This week I’m pleased to introduce you to fellow Michigander Rue Allyn. Rue is a member of my local RWA chapter and is a fellow educator. Like Jeff, our resident hound, she’s a military veteran, having served in the US Navy. She’s here to share her newest title, Knight Defender, the third in her Knight Chronicles series from Crimson Romance. But before we show you the book, let’s learn a little more about Rue:
PK: What do you do when you’re not writing?
RA: When not writing I travel, read, plant flowers (I don’t call that gardening. All I do is stick ‘em in the ground and pray they grow.), read, play FB games, read, tend to the ‘business’ of writing, read, spend time with my DH and cat, read . . . I think you get the picture.
PK: Yes, I have a lot of interests, too – but I’m sure my gardening skills are weaker than yours! What would your fans be surprised to know about you?
RA: I suspect a lot would surprise my fans, but let’s start with I’m hearing impaired.
PK: Definitely a surprise to me, since I don’t remember it hindering you at MMRWA meetings! What’s your idea of an ideal vacation?
RA: My ideal vacation requires a beach, palm trees, a hammock, balmy breezes, a buff cabana boy to bring me fruity drinks and all the books I could want.
PK: Mmmm, that sounds glorious. How did you choose the genre you write in?
RA: I tried several and discovered that my voice is best suited to historical romance.
PK: What inspired you to write your first book?
RA: I wrote a very long, very boring dissertation and figured if I could do that, I could write something shorter and much more fun.
PK: Ha! I’ll have to agree with you – writing romance is much more fun than working on a dissertation. Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
RA: Being able to stick with it. I honestly believe that unless an author is very lucky getting published is harder, more work and takes greater faith than getting a PhD.
PK: And since you’ve done both, you can make that comparison! What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
RA: This book stinks, or words to that effect, especially when no reason is given.
PK: I agree. Not having a reason makes the criticism harder to stomach. What has been the best compliment?
RA: I loved this book, especially when accompanied by an explanation.
PK: Those words would be music to any author’s ears. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
RA: Write and keep writing. By the way, if you look up ‘author’ in just about any dictionary you will not find the word ‘published’ as a required part of the definition.
PK: So true. What is your favorite period in history to write about?
RA: I actually have two favorite periods. The European Middle Ages (400 – 1500 AD) and the American ‘Gilded Age (roughly 1865 – 1900, especially the American West). While these two time periods are very different in terms of technology and availability of education, to me, they are very similar in spirit, the ability for the individual to determine his or her own fate, and the influence of religious and patriotic ideologies. For me, the heroes and heroines of these periods epitomize the best of the human spirit confronted with the greatest challenges. It isn’t that other periods in history don’t provide similar circumstances and characters, but rather that, in my opinion, the middle ages and the gilded age provide the best examples and thus the best opportunities to create great stories.
Blurb for Knight Defender:
Sent alone to Scotland to wed a wild scot and serve the needs of her father and her king, Lady Jessamyn plots to escape the marriage and make the life she wants. In Scotland she finds not the wild boorish monster she imagined but a Knight Defender who would claim her heart, if she will only give up her dreams.
Baron Raeb MacKai is done allowing himself and everyone he loves to live in poverty and despair. His betrothal to a wealthy English heiress will solve a decade of problems. He will do everything necessary to defend his home and his country, but can he defend his heart?
Knight Defender Buy Links:
Amazon B & N GoogleBooks iBooks Kobo Crimson Romance
Excerpt from Knight Defender:
Mid-April 1295, the northwest coast of Scotland
“Unhand me.” She pushed against the massive chest and writhed in the arms cradling her.
He gathered her closer, mashing her cheek against him.
For an instant, his blazing gray eyes held her spellbound as tightly as his strength gripped her body. Unable to look away, she shivered, but not with cold. The odor of damp wool and man nearly drowned her. All sound faded away save her own harsh breathing.
“Ho, ho!” His chuckle was impossible to miss.
Continue reading at http://rueallyn.com/2hKDexcerpt.html.
I enjoy reading about most historical eras, but in the past I’ve been disappointed by stories that depict women from the Middle Ages, especially noble women, as the stereotypical damsels-in-distress. The women in Knight Defender, by contrast, are strong, intelligent, and resourceful, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about them. Lady Jessamyn was the perfect match for Raeb MacKai, though they both had to suffer greatly on the road to that discovery. Raeb’s sisters are also fascinating characters, and I want to learn more about them. After reading this story, I want to go back and read the previous books in this series.
Hi Rue! Your novel sounds great! I was encouraged by your comments about what makes an author. An author is a writer and the word ‘published’ is not always part of the definition. I had never heard this before. What wonderful wisdom. Thank you!
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It’s a wonderful book, Rachael! Thank you so much for stopping in.
Great to see you here again, Rachael.
Glad I could help, Rachel. One of the best parts of being in a community of authors is the support we give each other. I learn and benefit from every author I meet, published or not.
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Enjoyed meeting Rue Allyn today. Even from these brief interview snippits I get the impression she’d be delightful to chat with… as long as I didn’t interrupt her READING.
BTW, my very limited sense of “gardening” is about the same — stick it in the ground and hope it grows.
I’m also quite interested in the American West, though I confess it’s been “seen” mostly through movie and TV westerns (with all their exaggerations) and through several non-fiction works.
I believe it’s accurate to say that I recall reading only two western novels in my whole life so far.
Of course, I realize the standard western genre — as it would appear in a section of a public library (where I worked for nearly three decades) — is likely not the type historical which you evidently write, set in America’s Gilded Age.
Well, Jeff. My experience with US Western fiction is about the same as yours. My only ‘real’ experience with the straight ‘western’ genre is Owen Wister’s “The Virginian,” which is very unlike the TV series of the same name. I find inspiration in many TV and Movie westerns but the research, and my stories, come mostly from visits on-site. My Wildfire Love series is a great example.All the stories take place in 1870, the year the railroad finally made it’s way to San Francisco (Oakland actually, but that’s close enough). Book 1 takes place in San Francisco. Book 2 in the Wind River/Yellowstone country of Wyoming territory, and Book 3 in Boston. So I do write in both traditional and non-traditional ‘western’ settings. I’m working on a story now that takes place in 1870 Sonoran Desert of Arizona.
Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.
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Patricia, thank you so much for inviting me to visit the Four Foxes, One Hound blog.
It’s my pleasure, Rue. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your book and hope others will be inspired to do so.
I think that’s true about women any time, Rue; life is always hard and in the past, harder.Women had to be survivors. It’s so nice to meet you here! I wish you all the best.