Twelve Kingdoms - Fantasy Romance

When I do guest posts like this, I always as the blog owners for topic suggestions. Partly because I want to address stuff THEY are interested in. Also because I run out of ideas, alas. So, I’ve gone to this policy of sure, I’ll do a guest post, but give me a subject! This has turned out to be really interesting because book bloggers pose really good questions.

In this case, one of the gals here at Guilty Pleasures suggested that I “talk a little bit about this series as it's a fantasy romance series which I've been told is kind of unusual.”

Hmm. Yes. Yes indeed.

Fantasy romance IS unusual because it’s an emerging genre, which also makes it exciting! For example, I just returned (as I write this) from the RT Booklovers Convention, where I received a gorgeous SHINY trophy for the first book in my Twelve Kingdoms trilogy, The Mark of the Tala, and where the second book, The Tears of the Rose, was nominated along with three others for Best Fantasy Romance of the year—the first time RT Book Reviews gave awards in this genre.

I also had a chance to have a long conversation with the lovely writer who won the Best Fantasy Romance award, Grace Draven, and compare notes with her. We both started writing in this subgenre before we knew what it was—and it seems to have appeared since 2010 and hugely grown in the last couple of years. Neither of us planned this. We both kind of stumbled into it, by writing the stories our hearts led us to.

For me, I started this series for two reasons. I had a vivid dream that became the core vision of The Mark of the Tala. I also wanted to write about the story meme of the three princesses, each more beautiful than the last. I’ve always been strongly drawn to fairy tales—I’ve read all the “colors” and have a large collection, the older, the better. It’s fascinating to me the way women, particularly princesses, form the core of many fairy tales, but—as happens with female characters far too often, particularly in newer story versions—they can be simply placeholders for male action. (The dreaded woman in the refrigerator story trope.) I wanted to write about the fairy tale, the adventure, but from the woman’s perspective.

Basically, I wanted MY fairy tale. All the adventure, magic, character growth, romance, sex and associated fun. So I put all of that in, because it made me happy to do it!

I won’t say that I didn’t care about writing to genre. It took me a long time to sell my books because I didn’t write to genre. (I had another Fantasy Romance trilogy before this, A Covenant of Thorns.) I *tried* writing to genre and I’m simply not good at it. My brain works in weird ways, I think. That’s why this topic tickled me. “Kind of unusual.” Practically my middle name!

So, I love, love, love that my weird way of telling a story is becoming a popular subgenre. I get to write two more books after The Talon of the Hawk, book 3 that came out on May 26. (It’s pretty awesome how much all the women LOVE seeing my eldest princess with a big sword on the cover.) After that, who knows??

Probably a whole lot more like this.


*previously published on Guilty Pleasures in 2015*