Sunday, May 29, 2016

Before the Pages--Bonds of the Runes

I suppose there are as many reasons why a writer will create a specific book as there are books and writers! This particular one has a lot of background.

I had not been a fan of fantasy until my late husband introduced me to Tolkien when we were going together. Of course I fell in love with the Lord of the Rings and then went on to read many of the authors that were popular then and some that are still around and writing. From there I also got into Science Fiction.  Near the same period, my husband and I became very interested in the early Celtic peoples and their myths, legends, spiritual practices and such. I knew my ancestry was mainly Irish and Welsh and Jim's was Scots. We were soon reading all sorts of scholarly books on these peoples, listening to the Celtic revival music that burst onto the scene  about the same time and becoming major Celtophiles. I saw the LOTR movies, of course, and was not too disturbed with the way the elves were portrayed. They might not have been exactly as I envisioned but close enough.

Although I did not try to write in the F&SF genres for a long time, more and more of it began to creep into my fiction. A previous publisher encouraged authors to select themes and write stories based on them which came out in groups of five.  One of those themes was friends to lovers. For that I wrote Beyond the Shadows (this will be re-released later this summer) and before I quite knew what had happened, I was writing what I came to call rural fantasy.  You are all familiar with Urban Fantasy, tales set in our contemporary world but with a difference--some kind of other worldly, paranormal or mythical elements are part of that world. I am not a city person and very rarely set a story in a city so my first efforts in this direction became rural fantasy, happening in the more remote or wild areas. In time this evolved into a loose and continuing series.

From Beyond the Shadows, the idea of a Paranormal Operations Unit of the real U.S. Border Patrol began to take shape. In the second tale of the series, Wings of Love (currently under revision) I introduced Clay Chiles, the head of this new organization. He was a very peripheral character in Wings but even then, I began to sense he needed his own story. Clay is very loosely based on a real person, a dear friend and co-worker, who would not recognize himself should he ever accidentally read this tale! No, he was not gay! There are many other bits and pieces of course; the eyes and a bit of the early life are all I actually used.

Once I got this pair in my head--or maybe out of it?-- things began to evolve. I "met" Arondel, and he let me know at once that he was Elven. Wow! From then on, both he and Clay came out of the mists and began to tell me their story.  I freely admit that elements of the tale came from many places, mostly my reading in the F&SF genres. Still, they emerged in  new or modified forms from what they had been in those books, many read thirty or more years ago.

Oh, the first setting in San Antonio came from my trip to that city to attend an EPIC conference. EPIC is the electronic publishing's professional organization. I loved the canals and went on an evening cruise which was wonderful! I knew I would have to use it in a story, at least a bit, and so it came to be. I may go there again either in fiction or reality someday.

From all this, Runes of Revelation and Runes of Redemption came to be.  Although they were initially published separately and some months apart, they really are one story. Many things are not answered or resolved in Revelation only to come out in Redemption. When I had a chance to revise and reissue these two stories, my new publisher, editor and I decided to put them into one package.  Bonds of the Runes tells the whole story. There is some new material and it is hotter!! I am sure Aron and Clay will appear in cameo roles in future stories in this loose series,  but essentially they have reached their HEA and at least I am satisfied that they will remain a couple throughout this life and probably in future lives as well! I hope readers will also gain this confidence, That is what romance is all about and I *always* write romance, no matter what the other genre of a piece may be!

My next release from Changeling will be a kind of prequel to the Thin Green Line series (I will explain that title in a future post) even though that was not my initial plan for the story! It is titled Jumping Jack Flash and will be a kick-off tale in the Set in Stone group that you will be reading from Changeling for the next year! Yes, there are fantasy elements in Jack too!  More I will not give away just yet.., It is due out in July.  When I have a cover and a final edit, I'll share some on it. Meanwhile enjoy Bonds of the Runes! It is available now at Changeling and will soon be at all the major ebook venues.

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