Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Author Interview and Giveaway

Today's Interview is with Romance/Fantasy author, Nicole Zoltak. You can be entered in a drawing to win one of her ebooks if you leave a comment below this post and say which book you want: Woman of Honor or Knight of Glory.

*** Remember, my questions are to help other authors with the writing process as well as intrigue readers so enjoy!***

1. Where did you get the idea to write a book about female knights?

I love everything that involves knights and chivalry, their honor and goodness. Yes, I know not all knights were heroes, but I write romances and I romanticize the time period.

Anyhow, I read everything I can about the Middle Ages and knights. Throughout my research, I wondered if there were any females knights, knowing how women were treated back then. To my surprise, there had been an entire order of female knights – the Order of the Hatchet in Catalonia. These brave women protected their town from Moor attack when the men had been away.

These brave women gave my the inspiration to write about a female would-be knight who pled her case before the king, citing the Order.

2. How has your life experiences shaped you as a writer?

Although I often set my story in historical or even fantasy-type settings, I try to inject as much realism as I can into my stories. Falling in love and getting married are two he experiences that have definitely shaped me as a writer, I almost always inject some kind of romance into my stories! And when you think about the fact that I married the first boy I ever kissed and that we had a Renaissance-themed wedding, my love life does resemble something from a book. For years, I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a story about Lady Nicole falling in love with the dashing Sir Todd…. Wouldn’t it be fitting to have one of our wedding pictures as the cover?

3. I loved your first book, Woman of Honor. Now tell us about the second installment, Knight of Glory.
***You can read my review of Woman of Honor Here***
Knight of Glory picks up immediately after the events in Woman of Honor.

Sir Geoffrey, along with some companions, has been sent away from Arnhem, entrusted by Queen Aislinn for a special mission, and has to leave behind the mysterious lady Celestia. On his journey, he uncovers seeds of a sinister plot, learns a horrible secret, and makes a new friend in exile Jenanna.

Their mission completed, Geoffrey and his companions rush to two different kingdoms to ask for aid. Danger and betrayal lurks around every corner, and even allies have secrets that could prove deadly. Geoffrey's feelings for Celestia grow and wane. After learning some of Celestia's secrets, he begins to have second thoughts about his love for her and is even drawn to Jenanna

Rumors abound that the Speicans have enlisted a mage of their own, to work unspeakable, forbidden magic. The war between Speica and Arnhem has just begun. Will Geoffrey survive the battle to live another day and discover which woman he truly loves?

Woman of Honor focused more on the historical than Knight of Glory, which has a much more fantasy feel to it. Several new races are introduced. There’s plenty of action, adventure, love, heartache, battles, secrets, deceit…. There’s something for everyone!

4. You also write short stories! Are any of your short stories coming out this year? How do you decide which anthologies to submit work to?

A Squire’s Love, a short story based on a minor character in Knight of Glory, just came out in February in the Classic Romance Revival’s first anthology, The Cupid Diaries – Moments in Time. Melpomene & Thalia Sittin’ in a Tree is a short romance story about two authors and their muses which is a part of the Be Mused: an A-MUSE-ing Anthology, will be available April 2010. Also, Beauty is Only Fin Deep will come out later this year in Mertales.

I basically just keep an open eye out for anthology call for submissions and if the muse strikes me (which it usually does!) I’ll write a piece for it. Lately, I received some rejections that mention that the stories were short-listed. So they were good stories, they just didn’t fit well with what they were looking for for that particular anthology. I’m trying to find homes for those stories in the magazine marketplace. So we’ll have to see how that goes.

5. Here is the fun and zany question: If you could meet any of your characters in real life, who would it be and why? What would you say to them?

Definitely Aislinn. She’s such a strong-willed person who knows what she wants and how to get it. Honestly, I look up to her. She never backs down from a fight, even to the point of being pigheaded. But she’s a wonderful person with a heart full of gold.

I would ask Aislinn how she likes being Queen. She never seemed to like the courtly aspect of living in the castle and now she has no choice in the matter. For one thing, knowing the answer will make future books set in this world easier to write!

***Remember to leave a comment to be entered to win!***


Carol Kilgore said...

Nice interview. I've created characters I'd like to meet, too.

Aubrie, an award awaits you on my blog.

Cherie Reich said...

Great interview! I love historical books, and the idea of female knights is very cool. Although the Middle Ages isn't my particular expertise (I'm more of an ancient cultures gal), I had no idea that there was a female knights' order. That's just awesome! Hopefully, I'll get a chance to read them (Yes, more books to add to my ever growing list). Congrats on the books!

Side note to Aubrie: I'm so honored that you mentioned me in your acknowledgments for NEBULA'S MUSIC. I started reading it today, and it's even better from the first time. Can't wait to finish it!

Joanne said...

Thanks Aubrie and Nicole for the interview! It's always interesting to read of another writer's journey and insights.

Clicked over from Carol's blog, enjoyed browsing here!

Angie said...

Great interview. Thanks to you both. I'd love to read Woman of Honor.

BK Mattingly said...

Great interview! I'd love to meet my characters and other characters other people have created. :) I have an award for you at my blog!

Mary Gray said...

That's so cute that you married your first kiss and had a MA themed wedding. AW.

Aubrie said...

Thank you for all of your comments!

Carol, thanks for the award!

Cherie, Thanks so much for reading Nebula's Music! You bet I included you in the acknowledgements!

Joanne, that's my mom's name. It's nice to see you here!

Angie, your interview is up next!

Bethany, thanks for the award!

M. Gray thanks for commenting!

The winner is.....Joannne! Yay!

Angie said...

Oh, oh! I'm so excited. :)