Our MuseItUp MG/YA September blog is winding down. My last guest for the month is my friend, Rebecca Ryals Russell. Rebecca writes MG and YA Dark Fantasy and Horror while living with her family in a Victorian house on five acres of North Florida countryside. She also runs a Vacation Rental Log House on the property: Florida Black Bear Cabin. (http://flablackbearcabin.com )
She is a fourth generation Floridian. She was born in Gainesville, grew up in Sunrise, lived in Orlando and Jacksonville before moving outside Lake City to care for ailing parents.
The daughter of an Elementary-school principal and secretary, for fourteen years she taught Middle Grades, preferring English and Creative Writing. She had several students’ works published in anthologies as well as her own poetry, photography and stories. Her main interests are her four children ages 22, 19, 16, 11 and Irish hubby of 35 years. She enjoys spending her time writing, drawing, going to movies, reading, discussing philosophy with her 17-year-old son.
Over the course of the next few years she has several books being published.
Be sure to check out the special interactive Middle Grade Reader website http://tweenwordquest.com for tons of information about Stardust Warriors as well as the other projects Rebecca has in the works.
Welcome Rebecca. Now tell our readers why you like to write Fantasy.
Growing up I read one fantasy book after another and watched every episode of Lost in Space, Star Trek (every episode at least 3 times), Star Wars, anything Sci Fi. I devoured Lord of the Rings, every Anne McCaffrey book written, the Sword of Shannara series by Terry Brooks, I loved the Dark Tower series by Stephen King and read many of David Eddings series. In fact, it was while finishing a David Eddings book the concept for my first book was born. It then took me thirty years to finish writing it. I love writing Fantasy because of the room for invention. World building is so much fun I could just keep building and populating worlds. Does that give me a ‘god’ complex? Only on paper.
It is my belief that readers love Fantasy because of the escapism is provides. Fantasy as a genre has grown in popularity for that reason. Not only does Fantasy provide spectacular worlds to visit but the reader can wield a sword or crown, wings or breathe fire. What other genre allows so many fantasies to be borne out by the reader? And for those who enjoy Romance, it lends itself perfectly to the Fantasy world in a wide variety of ways. The reader can easily be the Princess finding her Prince or Faeries and Elves. And dragons can be good or bad, helpful or not. Not only that, but in the Fantasy world any kind of magical creature, Mythological or newly created, can be born and used.
My YA series, Seraphym Wars has been a trip to write. Although it took me thirty years to finally sit down and put the words to paper, the story went through so many evolutions it wasn’t really even the same story by the time I finished. I chose to go the evil dragon route and incorporated the apocalypse and Revelations from the Bible as well as pulling actual news accounts for the evil committed by the dragon-demons. I couldn’t imagine worse evil than I have found in the daily news. Then I created a world that is Steampunk because Narciss, the head dragon and ruler of Tartarus (Mythological Hell) suppressed technology to control the planet’s population. The planet is predominantly primal forests full of dangerous creatures designed from Mythological elements. But in the farthest corner of the globe away from Narciss sits an enchanted island. After the Great Shuddering, the arrival of the dragon-demons on the peaceful planet of Solsyl, the Majikals who had been living all over the planet migrated to this island. So now what remains of the Elves and Faeries, Dwarves, Mermaids and other creatures I designed live on the island with a Majikal shield around it. This is where my main character, 18-year-old Myrna leads the other six Vigorios. These are the teenaged demon hunters prophesied to defeat the demons in the final battle between the Seraphym and Demons. On the island they will train with the Majikals and finish assembling the army. But just because something is prophesied doesn’t mean it will come to pass. And that is what the Vigorios are finding out.
Would you write Fantasy, even if no one read it?
Yes, absolutely. I write it for me. If others want to read my books that’s awesome, but I’m the one that has to be happy with the story first.
14-year old Zarena spends time with a Holy Order of Clerics on their hidden world of Revrum Natura, while she receives training in Martial Arts, Herbology, Astronomy, Weaponry and Mind Control. Destined to become the leader of the Vigorios, child warriors, who will assist the Seraphym in the war against the demon-dragons of Dracwald, Zarena grows up in a hurry. Lonely and homesick, she meets a Mermaid who encourages her to talk about her training. Is this new friend too good to be true? Zarena learns a valuable lesson about trust and betrayal—a lesson that will serve her well as leader of the Vigorios.
Prophecy Blurb 151 words
For centuries the residents of Solsyl lived in peace and harmony with the planet. Then the dragon-demons arrived, causing the Great Shuddering. Majikals from everywhere scurried to find shelter from the evil while humans hid. Laud regretted his rash decision of exiling the demons on Solsyl and asked one of his advisors, a member of The Conscientia, to protect his people. Jeremiah Holyfield agreed to leave the peaceful world of Revrum Natura for a life of constant strife and fear on the newly renamed planet of Dracwald. But Narciss, ruler of Tartarus and King of the demons, desperately wants what Jeremiah has sworn to protect—a Prophecy of Narciss’s future doom. And Narciss refuses to take no for an answer. But Jeremiah discovers allies along his path and even true love, which he never dreamed possible.
But forever is a long time to protect something without ever letting down one’s guard.
17-year-old Myrna is drawn into the middle of an epic battle between Seraphym and Demons. An average High School student from Florida, struggling with inner demons resulting from an attack when she was 15, she wakes one morning on the Steampunk planet of Dracwald, home of the demon-dragons responsible for her brother’s recent murder as well as many other atrocities in the news. She meets sweet and sensitive Michael, who explains that according to prophecy, Myrna must gather the remaining six Vigorios (teen warriors with special talents) then train with the Majikals on an enchanted island. He accompanies her on the quest, but harbors a secret past that ironically would destroy all the faith she has placed in him. A handsomely roguish Scientist with suspect motives haunts her dreams and makes sudden appearances in unlikely places, while a sensual dragon warrior defends her against her will.
Will love and lust, jealousy, greed, deceit and distrust break the delicate tie that binds these teen warriors called The Vigorios? Can a troupe of teens help the Seraphym finally defeat the massive empire of evil dominated for eons by the demon-dragons of Dracwald?
BOOK RELEASE INFO:
April 2011-Odessa, Seraphym Wars YA Series-available at Amazon
July 2011-Zarena, Stardust Warriors MG Series
September 2011-Prophecy, Seraphym Wars
October 2011-Don’t Make Marty Mad (adult Horror story)
November 2011-Jeremiah, Stardust Warriors
January 2012-Harpies, Seraphym Wars
February 2012-Laman, Stardust Warriors
April 2012-Mercy, Stardust Warriors
June 2012-Magaelbash, Stardust Warriors
Thanks Rebecca for joining me today!
Remember to leave a comment for Rebecca’s posting. One commenter will be chosen at random to win a FREE ebook or other PRIZE, such as an illustrated calendar, keychain, cover art notepad. You can’t win if you don’t comment. More details available at http://rryalsrussell.com/september-blog-a-thon/