A warm welcome to fantasy author, Rebecca P. Minor. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to spend it with us. A couple of Mondays ago, I mentioned that I had met Curse Bearer, what was then titled Sword of the Patron, in a contest put on by Marcher Lord Press. Could you tell us what transpired those three years between the contest and now?
After the contest was over, I took the feedback I got from voters and applied it to my manuscript. I set that version in front of a few discerning critiquers, continued to tweak it, and shopped it around at the ACFW Conference in 2010. I did get some nibbles of interest, but the manuscript still wasn’t quite ready, judging by editor’s reactions to it when they had the full book to evaluate.
In the spring of 2011, my husband gave me the most incredible birthday gift: a seat in a full-week workshop with David Farland (Rune Lords, Courtship of Princess Leia as Dave Wolverton) where he gave a detailed critique of the first 150 pages of the manuscript. That was the best investment I think I have ever made in my writing. At the workshop in St. George Utah, Mr. Farland taught for about 4 hours in the morning, then sent us off to apply what he taught to our manuscripts. I sincerely believe that overhaul of the manuscript is what took it from getting a nod or two at ACFW to getting four requests for the full manuscript at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer’s Conference in the summer of 2011. That’s where Written World Communications picked up the manuscript.
Of course, it’s only fair to note that during all this time, I was also writing and publishing The Windrider Saga, serial fiction set in the same universe as Curse Bearer, but that series takes place 250 years prior.
It’s such an amazing journey to look back and see our progress, but not when we are living it, right? I’m sure Danae could attest to that. Danae is the female protagonist, and she is rather strong-willed. Did you base her character on anyone in particular? What do you think is her greatest lesson learned at the end of Curse Bearer?
Danae is influenced a bit by my opinion of who I would be if I said everything that crosses my mind instead of being the incredible self-repressed person that I am. She’s also a character that has undergone tremendous change as the manuscript has gone through revisions. At first, I set out to make her a dutiful, loving, respectful, model daughter, and then I discovered the way I wrote that kind of character made her a horrible protagonist–boring! So I made her impulsive and driven instead, and that gave me a wonderful pile of conflicts to work with. The lesson she learns in the story has to do with her discovering the difference between being willing to do whatever it takes to reach a goal and assuming the outcome of your circumstances are entirely up to you. I know that’s a semi-oblique answer, but I want to keep the exact crux of the story shrouded in a little mystery for those who want to read it.
Of course, we wouldn’t want to ruin the ending for those who haven’t read it yet. Moving on to a question on everyone’s lips: Does Danae get together with elven hottie (as he now has been nicknamed)? Okay, so maybe we can’t go there. Sigh. So, speaking of elves and curses, what’s up with the languages in your world? Latin-based? Did you create them?
Ha ha ha! I do have to laugh about people’s reaction to Culduin. I was so worried people would think he was too nice–but apparently I have struck a pretty good balance between love interest and combat-awesomeness that both male and female readers appreciate. I have to break it to all of you…the answer to the “get together” question is going to take some time to reveal, so folks will have to wait to see how that turns out. It won’t be without major ups and downs.
As for the languages, let me talk a little about Elvish, since it is the one major language I utilize in the book, whether in what the elves talk about or in the words of the “magic” of the book, which is intoned by using a form of ancient Elvish. I use influence from multiple Latin languages: straight up Latin as well as some French and Italian. I always picture Elvish as a language spoken with very little movement of the lips and jaw. Sometimes I add completely made-up syllables to keep the language from sounding too much like any earth language, and also to give the words the right sound and feel for what they mean.
I know some of us are eager to find out what’s coming next. Are you doing another novella for The Windrider Saga? Or are you jumping into the sequel of Curse Bearer?
As tempting as it is to jump right on the book that follows Curse Bearer (A Voice Within), my intention is to go back to my Windrider series first. I have a manuscript half-written for the third Windrider book, so I am planning on trying to finish that during the month of November, get it into the editing process, and then tackle A Voice Within. From there, I haven’t decided if I will head into the third Danae book or continue with Vinyanel. Either is entirely plausible.
Speaking of Vinyanel. Readers will have seen him mentioned in Curse Bearer, which leaves us speculating. We have a question from one of your fans. He’d like to know:
Is Vinyanel going to be a viewpoint character in the sequel to Curse Bearer?
As the sequel to Curse Bearer (A Voice Within) stands right now, Vinyanel is not a POV character. The draft is written all the way through, but I plan on going back through it and doing a pretty major re-write for a few reasons. First of all, the writing is very old, so I need to bring it up to my current ability level, and secondly, I want to make sure Culduin’s point of view is more frequent throughout the book. While Vinyanel’s story intertwines with Danae’s, The Risen Age Archive is still very much Danae’s story, so Vinyanel’s involvement is fairly limited. Don’t worry, surly elf fans, he’s got a lot more of his own stuff in the works.
And since we’re on the topic of elves, we have another question from a fan. She’d like to know:
In Windrider, we have Vinyanel, and in Curse Bearer we have Culduin. Do you have a thing for hot elvish men?
This question completely made me smile. What can I say? Swoon-worthy elves are fun to write. Does having fun writing them equal having a “thing” for them? If so, I guess I’m guilty on that count. Though to be honest, I wasn’t really sure how readers would react to either Vinyanel or Culduin. It seems like they strike the right chords with readers in terms of being characters people want to see more of, so that’s very satisfying to hear as an author.
Well, your characters struck a chord with me. Even on my second read through, knowing what was going to happen, I had tears in my eyes when….oh, can’t go there. 🙂
My main goal with my writing is to provide audiences who love fantasy another world to explore, new characters to enjoy, and a sense of having spent their time well in reading what I have written. I want my books to be accessible to a broad audience while still having my core values at their heart. My primary intention for my work is for it to be entertainment. I hope it will also be thought provoking and original.
That’s it for today folks. We’ll continue on Wednesday with a peek at her book release party and questions about the writerly life. Friday we’ll have some fun, so stay tuned!
Head on over to Rebecca P. Minor’s Facebook page and enter for a chance to win Curse Bearer, your choice of ebook for Kindle or paperback; the novellas Divine Summons & A Greater Strength for Kindle, a specially designed T-Shirt, or a character sketch* of our favorite couple: Danae and Culduin.**
*Sketch will be available to ship in January
**Due to shipping cost, we cannot at this time ship internationally. International winners will receive Kindle novellas Divine Summons & A Greater Strength in place of the T-shirt or character sketch.
Giveaway ends midnight on November 10th 2012