Wednesday, April 11, 2012
PLEASE WELCOME C. L. KRAEMER!
Today my guest is author, C. L. Kraemer, whose current series (or is the plural serii??) are fantasy books. I've known C. L. for a number of years, and value her ability to critique and admire her skill at writing in a number of genres. Today, she is talking about her two fantasy series. So sit back and let your imagination take flight!
C. L. Kraemer is a wanderer, a way of life started when her father served in the U.S. Marine Corp. She’s carried on the tradition, seeing most of the continental United States as well as Hawaii and Alaska.
Three contemporary romance novels written under the nom de plume, Celia Cooper, Old Enough to Know Better; Sun in Sagittarius, Moon in Mazatlan; and If Only were gifts from the writing gods. A fourth novel, Cats in the Cradle of Civilization, released in December 2008 and written as C. L. Kraemer, was her first venture to the mystery genre. Wings ePress, Inc. is the publisher of these four offerings.
Healthy Homicide, the October 2008 launch book for a new publishing house, Rogue Phoenix Press, picked up the torch again in the mystery world. In February 2010, she contributed to two Valentine’s Anthologies at Rogue Phoenix Press: A Valentine's Anthology, with a faerie story titled, "Lending Library," and A Different Kind of Valentine with a story titled, "The Prize."
She has completed the base story, Dragons Among Us, an August 2010 release by Rogue Phoenix Press, for a Dragon fantasy series. The second book of this series, Dragons Among the Eagles, was released in 2011. "Meadows of Gold," another faerie story, was released in A St. Patrick’s Day Tale, March 17, 2011. Shattered Tomorrows, a novel based on one of the first mass shootings that took place in Salem, Oregon in 1981, was released in August 2011. Also in the works is a commuter book featuring a motorcycle poker run, Joker’s Wild, and the third in the Dragon series, Dragons Among the Ice.
What is the name of your series of books? How many books are in the series?
I have two series I write: a Dragon series and a Faerie series. The dragon series titles all start with Dragons Among... My Faerie series doesn’t have a particular title but The Meadow Fae Series fits very well.
The Dragon series currently has twelve books planned. After I complete my current contracted book I’ll be diving into the third in the Dragon series--Dragons Among the Ice. In publication now are Dragons Among Us and Dragons Among the Eagles.
The Faerie series is open to how many stories will be told. Currently there are two in publication, "The Lending Library" (in A Valentine’s Day Anthology) and "Meadows of Gold" (in A St. Patrick’s Day Tale) with a third in the works.
What's the genre/subgenre of your series?
Both my series are fantasy.
What is the premise your series? What ties it together? Are the characters related, have the same career, live in the same town, etc.?
The Dragon series premise is--what if there are dragons and shapeshifters currently inhabiting earth? We’re still discovering species we thought extinct. Why not dragons? The thread running through each book is the unexpected shifting of dragon-shapeshifters and finding a solution before someone is discovered half-shifted and dissected in the name of science. Many of the characters are unaware they share the same dragon fathers. Each book will out a new clan’s secret, which will tie to the other books. The stories are scattered all over the world and eventually will be scattered all over the universe.
Why write a series? What are the pros and cons?
It wasn’t my original intent. I was going to write the ‘rest’ of the story from a piece published in 1999. My husband felt the short tale had more to it and expressed an interest in hearing a longer version. When I sat down and started writing, the characters took over and ran wild on me. I really had no intention of writing such a large book. Once the original was completed, the characters continued to hang around and demand a book about their own clan to finish telling their stories.
Writing a series offers the writer and reader the ability to explore the characters further. As a writer, one has the ability to get more in depth and share more of the characters’ lives with the reader. I find myself getting attached to some characters and phasing out others. The down side is the bibliography I have to keep to know who is who: hair color, eye color, skin tone when human then scale color, eye color and size when dragon.
With the fae, it’s a bit easier as they don’t shift, but new characters keep popping up in each story.
What's your next project? Is there another series in your writing future?
I’ll continue to write the Dragon series until all the books have been completed. I’ve got another book in mind about a mage and his personal journey to discover his magic. His expedition will be similar to Alice in Wonderland as he’ll flee through a cavern into another world which, unknown to him, is part of his test.
I do have another series planned, but it’s likely to be just short tales. I have a dozen ideas I’d like to put in print about stories garnered from my time as a copy editor on the local paper in the Antelope Valley in Southern California.
Any other information you would like to add?
I have excerpts from several of my books on my websites, www.celiacooper.com and www.clkraemer.com. Stop by and get a feel for my writing. Check out Rogue's Angels Blog on www.RoguePhoenixPress.com to keep up with my journeys as a Rogue’s Angel. I share my fantasy writings and progress on www.blogspot.com/dragons, faeries and other creatures.
Aleda crawled from her sleeping bag and, individually, stretched her muscles. She’d always enjoyed camping. It was the only time she slept well. Something about the unpolluted air, the nights sounds of nature and knowing there were no other people about produced a sleeping potion no doctor could recreate. She dressed warmly against the morning chill and meandered to the stream to get water for coffee and cooking. Not having done much the day before, her ravenous hunger puzzled her.
“Must be the good mountain air.” She made coffee, scrambled eggs, and toasted bread with a slender wire camp toaster, which she held over the fire. As she sat in her chair enjoying the taste of food and quiet of the surrounding woods, hair on the back of her neck began to stand on end and her skin tingled. She shook off the feeling and poured another cup of coffee. The sensation of eyes observing her movements overpowered her senses and her amulet began humming, the sound increasing in volume with each passing minute.
“Enough!” Aleda tossed her plastic plate to the table with a clatter, stomped to her tent and retrieved a heavy coat. “I’ll nip this foolishness in the bud, right now!”
She hesitated as she started to storm from the camp. Camera. Quickly returning to her tent, she stomped away from her personal sanctuary, Nikon in hand, stomach complaining. Half a dozen paces from the camp, after wreaking a rushing flurry of birds into flight, Aleda realized, if she was to find out what was inducing her amulet to hum and her hair to stand on end, she would need to slow her pace--think before she stumbled into trouble. She proceeded into the stand of trees serving as the backdrop for her camp. Sauntering to the nearest evergreen, she placed her hand on the bark and felt a buzzing sensation tickle her palm. Aleda stumbled backward, dumbfounded by the commotion stirring within her. Logic and reason said she shouldn’t be sensing anything by touching the tree.
“This whole trip is turning out to be totally illogical.”
Aleda narrowed her eyes and concentrated on the skin of the tree. She began to see small creatures scurrying up and down the grooved surface of the bark, the scene recalling the Marquam Bridge merging into I-5 at rush hour. She pulled deeply of the air surrounding her and discovered she could taste ponderosa, yellow pine and western larch trees tinged by intermittent bursts of avalanche lily, trillium and huckleberry. Another deep breath captured faint blackberry and raspberry sensations. Standing very still and concentrating with an intensity she’d never utilized, Aleda began to recognize the buzz of life around her. In her ears, insect sounds whispered from every direction, her skin reverberated with the movement of air caused by birds flying and bees busy with spring activities. When the scene before her began to waver and tiny flashes of white light popped in her vision, Aleda realized she’d quit breathing. She pulled air into her lungs and crumbled to the soft pine needle and moss covered forest floor.
“What is happening to me? Why haven’t I seen these things before?”
“Because you were too busy ignoring them.”
Aleda loosed a shrill, piercing scream and jumping from the earthen floor into a defensive standing position. She whipped her head from side to side, her turquoise eyes narrowing to miniscule slits.
“Who’s there?” Completing a full circle, she found she was unable to locate the origin of the rumbling voice.
Silence met her question.
“Show yourself!” That’s stupid. What am I going to do if someone steps from behind a tree? Hit him with my camera? Why has my amulet stopped humming?
As she stood scanning the forest, her muscles tensed in readiness, a cacophony of rustling to her left snatched her attention. She sniffed and wrinkled her nose. There was the rotten egg smell again. Not as strong but still hanging in the air. She began an unsteady withdrawal, her breath scrapping raggedly against her throat.
The sounds of skittering pebbles and crunching dead leaves moved her direction. Aleda felt the air ripple then spotted a large, scaled, greenish-grey talon ten feet away. She opened her mouth to scream but nothing came out. The light shafts coming through the overhead forest canopy began to luminess eerily just before the blackness overtook her.
THANK YOU to C. L. for being my guest today!