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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Talisman Of El by Al Stone Blog Tour

Welcome to my blog Al .  Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions about yourself and your book.

  Q: Tell us about your latest work—title, genre, etc. — and why you wrote it?
A:  My debut novel is called Talisman Of El, and it is a young adult fantasy novel. I wrote it because I needed to get it out of my head. The character was literally giving me a headache, so I had to tell his story. I still had headaches after writing it, so maybe I shouldn’t blame it entirely on Charlie Blake.

Q: What draws you to your genre? Why is this type of story compelling to you?
A: What draws me to fantasy is that otherworldly element it exudes. The idea of escaping my reality for a short time and exploring another world is fascinating. I also love young adult fiction because it has the ability to bring people together through their ability to relate to the themes. Teenage years are one of the greatest periods of self-discovery. It’s always exciting to read about the characters’ challenges.

Q: What is your writing process like? Do you map the whole thing out or do you just let it unfold?
A: I don’t like to plan things, usually because I’m not all that great at planning, and I’d probably stray off path anyway. I just let it unfold and fill the empty pages. Once I have the first draft completed, I’ll start the planning phase to organise everything.

Q: What kind of research was involved?
A: The research involved included the setting of the book – the opening scenes are set in England, so there was research done on the area where the main character lives. There was also research done on unusual events that takes place around the world, such as the unsolved mysteries of the disappearance of famous people like Amelia Earhart.

Q: How much of YOU makes it into your characters?
A: You’ll find a little bit of me in all my characters. It’s inevitable. I try as much, though, not to make them too much like me. That would be a little creepy.

Q: How do you balance the need to have time to write with the needs of family, society, etc.?
A: I think I balance it rather well. I don’t write every day, so, when I’m not writing, I’m enjoying my time with family and friends. Of course, there are periods where you go a few months without much interaction because you’re in the writing zone, but it’s not that difficult to balance.

Q: Have there been any authors in particular, that inspired your writing?
A: Jane Austen, definitely. After reading Pride and Prejudice and seeing her characters come to life, I wanted to be a writer. As for inspiring my imagination to run free, that would go to J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan.

Q: Is there a story you want to tell behind or about your work(s)?
A: I wish there was but there isn’t. The idea came to me, and I just wrote it.

Q: What other projects are you currently working on or about to start?
A: I’m currently working on the sequel to Talisman Of El.

Q: Could you share some of your marketing strategies? Which ones are the most effective in your opinion?
A: Being active socially is key not only in helping to build a fan base but in also maintaining that fan base. I try to get on those social sites as often as possible, but it can be a little difficult with the work load at times.

Q: What would be the top five, (or 3 or 1 or however many) things you would tell aspiring authors?
A: Well, I think a top three would suffice or I’d just end up repeating myself. The first would be to have a thick skin, or develop one. The second tip would be to stop procrastinating. Get those ides out of your head and onto paper. Last, but not least, is to enjoy what you do. Passion and success go hand in hand.

Again, thanks Al for taking the time to share your knowledge with us. We appreciate you and your work.

About Al Stone

Al Stone is the author of the YA fantasy trilogy T.O.E. After graduating with a BA in Film & Television, Al had worked in the television industry for a short period before a disabling injury caused her to turn her hand to storytelling. Talisman Of El is her debut novel. The sequels Blackout and Ground Zero are currently available for sale.

When she isn’t writing, she enjoys going to the movies, listening to music and travelling. At present, she lives in England, United Kingdom with her family.


Charlie looked back at the man and said, ‘I’d guess you’re about … fifty?’
The man sighed, rubbing his forehead.
‘I meant forty-five,’ Charlie corrected himself.
The man chuckled. ‘It’s all right, kid. At this rate I’d be dead in a month.’
Charlie glanced at Alex and Richmond, who both looked just as confused as he felt. Addressing the man, he asked, ‘Do you want us to take you to a hospital?’
‘Thanks for the offer, kid, but there isn’t a doctor in this world that can help me.’ The man paused, as if deciding whether he should continue. ‘I’m not fifty – or forty-five. My name is Derkein Odessa. I’m from Long Island, New York, and I’m twenty-seven years old.’
An awkward silence filled the room. It was as if the man had spoken a foreign language, and the trio hadn’t understood a single word of it.
‘Did I hit you on the head?’ Alex asked.
Derkein smiled without humour. ‘I didn’t think you’d believe me.’
An unsettling feeling stirred within Charlie. He was certain he had heard the name Derkein before. He just couldn’t remember where. ‘Have we – met before?’ he asked.
‘I doubt it.’ Derkein slipped his hand inside his jacket and pulled out a thin, black book. ‘Take it,’ he said, holding the book up.
Charlie stepped forward, snatched the book, and stepped back. On the cover were the words PASSPORT. United States of America. He looked back at Derkein.
‘Go ahead,’ Derkein insisted. ‘Have a look.’
Charlie opened the passport to the photo page, and his heart stopped. It was all there: Derkein Odessa, 22 JUL 1985, New York, U.S.A. He was looking at a photo of a young man in his twenties. He heard Alex gasp beside him. She said something, but he didn’t hear it, for his mind was elsewhere. That feeling of familiarity came over him again, but this time he knew why.
It wasn’t the first time he had seen the man in the photo. The wrinkle-free young face, shoulder-length black hair, still olive eyes staring back at him …
‘Hard to believe, isn’t it?’ Derkein’s voice interrupted his thoughts. ‘A few weeks ago, I looked like the person in that photo. Now look at me.’
Charlie stared at Derkein in utter disbelief. His first impression was that he had to be dreaming. There was no other explanation for it. He felt the passport slip out of his hand, but he didn’t take his eyes off Derkein. The last time he had seen those eyes they were staring into oblivion. Now here he was. Alive when he was supposed to be dead. Real when he wasn’t even supposed to exist.



  1. Thank you so much for having me today. The post looks great :)

  2. You are very welcome Alecia. Good luck!


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