Watcher by Audra Middleton
Date Published: 1/7/2013
War threatens to destroy the world of Anthelion unless the holy man, Goran, can solve his prophecy riddle. For every clue he finds, another obstacle surfaces. An orphan girl, Watcher, becomes his responsibility. As if parenthood itself isn’t daunting enough, she keeps a bear for a pet and transforms into her forest surroundings to avoid socialization. Hope momentarily emerges when Goran finds Benaiah, the Chosen Son of the prophecy. Only he soon discovers Benaiah is a social pariah on the verge of embracing darkness.
When Benaiah and Watcher unexpectedly meet, the two outsiders find in each other a sense of belonging they’ve never known. Now their emerging love promises to bring about the same war Goran is struggling to prevent.
Audra’s love of writing began in the third grade, when she was chosen to go to a young author’s conference based on a story, The Dragon Cookie, which she wrote about a giant cookie that comes to life. She continued writing, and was sometimes asked to write stories for friends as birthday gifts.
Audra went to college thinking she would go into journalism, but opted to go into publishing instead, and even took an internship at Yale University Press. Audra married right after college and was unable to find a publishing job where they were living in Seattle. Audra took an office job. After helping put her husband through law school, Audra went back to school and got her teaching degree. Audra enjoyed teaching, but once her oldest was born, she chose to stay home. At the encouragement of friends Audra
started writing again, the result being her first novel, Watcher, releasing January 2013.
Audra and her husband with their three boys, now live in a small town in eastern Washington. They have a black Lab named Benji who eats shoes, gophers and packages left on her front porch (thanks Fed-Ex). When Audra is not chauffeuring and refereeing her children, she writes, dabbles in on-line shopping and plays Texas Hold ‘Em with her friends.
Check out Audra on her website and on Facebook!
How did the idea for the world of Anthelion come to you?
My characters come to me, and then I build my setting and plot around them. With Watcher, I had developed these characters with magical powers, so I needed to create a world for them in which magical powers were possible, but not commonplace. I also wanted my characters to struggle in their faith like many of us do, so I added a monotheistic spiritual element to their society. I decided to stick with the traditional medieval-style fantasy setting for Anthelion, but I left out the mythical creatures usually present in fantasies, because medieval worked for my characters’ story, but mythical creatures weren’t necessary. In other words, Anthelion was built by Watcher, Benaiah, and Goran.
Who is your favorite character and why?
My favorite character is Watcher herself. She transforms into fauna, keeps a bear for a pet, and does not have much use for social norms. I like female characters who are strong and intelligent.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
I enjoy developing my characters and writing their dialogue, which mostly comes from my favorite past time: daydreaming. Writing it all down, describing things, building back stories, that’s where the work comes in. Editing is my second favorite part, because that means the hard part is over.
How much time do you spend writing each day?
Well, I have three busy boys, so my writing schedule is pretty haphazard. On a good day I’ll write on and off all day; some days I just don’t get to sit down at my computer at all; most days I write a few paragraphs and/or edit my last chapter. I’m not overly prolific, but I am productive.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I like to read to my boys, play poker with my friends, and relax in front of a good movie with my husband. I would add daydreaming, but I consider that part of my writing process.
What is up next for you?
I’m hoping to publish the quirky little paranormal thriller I just finished, and I’m working on a sequel to Watcher. I also have a romantic comedy in the works and ideas for many more projects.
Thanks so much for having me!
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