Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Blog Tour & Interview --- Medicine Man I: The Chief of All Time @S. R. Howen

Today S.R. Howen is on the hot seat. I'm interviewing her as part of the Medicine Man 1 Blog Tour. Enjoy!  And don't forget to leave a comment. S. R. will be awarding a $10 Wild Child Publishing GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

Hi S.R. Welcome to the Wild Side. I can't wait to hear about your book, but first I have some questions about you.

What environment do you like to write in? Do you use a pen and paper, laptop? Quiet room, music or what? Dog at your feet? Cat on the desk? Must have snack?

I need to clean the area around me before I write.  I have a stack of note cards that I use to put down details I may need later, like a minor character’s name and description, or an event or historical something I need to look up later that I keep near me.  I listen to music, each book develops its own soundtrack, and thank technology that they have soundproof ear buds, before them I drove everyone crazy with playing the soundtrack over and over sometimes at the start of a book it would be only one or two songs played over and over for 10 hours straight.

Dog at my feet, cat on the desk, raccoon at my back, and squirrels to the right of me, exit stage left for coffee and bathroom breaks.

Before I start to write I have to have my coffee, a large container of water, and something to snack on—usually popcorn or nuts.

What would you say is your most  interesting writing quirk? 

I often stare out the window or have my eyes shut while I write.  I’m vision impaired, almost legally blind, but even before that I didn’t look down at the keys, and didn’t look at the screen.  I will talk to people while I write or watch TV and my fingers just keep following the flow in my head.

Please tell us about your current release.

Medicine Man I: The Chief of All Time is the first in a three book series based on Native American stories and myths.  The MC, Shannon Running Deer left his way of life behind him when he left the reservation.  Now years later he needs the things from his past to survive in the past.

The story is a supernatural/paranormal story.  But it is also a story about coming to terms with your past, with your parents' ideals, and figuring out your own path, and accepting what you are because of what your past was.

There is also a romantic element to the story.  The woman, whom Shannon falls in love with, is out of his reach, and not the sort of woman he ever wanted to be with—a Native American traditionalist.  

All the elements must come together for him to survive and make a better future, not only for himself, but for everyone whose lives he’s touched.

Is there a part of the story you really liked but had to remove, and if so, could you tell us why?

Medicine Man I is based on a Siksika (Blackfoot) story about why they don’t kill mice.  I also incorporated a number of other myths and why stories into it.  Every few chapters I had one of those myths put in as a separate chapter.  The book reached 120k and In giving it an honest look, I realized that while entertaining and informative, the myth chapters slowed the progress of the book.  So I needed to take them out.  On the plus side, in the print edition of Medicine Man I, the myth the story is based on is included.

How does your family feel about the book?

This book, they’ve been waiting for a long time to see it published.  On my writing in general, they have always been supportive of it, knowing that when mom has her ear buds in, do not disturb.  

Do you write every day? Do you ever get writer's block?

I do write every day.  I have a schedule that I stick to.  So many hours of marketing, so many hours of editing (I am also an editor) and then so many words per day.  My goal is at least 2500 words per day. Most days I hit 5k at least.

Writer’s block, no I never get it.  Writing is a business, and like any other job, you can’t call in sick when the mood isn’t right.  So once you have trained yourself to write once you sit at your desk, I don’t think it will happen.  Are there days it feels like trying to get a sliver out my finger that I can’t see, yes.  But tough days happen in any job, you push on and have a better day tomorrow.

Do new characters just pop into your head while writing or do you build them first and then add them in?

I write organically.  What do they call it these days, pantsing it?  I have no idea what the story is going to be about, or who the characters are, until they come out of the keyboard.  I don’t even know the MC’s name until I type it.

How much of the marketing do you do for your published works or indeed for yourself as a ‘brand’?

A lot.  I spend about 3 to 4 hours each day on marketing.  It’s a lot of work, my publisher, Wild Child Publishing, has done some marketing for me.  But in the case of any author, you have to do a lot of marketing, if you want your book to sell.  A product can’t sell if no one knows it’s out there to buy.

Have you ever gone out in public with your shirt on backwards, or your slippers on, and when realizing it, just said screw it?

I laughed at this question.  Never gone out with my shirt on backwards, have in my slippers, don’t think anyone noticed, they aren’t the big furry kind.  The thing I usually say screw it on, is fur.  We have a lot of critters in the house, so even when you notice you are covered in fur, it wouldn’t matter, the moment you put something on it becomes a fur magnet.  If I were smart, I’d take stock in a lint roller company.

Do you go out of your way to kill bugs? Are there any that make you screech and hide?

No.  We put spiders out, it’s bad luck to kill one in the house, other bugs, except flies and mosquitoes, get the same treatment.  The only bug I cannot stand, the one that makes me squeal like a little girl, is a scorpion.  Killed one once in the bathtub with hairspray, and then had to psych myself up, after three days, to use the vacuum to get it out of there.  And then used gloves to empty the container on the vacuum. Insane.  At least we have two bathrooms, I couldn’t even go in there while it was plastered to the bottom of the tub.  Had to make sure it was dead for sure.  And it was only 2 inches long.

Medicine Man I: Chief of All Time
by S. R. Howen



Shannon Running Deer is American Indian by blood, he has forsaken his people's ancient ways to embrace the "modern" world as a wealthy, highly successful trauma surgeon.

His comfortable existence begins to unravel when, seemingly by chance, Shannon finds himself gradually drawn into the past. Pursued by an ancient evil, he knows he can change the future, if he can survive the past.

In the tradition of Diana Gabaldon, S.R. Howen's MEDICINE MAN is a distinctive and atmospheric novel full of spirituality, mystical time travel, passion, and suspense.


I ducked behind the lab table and made my way to the far side of the room. I crouched behind the drawer unit of the farthest table. The wolf didn’t follow me. I couldn’t chance looking around the corner of the table to see where he was. The soft sounds of someone walking across the floor made my nerves stretch tight and sing with fear.

“I’ve got everything put together,” a woman said. Doctor Martins?

The second person made a small sound of agreement, but didn’t speak. Pages rattled, and a drawer opened.

“The instructions are in here. I included a set in the shell itself--just in case you need them.”

Another sound of agreement from the second person.

“It would have been a lot easier to put this stuff on a disk.”

“No disks. I already told you--no trail of any sort.” He sounded angry and annoyed.

A key turned in a lock, and a hinge squeaked. Something heavy got set down on the lab table I had been at earlier.

What was going on? The room door swung open.

“You aren’t supposed to be in here,” Doctor Martins said.

Her voice had risen in tone--someone caught doing something they shouldn’t have been.

“I have to check all the doors. Once every hour on this floor. Who are you?” I assumed it was a guard asking.

“Doctor Martins,” she answered. “This is my lab.”

“And him?”

“My assistant,” Doctor Martins said too quickly.

The guard’s shoes made a sound on the floor. “Well, you need to lock the door, even when you’re inside.” The door opened again before it shut with a click. The guard had locked the door from the outside. I wondered briefly if I needed a key from the inside.

“You told me there wouldn’t be a guard,” the man said. He sounded threatening.

“I don’t even know who that guy is. The other guard was a lazy fool. He spent most his shifts on the phone with his girlfriend.”

“And if this new guard reports you were here?”

“He won’t,” Doctor Martins said.

The man stayed silent. His lack of continued protests seemed wrong.

Another cabinet opened, and something else got set on the lab table.

“How much is here?” the man asked.

“What we agreed on--you could vaccinate everyone in China,” Doctor Martins answered. She let out a nervous little laugh.

“And the other?”

“Everything I promised. It self-replicates, so you can use it in the field--and each time it replicates the structure mutates so it can fight bigger and better bugs.” She laughed again.

“Very good,” the man said.

There was a slight sound, like the brushing of fabric over something hard. One of the two gasped followed by a loud thump that made me startle. I barely kept from smacking my head on the metal drawers behind me. A sulfurous smell drifted across the room.

Latches snapped shut, and papers got shuffled. What had happened? I carefully peered around the edge of the drawer unit. Doctor Martins lay on her back on the floor. Blood seeped from beneath her.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

For more than 12 years, S.R. Howen has been an editor at Wild Child Publishing and Freya’s Bower. She also runs workshops on how to craft a winning synopsis and query letter.  Over the last few months S.R. Howen has been working on Medicne Man 2: Raven, as well as a second Forge book for Freya's Bower under the pen name Shaunna Wolf.  She is also working on an epic fantasy series of books, and a Erotic Romance set in the 1980’s.  Under her pen name Vic Ross she is working on a SciFi humor series.

A former military brat, then military spouse, and a traditional naturalist, S.R. Howen currently lives in Texas, with a dozen cats (three of them the non-domestic sort) two squirrles, one raccoon, one dog, and her daughter. She works with wilf life rehab and rescue as well as running a cat shelter and rescue. For more info on her and her works please visit her web site or her facebook page.

Contacts and Buy Links:

Blog: Critters at the Keyboard http://srhowen1.blogspot.com/
Facebook Author’s Page: http://www.facebook.com/srhowen1 


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

MomJane said...

This sounds like a unique story. Different from the usual story about native americans.

Anonymous said...

thanks for share.