Saturday, February 28, 2015

Interview with Author Mistral Dawn

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Mistral Dawn, author of Taken by the Huntsman and Bound by the Summer Prince, which has just come out. If you love the world of Fairie, you’re in good company here. 

Tracy: Thanks for dropping by, Mistral.

Mistral: Thank you so much for having me on your blog today, Tracy!! :-)  I've read your blog for years, and I'm a huge fan of yours, but I never thought I'd have the opportunity to talk to you here!  I'm star-struck! Thank you! :-)

T: Then I’d better not let you hang around for too long. I don’t want you finding out how awfully ordinary I am.

This blog today is all about you. Tell us about yourself and how you got started writing.

M: Me? I'm fairly unoriginal: thirty-something, graduate student/hospital drudge.  I have kitties, do a limited amount of cat/kitten rescue out of my home (please spay or neuter your pets! ;-) ), and I've recently started writing adult, fantasy, romance novels.

Taken By The Huntsman came about because I had a dream (I'll leave the details to your imagination ;-) ) after having a debate with an online friend about the nature of consent, and what society should and should not accept in terms of other people's behavior.  My friend and I differed rather violently on this matter and I went to bed thinking about it.  When I woke up, I had the idea for my first novel.  Another friend of mine said the idea sounded interesting, so I wrote the first couple of chapters and sent them to her asking if she was bored yet.  She was kind enough to say that she wasn't bored and would like to read the rest of the story, so I wrote it. :-)

T: Your first book Taken by the Huntsman takes place in the world of the Fae, Fairie. What drew you to write in this genre?

M: I've always read sci-fi and fantasy almost exclusively.  When I had the debate with my friend, I was in the middle of researching European mythology (because I'm a nerd) and some of those legendary creatures made their way into my dream.  Besides, who wouldn't enjoy fantasizing about a gorgeous guy who is utterly devoted to you and can take you somewhere you'll live forever? ;-)

T: I’m firmly in the camp of eternal doting. Tell us a little about Taken by The Huntsman.

M: Taken By The Huntsman is the story of Cassie, a lonely human orphan trying to find her place in the world, and Cadeyrn, the Erlking and Fairie's top cop.  Cadeyrn is hunting another Fae who has escaped to Earth after killing a child.  While he's searching, he comes across Cassie on her way home from work.  She can't see him because he's cast a spell to hide himself from human eyes, but when his eyes meet hers a magical soul-mate bond forms between them.  He decides to kidnap her and take her to his fortress in Fairie, because, having been Fairie's Huntsman for hundreds of millennia, he has earned his share of enemies.  Knowing that most modern humans know nothing of the Fae beyond children's stories, Cadeyrn doesn't believe he'll be able to convince Cassie of the danger she's in, and the only way he can think of to keep her safe is to kidnap her.  He expects her to be angry, and to have to work to earn her trust, but is unprepared for how difficult she finds it to open her heart.

T: It sounds exciting. Swept away by a Fairie cop who is your soulmate? Awesome. Which begs for a hypothetical question here: a tall, handsome Fae appears before you and says, “Mistral Dawn, you are my fated love.” What do you do?

M: Ha! Knowing me?  Look for the hidden cameras. ;-)

T:  How much of you do you put in your characters?

M: Oh, there's bits and pieces here and there.  Like Cassie, I've worked in call centers and at other "menial" jobs.  The disagreement with her boss that she's worrying about on her way home is almost word-for-word an argument I once had with a boss. Roni and I share the curse (blessing?) of being a well-padded woman in a society that favors the skinny.  But none of my characters are truly a representation of me. :-)

T: Is there any other genre you'd like to write? Or is there one you wouldn't?

M: I'd like to write straight Sci-Fi one day. I actually have an idea I've been kicking around for years, but I don't think I'm ready to write it yet. :-)  I try not to close my mind to any possibilities, but I read almost exclusively Sci-Fi and Fantasy, so I think it would be difficult for me to write anything else.

T: What was the most surprising thing about becoming a writer?

M: I really found the fact that it's possible to self-publish anything you like, on multiple platforms, without anyone's by-your-leave.  Granted, each platform has their own rules, but they tend to be pretty broad.  The internet is wonderful. :-)

T: What are you working on now?

M: I'm working on the second book in the series I started with Taken By The Huntsman, which is the story of Roni, a human con-woman and petty thief, and Uaine, the prince of Fairie's Summer Court.  Roni accidentally stumbles into Fairie (and it's against Fae law for humans to be in Fairie unless brought there by a Fae) and is caught by Uaine.  To his surprise, the soul-mate bond forms between them and he has to convince her to want to stay. :-)  The first chapter and some excerpts are posted on my blog.

After I finish the second novel I'll start writing a short story about Roni and Uaine, and then I have a third book planned which will involve the king of the Winter Court and his fated human.  So far I have five novels and two short stories planned, but I keep getting new ideas so the number keeps growing. :-)

T: I know that feeling. The ideas never seem to quit coming, do they? Writers tend to be the most voracious readers. What fiction do you read for pleasure?

M: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Paranormal Romance/Erotica almost exclusively.  Occasionally a Historical Romance will slip in there, but rarely anything else. ;-)

T: What writer inspires you most?

M: Honestly?  You do, Tracy!  If you hadn't spent all that time on your blog talking about how to independently publish a novel and deal with all of the challenges that creep up, Taken By The Huntsman would almost certainly be sitting in a file on my hard drive, unread by anyone but me.  Until you wrote about it, I didn't even know it was possible to publish a novel without a publisher, so thank you very much!! :-)

T: My pleasure and thanks! I’m always delighted to help in any small way I can. Outside of writing, who inspires your life?

M: Oh, lots of people.  Anyone who can find a way to bring about change in society (large or small) without resorting to violence inspires me.  Teachers inspire me, social workers inspire me, animal rescue agency workers inspire me, soup-kitchen/food-pantry workers inspire me; basically, if you've left the world just a little bit better than you found it then you inspire me. :-)

T: Everyday heroes are the best. What is your passion outside of writing?

M: Taking in homeless cats and kittens, getting them healthy and well-socialized, and finding them their forever homes. :-)

T: So you are a hero yourself! I envy you doing that. I wish I could, but the hubs is allergic.

Okay, I’m going to ask a few miscellaneous questions so we can learn more about the woman behind hot and handsome Fairie beefcake. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?

M: The Northern Pacific Coast of the US. Perfect weather as far as I'm concerned. :-)

T: Tell me one thing you absolutely cannot live without.

M: Hmm...besides my kitties?  Books! I'm a reading junkie and I'm not even interested in rehab. ;-)

T: Favorite quote?

M: “Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.”
― Terry Pratchett

T: Nice one. I think that’s an excellent note to wrap this up on. Thanks so much for coming on the blog, Mistral. It’s been a delight to have you!

Keep up with Mistral Dawn and her writing:

Mistral’s first book Taken by the Huntsman is available at the following links:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

WIP Wednesday – Clans of Kalquor 9: Alien Indiscretions

                Wal helped himself to a second pour. “What of your prospects, Cissy? Obviously you are pursuing your options.”
                She shrugged and surprised Rolat by turning pink with embarrassment. “I don’t know that I’m really into the game yet. I’m goofing off with guys too immature for me. I suppose I should be a good girl like your Dramok wants and take this lottery thing seriously. I know I’m acting foolish with the clothes I wear and the men I see.”
                “And the things you say.” Diltan snickered when she blew a raspberry at him.
                “Yeah, yeah. I act like a soldier on a weekend pass on Dantovon. The trouble is, we women were all straitjacketed by Earth’s insane morality for so long. I’ve always felt like I was suffocating. When it was safe, when it was just me and Tasha and our cousins, I would let loose with a little craziness. I had to let off steam somehow, and it usually meant saying outrageous things.”
                “I can only imagine how hard that must have been,” Rolat said. Cissy’s antics were beginning to make sense.
                “Then there were all those months we had to go into hiding when Jessica became empress. Earth Gov wanted to scapegoat us for her ‘sins’. Armageddon was an unmitigated tragedy, but it set me free for good. I guess I’m enjoying my liberty with a vengeance.” 
                Diltan nodded, his expression sympathetic. “So we’ve noticed.  It is understandable now that I think about it.”
                “Completely,” Rolat agreed.  “It’s a surprise you aren’t going to greater extremes considering.”
                Cissy grinned. “Believe it or not, I am trying to rein some of my exuberance in.  I haven’t let anyone lure me into a pleasure club yet.”
                Before he could censor himself, Rolat blurted, “If you decide to do so, please allow me to accompany you.”
                Diltan choked on his bohut. Wal laughed hard enough that he nearly fell off his seating cushion.

Tentatively scheduled for March release.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

WIP Wednesday – Clans of Kalquor 9: Alien Indiscretions

              Diltan skewered her with a look that might have hurt her feelings had she not been tipsy. “There is a difference between being uptight and having dignity, Matara. If you weren’t so determined to shock everyone around you, you might recognize that.”
                Rolat winced. Ouch. But Diltan did have a point.
                Cissy’s glare was hot enough to set a fire. She poked Diltan in the chest with one red-polished nail. “I’m not out to shock everyone. I’m having fun; long overdue fun. You weren’t there, Mr. Tight-Ass. You weren’t a woman on Earth who no matter how careful she was, how proper she was, could be sent to prison or executed just on some man’s say-so. We were as prudish as dusty old maids, but one wrong word or look could make our lives hell in an instant.”
                She stepped back and scowled. “I can drink. I can wear tiny bikinis. I can swear. I can have sex. For the first time in my life, no one has the right to judge me for it. Especially not a guy who probably never feared for his life or the lives of his loved ones for one single second, at least not over stupid shit like cutting loose and having some fun.”
                Something in Diltan’s eyes softened at her diatribe. He blinked a few times and exchanged a look with Rolat. The Nobek saw his own pain for what Cissy had been through reflected in his Dramok’s eyes.
                Diltan looked again at Cissy, who waited for his reply with a belligerent look on her face. He nodded. “You’re right, Matara. I have not been through what you have. I suppose if I hadn’t been allowed to be young and a little crazy until later, I too would not worry so much about appearances.”
                Cissy stared, as if startled that he had agreed with her. A little smile tugged at one corner of her mouth. “You are the last person who should be worrying about appearances, Dramok Diltan.”
                “Do you think so?”
                She offered that amazing throaty laugh. “Damn right. You are an incredibly delicious-looking man. You could probably wander around naked all day and get away with it. Why don’t you give it a try?”

Tentatively scheduled for March release.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

WIP Wednesday – Clans of Kalquor 9: Alien Indiscretions

                Before the invitation for a few rounds of bohut could leave the Nobek’s mouth, the thudding of uncertain footsteps came from the corridor around the corner. Someone was approaching and judging from the lightness of the steps, it was a female. To Rolat’s sensitive hearing, that someone walked as if she’d had a few drinks herself.
                His chest squeezed tight when Cissy stomped into view. She caught sight of the men immediately and stopped in the middle of the hall.
                Mother of All, was the most rational thing that Rolat’s mind spit out. He was vaguely aware that his clanmates were staring as open-mouthed as he.
                Cissy was a vision in black leather. Her halter top covered everything salacious and yet still managed to tease what with the exposed midriff and shoulders. Her skin was turning a deep gold from the sunbathing she was apparently continuing to indulge in, and a few freckles had appeared on her shoulders. Rolat had the insane urge to lick those freckles.
                Her skirt wasn’t too tight and it wasn’t too short, brushing just above her knees. And yet its cut helped accentuate the wondrous curves of her delectable body. She looked soft enough to wallow on all night. Rolat’s cocks jerked at the idea.
                The silver stiletto heels of her ankle boots had to have been at least four inches high. Rolat had the searing image of her wearing nothing but those boots ... with her feet up in the air. His cocks jerked again, with stronger demand.
                The one bit of color she wore was the polish on her fingernails. The bright red tip of her index finger tapped the huge bottle of bohut she held in her hand. Rolat’s brow rose to see an Earther with such a potent drink. Between the high heels and alcohol, it was no wonder her walking sounded a little off-balance.
                Then she smiled that cocky amazing smile that made Rolat want to put her naughty ass in the air for a sound spanking. His cocks were doing a little more than jerking now; they were filling with warmth. Damn, damn, double damn. When Cissy began to swagger towards them, it was all he could do to not hurry over to meet her.
                She purred throatily. “Well, well.  Clan Diltan is back from romancing my sister.  May I assume you got her home safe and sound?”
                Diltan bowed stiffly, though Rolat could see the heat in the Dramok’s eyes. “Of course, Matara Cecilia.  Tasha’s well-being is of the highest priority.”
                Rolat noted that as it always seemed to happen when Cissy was around, Wal looked stunned. He had the appearance that someone had hit him over the head with something particularly hard and heavy. Tasha never made his Imdiko look like that.
                Cissy drew to within a couple of feet of them and paused. She stared at Diltan with an expression that was a mix of several emotions: irritation, bemusement, and ... desire?
                Rolat’s eyes narrowed. Diltan had a nearly identical look on his face. The pair rubbed each other wrong every time they met. It would be humorous indeed if there was attraction mixed in with their otherwise combative acquaintanceship.

Tentatively scheduled for March release.