Archive for the ‘The Daermad Cycle’ Tag

Celebrating the Milestones   2 comments

The blog just raced across the 500 mark today — where did all you lovely people come from? — and Twitter might hit 600 tomorrow (which is amazing considering I wasn’t even on Twitter four months ago) and I try to spend no more than a half-hour a day there.

So, here’s a happy dance.

Now if I can just sell some more books, I will have a good New Years.

http://www.amazon.com/Willow-Branch-Book-Daermad-Cycle-ebook/dp/B00OL13YF2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1420270055&sr=8-3&keywords=The+Willow+Branch

 

Meet My Character – Ryanna   Leave a comment

Ryanna seems to follow Padraig naturally because she is his love interest, but she is also her own woman. She will never need rescuing by Padraig because her sword skills are better than his, which is not to say she’s going to best Tamys or even Gregyn any time soon.

Tall and beautiful by Celdryan standards, this half-elf has grown up in the Kin society where beauty is commonplace.. Strong-willed and brusque, she knows her own strengths, but is occasionally blinded by her weaknesses. Whereas Padraig is guided by an ever-present faith, Ryanna questions herself and her place in the One’s plans.

Ryanna is Padraig’s love interest, but there are no promises between them … no braids have been exchanged … for Ryanna is married to another man. This complicates her relationship with Padraig because the Kin only recognize divorce in very limited circumstances.  Half-elves are known for being hasty and haste is what Ryanna’s first marriage was built upon — hence, her holt (a community of Kin) are slow to grant her divorce.

Ryanna may well be the most powerful sorceress in Daermad and this makes her extremely important to the Kin and possibly all the various factions of druids in Celdrya and may well attract the attention of a powerful Celtic goddess.

In addition to Padraig and her former husband, Ryanna’s other significant relationship is with Sabre, but more on him later. And, then there’s the dragon ….

I love a good mystery, so of course there is a connection between Ryanna and Donyl, but I’m not telling what it is.

Seeking Smashwords/Barnes & Noble Reviews   1 comment

Front Cover UpdateThe Willow Branch is gaining some lovely reviews on Amazon, but it remains unreviewed on Smashwords and Barnes & Noble, even though I’ve sold some books there.

If you want to buy the book and review it, that’s cool.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/485385

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-willow-branch-lela-markham/1120627268?ean=2940046360462

 

 

But I’m willing to be generous just to get the reviews.

Want a free e-book?

I can do that.

If you want to review The Willow Branch, I will provide you with a free copy of the ebook. If you don’t like it, that’s cool — no harm/no foul. I embrace critique — it can only make the series better.

The deal is, however, that you put a review either on Smashwords and/or Barnes & Noble.

Contact me at lelamarkham@gmail.com if you’re interested.

Lots of Lovely Reviews   Leave a comment

Front Cover UpdateThe Willow Branch is slowly gathering a following and some reviews —

https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/community

And this one —

https://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R2WUQQUKTPBBEX/ref=pe_1572281_57869371_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv

Check it out!

http://www.amazon.com/Willow-Branch-Book-Daermad-Cycle-ebook/dp/B00OL13YF2/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419026037&sr=1-1&keywords=the+willow+branch

And, I noticed today that, while I ended the $2.99 sale of the ebook on Monday, the paperback remains marked down to $11.44.

What a great midwinter read!

Or, if  you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, it could be a great beach read!

Fiona McVie Interviews Lela Markham   Leave a comment

https://authorsinterviews.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/here-is-my-interview-with-lela-markham/

 

Lela Markham Davidson Ditch CorrectedName Lela Markham

Age  54

Where are you from  Fairbanks, Alaska

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc  I grew up in Alaska in a series of houses always full of books. I went to college to study journalism before discovering that reporters don’t get paid very well, so now I have a job that pays the mortgage and an avocation to write fiction. I married a man who came to Alaska for adventures. We’ve traveled and risked our lives in the wilderness and raised two fearless offspring. Our daughter is a professional musical gypsy and our son is a budding engineer.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

In October 2014, I published The Willow Branch, Book 1 of the Daermad Cycle, under the Breakwater Harbor Books imprint.

 
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

My mom said I told stories from the time I could talk. A class assignment in the 5th grade made me write one of them down. I hated it, it was awful. After the assignment was over, I rewrote it and that sparked something that continued from then on.

 
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

By 7th or 8th grade I was already thinking of myself as a writer and so were my friends, who would have me compose fan fiction for us to act out when we hung out together. I didn’t think of myself as an author until I published The Willow Branch in October, and I still have a kind of weird reverent feeling when I use the word.

 
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

It was a really cold winter in Fairbanks, so I had cabin fever from being stuck indoors and I wrote a novella – a mystery set on the Olympic Peninsula because we had spent part of the summer there. Those were the long-hand days, so it took about four months to write about 80 pages.I was in 9th grade.

 
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

I’m a genre-hopper. I’m current writing the sequel to The Willow Branch (Mirklin Wood) which is epic high fantasy, but I’m also working on a dystopian thriller set in the near-future of the United States, a mystery-political thriller set in Alaska, and a fiction about repentence, redemption and accepting the things you cannot change. I also write non-fiction. I’m working on a history of American colonial abuse of Alaska. So I think the answer is no, I have no specific writing style. I am a writing Renaissance woman.

 

 

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The story tells me the title. For The Willow Branch, it came about when I decided where I was going to break a huge opus up into smaller segments and the scene where Ryanna receives the willow staff turned out to be the last scene of the book. So that became the tentative “working” title for Book One. When I reread the story for revision, I realized that willows appear throughout the book, so The Willow Branch became the actual title. Mirklin Wood was named in a similar fashion. I don’t yet have titles for the rest of the books in the Cycle because they haven’t revealed them to me yet and nothing is set in stone until publication. Mirklin Wood has changed its title three times, I think.

 
71rYAYxfZsL._SL1500_Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

There’s several messages. I touch on racism, faith, the misuse of power … but the primary one for me is that we really have to know our past in order to understand our present and, hopefully, improve our future.

 
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

Well, it’s a fantasy, so that definitely requires some suspension of disbelief. On the other hand, many of the landscapes described come from places I’ve visited. I also did extensive research into Celtic religion and culture and Medieval history for the culture depicted. I also try to include in anything I write a very viseral experience. My streets stink of ale and running feces, for example. That came from encountering a street in a third world country. I try to infuse my books with details that bring the reader into the scenes.

 
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Again, it’s a fantasy, but yes, there are experiences from my own life that have shaped characters in The Willow Branch and I’ve borrowed elements for use in some of the fictional events. But I so disguise most of what I borrow that not even my husband would recognize it from our lives.

 
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?

The Bible, not just for its spiritual aspects, but because it is so rich in relationships and human interactions that are a vast resource for a writer. I am a huge reader, so there are many books that have influenced my life at various stages – the great masters of fantasy, sci-fi and dystopian would be high on the list, but I’ve also read everything Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway and Madeleine L’Engle ever wrote

 
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I have to choose one? Ouch! There are so many writers I have learned from by reading their writing or following their blogs. Ray Bradbury, if I had to choose just one, but that wouldn’t be fair to the others.

 
Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’m reading several right now. George RR Martin’s Dance with Dragons and Kate Elliott’s Cold Steel are the mainstream market books on my nightstand currently. But I’m also reading some small-press and self-published authors.

 
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

There’s a Breakwater Harbor Books author Ted Cross who wrote a sci-fi dystopian thriller “Immorality Game”. CMT Stibbe who wrote “Chasing Pharoahs” and the “Fowlers Snare” which are historical fantasy set in Egypt. Nicholas Kotas who wrote “Raven Son,” a fantasy based on Russian fairy tales.

 
Fiona: What are your current projects?

The second book in the Daermad Cycle is underway. It’s about two-thirds written. I hope to publish Mirklin Wood in early 2016. I’m working on a dystopian thriller about a small town trying to survive in the aftermath of a widespread terrorist attack. It’s working title is “A Well in Emmaus”, but that may end up being the series title. It’s got 70,000 words banged out, but it’s shorter and less complicated than a fantasy, so it might be published next summer. I’m playing around with a mystery political thriller set in Alaska which does not have a name currently. I also have several works in progress that may or may not ever be published.

 
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

My faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and muse.

 

 

 

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

 I consider myself a bi-vocational writer. It doesn’t pay my bills and I don’t know that it ever will, but it is a profession that I am engaged in that I am serious about and is as important to me as my money job.

 
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Well, the beauty of self-publishing is that if I run across something that I don’t like, so long as it’s not a substantive change, I can fix it. But, no, I think it’s headed in the direction it needs to go and I’m pleased with that. I’m open to critique though, so if someone reading my book finds typos or stuff that really bugs them, they’re welcome to send me messages and I’ll take it under advisement. Not promising I’ll change anything,  but I’m open to suggestions that might make the rest of the Cycle better.

 

 
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Telling stories is something I’ve done since I could talk. Writing them down was simply the logical thing to do. I’ve always watched television shows and movies and thought “That could be better”, which has sometimes inspired me to write something. Characters appear in my head and they want me to write their story. It’s hard to say where it originates from. It just sort of flows out of me and demands an outlet.

 

 

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

From A Well in Emmaus

She stood before the safe, one hand beckoning, the other holding the cloth-wrapped bundle. Her face hid behind the veil, but her large dark eyes were sad and angry. Shane slid up the wall, bracing himself in the corner, scrubbing tears from his stinging eyes with the heels of his hands. Time had come.

It had been years since he’d thought about God, let alone prayed. His heart had been certain that there was no god. Yet a verse floated up from some long-forgotten Sunday School. “… your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

“This is my kingdom come,” Shane whispered. “What I earned on earth and in heaven.”

Her eyes demanded his obedience and his legs complied. The locked safe was no deterrent as he knew the combination. Guns on the right, clips on the left. The 9mm felt light in his hand. Unloaded! He always unloaded when he came home from a trip. The clip slid easily home and the gun felt right. Heavy. Final.

She stood to his left as she had that night, clutching the bundle to her chest. Shane raised the gun as if to fire at her, but then turned it, put the barrel up under his chin, deep in the curve of his jaw and pulled the trigger.

CLICK! The sound echoed through the room like a shot, but far quieter.

Not bang? Shane felt invisible blood coating his hands as he stared at the gun, bewildered why his life hadn’t just ended. He hadn’t primed the first round. Racking the slide, he heard the round slip into the chamber.

“If you’re going to do it, do it right? Don’t risk flinching, blowing your face off and living.”

That voice was not his or hers, but it had a point. Shane stared at the barrel, tongue working at the thought of putting it in his mouth. Her eyes bore into his soul while blood stuck his fingers together. She wanted this.

“This is my kingdom come,” Shane whispered again. When you serve Satan, you reap the whirlwind. He raised the gun and opened his mouth to receive the barrel, ignoring the taste of carbon and gun oil, and froze just before he pulled the trigger.

“We are … we are … the youth of the nation! We are … we are … the youth of the nation!”

The cell phone echoed out of the safe, the long unheard ring tone jarring Shane from head to toe. He flinched, dropped the gun, covering his head as he watched it drop. It hit the threadbare carpet, bounced then slid toward the bed.

 

 

Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?


My characters write themselves, so getting them to do things that are important to the plot but against their nature is impossible. Sometimes it takes a lot of revision to get the plot to go where I want it to go with the characters I have – and occasionally, I have to create a character for a specific purpose and that never really feels right to me until the character starts to “live” on his or her own.

 

 

Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?


Favorite author? Wow, that would be hard to narrow down. Among my favorite authors is Kate Elliott and I admire her writing because she does such great world-building. You really feel like you’re visiting this culture you’ve never known before, but could be just around the corner.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

Thanks to the Internet, no, which is extremely fortunate because it takes several hundred dollars and a minimum 6-hour plane ride to get anywhere from Alaska.

 
Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I do … so far. I collaborated with my daughter, who is also a semi-professional artist. She suggested the image and I took it from there since musical gypsies don’t have reliable Internet connections. Unfortunately, the quality turned out so great on The Willow Branch cover that I may have to hire a professional to keep up with my own standards.

 
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Revision. It’s hard to see where your own work needs paring. It feels like you’re criticizing your baby. I have been fortunate to find beta readers with good suggestions that I felt comfortable following.

 
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

It is easier to be ruthless in revision when I’ve printed out the book. After spending so much time with it on the computer, having it in a different format takes away a lot of the warm-fuzzy feeling and makes it easier to used the red pen.

 
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Read everything you can get your hands on and not just the genre(s) you like. Study history, economics, military strategy, forensic psychology. Then write everyday about anything. If you get stuck on a story line, switch to another and keep writing. And remember “Good, better, best, never it let it rest” … at least until you hit Publish on KDP.

 
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

The Willow Branch is just the start of an epic fantasy that will get bigger and better as the Daermad Cycle goes along. Join me and hang on tight.

 

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

 Probably the Pokie Little Puppy, but the first book I ever read for my own enjoyment was My Friend Flicka, I think. Or it might have been On the Banks of Plum Creek. They were the same winter. I was in 3rd grade.

 

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

 I only cry in sorrow or sometimes anger. I’ve never understood the whole “happy tears” thing. My husband, who will cry at a sappy movie before I do, makes me laugh. So does my daughter. They riff on anything and it is just hilarious. I have a truly inappropriate sense of humor so I’m often laughing inside, cracking wise in my own head, when others are not thinking it’s funny at all. I’m a big believer that life’s miseries are easier to get through if you can laugh at them. My favorite comic is Christopher Titus, not surprisingly.

 

 

Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?

 Priscilla, the wife of Aquila, from the Bible because I want to know if she was one of the writers of the letter to the Hebrews. Some scholars believe she may have been involved. I also think it would be great to hear her lie to rest the nonsense that the Christian church doesn’t respect women. Some of the earlier leaders were women and Priscilla was one.

 

 

Fiona: What do you want written on your headstone and why ?

“I’ll leave the light on. Follow soon.”

 

 

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

Quilting, hiking, home remodelling, cover design.

 

 

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

The Walking Dead, Haven, Miss Fischer’s Murder Mysteries, Supernatural on television. Divergence and The Hobbit films on movie.

 

 

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Chinese food and chocolate cheese cake (not together). Green and orange in all their varieties with a little blue tossed in. Music depends on my mood and what I am writing. The Willow Branch would not have been possible without Celtic music, but other genres need other types of music. I like classic rock probably the best. The Eagles are my favorite band.

 

 

Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?

That is an impossible question to answer because writing is so much a part of my life, even when I am doing other things. I’m not sure I could be those other things if I were not a writer.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?

I have two websites and linkage across the Internet

 

https://aurorawatcherak.wordpress.com/ is my main site where I babble about everything.

 

http://thewillowbranchbookonedaermadcycle.wordpress.com/ which is book and writing specific

 

I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, Goggle +, Tumbler, and now Rebel Mouse and Goodreads. Good heavens, that’s WAY too much social media.

71rYAYxfZsL._SL1500_

Amazon book link – http://www.amazon.com/Willow-Branch-Book-Daermad-Cycle-ebook/dp/B00OL13YF2/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417827111&sr=1-1&keywords=the+willow+branch

Who Killed Prince Maryn?   3 comments

71rYAYxfZsL._SL1500_I kill off my main character up to that point at the end of the first scene and the mystery of why Prince Maryn died drives much of the rest of the story in The Willow Branch.

No, I’m not going to tell you why or who killed Maryn. You have to buy the book to find out, but it’s one of the things that I hope is different about my epic fantasy from other epic fantasies. I mixed a little mystery in with the magic and sentient animals.

Who killed Prince Maryn? And why?

If a reader comes up with a good guess, they could win a free copy of the sequel Mirklin Wood when it publishes.

For now, The Willow Branch is available on Amazon or through Smashwords at several retailers.

http://www.amazon.com/Willow-Branch-Book-Daermad-Cycle-ebook/dp/B00OL13YF2/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417970142&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Willow+Branch

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/485385

 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-willow-branch-lela-markham/1120627268?ean=2940046360462

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-willow-branch

https://www.overdrive.com/media/2014881/the-willow-branch

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Lela_Markham_The_Willow_Branch?id=AStXBQAAQBAJ

World Building in Fantasy   1 comment

Front Cover UpdateThe world you build in a fantasy novel is as much a character as the ones who speak. It is with this world-building that fantasy authors bring you into the rich tapestry of that world and ease you into a suspension of disbelief necessary for the enjoyment of fantasy.

The geography presents challenges and benefits to your characters that become integral to the story. The challenges particularly provide a point of conflict to oppose your characters. A mountain range or a swamp can act as a barrier to progress or a shield against abuse. It can explain why some people in your novel are rich and some are poor or why certain characters work in the professions they do.

Political and social systems play are huge role in The Willow Branch. The political system is in flux. A monarchy without a monarch is not only vulnerable to attack from outside forces, but subject to transformation into something else. While the nobles fight over territory, they leave the commons struggling to survive, which sets up a rich versus poor conflict that is hinted in the beginning and will grow over time.

Writers should indulge in some personal historian-like behavior when world building. It won’t usually make it on the page, but some notes about who the founding king was or the pivotal events of the society were will help lend authenticity to your world.

My streets stink!

No, seriously! They do! I want them to. I want my readers to know that a city street is a fetid place filled with odors of sewage and rancid cooking oil. It’s a place of meat pies and roast gamehen, of ale and water that shouldn’t probably be drank without some ale mixed in. This engages the senses and provides the reader with yet another hook to hang his hat on.

Map of Celdrya for PublicationI am not a Trekker. I created a few Elvish words and borrowed a great many more from Gaelic to set a mood in The Willow Branch, but I didn’t try to invent a language. But you might notice the lilt in the Celdryan narrative and dialogue drops away in the Kindred sections. This is because the Kin don’t speak Celdryan, which is based on Gaelic. Those tongue-twisting Kindred names are based on Asian naming conventions because I want you to know there is something altogether different about the Kin compared to the Celts and it isn’t just that the Kin are elven.

I have magical people in my tale. The Kin and a handful of Celdryans are naturally magical — they don’t need rituals and techniques. They are what they are. The mages, however, are magicians. They wield magic through techniques and rituals learned from decades of study. Why is this important? Because Daermad, the land of the Celts and the Kin, is a naturally magical place and some people are naturally attuned to it while others can only manipulate the magic. Why?

Read the book to find out.

Ebook: http://www.amazon.com/Willow-Branch-Book-Daermad-Cycle-ebook/dp/B00OL13YF2/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417651490&sr=1-1&keywords=the+willow+branch

Paperback:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Willow-Branch-Daermad-Volume/dp/0990935817/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1417651490&sr=1-1

 

Lela Markham Interviewed by Cross Words   1 comment

http://tedacross.blogspot.com/2014/12/author-interview-lela-markham.html#comment-form

Author Interview — Lela Markham

Joining the small publisher Breakwater Harbor Books has allowed me to get to know some really awesome writers. I’m happy today to get to interview one of those writers, Lela Markham. I haven’t yet finished reading the entire book, but her Celtic high fantasy novel The Willow Branch is truly fascinating so far. Since reading Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain as a child I have loved Celtic tales, and The Willow Branch is a story all lovers of Celtic myth will enjoy.

Lela, tell us a bit about yourself:

Thanks for having me, Ted. I grew up and still live in Alaska, where my family has lived off-and-on since the 1930s. I’ve traveled, but this is home and an adventure like none other. I live in a small city with all the modern conveniences, but I’m half-an-hour from real wilderness where the wildlife is in charge. And since my husband insists upon going out into that wilderness, I’ve had plenty of adventures and raised two fearless offspring.

I envy you, as I’ve always wanted to visit Alaska. Hopefully I can someday. When did you begin writing?

My mother claims I told stories as soon as I could talk, but a teacher in the 5th grade made me write one of them down. I hated the assignment – it was planned and felt really stilted – but I got the highest grade in the class and the teacher said I had talent. Talent will only get you so far, so I decided to rewrite the story for my own pleasure. I think it was still horrible, but the exercise ignited something in me – a passion for writing that has never gone out. I’ve kept working at it, trying to hone my skills (which is shaped talent) for four decades now. I trained as a journalist, worked as a small-town reporter and then decided I’d rather work for a living wage and write fiction for my own pleasure. I try to learn from others, but also recognize that my voice is unique and sometimes I have to with what it says.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

That I can choose or create where I want to go in my head and populate it with people and settings that I want to explore and that I can take other people with me.

What inspires you to write?

The world provides plenty of inspiration – news, movies, conversations you overhear in the grocery store, my pastor’s sermons, the anarcho-capitalists of Fairbanks …. I used to work in the mental health field and a psychiatrist told me once that the only difference between writers and schizophrenics is that writers (usually) know there’s a difference between what’s going on in their head and actual reality and I think I represent that. Writing flows out of me and demands that I create. Wherever I go and whatever I’m doing, I get inspiration and that translates into stories and I jot them down in a stenographer’s pad for later use in whatever story I end up developing.

What is your writing process?

When stories first start to develop, there’s no plan or even a plot. Usually, a character will start to form in my head while I’m doing something mundane – washing dishes or filing at work. That character will start to tell me his/her story. If that character hangs around for a while (and they don’t all do that), then I’ll write something about them to see what follows. If a world starts to develop around that character, then I will start to outline and bring in other pieces of writing from the “notebook cache.” Eventually, I’ll decide that this story needs a direction and an ending and I’ll begin to fashion the story to flow that way and step up key milestones and determine which characters are willing to do what at any given point. Since my characters really write themselves, often my writing process is about figuring out what they will and will not do, because they have their own personalities and limitations and it is up to me as the writer to find out what those are.

Where do you like to write?

I don’t have a favorite place to write. For many years, we lived in a tiny cabin where my computer was in the main living room, so I grew used to writing with people around and televisions blaring in the background. Now that I have a laptop, I write during my breaks at work, on planes, in the bedroom, by the wood stove, in the kitchen, in coffee shops, on the deck in the sun, sometimes during water breaks on hikes (I use a paper notebook for those last two). I’ll jot down ideas that come to me when I’m watching movies with the family. Some places tend to lend themselves to certain stories and others don’t, but I will literally write anywhere and anytime. Generally, I drink coffee or tea while I’m writing and I don’t usually eat because I hate crumbs in the keyboard. When I’m getting down to the serious parts of writing, it’s usually just me, my laptop, music in the background, a cup of coffee, and the continuity notebook for whatever book I’m working on.

I admire that tenacity. I’m so picky about writing that I have to have silence and I only work in my office at home! What is something you’ve written that will never see the light of day?

In high school, I wrote a lot of fan fictions for my friends based on TV shows we all liked, but were ultimately awful or maybe great because they got canceled. I think maybe I improved on them. My husband found a box of it and stuck it in a binder, but it will never be published because of copyright concerns. It was actually a great exercise, taking so-so episodic writing and making it better, giving minor characters fuller attention, finishing stories that were canceled mid-season. Call it weight-lifting for writers.

What’s the hardest thing about writing for you?

Ending a story. Even when I’ve decided how it will end, I often do not want to say goodbye to the surviving characters. I think I write series for that reason. I know how the Daermad Cycle is going to end, but I have a nice long while before I get there.

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

I’ve written dozens over the decades, but I’ve officially finished only four and those are in various stages of revision or restructuring, except The Willow Branch. The door is shut on that. Onward to Mirklin Wood. My favorite is probably my dystopian A Well in Emmaus, which will be a series. I get to bring in a lot of threads from political philosophy, history, anarchism, faith, psychology, even economics and I really love that. I think the Daermad Cycle is my second, and again, because it is so intricate.

What are some of your favorite books?

Zenna Henderson’s People collection were my first introduction to fantasy (they called it sci-fi back then, but it isn’t really). I have a soft spot for it still. Madelein L’Engle’s books remain favorites, especially The Young Unicorns. I have a library full of classics – Austen, Dickens, Hemingway. I love the letters of the American Founders. My favorite fantasy authors are Katharine Kerr and Kate Elliott. My favorite sci-fi authors are still Bradbury, Heinlein and Asimov. I re-read Fahrenheit 451 last year and was surprised at how prescient Bradbury was – he described ear buds and wide-screen media rooms 50 years before they existed and his take on the alienation of modern America is stunning.

Since we’re both new to Breakwater Harbor Books imprint, tell me about your experience with them.

I’ve known Scott Toney and Cara Goldthorpe from Authonomy for a long time. I think Scott’s Ark of Humanity might have been the first or second book I read on the site and I backed it to the ED for a year. Scott gave me lots of feedback on The Willow Branch right after I came out with a major rewrite. Then we sort of lost contact until he found me or I found him on Facebook a few months ago. I checked out the BHB website and complimented him and then he asked me if I was interested in joining the imprint. I had already done most of the work on The Willow Branch. Scott Butcher, who is not part of BHB, acted as my editor for it — it was a read-swap that went above and beyond. I literally agreed to join BHB three days before the ebook launch. Since then, it’s been a warm and welcoming atmosphere and I’ve picked up a few author interviews from the relationship (both interviewing me and then my interviewing others, which drives traffic to my blog). Scott was moving houses, so things were quiet for a while, but now I see how being a member of a group of writers will allow me access to alpha and beta readers, critique on cover art, and help with promotion. Ivan appears to be a Twitter warrior, which I am ambivalent about, but I enjoy blogging, so I could support him there. That sort of thing. It’s tough being an indie author, but if we can find ways to work together, to play off of each other’s strengths, then we become better publishers as a group.

Promo Blurb from my press kit —

Lela Markham is the pen name of an Alaskan novelist who was raised in a home built of books. Alaska is a grand adventure like none other with a culture that embraces summer adventure and winter artist pursuits.

Lela has been a journalist, worked in the mental health field and is currently works for the State of Alaska, but her avocation has always been storyteller.

Her first published book The Willow Branch begins an exploration of the world of Daermad where a fractured kingdom leaves two races vulnerable to destruction by a third and opens the opportunity to mend old wounds. Lela drew inspiration from Celtic mythology, Alaskan raven legends and the Bible to craft a tale of war, faith and reconciliation. And, don’t forget … Celtic goddesses, sentient animals and dragons.

Lela shares her life with her adventuresome husband and two fearless offspring and a sentient husky who keeps a yellow Lab as a pet.

aurorawatcherak@wordpress.com

thewillowbranch@wordpress.com

Lela in the lovely Alaskan wilderness

Back Cover Pitch:

A healer must mend a fractured kingdom and bring two enemy races together before a greater enemy destroys them both.

Fate took Prince Maryn by surprise, leaving Celdrya to tear itself apart. A century later an army amasses against the warring remains of the kingdom as prophesy sends a half-elven healer on a journey to find the nameless True King. Padraig lacks the power to put the True King on the throne, yet compelled by forces greater than himself, Padraig contends with dark mages, Celtic goddesses, human factions and the ancient animosities of two peoples while seeking a myth. With all that distraction, a man might meet the True King and not recognize him.

The Willow Branch is available on Amazon and Smashwords!

The Willow Branch Paperback   Leave a comment

Front Cover UpdateJust $13.49 on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Willow-Branch-Book-Daermad-Cycle/dp/0990935817/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417402416&sr=1-3&keywords=the+willow+branch

Sale – One More Day   Leave a comment

Front Cover UpdateThe Willow Branch is marked down to $2.99 through Cyber Monday.

http://www.amazon.com/Willow-Branch-Book-Daermad-Cycle-ebook/dp/B00OL13YF2/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417309935&sr=1-1&keywords=the+willow+branch

thebibliophagist

a voracious reader. | a book blogger.

cupidcupid999

adventure, art, nature, travel, photography, wildlife - animals, and funny stuff

Republic-MainStreet

The Peaceful Revolution Liberate Main Street

atleastihaveafrigginglass

What could possibly go wrong?

Who the Hell Knows?

The name says it all.

Rebellious Hazelnuts

Surreal Stories, Very Tall Tales

Adjusting My Sails

When the wind doesn't blow the way you want, adjust your sails

Stine Writing

Poetry, Positivity, and Connecting!

Writer vs the World

In search of beauty, inspired by literature.

%d bloggers like this: