Productions, Inc. authors, Bernadette Thompson Martin.
She is one of our out of state authors and lives with her husband Ken in the quaint South Carolina low country town of Cottageville.
Bernadette was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Shortly after her birth, the family moved to the small industrial town of Millville, New Jersey. There she spent the first 25 years of her life.
She eventually moved to Miami, Florida where she met and married her husband. After living in the big city for 30 + years, she retired from the hectic corporate life, hung up her executive heels and moved to the South Carolina country. Their unpretentious five acre farm is shared with two Akita’s, three cats, three cockatiels, four miniature goats, a miniature donkey, and now a miniature mule, along with more chickens than she cares to
count. The warm breezes, gentle sunlight, and Magnolia scented air make life dreamy and peaceful — the perfect setting to enhance an author’s active imagination.
Please join us in welcoming Bernadette today. It’s so nice to finally get to know more about one of our most mysterious authors.
(DENNY): First of all, I understand your co-author and friend Jeannie Faulkner Barber worked collectively with you on the dynamic fantasy novel Destiny Never Sleeps-Quest of the Two Queens, yet the two of you have never met in person. Is this true?
(BERNIE) (laughs) This is definitely true. We talk on the phone a great deal, sometimes for hours at a clip, yet neither of us has met the other face to face. When we figure out how to work the dang computers, we plan to communicate via Skype.
I reside in South Carolina and Jeannie lives in Texas, so we are separated by a considerable distance. Hopefully, the two of us will get together in the near future. When we do, that should prove to be a super event. Knowing how we are, the first two or three days should consist of little sleep and nonstop chatter. Lol. I’m not sure if our husbands, Ken and Monte, will appreciate it, but I know she and I will. We are each, uh, kind of talkative so to speak, and have a lot to talk about. If push comes to shove, we’ll have the guys hook up the boat and go fishing while we talk..lol..
(DENNY): How did you and Jeannie meet?
(BERNIE) Actually, we met on Facebook playing Farmville. Ironically, Jeannie and I felt an immediate bond of friendship begin and one thing led to another. Now, neither of us play, nor have time for, Farmville, but our friendship is incredibly strong, and I believe it is one that will last a very long time.
(DENNY): Has your friendship with Jeannie deepened since the collaboration of this book?
(BERNIE) In many ways it has intensified, but for the better. Working together on Destiny gave us a greater insight into the mind and soul of each other. At times, we found ourselves saying the exact thing at the same time or thinking alike. We love each other as one would a sister and could not be closer than if we were blood related. If truth be known, I believe Jeannie and I spent two thirds of our time laughing and goofing off while working on this novel. We had a great time. Our literary task became fun instead of a chore.
(DENNY): Can you give us an inside view of this unique fantasy novel?
(BERNIE) The four main characters, Kat, Randy, Jay, and Tippy are all friends who are now in the autumn of life. Age and death will soon take them all. Kat wishes to eliminate this plague. An eventual trip at sea grants the wish as the four are eerily transported into a mysterious parallel realm. They are soon introduced to Adera, a Queen who is as kind and gentle, as she is beautiful. Kat feels strange, as though she has come home, and intends to remain, but the others desire to return. This undertaking is only possible by performing a selfless deed … a feat that could bring about their destruction. Lurking in the shadows is another Queen—one who is vile and heartless. She wishes to control this realm, and in time, the other as well. As the dangerous path home begins, the four brave companions encounter fascinating life forms … human and some not so human. New friendships are formed, and true love is realized. They also learn another brand of love exists … an unselfish soul-wrenching one of country, honor, friends, animals — and more. Lives will be lost, tears will be shed, and hearts will be broken. However, the strength of boundless love will triumph and, for some, happiness will flourish.
(DENNY): Every story has a beginning. How did the entertaining tale come
(BERNIE) The enchanting tale formed over fifty some years. It began when I was perhaps five. I was lying out on the top of our Beagles dog box watching the clouds change and trying to figure out what they were morphing into.
One might call it a simple daydream or perhaps a vision, but suddenly the sky and clouds seemed to vanish, and I envisioned this magnificent black horse running in the surf. The beach was silver white, and the ocean and sea appeared as one, each as blue as the other. Suddenly, he stopped and began to walk toward my tiny outstretched hand. I called him McLachen. That was the first of many, many visions and the actual birth of this novel.
(DENNY): Are any of the characters based on real life people and perhaps a few personal experiences?
(BERNIE) Oh my goodness yes on both questions. As a makeshift tribute, I decided to use as many of my family and friend’s names as possible. Horace, for example, was my father’s name. Jim is my brother’s name. Landers is the last name of a dear friend in Florida who is fighting cancer. Randy, Jay, and Tippy are inspired by my three lifelong friends, Bruce, Ray, and Peppy.
Some titles are fictitious and a product of my imagination, such as Merneos, Adera, Nirage, Bagi, or even the kingdom of Bowlandria.
Mythology has always tantalized my mind's eye. Many of the characters are derived from Greek folklore, as well as ancient entities like Ambrose … better known to us mortals as Merlin.
Another aspect used is a hint of urban legends. Meeley, for example, is a nickname for Amelia. Charles Taylor, or Charlie, was the actual leader of Flight 19 that disappeared out of Ft. Lauderdale. I don’t particularly say ‘who’ anyone is, but imply sufficient hints which allow the reader to use their imagination. Isn’t that the true gist of what writing and reading is all about? I believe our task as an author is to use our special talents to script a novel, which in turn should stimulate the reader’s psyche and transport them to another world, real or otherwise.
As for part two of your question, this novel is overflowing with experiences, some which actually border on the bizarre. Living in Miami, Florida for nearly forty years, and traveling out into the Bermuda Triangle many times with my husband and friends, provided the amazing realism. I have personally witnessed the boats compass spin wildly out of control, and saw things that cannot be explained … by anyone!
(DENNY): Who and what was the inspiration to enter into a writing career?
(BERNIE) This is perhaps the easiest to answer. It was undoubtedly a high school teacher named Pat Witt. During my senior year, our English teacher became ill and could no longer teach. He was replaced by Ms. Witt for the remainder of the term.
She once had us do a book report, but no subject was given. We were to use our imaginations. One afternoon, she asked me to stay after class and asked my permission to read my report to all the class’s as an example of good writing abilities. Being shy, I begged her not to, but finally relented and agreed, but only if she would not say who wrote it. It was she who turned my head toward writing. Subsequent to that day, she would frequently implore me to further my literary education. Ms. Witt resiliently stated she saw in me a rare talent, and it was my duty to cultivate that gift. I was flattered of course, and did as she asked, but even now remain on the shy side and continue to question the ‘rare talent’ part.
(DENNY): Are there any other genres you wish to write in someday besides
(BERNIE) No. This is my calling. My mind created this other realm, and it is there I belong. To venture away from it would be a terrible mistake. I believe in writing what you are most comfortable with, and for me, it is fantasy. This tale contains a touch of romance, but I am not a romance writer. There is added bits of horror, but not intense terror. We have an adequate amount of that in our everyday life. Also, with this type of wholesome fantasy, we are able to infuse many underlying values so desperately needed these days.
(Denny): Will there be other stories that connect to Destiny Never Sleeps, or
will new adventures be forthcoming?
(BERNIE) Quest of the Two Queens is the first in a series of three planned. However, I have purposely allowed for unlimited expansion. After all, the ‘Realm’ is quite vast, and there is much more to be explored.
The next in this series is underway, and the third’s tale outlined with accompanying notes. Some characters will be sadly eliminated, such as Jay, but others will be added. In number two, we will introduce Faye and Punk. She is a bouncy and impetuous little fairy. Punk is the owl she flies about on and her best friend.
A great deal of what is to come following Quest of the Two Queens is already written within its pages. As the volume’s progress, the reader will, or should say, “wow, so that is who she or he is”, or “so this is why such and such happened.” As an example, in the next novel, the center character is named Cianest. She has already been mentioned in Quest, but the reader will not know that until the last chapter of book two, nor will I spill the beans and tell you more about her. Lol
(DENNY): Other than writing, what are some of your hobbies, both in the present and the past.
(BERNIE) Jeepers, there are so many it’s not even funny. Of course, horseback riding is and always will be my favorite. Nothing feels more exhilarating than being astride such a powerful and magnificent creature as you cantor along with the air blowing through your hair.
I have dabbled in oil painting and even managed to sell a few over the years. My first is presently hanging in our dining room.
We bowl, but truthfully, I’m lousy at it. The only reason they want me on a team is to make use of my huge handicap. Lol.
Essentially, I enjoy anything outdoors, like boating and fishing. I loathe being confined to the house.
On occasion, I help Ken with our flower and vegetable gardens, but draw the line a bit in the summer when the snakes are about. Lol. This gal does not like snakes and is petrified of them.
Cooking, canning, and baking are another of my favorite things to do and by judging the size of our increasing waistlines, my food prep must be pretty adequate. Lol.
The reefs in Florida were fabulous, and Ken was a dive master, so I learned to scuba dive. It was regrettable, but after a year or two I had to give it up due to bad sinuses.
Dancing remains super fun, and I adore it. During my teen years, we lived in New Jersey, not far from Philadelphia. Needless to say, I was lucky enough to dance on American Bandstand many times and even held a secret crush on handsome, young Dick Clark.
Football isn’t really a hobby, but I enjoy it and am a big Dolphin fan. Jeannie was a bit nervous that I would be upset when the ‘Boys’ and ‘Fins’ got together, but no, it’s just a game, and there isn’t a problem. lol
(DENNY): If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be and why.
(BERNIE) That is difficult to say as I admire so many. It probably would be J.K. Rowling. She was an unknown author … down on her luck and nearly broke. This one struggling mother now has achieved more than any of us could imagine. However, most people don’t know that she has never forgotten her past and continues to give a great deal of her fortune away. She does not care to be lauded for her noble deeds, but does them out of kindness and a remembrance of her own hard times. This talented lady is a great inspiration, and I would consider it an honor to meet her.
(DENNY): What are your goals for the present and future?
(BERNIE) Right now, I just want to make Destiny Never Sleeps-Quest of the Two Queens a success. This is my legacy.
My dream however, is for this story to become a movie, and what a movie it would make. With the invention of 3-G and now the added 3-D concept, this novel would be awesome on screen. To actually SEE my vision come to life on the big screen would be about the greatest joy in my life.
(DENNY) Well, Bernadette, this has been a fabulous interview and we thank you so much for taking the time to give us a little more insight into your life.
If anyone would like to know more, please visit Bernadette and Jeannie’s website at www.destinyneversleeps.com.
Bernadette is on Facebook under Bernadette Thompson Martin.
This energetic, suspenseful, and touching fantasy novel is available at Amazon, Kindle, Nook, and the website. Also, the novel is available for purchase through any book store so if you do not see it in your local establishment, ASK them to order it for you.