EXCLUSIVE: Lydia Rodriguez-Clement talks peanuts, dreams and angels as she lets us in to all the juicy secrets behind her upcoming bestseller novel 'THE GUARDIAN'.





Hi Everyone!

So recently I reached out to the amazing Lydia Rodriguez-Clement to find out all there is to know about her new novel 'The Guardian'. We've been working together for a couple of weeks now to bring an exclusive interview to you + a special surprise opportunity to win Freebies that will be coming in a few days. So keep reading!







Synopsis

Jacob is a 7th level Angel, a soldier warrior, who is re-united with his best friend, and Captain, after three hundred years. All Guardian Angels have powers beyond imagining but Jacob seems to be the strongest in all aspects of his work; making him an extremely valuable asset. Underneath Jacob's vast history of battles against evil, he fights not only because it is his duty, but also because he has always felt a connection with humans. A connection that is at risk of becoming his downfall.

When he accidentally comes face to face with his charge, a 23 year old college student named Sarah, his connection with humans is inexplicably magnified. Sarah's pure heart, fiery spirit and strong will captures Jacob's admiration and he finds himself unable to resist her.

Meanwhile, the city in which Jacob and Sarah reside, has come under fierce attacks by the "Fallen" - a group of dark angels lead by a mysterious new commander called Lord Samuel. Unbeknownst to the woman he is falling in love with, it is Jacob's duty to protect the city from these dark forces and so he soon finds himself torn between his love for Sarah and his duty to both his Captain and himself, as a Guardian Angel.

Will Jacob be able to resist the dark allure of Lord Samuel and stay true to himself for long enough to protect Sarah from harm? And if he can, what price will her safety cost?




Eager to find out more? Well you're in luck! Because I'm about to reveal all the secrets behind Lydia's work. Exciting, huh?

And just in case you're wondering, there are no sneaky spoilers lingering in the midst of this interview. So fear not, it is completely safe to keep reading.




Lydia, tell us all a little bit about yourself!

Well, I am a 43 year old Texan of Mexican descent and I have lived in and around San Antonio all of my life. I have been married 19 years to a wonderful supportive man named Christopher, or as I like to call him, Honey Bunny. We have 5 children together, 4 girls and 1 boy and one cute little dog. My children are everything to me and I hope that I can be an inspiration to them.
I was diagnosed with Leukaemia in 2010 and published my first novel, 'Angelus', that same year. I pretty much rushed to publish that novel, thinking that I didn't have much time left and so I really don't like it. I am probably the only author that will tell you NOT to buy it. When I finally beat cancer, I revisited the story and began the long process of re-shaping and editing it. This year I published 'The Guardian', which is the revised version and I am so grateful I was given a second chance.
Like many others, I love chocolate and coffee, and yes, sometimes together. I also NEED to snack while I am writing and it's usually peanuts. I LOVE PEANUTS! I also love to read. My favourite book is by far 'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Bronte. 


When did you begin writing and why?

I began writing short stories and poetry in high school. It was a wonderful outlet for my former shy self that helped me through the tough high school years. My English teachers would enter my poems in to competitions, but I never won. I know, it's okay. It was remarkable to me however, that my fellow classmates liked my short stories. And so it took me many years later to finally get myself together and begin writing again after life hit me straight on - marriage, kids and cancer.


Do you ever find yourself drawing from your own personal experiences as a kind of foundation for your work?

I think as a writer it is imperative. Readers want characters they can not only connect with, but to think as they are reading that one would actually do and say what you are writing. Did I make sense? In other words, the characters should not just sound real, but FEEL real.


I'm really glad you said that because it's one of the main things I look for when I'm reading a book. Now, if you could name one author that has inspired your work, who would it be and why?

My goodness this is a tough one. So many great authors to choose from. Well, if I had to choose, I would choose J.K. Rowling. The Harry Potter series is simple, and yet intricate. My imagination was blown away by the whole Wizard world. I found her books and her real life inspirational. I would love to meet her one day. 


As a massive Harry Potter fan myself I completely agree with you. Do you have a particular place that you go to write or do you find that you can write anywhere?

I do have a desk with a computer in my living room that I work from. Not really tidy, but that kind of works for me. But, oddly enough, most of the conversations in the book came to me in dreams. I usually toss and turn for hours until finally I get up and reach for my pen and pad on my night stand; specifically placed there for those sleepless nights. Other than that I do make it a point to have a pen and paper with me at all times, because you never know when inspiration will hit you. Life is inspirational, like a smile on a child's face at the grocery store, a kiss from your sweetheart or a song playing on the car radio.


For those of us who have tried writing a full novel, we know that it's not an easy task. Is there anything about the process of writing and completing a novel that you find particularly challenging?

What is difficult for me is the beginning, middle, and the end. No seriously. How to start the story, paragraph and chapter is always difficult. But you have to remember that your first draft is just that, a first draft. As Literary Artists, we can be very hard on ourselves. Realising this is half the battle. The rest is letting your story flow out and figuring out how you work best. Maybe you work better with loud music or when everyone else is asleep. Maybe you don't work well with the confines of an outline or maybe you have it all written and organised on Post-Its on the wall. The thing here is NOT to give up, and always work on writing better by reading, reading, reading.


Great advice! Now lets get on to 'The Guardian'. Without giving anything away, can you briefly tell us what it's about?

It is a story about how Sarah's spiritual beliefs are reaffirmed when the existence of Angels and Demons are horrifically revealed. Never had she dreamt that her mundane life would be caught in not only a struggle to stay alive in this clash of worlds, but also a sadistic plan by Dark Angels to lure Jacob, her own Guardian, to fall.


Wow, that's a pretty exciting storyline! And with angels and demons being timeless and truly enthralling beings, what inspired you to write about them yourself?

If you really think about it, all stories from the beginning of time have been about the struggle between good and evil, love and hate, or acceptance and indifference. We fight these battles all the time in our everyday lives, but in most religious beliefs, there are 'Helpers', 'Witnesses' or 'Guardians' to help us. There are also our 'Inner Demons' that hinder us. So, I thought, "that would make a great story."
I really didn't have a clue how the story would start or end until I began to have vivid dreams with conversations I could not forget. After several nights of this, I started to write these conversations down, and it simply made sense to me to write the Angels and Demons in. 


Tell us a bit about the influences for your main characters. Who are they and what can we expect from them in the book?

Sarah DeLaRosa is a 23 year old college student from San Antonio, Texas. She is of Mexican descent, and like most Latin women, feisty and stubborn. Who does that sound like? Me? Well a lot of us women really. I wrote her to be shy, but independent too. I hope as you read the book you will notice how she grows and flourishes. 
Jacob is the Guardian Angel who falls deeply in love with Sarah. So, I read up on Angels. I researched their ranks, duties and stories from the Bible. But I didn't want him to be the typical Angel that comes immediately to mind. Of course he is strong, powerful and has the gift of eternal youth, but he has a connection with humans that other Angels see as a flaw. By the end of the book, I hope you can see a glimpse of the beginning of his struggle with his own 'Inner Demon'. 


What do you want readers to take away from your book most?

I can say that I want my readers to think about morals and that demons can represent our own Inner Demons, and that may be good, but I also want the reader to be immersed in this possible world. I want the readers to fall in love, to fight for love and life along side of Jacob and Sarah, and to enjoy the ride.


Where can we get a copy of 'THE GUARDIAN' for ourselves?

'The Guardian' is available at:


I do have it available in E-book format too. I only have one small favour to ask everyone, and that is to PLEASE leave a book review and rating. 


Lydia, I'm halfway through your book and I am really enjoying it so far. What else can we be expecting from you in the near future?

First, I want to thank you and your readers from the bottom of my heart for this interview. I really enjoyed connecting with everyone.
The future definitely has a sequel to 'The Guardian' and I am already on Chapter 3. Sarah and Jacob's story continues with an unexpected twist. I also have an 'Ask the Author' feature on www.goodreads.com/LydiaClement, and great pictures of San Antonio and the places mentioned in the book at THE GUARDIAN fanpage on www.facebook.com/LydiaGuardian. Stop by and pay me a visit. I may have a sequel teaser from time to time. 




THE SURPRISE YOU'VE PROBABLY BEEN WAITING FOR...

So there you have it - a great interview with all the secrets behind working toward completing a full novel. I really enjoyed working with Lydia, so much so, that we're not finished with you guys yet! Lydia has asked me to host a GIVEAWAY of freebies related to this book. The Giveaway WILL INCLUDE A FREE COPY OF THE BOOK!

So if you feel like winning some free stuff, then keep your eyes posted on my blog for details. I'll be announcing the Giveaway on Twitter (@tanyams_) and Instagram (@tanyaturningpages). The full details will be coming in a few days so DONT MISS OUT!

Thank you to everyone for reading this interview and Lydia and I would love to hear your thoughts, so post a comment below! Alternatively, you can follow and tweet to me on Twitter because I love meeting new people :)

If you want to get in contact with me, then feel free to fill in the Contact Form on the right hand side of this page. I would be glad to hear from you.

As for now, thank you again to all you superb readers! It's been a pleasure. And don't forget to check back in a few days for details of the GIVEAWAY via the Giveaways link on the banner at the top of this page. 


Tanya xo