Geralyn Beauchamp is a fantasy/romance/action-adventure/fractured fairy tale author who likes to spin whimsical yet epic tales! A book reviewer for five years, she read voraciously (why do you think she wanted to become a book reviewer? It was the perfect excuse to HAVE to read!) and, well, one thing led to another. Her first book, Time Masters Book One; The Call, was actually written at the urging of author friends, most of whose books she reviewed. So, on a dare from Julia Quinn that went something like, “Oh c’mon, I know you can do this, I DARE YOU!” (It was a simple yet effective dare) Geralyn went on to write her first book. That was in 1995. After which she simply proclaimed, “I did it!” Just to prove she could, and then stuck said book in a trunk where it sat… and sat …. and SAT… until Christmas eve of 2007, when it finally hit the book store shelves. Better late than never.
Geralyn’s dad was a homicide detective for 30 years and her younger sister is a professional race horse jockey. Geralyn divides her time between the Pacific Northwest and Northern California. Other than being a bibliophile, she’s a yarn dabbler, of the string variety, coffee lover and chocolate snob.
Thank you for joining us today at Scribbler’s, Geralyn!
What is the strangest characteristic about yourself? (That you are willing to share)
I start speaking like my characters! It slips now and then but it’s been happening more often of late because of the amount of writing I do. Sort of embarrassing depending on where you are. Someone asked me a question the other day and I answered as Harrison Cooke from His Prairie Princess, perfect English accent and all! Yikes! And to this day I can’t spell ‘well’ correctly. I spell it the Scot’s way. Weel.
Tell us about the Prairie Bride series and how the stories came about?
Funny you should ask this. My main editor for Time Masters has had a lot of health issues lately and so we keep having to push the release date back. In the mean time, I NEED to write something, but wanted a little break from Time Masters. In an upcoming Time Master book, my characters Shona and Kitty are having this conversation. Kitty is tired of being in pre-med. She wants to quit school or at least change majors. She never wanted to be a doctor anyway. When Shona asks her what she really wants to do Kitty answers, “I want to write romance! I love romance, I always have! And gaaawshhh! If I can’t have my own romance I might as well write about someone else’s until I do!” And so she did.
What inspired you to have one of your characters from your Urban fantasy/romance Time Masters become the author of a western romance?
I had a western story and regency outlined from a couple of years ago. I just let Kitty take them over. But… if I were to think like Kitty (Oh gads!) I wouldn’t just use those outlines. I’d only use them as one piece of a much larger story. And she did. Prairie Brides is the middle. As in the middle of the 1800’s. And if you read the western series you will see how the other’s fit, once they become part of the big picture. The regency is 1811. The western outline the 1880’s. Again, Kitty is filling in the middle, the folks from 1811 tied to the ones in 1858, and the 1858 set of characters tied to the ones in the 1880s.
Will you have other characters from the Time Master’s series making appearances in the old west?
Well, let me put it this way. If Shona and Kitty are best friends, and BFF’s tell each other everything. Who knows which of Shona’s Time Travel adventures she’s shared with Kitty. Perhaps what Kitty is writing isn’t just a fun little western romance after all…
Are the Prairie Bride novels stand alone stories, or does the reader need to have read Time Masters?
A reader does want to read the Prairie Bride books in order, but they don’t have to have read Time Masters. However, Time Master fans will be able to see things in the story and figure other things out that the western reader fan unfamiliar with Time Masters isn’t going to catch. Kinda makes them two different books in one!
Is the writing process different in creating a story from the mind set of a fictional character?
Actually, it’s been much easier! Who’da thought? Kitty is romantic, pure and simple. She loves romance, she lives for romance, but just can’t quite find one of her own. The western series have been a blast to write and a lot of fun. But then Kitty is a lot of fun, if a little ditzy at times. They are simple, fun, cute, adventurous, and of course romantic.
Can we have an excerpt? ]
From His Prairie Princess:
She left the stagecoach and paid one of the families in the wagon train to take her along. At least until they came to a point where she could catch a stage to the little town of Clear Creek. It would have worked too if said stage hadn’t been held up. But Sadie never expected to be taken along with the rest of the loot. After all, being kidnapped was the last thing on her mind that morning.
Unfortunately it was the foremost thing that afternoon.
She again tried the ropes used to lash her hands behind her back and tie her to a chair. No use. They were too tight. She was a helpless captive. So helpless in fact, Sadie Jones did something she hadn’t done in a very long time. She began to cry.
It wasn’t so much out of fear, though she was sure she’d succumb to it when the men came back. No, these tears were out of anger. Anger for not heeding her father’s advice to wait for him to wrap up a business deal before he could help find her mother. Her real mother. But Sadie knew that once her father got around to finishing things up and make their travel arrangements, her mother would be out of time. Not to mention out of luck. Death usually didn’t give second chances. And according to a letter her father had received stating her birth mother was extremely ill, death was obviously closing in. Much the same way it closed in on Sadie now.
Sadie closed her eyes. It was her own fault for taking off in the first place. She wanted to meet her mother before she died, but it looked like that wasn’t going to happen. Her mother would be taken to glory by whatever sort of disease was slowly eating her life away. Sadie by four men who thankfully had more interest in a pot of beans at the moment than her. But those beans weren’t going to last the scoundrels much longer…
So, Sadie Jones, being a practical girl, did the only thing she could think of considering her current predicament. She sniffed back her tears, bowed her head, and prayed she’d be ready for what ever happened when the beans ran out.
What in particular or whom was the inspiration for a western setting?
My dad. He absolutely loved westerns and when he got the western channel on his TV he was in pure bliss. So much so I asked him one day why he loved watching westerns so much. This is what he said, and this quote of his can be found at the beginning of His Prairie Princess.
“There’s just something about a western. They’re so simple. Good versus evil. The cowboy or lawman has to save the girl then gets the girl. You don’t need to dress them up, their purity alone tells a simple story that always satisfies. That’s why I love westerns.”
Do your characters take on a life of their own at a certain point in the story? Do you have conversations with your characters to determine why they are doing what they are doing?
I’ve always spent time on my characters before I start writing. Dallan MacDonald of Time Masters I spent a year on! After him I got the character creation process down to an art. However, some characters developed along the way. Duncan, Colin, and Harrison, the three Cooke brothers have their similarities as they are a close knit bunch, but they have distinct personalities and quirks. All of which popped out during the writing process. Harrison has a real temper when pushed. Colin is the easy going, happy go lucky one, and Duncan is the protector, the one who tries to take responsibility for everyone around him. All of my characters tend to come to life pretty quick once the writing begins. This is one reason I’m fairly prolific.
Do you see a character from Prairie Brides deciding to write their own romance?
I’m not so sure about them writing a romance, but a few of them are going to be in for one wild ride a few books down the road! But they’ll be sworn to secrecy and not allowed to publish a thing!
Is the writing process with a book under contract different than when you wrote the first one not knowing if it would be published?
Oh yes! To have all the time in the world is one thing, and it’s bliss! But a deadline is another thing. And you’d better have good time management and work ethics to get the job done! I came away from this third book in the series bleary eyed, sleep deprived, and barely alive! Like many writers I have a full time day job, yet got out a novella and two novel length books in four months. Whew! Why I EVER said I could do that is beyond me! Oh wait! It wasn’t me! Kitty is the one who said it could be done!
What or whom has had the most influence on your writing style?
I read a lot of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan, and some other adventure stories growing up. And I read a lot of romance, was even a romance reviewer for a number of years. So I fell in love with action/adventure and romance. And…the cliff hanger. Which is why I write scenes that often end with one. Probably why my books are such fast reads.
When you do an interview like this what is the one writing process questions you hope not to be asked?
Not so much questions about a writing process, but a method. People always want to know how they can write fast and make a lot of money? Or basically, How can I do what you do without knocking myself out?
You can’t. Enough said. I’ve even had people ask me to write their books for them when I know they are perfectly capable of doing it on their own! There are no short cuts to creating a high quality story!
What piece of writing advice would kitty Morgan like to impart to those aspiring to write?
Write your passion! Kitty’s passion is romance! And she likes the good old fashioned kind! OK, so perhaps with a slight twist. Boy meets girl, boy tries his darndest to get girl. Boy is slightly sidetracked by the psychopathic killer who also likes girl. And of course boy and psychopathic killer don’t exactly play well together so girl gets slightly annoyed with both! And then just when boy thinks he’s got the world in his hands, (not to mention the girl) psychopathic killer snatches her out from under him before he can spit!
And then the chase ensues. And if there’s one thing Kitty has learned, there’s nothing more fun than a good chase! Or more entertaining, while one’s characters are on their way to their Happily Ever After!
Because these are the kind of stories Kitty loves, they are the easiest and most fun for her to write!
What project is up next for you?
Time Masters 2 The Prophecy will be releasing late August. Then it’s on to Time Master 3 The Legacy. There are three more Prairie Brides books before the Prairie Grooms series starts. And intermixed along the way who knows? Perhaps a few Time Master characters will make the acquaintance of a few of Kitty’s western characters.
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