I was doing a review last month for a Medallion Press author. (Who happens to be one of my new favorite publishing companies!) In the back there were quite a few ad's for other MP authors. Two immediately caught my attention: "Darkscape: The Rebel Lord" and "Faery Faith: Predestined." On my typical whim I googled Ms. Gray's website and emailed her inquiring about ARC's and a possible interview. She immediately wanted to do an interview but with her current schedule wasn't sure when she could get back with me. The author not only contacted Medallion on my behalf, but also had a break from her current editing and was able to do this interview. Of course I was extatic. I want to thank you R. Garland Gray for taking time out of your hectic editing schedule and personal time to do this interview for us. Good luck on your upcoming novel! As well, thank you again Medallion Press for being a very hospitable and generous company.
What do you think compels readers to your novels?
Before I start, I would like to thank you for inviting me. In answer to your question, I think readers enjoy escaping from their everyday lives to the new places that author’s create, places that stimulate imaginations. I think that my books give readers that option to retreat into their imaginations.
The pictures from Medallion Press's "Faery Ball" looked like so much fun! Can you tell us about your experience?
I should clarify that the Faery Ball was at Romantic Times Booklover (RT) convention and Medallion Press was among many of the publishers that attended. The booklover’s convention is a celebration of books, especially romances. RT hosts workshops and panels where books are discussed, lunches and dinners with famous authors are given, and reader parties and book signings happen. One of their evening extravaganzas is called the Faery Ball where authors and readers mingle and dress up in the faerie garb. In the picture below, an escort shows me across the stage of the Faery Court where costumes are being judged. I had great fun in my pink dress and tower of hair. Here is the link to Romantic Times Booklovers convention: http://www.romantictimes.com/
When you go to the website, scroll down to see information about the next convention.
The other convention that I would like to share is Faeriecon, a celebration of all things faerie. My publisher had invited me to the East Coast Faeriecon when they decided to exhibit. Faeriecon is a two day festival with a large gathering of faerie artists, authors, performers, storytellers. There are handmade crafts, beautiful jewelry and faerie costumes. They also have panels and workshops were you can learn more about the life of faeries. In the evenings, the festival hosts a masquerade ball, one for the good faeries and one for the bad faeries and people dress accordingly. It is an amazing festival.
My days were spent behind my publisher’s booth, signing autograph copies of Predestined, Fey Born and White Fells, my Faery Faith trilogy. In the picture below, you can see the panels of the cover art of the books. I was so excited to be there that I did not sleep for two days.
I think anyone who enjoys faery lore should go to one of the Faeriecon festivals at least once in their lifetime. It is an experience worth having. Here is the link to Faeriecon: http://www.faeriecon.com/
"Darkscape" and "Faery Faith" are two series you have written. Can you tell us a little about both?
The Darkscape trilogy is a scifi romance mystery that takes place during a time of war. Earth has been destroyed and the people have formed a feudal system of government throughout the solar system. My storyline follows the heirs of Clan Douglas and what they must sacrifice in order to survive and clear their family name.
One reviewer described the books as a preCulloden space opera. Another described one of the books as a kind of science fiction Gone With The Wind. I think of the Darkscape trilogy as a combination of Star Wars, Romeo and Juliet, and Metropolis (1927 film) with a few twists on the side. I recommend that these books be read in this order: Darkscape: The Rebel Lord, Darkscape: Redemption and Darkscape: First Heir.
The Faery Faith books delve into mythic history of ancient Ireland. I have always been curious about the origin of the Irish faeries and decided to do some research into the matter. Predestined, Fey Born and White Fells are the result. Each book takes the reader on a journey with a warrior hero from the faerie tribe of the Tuatha de Dannan. I should warn readers that these books contain dark elements and are not the traditional faery lore. Faeries are not necessarily nice creatures.
Do you plan on continuing both series after books three? Why?
No, not at this time. My muse tends to be fickle and I must follow where she leads.
I have recently fallen under the "paranormal romance" spell. It has a strong fan base. What are your thoughts on one of fiction's newest genres?
I think the paranormal genre is a wonderful escape and entertainment vehicle for those who enjoy these types of books. Stores are presented in ways that contain both the familiar and the unfamiliar, and I think that mixture provides the lure of attraction.
Most fae stories are located in Ireland, Scotland and England. Is there a reasoning why the stories are located to such few continents?
Ireland, Scotland and England have a rich mythic tradition and many authors are attracted to that wealth. However, if you take the time to delve deeper into the research, you will find that faeries exist in other cultures as well.
My friend Anne Elizabeth (http://www.anneelizabeth.org ), a wonderful author in her own right, presented me with “The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Fairies” by Anna Franklin. In this book, you can read about faeries from other places. If I open a page in the book, I can read about Meerfraun, female German faeries; Mazapegolo, the Italian faery from the region of Forh. There is Pukis, a Lithuanian faery who we know as Puck. Rarog is a Russain dwarf who turns himself into a whirlwind. And I could go on. These are just a few who are listed in the book.
I noticed you do quite a lot of research when working on a novel. So there's some truth to your fiction?
Yes, there are many truths within in my books. I enjoy weaving threads of history within my storytelling. This is especially true with my Faery Faith books where I delve into the origins of the faeries of Ancient Ireland.
What are your thoughts on the Cottingley Faery Hoax?
I remember reading about Elisie Wright and Frances Griffiths many years ago. The year was 1917 and the girls were playing in the garden of Elisie’s home. It was there that the famous five faery photos were taken. I think if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes, believed in these photos then who am I to say nay.
If your readers would like to see the famous five photo, here is a link that I found: http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/photodatabase/image/thecottingleyfairies/
I hope these links work.
What's in the future for R. Garland Gray and her loyal fans?
For the future, I wait for my muse to decide.