Today is my cousin, Molly's birthday. She is four days younger than me, so she delighted in teasing me last night on the phone by pointing out that I am now 58 while she was only 57. Well, dear, now that is no longer so. We're both 58. Happy Birthday!
Normally, I have an author interview and book review on Mondays, but I figured that on Thanksgiving weekend, that would be tough to pull off. So, I shall do a mini-interview of myself.
How long have you been writing? Since I was a teenager. I started college when I was twenty seven and rediscovered writing. And through the years I've written off and on, periodically interrupted by life. The first book I submitted was Dancer's Delight.
Where do you get your ideas? I have no idea. I sit down and begin to write and they just sort of pop out. My best writing is the stuff that I just allow to appear spontaneously. Some judicious editing is okay, but if I get too planned, the writing gets stiff and formal.
What is your most--and least--favorite part of writing? Planning the book is still my favorite part. By planning, I mean the world building, vocabulary, maps, costumes. The beginning and end are my least favorite parts of writing. I suspect that is because in the beginning, the book moves slowly while you offer the necessary information to get it off the ground and in the end you have to tie up all the loose story lines.
What kind of advice would you give a new writer? Know your market. When I first had the idea for Dancer's Delight and the other Mystic Valley books, there was no place that would have published them. They were much too early for the e-market. So I delayed writing them until there was a place that would publish them. Whatever genre a writer wants to write, they should know exactly who/where/when their book will have a chance. For instance, at the moment the demand for Regency stories is waning, though there is a strong market for stories set in other historical time periods. As a writer, it might be good to know that.
How do you deal with writer's block? I write. Write something. The weather report. A were-tick story. A letter to your mother. A letter to the paper. Write anything. Eventually, that little tickle of an idea will appear. Also, take a nap. I find that often writer's block is really a tired brain, so I take a nap. If that doesn't work, eat lunch. It might be that the brain is hungry. Writers tend to get caught up in writing and neglect to take care of themselves.
How many books are in the Mystic Valley series? Hmmm. Well, there are four books currently available. Depending on how I combine the stories, there could be another five to eight books. At the moment, I'm working on the planning for a book combining the stories of Bishop and his half brother Nikolas.
When will you have a book in print? I don't know. The rule of thumb seems to generally be somewhere between six months and a year after the initial e-release, depending on how many books are in production. So far, I haven't made that list.
If you could meet any author in the world, past or present, who would it be? Georgette Heyer. She held the Regency genre in the palm of her hands while writing incredibly creative stories. I loved the men in her books. They had humor and attitude while conforming to the manners of the day. Her women were strong without being masculine. And her children were realistic and engaging.
And now a little excerpt from Cherished Destinies now available from Ellora's Cave.
Arturo sat in the bedroom he had shared for so long with Arano and stared blindly out at the raging bonding storm. So, he thought. Arano’s patience finally came to an end. With a dreary sigh, he acknowledged the death of his own unfulfilled longings and dreams. Even knowing the impossibilities hadn’t quite killed them like Arano’s bonding did. Time to accept reality and move on for Arano had never lied to him. His twin had never rejected his feelings or made light of them but had gently firmly shone a merciless light on them revealing the truth. They did not have the twin-bond that Tyger and Llyon had. There would be no covenant bond between him and Arano. He must find someone else.
Lightning flashed and lit up the dark room. Turo flung himself down on his bed and finally wept in grief, crying out his heartbreak. He would have liked to pretend that it was because of Jonathan’s vicious attack and rape but even in the midst of his anguish, honestly compelled him to admit that would only be an excuse.
The door opened and Wolfe entered, carefully closing the door behind him.
“I don’t think so, my brother. There is no shame in grief. The shattering of dreams always hurts.” In the flickering light, Wolf moved to sit on Arano’s bed, across from Turo. “It is the retreat, the surrender to evil that is shameful. Do you think that Arano is suffering less than you?”
Turo looked over at the scornful face of his younger but wiser brother.
“I have an attachment with Raven, younger sister of Dancer and Traveller just as Robyn has an attachment with Tracer.” With deliberate detachment Wolfe continued, “Our out-valley grandfather sold our mates into slavery. I was present in Raven’s mind when she was repeatedly raped and beaten, just as Arano was with you. I was with her when they cut out her tongue. Robyn was with Tracer when they cut out his tongue and tortured him. Do you have any idea what it is to be in the mind of your beloved, witnessing unspeakable torments while powerless to prevent them?”
In the crackling flare of lightning, Arturo saw the sheen of tears on Wolfe’s face.
“You suffered. You were raped and beaten. And you are afraid.” When Turo would have protested, Wolfe stopped him with a sharp gesture. “Yes, you are afraid. There is no shame in fear but now it is time to seek help in dealing with it. You are not a child, Turo but until you deal with the fear and anger you will not be a man again. And until you are a man, you will not be able to present a whole heart to that man waiting out there somewhere for you.”
Wearily, he sighed. “I am leaving tomorrow for Rebaccah’s Promise to complete my healer’s training with Henry. Dai is going to his retreat with Tyger and Bishop. You should go with them, Turo. Go and heal. Stop running away from the truth and become the man and warrior that you’re meant to be.” He stood and looked down at his brother. “I love you. Do this for me. Do this for Arano. Do this for yourself.” Without another word, he left closing the door softly behind him.
The storm moved past, leaving Arturo in darkness more profound than any he had experienced in his life. When a distant grumble of thunder roused him from his self absorption he rolled from the bed and twisted the lightstone until it filled the room with a dim glow. Moving slowly he went into the bathing room, washed his face and returned to survey the bedroom through new determined eyes.
Wolfe was far wiser than he. It was time to move on—time to let go of his anger and cowardice, for though Wolfe had not named it such it was. He was afraid that he would grow old alone, afraid that with Arano gone, he would have no one. Abruptly sick with the image he saw, Arturo dragged his pack from beneath the bed and began to fill it with the clothing and necessities he would need for a sojourn down to Dai’s retreat.
When he was finished, he laid his weapons out on the bed and prepared them for travel. As Arano had promised, he would not be traveling alone but he also had a personal vow to keep. Never again would he travel unprepared for trouble. When his preparations were complete, he went about the room and packed all of his belongings in his trunk. Wherever he ended, it would not be here. The room was bare except for furniture when he was done. He stripped Arano’s bed and looked thoughtfully at his own. No, there was no need to be uncomfortable tonight. Tomorrow would be soon enough to sever that last tie.
He twisted the lightstone off and tumbled into bed. Time to sleep. Tomorrow would be a long, long day.
Kelly has the Saga today at http://www.kkirch.blogspot.com/ so drop by and check out what she's up to. Then pop over to Amarinda's blog at http://www.amarindajones.blogspot.com/ to see what she's been up to. Blessings on your day.