Publication date: February 5th 2019
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Young Adult
By day, Tansy McCoy is a florist making charmed bouquets for the citizens of Junonia, capital of the Kingdom of Terranmar. By night, she’s an assassin and the keeper of the Dangerous Garden where deadly blooms grow. Together with the town tailor, butcher, baker, and metalsmith (just don’t call her a candlestick maker), she is part of the Guild, a secret group of spell-wielding thieves and mercenaries. Their task: consolidate all that remains of the realm’s fading magic under the ruthless King Zeno’s control.
Impetuous loner Tansy chafes under her Guild demands. She longs to quit her town and trade and head for the hills. Unfortunately, King Zeno has other plans. He wants to marry off his daughter to Terranmar’s famously reclusive wizard, Rune Hallows, and he’s willing to have the Guild kidnap him to make it happen. Fail to deliver the wizard and the consequences will be swift and deadly.
Reluctant but determined, Tansy sets out on the long journey to faraway Wentletrap and Rune’s desolate tower by the sea. To get there she must cross a swamp full of sinister surprises, battle a werewolf, and outrace a bloodthirsty band of revenants, while she wrestles with her own magical powers that seem to be expanding in unpredictable ways.
But reaching Rune’s tower is only the beginning. When Tansy learns the real reason behind the king’s contest, she’ll need to decide whether to give in to the growing forces of magic ready to reclaim Terranmar or embrace her newfound powers to save the kingdom.
1. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else?
I think I was always in denial about becoming a writer. It’s the only thing I’m any good at, but it’s a tough gig. I kept hoping I’d be happy at something a little more stable and a little more lucrative, but in the end writing knew what was best for me.
2. How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
I can usually finish the draft of a 80,000 – 85,000 word book in about four months. Edits can take another month or two.
3. How do you come up with themes for your stories?
I’m usually inspired by an image first. When I see something or read something and I can’t get the picture of it out of my head I know that’s a strong contender for a future story.
When I have enough images I start to play with them and find hidden or unexpected connections between them. Those newfound links between things that inspire me end up forming the basis of a new novel or, if it’s something that doesn’t quite fit with the rest, a piece of flash fiction.
4. Do you have a schedule of when you write?
When I’m working on a new book I try to show up to the page each weekday and reach my word count goal. That will shift depending on my schedule and how close I am to the publication deadline, but in general I aim for 1,000 – 1,500 words or about 3-5 pages per day. Any more than that and I notice the quality of my writing declines with each passing page.
5. How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
I’m a night owl so I do a lot of work after the kids are in bed and the house is nice and quiet. I do my best thinking after the sun goes down so this strategy works well. I also try to treat writing like the job it is and really focus on the story and hitting my word counts during the week so that when the weekend comes I have time to do things outside of my writing life.
6. What elements do you think make a great story line?
For me there always has to be some mystery, something that piques my curiousity and keeps me invested in turning the pages. That and a little humor. I think its so important to provide that balance, that bit of comic relief. Stories, just like life, needn’t always be so serious.
7. What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
Everything! Just kidding. Kinda.
No, probably that hardest thing for me is making sure the characters’ actions ring true with their motivations. Often when I get writer’s block it’s because my subconscious knows even before I fully realize it that what my characters are doing is out of step with what they really want. Every step a character takes should make sense within the framework of their overarching needs and desires.
8. How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite?
RUNE’S FOLLY is only my second book and it would be as impossible to choose a favorite between my two novels as it would be to choose between my two daughters.
9. Do you have a favorite character?
In RUNE’S FOLLY it would probably be Rune himself. I love how brash and sarcastic and not a little self-important he is. But hiding behind his witty quips and good looks is a broken heart, and I think that vulnerability is the key to him being so special to me.
10. Where do you write?
It depends. I rotate through a few favorite places in my house including my desk, the couch, and a comfy chaise. I also like to change things up and write with my headphones on at a café down the street. There’s a great energy there that helps the words flow.
11. When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took?
I’m a bit of a control freak so the freedom to follow my vision as an indie author is extremely appealing to me. I make all the editorial, design, and marketing decisions for my books. It’s a lot of pressure, but I love being my own boss. I don’t have to ask for anyone’s permission but my own!
12. Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?
I’m lucky to have very supportive friends and family. They embrace my chosen path and are some of my biggest cheerleaders even if some of them are perplexed by my affinity for imaginary worlds and fantastical creatures.
13. What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
I’m an avid reader. I love traveling and try to get out of town as often as possible. And I enjoy running – right now I’m training for a half-marathon!
14. What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing?
Do not give up! The writing life isn’t easy. Facing the blank page is daunting. Once you get past that and get your story down, the editing process can be just as tough. Then there are so many hurdles on the path to publication and after your book is finally published it can be tough to spread the word and get it in the hands of readers. When it’s in readers’ hands you need to brace yourself for critical reviews.
Each step on the path is a challenge, a moment that will test your dedication, but stick with it. The reward of putting out a book you’re proud of and connecting with readers who have embraced your story is worth the struggle.
15. What is your favorite book? favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write?
My favorite book is Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman although Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor is right up there. But probably the first book to really inspire me to love words and want to write was Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth.
16. Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such?
Again I’m lucky to have a circle of supportive friends and family to call upon for those crucial first reads when it’s important to be kind but truthful about what works and what doesn’t within the story. I also work with some very talented professional editors that have helped me grow as a writer without bruising my fragile writer ego (too much).
17. Are you working on anything now?
The sequel to RUNE’S FOLLY!
18. Tell us 5 things that make you smile
My daughters, my husband, a warm bath, a hot coffee, the smell of a summer morning.
19. Tell us 5 things that make you sad
The end of a good book, the opening scene of Up, trees that have been chopped down, cruelty, being excluded.
20. If you could travel anywhere in the world to visit a place so you could use it as a background for a book, where would it be?
The Scottish Highlands.
I have always called Seattle home and find the perpetual gloom to be a wonderful writing ally. I like coffee shops, bookstores, dancing in my living room and singing in my car. The opening scene of Up makes me cry. Three Amigos makes me laugh. Fashion magazines, croissants, and long, long baths are my guilty pleasures. They might occur separately or together. I prefer boxing classes to yoga, and I get some of my best ideas when I'm running. I loved school and spent more time than one really should getting a business degree in marketing and a master's in art history. In an ideal world I'd go to bed at 2am and wake up at 10am. I've never been an early bird, and I feel strongly that alarm clocks kill dreams.
Learn more at garenglazier.com.
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