Jen: Please help me welcome Rae Lori to Book Talk this weekend. Rae, will you please share a short bio with us?
Rae: Sure! I’m an author/artist. I graduated a few years ago after studying Media Arts & Animation (basically graphic arts and animation) and I’ve been working as a freelance graphic designer while writing. I started writing about 10 years old on a challenge to myself to write a short story for a contest I saw in the Disney Adventures magazine. I remember being inspired by David Lynch’s Twin Peaks because it was so moody and colorful. I didn’t end up winning but that was the start of my path onto writing.
Jen: Tell us about A Kiss of Ashen Twilight and where it’s available.
Rae: A Kiss of Ashen Twilight is the first in my Ashen Twilight series. It’s currently available at Lyrical Press now. It tells the story of an Aziza fairy named Ariya who must leave her home for her own safety after the rest of her family is killed by a mysterious elemental creature. She crosses into the mortal realm and runs into a family of vampires (Nightwalkers), Lycans and Shifter Elves called the Ashen Twilight House who are living under mortal eyes. There she becomes enamored with a prince of the House of Blood called Jace Archane and learns his lifestyle as they find out the origins of the creature after her. There’s a mix of history which goes back to the 1400s in Scotland and traces Jace’s family origins while exploring Scottish and African mythology as Jace and Ariya fall in love.
Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Rae: I was probably about 10. I didn’t know much about the industry or that you could actually send your work into get published until about nineteen, I think? Around the time ezines were making waves on the net. Back before ezines and the net we had to send it postal mail so I remember it taking forever to hear back because of the long mailing. I was first published at Dark Moon Rising, Nightly Gathering and Lunar Castles. I was so excited because I felt like a real writer.
Jen: How does your family feel about your career?
Rae: They’re really supportive! They knew that I loved writing since I could remember and they really helped support me on my journey through the publishing waters.
Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Rae: I try to. Usually I end up writing late at night because it’s so peaceful and I’m such a night owl. During the day I’m working on art projects, catching up on news, errands and other things.
Jen: Do you have a specific time or place that you write?
Rae: Hmm, sometimes I start during the evening if I have all my daytime stuff done or it shifts to late night. I usually type at my desk or if I’m a few drafts, I print and rewrite while writing new scenes.
Jen: How do you pick the character’s names?
Rae: Hmm, sometimes I see a name I really like and make a note to use it in a story later. If I’m starting out from scratch with a new storyline, I try to think of names that will embody the character and showcase who they are. I really like to try and see if I can make up a new name that alludes to a current certain meaning.
Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Rae: I’d say the most challenging is actually getting butt in chair to write the thing. I can think up ideas and let them swim around in my head for a bit but unless the ideas are knocking on my head and bothering me to write them down, they tend to say there! I’m still trying to discipline myself to get down and write regularly. The second hardest is getting the word out about my work but as I continue to write and get work each out, readers tend to find me which is really cool.
The easiest part of writing is getting the ideas lol.
Jen: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Rae: The most rewarding is getting to that last page, I think. After all the blood, sweat and tears, the planning and the actual writing part, it’s great to hold your manuscript in your hands knowing that you put your all into it. After that the post publishing like getting the contract, the enthusiasm from your publisher, readers and the reviewers who liked it, is just a great experience.
Jen: Who has inspired you as an author?
Rae: Probably Rod Serling inspired me most. Growing up, I loved watching sci-fi and The Twilight Zone anthology series was a great introduction for amazing storytelling. There were so many different types of stories that were short but they felt like they really told a full coherent story from beginning to end. My brother got me into writing and art so I’d say he was also an inspiration to me because we shared so many story ideas and possibilities. It was great.
Jen: If you could date any male character from any of your books, who would it be and why?
Rae: Hmm, now that’s a good question! Lol. I would probably date Jace since he’s my favorite at the moment. He has that mysterious edge and sensuality that’s interesting yet he’s very loyal and will go so far for those he loves, especially his lady.
Jen: If your book was made into a movie, which actors would you choose to play the hero and heroine?
Rae: For Jace, I’d definitely pick Kyle Schmid who played Henry Fitzroy from Blood Ties (based on Tanya Huff’s Vicki Nelson series). A large part of Jace was based on Kyle’s portrayal of Henry and I loved how he was so confident in who he was despite his dark nature. He was sexy, strong and yet there was a sensitivity and intelligence to him that was so enduring.
For Ariya, I’d definitely pick Megalyn Echikunwoke who’s best known for being on the 4400 USA series. I love her grace and her quiet strength, not to mention her gorgeous curly hair. I looked to her to get an inspiration for how Ariya would act and especially her physical appearance.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Rae: I’m currently working on the second book in the Ashen Twilight series called Within the Shadows of Mortals. There’s a lot of action in this one and Ariya and Jace’s relationship is put to the test as the house is discovered by humans. I really wanted to explore what the world would be like if humans discovered they weren’t at the top of food chain anymore and how the world changes as we see it from the outside POV (through the immortals’ eyes).
I’ve also just sold my science fiction thriller romance A Feast of Shadows to Eirelander Publishing. I’m really excited about this because it’s the follow-up to my first book Cimmerian City which will now be re-released as a prequel of sorts since ‘Feast’ is a self-contained book.
I also have some other works coming up. I’m working on contracting a multicultural Skinwalker urban fantasy romance, a young adult futuristic fantasy and a dark romance suspense noir. Whew! It’s hard to write in one genre so there are always elements of others in my stories that it’s hard to summarize it one type!
Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Rae: I have a few stops readers are welcome to check out.
Feel free to friend, follow or say hello anytime. 🙂
Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Rae: Definitely! I’d love to know what are your favorite genres and why. And also, what kind of characters and stories resonate with you? I hope that’ s not too general. 🙂
Jen: Readers, Rae is offering a free e-copy of A Kiss of Ashen Twilight and an opportunity to either have a paperback copy or an e-copy of Book 2: Within the Shadows of Mortals (the second half of the prize will be given when it is available). To enter the contest, please leave a comment or question for Rae. Then to complete your entry, either leave your email address in your comment or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. The winner will be chosen on Friday, August 14.