My debut book with Carina Press is "Cry Wolf," and while it’s been labeled a contemporary romance, there’s definitely a sprinkle of paranormal thrown in there for good measure. My heroine, Andrea Lockhart, is a feisty tabloid reporter sent to a rural town in South Carolina where the residents have been reporting sightings of a werewolf — not that she believes for a second that werewolves exist. But trouble has a way of finding Andrea, and no sooner does she set foot in the small town than trouble finds her in the form of Sean Hunter, her former college crush and journalism school nemesis. Not to mention, there is the fact that people are seeing something …
“Cry Wolf” releases Oct. 31, and I think it’ll make a fun Halloween read, if I do say so myself.
The book I’m writing now is 100 percent fantasy-paranormal, and I’m having more fun than a kitten in a cream factory coming up with my own mythology for it. So far I’ve got hunky shifters, fierce angels and a heroine who doesn’t know what she is yet all battling it out for attention in my head 24/7.
That got me to thinking about other fantasy-paranormal romance authors. Does everyone have this much fun with the genre as I do, or am I just plain nutso?
So I decided to ask my writing buddy, Pamela Hearon, author of “The Timestone Key” and “His Hotness.”
The following is our e-mail Q&A about the topic.
Q: Thanks for agreeing to be my guinea pig, er, I mean fantasy author for this blog, Pam. Can you give everyone who’s not familiar with it a quick synopsis of what your book, “The Timestone Key,” is about?
A: Thanks so much for having me here, Angela—under whatever guise you choose for me. I’m always excited to talk about The Timestone Key, my romantic Arthurian fantasy. Here’s a short blurb:
“Follow your heart” was the only instruction three-year-old Halley Winsted received when she unwittingly accepted the mysterious family legacy. At thirty-three, following her heart is difficult. Love and commitment don’t come easy, even in the arms of sexy Tom Rutledge. A trip to England alone is her chance to consider their relationship from a safe distance and indulge her obsession with the other man in her life, King Arthur. Little does she realize Arthur is more than an obsession; he is an integral part of her past, her present, and her future, and she is part of his. For the legends are true. Arthur is alive in Avalon but teetering on the brink of madness, unable to fulfill his role as The Chosen. Arthur is to lead the armies of Man against Mordred’s powers of Evil in the Last Days. In his present state, the hope of Mankind is lost. Only the legacy Halley bears can heal his mind. Others have tried and failed for generations, and now its Halley’s turn. She holds the key—the Timestone Key. Can she find the way to restore Arthur’s glorious destiny? And can she trust her heart to lead her to her own?
Q: Okay, I have to ask – how much fun was it to write scenes with Merlin?
A: Would it sound too corny to say it was a magical experience? I enjoyed writing Merlin perhaps more than any other character in the book. He was vivid in my mind from the first day of writing. I could see him, I could hear him telling the stories, and I wanted to capture his voice. So often he’s portrayed as a tottery old man , which isn’t how I see him at all. I wanted him vibrant and in his prime, but I also wanted him to be flawed and vulnerable—someone we can all relate to.
Q: Do you think it’s a good idea to do a lot of research or “just go with it” when you’re writing this kind of book? How much research did you do into the Arthur legend?
A: Like my heroine, I’ve been obsessed with the King Arthur legends since I was nine, so this book comes with a lifetime of research behind it. In fact, the idea for the story came to me during a vacation in England that I actually planned around visiting Arthurian sites from the legend. But parts of the legend always bothered me because they seemed unfair. So I “went with it”—rewriting the story the way I think things should have happened and maybe could have happened. I stayed true to the underlying themes of the original story, but I added my own twists to freshen it up for today’s readers.
Q: I also have a confession to make. I’ve been in love with the King Arthur legend since the 8th grade when, for a school project, I read that the Clan Campbells are believed to be descendents of the man the legend is based on. That means you could be chatting with the great-great-great-great-great-great granddaughter (or something) of Arthur. What do you think of that?
A: When I read this question, I was so intrigued by the information that I immediately went to Google the Clan Campbell/Arthur connection. I think you may have inspired another book! Just think about it—Arthur in a kilt swinging a Claymore named Excalibur. Doesn’t get much yummier than that.
Q: You’ve written different genres. Do you ever get so totally wrapped up in a story, especially when you’re writing fantasy, that you forget to feed your cat – or am I the only one?
A: I could never forget to feed my cat because she jumps onto my lap and lies on my keyboard when she wants my attention. I have gotten so totally wrapped up in my story that I forget to cook dinner, so my husband doesn’t get fed. Does that count? When a story is coming together for me, I’m extremely distracted and withdrawn. My husband used to ask if everything was okay when I got too quiet. Now he knows my process and just lets me be.
Q: Why do you think that is?
A: I’m not one to make a lot of notes or outlines. I carry a story in my head and let it percolate until I’m ready to write it down. But that process requires a whole lot of “thinking” time to make it work. So some of my best writing gets done when I’m mowing the lawn, weeding the garden, and even taking a shower—those rather mindless activities that don’t require too much of my attention and allow my imagination to run at full force. And plot holes? They inevitably get fixed while I sleep. I go to sleep worrying about them and wake up with the solution. Dare I say my process … (wait for it) … works like a dream?
Thanks, Pam, for chatting with me! Check out Pamela Hearon's website at www.pamelahearon.com. You can also check out my website at www.angelacampbellonline.com.