Sunday, 29 October 2017

Freya Wilde

Author Name: Freya Wilde
Best Known Works: Oldfolk Tales
Where Can You Find Her? Amazon
Top Tip for New Writers: Write the stories you would want to read.

Hi Freya, thanks for taking the time to talk with us!

Tell us a little about yourself, what are the main life experiences that have led to this book?

I’m 56. I knew when I was 14 I wanted to be a writer, and gardener. The day I discovered I wanted to be a writer, I stayed up manically writing the whole night, did not sleep a wink, and was astonished at the morning light that I had done that. No one but I knew that I had done that, it changed me. I now had a passion, a religious experience that was intense and private and liberating for my young mind.

When did you realize that you were Pagan?
I’m ignostic, with pagan-heathen leanings. Paganism/heathenism, is liberating to me, because you make it what you will with no threats of damnation. And of course I love the natural part of it, the wheel of the year, the forest/fairy picnics of it. The power and majesty of the green man, the stag, the protector. And the history of paganism-heathenism. It’s my family history down the generations of Samhain, juleboking and Jul/Yule, and so many more historical wondrous celebrations and feasts.

Is this your first published piece or have you had work published before?

My paperback/ebook Oldfolk Fairytales, available on Amazon, is my most currently self-published book. 

Are you published or self-published, and what has been your experience of this process?

I’ve been published thrice with online publishers TwistedShift, and two others I can’t remember right now, with some modest success. It was working with their editors that was wonderful though, priceless really. 

Tell us a bit about your story, key characters and plot.

Oldfolk Fairytales is a book of nine fairy tales, rewritten with the protagonists being elderfolk for the most part, enduring and adventuring despite their being older. The world is aging, as am I, I thought it would be fun to write some stories with old folk as the main characters, and how that would be different. It was fun to write them. And I’d keep writing them, except I’m finishing up a young adult novel, hopefully to be published by Christmas. And also finishing up a science fiction space opera novel, hopefully to be finished before spring 2018. Both of which are the first books in their own series.

Do you have an excerpt? 

Poison Apple

Trailing her fingertips on both sides of the wall for balance down the narrow winding stairs to the dungeon, at the bottom of the stairs the girl’s dress had dragged through decades of accumulated dirt, soiling the tips of the dark red silk gown.  Cobwebs and skeletons shackled to the stone walls and floor contrasted jarringly with the beauty of the girl with her long golden hair falling down the lace of the red gown.  Drifting through the dark, she lit a torch to light her way through the endless stone subterranean passages.

Opening a heavy wood door, its black rusty hinges moaned as she passed through.  The walls and ceiling of the long, long chamber were round, completing a half circle overhead.  On each side there were tables running down the full length, overflowing with vials, beakers, scores of mortars and pestles of all sizes, glass slides, microscopes, scales, tubing, Bunsen burners, distillers, and many other devices and contraptions known and unknown.

Seemingly gliding without moving her feet, across the chamber to the end of the long, long narrow room, the girl lit all the candles, kerosene lamps, whale lamps, and torches available there at the end of the room.  The floor to ceiling length and width gold framed mirror reflected herself as clearly as if she was outside at noon on a cloudless day.

“Mirror, mirror.  Does Snow White still live?”

Nothing happened.  Standing expectantly before the mirror, she waited for something to happen, for the mirror to speak as it had for her mother so long ago. Still nothing happened.

“Mirror, mirror.  I am the daughter of the queen. By my mother’s blood, I command you to obey me.  Tell me if Snow White still lives!”

Originating from far, far away, a rumbling could be felt within the walls and air.  Gray fog puffed out and over the surface of the mirror, roiling over it like tiny storm clouds. It suddenly smelled of death and ashes in the chamber.  An invisible wind blew over the mirror causing the strange fog to roll away.  A masked face appeared in the mirror. Its deep voice booming, “Snow White lives.”

Paling, the girl demanded, “Where?  Where is Snow White?”

“In the forest, in the cottage of the dwarves, deep, deep in the forest does she still dwell.”

“Where my mother eventually died,” uttered the girl to herself.

Fingernails digging deep into the skin of her clenched fists to the point of drawing blood, her face flushed red with anger, the girl looked as if she would smash the mirror.

“Is Snow White the queen? Or am I?” asked the girl, her voice trembling.

The mirror did not answer.  The gray fog rose again, swirled over its surface stormily.

“By my mother’s blood, your mistress, answer me mirror,” demanded the girl imperiously.

“You are not queen,” stated the masked face through the fog in a smug tone.

The mirror began to shake as if it was in an earthquake.  A crack appeared on one corner, then suddenly the mirror shattered, all the tiny pieces smashing and exploding onto the stone floor, walls and wood countertops of the dungeon chamber.

Screaming as she stumbled backward, the girl covered her face with her arm.  “Oh my god!” she exclaimed in shock.

Searching her skin for wounds, she discovered none. The mirror shards had not harmed her.  After a moment she collected herself, “Time for me to take the reins mother.”  Slipping on a work smock to protect her beautiful gown, she lit a Bunsen burner and picked up a small pair of tongs.  “I have a present for you queen.” She spat the word queen as if the word was as poisonous as the Death Cap mushroom she was picking up with the tongs.  Her lip curled and a cruel glint shone in her eyes, transforming her beauty into the visage of a monster.

What are your future plans for writing?
My future plans are to never stop writing and creating.

Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your passion and your process Freya. We wish you all the best with your future books! 

Friday, 31 March 2017

Merlyn Fuller

Author Name: Merlyn Fuller
Best Known WorksThe Merlinian Legend
Where Can You Find Her?: Website, Website, Facebook
Top Writing Tip: Just DO IT. No matter what. Set a plan. Set a writing schedule to accomplish (my goal generally is a chapter every 2 weeks). Then edit, edit, edit. Get your friends to help you edit. Ask your smart family or friends or people who like the subject matter to help you edit. Stick with it. Do it even when you don't want to, but stick to your schedule. Then all of a sudden, one have a BOOK in your hands!

Hi Merlyn, thank you for taking the time to talk to us!

Tell us a little about yourself, what are the main life experiences that have led to this book?

As a feminist, eclectic spiritual person, writer and Arthurian legend freak from way back, I have finally done what needed to be done. I wrote the book I desired to read when I was 16 years old and when I was first waist deep in fairy tales, myths, magic and fables.

With my book The Merlinian Legend,  I can finally face my 16 year old self and say “Here, hon. Read THIS.” And she will devour it, thank me for finally fixing the misogynistic Arthurian legends and in the same breath find that it relates to today and what she can do to fix the world 

When did you realize that you were Pagan?

Hard to say, I think when I went "church hopping" with my mom to many churches when I was 11 after she left the Catholic church. She was trying to find answers to some deep questions about life...brought on by the fact that we lived on the same road as a serial killer, but that is all in my first book, "Fairy Tales & Horror Stories: A Memoir" as well as many funny stories about me being a Renaissance faire minstrel around the country. I remember welcoming in Spring with my little sister on the Spring Equinox at the exact time and shouting "Welcome Spring!" together and dancing around. So that was probably the unofficial date.

When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing when I first grabbed a pencil and pretended to be a newspaper writer when I was little. I wrote stories and tried to sell the stories to my family, friends and neighbors. This was back when there was triplicate carbon copies and I didn't type yet, so I had to hand write everything. The copying got tiresome. Gods bless medieval monks who copied manuscripts. But if I don't write, it will squirt out some way, some how!

How did the topic of your books come to you?

My first book, Fairy Tales & Horror Stories: A Memoir is one that I had to write to sweep out of my psyche. It is a wild ride filled with amazing stories, all true. There is murder, religion, spirituality, magic, sex, drugs, rock'n'roll, and music in it and also hilarious stories about being a mother and being on the road.

My second book, The Merlinian Legend as I said, is the book I wanted to read, as I am a Merlin freak. My stage name "Merlyn" is a spin off of my given name "Marilyn" which was given to me 40 years ago or so, in high school because of my devotion to the subject matter. The name "Merlyn" and is under my senior pic as my nickname there.

My latest book A Rose By Any Other Name: Shawna Rose & her Family's Story of Down Syndrome is the book I needed to read when she was born, but I couldn't find. It is a comprehensive book about what we went through, what we learned, how we coped and how we all thrived. She is an amazing person and I wanted to encourage other families who get thrust into this new demographic of insight and abilities.

Tell us a bit about your story, key characters and plot.

It's the story of Merlin, but redone with more emphasis on the Divine Feminine. In olden Arthurian legends, folklore and tales, (which my work is based on), Merlin traditionally got screwed out of having a love relationship with an equal, was punished for being magical, and was delivered a fate worse than death. In all fairness to him, and my female sisters, I have reworked the tale to include more of the Goddess, strong female characters, a HOT Merlin, true love found, winsome magic and real hope for the future. Traditionally in Arthurian legends, women were either young, beautiful and daft or evil, old and ugly. I wanted to change that up!

As with the tales of olde, the characters remain basically who they are. Of the former character names, Ninianne and Vivienne, I have combined the two names instead, and I call this new character, Nivienne. She is unlike her former incarnations, in that she is not conniving, but rather, she is a strong, earthy, pagan leader who is a match for Merlin and who is devoted to him (unlike her historic, literary counterparts who only used him and entombed him). She loves him totally and in the story, both she and Merlin together advance humanity towards the Divine Feminine. This is a new twist.

Have you ever met one of your characters in real life? 

Many, especially at Renaissance faires! But I hold out hope that women will find their own Merlin man for a paramour who is as mercurial, stable and magickal as my Merlin character is.

Do you plan out your stories before you begin?

Absolutely, at least my book outlines are done and set in stone. These show me the direction I need to go from chapter to chapter. The chapters, how'ere, have a life and an agenda of their own. I don't always know what the finished chapter will actually look like, but I have had a plan for what I want to accomplish within it. As long as I accomplish my outline needs, the rest is gravy on top. 

Do you socialize with other writers or are you a solitary writer?

The answer is both. Writing by its nature is a solitary thing. We create with just our thoughts and a blinking screen and a keyboard. How'ere, I am supported by going to poetry nights or open mics for writers and can listen to their works and their thoughts. They inspire me with their creativity and bravery to keep going and speak up myself. Letting out your inner voice onto paper and then into a mic is one of the best feelings ever.

Who encourages/inspires you?

My mate, Harry and my daughter Jesse and my fans encourage me. Their words and their reactions to my words and writings keep me going. Life experiences, and old folk tales inspire me.

Is this your first published piece or have you had work published before?

The Merlinian Legend is my second book. I now have three books out with my latest book just being released this week.

Are you published or self published, and what has been your experience of this process?

I am self-published mostly because I am also already a traveling renaissance faire musician with the duo, Merry Mischief and have a website, fan base, blog spots and mechanisms in place to sell all kinds of product. I also do not possess the time, patience and willingness to submit all the queries, gather the traditional rejection letters that all authors must receive, nor did I want an editor to change main characters or decide my cover art. I love self-publishing because I can do what I want, when I want and how I want. My finished product is what I dream it to be.

What are your future plans for writing? 

My plan is to keep cranking out books. My goal is to be at festivals and faires, with patrons finding that one of my books is just right for them, and my booth is having something for everyone.

There will probably be a children's book, a pirate book, a self help book, mayhaps a book about magick. I don't want to get pigeon-holed into any particular genre. I'd like to try them all on for size and continue new ways of expression! I'd like to continue writing until I can't do it anymore, Gods willing and the creek don't rise.

Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your passion and your process Merlyn! We wish you all the best with your future books and your musical career! 

Friday, 10 February 2017

Devyn Quinn

Author Name: Devyn Quinn
Best Known Works: Echoes of Angels
Where Can You Find Her? Website, Facebook

Hi Devyn, thank you for taking the time to talk to us!

When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing in my teens to battle an ongoing issue with depression. Having a place to vent my frustrations with daily life helps keep me calm. 

When did you realize that you were Pagan?

I realized early in life that organized religion did not work for me. I am a skeptic and want to see it to believe it, and am not one to take things on faith alone. The idea that so many believe in religion(s) created by man simply because someone a long time ago “said so” didn’t set well with me, and I began to look toward nature and its cycles to determine the course of my life. I am a hardcore pagan, and refuse to be swayed by the arguments of Christians— and others— that I am “going to hell” because I do not believe the way they do. This is lunacy at its finest and I refuse to give credence to any fanatic who judges me based on archaic texts that belittle women, alternative beliefs and lifestyle choice.

Is this your first published piece or have you had work published before?

Published many times through the last 25 years.

Do you plan your stories before you begin?

I usually have a rough idea of what I want to do and where the story needs to go. The rest of the time, I let the characters move the action.

Tell us a bit about your story, key characters and plot.

Echoes of Angels (# 1, Keepers of Eternity) introduces the idea that cultic beings live and move through the human world, as well as other dimensions adjacent to our own. I use many common themes, touching on Druidism, Celtic lore, magick and ritual witchcraft, giving old legends a unique twist as dictated by my imagination. My main character, Morgan-Saint Evanston is not only an immortal, he is a great-grandson of the Celtic goddess Cerredwen (my spelling) and is moving from immortal to god. His journey has been a difficult one, as he learns to accept what he really is and the destiny fate has written for him.  It’s really an exciting series, and I love creating my own unique vision of demons, vampires, werewolves, Djinn and other supernatural beings.

Do we see some of you in your book? 

Most definitely. My main character also suffers from depression, and it is an ongoing battle for him to keep sane.

Has your style changed over the past five years?

I can tell a difference. Where I used to be verbose and over-describe a setting, I have cut back to allow the reader to use their own imagination to visualize a scene and characters.

Do you socialize with other writers or are you a solitary author? 

I am solitary and prefer to keep to myself.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and, if so, how do you overcome it?

Yes, I do, and I have quit writing many times through the years. I usually end up coming back and finishing another book when the images in my mind become too annoying to ignore.

Are you published or self published, and what has been your experience of this process?

I have been published by New York (Kensington and Signet/NAL) as well as independent presses. I have to admit I do not enjoy the New York process at all. The deadlines, slow payment and competition among authors to continually sell, sell, sell really turned me off and destroyed my enjoyment of the creative process. I presently publish through a small independent press and the control given to authors is awesome. I control my work, not the other way around.

Do you think eBooks have changed the publishing market for better or worse?

Of course, eBooks have changed the market. In one way, they make books more accessible to readers, as they give instant gratification to those who prefer to buy online. On the other hand, they have made books so much easier to pirate. It isn’t hard to download a book, strip the DRM and then re-upload it to a pirate site. I am afraid the advent of technology has caused writers to lose a lot of lost sales. This, in turn, impacts their bottom line and, often, affects their ability to keep on writing.

How important are reviews of your work, do you read them?

I read reviews, but don’t pay them much mind. Everyone has a right to state their opinion, and even if they didn’t like my book, they still read it.

Do you ever dream about writing? 

Yes, I do. Especially when I am working on a book.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you most like a writing retreat?


What are your future plans for writing? 

Currently I am working on book five of my Keepers of Eternity series, Ashes to Ashes.


Thank you again for sharing your experience and your process. We wish you all the best with your future projects!