Title:Amethyst Eyes Author: Debbie Brown The biggest thing on 15-year-old Tommy’s mind is convincing Mom to let him go to the drive-in, but when an accident claims his mother’s life and puts him in the hospital, the arrival of his estranged, alien father brings more changes than he had bargained for.It doesn’t take his father long to figure out that Tommy knows nothing about who or what he is. Without any explanation, Tommy finds himself onboard his father’s spaceship where he is forced to trust a man he does not know in a world he knows even less about. Adapting to his new life seems overwhelming, and his father’s solution may prove to be Tommy’s finest challenge yet…Jayden. A few months younger than Tommy, high strung and always in a mood, the doctor’s daughter definitely didn’t like being ‘told’ to help Tommy fit in. Jayden is not the most welcoming or patient of tutors, let alone a friend.As fate would have it, Tommy quickly learns that none of these things compare to the peril that comes from being born with amethyst eyes.
For as long as she can remember, Debbie has been creating stories in her head. She hated to go anywhere without a pen and paper, just in case. As a graduate of the Institute of Children’s literature, while pursuing yet another writing course, she finds herself doing what she loves . . . learning and writing. The course gives her an excuse to just sit down and write. Over the years she has worked as a nurse, a teacher, a martial arts instructor and a CIC officer in the Canadian Forces. Her hobbies have varied from woodworking, to auto-mechanics, with music, painting, karate, holistic medicine, gardening and camping thrown into the mix. Let’s not forget reading. Debbie’s perfect cure for a long winter’s night is curling up in front of a fire with a good book while snowflakes drift slowly past the window. Never having been much of a city girl, she lives with two of her four children, her husband Jean-Pierre and their pets in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec. She couldn’t imagine life without the beauty found in the trees, mountains and lakes that surround her.
Tell us a little bit about Amethyst Eyes?
In a nutshell it’s about 15-year-old Tommy who loses his mother in a car crash, and has to go live with his father. The catch here is that Tommy, who has grown up in the Canadian Rockies with his mother and ends up living on a space ship with his father, the ships commander. He had no idea his father was an alien…but as soon as he meets his father, he realises where his amethyst eyes come from.
There’s never a dull moment as he struggles to fit in to a world where nothing is the same, and not just the technology, but the whole structure of the society and even family.
The characters are very rich and very much alive. What made you want to start writing Amethyst Eyes?
I was taking a writing course and the first chapter in the book (minus the flashback) was a short story for an assignment. This bit of homework was the premises for Amethyst Eyes. I couldn’t get the story out of my head and ended up carrying it around for ten years before finally sitting down to write the book, (which went from beginning to publication in a year).
Where do some of your ideas come from?
I have always been a sci-fi fan, and grew up with Star Trek (books). But the strange thing about Amethyst Eyes was that I didn’t feel as though I was creating a world or a story. I felt like an observer, documenting what was playing out in my mind. I remember thinking “Wow, that’s cool,” at one point or “I can’t write that” at another. It was quite an experience.
When I write, I try to be as accurate as possible. Granted when I’m inventing a piece of technology, my resources are limited to my imagination, but I try to find something to base it on. I have hundreds of pages of notes and hundreds of hours of research for Amethyst Eyes. He legend referred to in the book is real. Two-Feathers’ tribe (or band) as well. It took forever to find a location that had Native Americans in the Rockies that would permit Tommy to live an hour up in the mountains from a small town etc. It could have just as well been in the States. I won’t disclose WHERE because I intend to use it as a trivia question in the future.
Who is your favourite character in the book? why?
I have a soft spot for each and every one but if I have to choose it would be Two-Feathers, a Ktunaxa Shaman from B.C. Canada where Tommy lived.
He is mysterious and relies on teachings and awareness of his surroundings to accomplish some amazing stuff whereas the ship’s doctor or Commander rely on technology. Are you working on any writing at the minute?
I have two books in the making. One is for an advanced writing course with the Institute of Children’s Literature. I will have completed the first draft of another YA sci-fi adventure by mid March. The second is the story of Tommy’s parents, so an adult book with adventure and romance.
What genre do you enjoy reading, Debbie?
I enjoy anything and everything with the exception of gore and sex. I love to learn and enjoy reading to increase my knowledge. I also enjoy reading for the sheer pleasure of discovering new characters and worlds.
Tell us your top 5 favourite reads?
Spiritual Growth, Being Your Higher Self by Sanaya Roman, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, The Wild Sight by Loucinda McGary, Cowboy Daddy Jingle Bell Baby by Linda Goodnight (strange name, but great characters), Pawns and Symbols by Majliss Larson.
In all honesty…I have too many favourites to choose from.
Do you have a favourite place to read?
Curled up by the fire during the winter or in the veranda during the summer, where all you see are trees. I read everywhere though, day and night, even in the car while my husband drives. How do you choose a book to read? the cover? Blurb? Reviews?
The cover has to catch my eye, then I read the blurb if I’m in a book store, but if I’m shopping online I’ll check the reviews before I read the blurb.
Do you hoard books, like me? or lend them out? give them away?
I would have to go with hoard…my library is filled with books covering 3 of the 4 walls. They are all tightly squeezed in place, keeping their form. I hate broken spines and curled corners. I try to keep them looking as new as possible, even though some have been read dozens of times. I do lend books on occasion, but far too often they never return, or if they do look as though they’ve been mercilessly tossed from a moving bus and dragged through the mud, (in this case I have had to go and purchase another).
What inspires you?
My inspiration comes from life and everything around me. Form the sound of the wind through the trees to human interaction. From the good and the bad in everything, I especially like to imagine things from the other’s point of view.
Do you have an interesting quirk?
Now how would I know ;o).
I seem to have a different sense of humour than those around me. However, when I was teaching in Gagetown (the largest military base in the commonwealth), I found kindred spirits with the same sense of humour. (Remember Marty, the zebra in Madagascar, well I felt like him when he discovers the heard).
Tell us about some of your favourite authors?
I honestly do not have a favourite. I think it’s because I love to read so much. I love to discover new authors and their creations. I have read complete series by authors because I have enjoyed their style, but then I move on to another.
I want to thank you, Carly, as well as Fiction Fascination, for giving me the chance to stop in and share my book with everyone.
Thanks so much for doing an interview here on Fiction Fascination 🙂
Now for the giveaway folks, Debbie has very kindly offered up one paperback copy of Amethyst Eyes and one E-copy. The giveaway is open internationally. So you know the drill everyone, fill out the Rafflecopter. Winner will be notified via e-mail & will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be drawn. Good luck everyone 🙂