In short order, Robin sent AS THE CROW FLIES to me and I sent a copy of OATHTAKER to her. Having already taken a look of AS THE CROW FLIES in the "Peek Inside" feature on Amazon, I dove right in! I had not gone far when I decided that I wanted to do a review of Robin's book--whether or not she decided to do one of mine--and regardless of what she thought of mine. Why? Because AS THE CROW FLIES possessed that rare and unusual thing--that thing that made me want more. Robin, through her ready wit, had managed to create a unique story line and fully formed and relatable characters. Moreover, it was clear that Robin had a clear understanding of--that indeed she fluently spoke--my second language--sarcasm. Best of all, Robin displays a fun and unique voice that made me know I would want--no, that I would need--to read more from this gifted writer.
Dive in and get to know Robin--and don't forget to LIKE her on Facebook, FAN her on Goodreads, review her works on Amazon and elsewhere, enter her giveaway, check out the details of her book tour that is currently in progress and drop by to visit her site. All information and links are provided below. Have fun! (I certainly did!)
One last thing--and I note that this is a thing I would say only rarely--and never without careful forethought: AS THE CROW FLIES is exactly the kind of work that the publishing industry should be looking to publish and promote with its full efforts. It is, in a word, a winner.
Find my review of AS THE CROW FLIES, here.
BIO: After many years spent tending to a prince, three princesses and a king, Scribe Robin is now free to take to her tower to write tales about wizards and magic, fantastical places and extraordinary journeys. From time to time, when she is not writing, she invokes the magic of Photoshop to create maps, scenery, insignias, book covers, and various bits and pieces of artwork suitable for use in the mysterious ether plane. She has regularly been victorious at the NaNoWriMo tourneys, and has several books in various stages of progress in addition to a published work of fiction about a thief and his trusty sidekick. Now if only she could find that spell for manipulating time so that she could turn all of her ideas into stories...
RAFFLECOPTER LINK FOR GIVEAWAY HERE
GOODREADS GIVEAWAY HERE:
And then there’s Tanris, dauntless servant of the empire, dedicated lawman. It’s a feather in his cap when he finally captures the miserable, thieving bird that’s been flitting about the Bahsyr Empire as if he owned it.
Neither man is prepared to become a cat’s paw for a wizard with even bigger plans.
Hi Robin. Thank you so much for joining me. Since you are currently on a book tour for AS THE CROW FLIES, I thought I would inquire: what character most surprised you in your work and why?
I would have to say that Girl surprised me the most. She was meant to be an incidental character, a point upon which to show Crow’s primarily selfish personality. Crow refuses to accept any sort of responsibility for her welfare, but she ends up following him and Tanris, quietly serving, teaching by example what loyalty and faith mean. I didn’t expect that, and clearly neither did Crow!
Was there anything else in your work that flowed from the tips of your fingers without your having been aware that it was coming? If so, how did you react and did you find that it changed the story you thought you were going to tell?
The runes in the Ghost Walk weren’t originally part of the plan, but their presence wildly impacted the course of the story. Although I knew the place was haunted and riddled with magic, I didn’t know about the runes until Crow touched them. At first I didn’t know what to do with them or how they could be used to effect the characters, and there was no point in keeping them if they served no purpose in the plot. A consultation with my creatively brilliant sister gave the scene action and tension which, combined with the history of the site, led to a life-altering effect on Crow and impacted the way he would solve his problems.
These "other worlds" we create in our writing can be such fun. What "other world" (which could be a time, place, or fantasy place) created in any book you've written or read is the world you would most like to visit and why?
I would like to visit Tairenth, the world featured in my upcoming series. It is a project I’ve worked hard on with my writing partner, Kristie Kiessling, and we have such fun creating and plotting together. I love the poetry and rhythm of the different lands and cultures. I love knowing how the different cultures and races have come about. I love the effect the place has on my protagonist—and then the effect he has on it. It would be so amazing to see all those ideas brought to life!
Yes, it is interesting to see things come to life and to watch how our characters react. I am wondering, what work created by someone else do you most wish you had written yourself and why?
Actually, I can think of four or five of those! How about if this week we go with the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series by Tad Williams (though I might choose one of the others next time someone asks). It’s a great, solid series—four volumes is enough. I want it to last longer because it’s so good, but if it lasted longer it would lose the goodness. You know what I mean? The setting is rich and steeped in history and culture. There aren’t too many characters to keep track of, and they are all intriguing in their own right. The pace is good, the subplots intriguing, the characters believable, the creatures exotic, the descriptions evocative… That quality, that depth, is the goal I hope to achieve with my own writing.
Speaking of pace, intrigue, characters and descriptions, they are often the things we focus on when we read. In light of some of these same things, what would you consider the five best works you have ever read and why do you rank them among the best?
- The Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series by Tad Williams for everything cited in the previous question.
- Lady of the Forest, by Jennifer Roberson, for the unique and beautifully romantic retelling of Robin Hood—a favorite character since I was young and my grandmother used to call me “Robin the Hood.”
- The Legend of Nightfall, by Mickey Zucker Reichert for the rollicking, often humorous adventure.
- Exile's Gate and the Fortress series by C.J. Cherryh not only for the rich and complex tales, but for the language she uses and the images her words paint.
- Tathea, by Anne Perry, for the beauty of the prose and the way the story really made me think.
Excellent! So, while we all remember our favorites, sometimes works do not quite live up to our expectations. What do you do when you pick up a work that does not entertain you? Do you read to the bitter end? Or do you bow out early?
I stick with it for as long as I can stand it—which is bound to change from book to book, depending on what it is about it that frustrates me. I always nurse this hope that “the next chapter” will be where the writer finds her stride, the story picks up, and things will improve.
Yes, sometimes things do come to a "bitter end." I know that place. I've read a number of them! (Moby Dick comes to mind!) To change the subject for a minute, can you tell us, who is your favorite heroic character and in what way are you like him or her?
Robin Hood! And, um… I live in the ‘hood, and my name is Robin?
Funny! You interview like you write! Okay then, who is your favorite villain--and in what way are you like him or her?
Gru, from Despicable Me. Why? Smart, good looking, creative, annoyed by children who make strange noises (but I love them just the same)…
Strange noises, huh? Well, perhaps this next question will illicit one from you! Here it is: what one question have you always wished an interviewer would ask you that you have not been asked and what is your answer to that question--and what one question do you most dread an interviewer asking you and what is your answer to that question.
WHAT is your favorite colour?” Answer? Blue! No, red! No… black!
I’m not going to ask myself the Dreaded Question! But the answer is a poem by Charles Ghigna:
Writers write what they know best,
their passions, fears and dreams.
Writers never write about
what others call their “themes.”
Hmmmm. Writers write what they know best. . . . I'm thinking about Crow and his life as a thief. . . . Should I be looking for any hidden meanings here? LOL! Alright then, one final question: what one lesson, theme, or principle did you most want others to take from AS THE CROW FLIES?
We’re going a bit against Ghigna’s statement here, but I hope people will think about how the people around us are important. You never can tell where you will find a friend and what that person will add to your life.
That is so true, Robin and it is a good thing to keep in mind! Thank you so much for joining me, Robin, and best of luck to you in all of your endeavors!
I was pleased to discover an interesting story line and an engaging and complex protagonist whose voice and personality evolve throughout the novel. — V. Burnett
From the moment I opened this book to when I closed it I was caught up in the adventures of a charming, sarcastic, and clever thief who stole a very large chunk of time from me, but it was well worth the theft. A delightful time was spent in another world filled with adventure, mystery (I love mystery!), wizards, and magic... — M.C.
I loved it from start to finish and it leaves you wanting more. Robin is amazing at describing the picture so it is real in your head. Crow, the main character, was a lovable thief with a wonderful sense of humor. — Marla Oveson
I love a good cloak and purse-cutting dagger, and Crow delivers. He's armed with a silver tongue, sleeping dust, feet that'd make a cat feel ungainly, a razor mind, and a diploma for best-in-class at the school of fine thieving and infiltration (awarded by me). I've read about approximately a billion thieves and even played the vintage first-person-looter games Thief, but Crow still impressed me as a sterling example of skulduggery. — A. E.