24 July 2007

Fantasy Romance was My Fantasy

When I was a kid, I LOVED fantasy. I read C.S. Lewis, David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Robert Jordan (don't get me started...lol). The point is, I read any fantasy I could get my hands on. Couple that with the fantasy movies I would watch voraciously... Labyrinth, The Neverending Story, The Last Unicorn, Legend, The Princess Bride--a fantasy lover was born.

Heck, I don't even know if I was born more than I kind of exploded. LOL I loved it so much, I wanted to write about it. But even as a kid, I felt fantasy never had *enough* romance for me. I wanted to change that.

When I was 13 years old, I was walking my dogs. It's a sad fact, but at that time, my parents had just divorced, and my dogs were some of my closest friends. So I would talk to them. And on that walk, I told them a story. It was a story about two elves, Kaas and Wobble, who were friends with a giant bird known as The Protector. And he wanted them to rescue some princesses and a magical gem in order to save the kingdom.

Well, when I got home that day, I began writing. I eventually wrote three short stories, each about 15 pages hand-written, which I shared with my 8th grade classmates at school. They LOVED the stories so much, I even had one girl write her name in the corner, as if she were my co-author. :P

As I grew older, I realised how very bad these stories were. The writing was atrocious. I stashed them away. Then, I met my DH, who was a hard-core geek, into D&D and the like. (Dungeons & Dragons for those who don't know). Playing this game with him rekindled the storyteller in me, since they had some awesome dragons in this game. I thought back to those old stories and wondered if there was anything worth salvaging. The titles of these short stories were "Castle Templestone", "The Crystal of Mynos", and "In the Beginning".

After playing D&D and watching the movie Dragonheart (awesome, btw), I decided I wanted to write about a dragon. So I changed The Protector from a bird into a dragon, and named him Mynos. Originally, "Mynos" had been a place on the map. But when I invented the dragon, it seemed to fit him. And because I already had the name of the Crystal, I decided to have him be its creator as well.

In 1996, I began THE WOLVERINE AND THE ROSE, and finally finished it in 2004. It took me 8 long years to write, as it was more of a hobby than actually anything I was striving to attain. I even had a 2 year period of some serious writer's block. And at one point, I thought my DH had deleted years of work when he formatted our computer. ACK! Thankfully, we were able to restore the book from one of our friends' backups. If I'd lost that book, I seriously doubt I'd be an author today.

While writing this novel, I lifted many things from the original stories. Many of the names are the same. I even included all of the gems I'd originally written about; the sapphire, the ruby, and the lavendar jewel. Once I finished the first book, I immediately began writing the second, THE WOLVERINE AND THE JEWEL, even though I hadn't sold them yet. But I also decided these books needed a prequel story. They elude to a battle that happened before the books open, and I wanted readers to experience how everything was set in motion.

I wrote the prequel, THE CRYSTAL OF MYNOS, but was unable to sell it due to its short length. I didn't want to add another 5K to make the word count minimum, as that would change it too drastically. It's only a few thousand words to begin with. So, I decided to use this short story as a Free Read promotional tool. So far, it's worked out beautifully for me.

Once I sold this series to Samhain, I think I had tears in my eyes, knowing these books would be going to print nationwide. I recently finished the third book, THE WOLVERINE AND THE FLAME, which will be releasing to eBook on August 28th. I cannot wait. This series has been a long time in coming, and all from an idea that sparked inside of me when I was a 13 year old child.

Let this be a lesson to you all. Your dreams CAN come true. I'm living proof!

The dedication in THE WOLVERINE AND THE ROSE is to myself. :P But it's not because I'm a diva. It's not because I'm self-centered or narcissistic. No. I wrote that dedication to give the little girl I once was validation of some kind. SHE's the one who should get all the credit for my successful fantasy series. If I could go back in time, I would tell her what her success has meant to her adult self. I wish I could give her a hug. I know it would have meant so very much to her. :)

Thank you, writers of Beyond the Veil, for giving me this chance to be your guest blogger! And to all you readers, I leave you with THE CRYSTAL OF MYNOS. May you get lost in my world as I have been for the past twenty years.


Sexy, Sensual, Seductive
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