What is your writing process?
I am always thinking about my stories and characters, but I write according to my mind’s biorhythm. For me, my most creative time is between 7 and 9 pm. I am in beta consciousness then. When I’m in alpha consciousness during the day, I do analytical things, like editing, formatting, and checking for holes and loose ends in the plot. I am very interested in our various states of consciousness. Western society = too much alpha! We need a better balance!
Do you have any odd writing habits?
Music seriously influences my writing. The right music always takes my imagination to a new destination, or returns me to a favourite old one. Music transcends everything! Lately it’s sections of the soundtrack to Fabulous Beasts and Where to Find Them. (I haven’t seen the film yet.) You’ll always find music references in my books, a la: ‘’What Vrenfru Jenari heard when he danced with Ahrashel, Chapter so-and-so.” Ahrashel is a ghost. Download and listen for an even more enjoyable reading experience! 😊
What book do you wish you could have written?
Rebecca, by Daphne Maurier, or The Beckoning Fair One, by Oliver Onions
Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?
Daphne DuMaurier, Mary Stewart, Anna Katherine Green, Herman Melville, Oliver Onions, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (The Pendergast novels), Janet Evanovich, David and Leigh Eddings…oh so many!
If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?
I’m working on it as we speak! Anyone interested, please get in touch! Seriously! I have managed a theatre production (https://palaceofthestars.com.au). Onwards and upwards!
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
Very important. Both. They always come to me as sounds first. Sometimes out of thin air, sometimes in dreams.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Creating stories, shows, pictures, or music that bring happiness or help to others. Preserving a sanctuary for nature; returning the favour!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
To find that many more people are enjoying my creations.
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Never give up. Just do it. If you have “I can’t” stamped on your forehead, take a big psychic eraser and rub it out! No matter if people criticise you. And worry about the tech details later. However, having said that, keep it simple as you can as far as software/formatting. Just write it in Word – or if handwriting, have it typed up in Word. It’s easiest to work with down the track. I’m always happy to help if I can!
If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?
I used to be a scientist. And now I’m a mad scientist. Cool, eh? Beware! 😊 Actually, I fell foul of the politics of animal experimentation. So, I sneaked into the laboratory one night and…but that is another story…
What are you working on now? What is your next project?
The Light, Book Three of the Harker Investigates Mysteries, a comic fantasy novella/audiobook, and an anthology of ghost stories. Music for Forget-Me-Not Cafes – social outings for people living with dementia. And, A Night at the Palace of the Stars #3 – a time-travel theatre extravaganza! Hmm, better get to the housework!
What is your biggest failure?
Trusting someone I didn’t know, even when I was warned not to.
Have you ever gotten into a fight?
Yes. I like to avoid them. Fight over flight puts me into a terrible cascade of stress-hormone shock. But I am no coward. Needs must when the devil drives.
Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?
I was working in a very narrow kitchen in an Italian club. I switched off the gas, turned around, and knocked-out a creep who was sexually harassing me. The first part was good; I didn’t burn the place down! How did my logical mind know that I should turn off the stove??? The second part was good – I just did it! What a wallop! Logic to pure instinct. And then, not so good, because, back to logic, I thought OMG, what have I done? But the last part was good, ‘cause the sleazebag got up and all his mates laughed at him! We never saw him again, that’s for sure! Yay!
What is your biggest fear?
Confronting the kind of person who takes up the entire atmosphere; darkness that swallows the light.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
It will have a large ear upon it, nothing else.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Invisibility, because this engenders so many more possibilities!
What secret talents do you have?
A so-called Mozartian ability with music. It’s a secret to me when people ask me how I do what I do. I don’t know. It seems easy to me. Lucky me! But I think everyone’s got it. They just need to believe so they can access it.
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Also, deep undersea places where David Attenborough goes. It’s ALL happening there!
Do you have any scars? What are they from?
Physical - Appendectomy.
Emotional – being bullied throughout life and being nearly raped and killed as a child; while people watched!!! My brother saved me. I was 10, he was 13. A child saved the day. Hard to say which disgusts me more, the attacker or those standing there with their shopping who found it all so very entertaining.
What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?
I tended to make my own amusements. My favourite toy was a doll (NOT Barbie!) I would tie a line and sinker to. She would plumb the depths (the bottom of a boat harbour) and come back to tell me all about what she discovered. I loved being outdoors. Nature was my sanctuary. I loved to read. I loved music. My other sanctuaries. Still are!
What do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?
You bet. Usually bad, recurring from bad events. But sometimes good. Sometimes extremely inspiring. I often wonder, are some dreams actually real? Perhaps akin to the out-of-body experience which I whole-heartedly believe in. I mean, who even knows what they are! “Part of the normal functioning of the brain.” Duh. How very reductionist.
Title Chelandra, Book One of the Chelandra Trilogy
Author Karina McRoberts
Genre Epic Fantasy (with modern themes and female hero)
Publisher Rocanadon Press
An intelligent, exciting, soulful story. Classic epic fantasy with modern themes and a woman at the helm. Chelandra is filled with fantasy, adventure, mystery, humour, and romance. It’s a book about humanity and the precarious and glorious nature that supports it.
Immerse yourself in the myriad adventures of young Chelandran woman, Galla Jenari, as she travels through tumultuous lands of ethereal beauty to learn of the world around her.
Along with her charming uncle Obronder, the mysterious Yanerian, Masande, and the impetuous Gaklari, Shiran Ajaner, Galla encounters wonders both glorious and terrifying!
Creatures of gossamer and light. Monsters of savage ferocity. Enchanted lifeforms and lake-dwelling spirits.
Fantastic machines. Wondrous cities and drowned citadels. Strange cultures and customs. Fabulous fairs and intoxicating rituals. Frightening shamans, exotic music, and feverish dancing.
Fiery battles. War, plague, starvation, and destruction.
Characters quirky, murky, delightful, and strange.
Timeless wisdom, treacherous lovers, tender romance, and haunted insanity.
The companions discover all these things.
But above all these; themselves, and each other.
Notes for bookclubbers.
“Uncle! Oh Gods, Uncle! Do something! Do something!” Galla screamed! She didn’t wait; she threw down the ladder and straddled the railing, about to go over.
“Wait, Galla, wait! Tenets girl, we’re too high! Please!” He pleaded with her. “Please wait!”
It was all becoming impossible. The noise, the smoke, the arrows. His eyes were stinging, his throat burning. He could hardly see, hardly breathe. What was on fire? Obronder heard fighting now. His young crew looked to him once more for direction. For one of the very few times in his life, his mind was in turmoil. He pictured himself as a maddened, frightened stallion, charging wild-eyed ‘round its paddock, not knowing which way to run.
In an instant, Gorjen grabbed Galla, not letting her go. She struggled and screamed at him, but he held her fast while Bethane spoke to her to calm her down.