Happy Saturday. I hope you're all doing well and staying safe. A little bit of housekeeping before we get to today's exciting guest. I'm so glad that some of the states are opening up for camping. Most of us have common sense and understand how to take precautions. I think camping is one of the safest ways to keep our distance. Since we are a self contained unit, we don't have to use the camps facilities so this week enjoyed a stay in the gorgeous state of Kentucky. This was a trip planned a year ago for our 26th anniversary. So I want to give a shout out to my dearly beloved, Peter. You are my love and my friend. My greatest supporter and cheerleader. Here's to 26 more.
Okay, this is the part where we set the mood. Grab a cuppa something. Sit back. Put your feet up. Take a deep breath. Smell that? It's a mix of fresh cut grass and wild onions. There's some wood from the campfire mixed in. Take another breath and listen to the birds. I think I hear a mourning dove. I the distance there are some quiet voices of families spending time at their sites. Oh, someone yelled, Yahtzee. Board games are big at camp. There you go. Let the worries go for a while. It's just us, a fire, and the outdoors. Oh, here comes Helen...
Hi, Helen. Thank you for joining us at the campfire. What’s your preference, coffee, tea, cocoa, or wine? It's always 5 o'clock at camp.
Tea daily, wine occasionally, cocoa sometimes.
Here you go. A cup of tea to get us started. Tell us have you ever camped, or as I call what I do, Glamp.
I camped as a child in a military-issue pup tent with my parents up in Cloudcroft, New Mexico. Not the most spacious or comfortable camping, and cattle roamed freely, so my mother worried we’d be stepped on in the dark. I remember the crisp air and the scent of wood smoke. In college I camped with my fiancé in a spacious tent we set up in a county park by a lake. Much nicer, and we had a camp stove, but we didn’t cook anything fancy, just pork’n’beans and hot dogs. Nowadays, I’d have to Glamp because I like my comforts.
Glamping is the best way for me. The weathers been a little rocky this week. Record cold and some wind and rain. the 5th Wheel keeps us toasty and dry. Helen, tell us about your latest project. What’s the title and genre?
Fantasy romance Lord of Druemarwin, sequel to my debut novel The Prince of Val-Feyridge, both inspired by my fascination with fairy tales and Lord of the Rings.
I know I liked you. LOTR is one of my favorites and inspired my fantasy, too. Can you give a a one sentence idea about you book?
In a world of lies and betrayal, can they trust each other?
How long did it take you from conception to publication?
I think I started it back in 2013 and contracted it to The Wild Rose Press in early 2019, so 6 years.
I have a myriad of projects at various stages of development, how about you? Anything you’re itching to get to?
I just finished my first self-published book, a children’s fantasy, Frederick Fly-Catcher, and put it up online. I have two fantasy romance novellas in progress and a half-dozen unpublished romantic suspense works I may or may not resurrect at some point.
Busy lady. Writing is often a solitary life but we know we need others. Are there any mentors, authors, or books, you would like to give a shout-out to?
First credit has to go to the authors I read throughout K-16+ years in pursuit of my master’s degree in English. They taught me to love story-telling and allowed me to absorb story structure intuitively: Shakespeare, Tolkien, Hemingway, LeGuin, Twain, etc. Once I started reading for pleasure, I discovered the romantic suspense genre—Nora Roberts, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Crusie, Elizabeth Hoyt, Jayne Ann Krentz, etc.—and the fantasy genre—Rick Riordan, JK Rowling, Artemis Fowl, The Dresden Files, etc. They taught me about characterization and pacing and dialogue, and so much more. And when I decided to write for publication, I found my ‘tribe’ in my local area Romance Writers Association. They are my support group, and we help each other navigate the often uneven road of publication.
A truly amazing list of authors. I've found my own tribe in NJRWA and other Wild Rose Authors. Can you share what literary success look like to you?
Growing up, I thought writing books was something done only by people who lived in far-off places because I’d certainly never personally met an author. When I started writing in earnest, I thought I’d never crack that sought-after publishing contract with a legitimate publisher. And then one day I did. And now I have 4 books with my name on them for sale alongside books by all those far-off, famous authors and my mentors. That looks pretty darn sweet to me.
It sure does! Do you have any Life Hacks or tips for Authors.
Own your personal process; accept it, nurture it, trust it. Don’t reinvent yourself to fit someone else’s advice if your gut says uh-uh.
Now the fun questions.
LORD OF DRUEMARWIN - PAGES FROM THE HEART Winner in Fantasy Romance, #2 Crown of Tolem series
Lady Raell can fight, ride, and argue politics as well as her brothers. Only being mistress of her father's household keeps her in skirts. In Naed, the new Lord of Druemarwin, she has found devotion, a kindred spirit, and a marriage promise. But when a forgotten and unwanted betrothal comes to light, she has no choice but to run.
Amidst sweeping revolution, Naed must rally his people, fend off assassination attempts, and fight against claims he's a traitor. Then he discovers everything about his lineage and family is a lie. And his beloved belongs to another.
With lives and a kingdom at stake, Raell and Naed must find a way to protect the innocent and save their love.
The Wild Rose Press
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