"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
There's Magic in the Air
Spotlight on Magical Romance
Rebecca Goings lives in Oregon with her husband, four kids, two cats, a dog, and a lizard. She is a stay-at-home mom, who homeschools her kids. Her professional writing career began in October of 2004. Since then, she has built quite a book list, with 15 contracted books between three different publishing houses, By Grace Publishing, Champagne Books, and New Age Dimensions (not all of which have been released yet.)
PNR: Have you always known you wanted to be a writer; when did you begin writing?
Rebecca G.: I knew I wanted to become a writer at the tender age of seven. I can even remember the moment clearly. I was in the first grade, and the second graders came in to read us stories they had written, and each of their books were laminated and bound with those spiral bindings. They were so 'permanent', and instantly, I was taken with them. I wanted that for myself. That's when I started writing. I think my first story was about a little lost unicorn.
When I was in the second grade, I wrote a poem that my teacher submitted to a contest without my knowledge. Well, the poem won, and the prize was to be a featured poem in a book called ;The Nevada Young Writers of 1983'. I was presented the book at an assembly in front of the entire school, not to mention getting my own story in the newspaper with a color picture no less! I had my first taste of fame and I loved it. I wanted more of it. Nothing could have stopped me from writing at that point.
PNR: How do you manage to balance your writing and personal time?
Rebecca G.: Well, I’m a stay-at-home mom, so it’s probably easier on me than it would for a working author. Every chance I can get, I’m in front of the computer, unless I'm tired of it and I decide to read. I’m not always writing, though. Sometimes I'm answering emails, posting to different Yahoo loops and promoting in general. But when I write, it’s usually in the afternoons and evenings, when my kids don't bug me. However, it is hard. As I homeschool, plus do the bills, plus run errands, plus clean the house, plus make dinner, plus promotions and chats. Add that all together, and my actual writing time is less than you would think for someone who stays home all day long.
PNR: What is the best part about being a writer? The most frustrating?
Rebecca G.: The best part about being a writer is creating a world that a reader can get lost in. Writing characters that you really love, and could actually be friends with in real life. I love being in control and knowing that no matter what I throw at these people, I will give them their HEA. That’s fulfilling to me.
The most frustrating thing would have to be the promos. I’m not a big bragger, so talking about how great I am hither and yon is a little uncomfortable for me. Not to mention that promoting your work is very time consuming. That's time taken away from my writing! But I do understand that books don't sell themselves, and so it is a necessary evil.
PNR: What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story?
Rebecca G.: First of all, you have to care about the characters. If you read about whiny heroines or heroes with no heart, you’re not going to be touched quite as much at the heartbreaking scene in the book. Secondly, there has to be believable emotions. Characters should grow and learn throughout the course of a book, and their emotions should reflect that. Readers can tell when an author uses unrealistic emotions as a plot device. For example, having the heroine get mad at the hero for something he said for no good reason other than to have a conflict. Or having the hero hate the heroine one minute and professing his love for her the next. And lastly, a good plot is monumental. Something where if you took out the sex, you'd still have a story. A romance, in my opinion, should not be all about the sex. It should also be about the meeting of minds and hearts as well as the bodies. When you add all three of these elements together, likable characters, realistic emotions, and a good plot, then you know you have a great book on your hands.
PNR: Could you tell us about your new series, The Wolverine Chronicles?
Rebecca G.: Sure. The Wolverine Chronicles are a collection of three novels and a short story as a prequel. The prequel, entitled THE CRYSTAL OF MYNOS, introduces the reader to the kingdom of Lyndaria, and to Mynos and Malnan, the two central dragons to the entire series. It follows what happened to dragonkind so long ago and explains where the magical talismans came from, those mentioned in the novels. The prequel does not have a very happy ending, however, I don’t view it as an “ending”. The prequel is the beginning, and therefore the reader should know there are still more adventures to come for Mynos the Dragon.
The books themselves follow the Wolverines, knights of the king, who must defend the kingdom from the evil that threatens when the magical gems of the dragons fall into the wrong hands. Each book has a new plot, each book revolves around a different Wolverine, and each book features a touching love story.
But there is an overarching story as well that is told throughout all three novels, of the dragons and of Mynos himself.
The titles of the books are:
1. THE WOLVERINE AND THE ROSE
2. THE WOLVERINE AND THE JEWEL
3. THE WOLVERINE AND THE FLAME
PNR: Where did the idea for The Wolverine Chronicles come from?
Rebecca G.: The original idea for this story came a very long time ago, when I was thirteen years old. I’d always loved fantasy stories and movies, watching Labyrinth, The Neverending Story, and Legend, as well as reading the Belgariad by David Eddings. So one day, I was walking my dog, and made up a story about two elves. Kaas and Wobble were their names. They were chosen by the Protector, a huge eagle-like bird, to retrieve a magical talisman known as the Crystal of Mynos from an evil lizard man. In those stories, Mynos was a place, not a dragon.
There were three stories that I had written by hand, passed around my classmates at school. They all loved them.
After that, I tucked the stories away in my closet and didn’t revisit them until I was older. My husband was into Dungeons and Dragons, and I was fascinated by all the magic and spells and mystical creatures. And of course, I'd always loved to write. So I remembered my dreams of being published with these fantasy stories and wondered if I could make something of them. Reading through them again as an adult, I realized the storylines were way too cheesy to do anything with. I had to think of something new.
So I sat down and had an idea. What would happen if a man gave a young farm girl a blank scroll in a crowded marketplace and asked her to keep it hidden? Why would he do that? Why is the scroll blank? Is it really blank? Who is he? Is he hiding from someone? Who wants the scroll? Why? It just snowballed from there.
Because I loved dragons, I decided to make 'Mynos' a dragon, and I kept a few names of people and places from those old stories. 'Kaas' is now King Kaas of the elves. And the castle in the series still has the same name from my original stories of old: Castle Templestone.
PNR: Could you tell us a little about the development of the key characters in the series?
Rebecca G.: The dragon Mynos is a key player throughout all the books of the series. In the beginning of the prequel, we get a glimpse of the happy dragon he once was, dreaming of new beginnings and making a life for himself and his mate. In the books, we follow him through the adventures and learn, little by little, what he’s gone through in his long life. We learn more about his mate Malnan, more about his sister Estriel, and more about Mynos himself. He's my favorite character in the entire series. Even through tragedy, he’s able to pull through victorious and do what he has to do.
Arianna, the heroine in the first novel of the series, goes through quite a bit of change. At the beginning of her story, we see her as an adolescent girl, complaining about her father's strict rules. By the end of the book, she becomes a stoic woman, one who fights fiercely and loves deeper than she could ever dream. She finds out things about her world and her family, even about herself that shock her, and it bursts the bubble of ignorance that she had been living in. I really enjoyed writing her.
Sir Sebastian of Tabrinth, one of the Wolverines in the first book and hero of the second, goes through a transformation as well. When we first meet him, he’s one of the younger knights, not really hardened by battle. But by the end of the first book, he takes it upon himself to lead the meager army at the castle against all odds. He grows up very quickly.
Malnan, Mynos's mate, was also great fun to write, because she is such a tragic character. We read about what happens to her in the prequel to the series, but we’re not finished learning about her. Even though she is not as involved as Mynos is in the overarching story, she is still just as important to the storyline for what she does in the prequel. So as the series goes on, we learn more and more about her.
PNR: An epic series such as The Wolverine Chronicles requires extensive world-building; please tell us about the challenges you faced?
Rebecca G.: Ah yes, the world-building. It wasn't easy, let me tell you. I started writing the first novel of this series, THE WOLVERINE AND THE ROSE, in 1996. I finally finished it in 2004. It took me 8 years to write. Partly because I wasn’t working on it every day, partly because I had to brainstorm a lot to make sure everything fit together and made sense, but also in part because I had to build a world from scratch!
One of the first things I did was I named my world (Lyndaria), and my husband helped me out with a few things. He made mention that coins and money in our world have names, such as pennies, dollars, pounds, yen, pesos, etc. so I thought I would apply it to mine. The money system is based loosely from D&D with gold, silver, and copper, but the coins are embossed with the face of Lyndaria’s first queen. So I decided to call the coins “ladies”: gold ladies, silver ladies, and copper ladies.
The next thing I had to do was draw a map, because I needed it to figure out exactly how long it would take people to get from point A to point B. The castle is on the western coast, and there are two mountain ranges plus a huge lake, a swamp, and a few rivers here and there. Also there is an island in the middle of the ocean that is key to the stories as well.
Over the years as I got an idea about the landscape or a name of a town or city, I would scrawl it on a piece of paper at work and bring it home. I have countless brainstorming papers on this series.
The dragons, again, are loosely based off of D&D dragons, with gold, silver, red, green, blue, etc, however mine don’t hoard money and jewels. I don't bother to flesh out a city on the map unless my characters are going there. Only then do I need to wonder about what kind of city it is. However, things like trade and economy do have to be thought about, even if that’s not the focus of your story. How exactly did that leg of lamb get to the marketplace from the King’s Mountains without spoiling? Those kinds of things are questions that a reader (or an editor) might ask, and things you need to look out for when building a world.
PNR: This series is a departure from your previous work, what attracted you to the fantasy genre?
Rebecca G.: Well actually, all my other books came after these. THE WOLVERINE AND THE ROSE was my very first novel and I was so excited to finally finish it after 8 long years. So I decided to jump into it's sequel, THE WOLVERINE AND THE JEWEL right after. That book took me 8 months to write. A little better time frame. By that time, I was burnt out with writing fantasy, and a friend told me to step out of my comfort zone and write something different. So I did.
I tried my hand at Inspirational romance and Mainstream romance and I found I really liked it! As those books were written and accepted, my Wolverine Chronicles were just sitting there, as I had queried them to Dorchester and Tor and Luna, all of which rejected them. The books are a little too 'romance-y' for the straight fantasy crowd, but on the flip side, a little too 'fantasy-esque' for the straight romance crowd. They are definitely different than other fantasies out there. But once I gave them to Melissa at New Age Dimensions, I knew they’d found a home.
But like I said, I've always loved fantasy stories, and had lots of pictures of unicorns up in my room and dreamed of castles and handsome princes to sweep me off my feet. Pardon the pun, but there was just something magical about fantasy stories. Also, right around the time I started writing this series, a movie came out that I just love called “Dragonheart”. If you haven’t seen it, you should. Draco *is* Mynos. I was highly inspired by that movie, with the intelligent dragon who could breathe a colossal plume of flame, but was also benevolent in nature, a caring dragon who would be your friend. The only thing Draco is missing is magic and the ability to shapeshift. And translucent golden scales. LOL
PNR: Thank you for taking time out to speak me us, tell us where readers find your novels, and how can they contact you?
Rebecca G.: You are very welcome. It was my pleasure! You can learn more about The Wolverine Chronicles by clicking here: http://www.newagedimensionspublishing.com/RebeccaGoings.htm . If you’d like to learn of my other books, you can visit my website at http://www.RebeccaGoings.com and if you’d like to email me directly, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org . I also have an author loop on Google that you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/themagicofromance .
Thank you for having me. I had a great time talking to you about my new fantasy series, and I hope you enjoy the books as much as I do!
November 19, 2005
Read the Reviews!
THE WOLVERINE AND THE ROSE - Arianna, a young farm girl, is swept into the adventure of her life when her entire family is killed by three mysterious men in black armor. She's whisked away from danger by Sir Geoffrey of Emberdale, a knight from the Order of the Wolverine. Appointing himself as her protector, Geoffrey brings her to Castle Templestone to start a new life. But what he doesn't anticipate are his tender feelings toward the naïve girl.
But there's a threat to the kingdom of Lyndaria. A woman who's proclaimed as Queen Darragh is searching for the fabled Crystal of Mynos in order to kill the king. Her brainwashing magic is powerful, and soon half the countryside joins her Dark Knights in a revolt against him!
To beat her, the king must also harness the power of the Crystal, and decides to wake the dragon Mynos from his stony sleep. But Mynos reminds him of one simple fact: only the hand of a woman can touch it.
Will Arianna be able to convince the king that she can wield the magic of the Crystal? And will Geoffrey be able to protect the woman he loves against the malice of the evil queen?Champagne Books
e-Book Read the Reviews!
When life gets too complicated, you can always count on the enchantment of Christmas to lighten the heavy burden. MISTLETOE MAGIC is three incredible stories of lost faith, snowy mountains and the quiet magic of the Christmas season.
In Underneath The Mistletoe by Rebecca Goings, Can Jeremy teach Faith about the magic of Christmas and get her to open her heart -- to him?
After burying herself in work to avoid the pain of loss, is Betsy heading for another Christmas filled with broken hearts? Find out in Blame It On The Mistletoe by Liz Hunter.
In the midst of a snowstorm, mistletoe is the magic needed to mend two broken hearts. See how in It Must Have Been the Mistletoe by Phyllis CampbellNew Age Dimensions Wolverine Prequel
August 30, 2005
Read the Reviews!
THE CRYSTAL OF MYNOS - The dragon Mynos is on his way to join his mate, Malnan, for the birth of their offspring when he's suddenly hit with a magical shockwave so strong; it leaves no room for doubt what it means. His Crystal has been stolen.
Racing back to Castle Templestone, Mynos rallies every dragon to find it, knowing time is of the essence. Not only is the life of King Timothy in the balance, but whoever wields the Crystal can become a formidable foe. They soon find the talisman, but what they find is more than they bargained for. Not only is one mage focusing his power through the gem, but an entire army of mages has linked their consciousness with it!
Left and right, scores of dragons die in the skies from the incredible magic being wielded. Yet Mynos deftly avoids his own death, knowing that his own creation can never harm him. However, when the mighty golden dragon sees his own mate killed right before his eyes, can Mynos find it within himself to beat the army that's gathered to defeat him? And will he have the strength to go on knowing that he is now the last dragon of Lyndaria?
Heart of Gold On Eagle's Wings Brides and Bouquets Learning to Love Again Hope in the Lord
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