Ancients of Light

Ancients of Light

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Me, Myself & the Realm...Defending Lorcan

Welcome back to my second installment of Realm discussion and author babbling.

You may have heard me mention in one forum or another that I am a writer by accident.  I never aspired to write - this was not some long-held dream of mine. I come from a line of very creative people – artists, sculptures, musicians – and always lacked either 1) the patience or 2) the talent to follow in family footsteps. My mother will fondly retell the story of me sobbing over my lack of artistic ability as a kindergartner because someone disliked the witch I had drawn on the Halloween wall mural and colored over it while I was out sick one day.  (Yes, a witch – even way back then).  One thing I did always have was an incredibly overactive imagination - I’ve been spinning elaborate tales in my head as long as I can remember.

The entire premise of the Realm had been taking shape in my brain for a long time.  When I run, that imagination kicks into overdrive, so every day on the treadmill, more stories, more plots, more detail, more conversations – all in my head. I decided to start writing them down in December 2011 because I liked them so much.  With more time and attention, this whole world of the Ancients and the Realm came to be. As fate would have it, I was downsized two months later and had the opportunity to devote six months to the development of the Realm and writing Chosen and Forsaken.

I am sharing this for two reasons –

First, I am not a writer/author by trade or design so while I am now trying to learn the world of publishing, etc., this was never a career plan. I still have my ‘real’ job because it pays the bills. I don’t follow the ‘author’ rules - I react too much to reviews and disclose too much about the series and interact too personally with my followers. However, for me, it is about these books that I love, and if you are a fan of the series, it is about you. If you take the time to come over to the Ancients Facebook page and interact with me, I positively adore you.  Seriously. This would not be fun if I did not get to enjoy my books through others’ experiences.  So if you love the books – thank you, I love them too.  If you come connect with me and want to chat, FABULOUS!! 

Second, these characters and storylines were never contrived with the thought of making them as appealing as possible to the masses in order to launch a writing career.  These are mini-movies in my brain that developed fully into a series of stories.  These characters have lived, grown, loved and gone through heartache and pain in vivid detail in my head.  When I wrote the scene in Chosen where Kaitriana nearly died, I cried. The pain that Lorcan was experiencing in that instant was overwhelming, and I lived it typing those words. When I went back and edited that scene, I cried again, because Kaitriana’s heartache and concern for him was agonizing. When I am in one of these books, the characters are that real to me - the scenes are that vivid.  As a consequence, I love these Vampire and Witch, each and every one of them. 

That being said, Lorcan has gotten a bad rap. He is strong, and honorable, fiercely loyal and capable of love to a depth that is mind-boggling. He is also horribly arrogant and overbearing. Being the best, unmatched, he is never questioned in his leadership or authority and answers to no one. It is outside his realm of experience to be countermanded, disrespected or disobeyed. He is Vampire and by instinct is naturally protective and dominant. Lorcan is a mighty warlord, and he is the very reason that the Light never fell when Kaitriana was getting her beauty sleep for five hundred years.

Lorcan was over twenty-five hundred years old when she finally woke up. That is a long time to become set in ones ways. He likes order and Kaitriana is a ball of chaos that came bouncing unexpectedly through his life – a defiant, impulsive, immature, humongous ball of chaos.

His struggle to accept her as his equal in strength, power and leadership in the Realm is true to life. Lorcan has more experience in everything – the Realm, the Light, war, and life. Had he just handed over reins and bowed down to her, I would have disliked him a thousand times more (wimp) than for him honestly struggling with being an overbearing jackass.  Perfection is boring, I would rather write flawed characters experiencing personal growth.

Chosen took place over a period less than a year (minus the big sleep) – Lorcan needs time. He will always be overprotective, and that may at times come out as gruff arrogance, but he loves Kaitriana beyond reason. There is a place for her in his life, and he wants her at his side, leading the Realm.  He sees her potential, he knows what Kat is capable of (probably more than she does), and he will get her there.  The lessons just won’t always be glitter and rainbows, and really, if they were, would they be believable?   

At the same time, give Kaitriana time to grow up and grow into her powers (there are 10 more books for her to become the kick-butt female we all want to see her be). Having the strength to rule does not necessarily mean one has the ability. Few of us at twenty-six are experts at managing our own lives; she needs time before she is adept at managing the affairs of the Realm.

Now that I have defended dear Lorcan and broken more ‘author’ rules, I am done for today.  Please come back next week when I wrap up the series and ramble on and on – ‘Me, Myself and The Realm – Ancients Revealed.’  Oh, and if you haven't come over to the Ancients of Light page on Facebook yet, please come join us.  :)

Have a Happy Week, Peeps!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Me, Myself & The Realm - Why Kat isn't Cat...

In order to explain the Realm and the way the Ancients of Light series is going to develop, I am going to delve into my personal reading preferences.  If you have read my bio, I mention Julie Garwood and Judith McNaught as my influences. If you have not read either author, I highly recommend both. Shoot me an email and I will give you my top picks for each.  Seriously.

Both write rich tales with spirited females (Garwood’s always a bit quirkier and totally endearing) featuring heroes that are strong and honorable. Often these men are also unbending, powerful, and arrogant – at least until the perfect woman comes along and teaches them a thing or two about love.  I read most of these novels in the 90s, (I am dating myself – yes), but I consider the bulk of work by each author to be timeless. I have read them all again, countless times since. These are the authors I adore, the ones I aspire to be like.

I realize my style of telling a story is different from a lot of contemporary authors, with my long tales and my style of prose.  It is purposeful, because I write the types of tales that I always liked to read. I figure there are readers that will enjoy epic tales of triumph over trial where love conquers EVERYTHING. I read many contemporary authors, but I return to Garwood and McNaught over and over. If I can create tales that bring the same type of enjoyment to my readers, then I consider that success.

A second trait of both authors, even in their books that were not technically series, was the character overlap. When you fell in love with characters in one book, it was always wonderful to see those characters in other books.  The way Garwood and McNaught each interwove their books together with character overlap always appealed to me.  It kept the other stories and characters that I had fallen in love with alive.

So, if you have read the second book in the Ancients of Light series (Forsaken), you have realized by now that it is not another book about Lorcan and Kat (I mean seriously, could you stand thirteen books of Kat’s antics? I adore her and I know that could get TEDIOUS). Forsaken continues the story of the fulfillment of the Prophecy (as every book in the AOL series will) and Lorcan and Kaitriana are in the book, but they are not the main characters. 

In this series, Lorcan, Kat, and nearly every other character you meet along the way will carry over from book to book. Some characters will feature more prominently in certain books and lesser so in others. It depends on the story being told. Kaitriana and Lorcan will have a substantial role in every book, because each novel will take us deeper into the Realm, the Prophecy and the rise of the Queens.  Lorcan and Kat are central to all of it.  You will continue to see their relationship grow and develop over the series, just as you will see the dynamics in the Realm shift (more than once).  Lorcan and Kat’s story did not end with Chosen, but they will not be the featured couple again…probably  J (Never say never).

So, what I am rambling on about and trying to say is this - Kat and Lorcan are not Cat and Bones. This is not going to be a Night Huntress type series because that is not how my books were ever intended to progress (I have heard a ton of praise for that series, but I have not yet read it myself).  There are seven Queens that have to rise before the Prophecy can be fulfilled.  I think each one of those fabulous females deserves her own story and her own hero. 

The women in Ancients of Light are amazing and the way they will come together and realize their power…WOW!  Trust me, you would be disappointed if there wasn’t a story devoted to each.  In addition, I have other stories that are necessary for the development of the series because there are bits and things that must come to fruition (besides the rise of the Queens) before the Light can achieve its mission. Those females rock too (you’ll meet one in Broken, Ancients of Light #3). 

We are going to have a lot of fun. 

Come back next week when I go on with Part Two – ‘Me, Myself and The Realm – Defending Lorcan.’  The three part series will wrap up the following week with the topic – ‘Me, Myself and the Realm – Ancients Revealed.’ 

Have a Happy Week, Peeps!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Witch's Brew

Thanks to our fan Anne Chipman, today we are talking the very most important matters here in the Realm. Or not. There will be absolutely nothing profound in this post. 

The topic – Witch’s Brew. Just what did Kat have in that stuff?  

We will start with ingredients and accessories. Accessories? Yes! Do not serve Witch’s Brew in a red Solo cup. You cannot have Magic without the Sparkle (that is our mantra here in the Realm). For true magic there must be fabulousness in droves, and the occasional touch of ridiculous. If you do not have these things, you might as well go get a box of wine because your broomstick ain’t flying tonight, Chickie.  

Get your martini glass –the pretty one that would make the glitter on Dorothy’s ruby slippers look drab. Ribbon some yummy chocolate syrup around the interior. You will need a shaker. A plain old stainless steel one will suffice, I suppose, if you do not have one with bling.

3/4 oz Kahlua liqueur
3/4 oz Amaretto
3/4 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
1-1/4 oz Toasted Marshmallow Syrup
2 oz Vanilla Ice Cream

Combine all of that and shake. Put on some music and dance around the house while you do, because really, there is nothing like good brew and a booty shake. When you are tired - or thirsty - stop dancing and dump this wonderful concoction into your pretty glass. Now repeat (you must say it all three times to get the full magical effect)…“Nom Nom Nom.” 

But, wait, there’s more… 

Here is Ella’s version of Witch’s brew, referred to by Nicholas as the Schnockerdoodle. She is not as high-maintenance as Kat, but really, your martini glass should still look as awesome as this drink is going to make you feel. Think sexy…think string bikini scene…

Grab your shaker. Hopefully you have not drank too many of the above-recipe and can still find it. Now, dump all this stuff in...

1-3/4 oz of Rumchata
1-3/4 oz of Butterscotch schnapps
1 oz Kahlua
4 oz of milk (Skim works great, because some of us Witches prefer to get our calories from chocolate. If you want super-creamy, use half and half.) 

Shake with ice, strain into your glass and sprinkle the top with a little bitty bit of cinnamon sugar if you have it.    

If you don’t like coffee flavored liqueurs, try it without. It is just as yummy. 

This summer we’ll have more awesome fabulousness in the adult-beverage selection to bring to you from Kat and crew. Until then, indulge in some Witch’s Brew and get your sexy on.

P.S. One drink is one too many to hop onto your broomstick or in a vehicle. Please be responsible. In the Realm we are against drinking and driving too. If you are under the legal drinking age in your Realm, don't even think about trying these recipes. Magic doesn't sparkle behind bars.  

Ancients of Light