Monday, June 15, 2009

Author Interview ~ Aithne Jarretta

Today on the couch we have our good friend, Aithne Jarretta as our guest. Let's all give her a warm Menagerie welcome.

Welcome, Aithne, I'm so glad you could join us today. Let's get started with the easy questions: Where are you from?

I was born in Akron, Ohio. It’s the highest elevation point in the state. (Acropolis?) Why mention this? Well, now that I don’t live there anymore high hills always manage to appear in my stories.

LOL, funny how it works that way sometimes. When and why did you begin writing?

Every time I answer this question the time span has grown because I must go back in time to 2004. Once upon a time a metaphysical teacher set the task to her students ‘write a short story from the perspective of an object.’ Even in college I didn’t write ‘stories.’ So I sat down and wrote a short story from the pov of a Harry Potter book. Everyone in class loved it (had to read it to them—very shy…ugh! lol) and a writer was born.

OH, I don't know if I could have read it in front of anyone... I might have paid someone else to do it for me. I know, hard to believe if you know me. What inspired you to write your first book?

I had been writing fanfiction as a practice to improve my skills. Within that genre a family of (my) original characters emerged with their own history and life purpose.

My hero, Meekal Chilkwell in CONCENTRIC CIRCLES kept pestering me with a love story. He took my mind to the Chalice Well garden in Glastonbury, England and introduced me to his twin flame (of Love), Shayla Brinawell.

I simply couldn’t resist her spunky personality and her stubborn insistence to save Meekal during a time of great peril.

*snicker* Nice to know I'm not the only one with pesky characters. How did you come up with the title?

Lol! There were so many titles and none fit the story. One day I sat down and told myself I wasn’t getting up from my computer until I came up with something better. I just couldn’t figure out why none of them ‘felt’ right.

So, I poked through chapters (never had problems titling them! ;o) and the many images that I had saved during my research process.

Still nothing.

Then it hit me—there’s an image on my website ( of the Chalice Well’s intricate cover…

I remembered that Meekal says it best. (from ch. 17: Silver & Gold Concentric Circles)

He opened the box. Cradled inside upon purple velvet lay a gold and silver pendant etched with the concentric circles of the Vesica Pisces Pool. The gold sparkled against his skin as he lifted the chain and held it for her to see. “The concentric circles mean many things to many people. When you came into my life, in that very moment at the Pool, I knew with certainty you were my matching circle. See the part where they are joined?”

She felt hypnotized by the vision of his hand laced with gold and silver. “Yes.”
“To me, that’s our hearts, beating as though one.”
She met his eyes. Her heart flipped.

I think I unintentionally answered this question, too… Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Love is the joining of two hearts and has the power to conquer all adversity. ;o)

Hey, you can answer as many questions as you want to, LOL. I love how the title just seemed right after all that angst. I guess that's just how it works sometimes. How much of the book is realistic?

This is the fun part! I love taking real places, a bit of history and blending them with fictional characters. The locations in CC are real, but I did add in a few fictional aspects because they blended in with my woven story.

The Chalice Well really does have healing properties and its legend goes back even before the Christians (Joseph of Arimathea) arrived on the shores of Briton. Everybody knows the Tor is there, but are they aware of the many (and powerful) ley lines that crisscross its location?

(Excerpt from ch. 3: Magical Bonds; Intertwined Souls)

On a rush of spiraling air, Meekal transported them to the top of St. Michael’s Tower on the Tor, facing west. “Don’t tell Mum I did that. She’ll have kittens.”
Shayla giggled. “How can no one see you when you do that?”

He shrugged, nonchalant. “A charm.”

A gasp popped up and Shayla clutched him tighter. “How?” She stared down at the empty air beneath them, and then waved her toe against nothing.

The urge to chuckle won out. “You didn’t think the tower had an upper floor, did you?”

“Never saw any pictures.” She backed up into his chest and gazed out the small gothic window. “Are we levitating?”

“Naw. I used to hang out up here when I was a kid. Harry and I figured out how to let the ley lines hold us up. Not the same as levitating.”


“Humm. You could say that you’re standing on the St. Michael Line. Although many ley lines crisscross here on the Tor, St. Michael is the strongest and most predominant.”

“I remember reading something about that,” Shayla said, and pointed through the narrow window. “St. Michael’s Line. That means, well since it’s October 31st, that mound where the sun is setting must be Burrowbridge Mump.”

“Aye. You do know a tad bit of history.”

“Just a tad.”

He wrapped his arms tightly around her and rested his jaw against the softness of her hair, just next her ear. Perfect fit.

During Meekal’s drive north in a saddened rush to return to his family’s origin, I accompanied him via Mapquest. (pretty cool writer’s tool) The destination, Fiunary Forest is real; however Raven’s Gate is hidden behind the magic of megaliths which are purely fictional. Alas, Raven’s Gate is pure fiction, too.

And Shayla’s favorite park? I hiked along those rocky trails of Gorge Park among towering cliffs and oaks for many years. There’s even a cameo line in CONCENTRIC CIRCLES that mentions the author in an off hand manner. *grin* No one will ever know. lol

But, see, you did the writer's job of mixing the fantasy and the reality. That's what we all aim for! What are your current projects?

I am currently working on the sequel of CONCENTRIC CIRCLES titled CIRCLE OF FIRE. It’s a time travel which introduces the past legacy of the Chilkwells to readers. (Meekal Chilkwell’s many times great grandfather.)

Wow, you'll have to let us know when it's ready to be released! Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Lisa MacDonald. (Also writes as KyAnn Waters.) She was my critique partner and taught me so much.

OH, KyAnn rocks! It's great that you have such a wonderful cp. Do you see writing as a career?

Yes. It’s the one way I can express myself fully.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Unedited excerpt from CIRCLE OF FIRE:

In this moment heroine Siusan must admit that several things have changed in her life journey—including her discovery of intimate feelings for Raven.

Alysha gave her a crock filled with soft soap. “Go through the crack in the craigh. Ye will find a fall of water there. Wash the dust of travel off.”

“Aye,” Siusan whispered.

She approached the sheer rocky craigh at the western end of the back dooryard with caution. The cavern was broad. Siusan realized the cool open space served to store food. The scent of apples tickled her senses, only then to be intermingled with the sharpness of garlic and onion.

The sound of falling water teased her ears as she walked past the stores of food. She followed the soft watery resonance around a large outcropping of rock, into another underground chamber. Her breath hitched.

Raven stood under the waterfall as it flowed into a pool. His black hair fell loose to the center of his back. Sensual power exuded from his firm muscular body. Across his shoulders and upper arms, he was painted with dark tattoos.

Siusan shivered. In continued surprise, she dropped her carved wooden comb. The sound echoed back from the surrounding stone and betrayed her presence.
Tattoos, she somehow managed to think when he turned.

Raven’s dark blue eyes looked black in the semi-dark cave. The flickering light from a torch, created dancing shadows. Their movement enhanced his wet body with golden tendrils of water down his shapely form.

He looked at her with boldness and continued breathing deeply. Instant arousal rose and heated the air. He stepped out of the water and approached. “Do not fear me. My name is just a name. Pernicious is an old family name. One we use every other generation so that we may always remember.” The water glistened on his skin like the sparkle of midnight stars.

Fluttering trembles swept through her. Siusan turned away, unable to speak. Her heart thrummed, the sensation traveled to her knees. The urge to flee became forefront in her mind. Immobile feet betrayed her.

“Siusan,” Raven said in a caressing inflection, “dinna leave. I will go.”
Raven’s voice played upon her, teasing with utmost heat of wildfire. She would not look at him.

Raven stepped closer. “Take your time,” he whispered with a breath across her cheek. “I will wait. When ye are ready.” The husky desire in his voice caressed them, reverberating from the stones.

Oh, that looks wonderful, can't wait. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I always insist on writing villains because in my mind they are in direct opposition to Love. It still remains my most difficult task. Syther the Quitch, the villain in CONCENTRIC CIRCLES is really bad. That’s because I used an ageless quote in the book that had resonance with me…

“Where the Light is Brightest, the Shadows are Darkest.”

In order to fulfill that quote it was necessary to make Syther the Quitch a dark personality. His direct opposition to Meekal & Shayla (Light) was completely necessary, but challenging to write.

That is truly interesting. I can honestly say that some of my favorite characters have been the villains. They bring so much to the story. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Always write. Even if you’re struggling. I say this because the best characters can come from it.

Excellent advice. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I am forever grateful to Readers. Even in the age of the Internet I don’t think I can say this enough—Thank You! You make stories happen and give authors the opportunity to share their work.

I agree! Our readers are the reason we do it. Now for the "absolutely nothing to do with writing" questions: What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?

I actually love both cats and dogs. They appeal to me because their personality can bring love into our lives. My dog Cody has been my constant companion for many years. And my Arsi Rose is still a young ‘teenage’ cat who can be quite vocal at times. ;o)

LOL, well, then you're well-rounded. Do you hate how you look in pictures? Why or why not?

Absolutely hate it. Took me a long time to figure out why—it’s because I tend to tense up and then the camera catches me that way. Rigid as a board. That’s not my personality.

LOL, well... that's better than the open-mouthed, "HUH?" look my FIL always catches me with! What is your heritage?

Celtic and Native American. Both sides of my family have Cherokee mixed with their roots. We’ve also been here since the very early 1800s. Someday I’m going to write a story about it.

Hmm... sounds familiar! LOL Have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one and why?

Yes. I tend to cry in the weirdest places though and not just in romantic movies. So that’s my secret. The first time was when I was sixteen and saw Gone With the Wind in a theater. The moment? Scarlett’s demented father raced his horse and jumped a fence. He broke his neck even though he had jumped it many times during his life. Even then it symbolized broken and lost love because he lost his mind to grieving over his wife’s death and couldn’t bear the loss of his home, too.

Another weird moment that still catches me is the moment in The Da Vinci Code when John Langdon kneels in Paris over Mary Magdalene’s pyramid. Don’t ask—I still can’t figure it out. Lol!

Personally, I think the Davinci Code moment is like a knight paying homage to his Queen. At least that wasthe impression I always got from that part. Are you a morning person or a night person?

I love the time of day as the sun is beginning to set and the early part of the night.

And that is especially gorgeous when you'va had a bad day. Just makes it all worth it. Do you like thunderstorms?

Oh yes! The energy is awesome and thunderstorms have a cleansing effect like washIng away a bad day.

That is a wonderful way of putting it! Thank you so much for joining us today, Aithne. It was great fun having you here on the couch. Hmm... somehow that sounds dirty... sorry. Don't be a stranger!

You can visit Aithne at her website and blog. Don't miss her free read which she adds to on her blog.

Concentric Circles by Aithne Jarretta

Shrouded in the Mists of Avalon is a Hidden Legacy. Enter this mythical in-between realm of Power and discover... Syther the Quitch is angry. Someone new has arrived in Glastonbury, England. Shayla Brinawell carries many secrets. Destiny propels her path. Paths have twists... Magic astounds her. Death chases her. Love saves her. Meekal Magdal-eder Chilkwell, Chalice Well Guardian has always known his destiny. A protector of all that is good, even in the face of possible death, he insists on standing strong. Illicit evil looms, threatening to destroy Shayla s chance for love. She must come to terms of a lifetime of denying magic and fully embrace her power. Held captive within Syther s wicked plot, will Meekal escape the clutches of Shadow Run, Umbra of Darkness? Twin souls of light bonded in Love. Will their magic combine to protect the Sacred Waters of the Chalice Well? How will Shayla prevail and rescue her one true love?


Aithne said...

Thank you so much for posting this wonderful interview. Your questions blended and flowed smoothly. It is an honor to be featured today.


Comment and tell me where Raven's Gate is located (find it in the interview) and your name will be entered to win a goody bag.

Drawing to be held Tuesday morning. Winner will be notified by email.

Blessings. ;o)

~ Aithne

Catherine Bybee said...

Hi, Aithne... I'm one who is blessed to have Aithne as one of my CP's. And CC is a fantastic ride all the way through.

Lovely interview ladies.

Aithne said...

Hey Catherine,

Great to see you over here. So glad you enjoyed CC. My current wip is driving me crazy. lol Oh wait... I'm already there.

Meekal is currently stuck in an isolated cabin in the woods with a witchy duchess, a frantic father-to-be and a grumpy old man that doesn't like him.

What's a hero to do? lol

~ Aithne

KyAnn said...


Hey sweetie. it is so good to read your interview and know you are still playing in your amazing magical world.

Concentric Circles is a book that will stay with me forever.


Kealie Shay said...

Hi, Aithne! I got to poke my head in for a moment! It was so much fun doing your interview and getting to know you better. I'm so glad you got to hang out on the Menagerie couch.