Interview with Fumi Hancock, author of 'The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra's Nest'


Ah, yes…. A Grateful Heart for all the awesome people that’s crossed my path, an Author of Inspirational Books and Fantasy & Paranormal Romance Young Adult Novels… an avid Book Lover who resides in Spring Hill, Tennessee! ​
Oh, I said it- absolutely crazy about these authors: Stephenie Meyer, Amanda Hocking, Samantha Young…and a Self Proclaimed Writer of the Year (Ok, perhaps a stretch but I’m on my way!).

Alright so I’m not in my twenties… probably starting my writing career just a tad-bit late… but I’m determined to be a success story too! I heard 40’s s the next twenties in this century… If they are right, then I just peaked! Hooray for me. My friends range from ages 14 – You know… let your imagination run wide…. Ha!
Some call me an Humanitarian and a Life Changer for Children in Africa (…. Host of “From Scratch TV,” an Online Inspirational TV Programming (, Mother of 2 Terrific Sons and Daughters, and an Adventure Seeking Adult with an unquenchable love for Young Adult Novels.

To find out more, please visit

The Interview

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Fumi. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A: Thank you for having me on today. My full name is Fumi Stephanie Hancock, author of the newly released Young Adult Fantasy & Romance Fiction, The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest. This question (about how long I have been writing) always cracks me up whenever I’m being asked. Let me share a story my parents told 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.

Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it? 

A: As a lover of fantasy stories, I’d read many which are set in Europe as well as the US (Stephenie Meyer set in the US; Harry Potter in some part of Europe; Amanda Hocking set in the US etc.); I wanted to bring a different perspective. Africa has a lot of colorful culture & tradition, as well as exotic places which many readers are not familiar with. In my journeys, I have gotten so many wonderful and raw “spooky” stories I wanted to share with my readers. I wanted my readers to taste other places through my characters, though the characters’ struggles are similar as teenagers. I wanted to transport them to a place outside of what they are familiar with and to present it in characters which come from different parts of the world. The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell is not about Africans but about people from different parts of the world living life in Africa! I want to make sure that my readers go in understanding that. Jewel Cardwell’s family background is mixed … Dutch and some other European background…My chosen setting is my playground to display characters from all over the world.

So, what is the Adventures of Jewel Cardwell? A unique & thrilling African ambiance not familiar to many!

Lying gracefully between the Vaal River in the north and the Orange River in the south, the rolling grassland and fields of crops rising to a lovely sandstone mountain, is Milner Court, Bloemfontein, a suburb nestled in the middle of Free State, South Africa.

The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest magically transports its readers from the rolling hills of Bloemfontein to the beautiful farmlands of Bela-bela South Africa. It is a fantasy-based coming of age story of a rebellious 17 year old teenager who (through no fault of her own) is thrust into an environment ridden with unfamiliar and unsavory demonic activities when admitted into a prep school in South Africa.

As Jewel Cardwell is relentlessly being trailed by an unapologetic family curse, she races against time to find answers before the curse wipes out all of her loved ones.

In the midst of this demonic war, she becomes entangled in a love triangle between a young rugged-looking Darwin Morton who she grew up with on Milner Court and the very wealthy and popular high school soccer team leader with the silver spoon in his mouth, Eric Broder. TRAILER:

 Why Did I write this Young Adult Fantasy & Adventures? I was born in Africa but have lived in the United States of America for over 30 years. A little over six years ago, my father called me up and told me it was time to return home. I’d literally grown up in the US and this was home to me. Though father lived in the US too, he felt it was time to give back to Africa.

This was an important trip for me as I’d not been back for over 23 years! The trip was equally important because one of my cousins was being crowned a king in one of the provinces and my father felt it was a great opportunity to reconnect with my roots.

The journey was exhilarating yet filled with anxiety as I did not know what I was going to encounter. I trusted my father, packed my bags and went back to West Africa with my family. It was the most incredible journey of my life… to witness a King’s coronation… no words could describe the feelings. What was more important was the surprise which awaited me! The community people rallied around me and reminded me of who I was… their princess who had been gone for long and was now back! I took the time to revisit my childhood boarding school and low and behold, all of my experiences at the school came rushing back.

The characters that readers will encounter in the Adventures of Jewel Cardwell are a culmination of my childhood friends as well as “the conjured friends in my head.” These characters have consistently plagued my dream and haunted my mind into bringing them alive. Every year I would return to Africa (with my American Friends) serving the children in the communities through my non-profit organization the Adassa Foundation, I am reminded of the colorful ambiance and the need to share this part of the world with book lovers.

As I began to paint this African adventure on paper, my sons, 17 and 15 (now 22 and 19) nudged me with their support and their instant enjoyment of the plot. Every time I would complete a chapter, they wanted more. They wanted to see what would happen to the characters. More importantly, they were intrigued by the description of the African setting, the culture of the people revealed through the different characters and the blended families relayed by the characters. Different characters elicited different emotions as they read alongside other young adults reviewing the story.

I wanted my readers to be transported to a place where they’d never been before. I wanted them to see how other people live in other parts of the world… I wanted them to also see how people like them, who have travelled to live in Africa… how they adjust to the culture and setting. The characters though reside in Africa come from various parts of the world especially Europe. Enjoy the Behind-the-scenes pictures: (!behindrhescenes/ckg3)

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it? 

A: Going back to re-write certain parts of some chapters were cumbersome, in particular when I was writing about Africa… I wanted to make the scenes as real as possible, so the research was sometimes daunting.

Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it? Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it? 

A: My press kit is my website. It includes the following: About Fumi Hancock, behind-the-scenes, reviews, Q&A Video Reels, My Blog Info, How to Order my Book, Information on my ongoing Giveaway contests and a cover reveal for the sequel to The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest. 

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV? What are your upcoming plans for doing so? 

A: My book was just recently released September 13, 2012 and most of what I have been doing have been online book clubs. I am currently working with the Spring Hill Library in Spring Hill TN to also host a book club event. In addition, I am working with a PR person who will be responsible in ensuring radio and TV interviews… coming soon stay tuned.

Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one? 

A: I have not even thought that far. I want to get my book into my readers’ hands; gain their respect and attention; then will look for an agent when the time is right. At this point, my sole attention is on making sure that my readers love the story plot. Their reviews have said that, thus far. I am very grateful and totally humble.

Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it? 

A: The Publicity Tour with Pump Up Your Books is essentially opening me up to new things and new avenues. I am still trying to get accustomed to doing quick write-ups and hosting interviews. One major thing I will be doing is the 2 DAY FREE KINDLE DOWNLOAD of The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest starting November 15, 2012 (12 am) to November 16, 2012 (12 Midnight). I am looking forward to that. There is a giveaway currently ongoing in conjunction with Pump Up Your Books. We are giving a Kindle Fire away! I also launched the book on where participants get to veer for 2 autographed copies of my book. In four weeks, 612 people participated! It was a huge success. Just launched a community board on it too:

Q: Do you plan subsequent books? 

A: Absolutely! It is a series, the Grimmlyn series that is. The whole idea started off with me knowing that I would create a series out of it. I felt that the characters were large enough; they had more depth to them that simply creating one book would do injustice to them. The second in the sequel, The Sorcerer’s Purgatory will provide an opportunity for readers to get to know even closer one of the great characters, Kaya Darkling in the first book. The Cover Reveal of this can be seen:!the_sequel/crpz 

Q: Thank you for your interview, Fumi. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A: Absolutely! Thank you for having me. It was fun.
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Free-spirited and more than a little rebellious, seventeen-year-old Jewel Cardwell isn’t too thrilled when she gains admission to Grayton Preparatory School, a prestigious, girls-only, top-notch private institution nestled in the South African farmlands of Limpopo. Unfortunately, it’s a move that will change her life forever. Almost from the moment she arrives, a string of misfortunes and strange occurrences begin trailing her. The comforts of home have been swept away, and she is plunged into a world where she has to fend for herself. But that pales in comparison to what happens on the nights when there’s a full moon. Dark forces swirl during those nights and turn up in the form of hideous monsters and frightening demons. Though Jewel has always been drawn to the darker side of life, this is more than she bargained for. She’s also caught between two boys: Darwin Morton, a lad she’s known growing up, and Eric Broder, a soccer team leader with a silver spoon in his mouth. Why her love life has to get interesting now is a question she can’t answer! The key to it all may be in her grandmother’s locket, which Jewel always wears. Will Jewel be able to solve the mystery before evil is unleashed against those she loves?

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