“Tag! You’re it!”

Well, okay, maybe that’s not what KG MacGregor said. She actually asked if I wanted to jump in, and I agreed.

That’s what a blog tour is, though — a game of tag between blog authors, a celebration of linkage from one to another. A modern version of the dread chain letter. (And hopefully more welcome than that drivel!)

Being the shy and demure person I am, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to toot my own horn!

TOOT!

All right. Stick with me, kids, and I’ll tag someone at the end of this post. (You could scroll down and check first, if you like. I won’t blame you for not listening to me blither!)

What are you working on?

My current project is called Darkstone. It’s a contemporary dark fairy tale revolving around two women with gifts and goals that are at odds.

Naomi is a sweet young woman — kind-hearted, compassionate and empathic. Despite such positive characteristics, she’s been trained to kill. Her target is unknown to her. She only knows that it’s one person, an individual with the inate power to open a dimensional door that will destroy the world. She’s lived with most of her youth on hold, unable to commit to experiencing life when she knows she must extinguish it.

Sweet isn’t a word to describe Joram Darkstone.

A gifted musician, she’s been raised in ignorance of her true talent. The man who plucked her from the streets as a child isn’t a man to be trifled with. Her youth was one of pain and anger, and always the impassioned need to succeed — first as her patron’s heir; second to crawl out from under his domineering thumb and break free of him. She has the voice of an angel, a voice that will open doors she has no idea are closed.

The two meet and fall for each other. Naomi struggles with a desire to experience love without betraying it by an act of murder in some hazy future. Joram has to learn to release her anger and trust her heart, a heart that’s been scarred by the wars in her soul. They’ll both be tugged in different directions by their loyalties to their adopted families and each other.

How does your work differ from others in the same genre?

This is a trick question, isn’t it? (Sly grin.)

First and foremost, of course, is the fact that every author brings their own voice to their writings. That alone will cause my work to be different from, say…SX Meagher’s!

But that’s not what you mean, I think.

I think the best answer I can give is that my work differs.

Yep, that’s it.

Broken Trails is a contemporary romance wrapped in the Iditarod sled dog race. Tiopa Ki Lakota is a historical romance about the Lakota Sioux and set in the mid 1700s. On Azrael’s Wings is a culture clash between royalty and slavery in a fantasy setting.

My three most recent novels have been post-apocalyptic, cyberpunk and space opera respectively.

I have a tough time settling down to one sub-genre. (Lesbian romance is a genre all on its own!)

It probably doesn’t help that I read just as widely as I write. I have only one shelf of fiction in my house, and it holds SF, fantasy, lesbian romance and a couple of literary novels. I have just as much non-fiction and role-play gaming materials.

And, like my writing, there are a multitude of different writing styles out there. In our genre we have standard formulaic romances, adventure romances, historical, humor and mysteries. There’s something for everyone!

Why do you write what you do?

Years ago I read a lot of Xena: Warrior Princess fan fiction. A lot. I read myself to bursting until there wasn’t anything left.

(Yeah, this was the dark ages of that fandom. Nowadays I think it’s impossible to actually read every Xena fanfic — there’s just too many out there!)

But I couldn’t find the story I wanted to read. I’d stumbled across a couple of Xena/Highlander crossover tales. (Five to be exact.) They were all too short and set in historical times. I wrote the story I wanted to read.

I’ve attempted writing science fiction and fantasy in my wild, misspent geeky youth. Never made it far. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon lesbian romance that everything clicked for me.

I write what I want to read. I’m just lucky that you folks want to read it too.

How does your writing process work?

Whenever I get an idea for a novel, I write it down. I used to have an Excel spreadsheet. Then I found Evernote and upgraded everything there.

Once a year I go through those ideas (they number in the seventies now,) as I figure out the next year’s goals. As I read through them, my muse will want to jot down an additional idea or two to flesh each of them out. I’ll then choose one or two of those that are most attractive to me and put them on the year’s goals.

You can see on the right column that I have two books I wanted to write this year, Darkstone and Ulina Mokupuni. I’m about fifty thousand words into Darkstone, just over the halfway mark, I think. UM is a book I’ve been plotting off and on for three years or so. It’s got ten thousand words to it — not much at all.

I have a goal of one thousand words a day, and I write about five days a week (when I write…motivation has been difficult lately.) I know that if I put my nose to the grindstone, I could get at least two, maybe three novels out in a year. I’d rather not do that, though, because then I’m too stressed. The manuscripts will suffer. I write a couple of hours every morning.

That’s it.

The Big Question

Bigger than the four earlier ones!

“Redhawk! Who are you tagging in this blog tour?”

Only a good friend and awesome author, of course! Her historical romances put all my novels to shame. I can’t imagine the amount of research and knowledge it takes to write her tales (and I’m a self-proclaimed research junkie!)

Introducing Nene Adams, the author of the Gaslight Series as well as a ton of Victorian novels, science fiction and poetry. Take it away, Nene!