Thursday, April 28, 2011

Shadows of Destiny by Gale Minchew

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On the banks of a sleepy bayou, a lost soul is nestled in the piney woods of East Texas, waiting and watching in the darkness of the shadows. He is feverishly seeking the past but is inevitably snared in the present and will stop at nothing to find his destiny.

Alarmed by this lost soul that stalks her while she sleeps, Analise Michaels struggles to find meaning within her dreams. Instead, she finds danger down the street, across the ocean, and through the realms of time without ever leaving town.

Analise is not like other teenagers. She can see and hear what others refuse to acknowledge.

As Analise navigates the tangled web of drama and hysterics during her senior year of high school, she finds an unlikely friend and makes several enemies along the way. Her life becomes inescapably intertwined with an enigmatic stranger she must depend upon to help her unravel the mystery behind her haunted dreams and finally release the Shadows of Destiny.

Gale Minchew is a licensed psychologist who resides in East Texas with her husband and two children. In her professional practice, Dr. Minchew specializes in issues related to children and families. However, over the past couple of years, she has consulted with adults and children who have experienced a broad range of paranormal phenomena, as well.

Over the past 14 years, Dr. Minchew has written several works of fiction, in addition to completing a dissertation. While she has become adept at technical writing through her professional practice, Dr. Minchew’s heart is with young adult fiction. She strives to provide a cross-over experience that engenders the creativity and interest the adult population craves while upholding some of the core values that are so lacking in many of the current works of young adult fiction on the market. Shadows of Destiny is Dr. Minchew’s first published fiction novel.

What will readers like about your book?
Shadows of Destiny combines mystery with paranormal events, historical components with innocent romance, and a young adult feel with interests relevant to adults, as well. I think readers will fall in love with the characters and see in them their grandmother, neighbor, best friend, a favorite teacher, or even the mean kid in school.

Why did you self publish?
The decision to self-publish was a difficult one. I initially went a more traditional route, reasearching hundreds of agents to find those who were interested in my genre, young adult paranormal. After six months of crafting and sending out query letters, and receiving rejection after rejection, I realized I could do it myself, I could self-publish.

What is your writing process?
Great question! I started this novel on my Blackberry a couple of years ago while on vacation with my husband and kids. The file size became so unmanageable that I had to save the manuscipt as multiple files. When I had perhaps 8K-10K words, I emailed it to myself, merged the documents, and continued the process. Ocasionally, when life became busy or I wasn't sure which direction to take the story, I took a break. It's funny, but I thought I would be a linear writer. I found scenes popping into my head, fully developed, and completely out of order! So, I decided to write the scenes I knew I wanted in the story then backtracked to fill in the chapters in between. I found this worked very well for the storyline, but not so well for my perfectionistic tendencies!

How long does it take you to write your first draft?
This project started as a cathartic experience really. I did not realize when I began that I would have enough content for an entire novel, so it is difficult to say how long it took to complete the first draft. But sure enough, a little over 84,000 words and nine months later, I had a novel. Another six months saw proof-reading, edits, beta reading, more edits, learning how to write query letters and researching agents.

What inspired you to write this particular story?
The inspiration for Shadows of Destiny came from the angels, I suppose. In my professional practice, I have heard many incidents of paranormal experiences and psychic abilities and the corresponding feelings that accompany them. The scientific nature of my profession suggests that these individuals should be medicated or hospitalized, but I see it differently. The isolation and ensuing loneliness is heartbreaking. Depression, anxiety, low self-esteem...those are just a few of the issues consuming individuals with psychic abilities. Imagine going through this experience as a child or teenager. Would you know how to cope? So, I set out to create a story that would describe these experiences for the reader while simultaneously removing some of the taboo or mysticism often attributed to the paranormal.
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  1. Great interview, N.L. Very pertinent questions!

    Gale,having experienced psychic episodes myself, I understand your reasons for writing Shadows of Destiny. The story has me very intrigued. It's going on my to-be-read list.

  2. Loved the interview!! Informative and entertaining with great questions. I'm a new follower, now, as I also am a big supporter of Indies and small pub authors.

  3. Nadine, thank you for such a thought provoking interview! I was excited to learn Shadows of Destiny is number 5 on your top 10 list this week!

    Lyn, thanks for stopping by! I would love to hear about your paranormal experiences!

    Laurie, I agree about the applicability of the questions. They seemed perfectly suited to highlight important behind the scenes information that I just take for granted, lol! Thank you for checking out the interview!

    ~Gale Minchew