Saturday, July 21, 2007
Round Table Magician by Ann Tracy Marr
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ann Tracy Marr gets so wrapped up in the Regency era that she forgets people want to know something about her. She admits to being fiftyish, which puts her firmly on the Dowager’s bench at Almack’s. There is a husband entailed to her estate and two unmarried daughters old enough to have made their curtseys to the queen but not so aged as to be considered on the shelf. To put syllabub on the table and keep her daughters in the highest kick of fashion Marr tinkers with the devil’s invention, computers.
For more info, visit her website at: www.freewebs.com/marr794.
You can also email her at: AnnTracyMarr@aol.com
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Set in an English Regency influenced by Camelot, Lady Martha finds the man who could be her true love, but he doesn’t believe in romance. Espionage expert and heir to a duke, Lord Brinston is more concerned with catching the thief of military secrets. Martha gets under his skin. She pokes and prods at his ego, then she has the gall to go after the thief herself.
How does Camelot fit in? King Arthur is history, not myth. The Round Table rules Britain, Brinston is a magician and Martha is puka – she is descended from a mischievous Irish spirit.
Camelot flavored romance.
Lord Brinston stood unnoticed in the woods and watched Martha, thankful he had not eaten the marmalade. He was certain it held cinnamon. If he had begun itching, his defenses would be nil. He'd forget himself; he'd lose his famous control and leap on the girl. It didn't matter that deep down that was what he wanted to do. He was going to retain control if it killed him.
The faint miasma of magic, long dissipated, but lingering like strands of cobweb in the woods, strummed on his sensitive nerves, increasing his discomfort. He hadn't told Coletta all. Magicians felt more intensely than others. Much more intensely. It tended to knot their stomachs.
She stretched like a kitten in the sun, arms over her head, and closed her eyes.
Damn the girl, how dare she entice me? Brinston thought. Breasts thrust skyward, ready for a man's attentions, Martha made him want to stroke her like a tabby. She would arch her back and purr...muscles tightened. That was not fair, he then acknowledged, consciously relaxing. She was oblivious to his presence. Brinston shifted on his feet, wishing the chit would go. He wanted to be closer, much closer, but that was not wise. Not unless he was prepared to wed her. An honorable man did not seduce his friend's sister--not unless the ring was ready for her finger.
A ring. He shuddered. That decision was too important to make under the influence of desire. But curse Lancelot, what desire!
© 2007 Ann Tracy Marr
Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I get so darn tired of the plot lines. "Come on, heroine," I say. "Who cares that he is higher on the social scale?" The heroine persists in nobly giving him up. "Get real, hero," I whine. "Button that breeches flap. I don't care that sex sells books. If you want a woman, either marry her like you should or go pick out a new mistress." The stupid man goes ahead and seduces the heroine. Overall, I don't think Regencies today have real people in them. Not real Regency era people. They are too modern in thought. So I began dreaming up my own stories.
What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
The best part of being an author is writing THE END. So far, I have cried every time he and she realize all their dreams can come true. The worst part is having to plant myself in a chair for endless hours. I think I am growing roots.
How do you balance your personal and writing time?
I don't bother balancing. My daughters are out of the house and my husband is the most tolerant person on Earth. Also, it seems to come naturally. I pound away on the keyboard until I feel brain dead, then I go off and be a person. By the time I get back to the keyboard, the story wants to come out a bit more. After eight years of writing, I stumbled on the truth that when I go brain dead, my poor shriveled mind is telling me I have to step back to figure out a plot point.
How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
As an exceptionally premature promo, I can tell you that the next book was conceived from a dream I had. I woke up, turned on the computer and wrote the introductory scene. I don't know her name, and her anger towards men has to be toned down, but he is, a la Byron, "Mad, bad, and dangerous to know." The absurdity of the situation may drive him to drink. Now, I have to find out what the situation is. It is already niggling at me. By the time I get to THE END, I'll know what happens.
What genre(s) do you write?
My genre is unique: Regency fantasy romance. The English Regency, roughly 1810 to 1820, but… Did you know that King Arthur was a real person, Merlin made magic, and the Round Table still rules Britain? Camelot is the court Prinny wants to wrest from his father, Farmer George.
Why do you write the stories that you write?
I write Regency because I love the period. Alpha lords, ladies they cannot resist, and impeccable manners are the epitome of romance. I write Regency fantasy because the market will accept it and because it amuses me.
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
Funny, just last night my daughter asked me if Margaret Ridgemont (Thwarting Magic) was based on her. I looked at her blankly and she told me that Margaret likes to keep everything on an even keel, just as my daughter does. I did know that some physical characteristics came from my acquaintance; I didn't realize I was drawing so much from their characters. And names - I pull lots of names from my family tree.
Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
Lord Brinston (hero of Round Table Magician) makes my insides feel funny. He is a compelling balance of command, humor, and confusion. Adrian Hughes (Thwarting Magic) is studly without the alpha. I get tired of alpha. But wait till you meet Hurst.
What would you want readers to take away from your books?
Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
Learn everything you can about plotting, character arcs, dark moments, point of view (POV) - I could go on forever listing all the skills you need to stuff in your head. Then, forget everything you learned and write one book, two books, decent books, better books.
What are you reading right now?
An old 1970's Regency. The writing is dated, but the plot is delicious.
If you could be anyone or anything that you wanted, who or what would you be?
I think I would be a thinner, richer, maybe a little younger me. With a cleaning maid and a cook.
Imagine a world where King Arthur and his Knights were not merely legends, but actual, historical figures and where magicians walk among everyday folk. This is the sort of world in which Lord Brinston and Martha Dunsmore live. Aside from the magical aspect though, it is much the same as the world that did exist in the Regency era here, complete with societal rules that strictly governed behavior, and thus, even a noble deed might have consequences. Brin finds that stepping in when Martha needs a helping hand in a fight and then escorting her home may have compromised her honor, so he must be prepared to wed her. The thing is, he doesn't really know her and furthermore, he is a wizard and involved in covert operations. He does not want to tell just anyone such a thing, but Martha has a magical secret of her own as well. As they get to know each other, Brin will discover the truest magic is love.
Those who feared that the Regency genre might be dead need not worry. It is kept alive and healthy by such authors as this who employ their fertile imaginations to reinvent the world. Gentle humor and romance are combined deftly and pleasantly in this relaxing read.
-- Amanda Kilgore for Eternalnight.co.uk and Huntressreviews.com
Round Table Magician by Ann Tracy Marr
Genre: Regency Fantasy Romance
Release Date: May 21, 2007
Publisher: Earthling Press
$4.99 (ebook) from Awe-Struck E-Books
$15.95 (print) from Amazon.com
Purchase Round Table Magician by Ann Tracy Marr in paperback from Amazon.com or in e-book format from www.awe-struck.net