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Thursday, June 6, 2013

"Why I write paint with words" ~guest post by Robin Lythgoe

Today, I'm especially pleased to welcome Robin Lythgoe as my guest on her Magic Appreciation Tour showcasing her new release, As the Crow Flies. She's sharing what inspired her to write fantasy. Be sure to check out her new fantasy release and her great contest at the bottom of this post. 

Thanks so much, Marsha, for having me on your blog to talk about AS THE CROW FLIES. The entire process of writing—and producing!—a novel has been such an incredible experience from the first kernel of an idea, to holding the print version in my hands, to working with all the wonderful authors, bloggers and teachers I’ve met on this journey.

One of the questions I often get is “What made you choose to write fantasy?” Saying “Because I like it” seems a little too easy, a little too glib. When I was growing up my family read a lot—all of us—so I was introduced to a wide variety of genres. Books like The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, The Chronicles of Narnia, and the ubiquitous Lord of the Rings were staples when I was young. My mom introduced me to the historical novels Mary Stewart and Nora Lofts, the mysteries of Phyllis Whitney, Anne McCaffrey’s Pern, and Edgar Rice Burrough’s Tarzan and John Carter of Mars. My oldest sister actually read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings out loud to me and my little sister; she also gave me the wonderfully romantic and fantastic book Scarlet Sails as well as Howard Pyle’s Merry Adventures of Robin Hood. Another sister acquainted me with an eclectic assortment of things to read in the form of a huge stack of boxes my mom conveniently stored for her—right outside my bedroom door. Through my brother I met Louis L’Amour’s Sacketts and the Chantrys and a host of thrilling adventure/spy books. My father sometimes read westerns, but more often I remember him reading non-fiction, which I’m afraid I didn’t gravitate to until I was much older (and which has subsequently crept into my storytelling). My aunt gifted me with The Chronicles of Narnia and The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry. What a wonderfully rich tapestry they all wove for me!

Today I will happily read almost any fiction, but as I started reaping the library stacks on my own, it was to fantasy I was most drawn. Oh, the magic! Not just the spells and talismans and wizards and elves, which I adore, but the intricate worlds, the strange creatures, the very construction of those amazing foreign settings! The attraction is, in part, pure escapism. How exhilarating to jump into a setting that doesn’t really exist! To shake off the dullness of our ordinary lives! And that’s where the next quality comes into play: imagination. There are (or were!) rarely pictures to illustrate those strange races, beasts, and plants, so the seeds of description sprouted in my mind and my imagination filled in the blanks. I long admired the creative minds that fashioned those fantastic lands. How utterly amazing that people could imagine—and write—orcs, Borrowers, Lilliputians, the dragon Faranth, the Companions, Willow (who sometimes had to be a tree), ents, world gates, the Whomping Willow, snake vine…

Hand in hand with the imaginative settings go the tales of lives lifted from the mundane to the extraordinary. Where would FitzChivalry be without the Wit and the Skill? What purpose might Ben have found if he hadn’t gone to Landover? What would have happened to Simon without Binabik and Jiriki? All of those exciting, imaginary details play major parts in stories of challenge and change, of love, of heroism. They add a facet not found in the world in which we live. “What if” becomes real to us for the duration of the book—and beyond. Isn’t that amazing? Embracing the impossible and activating our imaginations stimulates us, as a people, to create new things. Not just fiction, but in the things we invent and the solutions we devise. It allows us see more, reach for more.

So, why do I choose to write fantasy? For the creativity, the artistry, the challenge, the more… I can’t paint, but I can write, and in writing, I can paint with words. It’s magic.


“One more job” means that Crow, a notorious thief, can retire with Tarsha, the woman of his dreams, but “one more job” may just mean his life.

When Crow sets out to steal that last brilliant treasure and seek a life of ease and pleasure with the jewel of his heart, he seriously underestimates his mark, the Baron Duzayan. For a thief, getting caught is never a good thing. Getting caught by a wizard is even worse. Under threat of death by poison, Crow is coerced into stealing an improbable, mythical prize. To satisfy the wizard's greed and save the life of his lady love, he must join forces with Tanris, the one man Crow has spent his entire career avoiding.

But what's a man to do when stealing that fabled prize could level an empire and seal his fate?

From a dungeon black as night, to the top of a mountain peak shrouded in legend, a man’s got to do what he must. Unless, of course, he can think of a better plan…

After many years spent tending to a prince, three princesses and a king, Scribe Robin is now free to take to her tower to write tales about wizards and magic, fantastical places and extraordinary journeys. From time to time, when she is not writing, she invokes the magic of Photoshop to create maps, scenery, insignias, book covers, and various bits and pieces of artwork suitable for use in the mysterious ether plane. She has regularly been victorious at the NaNoWriMo tourneys, and has several books in various stages of progress in addition to a published work of fiction about a thief and his trusty sidekick. Now if only she could find that spell for manipulating time so that she could turn all of her ideas into stories...



Praise From Reviews:

I was pleased to discover an interesting story line and an engaging and complex protagonist whose voice and personality evolve throughout the novel. — V. Burnett

From the moment I opened this book to when I closed it I was caught up in the adventures of a charming, sarcastic, and clever thief who stole a very large chunk of time from me, but it was well worth the theft. A delightful time was spent in another world filled with adventure, mystery (I love mystery!), wizards, and magic... — M.C.

I loved it from start to finish and it leaves you wanting more. Robin is amazing at describing the picture so it is real in your head. Crow, the main character, was a lovable thief with a wonderful sense of humor. — Marla Oveson

I love a good cloak and purse-cutting dagger, and Crow delivers. He's armed with a silver tongue, sleeping dust, feet that'd make a cat feel ungainly, a razor mind, and a diploma for best-in-class at the school of fine thieving and infiltration (awarded by me). I've read about approximately a billion thieves and even played the vintage first-person-looter games Thief, but Crow still impressed me as a sterling example of skulduggery. — A. E.

~ ~ ~
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance: Book One, SEEKING A SCRIBE, Book Two, HERITAGE AVENGED, Book Three, LOST VOLUMES, and Book Four, STAUROLITE. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.


Daniel said...

What a wonderful description of your love for fantasy.

"Oh, the magic!" indeed. I too love to see the amazing scenes, creatures, and adventures that fantasy writers concoct.

Thanks for the great post!

Robin Lythgoe said...

Thank you, Daniel! I'm so glad that my pitiful attempt to convey that love came through for you. The imagination is such a powerful... magic!