Have you always enjoyed writing?
I’ve been making up stories ever since I can remember. There was a period in high school when I wanted to become an author, but I decided instead to pursue a career in science. Still, I never stopped writing creatively as a way to escape and pass the time.
What writing are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my latest novel High Maga, the companion to Eolyn. High Maga is a darker novel than Eolyn, more entrenched in the brutal realities of war. The collective journey of the characters tests the limits of love and endurance. The story features some truly nefarious villains, and magic is used in terrible and destructive ways. This was a difficult but very rewarding novel to write. I am looking forward to seeing how readers respond to its characters and their stories.
What books did you love growing up?
The list is almost endless, but with respect to fantasy probably the most important were Grimm’s Fairy Tales and The Once and Future King by T.H. White. In high school I read a lot of historical fiction and historical romance, as well as science fiction and some fantasy. Many of those titles I no longer remember, but I suspect they still influence me today as a writer.
Who is your favorite author?
There have been so many, it would be impossible to list them all here. J.R.R. Tolkien has inspired me just as he has inspired every author of fantasy. I am also very fond of the work of the Nicaraguan author Gioconda Belli, particularly The Country Beneath my Skin¸ her memoir of the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua.
Among historical fiction authors, my favorites include including Halide’s Gift by Frances Kazan and The Queen’s Vow by C.W. Gortner. I also love reading history, particularly women’s history. Some books that have stuck with me from this genre are Elizabeth: The Struggle for the Throne by David Starky, Murder of a Medici Princess by Caroline P. Murphy, and The Tigress of Forli by Elizabeth Lev.
In the genre of fantasy, I have very much enjoyed the novel series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin (although I have not yet read the fifth book). I also really like Patricia McKillip, especially her novel Winter Rose. My list of favorite novels would not be complete without mentioning T.H. White’s The Once and Future King, from which I drew much inspiration when writing my first novel, Eolyn.
What book genre of books do you adore?
My favorite genres are historical fiction and history. Although I do not pick (or refuse) books by their genre, these are the two I keep coming back to.
What book should everybody read at least once?
The Country Beneath My Skin by Gioconda Belli.
Are there any books you really don’t enjoy?
There is no genre I avoid consciously, but if I pick up a book and am not captured as a reader by the first chapter or two, I put it back down. Life is too short to spend time reading books I don’t like.
Lands Ravaged. Dreams destroyed. Demons set loose upon the earth.
War strikes at the heart of women’s magic in Moisehén. Eolyn’s fledgling community of magas is destroyed; its members killed, captured or scattered.
Devastated yet undaunted, Eolyn seeks to escape the occupied province and deliver to King Akmael a weapon that might secure their victory. But even a High Maga cannot survive this enemy alone. Aided by the enigmatic Mage Corey, Eolyn battles the darkest forces of the Underworld, only to discover she is a mere path to the magic that most ignites their hunger.
What can stop this tide of terror and vengeance? The answer lies in Eolyn’s forgotten love, and in its power to engender seeds of renewed hope.
HIGH MAGA is the companion novel to EOLYN, also available from Hadley Rille Books.
Genre – Epic Fantasy
Rating – PG-13
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