I had the honor of meeting Chawna Schroeder a number of years ago at a local writer’s group, and I’ve been cheering for her ever since. Chawna is one of the most naturally gifted authors I know, but even with that gift, she is also a voracious learner, soaking up all she can from experts about the writing craft. And on top of that, Chawna is a fabulous teacher. Having worked with her as a critique partner, I’m in awe of how intuitive she is about improving our manuscripts. Wish I could soak up just a wee bit of her talent!
Chawna’s debut novel, BEAST, has now officially released, and I couldn’t be more excited for her! Beast is an evocative, thought-provoking, page-turning, redemptive story that should appeal across genre. (Check out my review on Goodreads.)
To pique your interest further, here’s the back cover blurb (and isn’t the cover beautiful!):
For as long as Beast can remember, she has lived among her master’s dogs. With them she sleeps. With them she eats. With them she fights and struggles to survive. But through hunger and cold, she dreams of one day becoming her master’s favorite, earning bones with meat and a place beside the fire.
When her pack scatters after a surprise raid, Beast must defend herself against slavers, hunting down the loners. They are so strong, and she is only a beast. . . isn’t she?
For anyone who has found a monster within, Beast is a tale of truth and transformation.
Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? And now, let me turn the blog over to Chawna!
Many people seem to think the author create protagonists who mirror themselves. But for me, the relationship between the protagonist and me reflects more a real relationship. Yes, there are characteristics we share, but this is less because I’m creating a fictitious version of myself and more because I’m naturally attracted to people who share common ground with me, just like in life. Likewise, the more time you spend with people, the more they rub off on you and you rub off on them. Characters are no different.
So today I give you ”Author vs. Character: Our Favorite Things.”
Chawna vs. Sarah: Our Favorite Things
Type of Book
Chawna: I love a good book with a sense of whimsy, an underdog protagonist, and the ability to make me think. The genre doesn’t particularly matter to me, though I find these kinds of stories most often in the science-fiction and fantasy genres.
Sarah: I can’t read yet, but I love the stories which Tabby or Majesty read to me that have happy endings.
Chawna: I have to pick one?! Oh dear. I guess if I’m pushed into a corner today (because the answer would change tomorrow), I would have to pick Kathy Tyers’s Firebird Trilogy. (Okay, I admit, that’s three books, not one, but I have them in one book, I’m going to cheat and count it anyway.) Though on second thought, my favorite might actually be A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, considering I reread it almost every year . . .
Sarah: Whatever Tabby or Majesty is reading to me right now.
Chawna: This is torture, you know that right? I have too many favorites to count: R. J. Anderson, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Jenny L. Cote, Sharon Hinck, Margaret Sidney, Kathy Tyers, Jill Williamson . . . and that is limiting myself to fiction.
Sarah: Chawna Schroeder, of course, because she wrote my story. J
Chawna: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, hands down.
Sarah: What’s a movie?
Chawna: Hmm… more hard choices. My mom’s homemade meatloaf definitely is at the top of the list.
Sarah: Any fresh meat roasted over a fire and a thick slab of soft bread!
Chawna: Homemade red-hot divinity.
Sarah: More meat? Or maybe fresh berries.
Chawna: Dark chocolate.
Sarah: I haven’t had any, but it sounds yummy. Does it come meat-flavored?
Chawna: Depends on my mood. For example, if I want my Chai Tea, Lakes Latte in Pequot Lakes is my favorite place. If I want pizza, Rafferty’s can’t be beat, in my opinion. There’s a great Chinese take-out place in Prescott and the Las Margaritas Mexican restaurant in Hastings is yummy without being too spicy for my Minnesotan taste buds.
Sarah: Is a restaurant like eating at one the inns we stay at when I travel with Majesty and Tabby? If so, Mistress Klein’s cooking is some of the best beyond the walls of the castle.
Chawna: Freshly mulled cider in fall, hot chocolate with marshmallows in winter, malts in the summer (heavy on the malt!), and chai tea whenever I need caffeine.
Sarah: Our cook at the castle makes a wonderful sweet drink with the summer berries, and Chawna is right, hot cider during the days as they turn cold is very good too.
Chawna: I love autumn, winter, and spring, all for different reasons. I’m okay with summer, but it tends to be my least favorite season—heat and I simply don’t get along well.
Sarah: The days of warmth when days are long, light is strong, and berries are ripe.
Chawna: Does a Pegasus count?
Sarah: Dogs. They understand me and I understand them.
Type of Music
Chawna: Classical, old Broadway musicals, hymns . . .
Sarah: I haven’t been around much music, so I’m still learning what I like and don’t like.
Chawna: Impossible to pick; this is probably even worse than choosing a favorite author or book. I would be hard pressed to come up with a favorite song for even very specific groups. I would need a categories like “Favorite Christmas Song written in 1967” (Snoopy’s Christmas) or favorite Mahler symphony (Resurrection Symphony).
Sarah: There is a lullaby Evie, Tracker’s mate, sometimes sings to me when bad things make it hard to sleep.
Chawna: Isaiah 40, especial verse 26: “Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” For me this verse captures both the vast majesty of God and His intimacy with us, concerned with specifics and details.
Sarah: I like the verse Chawna put at the end of my story, because it reminds me of Majesty: “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’“ (Romans 8:15)
Sarah: The color of the forest in summer.
Item to Collect
Chawna: Besides books? Anything Thomas Kinkade, Disney, or Precious Moments.
Sarah: I don’t know if I collect them, but I have many blankets and walking sticks. Tabby is always finding new blankets for me at market, and Majesty likes to surprise me with new sticks to match my dresses.
Chawna: Music, biblical Greek & Hebrew, and fiberarts (sewing, crochet, weaving, spinning).
Sarah: Swimming, climbing trees, playing Catteran, and Tabby is trying to teach me to ride a horse. Sitting up so high on such a big animal is still bit terrifying for me, though. (Don’t tell Tabby.)
Chawna: Pretty much any kind. There’s so many varieties, and that’s part of the joy of flowers.
Sarah: I’m with Chawna. I don’t know one flower from another, but they’re all beautiful.
Chawna: Christmas. It is the season that is the fullest of memories, tradition, and significance for me.
Sarah: The Tournament that Majesty holds during late summer. I love cheering on Tracker; he almost always wins the archery. And best of all, no hunting, unlike Lord Avery’s tournaments!
Chawna: I have no single spot or even type of location. I simply love traveling the United States. There are so many fascinating, fun, and beautiful places to see.
Sarah: Tracker and Evie’s old home in the woods.
Thank you, Chawna, for helping us know you better and for introducing Sarah! This was such a fun way of getting to know both of you.
About Chawna Schroeder ~
Chawna Schroeder loves stretching both imagination and faith through her novels. Living in Minnesota, she dreams of far-off places, daring swordfights, magic spells, and princes in disguise, just like her favorite Disney princess Belle. When she isn’t committing her dreams to paper, you can find her studying the biblical languages, working with fiber, or teaching about the importance of discernment.
Connect with Chawna ~
Purchase BEAST ~
One paperback copy of BEAST will be given away. Enter using Rafflecopter form below. Contest ends Monday, October 24, 2016 at midnight. Winner will be posted on this blog on Tuesday, October 24, 2016.