Good morning! As of today, there are 19 days until Spring! While we wait, let's enjoy a visit from Alexis Morgan.
Living in a Fantasy World
If I had to describe the path I've followed through my twenty-year plus career as an author, I'd have to say it's been one full of twists and turns. Often, I can see only a short distance ahead and the ultimate destination is a mystery. It all began when a friend dared me to write a book of my own. After a couple of failed attempts, I finally succeeded in completing my first manuscript.
In my mind, I started off to write a fantasy set on another world in a rough-and-tumble mining town. However, when I submitted that story to contests, the feedback from the judges made it pretty clear that my fantasy read more like a western.
Deciding they were right, I rewrote the entire manuscript as a western set in Colorado after the Civil war--but kept the alien warriors! Back then there wasn't a market for books that crossed genres, but I loved the combination of elements in that story. Still do, as a matter of fact. And the success of Firefly and the movie Cowboys and Aliens showed I wasn't the only one who feels that way about!
So after years of writing westerns and then paranormal romances, that twisting path I mentioned did an about turn and led me right back to the desire to write a fantasy again. It has been a wonderful experience, one that has stretched both my writing muscles and my creativity. You see, different genres have their own characteristics especially in word choice and the rhythm of the language used in the story. As a beginning writer, that I hadn't learned that lesson was obvious since my fantasy ended up reading like a western.
But when I started writing the first book in the WARRIORS OF THE MIST, I was very conscious of word choice. I had to be on constant guard to avoid using words and phrases that were too modern for the world I was building. On the other hand, it was liberating to be able to use such a different vocabulary and ways of describing things. For example, in a contemporary story, I would describe the hero's hair as brunette. In a western, I might say it was jet black. But in my fantasy, I describe the warrior's hair as "an unrelenting black, a shadow too powerful for mere sunlight to overcome." I love that.
This time my story is set in a medieval-type world, but with centuries-old warriors who were cursed by the gods. I could just picture five warriors sleeping beneath a river, waiting to be called forth to do battle once again. For the Warriors of the Mist, the world changes while they sleep, the only constant is the evil that preys upon the weak and defenseless.
The Warriors are closer than brothers but very different in personality. I chose to play up those differences in a variety of ways. Clothing was part of it, but I learned far more about them from figuring out what kind of animal avatar each of the warriors would have bonded with. Gideon, their captain, has a huge raptor named Scim. The bird is a hunter by nature, strong and lethal. Murdoch is the quiet one. He has a mountain cat, a fictional type of feline with long fangs that prefers to hunt from the shadows. Duncan, the hero in my new release, HER KNIGHT'S QUEST, has an owl. It just fit Duncan's image of a scholar/warrior. The youngest of the knights, Averel, bonded with a pair of battle dogs that can be playful like their master, but deadly when the moment calls for it. And finally, the darkest of the warriors, Lord Kane, has a gargoyle named Hob. They are both the last of their bloodlines, and solitary by nature.
I went through the same process when I decided that the horses in this world can choose their own riders. The stallion that picked Gideon was very different from the one who picked Kane. And after I felt like I knew the warriors, I turned my attention to the heroines in the stories. That was just as much of an adventure!
My newest release is HER KNIGHT'S QUEST, the second book in the series. It focuses on Duncan, the scholar/warrior as he seeks answers in the secret library rumored to exist at a distant abbey. What he finds is far more precious--the love of his life.
They are cursed by the gods, and war is their salvation. Love is their deliverance.
For centuries, five legendary warriors have braved battles shoulder to shoulder. But now they must divide and conquer as lone champions against evil.
Duncan, a scholar at heart, is drawn to an isolated abbey rumored to hold the answers to countering the terror unleashed by Duke Keirthan. Inside the cloistered walls lies the hidden collection of forbidden lore on dark magic. But the real key to the salvation Duncan seeks—both for the people of Agathia and his soul—is the abbess herself, Lady Lavinia. Hunted by the duke, who seeks to harvest her powers, Lavinia knows Duncan wants to help her. But can she trust the tortured warrior with her secrets?
In the end, it is only by joining forces that they can save not only those they are sworn to protect but each other.
-- Lynda Again,
Wow, looks like I might have to add some books to my TBR. These books sound terrific...but then who can resist a warrior?
Have a Blessed Day!