Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Always and Forever By S.P. Cervantes (Interview)


Twin sisters Ava and Hannah were ripped from their peaceful seeming lives into a whirlwind of attacks and war only to learn the real truth about their existence.

Nothing was as it seemed anymore and may never be again. They had already lost their father in childhood now they have to cope with their mother’s kidnapping as they watch those sworn to protect them risk their lives.
Tell us a little about your writing journey.
I have always love to write, and wrote short stories almost on a daily basis in college.  I never liked sharing any of my stories because I was very insecure about people not liking them. 

I decided to try and write a novel when I was put on bed rest while pregnant with my twin daughters.  I have always loved to write, but had never taken the time to actually write an entire novel.  I just never thought I could actually do it.  But when forced to do nothing my sit on my butt all day, I decided to make good use of my time, and let those pregnancy hormones take over and wrote the first draft of Always and Forever.  After in sat in my computer for a year, my sister encouraged me to submit it to some publishers.  I had a few offers and decided to sign a contract for my Secrets of Shadow Hill series with Center One Books.  It has been an amazing experience and am so grateful for the opportunity to have my stories published. 

This summer I decided to start writing a contemporary romance, which has been a lot of fun.  What started out with one story, has turned into four different story outlines for spin off characters that will all be a part of my A Broken Fairy Tale  series, with the first book, Dust to Dust coming out in 2014.

What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
The thing that I enjoy most about writing is the creative outlet it allows me. I enjoy the challenge of creating a story that can entertain a wide audience, while keeping them thinking and engaged the entire time.  I try and write about topics that can let people either escape their own lives for a moment, or connect with characters that will always find their way out of the darkness.

What is the hardest aspect of being a writer?
The hardest part of being a writer is finding the time to dedicate to writing.  I am a mother of three and a full time teacher.  I give a hundred percent to both of those parts of my life, and have to schedule out time to be able to dedicate to writing.  Luckily my husband loves to read, so at night I can write and he reads after the kids go to bed.  We always set aside nights for us of course too.  I also dedicate one weekend day to writing.  Luckily since I am a teacher, I get summers off and get a lot done then too.

How much research goes into you story?
I did a lot of research for my Secrets of Shadow Hill series since I was always more of a contemporary romance reader than paranormal. I wanted to be familiar with correct terms and names for abilities used in current paranormal/fantasy novels I had never even read Harry Potter when I wrote Always and Forever. I always find that funny when people say that I made it sound too much like harry Potter since I hadn’t read any of the books at that point.  I also always research the settings for my stories so that I can try and make it as accurate as possible,

Writers are sometimes influenced by things that happen in their own lives. Are you?
Definitely.  I think that each of my characters have a little piece of me in them, but with Always and Forever the main character is a twin.  When I wrote this book, I was pregnant with twins, and I am also a twin myself.  At the time, twins were very big in my life (My twin sister also has twin children) and I think that it helped me be able to show a realistic relationship between the characters in my story.  Twins have a unique bond, and I try and show that in my Secrets of Shadow Hill series.

I also grew up in Brick, New Jersey, moving away to California when I was 12.  I based Bricktown, the place where Ava and Hannah are from, on Brick.  New Jersey and the shore are the setting for all of the books I write.  I love going back to visit my family and think it is one of the best places to visit.

Tell us about your publications?
The first two books of my Secrets of Shadow Hill series, Always and Forever and The Prophecy are currently in publication, with The Prophecy having its release in November.  The final book in the series, War of Wizards, will be released in 2014. 

Always and Forever begins with your introduction to Ava Fox and her twin sister Hannah as they discover they are descendants of a powerful wizard coven called Shadow Hill.  A Chosen One, named Dalton, and his partner Aiden have been sent by the Grand Wizard of Shadow Hill to protect the girls from an evil coven that is out to capture them.  The safety of the world depends on Ava's safe return to Shadow Hill.

The series follows Ava and Dalton as they face many dangers and challenges. They fight to keep all that they love safe while grappling with intense emotions.  Ava struggles with her past as she is thrust into this new magical life filled with heartache and fear.  Time and again Ava's loyalty and strength are put to the test as she fights for those she loves. The stories take you through many surprising twists and turns as more and more secrets of Shadow Hill are revealed.

I also will be having my debut contemporary suspenseful romance, Dust to Dust (A Broken Fairy Tale) released this fall.  This will be the first of a four book stand-alone series that follows riveting characters who show that it is the darkens in life that guides us to the light. 

What is the most surprising thing about writing/publishing you have learnt?
The most surprising part about the writing/publishing process is how supportive authors are of each other.  I have met so many wonderful writers who have been so helpful and supportive through this whole confusing process.  I am blown away on a daily basis with the kindness of others in this industry!

Top tip/s for writers.
Don’t give up.  Your story may not be for everyone, if you believe in yourself, others will too.

Listen to advice.  It’s hard to hear that something in your story doesn’t work.  Getting beta readers or someone to critique your story will be the best move you will make.

Get educated.  There are so many amazing books, authors, and bloggers out there that have a wealth of information about the always changing publishing industry.  I have learned so much in just a year, it had made a huge difference for me in this industry.

Listen to your gut.  Make decisions for your book that you feel confident about, and don’t settle.

Other than writing what else do you love?
I love spending time with my kids.  My youngest are four, so we are just starting to be able to go out into the world and do so much more together.  They are a ton of fun…most of the time.

I also LOVE to read and run.  If I had the perfect day, it would be to run to the beach with my kids and hubby, take out a good book, and read and play in the ocean with my family.

Who is your favourite author and why?
I have A LOT of authors that I love.  Right now I’d say I have a battle of love between Kate McCarthy, Cassandra Clare, and Jasinda Wilder.  Kate McCarthy roped me in with  Fighting Redemption.  That is easily one of my favourite books I have read in a while.  Cassandra Clare is my favourite author in the paranormal genre.  Infernal Devices is a series that I have read several times. They are that good!  I just read the first two books of the Forever series from Jasinda Wilder and am in love.  They are beautifully written and heartbreaking.  They are also about twins which I connect with on a personal level.  I have read almost all of Jasinda’s books and they are always my guilty pleasure that I read in a day or two!

If you had a premonition you would be stranded on a desert island what 5 books would you take?
Lord of the Rings- J.R.R. Tolkien
All 3 of the Infernal Devices books- Cassandra Clare
Fighting Redemption- Kate McCarthy

Five words that sum you up.
Creative, Feisty mother and writer

How can we learn more?
Amazon Author Page:  



  1. Interesting interview, Melissa. My ears always prick when paranormal is mentioned. Another to add to my list...

    1. I'm so glad you liked the sound of it Bernadette. I wonder if you TBR list is long as mine?!?!