Thursday, September 6, 2012

Interview: Resa Nelson

 I got the opportunity to interview Resa Nelson, author of The Dragonslayer's Sword, The Iron Maiden, and The Stone of Darkness.

BCM: Do you believe in ghosts?
RN: Yes, absolutely.  I’ve had interesting experiences throughout my life.  For example, as part of my research for the Dragonslayer series, I took courses at a museum to learn historically accurate ways to use swords and other medieval weapons.  I joined the museum’s sword guild and became a weapons demonstrator.  For special events at the museum, the demonstrators wear costumes from the era when the weapon they use was popular.  One day, I was watching a group of singers perform in the space where I was going to be demonstrating.  I was wearing a pale pink skirt, white blouse, and black doublet – I’d made the skirt and doublet by hand, and they were based on clothing from the 1500s.  I stood by myself behind the patrons, and there was no one within 20 feet of where I stood.  Someone touched my shoulder, and I assumed it was a friend.  I turned around and said hello, but no one was there.  I felt the palm of a hand and two fingertips touch my shoulder in a friendly way, but no one was anywhere near me.  Other people have actually seen ghosts at the museum, and it’s been investigated by Ghost Hunters.  When I told people about what happened, they speculated that it might have been the ghost of the man who created the museum and he might have been trying to communicate that he liked my outfit!
 
BCM: How did you come up with the idea for Astrid?

RN: The Dragonslayer series began as a short story that was published in Science Fiction Age magazine many years ago.  I wrote the story as a way of dealing with something upsetting that had happened to me – I’d been propositioned by a co-worker (a married man with two young children!).  My co-worker had a very powerful job, and I had a very low-level job.  I’d already seen the company do a bad job of handling situations where women were harassed, and my gut feeling was that if I spoke up I might lose my job.  I knew this company had a history of turning women’s complaints back against them, and I felt powerless.  Creating Astrid was my way of dealing with those feelings.

BCM: Yikes, I hope his karma came back to bite him

BCM: I love the descriptions of the scenery, what kind of research was involved?

RN: I’m so happy to hear you like my descriptions – thank you!  I always knew I wanted to write something based on the Viking era, which I’ve always loved.  So any time I had a chance to travel where Vikings had been, I went.  I’ve traveled in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, England, Ireland, and several of the islands off the coast of Scotland.  I took lots of notes and photographs and video.  Most of the landscape descriptions come from my travels.  Things like blacksmithing details come from a course I took in blacksmithing.  Descriptions of fighting come from my experience with swords and other weapons.  And things like what houses look like or clothing or anything else comes from library research combined with trips to museums.
 
BCM: Man, I'm jealous! All the places I want to visit!

BCM: Will we find out more about Smoke, Fire and Slag in book four?

RN: Yes!  They do come back in Book 4 and you’ll learn a lot more about them.

BCM: If you could buy anything, money not an issue, what would it be?

RN: I’d love to have an unusual house.  I know there’s a house that’s in the shape of a pyramid somewhere in the Southwest.  I’m a huge fan of ancient Egypt, and I’d love to live in a pyramid!  I’m also fascinated by tree houses and houses that used to be other things, like a lighthouse or a fire station.

BCM: How about a school?  I have a friend whose house use to be the high school here!

BCM: What are some of your favorite things to do in the summer?

RN: I walk 2 miles a day, and in the summer I really like walking early in the day, right before the sun comes up because it’s such a peaceful time of day.  Sometimes I’ll see deer – I live close to conservation land.  I’m a big fan of going to the beach.  And I love ice cream.  There’s a wonderful ice cream stand not too far from where I live that makes the best cherry ice cream I’ve ever had.  They grow their own cherries and make all of their own ice cream.  I live near Boston, and I love going into Boston and just walking around and going to museums.

BCM: Do you like dragons or lizards?
 
RN: Both!  But I have a real soft spot for lizards.  I’ve always joked that I’m part lizard because I love heat and sitting in the sun.  When I was a kid, I’d sit on the concrete front steps of my home to soak up the sun.  Lizards would always crawl out from under the steps to join me, and we’d all be sitting there, enjoying the heat and the sunshine!  Sometimes they’d get into the house, and I was always the one to scoop them up and set them free.  I’d do the same thing for a baby dragon.  J

BCM: Thanks Resa for letting me pick your brain!


About Resa:

Resa Nelson has been selling fiction professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop.

Resa was also the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years and was a contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Her first novel, The Dragonslayer’s Sword, was nominated for the Nebula Award and was also a Finalist for the EPPIE Award. This medieval fantasy novel is based on a short story first published in the premiere issue of Science Fiction Age magazine and ranked 2nd in that magazine's first Readers Top Ten Poll. The Dragonslayer's Sword is Book 1 in her 4-book Dragonslayer series. Book 2, The Iron Maiden, was published last December, Book 3 was published in May, and the final book in the series is scheduled for publication in November.

Resa's standalone novel, Our Lady of the Absolute, is a fantasy/mystery/thriller about a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt. Midwest Book Review gave this book a 5-star review, calling it "a riveting fantasy, very highly recommended."

Resa lives in Massachusetts.
 
Find Resa on the web:
Where to buy the books:
Use coupon code: MP10 to get 10% off!
 
Resa Nelson’s 4-book Dragonslayer series:


Synopsis for The Dragonslayer’s Sword (Book 1)

For Astrid, a blacksmith who makes swords for dragonslayers, the emergence of a strange gemstone from her body sets in motion a chain of events that threaten to destroy her life. Her happiness is shattered when her lover--the dragonslayer--disappears without a trace, and the life that she knows and loves implodes without warning.

Astrid lives in a world of shapeshifters whose thoughts have the power to change not only themselves but others. Everything Astrid knows to be true is called into question when she learns the truth about her past and the mysterious family from which she was separated as a child.

Reality turns inside out as Astrid gradually learns the truth about the people she loves as well as those she disdains. With the fate of dragons, ghosts, and slaves in foreign lands resting on her shoulders, Astrid faces the challenge of deciding who she is and how she will stand up inside her own skin. Will she withdraw and hide from the world that has disappointed her so much...or will she rise to lead others to freedom and peace?
 
Synopsis for The Iron Maiden (Book 2)

Astrid is reluctant to travel the winter route beyond the Northlands, even though it’s her duty. She’d rather stay home in her village, surrounded by friends and neighbors. Ignoring the bonds of tradition, she decides to spend the cold winter months in the warmth of her blacksmithing shop. Why should she leave the comfort of her cottage to serve and protect foreigners who might raid and harm her native Northlands?

Everything changes when a traveling merchant steals Starlight, the first dragonslayer’s sword Astrid forged and her last link to her sweetheart DiStephan. Having no time to alert her friends, Astrid races in pursuit of the merchant, determined to reclaim Starlight as her own and return home in time for dinner. Instead, her quest leads her to new lands, unexpected friendships with foreigners, and a harrowing encounter with the damage done by the followers of a new god that considers women as nothing more than servants to men. All the while, she must be ready to face any dragon traveling the winter route.

In Book 2 of the Dragonslayer series, Astrid must learn that deciding who she is isn’t a decision she can make just once. It’s a decision she must make every day.

Synopsis for The Stone of Darkness (Book 3)

In Book 3 of the Dragonslayer series, Astrid accepts her duty and follows the winter route--until she's bitten by a dragon. Everyone knows dragon bites are poisonous and deadly, so she reluctantly accepts her impending death. In a twist of fate, she survives. Desperate for an explanation, Astrid believes she has somehow been protected by the black stone she keeps with her at all times, a stone that emerged from the sole of her foot a year ago.

 Determined to find out what the stone is and what kind of powers it possesses, Astrid begins a journey that leads her to alchemists and an army of men under the rule of the powerful warrior, Mandulane, the acting lord of the Krystr army. Mandulane's mission is to spread the word of the new god Krystr, which preaches the evil intent of women and the danger they pose to all men, who are entitled to dominate the world. Rumors about this new god and army have spread, but Astrid is the first Northlander to encounter them.

Soon, she stumbles upon a secret of a far-reaching and mind-numbing plot that will impact the entire world. Astrid must find a way to spread the news of this threat and protect her people and everyone else at risk. She's convinced the answer lies inside the Stone of Darkness, and she must find a way to understand the stone and the powers she's convinced it must hold before it's too late.

Book 4 will be published in November 2012

1 comment:

  1. I got my book mark in the mail today! Thank you ;)

    ReplyDelete

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