Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Author Interview: Meredith Mansfield

Meredith Mansfield
author, Fire and Earth

Fill in the blank favorites - Type of hero. Type of heroine.

I like--and write--many different kinds of heroes and heroines. I hope, at least, that all of my characters are unique in some way. The only ones that I will never write and hate to read are the ones, usually female, who sit around and wait for some guy to tell them what to do or to rescue her repeatedly. Those make me want to pitch the book across the room.

My favorite heroes to read (though I haven't successfully written one of these yet) are the heroes that start out broken in some way by their pasts and are made whole again through the course of the story.

Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

I've got a completed manuscript, The Bard's Gift, which takes place in the medieval Norse colonies in Greenland and a fictional Norse colony in North America. There's a cruise that visits parts of Greenland, Baffin Island, and L'anse aux Meadows (the archaeological remains of a Norse camp in Newfoundland). I'd love to be able to do that and take a side trip up the Saint Lawrence River, where part of my story takes place. I'd love to actually experience the places I'm writing about. Unfortunately, I'm on the wrong coast, so I've had to rely on research and photos.

What is your favorite genre to write?

So far, I write exclusively fantasy of one sort or another. Almost always with a strong helping of romance. In fact, I don't seem to be able to leave romance out completely. I once wrote a short story with a single character and I still managed to introduce a little romance.

What is one silly fact about you?

Silly, huh? Well, my cat is named Widget. He was abandoned by his mother at about four days old and raised by hand.

He thinks my female dog, Aliza, is his mother, since she helped to raise him. For a while, we thought about naming him Timex because he "took a lickin' and kept on tickin'." Here they are:

Why do you choose to write clean/sweet romance?  Do you write steamy romance as well?

To tell the truth, I've almost never read a steamy romance scene that really worked for me. I'd much prefer to have the writer sort of get the ball rolling and then allow my imagination to fill in what I choose--or don't choose. The "steamy" scenes that have worked best for me as a reader stayed almost exclusively in the character's emotions and thoughts, rather than the anatomical details. So, if I don't much like to read it, why should I write it?

What other things do you have planned with your writing for the rest of the year 2013?

Ah, well I'm working on revisions right now. I'm on the second draft of a young adult fantasy romance, currently titled Magic and Power. Then I'll be doing revisions to wrap up my middle grade fantasy, Mage Storm, and final revisions to my new adult paranormal romance, Blood Is Thicker, which is the sequel to Blood Will Tell. After that, I'll be starting a new story which right now I refer to as my "weird Oz story" or "the Jurassic Park version of Oz".

Where do your ideas come from?

Everywhere. Blood Will Tell came from a dream. The Bard's Gift started as a (short-story) writing prompt in one of my writers' groups and sort of grew from there. I don't actually remember where the idea for Fire and Earth came from. It was something I tinkered with off and on without success--until I hit on the idea of switching the gender roles, making Casora the experienced warrior and Tiaran the sheltered prince who needs to learn so many things. That epiphany, I do remember. And it made all the difference in that story.

How many books have you written, and how many of those have been published?

Fire and Earth is my sixth completed novel. Magic and Power (my current work-in-process) is my tenth. (But we don't talk about the first three--ever. Or at least not until I completely rewrite them.) So far, only Blood Will Tell and Fire and Earth have been published. I'll publish Blood Is Thicker sometime this fall.

What are your hero and heroine of the story like?

I think the pitch says it best:

Though raised as a fearless warrior, Casora couldn’t stop the invasion of her homeland. Bullied, hapless princeling Tiaran can’t escape his political doom. When these unlikely allies join forces on the battlefield they’ll rock the foundations of kingdoms.

Do you have a favorite character you have written so far? 

Really, I think my favorite is always the character I'm writing now. Currently, that's a girl named Ailsa who thinks she's going to have to choose between a career as a mage or love. She's probably wrong about that.

Oh, but you want me to concentrate on one book for this section. In Fire and Earth, I'd have to say Tiaran is my favorite.

In many ways, he grows the most in the course of the story, making himself worthy of Casora--and his destiny.


  1. Fun interview! I love a broken and/or vulnerable hero as well. Those are the best, but tricky to write!

  2. I keep working on it. Someday I'll get it right to my satisfaction. Meanwhile, there are lots of other types of characters to play with.



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