I’m so pleased to welcome pal and fellow author Ainsley Brooks to the blog today. We’re celebrating the publication of her debut novel, The Star Prophecy, Book 1 in the Daughters of Prophecy series. Ainsley and I met online, but I knew right away she was a kindred spirit. She beta-read for me and is introducing me to a whole new world of fiction, fantasy! I hope you’ll join me in making her feel welcome. Take it away, Ainsley…
How I Became a Fantasy Romance Writer
by Ainsley Brooks
Science Fiction and Fantasy—the two genres are inexorably linked. Oh I like science, sure, when it comes to electricity and my laptop and the like, but in my fiction—not so much. For me, Science Fiction was like saying moldy chocolate. The science part kind of killed it for me. Since fantasy seemed to be the sidekick of science fiction, I just assumed that wouldn’t be my cup of tea either. How wrong I was!
When I first tried my hand at fiction, I decided I’d write a mystery. Yes, that’s how much of a newbie I was, I thought I could just decide what I wanted to write and write it. Ignorance really is such bliss, isn’t it? Turns out, writing mysteries is hard. I mean, there’s plotting involved. I came to learn right quick that I wasn’t into the plotting thing. As I struggled in vain with the mystery, my husband convinced me to read The Eye of the World, the first book in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. I resisted. Fantasy, that’s like science fiction, right? How about I just read the user manual to our dishwasher instead? But my husband is steady and persistent and can almost always wear me down if given enough time. So I gave in and started reading the darned book. I think I might have made it all the way to page two before I became a total Fantasy convert.
Fantasy is epic, high-stakes, earth-shattering struggles of good versus evil with characters facing inner battles just as pitched and crucial. It’s also, I came to find out, a genre largely dominated by men. At least, that’s true of the kind of Fantasy I write. Certainly, there are exceptions and there are some awesome Urban Fantasy series being written by women now. But I didn’t write Urban Fantasy. I’m from Kentucky, I hardly know what urban is. If I wanted a swords and magic romance, I was going to have to write it myself. And that’s how The Star Prophecy was born.
Drumming my fingers on the keyboard while my mystery novel word count remained stubbornly immovable, I thought ‘Hmmm… What about a story about a woman who’s destined to save a kingdom?’ I was on Christmas break from my university job, and I spent those two weeks writing what, nine years later, would become The Star Prophecy. At the end of that two week break, I think I had twenty thousand words. Those two weeks will remain forever in my memory as one of the most exhilarating times of my life.
Twenty-thousand words in two weeks and it still took nine years? Well yes, but I also had two kids during those nine years. Kids are not conducive to writing books. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Not even when they sleep? Babies do not sleep. This is a myth, a kind of mass delusion necessary for the perpetuation of the species. It is a fantasy, if you will, a blissful fantasy with no grounding in reality. But I digress.
How does Fantasy differ from Urban Fantasy? Nobody has the same ideas of what defines a genre, and the lines are constantly—and to great effect in my opinion—being blurred. For my part, Fantasy is Merlin and castles while Urban Fantasy seems to be more vampires and Werewolves. Don’t mistake me, I love me some vampires (Eric Northman anyone?) but it’s not what I write. Did you ever read/watch The Lord of the Rings and think how awesome it would be to experience that story after a romance writer got hold of it? That right there, that’s the kind of thing I write. Below is a blurb about The Star Prophecy so you can see for yourself.
In fiery splendor, a star will rise over the land.
Summoned by a vision of death and destruction, Aerdrin leaves her beloved mountain sanctuary and braves a world where women like her, wielders of the magical elements, are hated, hunted, and burned alive. To Talehndor, an ancient land of mystery and majesty, she travels, knowing only that she must seek out Throne Prince Alkaidin Thaine, for he alone can prevent the devastation of her vision.
Kaid faces trials of his own, not least of which is his betrothal to a woman he detests. The marriage will forge a powerful alliance for his kingdom, and Kaid will do anything to be worthy of the throne he so recently reclaimed, but the mantle of duty weighs more heavily once he meets Aerdrin. Her horrific prophecy and spellbinding allure threaten his kingdom, shake his resolve, and force him to question everything he believes about wielders, about duty, about his own destiny.
Together, Aerdrin and Kaid must face that most powerful of enemies–fate. Their weapons may mean salvation or destruction, and destiny may demand more of them than they can bear to give.
When the swords fall silent and the flames subside, will the light of the star still shine in Talehndor?
Ainsley Brooks is the author of The Star Prophecy: Book One of The Daughters of Prophecy. In addition to being a writer, she is Mommy to two little redheads. In her free time … Actually, she doesn’t have free time, but visit her anyway at http://ainsleybrooks.com, because she has been known to give up sleep in favor of chatting about books with online friends.
Purchase links for the The Star Prophecy:
Available soon at Apple iBooks and other ebook retailers.