Monday, October 15, 2007
Prophecy of Vithan by Charlene Leatherman
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
My name is Charlene Leatherman. I love stories about strong women. I find historical women like Catherine the Great, Queen Elizabeth and Deborah, Judge of Israel to be fascinating. In my stories, my women are strong. Strong-willed, physically and mentally strong. They are faced with problems that demand as much as they can give, and they give it. In my life, I have lived as a strong woman who does not give up no matter what is thrown my way. I fight to discover the solution to a problem and solve it.
I live in a tiny town called Desert Center in California. It was founded by gold miners in the early 1920’s. It is in the exact middle of two towns, fifty miles from each town. That is why it is called Desert Center. The population is about 150 people and swells to about 1000 during the winter with tourists. I am the caregiver for my quadriplegic husband of 35 years. I have two wonderful sons and two marvelous daughters-in-law. I have two grandbabies, one from each son. I love being a wife, a mom, a grandmother, and a writer.
I have been writing since I was old enough to hold a crayon, but never tried to get published. I am thrilled to be working with Cerridwen Press. I visit exotic worlds with my characters. I reach for the stars with them. I fight the good fight, defeat the bad guy and win the love of my life. I hope you enjoy reading my stories as much as I enjoy writing them.
Home on the Web: www.charleneleatherman.com
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?
It seems that I have been a writer since I could pick up a crayon. I would get into trouble with my teachers in grade school because when they asked for a story about our families, I would turn in a paper about alien invasion or kitty cats that ate the world.
I remember in a junior high art class the teacher told us to write a book and then make a cover for it. Other students wrote one or two pages and the cover was the boy next door or someone’s favorite cat. My book was twenty pages and the cover was about brain sucking flowers that grew in every garden.
Thing is, if I don’t write I go crazy. I have all these story lines, characters, scenarios, and what-ifs dancing around in my head. If I don’t write them down they stay there. Writing gets them all out. Also, I have an over active conspiracy gene. I am always asking what if….
What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
I love creating new worlds and fascinating people. I love being able to play dress up (even if it is only in my mind) everyday.
I dislike that there is never enough hours in a day to write as much as I want.
How do you balance your personal and writing time?
I still struggle with that. I am my quadriplegic husband’s caregiver. Sometimes it feels like I am the mommy of all Desert Center. So having time to write is sometimes hard to find. I would like to say that I write XXX number of words a day, but I don’t. I write when I can find the time – sometimes that is 1000 words sometimes that is 10 words.
How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
The character usually comes first. Then the what if scenario. Then the world is built around it.
In Prophecy of Vithan the character Morgan – a strong woman came first. Then my life offered the what if. You see I am hypoglycemic. That is the opposite of diabetes. My blood sugar is dangerously low so I must eat every two hours or I will collapse. Society at the time was saying that eating too much was horrendous. I then put the idea of what if a person had to drink alcohol to survive? Well, why? Because they come from a planet with an alcohol based atmosphere. Why not just wear a breathing suit like our astronauts have to. The only reason someone would have to drink what they normally breathe would be if they had no lungs. No lungs? How would someone lose their lungs? Someone removed them.
And so forth. Each what if leads to another question how, why, who, and so forth. Then I have to figure out what kind of plot would work from my what if and then create the world around it.
What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I write in multiple genres. I write adventurous sci-fi romance with a little fantasy thrown in.
I was once told that I have a convoluted devious perverted mind. The other day I blogged at http://godessesofstorytelling.blogspot.com about this. I have a book that explains plotlines.
Take for example the plotline of the chase. Simple right?
Not in my mind. So, you have three phases of the chase - the stakes of the race, the pure chase, and the resolution of the chase.
Not for my characters. Oh no. No simple chase for them. There has to be the chase, and a traitor, and a pseudo-traitor (you know - the one you think is the traitor but really isn't), and then we have a monster who chases the chaser and the hero who chases the heroine and catches her but not before she catches the monster who was chasing her while she was chasing the thing that the chase is all about.
So you see I have to write in the multiple genres. My mind just isn’t able to cope with simple plotlines.
What is the biggest misconception about being an author?
I think there are two big misconceptions about authors. The first is that writing a novel is easy. With e-publishing, vanity publishing and self-publishing it is easier to get a book out there. But there is also a lot of really bad reads out there.
I am really lucky that I was able to be published by Cerridwen Press. They have editors that are honest and also help you build the best book you can.
Authors, the ones who write well, have to learn their craft. And even though I have characters dancing around in my head, I still had to spend time to learn the craft of writing.
The second misconception people have about authors is that they become rich writing. Only a very few people can actually make a living writing. Only a very small percentage of people become Nora Roberts, or J.K. Rowling or Stephen King. The rest of us write because we have words flowing from our minds onto paper. We write because, like artists, we have to. Making money, getting published, have readers of our work is the icing on the cake. That kind of stuff validates our obsession.
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
Totally from my imagination. Well, not totally. Some of the characteristics or mannerisms are gleaned from real people. A way they brush their hair back. The swagger. The gleam in an eye. But the rest is imagination. After all, how many alcohol drinking, shuttle piloting, sword wielding, brothel slaves do you know?
Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
I love all my heroines. As I write the woman develops and I learn more and more about her, she becomes my favorite.
I only have one novel out so far. So out of Prophecy of Vithan my favorite character is Morgan. She is a kick-ass woman who has been thru hell and back. She knows what she wants yet is willing to change her mind when she sees something better. She is strong and able to protect those she loves. She takes a horrible situation and makes the best of it.
My current wip Stone of Cruento features Claren. She is a woman who is not as strong, but learns to be.
If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?
Lucy Lovelace from the Xena , Or Angelina Jolie would be wonderful in the character of Morgan Taj Zephyrain. Keanu Reeves (if he were blond) would be great as Len Braxton. Anthony Hopkins would make a terrifying Vespasian.
What would you want readers to take away from your books?
Entertainment first. Good old escapism. Secondly if the reader had to take something away of substance, I would want the reader to leave knowing that no matter the situation you find yourself in, you can conquer the monsters that are attacking if you 1) don’t let fear control you, 2) have the love of a good person to sustain you, and 3) carry a big broadsword.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
Read, study your craft, learn the markets, and SYBDIFOYCAW (sit your butt down in front of your computer and write).
Who are your favorite authors?
There are so many that it is hard to list them all. I like so many different types of books as well. Nora Roberts, Stephen King, Isaac Asimov, Heinlein, Agatha Christie, Connie Mason, and hundreds more.
What are you reading right now?
Fanning Her Flames by Lacey Thorn published by Ellora’s Cave.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Morgan had the life she had always dreamed of. Although still a brothel slave, the king and queen treated her like a free woman and the prince she was training was like a son to her. Then everything goes to hell. Morgan is forced into a marriage with a man she cannot respect or admire. Her prince is missing and the king and queen are killed. Morgan is blamed for the murder. Morgan's primary concern is to find Prince Khai.
The only thing slowing Morgan down is the prophecy about her saving the galaxy, remaining a virgin and that damn electric attraction she feels every time Len touches her.
Len had his orders. The ones everyone knew about and the other ones. Marry his soul mate and consummate the marriage, and determine if his new wife was the original Morgan Taj Zephyrain. The first he looked forward to. The second he preferred to ignore. Obviously Morgan Taj Zephyrain is the criminal Len is seeking. It is Len's job to bring the murderer to justice.
"Going somewhere?" The man in white, Len Braxton, stood leaning against the door jam, arms crossed over his chest.
Morgan put her hand to her chest.
"Need alcohol." Morgan gasped. "Low blood alcohol level."
"Really? Hildai 37 zeta 845 beta delta 599 unit 2, what is Morgan's blood alcohol level?"
"I prefer Hildai, only. The rest is so pretentious." A mechanical voice said from inside Len's pocket.
"Answer the question, you annoying piece of junk."
"Does she need a drink?" Len asked.
"Only if she wants to forget you, you pompous ass." Hildai said. "Sorry, Morgan. He overwrote my programming."
"Where did you get her?" Morgan demanded.
"Your room. I met the technician there. Very clever getting him out of the way. I'm not clear how you shut down the shield without setting off the alarms."
"I know the codes." Morgan lied. "I'm an escaping Sonij slave. Quite a reward. Are you going to turn me in?"
"No. I'm not interested in rewards. Seems the Royals are having a dinner party tonight. Some bigwig coming and you're to be extra special pretty tonight.” Len looked Morgan up and down. For some reason, Morgan felt self-conscious in her jeans and leather jacket. “I came to escort you to the harem."
"Harem?" Morgan's throat constricted. She tried to keep the alarm out of her voice. She failed.
"Is this fear I see on your face? I thought all female Sonij slaves are comfortable in brothels or harems." Len said sarcastically.
Morgan swung at Len. He stepped out of reach and held his hands in surrender.
"I'm not fighting with you again. I have several badly bruised ribs to mend before I do. If you get nasty, I'll simply put you out." Len pulled a phaser from his pocket.
Morgan shrugged. "Get the med-tech to heal you. You have your disk, don't you?"
"The ribs will heal on their own. Besides, I don't have a disk."
"A Protector without a disk?" Morgan shook head in disbelief. "Tell you what. I'll be good. But,"
"OK," Len interrupted. "Let's go to the harem."
"But," Morgan continued, "First I want to check on Khai. I'm concerned about him."
"No. You were accused of trying to kill him."
"I was exonerated." Morgan said firmly.
"The answer is no. Let's go to the harem." Len said. He waved the phaser in the direction he wanted Morgan to go.
Morgan raised her fists. "Do you know anything about Sonij physiology? We are a strong race. Phaser shot does not affect us as it does others." Morgan lied. "When I reach you, I’ll hammer your ribs. I don't know much about human anatomy. Do the ribs house anything vital?"
"Okay, you win, but I stay with you and the boy at all times." Len agreed.
Morgan lowered her hands. "Call him and ask him to meet me in the armory workout area. I promised him a lesson."
"Call him? Why should I call him? You're linked to him."
"Only in emergencies." Morgan lied. She did not want this man to know she could not touch Khai's mind. "I prefer to give him his privacy."
"Cat told me she interrogated you. Any residual effects, like being unable to link with Khai?" Len asked.
"Unlike you Protectors, I will not invade someone's privacy."
Len looked at Morgan. She couldn't tell if he believed her or not.
"Back against the wall." Len motioned with the phaser. "I want to check for weapons."
"You know I don't have any weapons on me. You searched me before you put me in here."
Len motioned with the phaser again. Morgan sighed. She backed away from the Protector. She put her hands behind her head and spread her legs, her back against the wall. Len pocketed the phaser. He walked to Morgan. He put his hand behind her neck, searching for a knife. Morgan breath came a little quicker. Len stood slightly taller than she did. She could smell the cologne he wore. Len stood close enough for his cheek to brush hers. Morgan closed her eyes to keep from going cross-eyed. Fantasy images of her and Len drifted in her mind. Len edged himself between her legs, forcing her feet wider. Morgan, startled, opened her eyes. The Protector pinned her against the wall, holding her wrists against the back of her neck.
Len leaned in and kissed her on the mouth. Hard. Morgan struggled to get loose. Len tightened his grip on her arms. He kissed her again. Morgan's knees weakened after the second kiss. She wanted to wrap her arms around Len and keep him there. She felt desire rising in her. Butterflies fluttered in her stomach. Her mind swirled with emotion.
With his other hand, Len slipped a black collar around her throat. The collar snapped on.
Rage curled in Morgan's mind, pushing every other emotion. She wanted to scream. She let herself be caught by the mind control of a Protector, so he could put a slave collar on her. Morgan glared at Len.
Morgan saw the look in his eyes. The kiss affected him, too. Len looked visibly shaken. He swallowed and composed himself.
She shut off her emotions. She willed her eyes to blank. He's a Protector, she reminded herself. She wanted nothing to do with Protectors, especially this Protector. Her only concern must be Khai. She needed to talk to him. The broadsword lesson would be good cover.
Gaining control, Len grinned lewdly. He released Morgan and stepped out of punching and kicking range.
"I'm a slave." Morgan said, irritated with the man. "You're a freeman. You could have told me to put on the collar. You could have ordered me to kiss you, or fuck you. Was the kiss enough? Do you want to have sex? You can have me before the guest arrives. I am a Sonij slave. I am used to brothels and harems. Isn't that what you said? Well, Protector, do you want to fuck before I check on Khai, before I'm ordered to pleasure the guests?"
"Knock it off." Len said, angrily, coloring with embarrassment.
"The future world in this book is both foreign and unlike anything I have ever read and absolutely amazing. Morgan is the tough woman she needs to be, but has a softer side that she hides very well. Len wants to protect her and love her but wars with himself and with his orders over what to do about Morgan. The struggle and the pain that are encountered in this book is true of everyday life and that is what makes this story so 'down to earth'. Ms. Leatherman is an author to keep your eye on for more exciting work down the road."
-- Liadan from Coffee Time Romance
Prophecy of Vithan By Charlene Leatherman
Publisher: Cerridwen Press
Release Date: August, 2007
Genre: Romance - Futuristic/Sci-Fi
$7.99 from Cerridwenpress.com
Purchase Prophecy of Vithan By Charlene Leatherman HERE!!!