Thursday, September 3, 2009

Welcome to the Word Place: Black Rose Author Skhye Moncrief

Good morning, Judy!


Let me tell you a little about the Black Rose line. In a nutshell: Fur and Fangs. That's it. Black Rose deals with dark paranormal romances. What's the difference? Don't worry. The editors often send them on to the other paranormal line if your submission doesn't fit a Black Rose but deserves publication. ;) Think shapeshifters, vampires, and guys with very tarnished reputations. There's more information for the curious... When the Black Rose line decided to run the Got Wolf! contest, the editors were very excited about a new release with a female shifter. So, they encouraged authors to write their heroines as shifters. ;) But I just didn't see my first release, HE OF THE FIERY SWORD, as dark. It seemed more a High Fantasy adventure romance set in medieval Ireland. But something worked for the editor. That's what so great about publishing with a small press. They are more open to new ideas. And my hero was a shape-shifting dragon--a pretty popular theme in romances at the time. Lucky for me. Shapeshifters are what Black asks for... But dark can equal suicidal like with my self-destructive hero (King Arthur) in the opening scene of HE OF THE FIERY SWORD. However, I did come around and write a novella for the Black Rose line--THE SPELL OF THE KILLING MOON. The heroine was the shifter were-assassin. As you can see, I jumped on board the Got Wolf! wagon, and the work panned out. ;)

I'm only published with WRP at the moment. I greatly appreciate having copies of my tales in print. ;) Any story you write over 65K words will be released in print if WRP contracts your piece. I'm also fortunate to have editors who talk to me and answer my e-mails. I don't hear that common with other presses. WRP is a wonderful place. And you asked for writing tips...

Writing tips are tough calls. Every writer has his/her own hangup. Me, I'm stubborn. One would think that a good thing based on what I'm about to say... With writing, persistence should be the word of every day. Find blogs about writing like Skhye's Ramblings http://blog.skhyemoncrief.com where writing tips are delivered daily to subscribers' mailboxes. I blog about THE SOUL OF FICTION, BARING YOUR CHARACTER'S SOUL, and WORLDBUILD LIKE A ZEN MASTER. I have a guest each week who describes the research she did for her works. And I blog about my personal collection of reference books. I also know that what works for me won't work for everyone else. Still, find those writers who think like you. Learn from those who've already walked the rocky path you're facing. And, if someone helps you, return the favor and buy their book! The economy is tough on authors. Who knows? You might find a gem, i.e. new favorite author.

And today, I'd like to give away a pdf of HE OF THE FIERY SWORD to one person who comments telling me which cover they like best at http://skhyemoncrief.com/Page_5.html. Just comment here by midnight, CST tonight. I'll announce the winner tomorrow. If you'd like to know who wins, just subscribe to Judy's blog! Best of luck to everyone on their writing journey! ~Skhye

"Arthur is a masterpiece..." He of the Fiery Sword's King Arthur ~Diane Mason; The Romance Studio

“The Spell of the Killing Moon offers the best of spine-tingling suspense. The setting is perfect... Moncrief’s ability to wield magic and emotion are without compare. Her words twist together emotions and visuals until you experience this tale as if the trap were set for you. Some lines blend a kind of poetic magic: “Moonlight wove a special kind of magic, a spell so vacillating that a person never knew if reality were anything other than a dream.” Darkness and premonitions and deadly intent fill these pages... a unique blend of mystic Medieval Gothic and romance…and a true blood-curdling thriller. 5 books" ~Snapdragon, LASR

"Intense, original, suspenseful, and dramatic... an unpredictable topsy-turvy romance... the suspense builds with every page in SACRIFICIAL HEARTS. In a world where symbols mean everything, magic is the way..." ~Snapdragon; LASR


HE OF THE FIERY SWORD available at www.thewildrosepress.com

www.timeguardians.com

www.skhyemoncrief.com


"Be the change you want to see in the world." ~Ghandi

18 comments:

K9friend said...

Paranormals have become so popular recently. What do you think is the fascination that people have with vampires and werewolves as romantic figures?

Skhye said...

Oh no! I can go on and on with this one. LOL

I'm an anthropologist and tend to see the fascination with paranormals as an outgrowth of individualism. Science paved the way for the individual's significance. We saw minorities and women fighting for equal status on the playing field last century. The trend in stories about witches alone attests to that.

BEWITCHED dealt with an adult female and female empowerment. Then the same idea more recently moved on to teenage females in SABRINA. And now the idea is everywhere for everyone in paranormals. But there's more to the trend than just liberation and burning bras.

If you've ever read PARADISE LOST in an educational setting, you've heard that people in our culture, the USA, relate to the Devil in that we are free and easy, capable of making choices that buck tradition's system. Now, our rebellious choices still remain along continuum of what is deemed socially acceptable. Talk about an important point! The same idea, the perception of turning away from tradition, often comes with the internal fear of breaking rules. I THINK that the passion for paranormals now is that one can exit the realm of tradition into the realm of what tradition deems taboo and survive--be salvagable in the end no matter what the costs. Think undead here. If you are undead, you contradict the norm. And you are obviously being punished from moving on as the undead should have done--a facet of a right/wrong dichotomy. But you are redeemable. And in myth/legend/story, the trend is to find redeemable qualities in characters.

A happy ending is where very few lose and can be salvaged back into society. Paranormal fiction tests cultural waters by showing us that even though we fear the unknown or forbidden, we can return to something defined as normal. Ultimately, the interest in paranormal fiction reflects our culture's ever-growing liberal attitude. ~Skhye

nlindabrit said...

I found your post and your reply to Pat extremely interesting. Thank you for giving me some insight into this particular genre of writing, which is one I have never really encountered before.

P.L. Parker said...

Well, how can you pick! All of them are pretty hot. I would have to say Time Guardians really caught my interest but the two bare-chested guys were pretty good too. I happen to love paranormals. Pretty much all I read.

wendy said...

I wish to enter the contest for a copy of He Of The Fiery Sword. I am torn between two covers, Skhye. I thought the cover for Song Of The Muses (Ancient Musings) was delicate and ethereal. In fact, I would have liked to have seen it in more detail. And the other cover I realled liked was The Spell of the Killing Moon. Fantastic and haunting, really piqued interest in the story within.
wendy.peterson@bigpond.com

Skhye said...

Thanks, NLinda, Patsy, and Wendy.

NLinda, it's an interesting way to look at paranormals.

Wendy, I also think ANCIENT MUSINGS has a beautiful cover. The artist went with a red filter to give the first three novellas in that series a similar color theme--dark. The photos she pieced together look nothing like this reddened vignette. THE SPELL OF THE KILLING MOON is quite a collage. If you look closely, you'll see the woman is a ghost because the background castle is in ruin, and the grounds have sight-seeing signs! I think that's cool. It implies she's haunting the frenzied wood! ;)

Patsy, you know kilts don't require shirts!

lmcoulter said...

Fascinating post and fascinating reply to K9's post. Thanks for both, I will look at this fascination to vampires and werewolves a little differently and with a bit more understanding!

Debra St. John said...

I do have quite a fascination with vampires. I think they are my favorites paranormal wise. As for covers....Skhye, I'm going to go with "Ancient Musings". It's very romantic.

Beth Caudill said...

I have to say I love the cover for On the Mend. Those eyes are great.

(No need to enter me in the contest)

Skhye said...

Thanks, LM, Debra, and Beth. :)

LM, the fascination with what we humans struggle and shouldn't be as culturally dictated is an animal and merely the uncontrollable. I guess we're back to vampires and werewolves! Completely redeemable if you look at paranormal fiction. If not, then who cares if they end up on the wrong end of a stake, etc.? LOL

Skhye said...

Congratulations, lmCoulter! You won a pdf of HE OF THE FIERY SWORD. Please e-mail me at skhye@skhyemoncrief.com to claim your prize. :) And thanks to everyone who stopped to ponder a thing or two...

Maggie Toussaint said...

I see i'm too late for the contest, just my luck! Anyway, I love all your covers Skhye. But my fav is the one with the castle, the Spell of the Killing moon.

Enjoyed the post.

amber polo said...

I've always paranormals and speculative fiction. I want to escape to other worlds but I also want the answers about this one science will never discover. So it's up to novelists to solve the problems.

Judy said...

Thanks for sharing with us at The Word Place, Skyhe! I loved your pithy description of Black Rose as "fur and fangs"!

ddurance said...

Sacrilegious Seductions is a pretty one and The Spell of the Killing Moon is also a favorite.

Deidre

Skhye said...

Thanks, Maggie, Amber, Judy, & Deidre. The Black Rose editors started calling their line Fur & Fangs. I merely passed on the label. ;)

Mary Ricksen said...

Go Skhye!!Yeah!

Skhye said...

LOL, Mary. Thanks. ;) I love it when friends shake pompoms!