Thursday 20 December 2012


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Fumi Hancock. I was born in West Africa but have resided in the United States of America for over 30 years... I have lived all over the US from New York to New Jersey, then California and now Tennessee.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I have always wanted to be a writer as far as I can remember.
Let me share a story my parents shared with me over 14 years ago. I must have been around 2 years old when this incident happened. Mother always told me that at two while most kids were getting into various things, I had one … it was to write on any paper available at my disposal. My mum told me that it didn’t matter what type of paper it was, I would scribble things on it. At first, it was cute but when I started writing on important documents, they soon did not find it funny. At one point, for almost two weeks, my parents would put me in a room with old newspapers, gave me a marker and told me to go at it until I was tired.  They felt that would help me to calm down a little where writing was concerned. They were wrong! If you asked my parents, they would tell when at the age of 2 was when I started writing something! As for me, I can recall back as far as 6 or 7 years old when I started writing poetry.

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
Oh well, I will say when I was in elementary school writing poetry and short plays. I knew back then that I wanted to be a writer. My mom always commend me for making up stories and till today, she still tells me that she will one day see one of my books made into a movie. I say, from her mouth to the man above --). I can’t wait.

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
Yes. The extension of time was on my part as I had to travel back and forth Africa to US researching aspects of my book.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I am a registered nurse by profession and now moving more into writing recently. My dream is to one day be totally dependent on my writing. Here is to hoping.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest, a Young Adult Fantasy & Romance Novel set in a Unique Ambiance unfamiliar to many.

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
iUniverse is my publisher and they are a Book-on-Demand publisher. Loved their process.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
In the case of the Adventures of Jewel Cardwell, it took me at least 2 years! This was because I was writing about a setting which needed a level of accuracy amidst the fantasy. I travelled back and forth from Africa to the US and met a lot of wonderful African kids as well as revisited by own boarding school. All of these steps took time.

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I will continue to write Young Adult genre.  My dream is to also write an Adventure story for adults. For now, I am content with just writing for Young Adults.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I am currently finishing the sequel to the Adventures of Jewel Cardwell. I am hoping to get the 1st edition, the author’s edition out by March-April 2013. The Sorcerer’s Purgatory will be the second in the Grimmlyn Series. Here, one of the characters, Kaya Darkling the Sorcerer’s daughter in The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell will be a main contender.  Behind-the-scenes and Cover Reveal are already published at:
I think the behind-the-scene and the cover reveal will titillate my readers and prepare them for a great saga.  This adventures promises to kick the fun and magical encounters up more notches! Thank heavens; this will not take me another two years to finish!

What genre would you place your books into?
Teens- Horror
Teens – Fantasy
Teens- Romance

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I chose Young Adult Fantasy because of my genuine love for everything young adults. As a mother of two “young men,” I believe they are close to my characters. In addition, my recurring visits to Africa to care for my African children have been a great incentive for me to write something they would read, understand, enjoy and possibly see themselves in. I dedicate the Adventures of Jewel Cardwell to my African kids.

Where do you get your book plot ideas from?What/Who is your inspiration?
Wow! Great question. First, it starts in my head… I often write a story, scene by scene in my head… imagine for a while, then begin to give voices to each character.  I write in free prose and worry about syntax and semantics later.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I work best when in the stillness of the early mornings… my creative juices thrive around 2.30 am until 7am. After that, I am not sure I would be able to write to save my own life! But seriously, find your rhythm and go for it. Everyone is different. You must find what works for you and stick with it.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Yes. I have done that with The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell. Grateful for all of the reviews pouring in. Need more.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Absolutely! They help me to be better with my next book.

What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
Just few days ago, a reader on goodreads gave the book a 2.5 / 5. This was the first in the 18 reviews I have had. Thus far, The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell has had only one 4/5 rating on amazon and the rest is 5/5. It was interesting to see that even with the rating; she insisted that people read the book. It was also interesting to see that her rating was tied to her feelings for the main character Jewel. While she was unsympathetic to her, others loved the book simply because they were able to follow Jewel’s erratic behavior. For me, this showed me that my work was done as my goal was to elicit different behaviors regarding JEWEL.

As a writer, we have to be able to take “the good, the bad and the ugly” and grow from them all. Thank goodness, I have not had any “ugly” reviews. I am truly appreciative of my reviewers and my readers. Love them all.

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
I appreciate all of the reviews that have come out on my book. While I had mostly 4.5/5 and 5/5/; I had two reviewers who gave it 2.5/5 but still recommended that people purchased the book. Their issue was more of dealing with some of the characters’ erratic behavior. I value all of my readers.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
My adventures to and fro the outskirts of Africa inspired me to name my first Young Adult Fantasy Novel, The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest. I wanted my readers to go on a journey to a unique setting alongside my protagonist, Jewel Cardwell.  I wanted this novel to be seen as an adventure where my readers not only see themselves in some of the characters they meet in this unique setting; but are also softly educated about other parts the continent. One of my readers once wrote me to tell me, she would like to travel to Africa with me on one of my trips. According to her, my description in the fiction fascinated her well enough.  With responses like this, I consider my work done.
Thanks to Phatpuppy Art’s Claudia (, she was tremendous help at capturing my thoughts on Jewel Cardwell’s look. I didn’t have to redo or rewrite or even have to think too hard on the cover. I am glad the way the cover has turned out. This far, everyone that’s seen my cover has given it a raving review. In in addition, my son, Bola Thompson- Inkblot Photography ( did a rendition of one of the scenes in the book. This was used as my back cover. Totally awesome and continues to receive great reviews from those who have purchased the soft print.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I work on both simultaneously.

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Using my research of places and names in Africa helped in assigning names to my characters.

Are character names and place names decided after there creation? Or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
I pick the character and place name, then invent them.

Do you decide on character traits (i.e. shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along? 
No. I let the characters speak to me and let then guide me through the story.

Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I believe in free prose. I just sit and let the character lead the way. I don’t try to hinder my writing by trying to plot too hard.

How do you market/promote your books?
Facebook! Facebook! Facebook! I have also announced several parts of the book on my twitter. I have hosted some FREE BOOK Giveaways: eBooks and autographed Print Books. This has brought people to my facebook site as well as my website.
In this digital age, we have so many tools, in particular in the area of marketing. It is one thing to write, it is another to ensure that your readers are able to locate your book. Social Media is a big one: Facebook ( has worked really well for me. The twitter ( is also another tool I use to connect with my readers. You tube ( has helped to announce my trailer to the world and Pinterest ( has enabled me to connect with those who pin my book to their walls too.  Ofcourse the tool I am investigating now is the virtual publicity tour which I am currently on with Pump Up Your Books. It promises some giveaways etc. (

What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
Oh yeah! With my second book, The Sorcerer’s Purgatory, with all the marketing I had to do with The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest I hit a snag few weeks ago. What has helped is taking a break completely from the writing process. Read someone else’s novel, then get back on track.

Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
It is a coming of age story of a young girl from a blended family, tossed in an unfamiliar setting. It shows resiliency, determination and hope even when all looks deem.  It tells us regardless of our age our resourceful and determined we are capable of, if we set our minds on whatever we want to accomplish. Above all, it reminds us that we are able to overcome circumstances; we just need to keep putting on feet after the other.  Our “promise land” is closer than we think.

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
The writer who wrote The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rains - Tolkien. I love the way the author have used language to drive the story. I am glad that those who have read my book, the Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest say the same.

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
I love it all… the ebook for easy and quick read, the bardback as a collector’s item and the softcover to carry around.

What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
I have always had a “thing” for Young Adults. As a Social Worker and A Registered Nurse, my passion had always been taking care of Young Adults. I find them fascinating, intriguing and yes, perhaps majority was always in trouble with stories to tell.  In addition, 5 years ago, I travelled to Africa alongside my team, The Adassa Foundation… Yet again, the crowd which surrounded me was Young Adults. Because of constantly being around them, I developed a flare for writing stories which would intrigue them. I soon found out that my poems and short stories captivated the young adults on my caseload when I was a Social Worker. Here go, my writing the Adventures of Jewel Cardwell. While many may run away from dealing with Young Adults, I find myself running towards them and wanting to share life with them.
I love “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”.  I am always fascinated by how people move from a known setting into the unknown. Huckleberry travels are very engaging; the descriptions are incredibly vivid that most times, after reading a book; I always felt I had just visited a place.  The travels were sometimes scary yet with messages that warm the heart.

Arrgh yes, let’s not forget this:
I love Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and of course adventure. The Hobbit, a prelude to the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolken. I am enthralled by his description of events. No wonder the Lord of the Rings is a big hit!

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
Every format has its own merit. While many things are being moved online, for example, Newspaper; I  still think that printed books will never be replaced. “To each his own”

Did you have a favourite author as a child?
I love all of the Hucklyberry franchise. They were great. Now, if I could only remember the author’s name. Lol.

Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
I won’t change anything. The characters and the scenes were painstakingly crafted to elicit different responses from readers. It is doing just that now.

What do you think about book trailers?
I believe book trailers are great. For someone like me who is more visual, it tends to summarize the book in a nutshell… I love them. My Trailer:

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Write! Write! Write! Don’t give up. Writing must be a passion and not something we simply want to glorify. We must go in knowing exactly what we are anticipating as our outcome. Do we want to write just to share with family or do we want others outside of our circle of influence to get a wind of it? Do we want to make a career out of this? Once you know what your vision and the expectations for your writing are, then set your eyes like a flint and pursue it. It could be a very long and windy journey but you must be focused; never dissuading but more importantly, PRACTICE YOUR CRAFT ON A DAILY BASIS. Thank heavens for the electronic age that’s changing the fate of many authors. Today, authors have been discovered through Amazon. SO, there is hope outside of the traditional publishers.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
No… I believe in branding and a way to ensure that is by using one’s name.

If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
JK Rowlings- Harry Potter, Stephenie Meyer- The Twilight Saga and Amanda Hocking-Tryll Series.

Where can readers follow you?

Your blog details?

Your web site ?

Your Goodreads author page?
Your Twitter details?

And any other information you wish to supply?
Absolutely! I am hoping to get the 1st edition, the author’s edition out by March-April 2013. The Sorcerer’s Purgatory will be the second in the Grimmlyn Series. Here, one of the characters, Kaya Darkling the Sorcerer’s daughter in The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell will be a main contender.  Behind-the-scenes and Cover Reveal are already published at:
I think the behind-the-scene and the cover reveal will titillate my readers and prepare them for a great saga.  This adventures promises to kick the fun and magical encounters up more notches! Thank heavens; this will not take me another two years to finish.

Purchase  & Post Reviews at:
Click here to sample or buy (US) :
Click here to sample or buy: (UK):
Click here to sample or buy: Barnes & Nobles

Young Adult Fantasy & Paranormal Author, Fumi Hancock Unveils "The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest", set in a Unique & Thrilling Ambiance not Familiar to Many.

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