Friday, January 6, 2012
Welcome Gail Roughton Branan, author of Miami Days and Truscan (K)nights
Gail is a wonderful southern lady, who challenges the beauty of the magnolias -- or should I say daisies -- with her prose. Her website, Flowers on the Fence, is worth a visit. http://flowersonthefence.blogspot.com/
I might also add the fence is dedicated to the memory of her good friend, Gloria. You gotta love a gal who does something like that, y'all! You'll also love her interview:
Q. What is your favorite book?
Don’t have one. I have favorite books in different genres, now. For mainstream realism, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee will forever hold a special spot in my heart. For Time travel, the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, and I think the first one in the series, Outlander, is the best. For PI/Crime Writers, the Spenser series by Robert Parker, but I’d be hard-pressed to pick a favorite and in fact, I also love the Jesse Stone series by Robert Parker and I’d be hard-pressed to pick a favorite out of that one, too. For sheer comic entertainment, the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich, and I don’t know which one in the series it is, but it’s the one where Lulu was on the special protein diet, they ended up in Vegas and Lulu caused Tank to break his leg, and then got chased by a pack of dogs (Lulu, not Tank) who smelled the pork chops in her handbag. And the list goes on……
Q. Who is your favorite writer? Same answer. See above.
Q. How old were you when you were first published?
Well, I haven’t actually been published yet. First one comes out in April, and depending on the date in April, I’ll be either 57 or 58. Though close enough to 58 as to make no difference.
Q. What writing style do you most abhor?I don’t know that it’s style. I don’t like anything boring.
Q. When and how do you write? (typewriter, Mac, in a café, for four hours each morning, etc?) I write mostly in my head. No, I don’t take notes, never have. If it’s good, I remember it. If I don’t remember it, it wasn’t very good in the first place. So wherever I am, I’m writing. I transcribe it onto a computer screen any chance I get, which is usually on my home laptop that lives on my kitchen table.
Q. What is your greatest fear when you first turn in a manuscript?A different variation of the one I have when I start a book (suppose this time the magic’s not there?), when I’m writing it (suppose this time the magic doesn’t flow?), and when I finish it (suppose this time I only thought the magic was there and it really wasn’t?) I’m very insecure, can you tell?
Q. In what era do you wish you’d been born? I’m pretty content with this one. For certain sure, I’m not the “rough-it” type, so I’d have waved good-by to the Mayflower from England, would have waved to the wagon trains as they pulled off into the west. And I’d have hated to live in any era without hot running water, when they bathed every few weeks and almost never washed their hair. Icccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkk!!! The only time-period I think I really would have liked is probably the 50’s. Because things were simpler then, but still modern enough not to be insurmountably inconvenient.
Q. What do you consider your greatest achievement? Becoming me. It’s been a long and winding road, this getting down to understanding and accepting the nitty-gritty of who and what I am.
Q. Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Now that’s funny, considering I don’t really have a favorite book or writer. But as soon as I saw that question – oh, yeah, I got a favorite hero. Jamie Fraser from the Outlander series. Any day and twice on Sundays. And as soon as I typed that I realized –oh heck! I love Spenser from the Spenser books just as much. And I’d tell y’all his first name but it was never ever revealed so nobody knows it but him.
Q. How would you like to die? In my sleep, knowing that I had fully lived and loved. Very well.
Gail's upcoming book, Miami Days and Truscan (K)nights, debuts in April from MuseItUp Publishing and promises to be a winner.
Miami Days & Truscan (K)nights is set in a parallel world in the country of Trusca. Where did this world begin? Well….In the beginning, when there was only the beginning, and the world held no world except the mists, the mists parted and gave birth. Far out, beyond the mists, the Gods watched and guided, and Trusco, the King of the Gods, he who carried the great sword of lightning and the impenetrable shield of thunder, laughed in his pleasure as the ground gained firmness and shape.
“You call that a world?” asked Tarn, the Queen of the Gods, and the consort of Trusco, who as a woman, saw always what was missing instead of what was there. “It has no shape. For all its width and breadth, it is flat. And empty. There is nothing there but barren ground.”
And as it was then, as it will always be, the purpose of women to fill the world with life, she raised her hand through the mists and reached beyond to the stars, and gathering a handful of the stardust, she scattered it upon the ground; and where it touched, hills sprang forth to give the world breasts, with which to nourish the giant trees which broke through the soil in the great pangs of this second cycle of birth, and streams began to flow down from those breasts, as milk flows from the breast of a mother, and soon all the world was green.
“You call that a world?” asked Prias. Prias was a powerful God, the God of darkness, who ruled the outer reaches of the mists and seldom troubled himself to visit with the other Gods, which was fine with them, as his ugliness was in direct proportion to his power. A very ugly God was Prias, short and squat, flat-nosed, and big-mouthed, to catch the light, for as the God of darkness, light was his favorite food and he ate light whenever it penetrated into the mists. “It is still empty. It has no life.”
“No life?!” exclaimed Tarn, in exasperation. “No life? When I have created these tall trees that stretch their branches up to the sky and these flowing streams to feed them?”
“No life I said and no life I mean,” the dark God replied. “It must have creatures which stand and walk and breathe.”
“Never!” proclaimed Trusco. “For to create such creatures is to create only trouble, for as they grow they will be envious of our powers and seek to displace us as the rulers of creation. They will destroy this beauty which I have created and which Tarn has embellished and they will give us only grief.”
Prias said nothing and crept away from Trusco and Tarn, from Andovo, the God of Light whom he was secretly sworn to destroy with no thought that if he did, who would send forth the Light upon which he fed? From Andovo’s wife, Motravia, the Goddess of the Stars and from Fresco, their child, who played with the stars and sometimes bounced them back and forth across the heavens, creating great floods of shooting light in the sky. He left them there, exclaiming over their creation of the world, as they argued back and forth over things which should and should not be placed on the carpets of green that now blanketed the hills.
No one missed his absence, and the Gods and Goddesses continued in their play. Andovo placed great herds of faltons on the flatlands, which ran swiftly across the grass, and Motravia created gentle showers of rain to fall upon them and cool them in their play. Tarn sent forth streams of colored light to catch the glint of the raindrops, and great bridges of color swept across the sky, and the Gods and Goddesses were pleased.
Then Trusco roared in rage.
“What is this?” he shouted, his anger great to behold. “What are these miserable, misshapen creatures running across our new world? This is Prias’ doing, I know it! Find him and bring him here!”
The Gods and Goddesses scattered, and Trusco himself strolled across the heavens, searching for Prias, for Prias had done what he had been forbidden to do, and had sent forth on this new playground of the Gods creatures who stood upright, who moved and walked and spoke, and these creatures were in his own ugly image.
Prias laughed at Trusco’s anger. “I do not heed your orders and I do as I please. You and the others created what you desired for this world. Why should not I?”
“Because you have created a creature who will destroy the others, eating the beauty of this world even as you eat the light which Andovo streams across the skies!”
Prias laughed and ducked behind the nearest cloud.
“And there is nothing that you can do to stop it!” he called out, as he disappeared into the outer reaches of the heavens. “Nothing!”
The Gods gathered mournfully together, as the creatures of Prias’ creation spread out over the land, blighting it with their ugliness.
“What will we do?” asked Motravia. “Would that we could destroy these awful creatures!” But they could not, because one God was powerless to destroy the creation of the others.
“We will create our own creatures,” said Trusco, finally. “Each of us, and we will give them each a portion of this new world of ours, to guard and hold and prevent its destruction, for Prias’ creatures will surely destroy all if they are permitted to multiply unchecked.
And so saying, Trusco held out his mighty sword, and as the lightning flashed, the country of Trusca was born, and the first Truscans sprang forth from its soil, tall and straight, with mighty shoulders, in the image of Trusco, so that they could lead this world into battle against the creatures of Prias.
Then Tarn stepped forth and reached again into the heavens, gathering stardust, which she threw across the hills and so was born the country of Tarn, whose people are tall, though not as tall as the Truscans, and slender, whose greatest delight is the growing of things, and whose country produced the finest trees, the greenest plants, and their purpose was to aid the Truscans in their battle.
Andovo stepped forth, and Andovia rose from the hills, with its people who are fair of skin and golden of hair, as was the God of Light from which they sprang.
And Motravia, she of the stars, gathered starbeams and where they struck, Motravia was born, whose people are small and gossamer like the Goddess who gave them birth.
And young Fresco threw whole shooting stars to the ground, and Frescia grew, with its people who sparkle and desire nothing more than to be left alone to play, for they were the children of a child and could not be expected to understand the dangers of Prias’ children.
And the Gods and Goddesses looked down.
“At least they are contained,” sighed Trusco, “and their portion of our new world will be Pria, but they will ever seek to move out and destroy our children.”
“Then we must give them suitable weapons,” cried young Fresco, who really had no conception of what he was about to do, and he reached out beyond the stars.
Trusco cried out, “No! We must not! For they do not have the maturity or the wisdom to use those weapons. They will destroy the world with them, themselves, and we will have prevented nothing!”
But it was too late, and from beyond the stars, Fresco threw down the great Stones of Power, which burned through the heavens with trails of fire behind them, carrying the secrets of the Gods, and they smoldered as they struck the world.
The older, wiser Gods moaned as they saw their new children rush up to the great Power Stones which had fallen, one in each world, and seek to carry them away.
“Quickly Trusco!” Tarn exclaimed. “Lift them up and send them back to the heavens!”
“I cannot,” he said sorrowfully. “For they have been disturbed and will never again balance in the skies. They are bound to this new world now, and will be its greatest strength. Or its greatest curse. But I will hide them. Hide them until these newborn children gain the wisdom to use them.”
And he picked them up, the six Stones of Power, and scattered them among the six countries, and some he hid deeply beneath the soil, and others he thrust into the hearts of the mountains, and some he cast into the depths of the deep lakes which had pooled in the flatlands where the flowing streams came to rest. And the most powerful of the stones, he hid deep within his own creation of Trusca, to be guarded by the Truscan warriors he had created in his own image, who were charged with the primary responsibility for seeing that this world lived to attain the wisdom for their use.
And that was the beginning and the end of the first day, when the world was born from the swirling mist, and the people of all her countries were created.