Monday, July 13, 2015

The Dark Lady Series by R.J. Hore: Interview with Excerpt

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Welcome!  Thanks so much for stopping by today and answering a few questions!  Does travel play in the writing of your books?
Travel does give me ideas for a story, mountains, seaside, almost anything can. This week I was driving out in the country. It was misty and smoky from distant forest fires. Through the mist I could just make out large grain-handling buildings at a rail siding. The next thing I thought of was castles in the mist on a flat landscape and I had another idea for a story. I’ve been to England twice and love crawling through old castles. Suits the kind of tales I write.

Tell us about your current release.

The Dark Lady Trilogy came about in search of an answer to how did evil queens get their bad reputations. Then I veered away from that idea a bit but I was off and running with a plot about a young girl who wakes up one morning to discover she is the sole heir to an ancient kingdom and everyone wants to control (or kill) her. The first book has what I felt was a satisfactory ending but left a lot of story still to be told. My publisher asked for more and I was happy to oblige with two more novels, making my heroine a couple of years older each time. It was fun to develop the character of the heroine Nefasti and those around her. The expanded story allows for them to grow.

Tell us about your next release.

I wrote another novel, The Queen’s Pawn which came out a year or two ago. When the publisher requested more I wrote a second novel and am working on a third. The second in that tale should be out this year but we haven’t decided on a title yet. This time I wrote from the point of view of a helpless young man who is being constantly led astray by the scheming women and girls surrounding him. Had a lot of fun getting him into trouble.

What was your first sale as an author?

I had short stories appear in a collection put out by our writer’s group, and won a short story contest with a romantic ghost tale, but my first sale to a major anthology came when I was invited to submit to an anthology of modern vampire tales called Evolve. I wrote the story of a teenage girl who was half human, half vampire. The fun part of this was the book was launched at the World Horror Convention in Brighton England and I could arrange to attend, drink vampire wine and sign books for the readers. Great fun!

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

I belong to a writer’s workshop. None of the writers in the group write the same genre as I do but they are very helpful when I want to run a particular scene by them or the opening pages of one of my novels. I have a beta reader, a woman who writes the same sort of stuff I do, and who reads my work before it goes to the publisher and I read hers in exchange. Because I’m a guy, it comes in handy to get a woman’s different point of view. I probably have a lot more action-style women in my stories now because of her.

Plotter or Pantser? Why?

Definitely a pantser. Sometimes I have a beginning and an ending and nothing else. I also write a series of fantasy detective novellas, The Housetrap Chronicles. Seventh novella should be published this year. I start by creating a silly title, and then write the story to fit. Couple of examples: “Dial M for Mudder” or “The Hounds of Basalt Ville.” Where I run into problems is when I take a novel and turn it into a series or a trilogy. Then I want to make certain I have made a lot of notes as I write, like what the character looks like or how to spell their name correctly! I also find I might have to do a wee bit of plotting when I start writing book two and three.
Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know?
Definitely a morning person! How do I know? When our 21 lb. Maine Coon cat decides he wants to be fed and crawls in beside me at 5am. By 5:30am he is bored and starts to get restless, like slapping me around. So I get up, feed him, water him (in the bathtub) and do my morning exercises. Go for a walk. (Walking helps with scenes and dialog writing). Come home, read the paper, eat breakfast and I’m ready to start writing. Usually before 9am. Unless it’s the weekend, then I might get up early.

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?
No set formulas unless you count the Housetrap series where I create a title and just start writing. I usually come up with an idea and think about it for a while. Might even write down a sentence or two about where I am going. I have to confess there have been a couple of occasions where I wrote a complete page of notes before starting. I find my characters tend to take charge. I had no idea what the young lady in The Dark Lady series would be like. I knew some of the villains, but not all of them. Once I get going I often ask, Well, what would that character do under those circumstances?


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Title: The Dark Lady
Series:  The Dark Lady Series #1
Author:   R.J. Hore
Published:  February 6th, 2012
Publisher:  Champagne Book Group
Genre:  Fantasy
Content Warning:  Minor violence
Recommended Age:  12+

Synopsis:  Young Princess Nefasti wakes to discover her father, the King, poisoned and her mother near death. As she is the sole heiress to the ancient high kingdom of Vadio, the king’s three brothers begin to plot and quarrel over who will become Regent and control the kingdom until she comes of age, or dies. Their solution is to marry her off. If this trio were not enough of a problem, the greedy surrounding kingdoms all want to gobble Vadio up, and their ambassadors scurry through the castle plotting and scheming.

Princess Nefasti has two main goals: to survive, and to discover who is responsible for the death of her parents.

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Title: Dark Days
Series:  The Dark Lady Series #2
Author:   R.J. Hore
Synopsis:  Young Queen Nefasti’s hold on her throne is tenuous. Her powerful neighbor to the west has declared war, and her other neighbors want something in return for their offered aid, such as her hand in marriage and her kingdom. Assassins lurk in the shadows while handsome suitors try to bribe her with gold and jewels. Her best friend and protector is leaving and one of her favorite ladies-in-waiting is threatening to commit suicide. Could anything else go wrong?

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Title: Dark Knights
Series:  The Dark Lady Series #3
Author:   R.J. Hore

Synopsis:  It has happened at last. Queen Nefasti’s friends are deserting her on all sides, treachery threatens from inside her own castle, and an invasion led by an old and angry acquaintance is knocking at the very gates to the Kingdom of Vadio. Dark Magic has stirred up things best left alone. Nefasti has been given a final choice, marry The Lord High Protector’s son, or suffer dire consequences. All of this threatens to ruin her 16th birthday celebrations, and probably end her life.

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About the Author:

Ron can be found sailing on Lake Winnipeg when he not writing novels or critiquing for an on-line magazine. He won a national short story contest for a ghostly love story but his preference is for longer works. Writing as R.J.Hore his medieval-style fantasy novels include the completed Dark Lady Trilogy, and The Queen’s Pawn, which may also turn into a trilogy. Knights Bridge is a novella in the same style, but a bit darker. Ron also writes a series of novella-length fantasy detective tales, six published so far. These are available in print collections: the Housetrap Chronicles Volume 1 and 2. All his novels and novellas are available as ebooks with most of the novel-length now in print as well.

Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • A PDF copy of The Dark Lady.

Giveaway is International

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