Hannah L. Clark: Interview and Giveaway

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Welcome to our stop on the book blog tour of The Cobbogoth Series by Hannah L. Clark. Be sure to check out the interview and giveaway as well!

About Uncovering Cobbogoth:

Norah Lukens needs to uncover the truth about the fabled lost city of Cobbogoth. After her archaeologist uncle’s murder, Norah is asked to translate his old research journal for evidence and discovers that his murder was a cover-up for something far more sinister.

When she turns to neighbor and only friend James Riley for help, she realizes that not only is their bitter-sweet past haunting her every step, but James is keeping dangerous secrets. Can Norah discover what they are before its too late to share her own.

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Purchase Link:
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About The Lemorian Crest:

After being raised from infancy in Boston, Mass., Noria (a.k.a Norah Lukens) has no idea what to expect upon entering New Cobbogoth, where she never would have guessed that paths of light can make you vanish; doors can lead to realms both near and far; myths and legends are actual history; a mere kiss can seal two souls as one; and, of course, a stone is never “just a stone.” Her Uncle Jack’s stories never could have prepared her for the magical and dangerous place her native realm is turning out to be.

When the Gihara’s promises begin to crumble, her best friend and soul-mate Jamus (a.k.a. James Riley) is in more danger than ever. Then when his father Lylend abandons her to search for an ancient relic called The Lemorian Crest and she is taken captive by the very people she’s risked everything to save, Noria begins to lose faith in the Cobbogothian gods and the mission they sent her home to accomplish.

Only when a series of new friendships and loyalties are forged in the most peculiar of places, does Noria dare hope again. Hope for Jamus’ safety, for their future together, and for the survival of the entire Cobbogothian race.

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Purchase Link:
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Author Interview:

Please provide your official author bio/summary.

Hannah L. Clark lives with her husband and two children in the Rocky Mountains. She has always known she would be a storyteller. In 2006 she graduated from Utah Valley University with a bachelor’s degree in English and immediately began writing her first novel.

Uncovering Cobbogoth was Clark’s first book in the seven book Cobbogoth series—a YA fantasy series based on her mythological brain-child, The Legend of the Cobbogothians. It was released in May 2014 through Cedar Fort Publishing. Book 2 in the series, The Lemorian Crest will be released in Summer 2015.

Clark loves running, mythology, singing while playing the guitar, herbal tea, escaping into imaginary worlds, and being with her peeps. Like her heroine Norah, she also kind of believes that trees might have souls, but must clarify that she has never hugged a tree. The closest she has ever come to that kind of bizarre behavior was the time she hugged the pillars outside Harry Potter Land. Which, all things considered, is not bizarre at all if one takes into account how exquisitely happy she was to finally be there.

Tell us a little about yourself. How did you begin writing? What inspires you to write?

I started writing when I was around ten, but I’ve been telling stories for as long as I can remember. I was really bad at writing for a long time, because I have dyslexia. School was rough, and despite my desire to be a writer, I wondered until I was a senior in high school if I had what it took to be one. It was actually my AP English teacher, Jane Beckwith, who gave me the final push I needed to major in English in college. From then on, I still had my doubts, but I was a lot more willing to give it an honest try and see what happened then I had been before.

Almost everything inspires me to write. I think there are two kinds of people who write. There are the people who like to write and may even make some money at it, and then there are writers, the people who need to write as much as they need to breathe. I’m definitely the latter, so everything I do, see, feel, touch, hear, or smell even, can inspire me to write something down. Writing is kind of how I process the world.

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

Anyone who likes epic adventure, light fantasy, myths and legends, and a bit of romance would like these books. I’ve had fans from 8 year old boys to 90 year old women, (and no, they weren’t related to me. J) I like to think this series is really for everyone.

How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

I wish I had a cool story behind the titles of my books, but I don’t. As I created the world, and better understood it’s culture and language, the titles just kind of came on their own. Cobbogoth, however is from the title of a story I wrote for my high school 11th grade English class. It was called “Finishing Galcobbogoth.” For some reason, that title always stuck with me, and I like to think it was the first inklings of the actual Cobbogoth series. My husband was the one who suggested I drop the “Gal” from “Galcobbogoth,” and that’s where “Cobbogoth” came from. He’d be sad if I didn’t tell you that story. 🙂

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?

The cover art for Uncovering Cobbogoth was inspired by the self-published cover my lovely and talented sister Bekah Shakespear designed. Kristen Reeves, the designer with my publisher, Cedar Fort, took her initial design and embelished it.

The cover for The Lemorian Crest was done by the stunningly talented Jenny Zemanek of Seedlings Design Studio. She was really great about sticking with the original design idea of book 1, but really brightened things up. I love what she did, and not only is she incredbily talented, she was so easy to work with.  

The reason I went with the symbol images on the front of each cover, is because symbols and myths and archeology are such a big part of the books. I wanted to give that same ancient, yet fantastical feel in the cover art.

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

In book 1, it’s Uncle Jack. I loved writing him, because he’s like that excentric, successful aunt or uncle each of us has or wishes we had. But I also liked revealing him one piece at a time in that book, because he ends up being pretty different from what Norah thought he was in the beginning.

In book 2, my favorite character is a toss up between Lev and Brawlo. I love them both, because I wrote them both with my son in mind. They’re his and my husbands favorite characters too.

How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?

In book 1, it was Narson. He was just super hard to get right, and I’m still not sure I nailed him down the way I wanted to.

In book 2, it’s Pieter, because he’s just so mean. I have a very hard time with people who belittle and abuse anyone in real life, particularly their children. It was even harder to try to pretend to be that kind of person as I wrote his character. 

If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be? Why?

You mean besides wanting it to sell more copies and become a New York Times Bestseller? J Well, I would probably try to figure out how to get more of James’ and Norah’s backstory in book 1 without bogging it down.

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:

When I was a kid I had a paper route and in the early spring, I would ride my bike up the canyon in our town. On these particular mornings the clouds would hover down around the mountains, making it look all fantastical and mysterious. While I delivered papers, I would keep my mind off of the dogs that would inevitably chase me down at some point during my route, by imagining there was a portal to a secret world in the mountains, and that it could only be accessed when the clouds came down and hovered like that.

When I was coming up with the Cobbogoth series, I thought of those mornings more than once, and that is where the idea of the portal in Mt Hekla that leads to New Cobbogoth came from.

What can we expect from you in the future?

No idea, but I hope it’s something good. 🙂

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Tell everyone you know about it, even if you think the person wouldn’t be interested. They might know someone who would be and pass the word along. Word of mouth is the best marketing tool, and a person is much more likely to give a book a try if they hear about it from someone they know, than if they hear about it through advertising.

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

I don’t really know what I can say to readers, other than, keep reading and give the Cobbogoth Series a chance. To writers trying to get published, I will say, that if this is truly what you want to do with your life, then don’t be afraid of the hardest work you’ve ever done, and never, ever, ever, ever, EVER give up.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Yes, thank you so much for having me on The Page Unbound!

And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:

Of course! This excerpt takes place when Norah and the other members of the Resistance have their first clue to help them find the Lemorian Crest. Unfortunately, Norah has some serious trust issues with some of the members of the Resistance. And she is quickly learning to fear Water.

 

The Sina Bracelet

I squeezed my eyes tightly, clutching the stone box in my hand until it bit into my palm. The smell of the salty sea was generally soothing to me, but nothing could calm the storm of fear raging inside me now.

“Are you trying to tell me that the Adolorian ruins are at the bottom of the Glindian Sea?” I managed to choke out.

“Of course. Where did you think they were?” Lylend asked.

“I don’t know—I didn’t—I just . . .” When I opened my eyes, everyone was staring at me.

Zuli was at my elbow. I jumped when she spoke. “The bracelet will keep the water from attacking you while we’re down there,” she soothed. “Just as long as you don’t use your fire.”

But her words didn’t sooth me. It was the perfect set up. Zuli was going to take me to the bottom of the sea and somehow take her revenge on me—for whatever reason she felt she needed to take revenge on me in the first place. And that would be that. Some hungry creature would probably come along and clear up any evidence of the dirty deed. That giant, snapping turtle perhaps.

Lylend was eying me now. There was concern in his stare. “Breathe, kyndie,” he said. “You’ve got to breathe.”

I felt two powerful hands take me by the shoulders and give me a gentle shake.

I looked up. Lev’s peacock green eyes glittered down into my own. “It’s going to be okay, Lune-kyndie,” he said quietly. “You’ve got to trust me on this. Think of Jamus.”

I glanced around quickly; making sure no one was listening. Everyone had moved away, except for Zuli, but she’d turned her back to us at least. “What does James have to do with it?”

Lev’s hands nearly crushed my shoulders when he squeezed them. “The sooner we find the keys, the sooner you’ll be able to go find him,” he reminded me.

I took a few more steadying breaths. He was right. James was at the end of this extremely dark, possibly fatal tunnel, and he needed me. I had to do this; there was no way I could find him without Lylend’s help.

“You’re right,” I said, with more determination than I felt.

I took Zuli’s bracelet out of the box and examined it more closely. It was actually really pretty. The band was thick and made of silver, and there were three different kinds of stones, all in varying shades of blue and green, used to make a beautiful swirling design of waves.

I slid the bracelet on and looked back up at Lev. “What if she tries to kill me out there?” I whispered.

Lev gave me a half smile. “She won’t. Yesterday aside, she really is quite nice. And if you don’t feel like you can trust her yet, trust me. I’m certain she won’t try to kill you down there because if she does, she’ll have to answer to me.”

I hesitated a moment, then nodded. His assurance wasn’t especially comforting, but it was better than nothing. I actually did feel a little better thinking of Lev crushing Zuli with his bare hands if she tried anything on me.

James, I thought. Think about James.

“All right, let’s do this before I lose my nerve,” I grumbled.

Lev grinned and left me, joining Pieter and Lylend. All three of them had already waded out into the water on the narrow sandbank. I kept watching as Lylend produced a ball of blue electricity. After jogging out to join them, Lev followed suit with his own green one. Pieter stood back with his arms crossed.

“What are they doing?” I asked.

Zuli came up beside me.  “They’re catching their ride.” She pointed back out at the water.

I followed her gesture. Lylend and Lev had turned their balls of electricity into giant thick ropes that were lassoed. They were both swinging them over their heads now. With all the hooting and hollering they were doing, they reminded me of a pair of weirdly dressed space cowboys.

Then it happened. I was certain I’d swallowed my tongue when two enormous creatures jumped up out of the water and right into the lassos of both ropes.

“Ar-are those—.”

“Electric eels. They’re naturally attracted to the spark ropes,” Zuli explained.

Lev and Lylend both whooped and hollered again, just like two cowboys at a rodeo, as they jumped on the eels’ backs and wrestled them into submission.

Before long, all I could see of the creatures were two sleek, dark planks slithering along the surface of the water. Pieter mounted last, and then Lev and Lylend, with the electric rope wound snugly around their wrists and forearms, made the eels rear up out of the water, thrashing. Then they dove, leaving a giant ripple in their wake.

“Whoa!” I said, after Zuli and I watched as the ripples turned to waves, crashing into the shore like a herd of galloping horses.

“Yes,” Zuli agreed. “I suppose you’ve never seen something like that in the Olden Realm?”

I shook my head. “Only in the movies.”

“Movies?”

“Uh, yeah—they’re like moving pictures that tell a story.”

“Hm…,” Zuli said, and then led the way toward the water. “So,” I said, anxious to break the silence that followed, “how will they breathe down there?” I was pretty certain I already knew the answer.

“Breathite,” Zuli said, pointing to the lightest blue stone on my new bracelet.

“Let me guess, it’s a stone that helps you breath under water?”

“Right.”

“Nice.”

“We should get going,” Zuli said. “Their distraction won’t happen for a while now, but we need all the time we can get.” She glanced at me. “Are you ready?”

James, I reminded myself. Think of James. “As ready as I’m going to get.”

“All right then, follow me out into the water, and I’ll tell you when to submerge the bracelet.”

I did as she said, and followed her out onto the same sand bank the guys had used. As the water got higher, reaching my waist, I was careful to keep the bracelet up over my head.

“Where’s Iolyt, by the way?” I asked.

“She stayed behind to work on the antidite stone. The sooner she figures it out, the sooner we can start hoptioning again.”

“I see. And all this will go a lot faster with hoptioning?”

“Yes. New Cobbogoth isn’t that big overall—no more than a month’s journey by foot from ocean to ocean—but since he has access to hoption holes, Cifer is able to work much faster than us. If he has any idea about Lylend’s Lemorian Crest, you can bet he’ll find it soon.”

I nodded, feeling the urgency fiercer than ever to get looking for the Lemorian keys.

“All right,” Zuli turned toward me once we were a ways out. “You can put the bracelet in the water now.”

We were up to our chests. I was surprised to see that she’d already transformed.

I hesitated a moment. The bracelet had worked so far. I’d been in the water for a few minutes now, and it wasn’t attacking me, so I slowly lowered my wrist.

I sucked in my breath. The instant my wrist dipped through the surface, a slither of water curled around the bracelet, caressing like a piece of clear silk.  Soon, the stream of water tightened around my wrist—so tight I almost cried out.

“Come a little farther out,” Zuli prompted.

I hesitated but then took another step. The next moment, I lost my footing. My entire head plunged beneath the water. The sandbank we were on was a drop off.

In an instant, my blood was like ice. I could hear it galloping in my ears. My eyes were blurry, and all I could see was a blob of yellow, orange, black, and red. I assumed it was Zuli hovering in front of me. She was close but just out of arms reach.

I scrambled to find the drop off, to push myself back up where I could breathe, but I couldn’t feel it anywhere. I tried to swim for the surface, but when I kicked my legs it was like they were glued together.

Blinking in the water, I turned until I found Zuli’s form again. I tried to motion her over for help. She swam nearer.

And then I felt a sharp, ripping pain on both of my sides, like someone had inserted a knife between my ribs and was trying to pry them apart.

She’s stabbed me! I thought.

Clawing my way toward the surface, I felt my breath running out—felt myself sinking. Man, I was tired of nearly drowning!

My entire body was tingling from lack of oxygen. My legs were still trapped and now a searing heat was bursting from my waist and spine—like I was being quartered with a hot iron sword. Then I realized Zuli was holding me down. She wouldn’t let me reach the surface. She was going to hang on until I went unconscious.

But then my lungs suddenly expanded. My mouth wasn’t open and my nose was plugged, but I was breathing. The air whooshed in and out of me like I was standing on the shore with all the air in the world to breathe.

I stopped struggling. Instinctively, I reached down, touching both of my sides where the sharp pain was quickly dulling. My shyntara was gone, and my skin felt strange—rough and smooth at the same time. That’s when I realized the Sina bracelet was working. Just below my armpits, along the diagonal space between my ribs, there were two long slits. I gasped, water rushing into my mouth and down my throat toward my lungs. Then a rush of water pushed out against my arms—out of the slits, and I could still breathe.

Gills! The word came to me, and I gave a little hysterical laugh. I had gills on both sides of my body. I tried not to freak out, forcing myself to remain calm.

My rushing pulse began to slow. The ice in my blood wasn’t so sharp anymore. My body was beginning to adapt to the temperature of the water. I still couldn’t see very clearly; Zuli was still a banded blob of colors, though she wasn’t holding me down anymore. When I looked down at my body, all I could see was a blur of white.

Then, as if someone removed a pair of Uncle Jack’s reading glasses from in front of me, I felt my eyes harden—sharpen—until everything came into focus, and I could see crystal clear.

Zuli hovered before me in the water, her hair still pinned back by the tiger’s eye comb. Her orange, black, and yellow tail waved back and forth like a tiger pacing in front of its prey. And she was smiling as though I’d just done something exasperatingly funny.

“What?” I said, then immediately brought my hand to my mouth.

It didn’t sound like me anymore. Instead, my voice was high and musical. It bounced around in the water like an echo.

Zuli shook her head in disbelief. “Of course you would have to look like that down here.” Her own, equally musical voice echoed back to me. It was mesmerizing.

“What do you mean?” I sang. She’d said it like I had some sort of choice in how I looked.

“Haven’t you ever heard of camouflage?” she said, gesturing toward my legs.

I looked down, and instantly felt sick. Would my complexion always be a burden? The platinum iridescence of my new tail and fins blended blindingly with my vanilla pale skin. I stood out in the dark water like the moon against the night sky. Zuli wouldn’t have to waste a single breath luring in dangerous sea creatures to finish me off this time. I’d do that all by myself.

“This is ridiculous!” I cried.

Zuli only nodded in amused agreement.

About Hannah L. Clark:

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Hannah L. Clark lives with her husband and two children in the Rocky Mountains. She has always known she would be a storyteller. In 2006 she graduated from Utah Valley University with a bachelor’s degree in English and immediately began writing her first novel.

Uncovering Cobbogoth was Clark’s first book in the seven book Cobbogoth series—a YA fantasy series based on her mythological brain-child, The Legend of the Cobbogothians. It was released in May 2014 through Cedar Fort Publishing. Book 2 in the series, The Lemorian Crest will be released in Summer 2015.

Clark loves running, mythology, singing while playing the guitar, herbal tea, escaping into imaginary worlds, and being with her peeps. Like her heroine Norah, she also kind of believes that trees might have souls, but must clarify that she has never hugged a tree. The closest she has ever come to that kind of bizarre behavior was the time she hugged the pillars outside Harry Potter Land. Which, all things considered, is not bizarre at all if one takes into account how exquisitely happy she was to finally be there.

Author Links:
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For more info about The Cobbogoth Series click here.

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