Hymnia, the muse of glorious praise, in an unusual display of arrogance is thrust through time to the dark ages of Ireland.
She encounters Dacien, the Laird of Castle Lugh, a rogue dragon who seems anything but god-like. She uncovers the mystery of the disappearing women of his castle but looses her heart to the very person she suspects of doing the killing, in THE VICTORY OF LUGH.
Today I had the pleasure of interviewing the last "Song of the Muses," author, Valerie Everhart. Her story "The Victory of Lugh," is the final story in the anthology published by the Wild Rose Press. I'm sorry to say that my interviews with these nine wonderful authors has come to an end, but I am very happy to get to know you Valerie!
Welcome! and thanks so much for allowing me to pick your brain a little! But first before we get started with the interview I wanted to congratulate you on the release of "Victory of Lugh" which came out today!!! Congratulations!! Ok, shall we begin?
C of C- How long have you been writing?
VE- 6 years, mostly full time. But, I guess I really started in grade school when I couldn’t have a horse and so instead took to writing stories about horses.
C of C- Are you a plotter or a pantser?
VE- Plotter, definitely! However, I started out writing as a pantser and after several books not getting finished, I knew I needed to learn a better way.
C of C- you are the first author to say, that your definitely a plotter!
C of C- How would you describe your voice?
VE- Abrupt, short and fast with lots of action and adventure.
C of C- What is your favorite part of the writing process?
VE- The first draft, by far! I love the researching part and developing a great plot.
C of C- I have to agree! I love the research part, though I can find myself getting caught up in the research and not getting any writing done. :O)
C of C-Where do you find your inspiration?
VE- Songs occasionally, but mostly from reading other books and thinking…I wish it had turned out differently.
C of C- How do you come up with your ideas/plots?
VE- Mostly from researching an interesting subject, that then leads to an idea. I then envision how I would rather see the story come about.
C of C- Do you write in short stretches or for long periods of time?
VE- Both. I wish I could write consistently a certain amount every day, but invariably life gets in the way and I grab time, some days when I can.
C of C- boy do I hear you. Life is always getting in my way!
C of C- Do you write in silence or listen to music?
VE- Depends on where I am in the story. Sometimes music brings the scene more alive to me. I especially like listening to bagpipes..loud!
C of C- Me too!!! I love bagpipes!! and certain songs really bring forth emotion!
C of C- Do you eat or drink while writing?
VE- Yes, and way too much snacking, and plenty of chocolate.
C of C- Ah, yes, a writers greatest tool- CHOCOLATE!
C of C- Do you research your story before you write it, or as you go?
VE- I like to do a lot of research—and it gives me more ideas to pull from- so I’ll research through the whole thing, even when I’m on my last pass through of editing.
C of C- Great idea! That's a sure fire way to be totally thorough and accurate to your time period.
C of c- What have you learned through research that you’ll remember for the rest of your life?
VE- I’ve learned so much from research, I couldn’t imagine not getting to learn more, but I guess the history of Scotland still stays with me, that I want to keep writing about it.
C of C- ah, Scotland, who doesn't love it? :O)
C of C- How do you decorate your writing space?
VE- Lots of books! Shelves are on every wall in my office, some filled 2 deep with books.
C of C- Are you a neat/organized writer or is your office and/or space a complete mess with sticky notes everywhere?
VE- Most of the time it is messy…while I’m in the middle of a new book. Once it’s finished though, I like to clean it a bit.
C of C- lol,:O)
C of C- Does all your writing take place on a computer or do you ever write on pen and paper?
VE- I would say half and half. With running kids to activities, it’s still easier to just pull out a notebook.
C of C- I agree with you there.
C of C- Do you feel a draw to the people and time period you write about?
VE- Oh sure…like they’re calling me to write their story. I live and breathe them during the whole first draft.
C of C- isn't that an amazing feeling? those little voices calling to you? Telling to write their story?
C of C- What character did you most enjoy writing?
VE- Grahain- although his story isn’t finished yet. He’s not an arrogant Alpha Male, but more the quiet, strong but deadly type!
C of C- oooh, he sounds delicious!!!!
C of C- Readers are always curious to know about authors lives. What is the worst job (non-writing related) you’ve ever held?
VE- Working in the gift shop of the local ski resort. It was so boring, lol!
C of C- What is one thing you think your readers would be interested to know about you?
VE- I love horses, and although they don’t play a big role in my books, it seems like each story does have horses in it, lol.
C of C- Interesting, another Muse author also loves horses!
C of C- Are you reclusive or do you like being with other writers?
VE- I like being and chatting with other writes, and I love talking about the craft of writing, but mostly I like to watch others around me.
C of C- Do you find love scenes easy or hard to write?
VE- Hard, I guess. I want to get it just right.
C of C- Boy do I get that! Its never easy is it?
C of C- Do you ever act out your scenes?
VE- No, but sometimes I notice myself mouthing what the character is saying--or of frowning along with them. Sometimes I catch an arm flailing..but no acting. LOL
C of C- lol!
C of C- How long do you wait once a story is finished to revise it?
VE- Depends on the story, but normally I like it to sit at least a month. I need to let the characters step back so that I can go to hacking and slashing the very rough first draft.
C of C- Do you ever second guess yourself and your writing?
VE- All of the time.
C of C- Me too, does that ever stop? I wonder???
C of C- Do you ever stray from your genre? Your comfort zone?
VE- Once, and I haven’t finished that one.
C of C- well get to work and finish!!! :O)
C of C- Is it necessary to have a Critique/Writing partner?
VE- Oh, most certainly! My writing has improved with each story and it’s all due to my critique partners.
C of C- I couldn't agree more! They are worth their weight in gold!
C of C- Do you allow family and friends to read your stories?
VE- My mother does, but then she’s also a terrific writer.
C of C- Wow, that's wonderful that your mom is a writer!
C of C- Is there a subject you would like to write about, but don’t because you believe it isn’t marketable?
VE- Not really. If I believed in it, I’d write it no matter the market.
C of C- Good for you!
C of C- Authors make writing look so easy. Is it harder than most people imagine it to be?
VE- Good Lord, yes. I never imagined it would be as hard as it is. But, I’d still be doing it anyway. It’s like breathing…I have to write or not live.
C of c- How long does it take you to finish a story?
VE- I can write a novella in a month-first draft. A full length takes 3 to 4 months..but they all will need heavy revision if I write that fast all the time.
C of C- When you write a new story are you apprehensive about allowing others to critique it? VE- Yes! Every single time, I still am nervous.
C of C- I'm glad I'm not alone!
C of C- Which author/(s) are on your must-read list?
VE- Christine Feehan, Lynn Kurland, Janet Chapman, Linda Howard, JoAnn Ross
C of C- Lynn Kurland is one of my favorites too!
C of c- What is your favorite writing memory?
VE- Receiving my first request to submit a full MS after a few rejections.
C of C- I can only imagine!
C of C- Do you have more than one book out now?
VE- Yes, The Dragon of Croatia and my muse anthology to come out in August-The Victory of Lugh.
C of C- Congratulations on both of those releases!
C of C- Has your writing Journey been a smooth or bumpy ride?
VE- Very bumpy, but I’d take it all again!
C of C- So maybe there's hope for me yet!
C of C- What advice would you give to a new aspiring writer?
VE- Just keep writing. When it seems like things aren’t going just the course you want…you still need to keep writing.
C of C- Great advice, Valerie!
Thanks so much for being here with me today, Valerie! I enjoyed getting to know you better. Congratulations on the release of, "Victory of the Lugh," and best of luck with all your future endeavours!
To learn more about Valerie Everhart please go to: http://www.valerieeverhart.com/
To purchase a copy of "Victory of Lugh," go to: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=961&zenid=4e4089467b4a1576eaaa03271ed877ac