Sunday, July 25, 2010

Why I Write Fantasy - Shona Husk

Welcome Shona Husk, creator of fantasy mermen!

Amber: tell me, Shona, why do you write fantasy?
Shona: The only thing better than reading fantasy is writing fantasy. I love to experiment with different types of heroes, elemental mermen, sexy genies and fire gods. I can push boundaries that don’t exist for humans, yet while my heroes, or heroines, might be creatures of myth living in world that never existed, at the heart of each character are very human desires—the need for love, respect and acceptance for who they are.

Amber: Why do you think readers love fantasy?
Shona: Reading fantasy is the ultimate escape. Every book offers a new world to explore, magic and monsters, or a world just hidden by the normal. Who hasn’t wondered if the man on the train isn’t really a vampire? Or what would happen if a spell from a new age shop actually worked?

Amber:Would you write fantasy even if no one read it?
Shona: Yes. I grew up reading fantasy and would make up stories for my own entertainment, writing them down was just the next progression. Building an idea into a story and adding layers and depth is very rewarding.

These days fantasy is quite a broad definition and I write across it. While all my stories are romances. I write fantasy as well as paranormal, and I dabble in futuristic. Some of my stories are hotter than others, but there is always a happily ever after. More information on all my stories can be found at my website.

Blessed with a lively imagination, Shona spent most of her childhood making up stories. As an adult she discovered romance novels and she hasn't looked back. 

Dark fairly tales and the paranormal have always fascinated her, and it's not uncommon to get to know spirits, vampires, were-creatures and demigods through her books. In her free time, Shona likes to keep fit and get creative in the kitchen...Toblerone brownies anyone?

Learn more about Shona and her mermen at her website 
and find her where she blogs at WINKgirls.

The Goblin King 
will be released by Dorchester 
in May 2011

How to Breathe Fire 
will be released by Samhain 
n January 2011

Shona's Contest!
Leave a comment for a chance to win a 
copy of An Elemental Tail
Contest ends Friday, July 30th

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Why I Write Fantasy - Terry Spears

Welcome Terry Spears, author of all those temping werewolves.
Amber: Terry, why do you write fantasy?
Terry: First, thanks so much to Amber for having me!!!
When I was growing up, I LOVED Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, Cinderella, and myriads of other fantasy tales of princes loving princesses. The first shape shifter story I read was East of the Sun and West of the Moon, where the prince is cursed to be a polar bear during the day, and a handsome prince at night. *sigh* I love fantasy. But I also loved true stories, ghost stories, mysteries, and mythologies and fables from around the world. All of these “loves” helped to shape what I write today.

In most of my stories, I make references to fairy tales and mythical characters: Little Red Riding Hood (Dreaming of the Wolf), Alice in Wonderland (Seduced by the Wolf), Zeus (Seduced by the Wolf), Poseidon (Seduced by the Wolf), Atlas (Legend of the White Wolf), The Three Little Pigs (Dreaming of the Wolf), and many more that I can’t think of off the top of my head. Someday, I’ll have to have a reader contest and let fans tell me what they’ve found in my stories that reference fairy tales and mythical characters!

The difference is that in many of the stories, the heroine was incapable of being a true heroine, able to help save the day. In my stories, the heroines are just as capable as their heroes and often save them!  Also, in the shape shifter story I mentioned earlier, it was a case of being cursed. No one in their right mind wants to be a “beast” for part of the day. In my shape shifter series, they love who they are—unless they’ve just been newly turned, and then, well, they can have some regrets. But most learn to love their new abilities and use them to their advantage.

Like my love of true stories, I wanted to create a world that seemed as realistic as werewolves living among us could be. My love of wolves originated from Jack London’s Call of the Wild and White Fang. I loved how he gave the wolf his own thought processes, and though I didn’t think about it consciously when I wrote Heart of the Wolf, since it had been years earlier that I’d read them, that must have stuck with me. When an interviewer asked me exactly what it was about the tales that had moved me, I reread part of one and smiled when I read about the wolf pup leaving the den and learning to hunt leaves, and “hearing” his thought processes as he ventured forth.

Amber: Why do think readers love fantasy?
Terry: It’s a way to escape the real world. If I wasn’t there, I’d have to be thinking about cooking dinner, doing the laundry, weeding the garden. Wow, I need to immerse myself in another fantasy. 

Amber: Why do wolves fascinate you?
Terry: I love how they mate for life, are family oriented, and work as a team. I love dogs, that have some of the same alpha and beta tendencies, who are loyal and dependable. But they don’t mate for life. When I lived in Oklahoma, we had a pair of road runners that would hop over our 4 foot tall split rail fence, run across the yard, and disappear into the woods. They also mate for life. I just finished writing the 7th book in the werewolf series—“Heart of the Highland Wolf”, due out Jun 2011 and mentioned golden eagles that also mate for life. I just think there’s something special about animals that do.

Amber: Would you write fantasy even if no one read it?
Terry: Absolutely! Because I love it. And we have to love what we write.
So if you’re looking for a series where wolves—werewolves that is—live among us—want some adventure, suspense, romance, mystery and fun, join me in the world of werewolves. They truly live among us!

Terry Spears is an award-winning author of urban fantasy and medieval historical romantic suspense, Heart of the Wolf named in Publishers Weekly's BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR, NOR Reader Choice for BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE.
Terry Spear also writes true stories for adult and young adult audiences. She’s a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and has an MBA from Monmouth University and a Bachelors in Business and Distinguished Military Graduate of West Texas A & M. She also creates award-winning teddy bears, Wilde & Woolly Bears, to include personalized bears designed to commemorate authors’ books. When she’s not writing or making bears, she’s teaching online writing courses.

Originally from California, she’s lived in eight states and now resides in the heart of Texas. She is the author of the Sourcebooks Casablanca werewolf romance series: Heart of the Wolf, Destiny of the Wolf, To Tempt the Wolf, Legend of the White Wolf, Seduced by the Wolf (2010), Wolf Fever (2010), Heart of the Highland Wolf (2011), Dreaming of the Wolf (2011), and the medieval romance series: Winning the Highlander’s Heart, The Accidental Highland Hero (2010); Deadly Liaisons, The VampireIn My Dreams (young adult), Deidre's Secret (young adult), and numerous articles and short stories for magazines.

Latest News!!!
Two more wolf titles to Sourcebooks -
The Highland Wolf in Paradise & The Wolf and the SEAL
Release date-TBD

Find out more about Terry Spear's books at
her website

Terry's Contest!
She's offering an autographed copy of a book, winner’s choice. 
Just leave a comment answering the question: 
If you could be a werewolf, 
what would you love best about it?

Contest closed.
Stephanie Shaw!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Why I Write Fantasy - James Hartley

Welcome James Hartley, whose writing mixes science fiction, urban fantasy & mystery!

Amber: Why do you write Fantasy?
Jim: A large part of the answer is that I can't help it! All my life I've been a day-dreamer, with all these stories floating around inside my head. I've made a few earlier attempts at writing, but this time I'm really into it. My reading, all my life, has been very heavily weighted with Fantasy and Science Fiction. So that's what is in my head, and that's what comes out on the paper. A lot of what I do is Contemporary or Urban Fantasy, adding magic or other supernatural ideas to ordinary backgrounds. I don't do too much "High" fantasy or Swords and sorcery, but if I get an idea that looks good I'll give it a shot. And of course there's Science Fiction ... and sometimes I'll write something and it's hard to tell which it is.

Amber: Why do readers love fantasy?
Jim: Fantasy is a literature of ideas. It makes you think, but in an enjoyable way. Plus, it breaks down the mental chains and widens our horizons, and gets us away from the banalities of the real world. Of course, I have run into people who don't like Fantasy ... but I can't quite figure those people out!

Amber: Tell me how you mix fantasy with sci-fi?
Jim: In one sense it's very easy ... just have Buck Rogers meet a coven of witches. But to have it come out making some sense is a little harder! I have one story I'm working on where an Astrophysicist has a wormhole experiment go wrong, and she lands in a sword and sorcery world where she discovers she can do Magic. And in my book Magic Is Faster Than Light which is due out next May, a generation spaceship full of witches travel on a 190 year voyage to a star only their descendants will see. But the ship's Air Purifier is defective and they'll never make it ... until one witch gets the idea of using a magic potion as fuel and thus achieving Faster-Than-Light travel.

Amber: Do you think male writers approach fantasy differently than women?
Jim: Yes, definitely! Based on a lot of the mailing lists, it looks to me like the women writing Fantasy tend to have much more of a Romance element. Not all of them, of course. And I'm not saying this is a bad thing ... each writer should follow his or her own Muse. It's just the way it looks to me.

Amber: Would you write fantasy even if no one read it?
Jim: I've got a few of those stories lying around on my computer. Anyone want to buy one? But like I said earlier, I have all these stories floating around in my head, and they won't go away! But at least if I write them down they get out of the way for some new stories!

James Hartley is a former computer programmer originally from northern New Jersey, who now lives in sunny central Florida. He published a fantasy novel, "Teen Angel"and currently has two  Fantasy novels contracted with MuseItUp Publishing.
"The Ghost of Grover's Ridge" is due out October 1 and "Magic Is Faster Than Light" in May, 2011. His WIP is a fantasy murder mystery (!?) tentatively titled "Cop With a Wand."

Details of James Hartley's books, plus free samples of his stories, can be seen on his website. He has had over fifty short stories published in the "Desolate Places," "Strange Mysteries 1 & 2," " Book of Exodi"   and " Christmas in Outer Space"  anthologies and in various e-zines and print magazines.

For more information 
check out James Hartley's author page