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Friday, June 17, 2011

Guest Blogger: Ciara Gold: A Great Big Mixing Bowl

Join the Lady Scribes in welcoming guest blogger Ciara Gold. Thanks for joining us today. We'd love to hear more about you and your new book Dragon King.
First, I would like to thank the Lady Scribes for hosting me today. When Suzie Grant sent out the invite, I had no clue what I wanted to talk about. And then it hit me – stirring up trouble and mixing genres.
I first met Suzie when I was very green and just learning to hone my craft. That was almost eight years ago. I was very excited to reconnect after having lost touch. The best thing about having a critique group or belonging to a joint blog or participating in loops is that you become one big family. Authors are connected through their love of writing and the many quirks we all share.
My first novel was a historical western and I soon realized I was cramming three stories into one novel so the project quickly became a series of three. But that realization didn’t come easily. While blocked working on Sarah’s Brass Token, one of our crit partners issued a challenge for all of us to enter RWA’s F,F & P chapter contest. All we needed was 15 pages. I needed a challenge and something to take my mind off my temporary writer’s block so I started writing. I’m a pantser, a seat of the pants type writer so I did very little plotting. I barely filled out the character chart, but somehow I managed a chapter that had me wanting to write more. And when I posted it online for my group and the message came back, “OMG,” I knew I was onto something. Celestial Dragon placed in three contests that year and I with much encouragement from my group, I finished the book. Celestial Dragon became my sojourn into the science-fiction arena.
Deciding that I truly liked writing genres that didn’t require the same level of research that a historical might, I started another story. This one was a cross between historical and fantasy and when I finished, I’d written the book of my heart. The Keeper of Moon Haven was released December 2010, but I’d held it in storage since 2006. Why? I wanted to have the sequels for the book well on their way to completion because I write slowly, and I just didn’t feel the time was right.
In the meantime, I was writing in several different genres. I finished the western series I’d started, even adding a fourth to the line-up. In addition, I wrote a Viking time travel. While I was drafting On the Silver Edge of Time, it came to me that I could link all of my books. Okay, that’s like saying I started with meatloaf, but I really wanted spaghetti. Wow – let’s mix the two and see what we get. In other words, I had my work cut out for me.
For one, in order to throw all my books into the mixing bowl and cook up a series that made sense, I had to be creative. I’d already established set parameters within each book. I had to live within those parameters. Secondly, half of the novels have paranormal qualities and the other half don’t. How was that going to work?
Well, I managed to tie them all together, and I did it through two books, Dragon King and The Keeper of Moon Haven. Dragon King is a science fiction futuristic fantasy romance with a hero that really connects with his past; his reincarnated past. The Keeper of Moon Haven introduces a faery realm and the ability to open the door between the faery realm and the human realm.  While I’ve yet to fully connect the paranormals to the westerns, I’m working on a story now in which the hero is from the faery realm but stuck in the human realm during 1887.  So far, I have a cameo appearance from the cast of Kaitlin’s Silver Lining. The point is I’ve opened the door to mix various genres and see what happens. I’m excited about the idea and reluctant at the same time. Excited because being an Indie author gives me the leeway to be more creative and to write what I want to write. Reluctant because it’s very overwhelming to stay true to the rules I’ve established with each book.
I write under the pen, Ciara Gold and have been writing since 2004. Besides writing, I also teach high school art and I’m the art director for a local magazine. Married to the man of my dreams, we have two children, a cat and a dog. To read blurbs and the first chapters of any of these books, check out www.ciaragold.com
Blurb for Dragon King:  For decades, dragons held the essence of magic that fuelled a wizard’s power, but in 1007 AD, evil claims the heart of one such wizard while another seeks to save the magic.
Tucker Bolen considers himself a renaissance man of the thirty-first century and balks at society’s rigid cultural practices. After purchasing and using a reincarnation reader, he not only connects with his past entities, he also suffers their bid to surface and claim his soul. A collector and explorer, one of the entities leads him on a quest for dragons and a journey that ultimately leads to the greatest magic - love.
Cari Barock fears many things; never finding love, an assassin bent on taking her life, and dragons. When a stranger from a distant planet arrives, she is forced to face all her fears.  With her special Deliphit powers, she helps Tucker with his quest, never realizing that she is the key to unveiling his true powers. Will she sacrifice her heart so he can save her world?

Available at Amazon, All Romance Ebooks and Champagne Books

14 comments:

  1. Hi Ciara! I'm so glad to have you here! And although I've only read your western stories and loved them all btw, this one sounds so intriguing. I’m looking forward to reading it! I don’t know if I really mix genres but I was told by an editor to stick with one historical era and well let’s face it, I couldn’t because I loved all of them equally. So I guess I mixed genres under my pen name and write in many different time periods and am happy as a lark to do that. So I totally agree go with what your heart says. Sometimes, it just knows what you need. Good luck with your mixing bowl and may the ingredients magically cook up something delicious!

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  2. I love a good mash up! Like you, I started in one genre and drifted. I haven't tried connecting everything together, but there's always romance in my mysteries, mystery in my romances, and everything but the kitchen sink in my fantasies.

    Oh, and since I'm in a cover frame of mind right now - I love the cover of Dragon King.

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  3. Ciara Gold, Isn't it interesting how the mind allows us to create stories we never imagined. I've written five books about actual life and events. Two are how to's, two are about recovering from great loss and one is humor/comedy based on being a single father. Some of the gals who read one of real life stories suggested I take my knowledge of WWII and write a love story. Not happening, but the idea didn't die, instead it has turned into a vampire book during WWII. I guess this would fall into the category of mixing genres. It is an exciting journey. Much success down the road!

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  4. Thanks for joining us here, Alison and Jeff. I'm so glad to see you both here. There's nothing better than a good mash up, what an excellent way to put it, Alison lol. Jeff I love the idea of a WWII vampire book. How thrilling. I'm going to check it out as soon as I get an opportunity. Thanks for joining the lady Scribes!

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  5. Reincarnation reader. What a cool idea. I would have trouble combining genres but I guess in a sense I have combined ages, the modern to the medieval age. Love you ideas.

    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

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  6. Hey all, late in replying. Had quite a day but I'm here now. Thanks to all who stopped by and posted. I loved reading about all your projects and will have to check them out.

    Suzie and Scribes, thanks so much for having me here today.

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  7. Suzie, thanks for inviting me here today. I would have arrived earlier but, as usual, I was writing.

    Ciara, you're a lady after my own heart. I, too, love experimenting and crossing genre lines. I mean, who says you can't write a western with paranormal elements? I did, and I'm working on another.

    Dragon King sounds like a wonderful read! It's now on my TBR list. Happy reading and writing!
    Lyn

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  8. Twisting the faery into Kaitlin's world sounds really cool! Can't wait to see how you handle it.

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  9. I love all your creativity, Ciara!!!

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  10. Interesting blog post; I'm always surprised how genres are mixed and matched.

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  11. Thanks Lyn, it's been a fun challenge, but challenges are what keep us on our toes. I've got a copy of your Druid book already. So it's on my TBR list.

    And Suzan, right now I'm blocked so handling it not as well as I envisioned but ... I'll keep you posted.

    Tess, thanks so much. I have lots of inspiration. *wink*

    Rhobin, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I just wish I had more time to get them all mixed and matched the way I envision.

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  12. What a great idea to connect your sci fi/fantasy books and your westerns. I love mixed up genres!

    Doing a physical activity that doesn't require much thought--crocheting an easy pattern, folding clothes etc, actually helps me through a creative block...best wishes there!
    Mel

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  13. I just wanted to take a moment to say welcome to all the new faces around here and it's so nice to meet you all. Thanks Ciara for blogging for us and I hope to see you all around here more. *waves to Lyn!* So glad you all could stop by. Thanks on behalf of the Lady Scribes.

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  14. Devon Matthews comments:

    I happened to read a teaser for Thea Harrison's new book and it really intriqued me, but I think I'll try Dragon King (Dragon Series) first. I'm interested in seeing how a dragon as hero is handled. I didn't know you were so diverse in your writing. Back fifteen years ago, I tried my hand at paranormal and all my crit partners told me to write something else because paranormal didn't sell. Unfortunately, I listened to them and stopped working on my medieval werewolf story. Not long after, PNR exploded onto the market. LOL! I laugh about it now, but at the time, I wanted to kick myself for not following my own instincts. Since that, I tell everyone to write what they feel passionate about, no matter what's selling.

    Nice blog, ladies! Wishing you much success.

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