Author Interview | Meet the fabulous Byrd Nash and her latest release #fantasy #womensfiction



We’re so excited because the fabulous Byrd Nash’s interview is featured on N. N. Light’s Book Heaven today. Who is Byrd Nash? She’s one of our favorite newly-discovered authors. Her writing is intoxicating, like a fine wine. We asked her for an interview, and she agreed. Without further ado, it’s our pleasure to introduce Byrd Nash. Make her feel welcome. Byrd, take it away:


What book do you wish you could have written?


I would have loved to have written Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (Susanna Clarke) or The Thirteenth Tale (Diane Setterfield). Both of these tales have such amazing complexity and depth to them they drew me into their worlds immediately.


Jonathan Strange because it has the perfect blend of British fairy, history, and Gothic; and The Thirteenth Tale because of the veneration of authors, books, and the upturning of the Gothic genre on its head.


I tend to like two types of books nowadays: either massive epic stories with big world-building that is multi-layered; or Golden Age mysteries where the characters are all in a big old house with a rich miser about to be murdered.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?


Character names are super important to me. While some just naturally pop into my head and ‘feel right’ others are put into place because they have an alternate meaning.


For example, the characters in my latest book A Spell of Rowans, I chose because they would give the feel of small-town America. Names like Deacon Hayes, Greg Easton, Patty Maxwell, and Hunter Garrick.


The last name of Rowans I gave to the magical family because the Rowan tree (a bush in the United States) has a long history of being affiliated with witches, fairies, and supernatural folklore. It is one of the sacred trees of the Druids.

Have you always liked to write?


Yes, I distinctly remember learning to read. It is one of my earliest memories and along with that is visiting Scholastic book fairs and school libraries. I also had a favorite librarian at the time who introduced me to fantasy: Mrs. Pickanpaugh of Huber Heights, Ohio.

If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?


I really should have become a librarian. That was a huge missed opportunity!

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?


When I first started out as a published author, reading reviews was a great lift to my ego. On Goodreads, I like to reply to four and five star reviews as I love to communicate with my fans.


While I still consider reviews important, mainly so other readers can evaluate if my books are for them, I now screen them through my husband. The main reason is that reviews can really affect my ability to stay encouraged about my writing and I take criticism very much to heart.


For my fellow authors, I encourage you to filter your reviews through a third person. Sometimes you need to know something in these low-starred reviews, such as typos or formatting issues. You don’t need to beat yourself up by reading them, either.


I don’t respond to low star reviews. Reviewers are welcome to their opinion.


To my fellow readers, when I review, if I didn’t enjoy a book but it is well written, I am quick to point out what readers would enjoy it.


Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others?


I don’t enjoy writing predictable scenes. That may sound odd, but (unfortunately) fantasy has become filled with cliches and because there are many readers looking to binge on light reading, this fills a niche that sells a lot of books. But it isn’t for me.


I find it hard to write male heroes who are aggressive-dominant types. In real life, I would find these men repulsive. I would ask myself why a woman would put up with that baloney, so it’s very unlikely these male MC’s are in my books other than as a parody or a villain.


What are you working on now? What is your next project?


I’m currently writing on two projects. The last book in the College Fae series, Storm of Songs. Brigit, the dryad, and Logan, the human bard, are now in their last year at Leopold Otto, a university where human and fae students attend classes together. A lot of the hints given in the other three books will come to a head in this one so it’s taking time to get all the layers right.


I’m also working on a fantasy story about a medium who can speak to ghosts. Victorian Spiritualism holds a fascination for me. This story follows Elinor Chalamet, who has a talent for communicating with the dead in an alternative 1890-1910 world.


What is your biggest failure?


To not let self-doubt get to me. I’m usually a pretty resilient person, but self-doubt is my Achilles heel. It can erode my ability to stay focused and has been a problem my entire life.


What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told?


I had to go to Scientology training because of my work. Part of this training was asking personal questions, with the long game of trying to get a wedge into you so they could crack you open psychologically.


For example, one question asked me to give details about when I betrayed someone’s trust.


I used my creative writing to invent a different person with totally different life experiences. Someone who was more vulnerable to public opinion and who worried about what her girlfriends thought. It was a strange two weeks, like living out of your body. Disassociation saved me.


Trust me, I was glad to get back home. I quit the job a few months later.


What literary character is most like you?


Oddly enough, Victoria Rowan in my book A Spell of Rowans is very much like me, as is Liam. I am often a blunt speaker, who likes to get to the point (like Liam), but I also am my own worst enemy like Victoria (Vic). Vic is a strange mix of strength and vulnerability and that is my two sides.


What was hilarious was a long-time fan read Rowans and told me she wasn’t sure if she liked Vic! And this fan and I have been internet friends for over a year. It really brought home to me how much the internet is a surface friendship, as well as why probably some of my in-real-life friendships have failed over the years. People are dealing with the person they think I am, not the person I am.


What secret talents do you have?


I have a strange ability to predict the future. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it usually is spectacular.


For example, my husband was working a job that he didn’t want to leave (he’d been there for a long time). We ended up having a major fight, and I insisted he start a job hunt or I’d walk out of the marriage. He took a new job and a week later the company he had been working for collapsed and they fired all the upper management (which would have included him). We escaped just barely.


I also had a dream that my youngest was in danger and after talking with him, we made a major life change that was important to him.


Do you have any scars? What are they from?


I have a scar hidden by my hairline. I got it from a horseback riding accident when I was thrown into a tractor from a horse. It was the one time I didn’t wear my helmet! Always wear your helmet!


Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?


I’ve had a recurring dream of drowning since I was a child. The dream used to be about being in a car and going off a bridge into the water. The origin of the dream is from crossing the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway into New Orleans from when my parents took us back to Louisiana (my family is from that state).


That dream later changed to traveling down a road (in a car, on a horse, walking etc…) and the road became flooded, cutting me off and eventually threatening me.


When I was in therapy, I learned this dream was often activated by my subconscious when I felt overwhelmed or felt I was losing my sense of self.


Drowning is another thing from my real life that I put into A Spell of Rowans. For example, my brother, as a child under 8, almost drowned in a lake and my father saved him. I also still have a deep fear of lakes and being on the ocean. I prefer swimming pools!


Thank you, Byrd, for the fantastic interview. Scroll down to read about her latest release.



Title A Spell of Rowans

Author: Byrd Nash

Genre: Fantasy, Women’s fiction, Magical Realism, Mystery fantasy, fairytales, folklore

Publisher: Rook and Castle Press


Book Blurb:


Magic comes in threes.

Victoria, whose empathic talent reads hidden feelings. Phillipa, with a glamour that bewitches. Liam, who can touch an object to reveal its past.

All are in danger.

Their narcissistic mother, Rachel Rowan, sniffed out secrets and she used her antique shop, Rosemary Thyme, to torment the residents of Grimsby.

But with her death and the murder of her assistant, Vic must discover the truth before the past destroys what remains of her family.

And that hometown boy she dumped way back? He's in Grimsby and knows the truth about her.

With their magical talents twisted by a traumatic past, the Rowan siblings must face the deadly fallout of blackmail, murder, and magic in this emotional page-turner.

NOTE Trigger warnings for discussion of child abuse and trauma, with one assault scene, and some cursing.


Excerpt:


I had left the burden of looking after the old witch to Phillipa. It was part of the oldest sibling’s burden as the responsible one. The Mother’s Helper.


Because of her Charming talent, Mother had always treated Pip best, and that made her feel guilty about the attention she received. To tell her of things that happened when she wasn’t around would have been cruel. To speak those things aloud would have made the monster real.


I could have felt guilty about leaving, but I didn’t. Not much. In the end, I had left Grimsby because if I had stayed, I would have died.


I handed her back the cup. I was proud to see my hand wasn’t shaking.


“What does Hunter say?”


Phillipa’s face lit up as I mentioned the attorney. “Where did you meet him? He’s gorgeous.”


“Don’t gobble him down in one bite, Pip.”


She gave a suggestive lick of her lips before becoming serious. “Hunter thinks Liam is on the spectrum. It might help his case if we get him tested.”


“How would that help?”


“The police went well beyond what they should have in that interview. Hunter wants to use it to set up a defense or counter with a civil action against the Grimsby police department.”


“But is Liam truly disabled? I know he has his issues, but—I mean, isn’t it like a chicken-and-the-egg kind of thing?”


Phillipa understood immediately. “Like, did his talent cause him to be this way, or do people perceive he’s different because of his talent?”


If it came down to it, a psychiatrist could have a field day with the entire Rowan clan. Phillipa may have fooled people into thinking she was normal, but we both knew what a lie that was. She was a Queen Bee whom all the other drones couldn’t help but come to.


I doubted normal would get me commissions from around the world for art restoration.


“Look, I’m staying here overnight to talk with the doctor, but I’m checking out in the morning.”


“I don’t know if that’s a good thing, Vic. It was scary seeing you collapse. For a moment, you weren’t breathing.”


I didn’t want to think about that. “I’m fine. The emotional overload overwhelmed me, but that won’t happen again. Don’t worry about it.”


At my words, Liam’s dragon stirred inside me again like a powerful hurricane swirling. It was gaining momentum. I was in the eye for now, but I would need to shed this maelstrom soon. I couldn’t maintain the boundary between Liam’s fearful rage and my own emotions for much longer.


I didn’t want to think about that either, so I changed the subject. “Where’s Hunter staying?”


“He’s at the house, using the guest room.” At my look, she said defensively, “The other bedrooms are locked.”


“Not a good idea, Pip,” I warned her.


“I know! But after I told him about the busted window, he insisted.” She raised her hands in a helpless gesture. I sighed. Why was this growing so complicated?

“I wanted to talk with you about some things without Liam around. Are you up for it?”


What now?


“Go ahead. I’ll tell you if it’s too much.” I gestured with my thumb at the curtain, reminding her we had neighbors. She picked up the television control and set it to a game show, then went to the other side of my bed and pulled up the one guest chair close to my bed. She put her elbows on the mattress and leaned close.


“It’s about Mother’s estate. She has a lot of money. A–lot–of–money.”


Hm. Knowing Mother’s nature and seeing Phillipa’s expression, I knew I would not like this. Heaving a sigh, I said, “That antique shop. It isn’t legit, is it?”


“I don’t see how it can be. When she woke up in the hospital after her fall, she was frantic. Insisted that I go to the shop and get the accounting book. She also gave me an account number. I don’t think she wanted Patty to have them.”


Mother might have treated us all like garbage, but we were still family. Keep the family close with the secrets. That way you can stab the dagger in deeper.


“How much money are we talking about?”


Instead of answering me, Phillipa typed a number on her phone and showed it to me. It took me a moment to figure out how many commas I was seeing. No way was this honest money. I had a terrible feeling about this… and Patty’s murder wasn’t exactly comforting.


Phillipa’s phone rang, and she answered. I could see from her expression that it wasn’t good. Matters were going to hell in a handbasket by the minute.


“Thanks for telling me. I’m with Vic right now. I’ll be over as soon as I can. Don’t worry, Liam. This won’t change things.” She hung up and said, “The police have stopped Mother’s cremation. They’ve ordered an autopsy.”


Buy Links


Website:https://byrdnash.com/a-spell-of-rowan-a-contemporary-magical-realism-novel/


Netgalley (free copy) https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/book/232978


Goodreads (free copy) https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58454895-a-spell-of-rowans


Bookbub https://www.bookbub.com/books/a-spell-of-rowans-by-byrd-nash


Amazon http://mybook.to/SpellOfRowans


Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-spell-of-rowans-byrd-nash/1139932558?ean=2940162463559


Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-spell-of-rowans


Apple http://books.apple.com/us/book/id1583490823


Author Biography:


Spinning tales of subtle magic with unexpected twists, she packages satisfying stories that read like no others. Byrd writes the book you need, not the one you expected.


Described by one reviewer as a "literary glass of bourbon after a long day,” and another: "When I get a Byrd story, I know I'm in good hands."


Whether it is a Doppelgänger who was once a medieval knight now working in college administration, or an updated Red Riding Hood escaping a post-WWI wolf pack, her characters all feel real.


That Celtic goddess at the pet store? She's someone you know. A medieval queen fleeing an abusive marriage? You experience her pain and triumph.


With a B.A. in journalism, she worked as a newspaper reporter, covering news, schools, and lifestyle for both weeklies and dailies. She was the first journalist to serve as director of The Forest Heritage Center in Beavers Bend State Park, Oklahoma.


Her hobbies include reading, nature hikes, and traveling when she has the money. She seldom has the money. Married to a man who reads all her books but with two adult children who never read them. Byrd has cats, which makes her a legit author.


Published books:

A Spell of Rowans, 2021

Never Date a Siren #1, 2019

A Study in Spirits #2, 2020

Bane of Hounds #3, 2020

Storm of Songs #4, 2022 (planned)

Knight of Cups, 2019

Dance of Hearts, 2020

Price of a Rose, 2021

The Wicked Wolves of Windsor, 2019


Education:

post-graduate studies

University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Bachelor of Arts:

Journalism, professional writing

University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond OK

Associate in Arts: English

Rose State College, Midwest City, OK


Social Media Links


Website: https://byrdnash.com/

Join the newsletter: https://byrdnash.com/wp_quiz/what-reader/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B07RXDHJ2D

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19182817.Byrd_Nash

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/byrd-nash

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/byrdnashbooks/

Facebook fans group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/261465228565349/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/byrd_nash/

1 comment