Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Magic tattoos and parental legacy: An interview with YA paranormal author Wanita May

Today, I'm talking with YA paranormal author Wanita May about her book Rae of Hope that is coming out in print (currently available in electronic format) from Mitchell Morris Publishing.


1) Tell us about your book.

Fifteen year-old Rae Kerrigan is used to being invisible. Living in New York with her Aunt and Uncle after having been orphaned at a young age by a terrible fire, her life has been quiet, filled with excellent grades and not much else. Then comes the letter from Guilder Boarding School, a mysterious place Rae which will change her life. She crosses the ocean to enter a world she's never known existed, one where she's center stage and has a very important role to play.

Will the sins of a father choose her path? Or will she have the courage to change her fate? The decision will be made, by fate or teen, in the Rae of Hope.

The question is, as hero or villain? It seems most of Guilder is voting the later, and it's up to Rae to prove everyone wrong and bring hope to her world. But will she succeed, or will the shadows draw her in and swallow her whole?

2) What inspired this book?

The basis of the book popped into my head one day. I’d started writing after my father passed away in 2009 and had written one book prior. I’m an avid reader and really wanted something that was different than vampires, or werewolves, or magic–now don’t get me wrong, I read ALL that kind of stuff, but I just wanted to write about something totally unique. I like ink-art, and the idea of waking up one morning with a tattoo that created a certain power inside of you seemed like a good place to start.

I wanted the girls to be stamped on their lower backs–so people who didn’t know who or what they were would label them as “tramp stamps”.

3) The main characters drive a book, but the secondary characters can be just as important as really bringing the book to life. Who's your favorite secondary character?

I’d have a hard time choosing between Julian–a student with ancient money, but who is artistic and really down to earth. He has a slightly bigger role in book two, but turns out to be a main character in book three. I really like him, and his ability to draw the future.

The other “lesser” character would be Molly. She’s the kind of gal you love to hate and hate to love. She’s hyper, annoying, but in the end, loyal beyond what any friend could ask. You need characters like her in the story to keep you entertained and she’s the kind of gal that can always break up a tense situation with her verbal diarrhea

4) Why did you decide to go with a tattoo-based magical system?

As I mentioned before, I like ink-art. I think tattoos are unique and tell a lot about a person. It’s something that you can’t simply white-out or wash away. So what you choose to have tells a lot about their character. In the story, the “tatu” is predestined so you have no choice but, in some way, it understands the person it envelops and becomes a part of them.

5) Do you have any tattoos yourself?

I do, but discreetly.

6) It's fairly common in YA paranormal stories for the parents to be absent, dead, or completely ineffectual, typically to help enhance agency of the young leads. Your book plays with family themes in a slightly different way. Did this general trend concerning parents influence your desire to explore family connections as a part of the plot or was it motivated by something else entirely?

I have a fantastic family–the one I married into and created with my husband and the one I grew up with. I believe family is a key part to the foundation of who we are and who we will become. Rae (the main character) lost her parents but grew up with a good pair of replacements (her aunt and uncle). She never went for lack of anything, but never realized how much missed out on with her parents until she attends Guilder. I didn’t intentially have her parents die to fit the trend, plus, there is soooo much Rae needs to learn throughout the series *giggles* okay, I’ll have to stop there or no one’s going to want to read book three.

7) So, how many sequels have you planned?

I signed a four-book contract series with Mitchell Morris Publishing, but the way the series is set up, there could be more … we’ll see!

Thanks so much for letting me on your blog today! Rae of Hope comes out officially in print November 15th. It’s currently out in ebook on all the regular sites.

Here are a few links of mine:

Facebook: Author W.J. May
Twitter: @wanitajump
Book Trailer:


Thanks for stopping by, Wanita.

For those of you who can't wait for the print version, you can purchase the electronic version at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


Anonymous said...

thanks for the great interview!

J.A. Beard said...

You're welcome.

June Bourgo said...

Great interview Wanita. I know your book will be a great success.

Marva Dasef said...

I enjoyed reading Rae on Critique Circle. Wanita deserves great success with the series.

Congrats, my friend.