Feel free to share a little about yourself in your own words.
I love, and I mean REALLY love, writing exciting stories. I’ve written Horror and Urban Fantasy, and my latest foray is into the realm of Historical Fantasy. I’m deep into the feng shui of a certain series, and busy writing more books in The Paladin Princess universe.
I love gothic and dark tales, too.
You can find me skulking about in southern Virginia, where I relocated to from California. If you were to visit me, and I served you tea or whiskey on my back deck, and the sun started to set, and I excused myself to wander into the forest, then never came back, you might be tempted to try and follow me.
You’d find that darkness settles in the forest quite quickly when the sun starts to set.
You might wander down to the edge of my property, where you’d see a stream and a well.
If it was dark enough, that is, pitch dark, you might notice it growing quiet and mysterious, and if you leaned over the well, you might hear voices coming from down in it.
If you ventured much farther, you might trip, and take a tumble down the embankment.
You might be found by the faeries that come out only at twilight, and they might steal you away, offer you a cookie or a bit of mead in a cup made out of a flower.
And if you drink it, you’ll find yourself walking back up to the house and find that a hundred years have passed…
How did you get into writing?
I have always ALWAYS loved reading stories! I started writing my own stories, what would today be called fan fic, back in 1975 when I was 12 years old. It was Star Trek fan fic, as I was a HUGE Trekkie.
What can you tell us about your daily routines that help you focus and your creative habits? So, for example how do you come up with some of your ideas and inspiration for your book?
I have a ridiculously active imagination. Seriously, I used to get into SO MUCH TROUBLE in the third grade for daydreaming, looking out windows and imagining stories, and doodling…
My daily routine consists of getting to my office around 9am, and settling in, getting situated, drinking a Monster Ultra Sunrise (or two) and then by 10am I am writing. I am extremely disciplined about my work and I write about 8-9 hours a day.
Is this book very personal for you? If so, how?
I love this book because it’s about a young woman who goes from spoiled princess to strong warrior through a series of travails and mishaps. Along the way she makes friends and gathers a strong fighting troupe who look to her for leadership, fun, and adventure. It’s an extremely female-hero driven book, very empowering, and very badass.
How did you come up with the book title?
There’s a little shop on a damp alleyway in Schenectady, NY. I visit once every other year, and in the basement I roll the bones at midnight to see what the brownie that appears has for me. It usually works, and he hands me a sheaf of papers full of ideas, bound in goatskin.
Plot and Synopsis
Can you describe what the book plot and give a detailed synopsis of the book, of course without any spoilers.
Charlotte is pulled into a world of supernatural alchemy and
Where even the simplest of sights cannot be trusted.
She will have to have to shed her old paradigm and completely re-invent herself if she is to survive.
They think they know her; they think they can best her.
She’s going to teach them a lesson they will never forget.
The first book in the heart-stopping, adventure-filled, impossible to put down Paladin Princess series.
Stranded in a foreign land, where slavery rules and it’s every man for himself. A land inhabited by magical beasts who roam the bleak desert, chasing the unsuspecting, killing any who they encounter.
I set out to rescue a fellow captive who’s only 13 years old, who I cannot leave to the slavers and sheikhs. They’ve spirited her away to an unknown territory, and there’s no one to help us in this lawless land. That leaves me, Charlotte, to go after my friend. Impossible? Ha! Forbidden? I don’t care. They have no idea what they’ve unleashed.
I’m joined by a healer who is kin to the sheikh, who I don’t trust for a second, until she nearly sacrifices herself to a supernatural beast to save my life. Battling a deadly manticore together tends to bond people in friendship, whether they like it or not.
We find an oasis: a refuge in the middle of an incredibly dangerous desert, but all is not as it seems. Magic and the supernatural infest this place, where dreams become reality and the naked eye cannot be trusted. Will it let us leave?
With a little luck and sheer force of will, I will get out of this alive and rescue my friends. And that’s a good thing, because I swear this land is trying to kill me.
Is there any movie, book, or television series that you can somewhat liken your story to? So for example, some books you can say are like Game of Thrones or Star Wars, what mainstream and popular movie do you think your book somewhat “feels” like? Did you want this to be the case?
Hmmm, well… I think my adventure story feels somewhat like Conan the Barbarian, and my hero is part Xena Warrior Princess and part Arya from Game of Thrones.
Themes or Messages
What themes and deeper meanings or messages can we expect to find in this book if any? Is there any deep meanings or philosophical questions being explored in the book?
This first book in the series (there are four out so far) is my (very subtle) commentary on slavery.
Book two (The Pirate Queen) is a (very subtle) commentary on xenophobia.
Book three (The Lost Treasure) is a (very subtle) commentary on the pollution of the oceans.
Book four (The Pirate Prince) is a (very subtle) commentary on global warming.
Off the wall question, but would some of the issues being explored in the book relate to us here in the real world?
What can you tell us about the setting that we will be seeing in this book?
The book is set in an alternate universe setting that is a very strong parallel to our own world about 1000-1500 years ago. Except there are magical creatures that are part of every day life. And there is no such thing as gunpowder.
The names of the locations I’ve used correspond to the ancient names of the same places here on earth. For instance: my story takes place in a land called Alkebulan. Alkebulan is the ancient name of Africa.
What cultures or societies can we expect to see and can you tell us about how you came up with creating these societies? Was it difficult to get deep into how the societies function?
The cultures you will see are those of ancient northern Africa. The people there speak Arabic. There’s even a bit of Arabic script in the book, in one of the later chapters.
I researched it all, it took a long time, and I had a lot of fun 😊
Tell us about the history of the land or world or worlds that we will be exploring through out the book?
The land is hot and arid. Sand, lots of sand. And a magical oasis called Aoudaghost, ruled over by a very special chimera.
What can you tell us about some of the main characters and villains in this book?
The main character is Charlotte. She’s from the northlands, specifically Swerighe (ancient name for Sweden). Her maid is Caroline, also from the northlands. They are joined by Khepri, who is Arabic, and Kym, who looks Senegalese when she is in her human form, and when she is in her magical form she looks like a ten foot high chimera (lion/goat/snake creature). Then there’s Christianne, also Arabic. And Tupu, who looks Senegalese.