Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Authors To Watch: Miriam Greystone, author of 'Truthsight'

Debut author Miriam Greystone writes urban fantasy stories filled with magic, romance and the occasional centaur. She fuels her creativity with an insatiable appetite for reading and frequent episodes of Doctor Who. She lives just outside of Washington DC with her husband and children, and when she isn’t hunched over her laptop, she can often be found baking or going on long hikes with her family.

Her latest book is the urban fantasy, Truthsight.

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Doctor Amy spends her nights running a secret clinic for supernatural creatures. When she is forced
to use her magic to save the lives of a centaur infant and its mother, she vows never to regret her decision, no matter the consequences. Not even when the Mages capture her, beat her, and condemn

Before the sentence can be carried out, Amy is abducted by a mysterious being named Rowan, who demands she use her healing abilities to save his father. But when Amy fails to save the ailing man, her actions unintentionally force Rowan into an exile that will soon turn into a death sentence.

Now Rowan and Amy must join forces with the creatures who were once her patients and fight to uncover the one secret that may be powerful enough to save them all.
her to die.

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Purchase information can be found at City Owl Press.

When did you begin writing, Miriam?

I first started writing seriously about six years ago. I had an idea for a Young Adult fantasy novel that just wouldn’t leave me alone. When I started writing I had no intention of showing what I was writing to anyone. I didn’t even want anyone to know I was writing. That was my “learner novel.” By the time I reached the end of it I was hooked. That book wasn’t destined to be published, but it got me started down the path toward becoming an author.

Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?

I usually have a very clear idea of several crucial scenes that span the length of the novel, and a general idea of how things will end, but rarely more than that, and I never outline. I am very superstitious about outlining too much or taking too many notes. I find that doing that really deflates my excitement. Part of the fun of writing for me is trying to figure out what the characters are going to do – just like my readers! If I outline then the story loses its mystery, and before you know it I have lost my enthusiasm for the story and moved onto something else. 

Can you tell us about your most recent release?

Truthsight is the first in a new urban fantasy series with a strong romantic element. It tells the story of Amy, who works in an emergency room during the day and runs a secret clinic for supernatural creatures at night. Amy used to be able to heal others by magic, but now she is living in hiding, and cannot access her powers without giving her location away to the Mages who still want her dead. But one day she is called to the birth of a Centaur baby who no one else can save. And her medical skill alone won’t be enough to save the child – only her magic will.

How did you get the idea for the book?

Several years ago I slipped on some ice and fell really hard. The fall caused a small fracture in my collarbone, and I ended up with small, painful lump in my chest that took a very long time to heal. As the months passed, I couldn’t help imagining a woman who was plagued by pain like mine – a constant, painful ache in her chest. Only her pain was because she was carrying something magical buried inside her – something that was too powerful to be safely kept inside a human’s body. As soon as I knew that my character would be in pain, I also knew that she would be a healer. There was something very powerful to me about the idea of someone who is gifted with the ability to heal, but cannot heal herself. Amy’s character grew in my heart very easily after that. 

Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?

Of course I have to say Rowan, though I feel guilty about it, like a mother picking a favorite among her children. But the brooding male lead of this story is impossible to pass over. Part of the reason I love Rowan’s character is because he gave me the chance to take a lesser known mythical creature – a Leshy, and reimagine it into something that I think is really exciting and fascinating to read about. Rowan is a creature with a powerful bond to the land that he rules over and protects. That bond gives him a vast array of special abilities. But when the bond is broken, it leaves him in a desperate situation. I found it fascinating explore what it would be like for such a powerful supernatural creature to be in such a challenging, vulnerable situation. His relationship with Amy is one of my favorite things about the book.

 What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

For a long time, I really wanted there to be a section of the book where Amy returns to her childhood home. I had lots of ideas for those scenes. I wanted to explore what had happened to her parents more. I also loved the idea of a small town that is populated almost entirely by mages. I had lots of fun imagining how they ran their society, how they earned their living, and how they kept their existence a secret. One of the hardest parts of writing the book was letting those scenes go – realizing that they didn’t actually help me tell this story, and as fascinating as I might have found it, it just wasn’t meant to be part of this book. I still have all that material, though, and who knows what future book it might show up in!  

Which authors have inspired your writing?

So, so many authors have had a huge impact on me as a writer and as a human being. I have to mention C.S. Lewis, who has been a true inspiration to me on many levels. Francis Hodgson Burnett and Anne Mcaffrey were huge parts of my childhood. Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, Neil Giaman and Naomi Novik are a huge part of my life now.  There are so many more – but these are at least a few of them. 

What projects are you currently working on?

I have two projects that I’m working on now. One is Truthsight Two, which hopefully will be coming out from City Owl press in the near future.  (And if anyone has a better title than that to suggest – please let me know what it is!!)  And I am also working on revising the manuscript for a book called Echoes. Echoes is a reimagining of the Siren myth in modern day Washington DC, and after many revisions, I am excited to finally have that close to completion. 

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

My biggest piece of advice for other authors is not to listen too much to what other people say. We have to be able to take feedback, we have to be able to accept criticism and work to make things better.  But the story that is inside you, waiting to come out, belongs to you. You are its caretaker, its guardian. You can’t let other people’s ideas of how you ought to write keep you from bringing that story out into the world. Believe in it, and in yourself and write what you want to write.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for having me on today! I really appreciate it! :)