Welcome, TONI, and tell us a little about yourself.
Well, Liz, I’m a native Georgian (that’s Georgia, USA< not Georgia, the former USSR) and I say that because the other day someone asked me that specific question. Because of my accent, they thought I was a foreigner, they said. I now live in the Midwest, the Great Plains, to be exact. I’ve just moved there after being in California for a decade and wow! Is that a cultural shock!
Tell everyone about your journey to publishing a novel.
Not so much a journey as a stumble, a stagger, and a crawl. I was in a devastating automobile accident in 1970 and my recovery would have been just as horrific if I hadn’t had books to read. Imagine lying flat on your back and being unable to sit up for 6 months! The aftermath was pretty dire also because I was unable to work for quite some time and there were instances, even after I had returned to the work force, when I had to choose between eating and reading. So, I started writing books to replace the ones I couldn’t buy. I shared the manuscripts with the ladies at work and one day one of them dared me to send one to a publisher. I did. They rejected it but wanted to see another. I sent it. It was accepted. Ta-DAA! A writer is born!
What do you like the most and the least about writing?
LIKE: Reading something I’ve written but haven’t looked at in a while, and thinking, “Damn, did I write that? It’s good!”
DISLIKE: Having to sit in one spot long enough to write a book.
What are three things you cannot do without?
My computer, my car, and my TV. Well, I suppose I could do without the TV and the computer, if I had to, but the car…? Really need that out here in the wide, open spaces.
Give us a peek into your latest published work.
My latest novel is called Wizard’s Wife, released this month by Class Act Books.
There are astronomical events called Harmonic Convergences, which occur when certain planets are aligned with the sun. This happens all the time, but what was so different about the particular one in 1986 is that all the planets were lined up directly with the sun. As usual when something like this happens, there were all kinds of dire predictions as to how this would affect the Earth, news shows, TV specials, etc, etc., and so forth. Well, the Convergence came…and went…and nothing happened…
Or did it?
After all the brouhaha died down, I got to thinking…What if something did happen, and we just don’t know about it, because it didn’t happen here? But…it was going to have ramifications for the Earth anyway?
And Wizard’s Wife was born. I didn’t write it immediately. In fact, after doing an outline (the only one I’ve ever done for a novel, in fact) and the first chapter, I set it aside. So aside that I lost it completely. Then, two years ago, it surfaced in a box of papers, but when I moved from California to Nebraska, disappeared again. I’ve never re-found it, so, with what little I could remember, I wrote the entire book from scratch. I think it turned out better than the bit of first draft I have.
My hero is Tavis (David) McMuir, a faery wizard, a Lord of White Fire, sent from his own dimension of Ais Linn to protect the Earth from the evil machinations of Exeter Dubhtina, an evil wizard, a Lord of Dark Fire, who plans to take over when the Convergence happens and David’s form of magic (White Fire) is at its weakest.
David, in the meantime, has much more than just Exeter to worry about. He’s married a mortal—going against his father’s wishes to do so–and has a halfling child on the way, and now he has to protect his wife Megan from his jealous ex-fiance (who just happens to be Exeter’s sister) as well as save the Earth. When he returns to Ais Linn to prepare for the coming battle, Megan, who’s no shrinking violet where her husband and fae are concerned, follows, only to be captured by Exeter who uses her to force David to make a choice: Surrender the Earth or lose your wife and unborn child.
It’s an exciting story (I think) and readers who like fantasy and knights and damsels-in-distress who can (almost) take care of themselves, should like it.
What’s next on the writing horizon for you?
A fantasy set among the pyramids, Egyptians and Hebrews, working-title Bride of the Beast. Another fantasy. Something a little different.
Is there anything you want to tell readers?
Yes. Buy Wizard’s Wife. Read it. Enjoy it. Then, say—“I can write that well, too,” and give in to your budding Muse and do it!
Thanks, Toni. Good luck with your new novel. The cover is gorgeous! And continued success in 2011.