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Welcome, today we are talking with F. R. Southerland! I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy writing schedule to answer a few questions.

First, I think it’s important for readers to get a little insight on an author that they don’t necessarily get from your professional bio. You’d be surprised at what readers connect to, and sometimes the simplest ‘I can relate to that’ grabs their interest where nothing else can. Don’t answer anything you feel uncomfortable with.

**Can you share a little something about F. R. Southerland that’s not mentioned in your bio on your website?

Well, one thing many people don’t know about me and is certainly omitted from my bio is my love of sci-fi fantasy and comic books. Anything related to comic book superheroes--whether it be the comics themselves, or movie and television adaptations--is a real passion of mine. I collect comic books and enjoy anything that has to do with them.

** What are your favorite animal, food, movie, TV show, actor, singer, and author?

Ah, the easy stuff. My favorite animal is a wolf. My favorite food is grilled cheese sandwich (it’s one of those comfort food things). My favorite movie has always been The Lost Boys. I can watch it over and over again, and that kind of leads into my favorite TV show, which is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Favorite actor is a bit tricky as there are so many I like, but I currently really like Stephen Amell. I like all kinds of music but my favorite band has to be the Arctic Monkeys. I just love their sound. And favorite author? Well, there are too many to list but I have always been fond of Stephen King, Anne Rice, and lately, Kim Harrison.

** What are your pet peeves?

Oh, Lord. Pet peeves. One of my biggest ones is something my husband constantly does and that’s folding down the corners of book pages when he reads them. Is it so hard to use a bookmark of some kind? The dog-eared pages really bug me and I constantly get on his case about it. Whenever friends borrow books from me, I have to ask them not to do the same thing. It irritates me so much! Another pet peeve would be incorrect grammar. I’m not a grammar Nazi by any means, but if I see a sign and someone has misused a word or misspelled something, I have to resist the urge to take out a pen and correct it. I’m always pointing things out if I read them somewhere.

** Who is your hero?

Just recently, my father passed away. At his funeral, I learned many things about him from family members on his side that I did not know. Being a WWII veteran, my father was drafted into the Army when he was just twenty-two years old, and served for roughly two years in Japan. I greatly admire him and wish I had learned more about his service. I have always looked up to him and he is my hero, without a doubt.

**Give us one thing on your bucket list.

To go to Disneyland. I know, I’m a thirty-one year old woman and I have not been to the happiest place on Earth, but I’m determined to get there one day!

**If you could go to heaven, who would you visit?

Definitely my mother and my father. I miss them very much.

**Any bad habits?

Let’s see… nail biting has always been a bad one. I’m prone to laziness and procrastination a lot of the time. I’m also a smoker, and I know that can be one of the nastiest habits of all—and one I hope to break soon as I’m trying to quit.

Now that our readers know a little bit more about F. R. Southerland, let’s get down to the business of your newest book, Caution to the Wind. How long did it take you from beginning to end before your novel was completely finished, and how did you decide on the topic and title?

I began writing Caution to the Wind in mid-January of 2015 and finished it in late March, so it didn’t take very long to complete at all. The story is one that had been shifting around in my head for many years and I finally decided to get it out into the world. The title has two meanings. It’s based on the idiom “throwing caution to the wind”, which means to do something heedless of the risks involved. It fits in with the main heroine, Loren, and how she puts aside her anxiety to jump headfirst into her calling. The second meaning of the title revolves around the word “wind” as Loren possesses the ability to manipulate the element.

Was there a reason for self-publishing Caution to the Wind, and did you enjoy the process?

The main reason I self-published was because I had tried traditional publishers and I didn’t want to go through that process again. I also wanted to have more control over what happened within my novel. I liked the freedom of self-publishing. It was a difficult process—more so than I imagined—but I eventually got the hang of it and I overall did enjoy it.

Please tell us a little bit about Caution to the Wind.

Caution to the Wind is the story of Loren, a young woman gifted with the ability to manipulate the element of air. Though she possesses this unique ability, she is untrained and uncertain. All her life, she had believed she wasn’t special or important, leaving her feeling anxious and insignificant. She meets Avery, a vigilante with ties to a very rich and powerful family, and learns he and his siblings have elemental powers like hers and that she is the missing element needed to protect the world from a maniac.

Is this part of a series?

Yes, it is part of a series. Caution to the Wind is the first book of the Elemental Series.

What was your hardest challenge writing this book?

The biggest challenge in writing this book was the editing process, more importantly, finding the time in which to edit. I spent a lot of time working on my book, trying not to rush it and put out the best work I could given the circumstances of a very hectic home life.

What in your opinion makes good chemistry between your leading characters?

It’s difficult for me to say what exactly makes good chemistry. When I write, I don’t set out to create romance between characters. I just let it flow naturally. The chemistry between Loren and Avery developed naturally through the writing process and I can’t say exactly what made it work, other than they both seemed to dig one another and I just let it happen.

Would you say that Caution to the Wind is more of a romance or more of a paranormal?

I would say it’s definitely more of a paranormal, but there is very heavy romance involved. I originally didn’t intend the book to have romance, but once I began writing and saw where it was heading, I shifted the story a bit to include that element and I realized it worked better with the inclusion.

Any other works in progress?

Yes. I am planning on writing book two of the Elementals Series soon. The title is Free Fall and I hope to release it sometime in mid-2016. I am also working on a small novella series that ties in with the Elementals series. This series focuses on minor characters introduced in Caution to the Wind, written from their POVs.  The first volume of it was released in e-book in July 2015 and is titled Unearthed. I am currently working on volume two, titled Wildfire.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

The best advice I can offer aspiring authors to read every day and write every day. This is very important to the whole process. A good writer has to be a good reader. It’s essential.

Final words?

Thank you very much for having me here today. It’s been a pleasure. I hope you all check out Caution to the Wind and enjoy it. Happy Reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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