Monday 2nd of June – which means it’s only a few more days until you’ll be able to get your copy of Not Quite Shakespeare from Dreamspinner Press and a list of terrific authors.
I’m really looking forward to getting my copy and if you comment to any of the interviews in the NQS series your name will go in the hat to win a copy of the anthology as a gift from me! On the other hand, if you don’t want to wait you can pre-order it HERE.
My guest today is S A Garcia. 🙂
Have you ever visited the UK?
Yes, seven times. In 1977, I visited my brother who was stationed in Scotland. My last visit was in 2003… I am long overdue to return.
Where did you go?
My partner and I have traveled through almost all of the UK. We love ruins: churches, abbeys, castles… hell, we’re easy to please. Throw in standing stones, barrows, tombs; the weird and wonderful mystical places not found in the US. Granted ancient Native American sites in the Western US have the same special dynamic, but the dry desert settings are so different.
Desolate moors, jagged mountains worn down by time, and crooked timbered buildings capture our fancy.
I just studied a UK map and realized, to my surprise, the only English county I missed is Isle of Wight. The only English National Park I haven’t visited is Pembrokeshire… see below as to why! I visited New Forest and the area comprising the South Downs Park before the government granted those beautiful areas National Park status.
In Wales, I visited every county except Pembrokeshire, because our landlord told us the coast wasn’t that great. Let’s hear it for Dave Davies’s advice. As far as Scotland goes, I’m been as far north as the Isle of Sky but have yet to visit the Hebrides, Shetland, or the Orkneys, although I dearly want to see them some decade.
As you can tell, I’m in love with the UK.
What would you most like to see if you were able to visit again?
Although I already have visited Cornwall, I need to return. Back in 1984, during my second UK trip, I missed many standing stones in the area. Worst of all we arrived at Tintagel Castle, legendary birthplace of King Arthur, five minutes after it closed. My string of angry curses probably still floats above the place. At least Merlin’s Cave was still open, although the tide was coming in.
What inspired you to write your story for the anthology?
Our stay on a wonderful pig farm bordering the Yorkshire Dales.
Could you tell me a little about it?
A delightful couple had purchased the tumble down farm and had worked for years to restore the large old farmhouse while they lived in a trailer behind the barn. We rented the house for a week during the final rental year— the next year they planned to move in to live there year round.
The thing is they had gone over the top in decorating the house— there really was an abundance of silver and blue furniture. Much of the description of the house from the story is accurate, including the spectacular conservatory featuring views on three sides and the lush walled garden.
Could you please tell me about your other work?
You’ll be sorry you asked me that question! I am definitely a late bloomer. I always seemed to be writing, but sending out stories to publishers terrified me.
That all changed in 2009. I started sending out short stories and novellas. Bold Strokes Press accepted my vampire novel to the Blood Sacraments anthology for a 2010 release. Directly after Dreamspinner Press released the romantic Serpent Prince and elf slave fantasy Canes and Scales, the dark fantasy comedy To Save a Shining Soul, sad short “Baron’s Last Hunt” and the sci-fi dramedy Divine Devine’s Love Song. The former Silver Publishing released Temptation of the Incubus, a dark supernatural comedy about dangerous incubus Amando. Yep, now the novel needs a new home.
My next short stories, “Love in Focus”, and “The Colors of Pastor Saul”, were released in 2012 via DPS’s summer and winter anthologies. An Elf for All Centuries, a comedic fantasy introducing sexy, bratty Prince Fabion, released through Silver. Yes, it also needs a new home.
In late 2012 my first contemporary comedy in what I call the Cupid realm, Cupid Knows Best, arrived via Dreamspinner. I followed it up with The Gospel According to Cher in late 2013.
Early 2014 has been quiet. That ends in June. I’ll have a story in the Not Quite Shakespeare anthology, a wild sci-fi comedy involving spliced species, space smugglers, and tunnel ghouls in Mended, DSP’s Daily Dose anthology, and the release of Canes and Scales: The Novel.
I also have stories in various charity anthologies and way too many free stories roaming around.
My writing is strongly character-driven. The stories blossom around their growth. My characters are seldom heroic or cliché, not unless I write a cliché to make fun of the cliché. They also tend to drink lots of wine. Wonder who they inherited that habit from?
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m finishing up the edits of Canes and Scales: The Novel for Dreamspinner. I took the initial novella, overhauled it, added new chapters within the novella part, new storylines and characters, and then topped everything off with plenty of tasty angst and danger. The novella is now a 120,000 word epic. Verbal Miracle Gro really works!
I’m also finishing a short story for submission to DSP’s YA anthology First Time for Everything. In-between work and gardening this summer, I want to finish a fantasy trilogy series titled A Fairy in Rittenhouse Park and find new homes for my orphaned Silver novels. Realistically I’ll probably fail on finishing the trilogy but better to aim high, eh?
Please could we have an excerpt?
Of course! Here’s the opening of “Apollo, Heathcliff, and Hercules”, my Not Quite Shakespeare story.
Simon arched his brow. “Excuse me, you want to holiday where? Did I hear you say on a pig farm in Yorkshire? Dear boy, are you barking mad?”
Damn, why did Simon use such a mocking tone? His lofty tone made me feel like I owned ten working brain cells, which was far from true. His new trick of firing snarky questions at me needed to stop. I should be pleased; sometimes I thought vain Simon incapable of learning anything new aside from styling his wavy blond hair.
Another thing—my sanity was intact, although why I endured Simon’s self-centered nonsense—well, maybe I was Bedlamworthy.
Simon’s dismissive expression prodded my normally even temper. Heavens, the good boy in me—the calm, level history professor—wanted to scream at Simon like a raving diva. Could I channel Maria Callas’s operatic volume? Hmmm, better to channel her than Jack the Ripper. Less messy all the way around.
Instead of screaming with frustration, I imagined wearing a ball gag, a little trick I had learned during my university days. Quite a wonderful way to center my thinking. “Please look at the photos, Simon.” I swiveled my tablet toward Simon. I deserved a peach tart for not smacking it against Simon’s handsome head. No use breaking my toy. “The quaint cottage is a beautiful place with views of nothing but nature. Isn’t the setting perfect? Imagine the two of us, alone, far from the madding crowd.” I added a positive smile.
Instead of cooperating, Simon scowled at the burgundy Lincrusta wallpaper. He still refused to look at the tablet. Come on, even a three-year-old would at least look out of curiosity. Not Simon. When he wanted to act petulant, he put a three-year-old to shame. Some ex-amore must have told Simon he looked adorable when he pouted. I couldn’t deny it; he did look fuckable. He also looked sluggable.
Thanks, Elin, for hosting me today!
My absolute pleasure 🙂