November 16, 2011

Writer Wrangler: Veronica Breville

It's another episode of Writer Wrangler here in Talk Supe and for this week we welcome Veronica Breville, author of YA read
A Banshee's Tale.

Based on the "About the Author" part of the book you grew up with amazing women who are also storytellers, what kinds of stories did you grow up with?  
Before I answer, I'd really like to thank you for such a cool question.  My mom, Gran, great-grandmother, and my aunt were/are indeed the most amazing women. 

My great-grandmother Helen told us stories about her youth mostly.  She was born in 1899, lived her whole life on a farm, and saw so many new things come to pass.  I think I was always most interested in the stories about being a teacher.  She didn't do it for a very long time before she got married but it was difficult to see how she fit my own stereotypical ideal of a prairie school marm.  We heard about the Great Depression, the Great Dust Bowl, and the advent of television.  I credit her and her daughter, my Gran, with my love of history.

My grandmother (Gran) Catherine, told stories about growing up in rural Kansas and all the mischief she and her siblings would get up to.  She lived through some really tough times but to this day has a smile on her face.  Some things I remember in particular were the stories she passed down to us from her father, who was in the Navy. 

My mom and aunt's stories were more humorous but important all the same.  All four women were/are avid readers and because of that so am I. 

What is it about Celtic Myth that made you write about it and Banshees in particular? 
My heritage played the biggest role in my decision to write about Celtic myths.  My family hails mostly from England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.  All myths...Greek, Roman, Norse, Celtic...have always interested me. The banshee was a myth that just wasn't written about much and being a spiritual person I could see a side of it that maybe others couldn't. I have also always loved to mess with people's perceptions. That is why Cat's version of a banshee is so very different from the one widely recognized. I have a ton of story ideas not related to the Banshee series that also involve Norse and Celtic myths. Maybe one day I'll get some on paper.
Can you tell us how this story came about and who inspired your characters particularly Catherine and Zane? 

Have you ever had that "A-Ha" moment?  I did right after finishing a series that I truly enjoyed.  The only issue I had was that the female protagonist was on the whiney, wishy-washy side and that bothered me.  At the time my oldest daughter was struggling to find anything she liked enough to read and I handed the books to her.  She devoured them.  She read them over and over, and the entire time all I could think was "I really hope she understands that whining to get your way with a guy is not okay".  

A Banshee's Tale was originally just an idea I'd had for years that I decided to put down on paper, while also creating the kind of female role model I'd hoped my daughters would strive to be.  The further along I got, the more detail I added.  Pretty soon I had chapters 1 through 5 done and I sat back wondering where that all had come from.  I'd always been a writer but having two kids under the age of 3 in the house and a slightly whiney pre-teen puts a cramp in one's creative writing. 

Three years later I'm sitting here writing this and still biting my nails because I know there are things I could change to make it better but Catherine is definitely a strong female protagonist, so that mission was accomplished.

Catherine is based on my grandmother, whose name is also Catherine.  My Gran's strength, loving soul, and exuberance for life were infused into Cat Dalry's personality because anyone faced with the road she had to travel would need all that and so much more.

Zane Laroche is based on probably four different men, but funny enough none that I'm close to anymore, save my husband.  He's also got a little bit of my snark and ability to organize I suppose. 

Will Sayer is based on one of my best boy friends from high school.  Kyle made such an impression on me that even now I think about him and wonder how he and his family are.  Will is also one of my favorite characters and I really look forward to giving him more page time in the future.

Aunt Lucie is a combination of my mom and my own aunt, Jo.  She's sparky, fun, and a hoot to be around but when it's time to get down to business you better bet she will crack the whip harder than anyone else.

We are fond of doing casting couches here in talk supe, if A Banshee's Tale becomes a movie or a TV series, who'd you like to play the characters?

My husband, Curtis, just asked me this question two days ago.  It started me thinking, a very dangerous situation, and I came up with a few passable actors to fill the shoes.  Before I reveal them though, I should mention that I kinda stink at this and all actors/actresses would likely need a different hair color/eye color to match the description completely.

Catherine Dalry
Alix Elizabeth Gitter
LMN's The Bling Ring

Zane Laroche
Alex Pettyfer
Beastly, I Am Number Four

Will Sayer
Logan Lerman (with auburn hair)
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

Aunt Lucie
Anne Hathaway
Alice in Wonderland
She was always the actress I imagined.  It's funny that I couldn't imagine who I'd see in the lead roles but I had the two main reading roles firmly in my head

Annasophia Robb
Soul Surfer
Would need a younger version and an older.  I'm not sure who I would choose for the younger but I always pictured Annasophia Robb as the older version
How do you deal with unpleasant reviews? How seriously do you take fan critic and does it affect your writing?

Again, let me start by saying I adore your questions.  These are some truly tough things to answer. 

The first one I got was really hard to get over and I will admit to having a full blown panic attack.  You see, I know there are things that need to be changed or improved upon, and I fully intend to do that with book 2 but I had read, re-read, and re-read A Banshee's Tale so many times that my objectivity took a nose dive.  In the end I cried on my wonderful husband's shoulder, pulled myself up by my boot straps, and sat down at my computer to write up the out line for book 2.  It was cathartic, all in all.

This is the best quote I've run across regarding how I feel about my writing. I'm not an actual fan of Mr. King's but that's only because I value my sleep.

"Your stuff starts out being just for you… but then it goes out. Once you know what the story is and get it right - as right as you can, anyway - it belongs to anyone who wants to read it. Or criticize it."~Stephen King

Can you share with us a funny anecdote or trivia while you were doing research/writing the book?

Have you any idea the sorts of things Google will throw into a search about Celtic myths?  All I can say are there are some sneaky website admins out there who use tags for all the wrong reasons.  When I click on a site because it says it has information about the banshee myth I DO NOT want to be assaulted by pictures of half dressed (and that's being nice) people in compromising positions.  WHEW!

Can you tell us more about the sequel and your plans about the series?

I do have a sequel in the works, and then one more book after that for this series.  I'm not sure about publishing dates but I'm hoping to have book two out before Christmas of 2012.

I have so many other things I'd love to tell you about the series but that would spoil the surprise a bit.  I will say that while Cat and Zane will definitely be in the next two books the emphasis in book 2 will not be them.  Book three?  Now that might be a different situation altogether!

Do you have a blog or a website where readers can follow?

I have both, actually.  I've not been overly active on my blog due to the book launch and a well deserved family holiday coming up quickly but the links are...

  I also have a Twitter account and Facebook author page...

And there you have it folks!

Thanks Veronica, our interview was fun and thanks for being candid.
Good luck on book 2 and we sure hope Talk Supe would be part of it as well.

Thanks to Donna Huber of The Coffeeshop Publishing House
for inviting us to the blog tour.
You guys rock!


  1. I need to hurry with every growing reading list so I can get to this. If Veronica is imagining Alex Pettyfer & Anne Hathaway as characters then I definitely must read it soon. Thanks again Veronica!!

  2. Thank you for featuring me on your blog! The review was also wonderful and I'm taking all your constructive thoughts into consideration as I begin writing book 2. You all were wonderful to me and my freshman publishing effort.

    Thanks to all your readers, as well.

    Veronica Breville

  3. It was a pleasure and the interview was very candid. We wish you luck and hopefully we'll get to be part of book 2! I want to know who Zane is :D


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