"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
Young At Heart
Spotlight on Young Adult Fantasy and Paranormal
Sheri L. McGathy
Sheri is married and has one grown son. She works in prepress in a graphic design department as a Graphic Arts Coordinator/Copy Editor.
She is a member of The Kansas Writer's Association, EPIC, and IFWA - Internet Fantasy Writers Association, Partner's in Prose and the Coffee Shop Writer's author group. She is also Managing Editor at The Fractured Publisher.
In addition to works within TRESPASSING TIME: Ghost Stories from the Prairie published by Ravenstone Press, she is the author of the fantasy novels, WITHIN THE SHADOW OF STONE, SEASON OF GOLD -- ELFEN GOLD Books One and Two and novellas Thief of Dreams from the anthology TWILIGHT CROSSINGS, Where Lies Beauty from the anthology TWILIGHT CROSSINGS II and The Ancient One from the anthology FROM WITHIN THE MIST, all published by Double Dragon Publishing.
PNR: Have you always known you wanted to be a writer; when did you begin writing?
Sheri M.: I've wanted to create and tell stories since I was very young, and in fact I did, to anyone who would listen. Some of my earlier musings were scribbled down while I was in grade school, but for the most part, my stories were verbal. By my teens, the storytelling took on a new form, that of fantasy poems--long story poems, which I did write down.
I didn't actually try my hand at writing a novel until my late twenties or early thirties.
PNR: What do you enjoy most about being a writer? The least?
Sheri M.: I enjoy the fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants freedom that crafting a story gives me. I love shaping a world, giving life to my characters, placing them within the world I've created and seeing how it all plays out. There are times even I don't know what the characters might do or how the story is going to end.
I don't enjoy editing, and cutting, and re-writes. Sometimes, too much of this cuts the heart right out of a tale.
PNR: What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story?
Sheri M.: Characters, because if the reader fails to care for the characters, why should they read further to find out what will happen to them? Then, for me, a good plot to set my characters within and a conflict or problem they must overcome. Imagery is also very important. I want the reader to see what I saw when I wrote the scene.
Basically, I love a story filled with characters I care about, a plot that captivates, and an adventure that won't let me stop reading until the last page is turned and the cover closed.
PNR: Which author(s) is your favorite? And who has most influenced your work?
Sheri M.: My favorite author, hands down, is Terry Brooks, but I have many authors I enjoy. Recently, I've become an Orson Scott Card fan. I also enjoy Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind, Deborah Chester, Kate Elliott, Tolkien…well, as you can see, the list is long.
I think Shadow Castle, a children's book by Marian Cockrell, has had the biggest impact on me, simply because it introduced me to elves and the wonderful world of fantasy. Overall, everyone I've read, or will ever read, has or will in some way, influence me.
PNR: Your writing has received prestigious recognition (EPIC EPPIES, Sapphire, Dream Realm nominations and awards,) what do you feel accounts for the connection your readers feel with the characters and worlds you create?
Sheri M.: I really don't know. I think it has a lot to do with the characters I create. Readers identify with them, care about them in a personal way. I also think I tend to write stories that are both familiar, yet different. A sort of "comfort" read for them. I hope I'm able to transport the readers away from the everyday world and share with them the magic of the worlds I create.
Fantasy is a twilight realm where elves exist, magic works, unicorns graze, dragons fly and anything is possible if only we believe. And maybe, if we wish hard enough, we might just be able to bring a little bit of that magic to our lives.
PNR: Could you tell us about the Elfen Gold series?
Sheri M.: Elfen Gold is a fairy tale quest fantasy, the story told by an ancient storyteller who travels from town to town to spread his tales. The story blurb opens with these words:
"Gather round. Aye, gather near, and I will spin you a tale of magic from a time long since lost to lore. Come and I will tell of elves and the kingdom of Ra-Jee, a kingdom now forgotten in the mists of enchantment.
"This tale is one of sacrifice and sorrow, yet one of hope offered to a future not yet written." The Storyteller curled his gnarled fingers over the worn top of his cane and smiled. "And it is a tale of a young elfen maiden named Ra-May and the human male, Michall, she is destined to meet.
"Come, join me as I tell of these two very different and unique individuals, brought together by fate, and guided by ancient magic as they venture forward to save Ra-Jee--or die trying.
"And so," whispered the old Storyteller. "The tale begins…."
Thus, he begins the tale of the lost elfen race of Ra-Jee, and the quest Ra-May and Michall accept to bring the elves back into the world.
PNR: The series is a classic epic quest, what are the challenges you faced when writing a story encompassing many characters and extensive world building?
Sheri M.: Creating the rules of that world, defining the magic, and creating characters that can live within the world are only a few of the concerns when working with quest fantasy. Keeping track of all the characters and how their separate adventures will fit into the whole when I bring them all together at the end is always a major concern for me.
PNR: Your works include paranormal, fantasy and science fiction, which is your favorite genre to write?
Sheri M.: Fantasy. I did enjoy working in the paranormal genre when I wrote my four stories for Trespassing Time and do plan to do more. Along the way, I discovered a new voice when I worked in this genre, but fantasy remains my first love. I enjoy the lyrical prose, the magic, the fairy tale feel, and the adventure.
PNR: Can you tell us about projects you are currently working on?
Sheri M.: I'm going to attempt to create a podiobook for DragonPage and Double Dragon Publishing. The story is near its completion. Once the story is ready, I'll have it recorded, which I'll do myself. It's titled The Birth of Spring. After that, I have two large fantasies I've mapped out and plan to write, as well as one duet-sized story I hope to complete after the novels.
PNR: Where can readers find your novels, and how can they contact you?
Sheri M.: Double Dragon Publishing http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, BAMM, Fictionwise, eReader.com and other online vendors.
Readers may visit my website and contact me via the link there if they wish. I'd love to hear from them. My website: http://www.sherilmcgathy.com
I also have a newsletter that I try to send out each month.
"Musings from the Storyteller of Ra-Jee." http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheStorytellerofra-jee
Featured in this Issue:
SEASON OF SILVER,
THE SEASON OF GOLD - What could an ancient Crystal, the salvation of the Elfen Race of Ra-Jee, and two from the future have in common?
The Elfen Race of Ra-Jee is in jeopardy--in danger of becoming merely a memory. But destiny in the form of an Ancient Crystal has decreed that one young Elfen maiden, Ra-May, and one human male, Michall, must meet, and in that meeting, venture forward to vanquish the evil that has tainted Ra-Jee--or die trying.
by Ra-Ma's Guardian, an Elfen Warrior named Ra-Nu, and Michall’s
mischievous kin, Phillip, they set out to challenge the Del-a-Shar
who has enchanted Ra-Jee and stolen away the Elfen Race.
THE ANCIENT ONE - When Talwyn followed her people, the Golden, from the mist, she found herself reborn into a wondrous world of greens and blues and light and warmth. When she heard the spirits within the trees call out to her, she found again the oneness she thought lost to her forever. When the spirits showed her a future that would see her beloved trees destroyed, Talwyn vowed to protect them, even if it meant never returning to the mist again. Within the swirling mists of time, fanciful whispers give birth to wonders beyond any known reality and shape a single moment into legend. This is one such tale... The Ancient One.
Read the Reviews!
THIEF OF DREAMS - Nerys Devi has met the man she could love with all her heart, the one she would share her dreams with. Yet, fate has other plans. Instead of sharing her dreams, will he now be doomed to haunt them?
On the edge of sunset, hidden within the blue-gray hues of the coming night, dwell the realms of twilight places where dreams become realities and reality is nothing but a dream. Within this quiet nothingness, nestled just on this side of starlight, the realm of Faery exists, safely tucked between the never was and the evermores. At least, this is what I believe. I hope you enjoy Thief of Dreams. Sheri L. McGathy
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