Today I’d like you to hear from Georgiana Fields, a fellow Gilded Dragonfly Books author whose Crimson Dreams combines vampires, time travel, and an active and resourceful heroine. Here, in her own words, is a little bit about Ms. Fields:
I grew up on the coast of North Carolina. As a child I would listen to the elders in the family tell and retell ghost stories and local legends. I think that’s what began my love of the paranormal. In 1970, I walked into the wrong movie theater. I was to meet friends to watch 101 Dalmatians, but instead, I watched Chariots of the Gods. I was 8. That movie started me thinking “what if.”
I don’t know what led me to become a writer. I’ve always loved to write stories. I had so many spiral notebooks filled with short stories that I would jot down. One of those stories turned in to my first published work. A Captain’s Tale, that appeared in Haunting Tales of Spirit Lake. That one was originally written when I was in high school, so of course I updated it and made some changes. My short story Yuletide Magic, which appeared in A Stone Mountain Christmas, is a spinoff of my Enchanted Series that features Elves, dragons, goblins, Fae. Tulips Mean Love, which appeared in Finding Love’s Magic, takes place in my Crimson Series world.
I hear voices in my head, telling me their stories, and so I write them down. I’ve always had characters and stories running through my head for as long as I can remember.
Twenty-two years ago I lost my parents. To deal with their loss, I wrote. A lot. My husband, John, encouraged me to join a writers group. He went on line and found GRW. I joined RWA, then GRW. A few months later was Stone Mountain Workshop. With encouragement from my critique group, which included Mary Barfield and Gina Dyer. I submitted Crimson Tears. The manuscript was 489 pages, single spaced times roman 8.
Nancy Knight was the one who received my manuscript. Before she even started her critique, she slid a copy of Harbrace down to me. Yes, it was that bad. And, by the way, I still have the copy of Harbrace, and use it often, though I should probably obtain a newer copy.
Nancy, liked the concept of the storyline as well as the story, but informed me that I needed help with the mechanics of writing. Nancy suggested that I turn the ‘EPIC’ into several stories. She also informed me to kill the purple prose. Out of Crimson Tears came the first four stories of the Crimson Series. Crimson Dreams, Crimson Hearts, Crimson Moon, and Crimson Tears.
My Crimson Series is about a race of people, vampires and shifters if you’d like. Remember when I said I stumbled into the wrong movie at age 8? Well, that one move started me thinking: What if every legend was based on some truth? What if vampires, gargoyles, shifters did exist? What if they were the missing link? From there, I began jotting down their profiles and came up with the Dhampir, which is a Balkan folklore about creatures that result from a union between a vampire and a human. In my world, they are not immortal, but just age real slow. They value family. However, since the world does not know about them, they have to remain in the dark and in this age of technology, that’s becoming and harder to do. As crazy as this may sound, they are not the monsters, even though there are some among them who are. As far as what I want my readers to come away with, it’s no matter what life throws at you, you can and will survive. I also want my readers to know that family may not be the people who you are related to, but the people who always have your back and who love you no matter what you’ve done or who you are.
I find writing relaxing. I love to write. What I find so frustrating is the submission process. You submit a query, you’re told it’s great and they want your story. Six months later you receive a letter telling you to change this or that, because vampires now sparkle, or Elves and Fae are out and you now have to make all you werewolves mermen. But, hey, the concept of your story is great. Can you move the setting to New York instead of the fictitious world of Terron? LOL.
Now for the hard question. Favorite authors/influences, and why? H.G. Wells, Twain, Poe, Shakespeare, Bronte, Austen, Tolkien, McCaffrey. I can get lost in their words.
My more modern writers include: P.N. Elrod, Gail Carriger, Celia Kyle, Georgett St. Clair, Eva Langlais, and so very many more. I like authors who write about strong women. It doesn’t matter if the woman has some challenges to overcome, that’s part of the conflict, but I cannot stand weak whining women who cannot seem to get themselves out of a wet paper bag. I like to read about women who have a little bit of sassiness to them. But I don’t want to read about a freakin’ B, unless she’s the villain. I love seeing more strong women in Romance and Fantasy. I want to read about females who can figure things out and even save the male hero from time to time.
On the opposite end, I’d like to see less ill-mannered people, unless they are the villains. I guess what has me on this roll is I just finished a book. I kept reading to see if the main female character ever changed. She didn’t. All through the book she was mean, ill-mannered and never cared for anyone but herself. And this was a romance. I don’t know if this is a new trend or not, but I’m finding more and more of this in the stories I’m reading. I don’t like reading it.
I love to read stories that leave me feeling good at the end. I love to read stories that have happy endings. Maybe I should say satisfying endings.
I guess I still want the knight in shining armor, and yes, the knight can be a female. Just look at Joan of Arc, and Queen Elizabeth I as well as the women in The Order of the Hatchet, or even the women in the Order of the glorious Saint Mary, founded by Loderigo d’Andalo, a nobleman of Bologna in 1233, and approved by Pope Alexander IV in 1261, was the first religious order of knighthood to grant the rank of militissa to women. These women were kickass!
(Many thanks to Ms. Fields for sharing her wonderful insights.)