorbed in what I was reading. And I read everything about
the people in the Middle Ages – their beliefs, their daily lives, their new
inventions, their folktales, their food and how they prepared it (spoiler
alert: they didn’t boil everything), their medicines, etc. And if that wasn’t
challenging enough, I had some unruly fairies who refused to cooperate. Ha!

 

10. If people can buy or read one book this
week or month, why should it be yours?
The Guardians is an enjoyable read. Have a difficult day? Read my book. Need
to travel to another era and place? Read my book. Need to know what happened
when dark magic seeped into the region? Read my book.

 

About The Author: From the time I could read, I was captured by
mythology and folktales. Now I live in the middle of the Mediterranean on
Persephone’s Island, on the mountain where giants once thrived – if Homer is to
be believed. I divide my time between there in Sicily and the mountains of
Colorado.


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About Brian
Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be
followed on
www.linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum. This is
copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2024. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now
resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue
dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The
Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This
award-winning blog has generated over 3.6 million pageviews. With 4,800+ posts
over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by
BookBaby 
http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018
as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by
www.WinningWriters.com as a “best resource.” For the past three decades,
including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book
publicity firm, and director of publicity positions at two independent presses,
Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres,
right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark
Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay,
Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan
RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He
hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America several years ago, and
has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence
College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association,
Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, Morgan James Publishing, and
Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have
been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY
Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News
(Westchester) and The Washington
Post
. His first published book was The Florida homeowner, Condo, &
Co-Op Association Handbook
.  It was featured
in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald.