Today I'm delighted to share a recent interview I had with an extremely talented author in the field of fantasy romance - Mysti Parker, author of A Ranger's Tale.
A Ranger's Tale was a book that was given as an additional extra book when I first joined Read2Review, along with the main book that I had to review that time. To be honest - I actually enjoyed this book more than the main book! It's a fantastic Romantic Fantasy novel - filled with great characters, a colourful fantasy world that will appeal to fantasy loves and a great story with twists and turns. I actually will go so far to say that this was one of my favourite novels of 2011.
Don't believe me? Well check out my original review of A Ranger's Tale
Having got to know Mysti a little more, I have to say that she is a fantastic woman and inspirational woman that has a lot of interesting stuff to say. In fact, she's even inspired me to write my own romantic fantasy novel involving my heroine from Trapped on Draconica!
She runs her own blog called Unwritten, which has recently been voted #3 on eCollegeFinder's Top Writing Blogs. I highly recommend you check her blog out
as she is always running great posts and competitions - she even has some sample stuff regarding her next book!
Without further ado, I present my interview with Mysti.
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a full-time wife, mom of three, and a writer. It’s a wild and crazy life, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Well…I might trade a week to lie on a beach in Hawaii and sip little drinks with umbrellas in them.
2. Outside of writing, what would you say your favourite hobbies are?
90% of my non-writing time is spent doing laundry, dishes, or buying/preparing food for the younglings. They’re not even teenagers yet and are eating us out of house and home. When I get ornery, I let the laundry form mountain ranges so I can read, listen to music, bake (especially when I’m down), and spend time with my family.
3. What made you want to get into writing?
From the time I was old enough to walk, my mom said I carried a pencil and paper around with me. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write something. In my teen years, I wrote a lot of poetry. In college, my creativity was limited to research papers (I studied biology). It wasn’t until about 2009 that I got the idea for a fantasy world called Tallenmere. Inspired by a lot of roleplaying games and The Lord of the Rings (Can you watch Orlando Bloom as Legolas and NOT be inspired?), I wrote a novelette, Let There Be Love, sent it to Midnight Showcase Fiction (now Melange Books), and they took it right off the bat. I was thrilled. They wanted more, so I dove into writing A Ranger’s Tale.
4. Who would you say are your favourite authors and who inspires your writing the most?
I grew up loving classic authors like J.R.R. Tolkien, Jane Austen, and Charlotte Bronte. When I got a little older, I fell in love with Victoria Holt’s romantic suspense, and Stephen King’s creep-fests. Nowadays, I read all sorts of things. Independent authors are wonderful—I love being surprised by their non-conventional plots and genres.
5. Without giving away any spoilers, can you tell us a little about A Ranger’s Tale?
A Ranger’s Tale is the story of a high-elf noblewoman who was expected to take her father’s place as the head of Leogard’s Mage Academy. Caliphany is a century old, she’s beautiful, rich, and one would think she has it all. Yet, she’s been kept on a short leash since her older brother died on the battlefield. She isn’t confident of her wizardry skills at all and longs to see the world.
Everything changes during a kidnapping attempt on the docks, when half-elf ranger and sea merchant, Galadin Trudeaux, intervenes and saves her life. Caliphany decides the only way she’ll ever get out of Leogard on her own is to ask Galadin to train her in the ways of a ranger. He’s reluctant at first, but a hefty sack of gold helps to seal the deal. From there, the two of them embark on the journey of a lifetime, filled with more ups and downs than they ever thought possible.
6. How long did it take you to write?
From start to finish, with a few rewrites in between, and with the help of some wonderful critique partners, it took me about a year to get A Ranger’s Tale finished.
7. Can you tell us a little about the world of Tallenmare?
It’s a little Tolkien-esque, with elves, halflings, trolls, ogres, wizards, kings, and other familiar fantasy material. There are also surprises—unique races, creatures, and magics—within the ancient castles, mountains, and expansive forests. Danger and intrigue lurk around every corner. And in every book in this series, you’ll find a seemingly impossible love story—men and women up against insurmountable odds to try to find their way back to one another’s arms.
8. I love the characters in the book. Even though it’s a fantasy novel, the characters do feel like real people. Do you think it’s important for characters to be believable?
Absolutely. If a reader doesn’t feel connected, they’re not going to get swept away in the story and root for the characters. I’ve discovered that if I get emotionally affected by a scene when I’m writing it, chances are the readers will too. Also, I have to draw a bit from real-life experience and people, even though this is a fantasy world. I think that helps with authenticity.
9. What are your biggest ambitions for this novel?
I want to tell a story that appeals to both romance and fantasy lovers, and I want A Ranger’s Tale to be the spark that makes people want to return to Tallenmere again and again.
10. If it were made into a film, who would you choose for the main cast?
I’d have to have Bradley Cooper for Galadin, Scarlett Johanssen as Caliphany, and David Beckham as Jayden. I’m not sure I know a short-enough actress who can play Lilly…hmm.
11. What are you working on now?
Book Two of the series, Serenya’s Song, is just about to wrap up. If you liked Jayden in A Ranger’s Tale, then you’ll love him in this one. Here’s a blurb to whet your appetite:
Serenya Crowe is no ordinary woman. As a half-elf, raised by a human stepfather, she’s endured small-town gossip and the cruelty of her husband, Sebastian, The Earl of Summerwind. With the ability to interpret dreams, and a birth defect that forces her wear gloves, life in the small village is never dull. Yet, all she’s ever wanted is to raise a family with a man who loves her. When she meets the new stranger in town, her world, and her heart, are turned upside down.
Wood-elf Jayden Ravenwing used to be the lead scout of the Leogard Intelligence Organization. He left the bustle of Leogard and his failed marriage to make a fresh start in the small town of Summerwind. Now just an ex-secret agent with a jaded past, he wants nothing more than to forget about matters of the heart. He never planned to fall in love again so soon, especially with the enchanting Serenya Crowe.
When a strange portal opens on the Crowe property, Jayden is thrown into an investigation, knowing that if he fails, Serenya and everyone in the town may die.
Together, he and Serenya must overcome an ancient evil and their own inner demons, to save Summerwind and find the love they've always dreamed of.
No one ever said love was easy...
12. What advice would you give to any aspiring authors?
Never give up! If you truly enjoy writing and want to be published, you must work hard and learn to be patient. It takes lots of time to increase your skills, to find a suitable publisher, and to market your work. Don’t expect overnight success. But, don’t complain that you can’t do it. As my mama used to say, “Can’t never could do anything.”
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Next week, I'll be interviewing J.S Council - Author of the Airion series. Until then, thanks to Mysti for taking time out for this interview.
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