About the Author
Tell us a little bit about you.
I once argued with my shadow to stop following me. I’ve been all over the world (Afghanistan for 9 months, Romania for 9 months, Germany, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Hawaii, and a bunch of American States. Have you picked up on that I’m in the military yet?). I’m currently a Deputy Sheriff full time. All that and I still claim to be an introvert. I can entertain myself for days without seeing or speaking to another human.
I’ve converted all my beauty products and house cleaners to be chemical free. I make my own shampoo, lotion, conditioner, toothpaste, and laundry soap. The best part about that? I can eat them all because they are not toxic. And they work better than store-bought stuff. Communicate with me further if you want my free, easy recipes. Or visit my blog.
I’ve licked the Delicate Arch AND a wall in a hidden passageway in Dracula’s Castle (remember when I said I was in Romania for 9 months?) I speak a little Romanian. Vorbesc putsin limba Ramona.
I’ve completed 8 novels. One of them is published. I started writing 15 years ago and never stopped.
What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment as a writer?
I secured a traditional publishing contract. Any ol’ joe can self-publish, but it takes an exceptional piece of writing for publishing houses and literary agents to want it. I feel accomplished that I worked hard enough to write a good piece of writing that was wanted by a publisher.
Who is your favorite author(s) and why?
Margret Weis and Tracy Hickman (Dragonlance). I read them when I was young and is what started me on my path to want to write fantasy books of my own.
Susan D. Kalior (Warriors in the Mists). Taught me it’s just as damaging to bee too selfish as it is to be too given to others. There must be a balance of both.
Do you have any suggestions for writers just starting out?
Get on twitter and follow people who offer writing advice. Read what they post. Get in on facebook groups who also offer writing advice. I spent 15 years learning everything on my own, but it would have gone much quicker had I had avenues to reach out to, to teach me something.
I want new writers to know that the first book you write is going to be crap. Let it be crap – your are learning. Take that crappy first draft and edit, and edit more. Then write another book. You will get better with every book you write. I wrote 6 books before I felt like I was good enough to get a traditional publishing contract. Maybe cause I’m a slow learning, but it was right for me to do that.
What is your favorite quote?
“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”
(Alexander Pope, “Essay on Man,” Epistle II, line 135.)
If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?
Altarn in The War Queen so I can wear her armor and fight with her shorns (2 blades resembling wings) and be a general badass on the battle field.
If your book was made into a movie which actor/actress would play which character(s)?
Eva Green for Altarn. Eva Green has this militaristic bearing about her in the shows she’s played which is the same bearing Altarn has, since Altarn has had military training and is the State Head of Blindvar. Other than that, I’d like to see up-and-coming actors/actress featured in my film. Having a popular actress can be exciting, but anymore and they’ve become formulated. Fresh blood tries harder because they still have something to lose. Big name titles will get paid regardless.
Anything else you want to share with us?
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of writing?
I joined the army at 17 so I could write battle scenes with clearer emotions. Yes. It worked. I’ve been in the military for 12 years.
Let’s get personal. Tell us 5 random things about you the person, not the author.
- I make my own shampoo
- Department of Wildlife believe the abandoned “kitten” we found is part bob-cat.
- I hate sleeping with doors open. Closet, bedroom, they all have to be closed. Otherwise I feel I might float away in my sleep.
- I harvest Elderberries from my local canyon. I then make Elderberry syrup which fights off the flu.
- I hope to someday become a hermit. Live in the mountains. Hunt and gather. Make my shelter out of sticks.
Connect with the author
About the author’s latest release & inspiration
Name of your latest release: The War Queen
Release Date: Oct 2016
Tell us about your book.
Published by Tirgearr Publishing.
300 years ago, the people dethroned their king and queen to prevent another tyranny. Now instead, the people nominate a State Head every three years and Altarn is the first female to hold the position. She’s used to tolerating the biases of men but Kaelin, the State Head of his territory, has declared her incompetent and has even, according to Altarn, threatened to steal her land – she believes he wants to make himself king. Believing she must “dethrone” Kaelin, Altarn rides to her last ally to ask for aid in the war against Kaelin she knows is coming. But in her absence an army launches an attack… and it’s not Kaelin’s.
Taking advantage of the startling situation, Kaelin kidnaps Altarn so he can take her land without her in the way. Soon realizing he needs her help to fight this army instead, he releases her and, since Altarn’s army is too small to win the war alone, she is forced to accept his help, but payment for his help will be her land. No one believes Kaelin is secretly trying to make himself king, so after the battle is won, alone in her knowledge and lacking allies, Altarn must become the War Queen of legend to dethrone another king… though she unexpectedly dethrones his heart instead.
What inspired you to write this book?
I’d just finished writing my Lost Gods series and was in the mood to write something else. I went for a walk at 1 am to the hill above the ISU campus in Pocatello, ID (I lived just down the street) and sat at the 4 Grecian pillars there. My imagination is always going, so I imagined a god falling on the pillars, which is why they are “broken” (only 3 of the 4 pillars are connected at the top.) The War Queen was completed 7 years later.
What do you hope readers will get out of your book?
To look beyond failure. Altarn feels like a failure because she faces so much opposition from her court and from someone who is supposed to be an ally. But she drives forward anyway, knowing in her heart what she needs to do, and she conquers her doubts.
What can readers expect when they open your book?
I have a fallen angel in The War Queen, which is what kicks off the travesty that befalls Altarn while she is away from the state she governs. The fallen angel is maybe only 10% of the overall story line, but it is important because it’s what forces Altarn to go from A to B to C.
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