It’s my pleasure to welcome Sylvie Grayson to my blog. Sylvie is one of my critique partners and her invaluable suggestions have helped polish many of my manuscripts.
What do you like most about where you live now? I was born on Vancouver Island but left when a child and moved all over British Columbia. It feels like I’ve come home now.
Any school/high school/college memories you’d like to share? I moved back to Vancouver Island for university and was astounded that, although it doesn’t get the snow that most of BC gets, it’s damp. Took a while to get used to. 🙂
What is the worst job you ever had? I don’t know if it was the worst job but at age 19 I became chief cook for a boys summer hockey camp in the Kootenays. I remember all the burns up both arms – not as experienced as I might have been.
Have you had any unusual or noteworthy occupations? By the time I was 23 I was general manager of a nightclub, with 3 bartenders (two of whom were 18) a bouncer who was 17 but big, and sporting a bushy beard – which seemed to scare the rowdies off, and 8 waitresses. It was fun, a bit wild when the motorcycle gangs came in.
What’s your pet peeve? I guess I resent the amount of time I spend on social media. Although I enjoy it, and love to hear from my readers whether on facebook, twitter or on my website, it also takes a lot of time away from my writing. I need to be more organized!
Where do you find inspiration for your stories? I have to say I don’t lack inspiration. I’ve had varied life experiences and draw on those, and I guess I have a pretty good imagination a well. I always have two or three books pounding at the back of my brain, asking to come in and take up space.
Tell us about your latest release . Called Son of the Emperor, this is Book Two of The Last War series. Although I never thought I’d write in this genre, I’ve had so much fun writing sci fi/fantasy that I’m quickly working on Book Three. It’s fascinating to create my own world – I can make it anything I want which is very freeing to an author. The catch is to keep track of all the details I’ve created – I have copious notes, maps, lists of created words, family trees of the characters.
Sci/fi fantasy isn’t normally my genre of choice to read, but I became hooked on this intriguing series while reading Book One for our critique group.
Julianne Adjudicator slogged down the trail through mud that came up to her ankles. Her dark, curly hair hung in a tangled mass around her face, having broken free of the lace she’d used this morning to tie it back. Her boots were filthy, as was the hem of her dress. The tall evergreen trees pressed in on either side of her, branches reaching across to make the road dim and shadowed.
It was close to nightfall and she needed a place to rest. The trail was deserted, everyone else having the good sense to find a safe haven before dark. It could be dangerous in the Northern Territories on the roads at night. She startled at a sound behind her, but when she turned there was no one there. Her nerves were playing tricks on her. If only she could find a safe dry spot to bed down. She was very tired and her energy was low. She hadn’t eaten since early morning.
Last night a good-natured farmer had taken her in, and his wife had washed her dress and hung it to dry while she slept on the bench before the fire. Now the hem of her dress was clotted with half dried mud. Her boots were covered in it, wet right through, her socks squishing inside. She shivered under her cloak.
Walking on, she scanned the landscape ahead. Through the brush at the side of the road there rose a dim shape half-hidden in the foliage. Could she be so lucky? Squinting in the gloom, she moved to the side of the track. Yes, there was something there. Gazing around carefully to make sure she wasn’t followed, she broke through the bushes toward the hide roof of a hunter’s hovel. Thorns dragged at her dress and hooked into the wool of her outer garment. She tore herself free and pressed closer. The hut was old and windowless, the roof sagging on one side. The door seemed to be stuck, and she tugged with all her might before it opened partway with a low groan. There was a scurrying rustle from inside, and she stepped back in alarm as a small dignified family of olinguitos, two parents and a baby, tore out through the opening. They hustled across her path and disappeared into the night.
It was pitch black inside the hut and smelled of animal droppings and rot, but she scuffed around with her feet, kicking straw into a pile. Exhausted, she sank down onto it. She’d been running for days and still hadn’t found safety. Closing her eyes, she thought of her father. Was he still alive?