Thursday, August 30, 2012

Stone of Darkness Blog Tour: Author Interview Resa Nelson

Please welcome Resa Nelson to Fantasy Book Chick!

Resa Nelson has been selling fiction professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop.

Resa was also the TV/Movie Columnist for
Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years and was a contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Her first novel, The Dragonslayer's Sword, was nominated for the Nebula Award and was also a Finalist for the EPPIE Award. This medieval fantasy novel is based on a short story first published in the premiere issue of Science Fiction Age magazine and ranked 2nd in that magazine's first Readers Top Ten Poll. The Dragonslayer's Sword is Book 1 in her 4-book Dragonslayer series. Book 2, The Iron Maiden, was published last December, Book 3 was published in May, and the final book in the series is scheduled for publication in November.
Resa's standalone novel, Our Lady of the Absolute, is a fantasy/mystery/thriller about a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt. Midwest Book Review gave this book a 5-star review, calling it "a riveting fantasy, very highly recommended."
Resa lives in Massachusetts.
Author Interview :
Tell us a little about yourself...
I tend to be either extremely serious and focused or a complete goofball.  I’m a hard worker, so when I’m not working it feels good to be silly.  I love all kinds of animals (something I share with my main character Astrid).  I let spiders live in my home as long as they find a territory and stick to it.  Or unless they’re really big – then I scoop them up and put them outdoors.
What do you enjoy doing when not writing?
Hanging out with friends is always good.  I love being outdoors, although I tend to go into hibernation mode during winter.  So when the weather is nice I really enjoy walking, whether it’s hiking in the woods or walking in the city.  In the winter, I like to bundle up with a nice cup of tea or hot chocolate and watch movies.
When did you begin writing?
I began writing short stories when I was in the 2nd grade, but I began making up stories to entertain myself long before I learned how to write.
Do you listen to music, drink coffee, etc. while writing?
I usually don’t eat or drink anything, because I sink into the world I’m writing about – everything else fades away.  But I either choose a “soundtrack” (a CD by one of my favorite artists) or I put on my default writing music, which is the soundtrack from a movie that I always watch the night before I begin a new novel.
What book are you currently reading, just finished reading or going to read next?
I’m reading a couple of books right now:  See You ‘Round the Square by Berry & Croft (a mainstream novel set in New Hampshire) and In the Garden of Beasts by Eric Larson (which is about a family of Americans living in Germany just as the Nazis were coming into power).
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I rarely read within my genre, although I make exceptions for books like the Harry Potter series and The Hunger Games.  I love mystery/thrillers.  Currently my favorite authors are Harlan Coben and Dennis Lehane.  But I grew up being a fan of Charles Dickens, Jules Verne, Edgar Allen Poe, Louisa May Alcott, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Jane Austen, Ray Bradbury, and Agatha Christie.
What other projects are you working on or have coming out next?
The 4th and final book in my Dragonslayer series is scheduled to come out this November – I’m so excited!  This is my first series, and I’m really looking forward to hearing how my fans like the last book in the series.  Right now I’m getting ready to start writing my next novel, which will be near-future science fiction combined with a murder mystery.  What my novels have in common is that the main character is always a woman who is smart, strong, and courageous.  There’s usually some kind of mystery as well as action and adventure.
Why did you choose to write this genre?
I write mostly fantasy, and I think that’s because I was such a fan of fairy tales and folk tales from all over the world when I was a little girl.  I still am.  I’ve always loved the Grimm fairy tales because they’re so dark.
If you could be any paranormal or have a supernatural talent what would it be and why?
I’d really like to see ghosts as clearly as I see people.  So I guess I want to see dead people.  J
Tell us why readers will enjoy reading your book...
My goal is to take readers into a fantasy world that feels like a real place with real people.  I don’t write about royalty – I write about everyday people.  I want readers to feel like they’re really in my world and that the story is happening right in front of their eyes – that’s what it feels like for me when I’m writing it.  Astrid was chewed up and spit out by a dragon when she was a child, so her entire body is covered with scars.  She feels insecure about a lot of things, but she’s driven by her sense of right and wrong.  She constantly has to deal with obstacles, but she always finds the courage to rise up and meet whatever challenge comes her way.  And even though my books can get dark and serious, I throw in as much humor as possible to give them some balance.  My books are full of twists and turns because I don’t want my readers to get bored!  I also want to point out that I like giving everyone a way to sample my work to see it they like it or not.  Before I wrote the novels, I wrote two short stories set in my Dragonslayer world, which were published in Science Fiction Age magazine. 
*Everyone is welcome to download a free “mini” ebook of those two stories at -- there’s no obligation or information gathering, just a quick and easy download.*
Synopsis for The Dragonslayer’s Sword (Book 1)

For Astrid, a blacksmith who makes swords for dragonslayers, the emergence of a strange gemstone from her body sets in motion a chain of events that threaten to destroy her life. Her happiness is shattered when her lover--the dragonslayer--disappears without a trace, and the life that she knows and loves implodes without warning.
Astrid lives in a world of shapeshifters whose thoughts have the power to change not only themselves but others. Everything Astrid knows to be true is called into question when she learns the truth about her past and the mysterious family from which she was separated as a child.
Reality turns inside out as Astrid gradually learns the truth about the people she loves as well as those she disdains. With the fate of dragons, ghosts, and slaves in foreign lands resting on her shoulders, Astrid faces the challenge of deciding who she is and how she will stand up inside her own skin. Will she withdraw and hide from the world that has disappointed her so much...or will she rise to lead others to freedom and peace?
Synopsis for The Iron Maiden (Book 2)
Astrid is reluctant to travel the winter route beyond the Northlands, even though it’s her duty. She’d rather stay home in her village, surrounded by friends and neighbors. Ignoring the bonds of tradition, she decides to spend the cold winter months in the warmth of her blacksmithing shop. Why should she leave the comfort of her cottage to serve and protect foreigners who might raid and harm her native Northlands?
Everything changes when a traveling merchant steals Starlight, the first dragonslayer’s sword Astrid forged and her last link to her sweetheart DiStephan. Having no time to alert her friends, Astrid races in pursuit of the merchant, determined to reclaim Starlight as her own and return home in time for dinner. Instead, her quest leads her to new lands, unexpected friendships with foreigners, and a harrowing encounter with the damage done by the followers of a new god that considers women as nothing more than servants to men. All the while, she must be ready to face any dragon traveling the winter route.
In Book 2 of the Dragonslayer series, Astrid must learn that deciding who she is isn’t a decision she can make just once. It’s a decision she must make every day.
Synopsis for The Stone of Darkness (Book 3)
In Book 3 of the Dragonslayer series, Astrid accepts her duty and follows the winter route--until she's bitten by a dragon. Everyone knows dragon bites are poisonous and deadly, so she reluctantly accepts her impending death. In a twist of fate, she survives. Desperate for an explanation, Astrid believes she has somehow been protected by the black stone she keeps with her at all times, a stone that emerged from the sole of her foot a year ago.
 Determined to find out what the stone is and what kind of powers it possesses, Astrid begins a journey that leads her to alchemists and an army of men under the rule of the powerful warrior, Mandulane, the acting lord of the Krystr army. Mandulane's mission is to spread the word of the new god Krystr, which preaches the evil intent of women and the danger they pose to all men, who are entitled to dominate the world. Rumors about this new god and army have spread, but Astrid is the first Northlander to encounter them.
Soon, she stumbles upon a secret of a far-reaching and mind-numbing plot that will impact the entire world. Astrid must find a way to spread the news of this threat and protect her people and everyone else at risk. She's convinced the answer lies inside the Stone of Darkness, and she must find a way to understand the stone and the powers she's convinced it must hold before it's too late.
*Book 4 will be published in November 2012*
Connect with Resa!
Resa’s website:                                                                       
Free “mini” ebook of Dragonslayer short stories:
Ebooks ($4.99 each) are available directly from Mundania Press at: (get a 10% discount at checkout with the coupon code MP10)
Paperbacks are available from Mundania Press, Amazon, and Barnes&Noble: (get a 10% discount at checkout with the coupon code MP10)
Thank you so much Resa for taking the time to answer the interview questions
and let us know about your book!