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Sunday, 14 December 2008
A Talk with C. L. Talmadge and a Series Review
Topic: Author Interview

Today I have both an interview and a book (or rather books) review. First, C. L. Talmade gives us some insight into who she is and why she writes. Secondly, I have had the chance to read the first three books in the epic fantasy Green Stone of Healing series. Sit back and get comfy, you may be here a while :-)

***

C. L. Talmadge the person:

1.   What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

Independent, curious, unorthodox

2.    How do you think others would describe you?

Obsessed by writing.

3.     Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

Spiritual-emotional healing and growth.

4. Do you have any pets?  If so, introduce us to them.

No pets at present. But a cat named Portia supervised me for nearly 20 years. A dog named Annie who arrived with my partner was my faithful guardian and another dog named Tip who I found as a stray introduced me to canine crime.

5.  What is your most precious memory?

My encounter with the healing light of unconditional love. It rocked my world in every way possible.

6.  What is your most embarrassing memory?

I'd rather not give that away. Let's just say I have been a bit klutzy all my life and leave it at that.

7.    If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

I would practice a healing discipline of some sort, most likely as an acupuncturist or naturopath.
 

8.      In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

The remains of C.L.  Talmadge are neither here nor anywhere. Her ashes have scattered to the four winds. As a human being, she cared enough to be more loving to everyone, herself included. As a writer, she tried to inspire her readers with hope and the desire for healing and joy in their lives. She'll be back soon in a new and improved edition.

C. L. Talmadge the writer:

9. Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?

When I realized I had few if any other discernible talents.

10.  What is going on with your writing these days?

Trying to complete the 4th book in my epic fantasy and get into Book Five. I'm also writing a lot about love for my blog and politics for my syndicated column.

11.  What are your future goals for your writing?

To complete my four-generation epic fantasy series in time to finish the prequels before I'm too doddering to sit at my computer and hunt and peck.

12.   Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

I write best in the mornings, although lately I have found extra energy spurts in the early evening. My days usually start with writing and then switch to other tasks I may have to complete.

13. Why do you write?

Because I cannot think of anything else I would rather do when I get up in the morning.

14.  What writer most inspires you?  Why?

J.R.R. Tolkien inspires me because he was not afraid to tackle major themes in his fiction.

15.  How do you define your writing?

I'm not sure what this means, but there are a number of ways I could define it. Perhaps the best way is simply to call it my bliss.

16.  In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

That my writing entertained readers yet also inspired them to open their minds, their hearts, and their souls to re-create themselves, their lives, and their world as more loving, more joyous, more free.

C. L. Talmadge the details:

17.  Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website?  Blog?

Series website: http://www.greenstoneofhealing.com/

Column website: www.northstarwriters.com

Blog: www.healingstonebooks.com/stonescribe

18.  Is there a place where readers can reach you?

Through the series website or by e-mailing info@greenstoneofhealing.com

19.  Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

The Scorpions Strike-Green Stone of Healing® Series, Book Three

Fallout-Green Stone of Healing® Series, Book Two

The Vision-Green Stone of Healing® Series, Book One

Hope is in the Garden-Healing Resolution Through Unconditional Love (under the byline Candace L. Talmadge with co-author Jana L. Simons)

20.  For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

Expect the unexpected-my fiction is not the usual "dungeons and dragons" fantasy. My nonfiction focuses on alternative healing and my blog and syndicated political column politics from a non-mainstream perspective.

In conclusion:

21. Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing?

Although the title of my fiction series includes the word healing, the society I write about is deeply divided by race, rank, and gender and is punitive and violent. In other words, although it is powerful and wealthy, this society is desperately in need of healing. (Sound familiar?)

Some readers have expressed genuine distress over the levels of violence and cruelty in my story. I cannot sugar-coat it. The stark contrast between the healing, inclusive alternative that my heroines attempt to provide and the world in which they live is precisely what motivates other characters to yearn for what they do not have in their being and their lives: love, light, and joy.

It all comes down to this: only love is real. Joy is who we really are. My fiction and non-fiction all explore the one factor that keeps us from feeling and thus living these most elemental of truths.

Readers who enjoy strong, outspoken female characters, a good yarn about dysfunctional family relationships, star-crossed romance, action/adventure, and a very different take on spirituality may enjoy my fiction.

***

My Review:

The Green Stone of Healing Series, an epic fantasy written by C. L. Talmadge, follows the lives of four generations of women who inherit a mysterious green stone that allows each to heal both body and soul.  Each must learn to harness the energy within before she can hope to heal the pain without caused so often by the battle between the Toltecs and Turanians.

Ms. Talmadge leads us into our journey by introducing the reader to Lt. Helen Andros.  Born as the result of a secret union between a brothel-dwelling mother and aristocratic father, Helen's life is put on the defensive from the beginning.  Being of mixed-heritage in a world where class and race are severely divided, she is caught between two world, never quite fitting into either. Helen uses her strength to create her own spot, holding most of the world at bay with her sharp tongue and rebellious nature.  It is these traits that get Helen in trouble often--and the only things that help her survive in the end.

The amount of research that went into these books.  It has made it possible for the author to create a world that is so unlike that which we know, yet seems familiar.  Many would skim the gory details and harsh realities of this time, but Ms. Talmadge does not.  Her blunt portrayal of the violence and discrimination of the period is realistic, drawing you in and causing you to feel the fear and uncertainty surrounding the characters, yet she does so with finesse, never resorting to harsh language or undue description to make her point.  I found this a refreshing change from the majority of action books on today's market.

I was a bit disappointed to find all three of these books following Helen. Knowing that four generations of women are eventually going to be introduced, I was anxious to meet the others and am wondering if there is too much detail to hold the attention of today's reader, which is often short.  Keeping her chapters short, the author makes it possible, however, for those with short attention spans or little time to easily find break points without ruining the story.

C. L. Talmadge wastes no words in her writing.  Each words draws the reader onward and deeper into the story. The cast of characters in these three books is as varied as life itself, allowing for both excitement and conflict.  Men and women alike will enjoy following the strong Helen through her journey of discovering who she is and, more importantly, what all she is truly capable of accomplishing.  This series will enhance any library it becomes a part of.

On my Rainbow Scale of Excellence, the Green Stone of Healing series rates six colors!


Posted by joyceanthony at 5:42 AM EST
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Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 6:00 AM EST

Name: here-it-is
Home Page: http://unwriter1.wordpress.com

This is a well written review. It outlines the books yet also says what could be a negative. As far as the interview goes, I think Ms. Talmage has been following my life, "Readers who enjoy strong, outspoken female characters, a good yarn about dysfunctional family relationships, star-crossed romance, action/adventure, and a very different take on spirituality may enjoy my fiction" Sounds too much like me.

This looks to be an interesting series and I wish you much success on it.

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