As far as my understanding goes, the blending of high fantasy and romance is a relatively small subset of the massive romance genre. What got you interested in romantic fantasy and what has kept you writing in that genre?
My love of fantasy began when I was little and had a 45 record/read-along book of The Hobbit. I fell in romance a few years later when I first read Jane Eyre. Fast forward to early this century when The Lord of the Rings movie came out. Watching Orlando Bloom as Legolas sealed the deal between fantasy and romance. Plus, I’d been playing online roleplaying games for some time and began to write about the characters I created. That’s where Caliphany and A Ranger’s Tale was born.
I love interweaving a strong love story into a world completely born out of my imagination. Beyond the obstacles of “regular” romance, I can employ challenges for the hero and heroine that involve magic, exotic races & creatures, and of course dragons! I can also make said hero and heroine as unique and kick-ass as I want them to be, like Caliphany, who turns out to be a damn good ranger and fire mage.
As a fellow high fantasy writer, I often get asked about my character names. Where do you find inspiration for such names as Galadin Trudeaux and Caliphany?
I try to use names that reflect the character’s race and culture. For instance, high elves like Caliphany Aranea and King Leopold Vaeloria have formal-sounding names that roll easily off the tongue. There are wood elves like Jayden Ravenwing and Zephyrus & Shade Windsong, whose names involve something in nature. Galadin Trudeaux is half elf/half human, so his name reflects his mixed background.
The characters in my next Tallenmere novel—Mirabelle Hearton & Lysander Devlin—are from the cold, mountainous province of Hezral. Their names (with the strong consonants) reflect the culture of the hardy Hezrali people.
What authors have been you inspiration within the genre of romantic fantasy and also outside of the genre?
Mercedes Lackey would be my inspiration for the genre mash-up. There’s everyone’s go-to, Tolkien for the classic fantasy inspiration. I’ve also been greatly influenced by Victoria Holt’s gothic romance since I was a teen.
In your opinion, which widely known author is most similar to your writing style, if any?
Possibly Mercedes Lackey, though one reviewer compared my style in the Tallenmere series to that of Terry Goodkind. I don’t claim to write like any well-known author or as well, and God knows, not better. I just aim to write the best story I can write.
When is your next release and what about that novel sets it apart from your other work?
My newest is actually a shift from fantasy romance to romantic comedy. It’s a set of serial fiction stories called The Roche Hotel, based in part from my own experience working in a hotel in the 90’s. It’s funny with a few heart-tugging spots here and there. No sex, violence, or profanity—probably the cleanest romance I’ve ever written! Hee hee. Here’s the blurb:
After her husband ditches her for a blonde actress wannabe, Jane Seymour needs a job that pays the rent. The struggling Roche Hotel needs a miracle. With the former owner’s wife butting her nose into the renovations and new owners who are in way over their heads, Jane may be the answer to their prayers. Sure, she can handle The Roche Hotel’s quirky staff. But, can this skittish divorcee keep it all together when handsome Henry the Donut Guy makes his first delivery? This collection of serial fiction stories is a Tudorific romantic comedy that will leave you laughing out loud and hungry for more.
Do you have any projects planned for the future that depart from your typical style and genre in a drastic way?
Besides The Roche Hotel, I have a children’s book called “Quentin’s Problem” that should be out within the month. I have another one waiting to be illustrated and another in the planning stages.
I have a historical romance that’s finished and seeking shelter (publication). I’m also writing a contemporary romance with a male author, so that’s my first collaboration. Happy to say it’s going well.
Where can we find your books and blog?
The best place to find my books is on my Amazon Author page: Click Here!
The Roche Hotel is available now for pre-order on Kindle for just $0.99, so readers can save a buck if they order it before the release date of October 15: Click Here!
I’m hosting a Facebook Release Party on October 15 from 6-9 PM EST, so everyone’s welcome to attend. You’ll get a chance to win a nice hotel-themed prize basket! Here’s the event page: Click Here!