Today The Neverending Shelf is happy to welcome Brenda Pandos. Brenda is the author of the novel, The Emerald Talisman.
To be normal, sixteen-year-old Julia Parker would shed her empathic gift in a second. Life has been difficult since her mother’s mysterious disappearance ten years earlier – an event she witnessed, but can’t remember. Julia’s situation becomes more complicated after a near death experience from a blood thirsty stalker. As high school students go missing it is clear there is a connection to her own experience–past and present. Someone has to stop the madness and a chance encounter with a creepy psychic foretells that only Julia is the key to stopping the madness, but it may require the life of the one she loves.
Describe your book in five words or less.
Paranormal romance with a twist
What has your road to publications been like?
A rollercoaster. I never imagined my manuscript would see the light of day when I started. I originally wrote to see if I could, but after I fell in love with my characters and the process became so exciting, the next hope was ‘would people like my story?’. I even got up at 5 AM many morning, totally exhausted from a new baby, unable to get back to sleep because I was so excited to write. The whole process was baby steps. It takes a village to birth a book and God put the right people in my path at the right time to encourage me and help me get to where I am today.
How did the idea for “The Emerald Talisman” come to you?
I have an over active imagination and as a kid I was terribly romantic (and boy crazy). I’d reenact a perilous situation just so I could imagine a gallant rescue. So, since I’d always wanted to have a secret guardian, I created a scene where the worst and best happened at the same time. But what’s a guardian without super powers? Or a sad and mysterious past? Or one who sacrifices his desires to be honorable, and of course, he’s got to be incredibly cute. Or just wants to be accepted and loved. He’d need a girl with a dark past as well, one who was a misfit, one who needed to be understood, one who’s wounds fit his perfectly. I just imagined that and added vampires, since I’ve always had a thing for them too (Oh Angel and Louis).
What was the most challenging aspect of writing “The Emerald Talisman”?
Time to work on the novel. I love to start things and have trouble finishing them. Luckily, encouragement from a friend, who desperately wanted to know what happened, encouraged me enough that I had to finish. The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award got me to finish my edits and polish the novel. I hate deadlines, but they give enough pressure so I don’t procrastinate forever. I am a stay-at-home mom with two preschoolers so when they are awake, there’s not much time for anything else but them.
What book are you currently reading?
When I read, I feel a little guilty so I try to do it when I’m unable to be at my computer (by the pool with the boys, at the gym, etc). Right now I’m reading Shiver by the fabulous Maggie Stiefvater, Shadow of the Sun by Laura Kreitzer, Book of Love, Knight Angels by Abra Ebner and Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr. Did I mention I start things and struggle finishing?
What’s something surprising about yourself that most people wouldn’t think true?
I asked my husband to answer this because I had no clue. He said the fact that in high school, I was named the ‘most athletic’ my Senior year (that’s because cheerleading is not a sport and I played softball all four years and my school was super small) is surprising because I don’t play sports now and he has to drag me to the gym. Or that I can tie cherry stems into knots with my tongue. But if you asked people who know me, most would be shocked to know one day I decided to write a novel and eighteen months later, I had a completed manuscript. Actually, my English teacher was speechless when I told her on Facebook.
What’s the one question that no one ever asks you and you wish they would?
I’d like more questions on the storyline, but that’s hard because most interviews are before the book blogger gets to read the novel and if they interview me after, it would create spoilers to talk about the plot. So, for me, when I get cornered by a recent reader, its fun to see what they’ve deduced and listen to their guesses about what’s to come in the sequel. Then my answer is always “you’ll have to wait and see.”
Want to find out more about Brenda and The Emerald Talisman? Please visit her at: