Happy Monday, dear readers! I am kicking off this week with a fabulous interview with Naomi Finley where we discuss her debut novel, the first in a new series, A Slave of the Shadows! We also have a chance for a lucky reader to win a Kindle Fire HD and signed copy of A Slave of the Shadows!
Hello, Naomi, and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about A Slave of the Shadows!
To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and A Slave of the Shadows?
A Slave of the Shadows is my debut novel. The novel takes place in Charleston, South Carolina, in the 1850s. It’s Book 1 of my series set in the Antebellum era. The story is filled with adventure, mystery, hope, and some romance. I wouldn’t consider Book 1 to be a historical romance. However, Book 2 does have a little more romance than the first.
I’m a passionate person, and I’ve always been a dreamer. My mind never shuts off. I’m a lover of numbers and words. I’ve been a business owner for over ten years, and there is something about making numbers balance on a bank reconciliation that gives me great satisfaction. It’s the same exhilaration I get from seeing a storyline coming together.
A Slave of the Shadows is the first book in your Slave of the Shadows series. What can we expect with the other titles in the series?
In Book 2, A Guardian of Slaves, you can expect the anticipated reunion of Ruby with her father. Also, in Book 2, Willow and Whitney will work together with the abolitionists in the fight to free slaves. Dangers arise that threaten Livingston Plantation. We see a wedding, but I won’t mention who. New mysteries unfold, and new character reveals add to a thickened plot, aligning the story for Book 3.
Originally, I’d planned to make the series three books, but it seems like the series may turn into four books. The storyline is grand, and I don’t think I can fit it all into three books. I don’t like a storyline that's rushed by skipping years, as much as I don’t want it to be drawn out. It’s about finding the right balance that will keep the readers happy and turning pages to see what happens next.
What type of research did you do for the books?
When writing each book in the series, the first thing I do as I start figuring out the storyline is to book a trip to Charleston, South Carolina. I visit as many of the museums and plantations I can while there. The insight and inspiration I gather is crucial to the development of the novels. I’m non-stop reading any pieces of history I can about the Antebellum era.
On top of that, my novels are evaluated by a historical fiction specialist before they go to editing. My editors also specialize in historical fiction.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
As a teen, I wrote novellas as a way to escape my home life. I was the third oldest in a house of seven girls, and my sisters often would harass me to tell them stories. However, I never saw myself becoming a writer. It wasn’t until two years ago, having suffered two great losses of influential men in my life (one being a great role model) and the stress of running my own businesses that I realized I needed an outlet. I realized writing was something I wanted to pick up again. At the time I was unaware of the abundance of work it takes to write and write well. I now live and breathe writing and can’t imagine life without it.
What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?
My greatest challenge as a writer is time. Though I start my days at anywhere between 3-5 A.M., there aren’t enough hours in the day.
Who are your writing inspirations?
My writing inspirations are Francine Rivers and Kate Quinn.
What was the first historical novel you read?
I can’t recall the first historical fiction I’ve read but it would most likely be something by Janet Oak or Michael Phillips. However, those novels aren’t the type of historical fiction I’d choose now.
What is the last historical novel you read?
The last novel I read was Madam of My Heart by Gini Grossenbacher. I’m currently reading Slipper by Hester Velmans.
*Note from Amy -- I just finished reading SLIPPER! It's so good!
What are three things people may not know about you?
Even though I’m a social person, I’m just as content being alone. Public speaking scares the life out of me. I think Princess Diana was the most elegant and beautiful woman of our time. As a young girl, I’d go to the library and read everything to do with the royal family. I think I was meant to be a princess but was put in the wrong life.
What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?
History has always fascinated me. But I’d say human strength and triumph amaze and inspire me and for this reason, writing in this genre appeals to me.
What historical time period do you gravitate towards the most in your personal reading?
I gravitate toward reading about the Antebellum-era period and ancient Rome and Egypt.
What do you like to do when you aren't writing?
I’m addicted to traveling and find any excuse to head to a new destination. I also enjoy throwing dinner parties and decorating.
Thank you so much for this enlightening interview, Naomi! I cannot wait to read this series!
A Slave of the Shadows by Naomi Finley
In 1850 Charleston, South Carolina, brutality and cruelty simmer just under the genteel surface of Southern society. In an era where ladies are considered mere property, beautiful and headstrong Willow Hendricks’ father has filled her life with turmoil, secrets, and lies.
Her father rules her life until she finds a kindred spirit in spunky, outspoken Whitney Barry, a northerner from Boston. Together these Charleston belles are driven to take control of their own lives—and they are plunged into fear and chaos in their quest to fight for the rights of slaves. Against all odds, these feisty women fight to secure freedom and equality for those made powerless and persecuted by a supposedly superior race.
Only when they’ve lost it all do they find a new beginning.
Book 1 presents Willow and Whitney—and the reader—with the hardships the slaves endure at the hands of their white masters.
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Chapters Indigo | iBooks | Kobo
About the AuthorNaomi lives in Northern Alberta. Her love for travel means her suitcase is always on standby while she awaits her next plane ticket and adventure. Her love for history and the Deep South is driven by the several years she spent as a child living in a Tennessee plantation house. She comes from a family of six sisters. She married her high school sweetheart and has two teenage children and two dogs named Ginger and Snaps.
Creativity and passion are the focus of her life. Apart from writing fiction, her interests include interior design, cooking new recipes, throwing lavish dinner parties, movies, health, and fitness.
A Slave of the Shadows is her first novel.
For more information, please visit Naomi Finley's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.
Blog Tour ScheduleMonday, April 23
Interview at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, April 24
Excerpt at Donna's Book Blog
Wednesday, April 25
Feature at Creating Herstory
Friday, April 27
Interview at Maiden of the Pages
Monday, April 30
Review at Books and Glamour
Tuesday, May 1
Excerpt at Teaser Addicts Book Blog
Thursday, May 3
Feature at Button Eyed Reader
Friday, May 4
Feature at A Holland Reads
Monday, May 7
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Tuesday, May 8
Feature at Just One More Chapter
Thursday, May 10
Excerpt at What Is That Book About
Friday, May 11
Feature at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Saturday, May 12
Review at Cup of Sensibility
Monday, May 14
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, May 16
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Review & Interview at Clarissa Reads it All
Friday, May 18
Review at Nicole Evelina's Blog
Tuesday, May 22
Review at Reviewing Nerds
GiveawayDuring the Blog Tour we will be giving away a Kindle Fire HD 8" 32GB & signed copy of A Slave of the Shadows! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on May 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US/UK/Canada only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
A Slave of the Shadows