It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. - Seneca

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Interview w/Songs of the Muses author, Skhye Moncrief

Its my pleasure to interview the author of "Ancient Musings," the debut story from the new Wild Rose Press Anthology, "Songs of the Muses," Skhye Moncrief.

Welcome Skhye! First off, I want to congratulate you on the release of your story, "Ancient Musings," which is available from the Wild Rose press today!!!!! But, before we get started I want to tell you that I love your cover!! Its beautiful!!And since we're not just here to get to know you all little better, but to promote the Anthology and your story, is there something you'd like to say about it?
ANCIENT MUSINGS is the first story in an anthology of nine where love and romance find the Greek muses. Each muse has her own tale. My story, ANCIENT MUSINGS, is where Calliope joins forces with an archaeologist's soul while searching for Gaia's pool in the kingdom of Hades. Both soon realize they are nothing more than pawns for ANCIENT MUSINGS. ~Skhye

When the muse of writing Calliope, challenges Zeus to end her immortal existence, she faces the reality of death in Hades. Only Jake Genoese, an archaeologist's soul, can outwit Zeus's Harpies and help her find new purpose. Far more is at stake when both realize they are no more than pawns for ANCIENT MUSINGS.


C of C- How long have you been writing?
SM- Ugh. I can’t even remember when I started. Sad but true.

C of C- Are you a plotter or a pantser?
SM- Mostly a pantser. I do plot some in the beginning to set up a proposal after working on one for a submission. I found it helped me sketch out enough story information and character goals, motivation, and conflict to write a stronger first draft before writing the first line of a tale. As they say, the story tends to flesh out and the proposal changes. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

C of C- How would you describe your voice?
SM-I am a horrible judge of anything I do. I call myself the world’s biggest pessimist. So, I couldn't even begin to label my work. People tell me I never give myself credit for anything.
C of C- ah, I know that well, I being a pessimist myself.

C of C- Where do you find your inspiration?
SM- My inspiration comes from documentaries and extensive research to hard and soft science publications.
C of C- Hmm, interesting. I can definitely say you are the only author to say that!

C of C- How do you come up with your ideas/plots?
SM- I just twist everything I’ve ever studied on a top into something that sounds new to me.

C of C- Do you write in short stretches or for long periods of time?
SM- I prefer writing over long periods of time.

C of C- Do you write in silence or listen to music?
SM- I can’t handle noise while reading or writing. I hear that’s a learning style. LOL. My critique partners would laugh at me when we met at a Barnes & Noble Starbucks. I could never read anything there because of the music!

C of C- Do you eat or drink while writing?
SM- Doesn’t everyone? Oh, wait! I’m supposed to be on a diet.
C of C- lol, shame on you!!

C of C- Do you research your story before you write it, or as you go?
SM- I research everything I need too before starting then what pops up along the trail.

C of C- What have you learned through research that you’ll remember for the rest of your life? SM- That numerology pegs my personality to the freakiest “t,” yikes!
C of C- Same here Skhye, very freaky isn't it?

C of C- How do you decorate your writing space?
SM- It’s usually fairly neat but covered in dust because I hate dusting. But after the baby learned to walk, I find my office floor covered in piles of stuff dangerous to said child…
C of C- uh, oh ...

C of C- Are you a neat/organized writer or is your office and/or space a complete mess with sticky notes everywhere?
SM- I tend to have everything where it goes, but I do like the look of a messy bulletin board.
C of C- Bulletin boards are meant to be messy!

C of C- Does all your writing take place on a computer or do you ever write on pen and paper? SM- Computer

C of C- Do you feel a draw to the people and time period you write about?
SM- Yes. I don’t know how anyone could spend any time writing about something they weren’t attracted to. Writing takes an incredible amount of time and effort.

C of C- What character did you most enjoy writing?
SM- My hero, Cochise.
C of C- hmm, interesting name. Will we be seeing his story?

C of C- Readers are always curious to know about authors lives. What is the worst job (non-writing related) you’ve ever held?
SM- Selling frozen yogurt

C of C- What is one thing you think your readers would be interested to know about you?
SM- I have sifted chocolate chips out of cookie mix when I couldn’t find any chocolate snacks.
C of C- lol, oops forgot about that diet, again?? :O)

C of C- Are you reclusive or do you like being with other writers?
SM- I tend to be reclusive.
C of C- Its a good thing us reclusive writers have each other, eh? :O)

C of C- Do you find love scenes easy or hard to write?
SM- Is answering easy here going to get me into trouble?
C of C- Uh? :O) lol

C of C- Do you ever act out your scenes?
SM- I’m too busy eating and drinking to get out of the chair and walk in my character’s shoes.
C of C- ha ha, good answer!
C of C- How long do you wait once a story is finished to revise it?
SM- A few months

C of C- Do you ever second guess yourself and your writing?

C of C- Do you ever stray from your genre? Your comfort zone?
SM- Not yet. That would mean me writing an inspirational…

C of C- Is it necessary to have a Critique/Writing partner?

C of C- Do you allow family and friends to read your stories?

C of C- Is there a subject you would like to write about, but don’t because you believe it isn’t marketable?
SM- Historicals with grimy heroes and heroines who had bad breath, decayed teeth, and realistic descriptions like a man-at-arms’ sword arm being larger than his other arm…
C of C- I can see that, nothing sexy about a man with nasty teeth and stinky breath! lol :O)

C of C- Authors make writing look so easy. Is it harder than most people imagine it to be?
SM- It was much harder in the beginning. But after jumping through about a million burning hoops, it’s kind of fun now. Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off.
C of C- I hear ya!!! :O)

C of C- When you write a new story are you apprehensive about allowing others to critique it? SM- No. I’ve always been the type of writer who wants to know what didn’t work for the reader. I need feedback.
C of C- That's great! wish I could say the same thing!

C of C- Which author/(s) are on your must-read list?
SM- Karen Moning, Sherrilyn Kenyon

C of C- What is your favorite writing memory?
SM- Selling my first book! That’s called validation.
C of C- There's nothing better than that! Though I can only imagine ... and dream. :O)
C of C- Do you have more than one book out now?
SM- Two. Two are in the works. I should here about a few more novels soon.

C of C- Has your writing Journey been a smooth or bumpy ride?
SM- Bumpy, but I’m a pessimist…

C of C- What advice would you give to a new aspiring writer?
SM- That anyone can learn to write a story. I have been around people who stated they were born to write. Well, after taking 80 hours of anthropology I can say that humans have to be taught to speak, how to put that language in written form, and only then can humans begin to study the anatomy of a story. If you’re writing a story, don’t think that you have to have some special gene. I believe people who were “born to write” have an unusual knack for understanding story structure or reading body language to play on an audience’s response. So, I should modify my initial point: Anyone can learn to write a story so never give up!
C of C- And there lies the best advice- NEVER give up! That's the key.

Its been great getting to know more about you and your writing Skhye! I want to thank you for taking the time to be here with me today!!! Best of luck in all your future endeavours!!!

To purchase your copy of "Ancient Musings," go to:

If you would like to learn more about Skhye you can locate her on the web at:
Skhye is also offering a contest!!

To be in the running for a Celtic CD of Skhye's choice... straight from her Time Guardians' treasure chest, find and state the name of Skhye Moncrief's, FREE READ, which can be found on her website, then leave your answer as a comment below the interview.

You must enter by midnight CST Friday, June 13th. The name of the winner will be announced on June 14th. Good luck. ~Skhye

Please do not forget to leave your contact information with your entry! If the winner does not acknowledge winning after 7 days, another winner will be picked.

Other books by Skhye Moncrief~


Beth Trissel said...

Great interview! I enjoyed Skhye's wit, as usual, and her refreshing honesty. This series/anthology sounds spectacular.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the interview. The answer to Skhye's contest is: Vow Of Superstition: Dragon's Blood by Wild Rose Press. My email address you can contact me at is:

Unknown said...

The free read is called Vow of superstition: Dragons Blood at Wild Rose Press

Gerri said...

I enjoyed the interview, and Ancient Musings sounds good!

Anonymous said...

LOL, Beth. Thanks for calling my honesty refreshing. I tend to get in trouble because I am just BLUNT. ;) I hope you're not wearing that Time Guardian T-shirt while painting or changing the oil in your car. My husband has ruined his shirt! And for anyone wanting to win a Time Guardian T-shirt, I occasionally give them away at my website.

Thanks for having me here, HL. I don't want to hear you've been changing your car's oil in your Time Guardian T-shirt either. LOL


Anonymous said...

Thanks Diana & Gerri! ~Skhye

Chicks of Characterization said...

ha ha, yes, Skhye that was Beth's polite was of calling you blunt! :O) but, that's not always a bad thing! And your welcome- I'm glad you let me interview you!!

Andrea :O)

Thanks Ladies for all the comments!

Kimberly B. said...

It's Vow of Superstition: Dragon's Blood by Wild Rose Press. Hope I win; I love Celtic music! Thanks!
beax0002 (at) umn (dot) edu

Beth Caudill said...

Nice interview Skhye!
Can't wait to read Ancient Musings.

As it happens, I'm running through my new age cds for morning writing material. Always looking for me.

Free Read at TWRP - Vow of Superstition: Dragon's Blood

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Kimberly and Beth! ~Skhye

Anonymous said...

VOW OF SUPERSTITION is the free read..I enjoyed reading the interview.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Joye! Glad you could make it by. ~Skhye

Rashmi said...

Good interview! Interesting questions and even better answers :)

callmeabookworm at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Thanks for stopping by, Callmeabookworm! ~Skhye

Anonymous said...

Skhye, great interview! I loved Calliope's story! And in answer to your contest: Vow Of Superstition

And just so you know, I've got my Time Guardian T on right now LOL!!


Renee Knowles said...

Nice interview, Skhye! I am so jealous that your office is neatly arranged! I have tried, but alas, find myself with paperwork, books and all kinds of office stuff laid across my desk :))



Chicks of Characterization said...

Thanks to everyone who has stopped by and left a comment! We appreciate it! And to answer your question Skhye, NO, I don't wear my Time Guardain T-shirt to change the oil in! :O) Granted I've never changed oil in my life- lol! :O)

Anonymous said...

I loved your answers to great interview questions!

Sifted chocolate chips? You are adorable. ;o)

Here's my anwer to your FREE read question:

Vow Of Superstition: Dragon's Blood

Good Luck to all participants.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Aithne, Renee, and Crystal! Everyone should covet author T-shirts. And never forget... there are chocolate chips in the cookie mix inside your cupboard. ;) Skhye

Dena said...

I enjoyed the interview with Skhye, it was informative and funny. I love Karen Moning as well, I can't wait for Faefever. I have already put Ancient Musings on my TBL and can't wait for the whole muse series. The free read is Vow of Superstition:Dragon's Blood. My email is;

Kimberley said...

It's Vow of Superstition: Dragon's Blood by Wild Rose Press. Hope I win. I love celtic music and history and stories. My mom was Irish and I grew up on Irish music (mostly the Clancy Brothers)...

Leah said...

Vow of Superstition: Dragon's Blood by Wild Rose Press

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Dena, Leah, and Kimberley. My two-year old tells me to put on the beautiful music when I start the car. She's referring to reels and bagpipes! She immediately starts clapping to the beat. ;)

Hywela Lyn said...

Great, insightful interview, Skhye.Congratulations on the release of 'Ancient Musings' I can't wait to read it. I have just finished 'He Of The Fiery Sword' and it was one of the most original stories I've ever read. I also enjoyed 'Vow of Supersition: Dragon's Blood.' Beautifully written.


Anonymous said...

Thanks,Lyn! Do you have a release date for your muse tale? It's in the second anthology. ~Skhye

Hywela Lyn said...

Thanks for asking, Skhye. All being well, the second series in the Muse antholgoy, which includes my story 'Dancing With Fate' is scheduled for electronic release in July, so although it's not official yet, 'Dancing with Fate' should be available for download in the third week of July.

I sent my muse, Terpsichore, to 5th Century Wales, where she meets a mysterious man who is not quite what he seems, and ends up trying to save his life by literally 'dancing with Fate' (Well she is the muse of dance after all!) I have so enjoyed working on this series with my eight 'muse sisters', and have learnt so much from the experience.

Alisha said...

What a fabulous interview! Wonderful insight into my friend's writing life. It's so interesting how we all have our own way to write. I love hearing what turns the wheels in other writer's brains and why. Thanks for sharing, Skhye! I loved your Free Read! Everyone, if you haven't read it yet, this is not to be missed! And I just dove into He of the Fiery Sword last night and man am I hooked!

And I agree, what a spectacular cover! I look forward to reading Calliope's adventure!

Chicks of Characterization said...

Hi Lyn, waving!!! Can't wait to get to know you when your muse interview goes up on the 18th of July!!!

Andrea :O)

Chicks of Characterization said...

Hi Alisha, waving at you too! Can't wait to get to know you too, and what a coincidence, right after Lyn!!! :O)

Chicks of Characterization said...

Just want to thank everyone for stopping by and leaving us comments!! Thank you :O)

Anonymous said...

Aw, thanks, Alisha! I hope Arthur and Solas make it through the madness. ;) Skhye

Anonymous said...

Great interview!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Tarah! ~Skhye

Theresa N. said...

Great interview.
The free read is Vow of Superstition: dragon's Blood.
Theresa N

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Theresa N.! You won the prize for naming VOW OF SUPERSTITION: DRAGON'S BLOOD as my free read. Please email me at with your mailing address so I can mail out your prize. Thanks for stopping by, everyone. ~Skhye

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