Leigh Savage Banner

Leigh Savage Banner
Erotic Romance With A Bite...Leigh Savage

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Contest & Interview with Clinton Festa Author of Ancient Canada

 About the Author: 

Clinton Festa, raised in Rockland County, NY, is son to two educators and grandson to four.  Clinton studied animal science with the intention of pursuing a doctorate in veterinary medicine.  However, after graduation Clinton began flight training and has worked in aviation for the last ten years.
Book Title: Ancient Canada
Author: Clinton Festa
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: SynergEbooks
Book Description:

“Ancient Canada is a fantasy epic and a story of mythology for an alternate Canada.  Because of her unique ability to see life and death, Lavender is exiled from her home.  With the help of her sister Marigold, she survives in the wild using her gift.  The two encounter various characters and creatures along their journey, not all human and not all friendly.  Each chapter is narrated by one of these characters or creatures, sharing their personal story as well as their encounter of the two sisters.  Together the chapters link to bring Lavender and Marigold’s epic, the mythological story of Ancient Canada.”
Interview Questions:  
1.  What inspired you to become a writer?

I wanted to do something permanent.  I didn’t need to leave a legacy, or even put my name on the book.  But I got sick of consuming so much more than I produced.  Once I told my friends I was writing a book, three of them said, “Yeah, I’m writing a book, too.”  That was unexpected.  The books were all different, but we were all in our late twenties; maybe that has something to do with the urge we all had.

2.  When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

In college when I was on the Lunatic, our campus humor magazine.  After seeing my work in print, it just looked different.  I still remember my first piece, which was a ‘through the years’ of the big hill that every freshman had to walk up to get to class.  The freshman dorms were at the bottom of this big slope, and my piece was about how  throughout history it’s set back both evolution and civilization repeatedly.  The first amphibian for example, crawled out on dry land, saw the slope, said, “Nuts to that,” and crawled back into the water.  Hannibal and his men later attempted to cross the slope riding elephants, but failed.

3.  What genre(s) do you write?   Why do you write the stories that you write?

Ancient Canada is my first book, published by SynergEbooks.  Therefore it’s just been fantasy fiction so far.  I loved writing an epic.  I could see going back and doing some comedy, but I was able to get a lot of humor out through Marigold, one of the main characters.

4.  Where did the inspiration for your book come from?

Walking around New York City, looking for a place to eat that had a style I hadn’t already tried.  I’d eaten it all: Lebanese, Thai, Peruvian, you name it.  I thought someone needed to create a fake country and make a restaurant based on its food.  But stainless steel spatulas are expensive.  So the restaurant idea became a book, the food became mythology, and instead of a fake country I used an alternate Canada.

5.  How long did it take you to put the story together?
About two and a half years.  I’ve been lucky enough to have a nine to five, Monday through Friday job throughout it all.  For two and a half years I wrote the book on Friday and Saturday nights.  Although my job has little writing to it other than a steady dose of emails, I liked it better than being unemployed.  For the creative process to work, I thought I needed time for the ideas and inspiration to arrive.  I had the workweek for that, and the weekends to decipher my notes and do the actual writing.  It worked well for me that way.
6.  Can you share a little about your novel with us?

It’s mythology for an alternate Canada.  The two main characters are Lavender and Marigold, sisters exiled from their home into a journey through an alternate Arctic.  Each chapter is told by a different narrator, like Canterbury Tales.  Each narrator shares their personal story while it links to form the overall epic of Lavender and Marigold.  It’s mythology, so plan on some psychology and philosophy, but also some humor and hopefully a story you’ll really get into. 


It had happened. Simon had seen his second child.

Quietly and peacefully, she opened her eyes, quite soon after birth. Perhaps the brilliance of the sky overhead opened her eyes itself, and if so, it was our first indication that she had the ability of sight.

“I’ve never seen that color before,” said the medic.

“Nor I,” said Simon. “They are clear, not even murky, as Marigold’s when she was first born.”

“Are those truly purple eyes, or is that just an effect of the Lights?”

“No, they are genuinely purple. Or maybe a sort of violet.”

“Or maybe Lavender,” spoke Simon. Once I told him what the peddler had said earlier, about the lavender I traded from him, we agreed on her name. I did not expect the color to be her permanent shade, but to this day they are identical to when she first opened them.

There’s a sample chapter on my website:  Chapter Sample

7.  What is your favorite chapter in your novel and why?

Probably the Bog Man.  I wrote a chapter where one of the narrators is a bog man, like one of those preserved bodies found in the peat bogs of Northern Europe.  Some chapters are like a mystery short story, some a comedy, one a princess tale (technically an anti-princess tale).  This one was a horror story, and I just thought it came out the best.  I also consider the climax of the whole book to be in this chapter, when the narrator - the bog man - discovers what’s inside his father’s locked closet.

8.  What has surprised you the most about the whole processes of getting your book on the market?

How brutal marketing can be.  I guess it makes sense.  There are so many people out there publishing a book, and people have less and less time to read.

9.  Would you like to share what the reviewers are saying about your book?

One said it was probably the best small press book she had read in a long time.  Two have had dreams about it, one of which was a pretty amazing story.  Lavender can see life and death in various forms.  If you’re pregnant, she’ll see a red glow around the womb.  A reader told me he went to sleep one Saturday night and had a dream about a couple he knew from church.  In the dream, the wife had a glow around her womb, like Lavender would see for a pregnant woman.  The next day he woke up, went to church, saw them, and they announced (for the first time) that she was pregnant.

10.  What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?

I eat a lot.

11.  How can readers contact you?

12.  Where can we buy it?

This link has every legal way you can think of.  Currently it's an e-book only

13.  Last but not least is there anything that you would like to add?

If you like Lord of the Rings, you’ll like Ancient Canada.  Some people love philosophy, some hate it, and most generally tolerate it.  If you’re in the middle category, hating it, you probably will still like Ancient Canada but won’t like some sections.  I like to be up front about that. The sample chapter (link above) is a good test to see if you’d be okay with the philosophy aspect or not.  It’s like a sandwich with mustard on it.  If you hate mustard, please consider wiping off the mustard, not tossing out the whole sandwich.  But the main thing I’d like to add is that if you do read Ancient Canada, remember to question the fact that there’s almost no mention of ice or snow in a book that takes place in an alternate Arctic Circle.  If you question that, you’ll be in the minority among readers, for some reason that I cannot explain.  And look up the ‘Svalbard seed bank’ or ‘Svalbard seed vault’ online, which comes into play in Prince Oslo’s chapter.  But most of all, thank you for considering Ancient Canada and thank you for reading this interview!
  Contest: Fill out Rafflecopter to be entered into the contest.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Full Tour Schedule:

1 comment:

  1. Hi Leigh,

    Found this through your Facebook page, and am now happy to be subscribed here, too!