I'm coming out of lurkdom to tentatively begin introducing myself to the fantasy community. I've recently signed a two book deal for my epic fantasy series, The Elemental Wars, with Angry Robot Books. The first book, Heartwood, is due for release in November, with the second in the series to be published next year.
I'm a multi-published author in the romance genre but fantasy is where my heart lies, and I'm thrilled to finally be able to declare myself an epic fantasy author. I submitted to Angry Robot via their Open Door submission policy last year, and nearly had a heart attack when I heard from senior editor Lee Harris that he liked the story and was taking it to the rest of the team. A contract followed, and so did a lot of celebrating and a massive hangover for which I hold Lee completely responsible.
I hope this is the beginning of a long and profitable relationship with Angry Robot. I adore F&SF and, as you'll see if you have a scout around my website, I have a passion for both genres, as well as for gaming of the computer, tabletop and board type.
If you'd like to read more about The Elemental Wars, click here. If you'd like to read about the background to the series and how I came up with the idea, you can read my article on Upcoming4Me.
Anything else you'd like to know? :-) On a personal level, I work full time as a PA to four deputy principals in a high school, I'm happily married with one son, I'm 43, and in my head I look like this.
I'm very shy and self-effacing about my work, and always keen to talk writing (as well as fantasy/ gaming/ history etc), especially with up-and-coming writers. Basically, because I believe that if I can do it, anyone can do it, with a lot of application and determination, and a little bit of talent and luck. It has been a very long road to publication for me, and I have given up several times, but sheer bloody-mindedness and a muse that wouldn't quit forced me to continue writing because, well, I can't not write. Even if I never sold a story and nobody ever read anything I've written, I'd still have to write. It's in the blood.
I don't claim to be hugely smart, hugely innovative or hugely literary (but I am hugely stubborn). I've got where I am because I think I can write real characters that people seem to like, I enjoy writing dialogue, I have a sense of humour that insists on appearing in my work, I love the medieval period with a passion, and I've read almost every book out there on how to write and tried to ingest all the information (not read Stephen King's On Writing? Read it ASAP!)
I'm a storyteller who loves to create worlds, and although sharing them is kind of nerve-racking and feels akin to unzipping one's fly in front of a hungry crocodile, I think after writing 29 novels (22 romances, Heartwood, and six others of varying genres which will probably remain in the bottom drawer), I've discovered how to write a pretty good story.
I look forward to meeting other writers and readers of the genre, and hope that, when the time comes, you enjoy Heartwood and the rest of the series.