Sunday, August 4, 2013

Poisoned Waters by Ermisenda Alvarez, Blog Tour and Interview!

Blog Tour: Poisoned Waters

Welcome back, everyone!  I am again excited to be a Tour Host for the Poisoned Waters Blog Tour.  

Bloody mistakes, ugly scars, and beautiful lies. A tale of corruption.
Helen Gardener is murdered on a trans-Atlantic cruise. The Diamond Royale sails from Southampton to New York with her murderer aboard. Set in the 1950s, Poisoned Waters follows the stories of seven unfortunate characters and how they are affected by her death. Was it merely an accident? Mr Phillips, the owner of the ship, and sponsor of the cruise, rules with an iron fist, in search of something or someone.
Lies spiral out of control as the suspects try to survive the final days on board. Conflicted by their sense of morals, greed, and lust, they realise what kind of people they really are. Who will rise? Who will fall? Who was Helen’s murderer?

Today's tour stop at Jane Reads includes an interview with Ermisenda Alvarez about Poisoned Waters, her new mystery/suspense/thriller book.

What inspired you to write Poisoned Waters?
I have always wanted to write a crime novel on a cruise ship. Cluedo has always been an enjoyable board game and even while playing it I would envision stories for the characters. I tried to weave Cluedo-esque themes into the crime novel and emphasised the noir and vintage ambience by placing the novel in the 1950s. I didn’t want to have to deal with the technology of the recent times, I wanted to isolate these characters and play with their unfortunate circumstances. Also, I have paid attention to TV series and noticed how often they have multiple character perspectives. This was another driving factor in having multiple main characters because it kept the plot fast but it also allowed for numerous subplots to be explored. The multiple languages and nationalities was something I added because as a Spanish Australian dating a Dutch man, I have been fascinated with multiple nationalities and the wonders of different languages.
Who is your favorite character in Poisoned Waters, and why?
From this novel, I feel like my favourite character is Sylvia. She is a flawed individual who wants more from her life than what she has so far. Trapped in a decade where women are subservient to their husbands, she struggles to find happiness there. Since she is Dutch, it was a fun challenge to slide Dutch phrases during her scenes. Another favourite of mine is Harold. His love for his wife makes my heart melt. Even though he struggles with her absence, I find him to be one of the strongest characters.
 It might be cheesy but I love all my characters for different reasons. Due to the nature of this novel, I also hate many aspects of all the characters. They are truly flawed and their dramas were entertaining to play out.

What is your favorite quotation or life motto?

One of my favourite mottos that my dad always reminded me was, ‘Depend only on yourself.’ Sometimes, I wish I had a mentor to help me along the way. But you know what, I learnt the things I have needed so far regardless. I learnt the hard way but I will never make the same mistake again. I’ve surprised myself and I have found the self-publishing journey thus far to be one of the most challenging but also rewarding experiences for myself personally. The motto doesn’t mean so much that you shouldn’t have help or collaborate. I’m currently co-authoring an urban fantasy series so I love working with others. But I think the motto just really emphasises the need to believe in yourself and that at the end of the day, if you can’t do it, maybe you should learn how to. Gain more skills so you can become more self-sufficient and hopefully, help others too.
You design book covers, including the beautiful cover for Poisoned Waters.  How did you get into design?

Thank you for the compliment. When I was about 12 I wrote lots of Harry Potter fanfiction. A way to promote your novel online was to also include a story banner, just like a book cover but with different dimensions. At first I had someone do my covers but eventually I decided I wanted to create the art for my own. I have always loved art and I thought, why not add another skill? There are so many great graphic design forums full of young people, some amateurs and many highly talented. That’s where I practiced and practiced. In the last few years, I’ve honed in on book covers because I noticed there was a real shortage of pleasant covers amongst self-publishing authors (some are absolutely cringe-worthy). Hence, I have a free book cover page on the blog. For any author to take advantage of.

Thank you so much, Ermisenda, for being with Jane Reads today.  It has certainly been a pleasure to interview you.  

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This post has been part of the Poisoned Waters Blog Tour. Poisoned Waters is a thrilling mystery set on a trans-Atlantic cruise where a murderer walks amongst passengers.

preview on Amazongoodreadsmark copy