Today, we'd like to welcome author Marsha A. Moore to the blog. Marsha's books are a combination of fantasy and romance, so both Alexia and I have something to look forward to, in them! Marsha has also graciously agreed to giveaway one e-book copy of her Seeking a Scribe: Enchanted Legend One book to a lucky winner. Remember to enter the giveaway at the end of the interview!
So, let's get started!
Describe your series? What genre would you classify it into? Is it more romance or more fantasy?
The Enchanted Bookstore Legends are about Lyra McCauley, a woman destined to become one of five strong women in her family who possess unique magical abilities and serve as Scribes in Dragonspeir. The Scribes span a long history, dating from 1200 to present day. Each Scribe is expected to journey through Dragonspeir, both the good and evil factions, then draft a written account. Each book contains magic with vast implications.
Lyra was first introduced to Dragonspeir as a young girl, when she met the high sorcerer, Cullen Drake, through a gift of one of those enchanted books. Using its magic, he escorted her into the parallel world of Dragonspeir. Years later, she lost that volume and forgot the world and Cullen. These legends begin where he finds her again—she is thirty-five, standing in his enchanted bookstore, and Dragonspeir needs her.
When Lyra reopens that enchanted book, she confronts a series of quests where she is expected to save the good Alliance from destruction by the evil Black Dragon. While learning about her role, Lyra and Cullen fall in love. He is 220 years old and kept alive by Dragonspeir magic. Cullen will die if Dragonspeir is taken over by the evil faction…Lyra becomes the Scribe.
The genre is fantasy romance, weighted more toward fantasy since there is a lot of complex adventure.
How do you come up with the idea for the series?
The Enchanted Bookstore Legends are basically a fantasy lover’s dream, being able to step into a favorite book as a character. I know my initial inspiration came after watching the recent Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland movie. From that, I wanted to work with parallel worlds and have a heroine who must save the fantasy world from danger. But, I wanted it to be more adult in order to deal with more complex feelings. Beyond that, I just see fantasy stories all around me. It comes naturally.
Who is your favourite character from your books? Is there a character in your books you think the readers will hate?
Easily I would be Lyra, the heroine and main character of my Enchanted Bookstore Legends. Reality always forms the framework of my stories. Actually, since this is a five-part series and I’m currently writing book #3, the more I look at this story, the more of myself I see. My heroine, Lyra, is very much connected to me. Even in the first chapter of the first book, the childhood memories brought to her mind by Cullen’s magical tea are actually all mine.
My crit partners have a strong dislike for Eburscon, the Imperial Alchemist. He’s greedy for power and aims to steal Lyra’s scribal aura—a very ruthless character.
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
I didn’t struggle with the first two books of these Enchanted Bookstore Legends, but had a difficult time finding what internal conflict my heroine needed to deal with in the third book. I actually had to live it, pass through a difficult experience in my own life with the recent passing of my mother, in order to see what the character needed to do. That was a real moment of discovery for me since I’d been too close to the forest to see the trees, so-to-speak.
Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
That while I can dream up an amazing fantasy setting and a whole cast of interesting characters and creatures who interact based upon believable external problems, I must draw from my own experiences for the internal conflicts.
What are your current projects? When is your next book coming out?
I’m currently finishing up writing the third Enchanted Bookstore Legend: Lost Volumes. I’m expecting a September release for that book. I’ve also been planning a new series. I like to think about my plans for a new book or series over several months, fitting the pieces together.
I write epic fantasy with romantic elements and will likely do more in that subgenre. I also enjoy reading magical realism, mythpunk, and mythic fiction—all subgenres that sit on the border between fantasy and literary fiction. I expect my writing will shift in that direction over time.
I like the complexity of fantasy, the feeling of being transported into another world. However, most fantasy books are written for young adults. In my reading, I longed to find more fantasies written for adults. The element of romance I include is far less about adding sex than about adding deeper connections between the hero and heroine, allowing them to be more three-dimensional and work with more complex issues.
What book are you reading now? Which are your all-time favourite authors / books?
Right now, I’m reading Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb and One Song: A New Illuminated Rumi by Michael Green.
I loved Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. The symbolism is amazing; the more you read, the more layers you find. Inspired by that, I like to hide things in my stories.
Give us three “Good to Know” facts about you, something you could not read just about anywhere.
1. I just this week signed up for a year-long yoga teacher certification program and am very eager for that to start.
2. I love to knit in the hammock in our lanai while the sun sets. Dusk is my favorite time of the day.
3. I talk to pelicans while I sit on our dock or kayak around the lagoon.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers?
A description of Heritage Avenged: Enchanted Bookstore Legend Two, my current release:
Lyra McCauley receives an alarming letter from the coroner who evaluated her deceased aunt, originally thought to have died of cancer. The news causes Lyra to take leave from her job and travel from sunny Tampa to the frozen island community in northern Michigan. Questioning whether Dragonspeir magic was responsible for her aunt’s death, she resolves to learn the truth and accepts the Imperial Dragon’s appointment into the Alliance sorcery training.
Additionally, becoming proficient in magic craft is the only way she can bridge the gap between her mortal human world and her lover’s. Cullen, a 220-year-old wizard, is dependent upon his Dragonspeir magic for immortality. He is her only family now; she cannot lose him.
Evil forces block her and try to steal her inherited scribal aura. Riding a stealth dragon, a cloaked rider pursues Lyra. Both the Alliance and Dark Realm alchemists lay tricks and traps. Her aura equals that of the first and most powerful Scribe, but will Lyra’s novice training allow her to discover the truth…and find a life with Cullen? Or will the Dark Realm keep them apart?
How easy or difficult is it to create a different world for fantasy novels? World building vs. character building, which is more important?
I find it really easy to world build. It’s my favorite part of the process. I begin with a setting I find interesting, somewhere I’d like to spend some time. In writing fantasy, world-building is everything. Then, I create the main characters, appearance and personality. From there, how they will become involved goes hand-in-hand with developing the plot. I do outline a lot, since there are many interwoven subplots in this series. This series is epic in scope, and details would get lost if I didn’t plan. Outside of the key features on the outline, I do allow the in-between progress in each chapter to flow freely, which I enjoy a lot. Some of the most imaginative bits arise that way.
If you could not write in the fantasy genre, what would you be writing?
I especially enjoy reading magical realism, mythpunk, and mythic fiction—all subgenres that are considered literary fiction. Writing in those genres appeals do me, and I expect my writing will shift in that direction over time.
ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?
Ebooks for fiction, but paper or hard copies for references
Cats or dogs?
Coffee or tea?
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream?
Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
I prefer to write in the morning or the evening, not mid-day. I usually write after dinner. I like writing outside in our lanai.
List 3 of your all-time favourite movies?
Pan’s Labyrinth, Chocolat, The Last of the Mohicans
What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
Once Upon a Time
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About Marsha A. Moore
Marsha A. Moore loves to write fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Her creativity also spills into watercolor painting and drawing. After a move from Toledo to Tampa in 2008, she's happily transforming into a Floridian, in love with the outdoors.Crazy about cycling, she usually passes the 1,000 mile mark yearly. She is learning kayaking and already addicted. She's been a yoga enthusiast for over a decade and that spiritual quest helps her explore the mystical side of fantasy. She never has enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at new stories with toes wiggling in the sand. Every day at the beach is magical!
About Seeking a Scribe: Enchanted Bookstore Legend One
Lyra McCauley is a writer and loves fantasy novels, but until she opens a selection from bookstore owner Cullen Drake, she has no idea he’s a wizard character who lives a double life inside that volume…or the story’s magic will compel her from the edge of depression to adventure, danger, and love.
His gift to Lyra, the Book of Dragonspeir, was actually her copy, misplaced years ago. Lost in her pain following divorce and death, she fails to recognize him as her childhood playmate from the fantasy land. Friendship builds anew. Attraction sparks. But Lyra doubts whether a wizard is capable of love. She’s torn—should she protect her fragile heart or risk new love?
Opening the book’s cover, she confronts a quest: save Dragonspeir from destruction by the Black Dragon before he utilizes power of August’s red moon to expand his strength and overthrow the opposing Imperial Dragon. Lyra accepts the challenge, fearing Cullen will perish if evil wins. Along with magical animal guides, Cullen helps her through many perils, but ultimately Lyra must use her own power…and time is running out.