Sunday, March 28, 2010

Why I Write Fantasy - Kelley Heckart, Celtic romance author

Amber: Welcome, Kelley Heckart, Celtic romance author. Tell me, why do you write fantasy?

Kelley: I write fantasy because it is a great way to escape from reality—a break from all the issues of our complex modern world. My books are a mix of history and fantasy. I like to draw on little known time periods like Dark Age Scotland for my stories. I think this is the perfect setting for tales with otherworldly creatures, fierce warriors, bold women and magic. I am especially inspired by the ancient Celts and their connection to the Otherworld.

Amber: Why do readers love fantasy? 

Kelley: I think readers probably like to read the fantasy genre to escape from reality, to be drawn into a different world.
Amber: What fantasy do you read?
Kelley: My favorite authors mix history and fantasy. I just finished the Bridei Chronicles trilogy by Juliet Marillier, which is set in the mysterious land of the Picts. Another favorite author of mine is Morgan Llywelyn. She writes stories based on Irish myths. One of my favorite fantasy books is Evangeline Walton's interpretation of the Mabinogion. I love what she did with the Welsh myths. Her prose is lyrical and she brings these mythical characters to life.

Amber: Would you write fantasy even if no one read it?
Kelley: Even if no one wanted to read fantasy, I would still continue to write it because I do it because that’s what I love to write.

Amber: Thanks for visiting Wordshaping.

Kelley Heckart writes Celtic historical romances with fantasy elements. Her stories reflect her passion for history, storytelling and the supernatural. Inspired by the ancient Celts, her tales are filled with fierce warriors, bold women, magic, conflict and romance.

Kelley's Novels include: 
Of Water and Dragons, Ravenwolf, White Rose of Avalon, 
Cat's Curse, Book One: Dark Goddess Trilogy

Kelley's Short Stories
The Enchanted Meadow
Available from Freya's Bower

A Winter Solstice Kiss (Winter Kisses anthology)

Kelley's Contest! 
Leave a comment and your email for a chance to win a 
gift certificate for one of Kelley's Awe-Struck ebooks 
(also good towards a print edition.)

For more information about Kelley 
& excerpts and reviews of her books

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Why I Write Fantasy - Kari Thomas

Amber: Welcome Kari Thomas, paranormal romance author. Tell me, Why do you write fantasy?
Kari: WHY? Because I’m insane. Okay, before you shake your head, think about it. Authors spend a large amount of their time writing. We end up living in the world(s) we create, and sharing countless experiences with our characters. Contemporary writers get the opportunity to “live in the here and now, real world” with their characters. But, a Fantasy writer? Nope. Imaginative worlds, weird and intriguing characters, and anything your crazy brain can create. In an author’s Fantasy world, you can escape from reality for a short time.

Amber: Why do you think readers love fantasy?
Kari: For the author and for the reader, Fantasy brings limitless possibilities you can only dream about, and proves that the Magic of Love has no boundaries.

Amber: Would you write fantasy even if no one read it?
Kari: A most definite YES! I write what I love to read, and to be able to create and control my own fantasy worlds is something I couldn’t give up --- even if no one else ever read it. It’s that “insanity” part of me!
And it’s FUN! Imagine living in a world where sexy Shapeshifters, intriguing Vampires, heroic Angels, and even mysterious-but-hunky Demons roam. Imagine being able to create AND control a world that brings your reader into it like a willing captive and keeps her there as she experiences every thing that happens in this Fantasy. I write what I love to read, and it’s a great feeling to be able to share
All of my paranormal romances are unique and different from the norm. Sure, I have incredibly sexy male heroes and brave heroines, but I write each book with plots that you won’t find elsewhere.

Want a hero that is half Angel and half Demon? HER HEART HIS SOUL has Drake who fights an inner battle against both his natures.

Want a hero that is so Alpha Wolf Shifter that he doesn’t know the word “no”, and only concentrates on his “prey”? PREY FOR THE WOLF has Kane who sets his prey-sights on his brother’s fiancĂ©.

What about a Cougar Shifter who is the head of a household of unique and various species shapeshifters? You’ll find sexy Aiden in TEMPTATION UNLEASHED.

Want the ultimate hero who tries to put Honor above his own wants and needs, his uncontrollable lust? Logan in HUNTED MATE is that hero! How about a sexy cowboy-turned rancher who is all male-sexy --- but vows to never allow love into his life again?

In SEDUCING THE HERO, poor Colt doesn’t stand a chance against the feisty witch heroine, but he’s going to try and resist as long as he can!

And, in UNDER A SHIFTER’S MOON there’s Lyon. A too-sexy-too-Alpha-for-his-own-good hero who has to make a fateful decision that will either destroy his Jaguar Pride or kill the woman he loves.

Who wouldn’t love spending time in those worlds, with these characters? Okay, maybe you have to be a bit insane too, like me, but hey … it’s FUN! And that’s why I write Fantasy!

Amber: Thanks Kari, for taking time from your fantasy worlds to visit Wordshaping.

Kari Thomas lives in Northern Arizona, and divides her time between taking care of her dad and writing. When life gets overly hectic she retreats into one of her fantasy stories.
Kari has six paranormal romances and two shorts published. She knows there is no cure for insanity, so it appears she is destined to continue writing fantasy stories for years to come! 

Kari's latest release is Hold on to the Night from All Romance Books. It's a hot short contemporary romance
(in ebook format only).  
 Proceeds to benefit the American Heart Association.

Leave a comment or 
send Kari an email

To learn more about Kari’s worlds visit 

Friday, March 12, 2010

Why I Write Fantasy - Kate Robinsion

Welcome Kate Robinson, Arizona writer presently studying in Wales!

Amber: First, tell us why you're in Wales.

Kate: At the moment I'm enrolled in the postgraduate creative writing program at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. Education has a played a big role in my life, so you could call me a perpetual student or a lifelong learner. I hold a BA in Anthropology with emphasis in Museum Studies and the Humanities.

Amber: Why do you write fantasy?
Kate: I can sure tell you why I write some odds and ends of speculative fiction. I keep a dream journal and dreams lend themselves to some weird material. Tracking dreams is a great way to interface with the unstructured world of the subconscious. I have trouble generating story ideas off the top of my head, but no trouble with taking a dream and adding the conscious structure to turn it into a story.

My mom used to let me stay up late on Friday nights when I was a kid to watch old black and white horror and sci fi features on one of those campy local programs with the quirky announcers. When I began writing fiction, I wanted to be another Stephen King, but at the 1999 Hassayampa Institute, Brady Udall talked me out of killing one of my characters because he liked her and wanted me to write more about her. (I haven't but I'm grateful she's still alive because she would make a great subject for a novel or another story.) That horror / drama turned upside down into an inspirational story over the next few years, and I've been writing in a variety of styles and genres ever since.

What is Slipstream?  Here's a definition I found. "Slipstream may use the tropes and ideas of science fiction, fantasy and horror but is not bound by their rules. Slipstream may appear to be conventional literary fiction but falls outside the staid boundaries of the mainstream. In short, Slipstream is the most important, innovative and relevant fictional response to the challenges of the twenty-first century. Genre is dead; long live the genre that is not a genre!" Do you agree?

Kate: Yes, that's an intro quote by sci-fi writer Allen Ashley, editor of the Subtle Edens anthology that includes my story, "The Upstairs Room".I made my first attempt to emulate magical realism or slipstream sci-fi in "The Upstairs Room." I tend to write from my subconscious mind without advance planning, so in a way, this intention wasn't so much a conscious attempt as a result - it was something that happened in the course of putting the story to paper. I write to discover and so the form and plot of my stories emerges with the setting, characters, and dialogue.
I wanted readers to sense Coralie's deep connection to nature and her simultaneous experience as an ET abduction victim as being normal in the sense that these lapses of ordinary reality, or the the intrusion of the extraordinary into ordinary daily life,  are experiences anyone can have because everyday reality is never as fixed as we think it is.
I think that Ashley is also referring to the fact that slipstream stories may contain elements of sci-fi, horror, fantasy, or other genres and so are not neatly contained in the usual categories. This past term I wrote a tale, "Enter the Kingdom," which eventually emerged as part two of Coralie's experiences about 20 years later, a post-catastrophe, dystopic sci-fi tale that is a little more conventional in genre terms, but still contains that sense of peculiarity that permeates slipstream. There will be a part three dealing with Coralie's immediate future after she has refused to "enter the kingdom" of the fundamentalist world left to survivors in her area, and chooses instead to grapple with self-determination and the destiny alluded to  in "The Upstairs Room."
I've always liked the sense of entering other worlds in story and film, and especially when these alternative worlds have a connection to our own - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and so on. How nice or how horribly excruciating to fall down a rabbit hole into Wonderland or go to another world through the back of your wardrobe. You could enter another dimension you while you're sitting in a classroom or driving to work, who knows!
Amber: Tell me about your books.
Kate: I have two non-fiction children's books with Enslow Publishing Inc., The National Mall (2005) and Lewis and Clark: Exploring the American West (2010). I also have published short stories, creative non-fiction essays, features, poetry, and children's stories in a variety of anthologies and venues.

Amber: What books do you read?
Kate: Right now reading is my middle name! I'm reading selections from my program module list of suggested (required!) reading in fiction, poetry and how-to. Around my desk and bed right now are Oryx and Crake and Surfacing by Margaret Atwood; Looking for a Rain God & Other Short Stories from Africa; The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds, Molly Fox's Birthday by Deirdre Madden; a short story collection Subtle Edens, edited by Alan Ashley (I have a short story in this collection and just wrote a sequel to it that gained a 'Distinction' mark).

The how-to books I'm reading are: Story by Robert McKee, How We Write by Mike Sharples, and Making a Good Writer Great by Linda Seger. Oh, and on top of my wardrobe is a copy of Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol that I'm saving for a rainy day - around here that might translate to a rainy week!

Amber: What are you writing now?
Kate: I'm concentrating on my program assignments In my spare time - ! - I've resurrected an old novel manuscript. As I finish pieces (is a piece of writing ever really finished?!)I'm submitting them to Web and print journals and anthologies. I hope to continue work this spring on a collection of creative nonfiction essays about Arizona wildlife, a pet project for about five years. Hopefully this collection will be easier to shape after this fiction and poetry boot camp!

Amber: Any final words?
Kate: Wales is a magical country with a great literary tradition and a fascinating cultural history. The universities here have excellent writing, literature, and publishing programs, so anyone considering applying for a BA, MA, or PhD program should really see what Wales - and the UK and its commonwealth countries - have to offer. My experience in Aberystwyth has been outstanding! Travel has been more a wish than a passion - I'd not traveled outside the Western hemisphere until I enrolled in the AU MA program.

For a more information about Kate  

Editing and proofreading business. 
Kate provides free 5-page evaluations 
of fiction and creative manuscripts 
of a wide variety of genres, 
helpful as critiques 
(even if writers don't intend 
to buy editing services)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Why I Write Fantasy - Mary Corrales

Welcome erotic romance author Mary Corrales!

Amber: Mary, Why do you write fantasy?
Mary: As an erotic romance author, fantasy allows me the freedom not only to explore the depths of sexual pleasure, but also the emotional bounds of wish fulfillment. Having spent most of my childhood moving yearly due to my dad’s job with a power company, I became accustomed to finding companionship in books. In my youth I read books on unicorns and dragons, loving the imaginative friendships in these books.

When I became an adult my interests moved to romance novels both in the historical and paranormal genres. I love fantasy for the way it evolves into the wish fulfillment of seeing a couple fall in love and overcoming any odds to be together. When I’m creating characters, the hero is normally clear to me first and from that I learn what type of heroine he needs. In my paranormal erotic romance, Dhampir Passions, Radu created a unique challenge as I realized his personality as a lone hunter. My heroine, Linea, not only had to be strong but willing to risk the life she’d always known in order to move into Radu’s way of life.

Amber: What Fantasy books do you read? 
Mary: Anything by Kari Thomas. The chemistry between her characters is intense and passionate. I also enjoy Gena Showalter's Lords of the Underworld series, Sherrilyn Kenyon, J.R Ward, and Christine Feehan. Some other fantasy books I enjoy are Japanese manga such as the Rurouni Kenshin series by Nobuhiro Watsuki, as well as the InuYasha series by Rumiko Takahashi. My interest in manga started with cartoon and obviously progressed to the books themselves. What can I say, variety spices my life! 

Amber: If no one read fantasy, would you still write it?
Mary: I would have to say yes. These characters become close friends who come to life in my hands. I can’t help smiling at the moment, as I’m reminded of my youth when I used to collect tumble weeds to play with, putting them together so they wouldn’t be lonely.

One of the best things about fantasy is how sexual pleasure becomes a catalyst for deeper emotions. While sizzling passion is exciting, there is an added intensity when the couple has fallen in love.  Their bodies become a reflection of their love for each other, and the trust that has been built between them.  In my short contemporary erotica, Clandestine Eyes, Coreen has an intense interlude with her supervisor Rob yet after a covert op where he is essentially her backup, he expresses a more intense type of passion reflecting his deeper emotions for her. 

Readers can find more information about me and/or my books at my website: I love questions and if you’d like updates, just put in your contact information. I’m glad to send readers news about contests or my newest releases

Mary Corrales's Fantasy books
paranormal erotic romance, Eternal Press
short contemporary erotica, Breathless Press,
short contemporary erotica, Breathless Press,

Comment and leave your email address for a chance to win a PDF copy of Dangerous Moves, the short erotica that gives the first taste of heat between covert agents Coreen Evans and Rob Larsen. I’ll pick a winner at midnight Thursday, March 11th EST.