Category Archives: fantasy novels

The Current Big Thing

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Hullo, lovely readers. I know, I’ve already done The Next Big Thing, about my WIP.
This is a blog hop, arranged by Vicki M Taylor, a member of a LinkedIn writers group I belong
to.

The questions used are the Next Big Thing ones, but I am talking about my current book,
which is FINALLY available in US bookshops and on Amazon as a paperback instead of just
ebook. the idea is to promote and get some interest in your books.
Please check out the links at the end of this post to see what other writers are doing!

What is the title of your book?

The title of my current book is Wolfborn. It has just arrived in the US.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

It came from a mediaeval romance by Marie De France, the Lai Le Bisclavret, (Werewolf).
I have used the story’s outline but set it in my own world.

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s YA fantasy.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

In the Wolfborn movie, I would have Sean Bean or Viggo Mortensen as my
werewolf knight, Sire Geraint, who is betrayed and stuck in wolf skin.
The young hero, Etienne, his loyal page, could be played by Jamie Bell
if he was a few years younger. 🙂 I am still casting the other roles.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Teenage boy and friends race against time to save his master, a werewolf knight
who has been betrayed and stuck in wolfskin, before he becomes a wolf forever!

Was your book self-published or represented by an agency?

Neither. I was very lucky with this one; I was doing an interview about another book
in a magazine when a publisher who needed a full manuscript in a hurry read the interview
and emailed me to ask if she could have a look at the MS. She bought it two days later.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
This one was written and rewritten. The first draft was actually written very quickly
because the story poured out of me. Then I rewrote … and rewrote.
And then it was edited and edited again…

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I can’t recall ever reading anything quite like it, but I am a big fan of Sophie Masson,
Juliet Marillier and Margo Lanagan, all of whom write novels with fairy tale backgrounds.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I was reading the mediaeval romance mentioned above, in a collection called
The Breton Lais. It was about a werewolf knight whose wife betrays him when
she finds out his secret, making sure he stays a wolf. I thought it fascinating.
These days we’re used to the werewolf, vampire or whatever as the good guy
in YA paranormal romance, but in the Middle Ages they were evil creatures linked
to Satan.Yet here was this story written in the twelfth century in which the werewolf
was the good guy and probably born that way. The story leapt out at me yelling,
Novel! It’s told from the viewpoint of a character I created myself, a teenage boy
serving in his castle and learning what he needs to know for his own
knighthood. I added a couple of romances and some characters not in the original.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Fairies! (Or Faeries) Villains! Love! Adventure! Heroism! The Wild Hunt!
And a big, soppy dog.

And here are some more posts on this subject by other fabulous writers – why not visit them
all?

Vicki Taylor: http://vickimtaylor.blogspot.comhttp://vickimtaylor.blogspot.com
Gila Green: http://www.gilagreenonline.comwww.gilagreenonline.com
Jim Westcott: http://jacksmonster.wordpress.comhttp://jacksmonster.wordpress.com
Angela D Coleman: http://www.angeladcoleman.wordpress.comwww.angeladcoleman.wordpress.com
H.L. Stephens http://chroniclesofhlstephens.blogspot.comhttp://chroniclesofhlstephens.blogspot.com
Susan Spence: http://www.susanspenceauthor.comhttp://www.susanspenceauthor.com
Lannah Sawers-Diggins: http://bullseye-bullying.blogspot.com.auhttp://bullseye-bullying.blogspot.com.au
http://quillstreetcafe.comhttp://quillstreetcafe.com
And Deborah Teramis Christian: http://www.deborahteramischristian.com/http://www.deborahteramischrisitan.com

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Wolfborn In The US – Promo

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A few months ago, I became very excited because I learned that my novel Wolfborn was FINALLY becoming available in the US. It wasn’t quite what I would have liked – they were going to distribute it themselves instead of creating a new overseas edition – but still, it was available outside Australia and I felt as if the book was being released all over again. I had one gig on the blog Dear Teen Me , arranged by the publicist over there, which I wrote and waited for more to happen, meanwhile arranging the interview and giveaway on I Am A Reader Not A Writer. So I asked the US publicist what else was happening.

Her reply came this morning : nothing else is happening, unless I arrange it. She will of course support anything I do, but she’s finished with it. She only has a few review copies left anyway.
So,where have the others gone? I haven’t seen a single review from over there. It’s the way of things, I guess. I’ve been dealing with publishers for many years. I can remember when I had to send THEM copies of reviews I found, because they didn’t let me know. One publisher asked me for a publicity photo and then lost it, these being the days before email. Ah, well! Nothing to be done there.

I would like to see more sales in the US, and if I had known it would all be over so quickly with so little promo effort from that side of the ocean I would have done more, earlier.

So, I would like to invite requests for review copies. If you have a blog and haven’t read my novel and would like to, email me at the contact address on this blog. If you’re in the US I will send your address to the publicist there. If you live elsewhere I will send you a copy from my stash – I bought far too many at author price anyway.

I do suggest you check out the sample chapter on The Great Raven to decide if the book would interest you. It’s not compulsory, but it’s sensible. Postage is going to cost me and I would like to think that anyone who asks for it is asking for something that they actually want to read. Just so you know, it is NOT a paranormal romance, it does not feature a Mary Sue who discovers she is a princess and has to marry a gorgeous vampire, mer prince, faerie king, whatever. In fact, it’s seen from the boy’s viewpoint and the romance element is subtle and takes the whole novel to build up, so much so that some reviewers have accused it of being “tacked on”. It’s a mediaeval fantasy with werewolves.

If that doesn’t interest you, don’t request it. If you think you’d like to read and review this, let me know. I’ll look forward to hearing from you. 🙂

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Who Washes The Dishes In Rivendell? Those Aristocratic Elves

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With the Hobbit movie all over the Net, this seemed like a good time to haul out a popular post from The Great Raven. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll remember the scene where the Dwarves in Rivendell are sitting unhappily at the dinner table trying to get into the whole notion of salad… and then trying to roast lettuce. 😉

Actually, it was originally written for a fanzine, quite some time ago. I can’t recall which one, alas! But I think it’s worth a re-visit. You’ll notice it mentions the LOTR movies as being new. 🙂

I have recently read a glut of fantasy novels and have been re-reading the original classic Lord of the Rings in preparation for the films and it has occurred to me that no one in any of them ever seems to explain how all those elves can be aristocrats. Tolkien, I’m afraid, much as I love him, is the worst offender. All his elves are rulers; we’re never told who they rule.

At a literature conference I attended recently, Tamora Pierce, a great Tolkien fan, remarked – not without affection – that no one ever seems to go to the bathroom in Tolkien, but it’s worse than that. We know Bilbo Baggins can cook, from The Hobbit, which may be why he is so welcome in Rivendell, because no one else appears to do any menial work, yet they seem to have no trouble whipping up a feast. The Elves who meet Frodo and Sam early on their quest apologize for their plain fare, but of course, it tastes superb – bread, fruit, wine – as you would expect of Elvish cuisine.

Everyone in Rivendell is a warrior or a musician or a scholar. No one is ever seen growing food or preparing it, let alone cleaning up after the party. There are elven smiths, true, but they are all too occupied creating magical rings or repairing swords for long-lost kings to be bothered doing horse-shoes or nails or anything so plebeian. I keep picturing some pointy-eared elven smith wiping his sweaty forehead as he says apologetically, “Sorry, sir, we’re a-makin’ of a mass order of armour for Ragnarok next week, no time to look after your ‘oss’s cast shoe. You tried the hobbit smith down the road?”

We know that Galadriel and her maidens in Lothlorien weave fabulous cloth for magical cloaks, but this, like making magic rings, is an acceptable aristocratic occupation. Somebody makes the lembas (journey bread), I suppose, but we’re not told who – or where the ingredients come from. Come to think of it, who looks after the sheep whose wool is used in elven cloaks or grows the cotton or flax?

They do make rope in Lothlorien; when Sam is leaving, he’s told that actually, they would have shown him how if they had known he was into rope-making. But it’s magical rope, of course!

Possibly they trade with the communities of Men or hobbits, but this wouldn’t be a very practical way to survive in out-of-the-way Rivendell or Lothlorien – what if you were cut off from your suppliers by war or the Dark Lord or something?

In folklore, we are told that the Fair Folk live on illusion. Their palaces only seem to be beautiful, their clothes grand. In fact, they live in holes, their clothes are rags and their food, if you’re silly enough to eat it and be stuck in Faerie, is tasteless. Not only that, but their gold turns into dead leaves overnight. My theory is that the reason for this is because they’re all aristocrats and find it beneath their dignity to cook, clean or make and repair clothes.

To be fair, we do see some plebeian Elves in The Hobbit – but this is in Mirkwood, whose Elves are not of the High variety and never went to the West back in the earlier ages.

Perhaps Rivendell and Lothlorien are Elvish artist colonies? 😉

If anyone knows of a serious fantasy novel that presents elves, Faerie, whatever, who actually work for a living – or go to the bathroom – I’d be interested to hear of it.