Thursday, 6 February 2014

2 guest post by the author of Eire's Viking Sandi Lane

Eire's Viking by Sandi Layne
I am really happy to introduce 2 guest post from the incredible Sandi Layne

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What They Say:

Ten years after Charis marries Cowan at the end of Éire’s Captive Moon, Agnarr Halvardson returns to the Green Island—this time, to stay.  He wants what any man wants:  To make a life for himself, wed, and have sons.
Before he can express these goals, he is injured and taken to Bangor Monastery.  There, Aislinn—adopted daughter of Cowan and Charis—treats him as a patient while she ignores the immediate attraction he holds for her.
Agnarr decides Aislinn would be a good wife for him as she teaches him her language and customs. She commands his respect and wins his affection. The past is just one barrier of many between them, however.
There are new invaders to Éire. Pledging his loyalty to the new king of Dál Fiatach, Agnarr prepares to defend his new home while persuading Aislinn to be his wee.
Success or failure will affect the lives of many.

Author Bio:
There are many profiles that detail the author’s lifelong dream of authorship being realized with the publication of their first novel or short story.  This is not one of those profiles.
To make an exceedingly odd story moreso, Sandi Layne had no wish to be a writer, but went through a storyline bootcamp in the form of strange dreams for a month and took careful notes.  Fifteen years later, she’s still writing stories that veer slightly off the beaten path, both in Christian and historical fiction.
Married for more than twenty years to a very tolerant (and brilliant!) man, she has two sons, no pets, and a plethora of imaginary friends.  Her interests range from ancient civilizations to science fiction for both reading and research.  With degrees in English and Ministry, she also claims Theology’s crimson Masters collar which she has been known to don on rare occasions.
If you drive by her window before dawn, it is likely she’ll have a light on for you. Or at the very least, she’ll be alert on twitter.  She invites you to visit her online space at Bring coffee.
Connect with Sandi Layne on 
Other books by Sandi Layne

Eire's Viking
A Guest Post 
By Sandi Layne

How did you get your start in writing historical romance and why Vikings?

Being a writer was never on my radar, as a child. I wrote short stories for extra credit for school and I could create a terrific essay over night at need, but writing? No. I loved to read and lose myself in stories and that was all I wanted.

But then, while researching an entirely different line of work, I was struck by the notion that I could write a story Id like to read. Ive read hundreds of romances was literally what I thought. Surely I could write one!

Ah, what hubris. Really, thats what it was.

I had read and enjoyed many Regency Romances over the years and when I thought of writing, and had ideas about stories and plot lines and so on, most of them were of the Regency Romance variety. Since this was before I had access to the internet, I did research with my own books and encyclopedias, as well as a trip to the local library. I kept copious notes in three-ring binders and, back in those days, I printed out and re-read each page as I wrote it.

The first book I wrote originally came out to about 100,000 words. I wrote it in thirty nearly sleepless days and I have kept that badly-written draft to remind myself that I have improved mightily since then. See, I had no idea about how to create a story; I just tried to make mine sound close to the ones I read and liked.

Ive learned a great deal in the intervening years, thanks to many awesome authors I have encountered along the way.  I write both contemporary inspirational romance as well as historical romance, and enjoy them both.

Why Vikings?

Well, one of the ideas I had for an historical romance was not Regency. It was inspired by Thomas Cahills book, How the Irish Saved Civilization. I thought I could have a romance hero who was also a learned scribe who copied codices, like the monks used to do. I had an idea for a heroine, too, and I was all kinds of tickled about the characters and the time (6th Century, when I was initially dreaming this up) and so on.
But I forgot one huge point. I needed something that would bring action to the plot. Some driving force. When I first began writing, just a story about a guy and a gal was all I was trying to create, but that wasnt enough for this time, in my estimation.

I needed drama. Action. And after some reading, I concluded I needed Vikings. Then, it became a huge party for me, of sorts. I wanted to get as close to my earlier timeline as I could, but I wound up looking almost three hundred years ahead of it. Still, I found reference to a fellow named Tuirgeis who was a Viking who claimed the High Kingship of Ireland and everything clicked for me. 

And the rest is history. Well, historical fiction.

What is the hardest “thing” for a writer?

These days, writing is increasingly complex if one wishes to do it as a career, part-time or full-time. Even before a book is done, the aspiring author is encouraged to develop a social-media platform, including several avenues of communication, and to network with others who are established as well as up and coming in their genre. Many writers are finding this social networking to be the hardest aspect of “being a writer” in this day and age.

If asked, other writers will have something they find harder to do than other aspects of their craft. For some, it’s creating an involving beginning to their story; for others, it’s coming to a perfect end. Still others will say that submitting a new story is the hardest thing they have to do. Some writers would opine that the tension of making an eye-catching submission is easy compared to the hair-pulling of editing.

For this writer, I would have to say that the hardest thing for me is to hit the 2/3 mark in any manuscript. I outline, I plan, I talk to myself, I know exactly how the story ends…

But I still get stuck right at that point. I don’t know why, which is why it’s such a hard place for me. Still, knowing it’s coming, I plow through that sticky spot because I know what lies beyond it. Then, when I’ve reached the goal of finishing that section—or the whole book itself—I can return to that troublesome point and rewrite as needed.

I’ve written more than twenty full-length novels and this still happens every time.

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