The Indie Spotlight: Interview and Giveaway With Rae Z. Ryans
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Please welcome today’s Indie Spotlight Author, Rae Z. Ryans to Mother/Gamer/Writer! Rae is a close friend to this blog (you’ll see why below) and joins us today to talk about the release of her new novel, Chivalry & Malevolence. Full of mischief and mayhem, we’ll discuss the story, her life as a writer and her advice for other Indie Authors. And be sure to stick around for the awesome swag and signed copy giveaway!
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Novella intro into the Alfheim Nine Realms Series.
When the Unseelie Court sentences an innocent man to death, the elven Princess Morgana cannot sit idly by as the human Knight perishes. The Queen calls her pathetic and worthless. It does not change how Mori feels about the old laws of Alfheim. These rules punish the faultless, lesser races of the Nine Realms of Odin.
Of the nine, this realm of the Light is home to many mythical creatures. The portal gates remain forever closed to the human race. However, neglected for centuries, a Knight from the realm of Earth enters the Light. Holding onto his faith and code of honor, he holds stoically in the face of capture and death.
Princess Mori remains his only hope, but to save him, she must first save herself.
[note color=”#fee1ee”]1. Welcome Rae to Mother/Gamer/Writer! For those readers who are not familiar with you or your work, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?[/note]
Rae Z. Ryans is an alter ego, but many of your readers will know me as your awesome reviewer Heather from Literary Sweets. I chose a pen name, mainly because my real name was long and goofy. Plus, it totally sounds like a ship name.
Thus Rae (My gaming name) Z. (My husband and older brother are both named Zack/Zach) and finally Ryans (My younger brother’s name).
I mainly write fantasy, both historical and urban, but I’ve also dabbled in horror and contemporary romance. I have a deep love for history, mythology, reading, and cooking too. When I’m not writing (or reading) I’m usually editing, beta reading, or working. Is it any surprise that I’m a freelance writer too?
[note color=”#fee1ee”]2. Do you have a particular writing style? Any odd writing habits?[/note]
I’ve been told that I have a unique style, but whether or not it’s a good thing is debatable. I do prefer to use first person and multi-point-of-view. When writing historical set pieces, I get myself immersed into the period. The same goes for other cultures.
In C&M Thomas is a Knight from England. While I chose not to write his accent, I did chose many period set words from the crusades as well as using the proper names for his horse and equipment.
In Midgard, the Lycans all speak with Scottish accents 🙂 and use similar slang depending on their age. This is also true for the Council of the Nine. All the magical races stem or have roots in Scotland.
Habits … I have many bad habits. Coffee is necessary, and it doesn’t matter what time of day it is. I also don’t start writing until after 2pm on weekdays. The time prior is set aside for reading, planning, and family.
[note color=”#fee1ee”]3. Whom would you consider your favorite authors, or where do you draw inspiration?[/note]
My list of favorites is ever changing. I prefer to say that I have favorite genres: romance, paranormal, fantasy, and YA fantasy.
If I was forced to, well, no. Even then, I couldn’t. I have a major soft spot for many indie writers. I’d say the vast majority are ones that I’ve read for Mother/Gamer/Writer, with the other’s being written by fellow book bloggers.
Ok, you really want names … /snickers
Karice Bolton, Tawdra Kandle, Priya Ardis, Ednah Walters, Liz Schulte, oh my stars … and Erica Hayes /fans self
[note color=”#fee1ee”]4. What books are currently on your bookshelf?[/note]
I just finished Tin God by Stacy Green and just started the Spellbound Series by Lola James. My TBR pile is through the roof right now, but I am craving a quick paced PNR right now.
I tend to cycle through the genres and i just came off a big epic fantasy kick mixed with contemporary romance. I’m ready for some vampires and/or werewolves. Oh and I’m impatiently awaiting the final book in the Sookie Stackhouse series.
[note color=”#fee1ee”]5. Your latest novel is Chivalry and Malevolence. What is the background behind the story, and can you tell us a little bit about the series? What was your favorite scene or chapter to write? [/note]
I’ll see if I can keep everyone on the same page here. Technically the series is The Nine Realms. Alfheim is a trilogy within the series and one of the Nine Realms. In total, Nine Realms has a trilogy mapped out for each realm, in addition to novellas such as this one. The series as a whole draws inspiration and borrows the pantheon of Norse Mythology (I have a thing for Vikings). Alfheim is the realm of the light faeries. It seemed rather fitting to keep this as is, and to build from there.
The story itself falls between a human Knight from the 14th century who finds himself walking into Alfheim, and right into the hands of the Unseelie court. Every piece of him is a reflection of Earth and the period, making this half-historical and half fantasy.
Morgana, the Unseelie elven princess suffers physical abuse. She was born without power. Power is everything to an Unseelie, and therefore her mother, the Queen, deems her unfit to rule and unsuitable for a proper marriage. At 19 years old, she is still a prisoner.
Chivalry and Malevolence is a war: A war between right and wrong, love and hate, and overcoming obstacles. It is meant to introduce you to this world, but also inspire and remind that we are more than what others label us. We are more than what others do to us.
My favorite scene to write is when Mori (Morgana) removes her scarf for the first time. She wears it to hide her disfigurement caused by her mother. Mori’s magic is too weak to heal it, and she fears Thomas will treat her with disgust if he sees who she is behind the mask.
[note color=”#fee1ee”]6. Were there any ideas or character you had to leave out that you would like to revisit or work into another novel?[/note]
I had to stop myself. From day one, I knew this would be a novella. Each of the realms will have one, except Midgard which is Earth. If I could write it again, I might include more animals/wildlife. I focused more on the Pegasus this time around.
In C&M I did have to tone down Prince Drust, the dragon. I really wanted to showcase the race more, but I have plans, big plans for him. We will also see more of Morgana’s brother, Prince Brennan as well as the dwarves and Seelie Court in the future.
Is there a message, or underlying theme in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. It isn’t a coincidence that I pushed back my official release into April. It is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and C&M delves into the darkness. It shows us the ugly truth that lies beneath the hatred, but we see Mori overcome it with her inner strength. She grows from a frightened child into a strong woman despite her mother’s abuse, her father’s neglect, and her own feelings of worthlessness. She may save Sir Thomas, but Morgana also saves herself.
[note color=”#fee1ee”]7. What can readers expect to see from you next?[/note]
Midgard: Tears of the Valkyrie and my vampiric short, Crimson Lies are both in editing. I am currently writing Midgard: Rise of the Legion and Chivalry and Malevolence II (Working title)
8. Lastly, do you have any advice for aspiring authors, or authors looking to self publish their novels for the first time?[/note]
Hire an editor and a formatter. It’s the best money you can spend, but where most writers tend to skimp. Also don’t underestimate the power of the beta reader. It doesn’t matter if you want to traditionally publish or self-publish.
I’m a bit biased with self-publishing. In the long run you have the opportunity to make more money and you obtain the rights. Most publishing contracts require a lawyer to digest all the fine print. But if you still choose this route, do your homework before signing anything.
Finally, just write. You can never become an author or aspire past aspiration if you don’t get that story down.
Thank you so much for stopping by the blog we hope to talk with you again very soon!
Yay, thanks for having me. I’ll be back as my other self soon with some juicy reviews!
About the Author:
Rae Z. Ryans currently resides in Tumbleweed, Alabama, with her fourdemons (cats), three lycans (dogs), threesprites (kiddos), and her “normal” mood-shifting husband. She has lived all over the east coast and was born in Fairbanks, Alaska. Contrary to popular belief, Rae has never lived in an igloo.
She claims to be a socially awkward mouth breather who also owns a pink elephant that buy shoes. While there is plenty of proof that Rae loves shoes, no one has been able to prove the existence of Punky the elephant. She would point out that we can’t disprove it either.
Rae is an alternate ego who enjoys writing urban and historical fantasy in her spare time. In real life she isn’t very funny, and often comes off as sarcastic. In reality, Rae is down to earth and goes with the flow.
She is currently working on a horror short story, and her series, Nine Realms.
You can find Rae on Facebook, twitter, good reads, and writing.com. At writing.com, she typically posts works in progress for critiquing and her friends. On Facebook, Rae often interacts with her fans, shares quotes, and asks for help in naming characters. In her words, “It is my utter downfall. I am filled with stories, but I lack the imagination to name anything.”