"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
R. Garland Gray
A gifted storyteller, R. Garland Gray beckons readers into her unique worlds, weaving passionate, compelling tales that entertain and escape the ordinary.Born and raised in a closely-knit family in the Bronx, Garland now lives with her husband in a small country home in New England. She enjoys the simple things in life, Sunday morning walks, sampling good ice cream, riding on the back of her husband's motorcycle, and the occasional star-gazing session at midnight.
PNR: Can you tell us a little about how you started writing; was it something you have always wanted to do?
R. Garland Gray: I started writing at night when I attended college. I remember sitting down at my desk, turning the desk light on, and staring at Houghton Mifflin’s edition of The Riverside Shakespeare. Exams were the next day and I could not sleep. It was pitch black outside. I don’t know what possessed me, but I picked up a pen and began to write a story. It just came out without thought or preparation. Thereafter, writing became a part of me and I knew I wanted a career in it. I eventually earned a living as a technical writer, but in the back of my mind I always wanted to write a book. Only recently, I say the past six years, have I decided to pursue what started back in school.
PNR: Do you have a strict writing schedule? How do you balance your personal and writing time?
R. Garland Gray: Yes, I do try and follow a writing schedule but always remain flexible to life’s other plans. I find my creative time to be in the morning so that is when I write. Afternoons are filled with other responsibilities, but I am always thinking about the next scene or next book project.
PNR: Who or what has been your biggest influence as a writer?
R. Garland Gray: My mom’s inner strength was my biggest influence. Anything you set your mind to do, you can do.
PNR: Why do you feel romantic fantasy is such a popular sub-genre of paranormal romance?
R. Garland Gray: I believe we are beings of luminous spirit, needing to touch individual ancestry, and seeking connections. Perhaps romantic fantasy fills that need right now.
I think Nancy Berman’s article, “A Renaissance of Faeries,” captures the sentiment best.
“… In keeping with folkloric (and social) traditions we carry some portion of the experience back into our modern lives… One can only hope that the current foray into the faerie world will not end with the closing of a door that will only reopen when the world is once again in conflict.” (Faerie Magazine, Winter 2005)
PNR: FEY BORN, the second book in the Faery Faith series was released in December 2006, and tells the story of Lana and Keegan. Keegan’s commitment to duty and honor set the stage for tension between the hero and heroine. Could you tell us a little about the development of this storyline?
R. Garland Gray: One reviewer calls FEY BORN, “a story of inherent sacrifice.” With our nation’s current state of war, I wanted to address duty, honor, and personal sacrifice, but in a way not easily familiar to the reader. Admirable qualities are timeless.
In keeping with the mythic stories of ancient Ireland, I developed Lana and Keegan’s story around the Tyranny of Bress, a tale found in The Book of Invasions. It is a story about a hero king turned tyrant. In this backdrop of betrayal, Lana and Keegan are forced into making extremely difficult decisions by putting other’s needs above their own.
If any one of your readers is interested, The Book of Invasions contains the stories of the successive invasions and settlements of the Celtic people of Ireland. Translations can be found on the Internet.
PNR: Your writing creates a magical and captivating atmosphere that has enchanted readers. How do you approach the world building for your fantasy worlds? How much research goes into its development? Or is it simply imagination?
R. Garland Gray: Thank you for your kind words. I strive to give the reader an uplifting experience while making the unfamiliar feel real. I gather as much research as each book requires and then marry it with my imagination. The Faery Faith books required tons of research because they are set during recorded historical events. Ancient Ireland is such a treasury of mythic tales. The real blends with the unreal so I had to walk a very fine line.
PNR: Do you feel your writing is character driven or plot driven? How do you balance these two elements?
R. Garland Gray: In my past few books, I seemed predisposed to intricate plots and intricate characters. Traditionally, I develop my characters first, learning their personalities and needs. By that time, the plot is unfolding in my mind and I simply follow where it leads. For me, character and plot development balance out themselves.
PNR: Your books feature strong heroines that readers really connect to, would you describe your writing as female focused? What is their appeal for readers?
R. Garland Gray: The inner strength of a woman is extremely appealing to me and I want to empower the miraculous spirit that women have. Having said that, I don’t know if I would describe my writing as strictly female focused. Without males, the equations do not work.
PNR: Could you tell us a little about how you develop your characters? Who has been your favorite character to write? The most challenging?
R. Garland Gray: Like most writers, I am an observer and pick up character traits from those around me. During one of our family gatherings in the Bronx, my mother warned everyone to be careful around her daughter because what you say or do could wind up in a book. I remember my husband choking on his coffee at the time.
My favorite character is usually the heroine I am currently crafting, however I really enjoyed working with Princess Scota. She is my heroine in WHITE FELLS, a confident and dynamic woman who knows her own mind. The tenacious Boyden does not stand a chance - or is it the other way around? I’m not telling.
I think the most challenging character was Lana, my heroine in FEY BORN. Born with a physical disability, her story proved the most challenging and the most admirable for me. Despite what she suffered, she was optimistic and capable, very able to deal with the goal-oriented and stubborn spirit of Keegan.
PNR: Boyden and Scota will have their story told in WHITE FELLS, book 3 in the Faery Faith series releasing December 2007. Could you give readers a peek at this upcoming offering? What are your plans for the Faery Faith series?
R. Garland Gray: I would be happy to. Here is an excerpt where Scota drops to her knees in front of Boyden. He is kneeling and his wrists are tied with ropes and staked to the ground:
“… Compassion warred with the cold warrior inside her. She should not be seething with rage for what he suffered. She should not feel, not for him.
Long lashes lifted, one brown laced, one red stained.
Her stomach somersaulted into oblivion.
A new violent heat licked over her face …
Hooded eyes no longer the silvery gray of a windstorm swirled with irritated shades of amethyst twilight. Magnificent with intensity, they were sprinkled with flecks of sun kissed gold, markers of a faery kin framed by an abundance of brown lashes. Before embarking with his men inland, Amergin spoke of the faeries. He believed some of the tales real and spoke of a strange fey marker in the eyes, an amethyst hue with shards of gold.
Scota stared at a hard angular face, stared at a — male faery.
Immediately, she reached down for her sword and found a large hand gripping the hilt.
In the next instant, the tip of the blade pressed into the tender flesh under her chin. She was captor no longer. The way they knelt facing each other, Scota knew the guard did not see the swift change of authority.
“Doona move.” His voice was low and darkly caressing, yet no less commanding.
Spreading muscular thighs wider, he shifted closer to her, shielding the weapon between their bodies, hers clothed, his most definitely not…”
* * *
Currently, I do not have any plans for a fourth book in the Faery Faith series. If readers would like another book, I would ask them to email Medallion Press. They are the publisher of the Faery Faith series and reader friendly. Their website is: www.medallionpress.com
PNR: You have written in the romantic fantasy genre with the Faery Faith and Darkscape series. What is it about this genre that captures your imagination? Is there a genre you haven’t written but would like to try?
R. Garland Gray: I’ve always loved fantasy, science fiction, and romance because they provide a wonderful escape into worlds I would never be part of. Blending fantasy and science fiction with romance captured my interest and so that is the path I am following at the moment. I believe they call it cross-genre writing. A talented author, no matter the genre, can take a reader anywhere.
Someday, I would like to pen a contemporary. I have a story in my head that refuses to go away.
PNR: Your Darkscape series was released through LTD Books and received the accolades of readers and reviewers. Do you have any plans to make these titles available to readers again through a new publisher?
R. Garland Gray: If all goes well, I will be posting news about DARKSCAPE on my website in the next few months.
PNR: Please tell us about the projects you are currently working on; what can readers expect to see in the coming months?
R. Garland Gray: I am putting the final touches on a new shapeshifter story with an unconventional hero bound to no one. I am keeping it hush-hush for now. With FEY BORN recently out, WHITE FELLS coming soon, and news about DARKSCAPE coming in the next few months, I am keeping very busy.
PNR: Thank you, Ms. Gray, for taking time out to speak with us. Where can readers find out what's new and how can they contact you?
R. Garland Gray: Thank you for inviting me! I enjoyed my time with PNR.
The best place to find out about my books and about me is to stop by my website: www.rgarlandgray.com
I usually update my news section once a month and I’m always tinkering away with it.
Readers can contact me via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I try to respond to all emails.
Featured in this issue:
December 1, 2006
Read the Review!
Faery Faith: Book 2
Love will find that destiny has a price.
Born with a weak heart and an odd birthmark on her stomach, Lana is a frail farm girl of twenty summers. Never could she have imagined being magically fated to become a fey host for the sword spirit, Valor — and now the magical sword is missing, stolen from the vaults of Tara, the faery home. The disturbing wonders altering Lana's life have only just begun.
Entering Lana’s life is Keegan, a fearless fey guardian of the waters who must find the magical sword for his king before time runs out. Believing only the physically strong deserve life, Keegan never expects to meet his match in the small, spirited beauty he needs to guide him to the sword.
Across dangerous passage tombs beset with enemies to the shadowy worlds below, through battles of the spirit and body, they find that destiny has a price — for even a forbidden and fevered love must be set aside when all the land lay in peril.
And as an invading army sweeps Eire’s shores, a sickly girl must find the strength to face her mysterious fate and claim a guardian’s heart — a passion that once unleashed, could lead them both into a terrible darkness or the light of a forever love.
June 1, 2005
Read the Reviews!
Faery Faith: Book 1
In an ancient realm of magic, love has a destiny of its own . . . Abandoned at birth on the shores of a sacred loch, Bryna never knew her family or true heritage. She exists as a slave in the fortress of a Roman invader, her only friend an ancient, blind Druidess, Derina. Her life is bleak and without hope. And then Derina tells her she must rescue the prisoner in the dungeon. Tynan lies naked, chained to a cold, stone slab, both body and mind tortured by the Sorcerer, evil ally of the Roman lord. The Sorcerer's purpose? To discover if this one, at last, might by the Dark Chieftain, the fulfiller of prophecy. Even deeper in the dungeon, trapped by magical enchantment, are the faeries. They await their liberator, the one who has been prophesied. And the Dark Chieftain awaits a destiny of his own . . . mating with the territorial goddess . . . a union that will set the land, and many lives, aright. First, however, he must gain his freedom and find her. And Bryna is on her way to the dungeon . . .
Coming December 07Buy it now!
Faery Faith: Book 3
Destiny will not be denied...
A formidable warrior of the Tuatha De Danann, Boyden is one of the few born of the idir, the between. With the power to summon the bringer of death in the form of a fey wind, he could kill all living creatures — including an invader seeking vengeance for a wrongful death — but he vows to find another way.
Princess Scota, a confident warrior princess, does not believe in anything fey…until she meets her people's latest captive, a proud male whose defiant nature she cannot tame and, in a twist of fate, becomes captive instead of captor.
Across wind-scored hills and misty woodlands, to the realm of the fey below, theirs is a battle of determination and distrust that, once breached, erupts into a hot and eternal passion. A passion now susceptible to a needful and terrible fey claiming. In a land covered in blood, they battle for a truce between their warring people, one that will threaten their lives and newfound love. In a future offering little choice, Scota knows the survival of their love depends on Boyden learning to submit … willingly.
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