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Monday, September 16, 2013

Author Interview - Karin Rita Gastreich

9:16 AM Posted by James Noel , No comments

When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
I like to go for walks, bicycle, camp, listen to music, and dance.  I’ve been studying dance for years, and am currently trying my luck with flamenco.
How often do you write? And when do you write?
While the semester is in session, I set aside a regular 2-3 hour slot once a week that is my sacred time for writing. During the summers, I try to write as often as possible.  Sometimes this has meant every day; but sometimes life happens and I have to settle for once a week (or less) instead.
I also spend a lot of time mulling over scenes and stories before I actually sit down in front of the computer and start composing.  This helps me use my ‘write time’ as efficiently as possible.
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
I want people to be swept away by my writing; transported to a new world that they can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell.  I want them to come to care for all of the characters at some level; to be invested in everyone’s fate, whether that character is considered ‘good’ or ‘bad’.  Most of all, I want my readers to have fun, to enjoy the adventure and the magic.
What’s your favorite meal?
Sauerbraten with red cabbage and potato dumplings.  It’s a traditional German dinner, and no one makes it like my mom.
What movie do you love to watch?
The Last of the Mohicans, 1992 version with Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe.  I don’t know what it is about that movie, but I never tire of seeing it.  The setting, the story, the music, the romance, the heroism, and the tragedy are unforgettable.  I also think it has one of the best closing sequences ever seen on the silver screen.
What’s your next project?
High Maga, a companion novel to Eolyn, is currently undergoing final edits and will be released in spring of 2014.  The story takes place about three years after the previous novel ends.  Eolyn is older now, with greater responsibilities and more complex challenges. She has established her own fledgling coven in the isolate province of Moehn, but when war descends upon the kingdom, her community is destroyed and her students killed, captured or scattered.
Aided by Borten, a loyal knight of the king to whom she is increasingly drawn, and the enigmatic Mage Corey, Eolyn must escape the occupied province and deliver to the king the weapon that might secure victory against the invaders.
Their collective journey will test the limits of love and endurance, until Eolyn comes to understand, perhaps too late, that she also carries the shadow that could unleash her people’s doom.
High Maga is a darker novel than Eolyn, more entrenched in the brutal realities of war.  The story features some truly nefarious villains, and magic is used in terrible and destructive ways. This was a difficult but very rewarding novel to write. I am looking forward to seeing how readers respond to its characters and their stories.
What does love mean to you?
Love is what gives meaning to our existence.  Everything else is secondary.
When and why did you begin writing?
The first story I ever wrote was based on a dream I had when I was a little girl.  It was a great fairy-tale style dream set in medieval Europe with women in pretty dresses and dangerous knights in shining armor and so forth.  Unfortunately, my mom woke me up for breakfast before I could finish the dream.  So I wrote an ending of my own.  Actually, I drew the ending, cartoon-style.  My first story board, you might say.  Maybe someday I’ll do a graphic novel again. . .
Do you intend to make writing a career?
It is extraordinarily difficult to make writing pay enough in order to call it a career.  But yes, if I can find a way to support myself as a published author, I would very much like for this to be the next big thing I do with my life, to dedicate myself full time to the craft of writing.
How did you come up with the title?
The name Eolyn is derived from Eowyn, a shieldmaiden of Rohan in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series.  In my first novel, Eolyn is quite a different character from Eowyn – for one thing, Eolyn abhors warfare and is not particularly good with the sword; nor does she belong to a royal house.  But I have always liked the name Eowyn, as well as the character created by Tolkien.  In a small way, the choice of the name Eolyn is an effort to pay tribute to both.
Who designed the cover?
My editor at Hadley Rille Books, Eric T. Reynolds, allowed me to participate in all the aspects of cover design for Eolyn, so I was able to have a lot of input in terms of the concept.  But the real artwork was done by Jessie Smolover, who also did the cover art for Finder and A Time Never Lived by Terri-Lynne DeFino.  Melissa J. Lytton, who has worked with Hadley Rille Books on several titles, including Transcendence by Christopher McKitterick, designed the cover itself.
Cover art for High Maga is being done by Thomas Vandenberg. Tom did the cover art for Poets of Pevana and King’s Gambit by Mark Nelson, as well as for Fire and Sword by Louise Turner.  I’ve seen some of the preliminary sketches and am very excited about what he is putting together for High Maga. Hopefully, we’ll be doing a cover reveal on my blog very shortly!
Who is your publisher?
My publisher is Hadley Rille Books, a great small press that specializes in science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction.  The editor, Eric T. Reynolds, is especially dedicated to publishing original fiction that features strong female protagonists. You can browse all of their titles at hadleyrillebooks.com.

Eolyn
Sole heiress to a forbidden craft, Eolyn lives in a world where women of her kind are tortured and burned. When she meets Akmael, destined to assume the throne of this violent realm, she embarks upon a path of adventure, love, betrayal and war. Bound by magic, torn apart by destiny, Eolyn and the Mage King confront each other in an epic struggle that will determine the fate of a millennial tradition of magic.
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Genre - Fantasy
Rating – PG13
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