Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Author Interview: Skhye Moncrief

Current Read: Scandalous by Night by Barbara Pierce





Please welcome today's Word Wizard, Skhye Moncrief!

Thank you, Skhye for being here.When did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you know?

I started reading at 4. I loved books. I remember writing as a child and then writing a lot during junior high and high school. But I didn't pick up the torch again until I was in graduate school. A friend was writing a novel and asked me to read it. I did and remembered how I wrote a novel for my journal work in high-school English classes. That's when I became obsessed with writing, again.

I know that feeling! :0) What inspired the idea of He of the Fiery Sword?

Fiery Sword was an idea I had since writing my first Time Guardian tale. I believe it was number 4 in the series. But King Arthur stemmed from "what were dragons" in my kooky oh-everything-was-misinterpreted-in-history-by-the-person-who-witnessed-my-time-travelers story idea. Honestly, that explains the whole story world aside from the gods warring among themselves. The title arose from the same line of thinking. I got my hands on a deck of Brian Froud's Fairy Oracle Tarot deck and liked his card titles/meanings, i.e. HE OF THE FIERY SWORD. But as you know from reading my novel, everything has multiple meanings. So, the title can be a bit misleading. ;)

That is certainly the truth - part of why I enjoyed it! Can you tell us how you researched for this book?

How? Gadz. Must I confess? I knew most hard-core Celtic romance readers were not going to like what I did with my series. Essentially, I disemboweled Celtic legend. But, as I said, I had too much fun twisting what is reported as legend into oops-somebody-got-that-wrong that I couldn't stop. And I used to have a running bibliography. But the list of books and documentaries grew so long that I abandoned the effort after three years of working on these stories. I researched everything from numerology to reading archaeological studies. I am a bit obsessive compulsive when it comes to research. So most people would probably wince at the hundreds of books and documentaries I crammed onto my shelves while writing this series. My husband kept asking if I really needed another King Arthur or Viking video... When someone as insane as I finally realizes she has read enough books on astrology, witches, runes, Freemasons, druids, magic, myth, and alchemy aside from history and archaeology reports to write twenty books, I decided to stop buying more research material and just focus on the writing. Of course, this could have just been one of my reasons to collect things... The major epiphany I had with HOTFS was when I signed up for a Medieval Literature course just so I could truly know a fraction of what my Druids would know. That's when I decided to give King Arthur an overhaul. He deals with lust and love just like those medieval romances. He didn't before Medieval Lit. And I had a firm grasp on what King Arthur and his peers knew, had, and did afterward.

What are you working on now?

Now, I mainly work on revising and submitting novels I wrote before baby. I have an idea for a paranormal I wrote a chapter for last year. So, I need to get back to it. At the moment, I have three novels that follow King Arthur's story in edits. And my editor wants another novella for the SONG OF THE MUSES Greek muse series I wrote a story for last December.

Congratulations! It's always great when an editor comes asking. :0) What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

When I'm not writing, I like to shop for incredible deals, sneak chocolate (because I'm not supposed to eat caffeine with my annoying health issue), and I'm working on teaching my daughter to read and do basic math. I'm a bit nutty about education of which carries over into my parenting. LOL

Parenting has a tendency to bring out the nuts in us I think. And your random question: What is your favorite animal and why?

Okay, I'm going with real animals because I studied hard science for an extremely long time in college and tend to be plain-Jane boring. Or I'd say dragons. My favorite animal has always been a horse. Looking back as the student of anthropology, I see my love of the freedom and power reflected in horses. I'm also attracted to their human-induced beauty--the byproduct of breeding. I tend to be drawn to specific breeds (something we can thank humans for instead of Mother Nature). On the flipside, a gal I critiqued with who wielded a few degrees in literature and writing mentioned how females like horses because they had something between their legs... Uh, please don't go Freudian on me here. I'm just into the freedom, power, and beauty of the beast. :) Remember, I'm plain-Jane boring.

Plain-Jane boring isn't how I would describe you! :0) Thank you so much for being here Skhye. This interview was a kick! Skhye writes a blog about reference books which is incredibly interesting. You can check it out here. Also visit Skhye's website here.

We have a signed copy of He of the Fiery Sword up for grabs so share your thoughts with us! The drawing will be on Friday.

Happy Wednesday!

75 comments:

rebekah said...

Thanks for the great interview. Your book sounds great. I love when people take local legend and put a twist on it. Legends change through out the years so I figure there is always something added or taken out anyway. Great post

Ruby (Mouth) said...

This book sounds sooo cool. I have put it on my wish list to read soon. I hope you have a wonderful release.

Ruby

Valerie Everhart said...

Great interview, Skhye! Your book, "He of the Fiery Sword", sounds soooo interesting!!

Throwing my name in the hat, lol!

windycindy said...

A very interesting interview. I enjoyed the questions and answers!~ Skhye is a fascinating person and wonderful author! I love her Celtic historical writings. Please enter me in your fabulous book giveaway drawing. Many thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

Lyn said...

Great interview Skhye - and apart from writing, we share something else in common - a love of horses. I certainly agree with you about their grace and beauty, although I love dragons too.

I look forward to reading all your books, can't get enough of these lusty Time Guardians!

squiresj said...

Hey - Skhye - it's Jane from your blog ramblings newsletter. So you think you are a plain Jane boring - not in anything I read. But I am definitely plain Jane - boring (especially now that my girls are grown and away from home).
It was interesting to read this review. Enter me to win the book - it is something one of my two girls would love and would make an excellent Christmas gift.
Jane Squires - jrs362@hotmail.com

Beth Caudill said...

Hey Skhye. Great Interview. I always sneak chocolate. How can anyone expect you to write without chocolate. Go for chocolate covered raisins. You can pretend they are good for you while eating them.

Leah said...

Great Interview! Interesting facts.

Mary Ricksen said...

Skhye you are a hoot.
I've always loved horses, I always wanted a little mare so I could raise a foal. So the legs theory fails on me.
I've had to settle for large lovable dogs.
I wish you good luck and many sales.

Mary Ricksen said...

I've always wanted a little mare, so I could raise a foal of my own. I guess the legs theory will not work for me.
I've had to settle for large lovable dogs.
I wish you good luck and many sales Shkye.

catslady said...

I love anything medieval and with sword in the title, I know it's going to be good :) I enjoyed the interview and hearing about the research too. Historicals have a lot more depth to them than some genres.

Dena said...

Hi Tiffiny, I enjoyed the interview with Skhye. She is a really good writer and I enjoy her blog. I always like learning more things about writers and I wouldn't call Skhye plain jane either.

Tiffany James said...

Rebekah,

So glad you enjoyed the interview. It is said that perception = reality and I think the same could be said about perception of myth & legend...one reason Skhye's book is so fascinating!

Thanks for hanging out here at Armchair Heroines & good luck in the contest.

Tiffany :0)

Tiffany James said...

Ruby,

Skhye's book is available right now...or you can keep your fingers crossed and win it in the contest!

Thanks for visiting AH!

Tiffany :0)

Tiffany James said...

Valeries,

You're in for the contest. I think you will enjoy Skhye's book! :0)

Best of luck and thanks for taking time out of your day to visit AH.

Tiffany

Chicks of Characterization said...

Plane Jane??? Hold on a minute while I pick my chin up off the floor!!! ha ha, Skhye is one of the most intriquing and intelligent people I have ever met! Her story was fabulous!! And so are her other works. Great interview ladies, and Skhye my dear friend, stop selling yourself short!! Love ya!!!

Andrea :O)

Tiffany James said...

Oops! Sorry Valerie - ended up with an extra "s" on your name!

T :0)

Tiffany James said...

Cindi,

Skhye is a wonderful author and, although I don't know her personally, she is a wonderful online colleague! :0) I'm so glad she was able to do this interview.

Good luck in the contest!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Lyn,

I'm also a huge horse and dragon fan! Majestic and proud are two words that come to mind!

Thanks for stopping by! Good luck in the contest.

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Jane,

Glad you enjoyed the interview. You are entered in the contest...maybe you'll get an early start on your holiday shopping!

Thanks for visiting Armchair Heroines!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Beth,

I agree - chocolate is essential during writing. I'm also partial to a glass of good wine! :0)

Thanks for stopping by!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Leah,

Thanks for visiting Armchair Heroines. You're entered in the contest - good luck!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Mary,

I love horses! I've always pined for one of my own. Never got my wish, so I gave one to my heroine in my first manuscript. And guess what? The mare has a foal! It's one of my favorite scenes.

Thanks for hanging out here at AH with us!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Catslady,

I love all kinds of romance, but I appreciate the added research that goes into historicals - they are some of my favorites!

Thanks for dropping by!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Dena,

We're on the same wavelength! Isn't Skhye's blog awesome!? I always know I'll find an answer to my question or a tidbit that is far more interesting than my question on her blog!

Thanks!

Tiffany :0)

Tiffany James said...

Andrea,

You said it!

Thanks for being here!

Tiffany

Helen Hardt said...

Wonderful interview! The book sounds fascinating. I'll definitely check it out!

Helen
www.helenhardt.com

Skhye said...

Hi, everyone! I finally found my google info to sign in. LOL. See, I can be scary. It's one of those after you have a baby things! Thanks for all the wonderful comments. I truly appreciate Tiffany taking the time to read my novel and interview me. As for chocolate, I'm not supposed to eat it or I get pain. No fun. And I'm not talking about no pain, no gain. As for boring, I can bore people to tears. I tried really hard not to here! My sister says going shopping with me is like being kidnapped for a field trip. LOL. Skhye

Tiffany James said...

Helen,

Howdy! Great to see you!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Skhye,

Like I said earlier - perception is reality...we all perceive you as wonderful and amazing! :0)

Thanks again for hanging out here at Armchair Heroines!

Tiffany

Skhye said...

Never fear. I chant "perception is reality" to those who can't seem to get away! :)) It's a byproduct of my anthropological brainwashing in grad school. ROFL. My husband calls it brainwashing!!!

Dina said...

Hi Tiffany,

Loved the interview and thanks for posting about it on Skhye's site.

This book sounds great, please enter me also. :)

Debby said...

I find it amazing how much research goes into books.

Tiffany James said...

Dina,

So glad you enjoyed the interview! Thanks for being here - you're entered. Good luck!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Debby,

It is amazing! And what is even crazier is how much research is done that never makes it into the book in an apparent form...all of the research affects the author as she develops her characters but it isn't always "visibly" in the book.

Thanks for joining us today!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Skhye,

"Perception is reality" sounds so pretty...almost poetic!
"Brainwashing" sounds so...NOT! :0)

Tiffany

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

I can attest to the bargain-hunter in Skhye. If it's on sale, she'll buy it or get you to buy it...lol. But she does know how to snif out a bargain.

Great interview.

~Anna Kathryn

Tiffany James said...

Anna Kathryn,

Really? I may have to drag Skhye shopping with me. I love bargains but am not a very savvy hunter!

Glad you enjoyed the interview!

Tiffany

Skhye said...

Yes, I'm the enabler. I always call Anna Kathryn and tell her where the good deals are. She lives 10 minutes away! But I should. What are friends for??? Skhye

Tena said...

This was such a nice interview. It gives us a chance to see how the author comes up with the idea for each book. I'm thankful for all the books out there to read they are fun and you took a chance on your dream to write and Im thankful it gives me a chance to sit and relax I'm a twin and the funny thing is my brother always called me Plane-Jane and my sister cover girl. I to love horse,the feel of the horse running with you down the path you are on is so wonderful but my favorite is monkeys I love them thanks

Alisha Paige said...

No need to enter me into the drawing. I own this amazing book and wow...it's a keeper!

It's wonderful to get to know a little more about you, Skhye.

And you are far from boring! I love reading your work. Please never stop weaving your magical tales.

Eva S said...

This book has been on my wish list for ever, Celtic myths, dragons,King Arthur...Now I'll have to get the book! Thanks for the interview.

KyAnn said...

Great interview Skhye,

I fear my husband and yours could share horror stories on book buying. I too have an obsession with research related material. Considering what I write, it isn't always the most appropriate coffee table reading. lol

Don't enter me in the contest, I already have your amazing book. ;)

Cate Masters said...

Great interview! I share your love of research, Skhye. It lends so much to the story. And your love of horses as well! I look forward to reading He of the Fiery Sword!
Cate

SFWriter said...

Skhye,
We need to get together for margaritas or something, and talk about obscure legends and traditions with no one to call us geeks and boring. You must be my soul sister, but we already knew that, Sister Muse!

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Skye, popping over from WRP--super post! I homeschooled my kids through high school, so understand perfectly how you feel about teaching your daughter! Love everything Celtic--must be the genes! Plus I love medievals--something to do with a guy and a sword...hmmm-hm :) Best of luck, lady!!!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Skhye,
Great interview.
He of the Fiery Sword sounds interesting. It is a time period I am not familiar with, but now I am going read up on it.
Cheers

Cindy K. Green said...

Terrific interview, Skhye! I love the extent to which you go for research. :) My house too is littered with research materials.

Cindy

Tiffany James said...

Tena,

I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview! I, too, am so grateful that there are so many different books available. I never have difficulty finding just the perfect one to fit my mood!

Good luck in the contest and thanks for joining us here at Armchair Heroines!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Alisha,

Thanks for joining us. I'm so glad you enjoyed Skhye's interview! I second your comment - keep on writing, Skhye!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Eva,

He of the Fiery Sword is a great one to have on your wish list. Maybe the magical forces will align around you and you'll win one in the contest! :0)

Thanks for visiting Armchair Heroines!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Kyann,

My husband wants to know if he can join also? He says they could call it the "Help for Husbands of Book Hoarding Writers".:0) I finally booted his books off of two shelves in our "library" because I needed more space!

Thank you for joining us!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Cate,

Research is definitely addicting! My struggle is when to stop researching and get my bootie in the chair for writing. :0)

Thanks for joining us today!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Sister Muse,

Isn't it wonderful to find people with whom we click and feel completely at home!?

Thanks for visiting Armchair Heroines.

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Terry,

I agree - there is definitely something about a man wielding a sword that grabs my attention!

Thanks for stopping by Armchair Heroines.

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Margaret,

Once you become more familiar with this era, you may just get hooked! It can be rather addicting. :0)

Thanks for joining us today!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Cindy,

Thanks for joining us today!

Research materials are like laundry and dust bunnies. As soon as you turn your back for a few minutes, it's taken over the house!

Tiffany

Viola Estrella said...

Hi Tiffany and Skhye! What a great interview. I'll have to check out Skhye's book!

Tiffany James said...

Hi, Viola!

Thanks for stopping by. It's great to see you!

Tiffany

Mary Ricksen said...

Wonderful interview Shkye, you rock!

Tiffany James said...

Mary,

Thanks for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed the interview.

Tiffany

Katie Bug said...

I have always enjoyed horses too. I had one as a child and used to love galloping in fields. I miss that.

I enjoyed your interview. Going by how the legend is supposed to go is good but tweaking is so much better. I love to read how different authors will portray certain ones.

Skhye said...

Hi to all my friends and Wild Rose Press comrades. Thanks so much for the kind words. As for the Society of Men Married to Book-Hoarding Women, well my husband gets one small drawer in the bathroom by the sink that he swears he never gets to use and then he gets the garage! He's allowed to empty the trash and dishwasher, run the vaccuum, and fold the clothes. ROFL. I probably shouldn't joke about that since I sent him the link to this interview!!! ;) Skhye

Tiffany James said...

Katie Bug,

If you enjoy legend tweaking, you're in the right place! Skhye is a master...masteress...what would the term be for a female master? Is there one? Ah, yes, mistress? No, that doesn't sound right, either... :0)

Anyway, you are in the right place because Skhye does an excellent job at legend tweaking!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Skhye,

You are hilarious! And I love that: "Society of Men Married to Book-Hoarding Women"...

I graciously allow my husband to cook and haul our three children to their many activites. He also frequently handles evening bedtime...that's my writing time!

Tiffany

Katie Bug said...

Very nice. Looks like more for my TBR pile. lol

Tiffany James said...

Katie,

Yes...the TBR pile - that is another one of those things that seems to amoebically divide and grow when your back is turned. It's much more fun than laundry and dust bunnies, though! :0)

Tiffany

Katie Bug said...

I keep telling the hubby that I am allergic to dust bunnies but he wont believe me. lol

Jan Scarbrough said...

I have owned three horses in my life (which was always a dream). I am horse-less now, but continue to take riding lessons once a week. I ride American Saddlebreds. I try to put a horse in every book I write. I agree with you that there's something special about horses and their relationship with humans.

Tiffany James said...

Jan,

One of my favorite dreams was one in which I was riding a horse in a circle. It was one of those dreams where the action was happening to me instead of me watching it from the sidelines. The feelings and images have really stuck with me and strengthened my love of horses!

Thanks for joining us!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Katie,

I find rubbing my nose, fake sneezes and a nasally voice really help! Hee-hee!

Tiff

Ashley Ludwig said...

Skhye - I'm officially joining the Society of Men Married to Book-Hoarding Women -- I finally know I'm not alone! Last week, my husband asked if I wouldn't mind selling the boxes of books still waiting for shelves to be built and I about had a heart attack. He finally realizes that I'd get divorced before I part with my precious library. :)

Congratulations on a fantastic day - and a wonderful interview.

Your fellow Anthropologist

Ashley
http://ashleyelizabethludwig.blogspot.com

Tiffany James said...

Ashley,

You are most definitely not alone. I told my husband that he could sleep on the couch because I was reading and researching and had books strewn all over the bed...there was no room for him!
:0)

Thank you for joining us today!

Tiffany

Skhye said...

The more the merrier, Ashley! ;)

Skhye said...

Thanks for your time, Tiffany. And have a fabulous weekend! Skhye