Friday 18 July 2014

Blog Tour Guest Post & Giveaway - Gathering Water by Regan Claire

Gathering Water
by Regan Claire
Release Date: January 26th 2014

Della Doe Deare isn't like most people. Most people begin their life on the day they enter the world; the day they're born. Della, well, hers began on the day she turned eighteen. After all, it was the day she first heard her real name, and that of her mother. With nothing but a couple of duffel bags and a folder full of questions, she travels to coastal North Carolina to claim a house that she inherited from a grandmother she never knew.

She has two goals: discover why her mother ran away from home all those years ago, and avoid the family that had left her to rot in an inept foster care system. Hard to do when the family she's been trying to avoid is dragging her into an unimaginable world... a world on the brink of war, and both sides want her dead.

All Della ever wanted was to know who she was, but her journey to self-discovery might just lead to destruction.

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When I was 10yrs old we moved from the east coast to landlocked Nashville. I’d left behind my friends and many cousins (who were my best friends), and arrived at a place where everyone eats chicken and it’s not strange to meet someone who doesn’t know how to swim. This was a huge culture shock. I talked funny, and talked about things no one really cared about, and I became shy because, well, I was sick of getting funny looks and not-so-nice comments. Not that I was teased constantly–no more than any other kid I’m sure–but it was enough for me to retreat into myself and my books.

I was lonely and started missing home. Then, I started longing for it; aching for it. I thought if only I could go back, everything would be better. Well, I was only in middle school and couldn’t exactly pick up and move, so I did the next best thing. I started writing a story that would take me back there, take me back where I felt that I belonged.

Fast-forward a few years: I’d grown up, gotten married, and popped out a couple of kiddos. I’d also transitioned to being a stay-at-home-mom and was having a hard time with the change. See, I was lonely again. Sure, I was surrounded by my children all day, but it’s not the same as talking to people that speak in complete sentences. I was dissatisfied, and when I looked around and saw a pretty good life, I realized I was dissatisfied with myself. There’s nothing wrong with being a housewife. It’s an important job, and so very very hard. But it wasn’t my dream, not something that I’d ever aspired to do or be. What kind of mother would I be if I didn’t show my two daughters that dreams are worth pursuing?  What kind of role model would I be to be content with unhappiness? So, I thought about what I did want to do. What would make me happy?

Writing, that’s what. The timing just wasn’t right, or that’s what I tried to tell myself at least; what I’d been telling myself since high school. After calling BS on my own endless excuses, I decided to just do it already. I perused all my old stories for a little inspiration when I came across the original version of GW. It was only a beginning at 20k words, and pretty terrible too, but something about the story just stuck with me, and it was the one I chose to write. I changed nearly everything about it, except the location.

The location was the whole reason the story was born, after all. And it was comforting to write about a place so close to my heart during such a hard time. Following your dreams is a scary thing sometimes, and writing a story about home gave me courage. Like a security blanket, or comfort food.

I could tell you more about also wanting to create a book for YA readers that I wouldn’t mind my own daughters reading one day, and with characters I wouldn’t mind them emulating, but that’s not the “real” truth. Really, Gathering Water started out of a longing for home and a place to belong. It was finished because of a determination to change and grow. What’s funny is the story is about a lonely girl who finds her place in the world, and finds herself in the process. It’s a pretty accurate mirror of my own journey with the story’s creation.

A Tidewater girl born and bred, Regan Claire's first friend and love was the Atlantic. Growing up being told the legends about Pirates and American Natives common in coastal VA and NC, coupled with being an only child, did wonders for her imagination; Regan had one foot in fantasy-land ever since, a trait her dear husband heroically endures (and one she secretly hopes her daughters have inherited). Her family moved inland to Nashville while she was entering tweenhood and not a day went by that she didn't miss her childhood playmate and her crashing waves. Nashville has her perks though, namely the love of Regan's life and their two sweet girls. Their insane mutt-dog and the stray cat that refuses to leave their porch aren't too bad either. Regan loves fairytales A LOT, teen movies (preferably with dancing or singing), reads entirely too much, and is constantly late.

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Signed paperback copy of Gathering Water (US only).

2 ecopies of Gathering Water (INT).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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