Welcome Laura, tell me three words that describe yourself starting with A, B, and C.
Well now, Angela, you know I’m not going to be able to narrow my choices down to one word per letter! It’s a fact of life that I have words spinning madly in my head all the time. I guess I’ll just have to compound them:
I consider myself an Addicted-Articulate-Atavist. Addicted to writing, of course. Honestly, it’s like the old commercial about a day without orange juice being a day without sunshine – for me, a day without writing is a day without meaning. If I don’t pick up my pen at some point and write at least a paragraph, I feel as if the day’s been wasted. And people tell me I’m articulate: at work (in the office of a library system), people struggling to write letters or emails come to me and ask, “What’s the word I want?” And I’m definitely an atavist – a throwback. I love ancient times and cultures, the lore and wisdom of my ancestors, which works out pretty well for an historical writer.
I’m also a Blessed-Bookish-Bard. Blessed is self-explanatory. I’ve been given much, but I believe it’s also important to accept much and that means being aware of the wonderful things around me, and actively grateful for them. Bookish? Well, when I was a child I had a reputation in my family for being the girl who always had a paperback in her pocket. I sometimes think I learned to write by reading great authors. I still read them. Bard? Perhaps not in the actively musical sense, but in the storytelling sense, oh yes! My books are nothing more than long stories meant to amuse an audience on a dark, winter’s night.
And I’d have to say I’m a Congenial-Compassionate-Clairvoyant. Congenial? Well, I’m the original peacemaker and a born non-confrontationist. My motto might as well be, “Can’t we all just get along?” Compassionate and empathetic, oh yes – people love to talk to me because I’m able to feel what they feel when I listen, and they know I care. Clairvoyant: perhaps I’ve never had the urge to stage a séance, but the ability does run through the women of my line, and I know there’s more than a hint of it in my writing.
Got a bit more than you bargained for there, didn’t you?
Just a bit, and I can truly say I can relate to ALL your answers. What are your three favorite things?
I’d have to say my three favorite things are writing, music and the companionship of my animals. Somehow, for me, these three go hand-in-hand. Like you, Angela, music is a big part of my writing. Some of the songs I love are so tangled up with stories I’ve written, I can virtually hear the music when I reread the words. As for animals, I’ve been fortunate to share the lives of many amazing dogs over the years. Every one of them carved out a place inside me. I feel I learned something from each of them, too, like generosity of spirit and how to love. Those who are gone are still part of me. My idea of a perfect day? Hours to write, with music on the stereo and my dog at my side.
What for you is the best part of the writing process?
The best part of the writing process for me is when I get in the zone – really in the zone – with music on the stereo and my dog at my side, and time goes away. I think reality goes away a bit at those moments also, or maybe I just blend into the reality of the world I’ve created. For me, my characters are as vital as people I see every day. They speak their own lines and I’m the invisible observer who watches the action, hears their conversations, and writes it all down. For me, that’s when the magic happens, and never doubt that for me writing does hold a large element of magic.
What is the worst?
Wow, there isn’t really a worst part of writing for me. I just love all of it, from the lightning flash of conceiving an idea to writing the last line of the last page. I even like editing and revision, when I’m in the right mood. If I had to pick something I guess I’d say promotion – it’s difficult for me to put myself out there and blow my own horn.
Is there a routine you stick to when writing, or do you just wing it?
I’m a morning person and I tend to get up at an excruciatingly early hour in order to have some uninterrupted writing time. We heat our home with wood (there’s the atavist in me coming out, again) and in the winter I rise when it’s still dark and cold, kindle the fire and then settle down for the very best part of my day, when I get to travel back in time via my imagination. On weekends I have more leeway and can stretch this morning bliss out a few hours. When a story’s really rolling under its own power, I may snatch a few afternoon hours on a weekend, as well. I still write with a pen in a spiral notebook – sometimes as fast as I can scribble – and type it all later, making my first revision as I go. This routine works for me, so I can’t see myself changing it in the future.
We must be kindred spirits, I too do all of my first writings with a pen and notebook. When I try typing on a computer first, I rapidly lose my train of thought.
What’s the one thing you would do if you could be your character for one day?
Oh, I love this question! If I could be transported to Sherwood Forest and become Wren for a day, I think I would step softly beneath those trees that harbor so much history and magic, listen to the whispers of the leaves and inhale the air breathed by heroes. I would look into the eyes of those brave souls who’ve kept Robin Hood’s fight alive so long. And as Wren, I would revel in the chance to spend time with the two men who both say they want her: Martin Scarlet with his indomitable warrior’s spirit and Sparrow, son of Little John, who carries all those mysterious promises in his dark eyes. You know, there’s a reason Wren has trouble making up her mind. Not one but two fine examples of Saxon manhood, and both completely devoted to her – can you wonder why I’d like to experience that, even if just for one day? Of course, it’s all balanced out by the risk of being seized and tortured at Nottingham Castle. Might be well worth it, though!
What is life without a little risk?
Thanks so much, Angela, for having me here to spend time with you today. It’s been great fun and I enjoyed every moment of our conversation.
A big thanks to you to Laura for being here. Readers, be sure to check out the blurb and excerpt below. And don't forget to click on the buy link and get Wren's story for yourself when you're done.
Amazon buy link: Daughter of Sherwood
Raised in the kitchens of Nottingham Castle, Wren has no idea she is the daughter of the legendary Robin Hood until she is summoned to Sherwood Forest. Since Robin’s death many years before, the resistance against Norman tyranny has been upheld by a magical triad, but now one of the guardians has died. With two young men, Sparrow and Martin, Wren must form a new triad with a bond strong enough to defend Sherwood’s magic. To one of them, she will also give her heart.
From the moment Wren bursts into his life, Sparrow loves her. But he knows she may choose his lifelong rival, Martin, as her mate. Martin wants Wren also, but Sparrow fears Martin is driven not by love but ambition. When Martin is captured and held at Nottingham Castle, will the conflict between love and duty destroy the triad?
In the gathering gloom, the man looked tall and slender, a shadow seen only indistinctly. But she knew him, had seen him numerous times in both dream and imagination.
A sob burst from her throat. "You are dead."
“But I live on, here in Sherwood. That to which we give our love in life is never lost."
Rennie continued to examine him through narrowed eyes. This must be how he had looked at the time of his death, strong and handsome, vital as the forest itself.
"Long have I tried to reach you, Daughter, to tell you the importance of your place here."
There, he had said it: daughter. A chill chased its way through Rennie's limbs.
"Wren, life is a series of cycles. The flesh rises and falls as do the stars in the sky; the spirit endures. The three of you – Sparrow, Martin and yourself – must prepare to take your places on the wheel."
"It is not fair," Rennie cried, suddenly aware of how much she would have liked knowing this man.
"It is not fair," he agreed, "when a child is born into serfdom, an old woman bled to death for the king's taxes, or the father of a family deprived of his hand, so those he loves must starve. There is but one thing fair about our world."
"And, what is that?"
"That love does not die, but rides the wheel and goes round until it meets with those who love, again. You must do as you must do. Keep the magic strong."