How did you come up with the title?
The series name of Dragonsfyre came from a brainstorming session in our hotel room at a writers’ conference in New York in 2011. Thanks to children’s fantasy author Daisy Piper (http://daisypiper.com/) for that one! ‘Dragonsfyre’ will be a part of each title in this series, and ‘Bound by’ refers to the chains of servitude experienced by everyone in the Eighth Dominion, whether the character truly lives in service to a noble, or whether the noble lives in fear of deadly political intrigue.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
The biggest support for me has been my writers’ group, Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada--our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Romance-Writers-of-Atlantic-Canada-RWAC/147622641957752
Although my Dragonsfyre and Dark Ages Vampire series are not romance but dark fantasy and horror, I have other historical romance projects to which I’ll be returning. My writers’ group is a driving force who have propelled one another through the hard times, celebrated the good times, information shared, networked and hauled each other from aspiring writer to professional author status. I wouldn’t be chatting with you now if not for them.
Do you have to travel much concerning your books?
So far I’ve travelled from my home base on Canada’s east coast—Nova Scotia—to New York for the conference I mentioned, and to Toronto to attend Fan Expo as an author. I really enjoy working events like Fan Expo as well as the local one here, Hal-Con. This year I’m looking forward to appearing at Halifax’s Word on the Street on September 22nd and Hal-Con from November 8th to 10th.
Let’s face it—every writer is a reader, and working a book festival surrounds me with other book lovers on every level. Taking that a bit further, every fantasy writer is a fantasy film/TV/superhero lover at heart. What could be more fun than doing promo for my book while surrounded by costumed fans?
How do books get published?
The publishing industry is currently splitting into three streams—traditionally published books sold by agents to major publishing houses, books sold by authors directly to editors of smaller publishing houses, or books self-published by authors. Identifying which publishing model suits your work best will help you to focus on whether you need to submit to agents, submit to editors directly, or learn how to pull together a publishing team made up of an editor/copy editor/formatter/cover designer.
The distribution of books has changed radically due to technological advances, and this is what has caused the shift in the publishing world. Traditional houses and self-published authors alike now offer e-book or paperback format, at brick-and-mortar stores or at online retailers who deliver the e-book directly to your e-reader or ship the print-on-demand paperback directly to your home.
How many books have you written?
I’ve launched two separate series with Book 1 for each of them now published: SAINT SANGUINUS is Book 1 in my Dark Ages Vampire series, and BOUND BY DRAGONSFYRE is Book 1 of my Dragonsfyre dark fantasy series. I have three other non-fantasy historical single title manuscripts waiting for me to finish both series before I get back to them.
Which is your favorite?
The hero of my Dragonsfyre series, Scorpius, is my favorite character, so I’d have to say BOUND BY DRAGONSFYRE is my favorite so far. I’m currently revising Book 2 in that series and I have to say I’m pretty infatuated with that story and those characters right now.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
If you don’t currently have critique partners or belong to a writers’ group, I would reach out and find other writers to hang out with. Writing is a solitary occupation, yet you’re creating something that becomes a dialogue between yourself and the reader. That means feedback becomes your tool to refine your story and make it the best it can be.
If you’re in an area where that isn’t possible or if your schedule and obligations make groups impossible, look online for group support. Whichever group you discover, whether it’s an informal gathering meeting regularly at a coffee shop or an established organization with dues and an executive, it should make you feel like you’ve finally found your long-lost tribe, and should challenge and encourage you to develop as a writer.
What are your current projects?
I’m currently revising Book 2 in the Dragonsfyre series, which continues to follow Scorpius as he navigates the dangers of the Eighth Dominion. Book 2 introduces several new characters to upset the current power plays at work among the nobles, as well as delving further into the forbidden magic of this realm. Let’s not forget the dragons, of course…
Do you ever experience writer's block?
I wouldn’t say I’ve experienced not knowing what to write. I’ve experienced not knowing what to do with scenes that aren’t working. Learning how to tackle the revision process was the hardest part of writing for me. Mastering how to plot during this stage made many things come together for me.
Do you write an outline before every book you write?
My outlines emerge after I’ve begun writing by the seat-of-the-pants, or pantser method. I just sit and start writing. I go as far as I can this way, and once I get stuck, or things start becoming a little too complicated, I take a step back from the manuscript and outline the plot. At that point, the snags that had been tripping me up smooth out.
Have you ever hated something you wrote?
I’ve been frustrated with certain scenes, but not to the point of hating my own work.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
My Kirkus review has definitely been the toughest: “A fantasy novel with an overdramatic hero, set in an overly vague fantasy world.” – Kirkus Reviews
What has been the best compliment?
“Scorpius is perhaps one of the most compelling characters I have ever read…The Eighth Dominion is a savage wonder, a place you will long to return to.” – Melissa’s Imaginarium book review
Today we are beginning an amazing tour with Julia Phillips Smith author of
BOUND by Dragonsfyre.
3 winners. The Prizes will be: - An e-copy of Bound by Dragonsfyre. - A Paperback Copy of Bound by Dragonsfyre - A $20 Amazon gift Card Here is the code: a Rafflecopter giveaway