One of my favorite things to do, is sit around the fire. Whether it’s away in a campground, or at home in front the chiminea, some of the best conversations I’ve ever had, have been with a cozy flame and sparks drifting up into the night sky joining the stars. Today I'm blogging from gorgeous Weston Vermont. This is our second trip here and let me tell you. Stunning. So, wherever you’re joining us from pour yourself a cuppa and relax. I hope you enjoy our conversation. Please feel free to leave comments or questions below. Also, if you would like to keep up with Around the Campfire and information, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. In the next couple of months the newsletter will have deleted scenes, scavenger hunts with prizes and games, all to introduce my 2020 release of Rock House Grill.
I'm pleased to welcome science fiction, fantasy and young adult author Susan Royal. Thank you for taking the time to spend with us. Do you have a preference, coffee, tea, cocoa, or wine?
Coffee or cocoa for sure. If it’s too hot for that, it’s too hot to be sitting around the campfire
Hah, you'd be surprised at the temperatures I've insisted on have a fire around. Tell us, do you have any camping experience, or as I call what I do, Glamp.
Tent, trailer, RV. Honey I’ve done it all. As a kid, my sisters and I slept on army cots next to the Guadalupe River. When hubby and I were first married, we sometimes threw a mattress in the back of the pickup and slept under the stars. We camped out all over Texas hill country, east Texas, and Arkansas.
My kind of girl. One day we hope to hit the Southwest. The pictures are stunning in that part of the country. I'm interested in your latest project. What’s the title and genre?
I’m writing the third installment of my time travel series. Working title: To The Past. Fantasy and action with liberal doses of romance. The kind of book I love to read.
Time travel is so much fun to read. You can go anywhere anytime. Do you have a tagline?
Not yet. I’m still working on it.
I think you have your tagline already in your description. Fantasy and action with liberal doses of romance. Who wouldn't pick up a book like that. How long did it take from conception to fruition? It’s the most asked question for me.
I had the opening scene of Not Long Ago written for at least a year before I went any further with it. It could have gone in a thousand different directions, but the romantic in me knew I had to explore the connection between the man and the woman who saw each other by accident through the coffee shop window. From there, it morphed into the kind of story that’s always fascinated me – time travel.
It's amazing how an image or a thought takes off in an author's mind and grows to a full fledged novel. What challenges have you faced during writing and how did you get through it?
I decided if I was ever going to realize my dream of being published, I had to write a book. From beginning to end. I didn’t have a clue. I just wrote. I joined Critique Circle, a great learning experience. I read everything on writing I could find. I went to writing conferences. Wrote, edited, rewrote. Submitted got rejected, resubmitted. Kept learning, kept trying, and never gave up.
Wow, hard work, determination, and willingness. Often people have dreams but aren't willing to put in the hours. Good for you. Anything you’re itching to get to?
I want to continue my time travel series. Who knows how far into the future (past?) the story will lead me. I also want to write urban fantasy. And finish the young adult paranormal I started years ago.
I love that-"the story will lead me". Since you brought it up, let’s time travel, is there something you would tell your beginning self? Any advice or encouragement? Warnings?
Start writing little sooner in life than I did. That’s about it.
A Chinese Proverb says A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I think fear holds many people back. When I started I kept my laptop in lock-down so not even my husband could see. When you’re not writing, what are your hobbies or passions?
Photography, painting, reading, music, junking, re-purposing, up-cycling, sewing, movies, shopping…I have way too many irons in the fire.
Re-purposing and up-cycling are some of my favorites as well. I wonder if our campfire friends can tell us about their projects in the comments. Describe yourself in three words?
Stubborn, impatient, determined
We must be twins. But you need those qualities to get it done, right? On a quite personal level, do you have a tattoo or special piece of jewelry? Can you tell us the meaning behind it?
I wear my husband’s wedding band. I took it off his hand the day he died and have worn it ever since.
I'm so very sorry for your loss. What a beautiful thing to help you with honoring him. Life passes so quickly. Do you have a“Kodak Moment.” A day or a time which you'll always remember?
A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to have my Kodak moment, one I revisit often. It was a brisk, clear night with ground fog creeping across the fields beyond the house.
My grandson, Caleb, was seven at the time and full of energy. He was twirling around in circles beside the fire and asked me to dance with him.
“Oh, honey, I can’t,” I said. “It’s dark out here, and I can’t see. I might fall down.”
“Take my hand, Granny. I won’t let you fall.”
And that’s how I ended up, dancing with my grandson under the stars on a beautiful fall night.
That is so beautiful when I read it tears blurred my vision. It is so poetic and could be a scene in a movie. Are there any mentors, authors, or books, other than yours, you would like to give a shout-out to?
Ray Bradbury. He was one of my inspirations to become a writer. I started reading his books when I was a child. Nobody paints a picture with words like he did.
He was an amazing and successful author and screen writer. That said, what does success look like to you?
Lots of reviews and fans who email me, asking when my next book is coming out because they can’t wait.
So many readers don't understand the importance of reviews to authors. The review doesn't have to be long and detailed. A simple, I read the book. I liked the book. And one or two sentences why. Easy Peasy. Susan, thank you again for joining me around the campfire today. I would appreciate you leaving us a blub and exert from your work. Don’t forget to add where we can purchase your book and how we can find out more about you below.
Readers don't forget to stop by next week when Viviana MacKade author of Romantic Suspense, Contemporary and Fantasy will join me around the Campfire
Falling in love with someone from another world. How romantic. But Griffin and Erin are faced with overwhelming challenges. He thinks she’s impulsive. She thinks he’s controlling. And when Griffin is charged with escorting an old rival on an overnight journey to Castle Llewellyn, Erin puts her foot down. Will they ever learn to live with each other?
A noise sounded in the alleyway behind me, echoing in the growing shadows that signaled the end of the day. I froze in my tracks.
Common sense argued it must be a stray cat prowling around outside the tavern kitchen in the hopes of finding something to eat. Maybe a night bird stalking its prey. Or the clumsy steps of someone who couldn’t hold his liquor. That’s all.
What if it wasn’t any of those things?
My attempt to ignore it failed miserably. A million possibilities raced through my mind while I strained to listen.
The sound came again, closer this time. And loud enough to identify. Gravel crunching. Stealthy footsteps rapidly moving in my direction. Not an animal. Or some farmer stumbling around in the dark, trying to find his way home.
Probably the knight I’d seen at the tavern. Damn the luck! He must have recognized me and followed. I’d only wanted to sneak away from the castle for a little while. Get some fresh air. Have some down time.
Halfway through my first mug of ale, the knot of nerves in my stomach had relaxed, leaving me feeling almost normal. Until I glanced up to see a familiar face.
Deroc, the stocky young man with the loud voice wasn’t just an acquaintance. We had a history. While the other patrons might see nothing more than a squire with a few coins to spend, he’d see right through my disguise and know it was me.
Lady Erin, wife of Sir Griffin. And in this world, it wasn’t proper for someone like me to frequent taverns. Not alone and certainly not at night.
His arrival left me with no other choice but to slip out the back door and hurry back to the castle, praying he was too busy ogling the barmaids to pay close attention. He must have recognized me and followed.
When Deroc showed up, he’d insist on escorting me back to our quarters. If I refused, it would only make things worse. He’d go straight to Griffin and spill his guts.
Either way meant trouble. Might as well go back with him and face the music. It’s not like I had any other choice.
After waiting a few minutes, I began to wonder. Where was he? Why hadn’t he confronted me instead of lurking around in the shadows like some stalker? Was he trying to teach me a lesson?
Indignant, I whirled around and glared into the lengthening shadows. “If you’re trying to scare me, you might as well give it up. I know you’re there.”
“As you wish, my lady.” The harsh, raspy voice didn’t belong to Deroc. Or anyone else I knew.
Xander's Tangled Web (YA Fantasy)
From Now On (time travel, adventure, romance)
In My Own Shadow (fantasy, adventure, romance)
Not Long Ago (time travel, adventure, romance)
available at MuseItUp, Amazon, B&N, Goodreads
This weeks movie recommendations are in honor of Ray Bradbury and based on his books.
Fahrenheit 451 (1966 film)
Something Wicked This Way Comes (film)
Vermont campfire recipe vtstateparks.com/assets/pdf/garlicky-beef-meatballs.pdf
Certainly looks yummy?
We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out. Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing