Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Carole McKee’s character on July 28th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Viv Drewa, the author of The Angler and The Owl, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Francine Hunter, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Viv in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Francine!
Marie Lavender: Hello, Francine. Or shall I call you France? Please have a seat.
Character Francine Hunter: Hello. Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Marie: It’s good to have you visit. We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?
France: Of course.
Marie: What is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?
France: I work as an ornithologist and specialize in owl species. I have written three books on them and, yes, I am good at what I do. I enjoy it immensely.
Marie: That’s great!
So, what is your family like?
France: Your average family really. Dad, Mark, worked as a pediatric physician at a local hospital, and Mom, Karen, was a homemaker. My kid sister, Karla, is a Veterinarian.
We vacationed every summer at our favorite camping grounds. Sis and I always looked for animals and even rescued a few that were injured.
Marie: All right.
Do you have any hobbies? What do you enjoy doing?
France: I never got into the domestic hobbies like my sister did. What I love is longs walks, reading, and working with my guys on our next trip.
Marie: Okay. So, what is your greatest dream, Francine?
France: Oh, I already accomplished it! I discovered six new owl species in the first five years I’ve been working.
Marie: Wow! That’s pretty amazing!
So, what kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?
France: I’m very happy with who I am. Though at times I wish I was a princess with a handsome white knight to come and take me away.
Marie: All right, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now.
Who was your first love?
France: Jeremy Clark, a physics student I met at the university. It only lasted a couple of months because he couldn’t understand my obsession for owls, or why they took precedence over him.
Let’s try something else, okay?
So, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
France: I was attacked by a bear on my first trip to the Smokey Mountains, Tennessee. That’s where I met up with three fellows who would become part of my team. They are Jason “Doc” Bradley and his twin cousins Tony and Andy Bradley.
Sorry to hear about the bear attack. 😦
Let’s move on to something a bit lighter, okay?
What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
France: When I was growing up I wanted to be a Veterinarian like my sister. As I got older I learned I could research owls. It was everything I could have hoped for! Traveling to foreign countries, or even here in the US, I was able to do exactly what I had hoped for.
Marie: That’s wonderful! 🙂
So, who is your role model, France?
France: My dad. He has always been a go-getter, follow your dreams, kind of fellow. This rubbed off on my sister and me.
Marie: I can certainly admire that! 😉
Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question.
Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?
France: No, but I was brought up to treat everyone in a Christian spirit.
Marie: All right. Let’s try something else.
So, what is your deepest desire, Francine?
France: To maybe find one more unknown owl.
Let’s switch to another question. What is your greatest fear?
France: I’m terrified of bears.
Marie: I can’t blame you!
Well, we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, France. It was so interesting getting to know you! (Waves goodbye to her guest.)
Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective. We have Viv Drewa on the stage today. Hi, Viv!
Author Viv Drewa: Hi. Thank you for having me here.
Marie: My pleasure! We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Francine. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?
Viv: France has always loved birds, especially owls. She and her sister, Karla, had talked about starting their own veterinary clinic.
She’s single, never had time for a relationship because of her work. She wrote three books and was invited to give talks at various universities.
Marie: All right. So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?
Viv: She’s a determined woman, 55, and nothing can stop her. Not even the bear that attacked her on her first outing.
Marie: Now let’s take the opposition on that. What, do you feel, are her greatest weaknesses?
Viv: That bear made her very leery of bears. Others animals don’t bother her, though.
Marie: All right. What are some of her favorite foods?
Viv: She’s crazy about Thai food, Chinese and pizza.
Marie: Okay. What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?
Viv: Her ability to finally fall in love. France put this behind her to be able to concentrate on her work.
Marie: Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
Viv: I think she’ll be liked more than disliked. Her determination and obsession with her work is a positive for her.
Marie: Great! Well, now that we have a real taste of France Hunter, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.
What first gave you the idea for The Angler and The Owl?
Viv: Since I have loved owls my whole life I wanted to write about a mature (older) woman, who dedicated her life to the study of owls. I wasn’t planning on it to become a romance novel, though. I was trying for a paranormal twist but it just took off on its own.
I had trouble with the male protagonist until one night we were watching River Monsters.
There was my guy! Jeremy Wade, known as John Sinclair in my book, was perfect. He is always attracted to the Amazon, just like France, and that was that.
Marie: (Laughs.) Isn’t it strange how our characters surprise us?
So, what is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
Viv: I start out as a plotter, but always end up a pantster. LOL. I know what I want to write but it takes on a life of its own.
Marie: I hear you…
Now, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing The Angler and The Owl or publishing it? What would you do differently the next time?
Viv: I first tried going the agent route but got discouraged. Then I read up on Indie Authors and thought,”That’s the way I’ll go.”
Marie: Yes, why not? 😉
Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog. And how apropos is that, considering what a great story The Angler and The Owl appears to be. Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Viv Drewa, a very talented author! 🙂
Here is the blurb for The Angler and The Owl:
Before retiring France Hunter decides to go to the place where she found her first new species of owl: The Amazon. Her group follows a well-known angler, John Sinclair, and his team, along with a reporter who wants to do a story on Hunter.
Once arriving at the site, Sinclair leaves to go further up the river. He has a show to record and is hoping to catch an even larger fish this time. He hates having to leave France; he’s fallen in love with her, but he has a show to tape and hopes to finish quickly to get back to her.
Hunter, and the group with her, run into a gruesome nightmare with the satellite phone destroyed and one man fighting for life. Sinclair is not due to pick them up for another week.
Will they survive?
Universal Amazon link: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00HQP60OW
About Viv Drewa
I am a Michigan native who has enjoyed reading and writing since 1963. Though I studied medicinal chemistry at the University of Michigan my passion has always been writing.
I had been awarded third place for a nonfiction short story about my grandfather’s escape from Poland. Later, rewrote this story and was published in the “Polish American Journal” as “From the Pages of Grandfather’s Life” and republished it on Amazon.com as a short story.
I took creative and journalism courses to help transition to fulfill my dream of becoming a writer. I worked as an intern for Port Huron’s “The Times Herald”, and also wrote, edited and did the layout for the Blue Water Multiple Sclerosis newsletter “Thumb Prints.”
I also write a blog promoting my fellow authors.
And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Viv Drewa, here are some of her author links:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Viv-Drewa/e/B00J1PTJ20/
Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Francine Hunter, the female main character of The Angler and The Owl, and Viv Drewa, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by! It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂