Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rowena and the Viking Warlord by Melodie Campbell Interview

Title: Rowena and the Viking Warlord
Author: Melodie Campbell
Publisher: Imajin Books
Pages: 252
Genre: Paranormal Romance Time Travel
Format: Paperback/Kindle
Purchase at AMAZON
He was her enemy and her lover…

As Cedric fights battles down south, Rowena unwittingly rides into an enemy war camp and is taken prisoner by her old friend Lars, who is not what he seems. 

Yet Rowena is not helpless. After all, she is a hereditary half-witch with a whole lot of magic in her.  Too bad she doesn’t know how to use it. Escaping from the camp, she continues to botch up spell after spell. Soon Kendra joins her on the trek back to Huel, along with the latest magical mistake, a flame-burping dragon called Cinders.
When war comes to Land’s End, it brings the one man who threatens to conquer everything in Huel, including Rowena’s heart. Now she has to make the biggest decision of her life. Will she return through the wall to safety in Arizona? Or will she stay in Land’s End for good, and fight to save her people from the Viking Warlord?
Book Excerpt:
My name is Rowena Revel and I am the last hereditary witch of Land's End.

Unfortunately, I'm not a very good one.

The trouble is, I have a magic bracelet but no idea how to use it. My mother died before she could teach me. And it won't come off. Spells are a matter of trial and error, so the outcomes are rather sketchy.

I honestly didn't mean to conjure up that Roman Legion in mid-battle.

And apparently I screwed things up by moving back time.

Val, my wizard friend, told me there would be a price to pay for messing with dark magic. But I had to stop the pending war. Thane and Cedric were about to kill each other. Things were so desperate I couldn't wait to find out the penalty.

So I went ahead and used dark magic to turn back time. Now I was finding out how steep that price would be.

About the Author
Billed as Canada’s “Queen of Comedy" by the Toronto Sun (Jan. 5, 2014), Melodie Campbell achieved a personal best when Library Digest compared her to Janet Evanovich.
Winner of nine awards, including the 2014 Derringer (US) and the 2014 Arthur Ellis (Canada) for The Goddaughter’s Revenge (Orca Books), Melodie has over 200 publications, including 100 comedy credits, 40 short stories, and seven novels.
Melodie got her start writing stand-up.  In 1999, she opened the Canadian Humour Conference. Her fiction has been described by industry reviewers as "hilarious" and "laugh-out-loud funny."
Melodie has a commerce degree from Queen’s University, but it didn’t take well.  She has been a bank manager, college instructor, marketing director, comedy writer and possibly the worst runway model ever.  These days, Melodie is the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada.
Her latest book is the paranormal romance time travel, Rowena and the Viking Warlord.
For More Information

Where are you from?
Now?  Just south of Toronto.  Originally?  West Vancouver, high on the mountain.  Lovely view when the rain stopped.

Tell us your latest news.
I won the Derringer and Arthur!  (That’s the 2014 Derringer Award (US) and the 2014 Arthur Ellis Award for crime writing.) This was for the latest book in my other series, The Goddaughter’s Revenge, which is a comic mob caper about a reluctant mob goddaughter who keeps get dragged back into the family business.

When and why did you begin writing?
At the age of 4.  My parents called it lying.  That was so short-sighted of them.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I won my first short story award in 1989.  That was the turning point for me.  From there, I went on to write comedy (stand-up and columns), plays, and continued with short stories for two decades.

What inspired you to write your first book?
Four years ago, my mother had been admitted to hospital 38 times, dying.  As the news got worse and worse, I sat in her hospital room and thought, if I could walk through that hospital wall right now into another world, I would.  That night, I started writing ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL.  I needed escape from my sorrowful reality.
After the first book was published, readers wrote me to plead for a second.  The Rowena books were giving them needed escape too.  So together we went on this journey.

Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes.  Broad comedy.  Oh, there is a pile of fast-moving adventure in all my books, but I got my start as a comedy writer.  So I write to entertain readers, and hopefully to give them a fun and swashbuckling escape.

How did you come up with the title?
Rowena is a family name that goes way back to the Norman Conquest.  ‘Through the Wall’ is exactly what she does…goes through her classroom wall back to the time of the dark ages in Great Britain.
This is the third book in the series, so I wanted to keep Rowena in the title, and tell a bit about what she would be encountering next.  So Rowena and the Viking Warlord is exactly what this book is about!  No false advertising here .

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Ah, the dark side of ROWENA AND THE VIKING WARLORD.  Most people consider this series funny and sexy, and I do write to entertain, first and foremost.  However in this series, I was playing with an issue that is becoming evident in some foreign countries today:
What would happen in a land where women were scarce?  Would they be more valued, and therefore have more power?  Or would their movements be even more restricted?
Read the series, and you will see my conclusions.  But please don’t lose the fun of the books in this message.

How much of the book is realistic?
Oh wow – the research was unbelievable!  Yes, Land’s End is an alt-world version of dark ages Great Britain, but I wanted to make it seem as realistic as possible.  I did a ton of research into Viking culture, weapons, armor, warfare, Celt weapons, armor, magic, Satanic weddings (for the first book). 

What books have most influenced your life most?
Believe it or not, Ivanhoe.  When I was 17, and totally fed up with the high school reading curriculum, a kind librarian handed me Ivanhoe. 
This is what books could be like!  Swashbuckling adventure with swords and horses, and imminent danger to yourself and virtue, from which – sometimes – you could not escape (poor Rebecca.) 
I was hooked.  And this book was written how long ago?  1820?
And that’s why I write.  To give other readers a fabulous adventure, like that book (and others like it) gave me.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
One industry reviewer called my Rowena series “A cross between Diana Gabaldon and Janet Evanovich.”
I’m delighted with that comparison!  Would be proud to call either of them an influence.

What are your current projects?
Just completing book 4 in The Goddaughter, comic mob caper series.  And then I will move back to more fantasy…perhaps book 4 in the Land’s End trilogy (somehow, that strikes me as just the right side of zany – having a book 4 in a triology )

What would you like my readers to know?
In 1993, a producer from HBO saw my play “Burglar for Coffee,” called me ‘completely nuts’ and offered me a spot writing pilots, which I turned down.  This has to be the worst mistake ever made by someone not legally insane.  But who had ever heard of HBO in 1993?
Still crying.

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