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Blog Tour: Q&A with SHADOWS OF GHOSTS author, Stefan Haucke [Excerpt + giveaway!]

1. Why is fiction important?

Fiction can be pure escapism, a way to escape form our daily life, but many times it's much more than that. Fiction can help  you to see a situation through another person's eyes, it can show you how people develop different beliefs and why people have different reactions to situations. Fiction can also give us comfort. It can show us that others have experienced the same feelings we have.

2. What is your least favorite word?

When someone uses the word "like" inappropriately. For example, "I was, like, really hungry so I, like, went out to get a pizza and, like, when I was paying for my pizza this clown, like, suddenly showed up and that, like, really freaked me out because I, like, really don't like clowns."

3. What part of the writing process do you dread?

I don't dread it, but the most difficult part of the writing process for me is getting started. I'm disciplined. I make myself sit down and get to work, but it's not easy getting started. I guess the blank page at first is a bit intimidating.

4. What is your favorite joke?

One of my favorite clean jokes is:

A man goes to the doctor and says, "Doc, I don't know what's wrong, but I'm suffering from pain all over my body. If I touch my nose, it hurts. If I touch my knee, it hurts. If I touch my arm, it hurts.

The doctor examines him and says, "You have a broken finger."

5.  Where do  you get your best ideas?

I tend to get ideas for stories when I'm walking or swimming. The ideas come from many sources. Usually they are based on "What if. . ."  I may read or experience something, and I start thinking, "What if. . ."  For example my novel Shadows of Ghosts was conceived of with the thought, "What if there was a world similar to the United States in the mid-nineteenth century and in this world there are centaurs and the centaurs have been enslaved, and what if this leads to a civil war similar to the war that was fought in the Untied States? But what if instead of a republic, it's a kingdom and the king's twelve year old son is suddenly thrust into the position of leader of the kingdom, a position he's not ready for."


Shadows of Ghosts carries readers to Enara, a kingdom at war with itself, where for centuries centaurs have been treated like animals because of their horse-like lower bodies; they've been forced to work as slaves in the southern agricultural provinces, and have been bought and sold like livestock. But a strong abolitionist faction has convinced many that centaurs' human torsos, heads, and intellectual abilities make them humans, who should be liberated from slavery and granted the same rights as any other person.

After four years of being forced to live in a remote village and having to keep his real identity a secret, Cal Lanshire, days away from his thirteenth birthday, is given the best birthday present he can imagine. He is told the war is almost over and he will soon be allowed to return home.

But then an old acquaintance unexpectedly arrives with news that changes everything. Cal's father, the king, has been assassinated.

Suddenly the outcome of the war and the very fate of the kingdom depend upon Cal being able to reach the capital where he will take his father's place.

With only his crafty best friend by his side and an escaped centaur slave to guide him, can Cal make it through an enchanted, hostile wilderness, past the assassins sent to kill him, and back to the capital before it's too late?



After they had been walking for a while, Cal began to hear an occasional high-pitched noise, but he couldn’t tell which direction the noise was coming from. The noise echoed and seemed to be coming from every direction. Kozal started muttering unhappily to himself. The hard ground now felt soft, as if they were walking on a thin carpet. The high-pitched noise was becoming more frequent and seemed to overlap as if it was coming from different sources.

“What is that?” Cal asked.

“They make such a nasty mess,” Kozal grumbled. “We’re stepping in filth.”

“What are they?” Cal asked. “Where are they?”

“They’re above us,” Kozal said. “Many of them. We’re in their home, and they’re not happy. They’re not used to visitors.”

Cal was about to ask Kozal if the creatures he was talking about were dangerous when there was an explosion that sounded as if the top of the cave was coming down. Cal let go of Kozal’s shoulders and instinctively threw his arms over his head and crouched low to protect himself from whatever was falling from above. The high-pitched noises were incredibly loud now, but the high-pitched noises were being drowned out by what sounded like hundreds of leather coats flapping in the wind. Cal felt something briefly touch the side of his face, and then something slapped the top of his head. He tried to crouch lower and fell forward, and when he thrust his hands out to break his fall his hands slid because the ground was covered with a thick, slimy substance.
“Bats!” Mont called out.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Stefan Haucke, driven by the desire to learn about other cultures and the need for adventure, has traveled to over twenty nations. He rode a camel near the pyramids in Egypt, swam with sea lions in the waters of the Galapagos Islands, climbed the Great Wall of China, hiked near the Acropolis in Athens, went dog sledding in northern Michigan, and photographed polar bears in Canada.

Along his many travels, Stefan has successfully worked as a deckhand, a shepherd, a dispatcher for an emergency services unit, an electric meter reader, and an office manger. He has also found the time to study the literature and history of ancient Greece, Russia, and the United States, and loves reading folktales, fairytales, and urban legends. He also enjoys astronomy, and on clear nights can be found gazing at the stars and planets with his telescope.

My website:

My GoodReads page:

My Book can be purchased on:

• One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.
• One randomly chosen host will receive a $25 Amazon/BN.com gift card.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Laura Roberts @ Buttontapper Press said...

Bats aren't really that bad, are they? I used to live in Austin, Texas where people would purposely head over to the South Congress Bridge in the evenings to watch all the bats that lived under it fly around, eating up all the insects. If they cut down on the mosquitos, I'm all for it! But maybe it's a little different if you're stuck in a cave with them. ;)

Anonymous said...

I admit I didn't see the joke punchline coming!

Trix, vitajex(at)Aol(Dot)com

winemama said...

I enjoyed the excerpt.

Mary Preston said...

The joke made me laugh.


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