(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard, and Sharon was written by Sharon Lipman.)
Passing through the palace corridors, Kelly couldn’t help but rub her arms as she looked around. No servants or courtiers moved through the halls. Dust layered the stone floor, and cobwebs draped from pillar to pillar and clung to corners of the rooms. A breeze moved through the castle like a ghost of the past, whispering tales of great sorrow and grief.
Kelly sighed as she walked on. She knew the story too well behind this part of the palace of Elddon. No one ventured here anymore, and she knew why. She had written the creation of this kingdom and its fall.
Coming to the end of the corridor, Kelly stopped at a wooden door then pushed it open.
The door groaned on its hinges.
Kelly’s gaze swept the room noting the desk off to the side of the room with old parchments and books piled on it. At the back of the room a window let in the main source of light, but it was still narrow—too narrow for anyone to climb through without determination or for any to see anyone in the main areas of the room on either side. That had been a precaution the queen’s guardian insisted upon when they built this castle.
Across the room was a hearth opposite of the desk—ashes still remained from its last fire all those years ago, but dust now settled on the wood as well. And lining the walls were shelves of books and scrolls—their spines dusty from lack of use.
Kelly sighed but left the door open and snapped her fingers. A fire kindled in the hearth at her will, and Kelly moved to the desk. Her foot kicked something, and she looked down and then bent down as she inspected the quill on the floor. That was odd, but guilt tugged at her heart because she knew what had happened here, and she knew what to expect when she rose to her feet and looked at the desk.
There, on the desk, the inkwell had been tipped over. All its black blood had spilled across the parchment, across the surface of the desk, and dripped onto the floor—all now long-dried. Kelly was partly surprised this hadn’t been cleaned up after the incident that caused this—all this—but she knew no one came here after it had happened. Too many memories of one held dear whom they had lost.
Shaking her head, Kelly righted the inkwell then set the quill down on the desk. All of this way the past—for this story at least—but she heard something and knew a portal in the doorway had activated, so she took a breath, willed herself to focus on the moment, and then turned with a smile as the portal rippled and her guest passed through.
“Sharon.” Kelly moved to greet her. “Fantastic to meet you. Welcome to Elddon.” She motioned to their surroundings before fixing her gaze on Sharon. “How are you doing today?”
Sharon blinked as to she took in her surroundings. She knew Kelly had said this place had been deserted, but it was still a shock to see it with her own eyes. It took her a minute to realize Kelly was still staring at her, still waiting for an answer. “Sorry,” Sharon smiled. “I’m well, thank you. How’s things with you?” she said as she stretched out her hand to greet Kelly.
Kelly shook hands with Sharon then smiled. “I’ve been waking extra early all week due to these interviews, and I’m not used to that, so I’m a ‘little’ tired but okay!” She then motioned for Sharon to join her at the seating place near the hearth. “So, I guess we should get into the questions, eh?” She sat down. “And you are welcome to walk around and explore, by the way, or you may sit.” She gestured to the chair across from her. “So, what would you say inspired you to write?”
“I think I’ll sit, thanks. I hail from much warmer climes and it’s pretty chilly in here.” Sharon replied as she joined the other woman by the hearth. She stared at the flickering flames, willing them to inject some heat into her cold limbs. “What inspired me to write?” she chewed her bottom lip as she considered the question. “I suppose the simplest answer is ‘reading.’ But then if I gave that as my answer, this interview would be over quicker than we thought!” she replied with a nervous laugh. “It is true though. I write paranormal romance and I’m a huge fan of the genre. The more I read, the more I was inspired to write my own story.”
Seeing her guest was chilly, Kelly gestured with her hand and conjured a tea set with steaming tea. She smiled at Sharon’s surprise as she poured the tea into the cups then offered her one. “Perks of being the Author of this place. Things can appear at will.” Then she sat back in her chair with her own teacup in hand. “So how long have you been writing? And by the way, answer however you want. If you answer simply, then that’s fine. It gives me more of an opportunity to ask unusual interview questions.” She chuckled then brought the drink up to her lips to sip on.
Sharon couldn’t be more grateful for the tea as she held the delicate cup with both hands. This morning she’d been in the 30 plus degree heat and sunshine of southern Spain. The contrast in temperature couldn’t be more different, and as the warmth from the tea cup spread through her fingers, she felt herself relax a little. She leant back in her chair and took a sip of the piping hot drink. “Ah. That’s better!” she smiled. “I suppose I’ve been writing for about three or four years now. That’s how long it took me to finish my first and only novel. In my crazy brain, I thought it was an excellent idea to start writing it when we’d just moved to Spain, got a new dog, I got a promotion at work and we bought a goat shed of a house to renovate. Because, you know, writing’s easy, and doesn’t take over your life, right?” She chuckled as Kelly sniggered into her teacup, delighted her friend could laugh with her.
“Yeah, life has a way of getting out of hand.” Kelly nodded. “But you finished your first novel? That’s quite an accomplishment, so well done with that!” She then lowered her teacup, keeping her hands around the warm china. She tilted her head as she thought of another question. “So are you writing a new novel or is that the one you’re trying to get published? Or have you already published work before?”
Sharon shook her head. “No, I’m not published…yet. I will be though. I’m determined.” She flashed Kelly a grin. “I’m working on a second novel. The first, Bound to Blackwood, was always the start of the story in my mind, so the next one will be the second in the series. I have to admit though, I was so relieved and excited when I typed the words ‘the end,’ that I haven’t been able to concentrate properly on the second story. What with looking at different publishing options for the first and trying to raise my profile as a writer in general terms, writing the next story has, I’m sad to say, taken a bit of a back seat.” She took another sip of the delicious tea. “But summer is on it’s way and it’s my perfect season for writing. A friend and I take off to the beach most weekends. She sleeps and I write. It’s pretty awesome really. I’m sure once I hit the sand, the creative juices will start flowing again.”
“That sounds like it’ll be quite a fun and productive time! But let me say something about not getting your first book published. It’s okay not to get your first novel published or your second one or your third one or even your fiftieth one! Why? Because during all that time, you are honing your craft as a writer and mastering every element of writing, so when it’s finally time to publish, you’ll know, and you’ll be ready.” Kelly gave her a warm, reassuring smile.
Then, deciding she had had enough tea, Kelly set it on the table between them and sat back in her chair. “Is there a person in your life who’ve been very encouraging for you to keep writing? Or someone inspiring that you just motivates you to write?”
Sharon nodded and a wide smile crept across her lips. “My husband, of course, but since he’s not a reader, or by his own admission, very creative, he just nods and smiles in all the right places, which is fine with me. I have two girlfriends though, without whom I would never have got this thing off the ground in the first place. Vicky and Raven have been amazing throughout my whole journey with this novel. They’ve been my confidents, my sounding boards, and, when I’ve needed it, my biggest critics. I honestly don’t think I could have done it without them.”
“Friends like that are exactly what you need on your journey as a write. I’m glad you have them.” Kelly smiled then glanced at the fire and realized it was dying a bit, so she frowned and rose to her feet and crouched down to feed it more wood from the basket beside the fireplace.
She glimpsed over her shoulder at Sharon. “So, the story you’re working on right now, what it about?” While waiting for Sharon to reply, Kelly tossed a few logs into the fire and then stood, wrapped off her hands, and returned to her seat.
Sharon was glad Kelly had noticed the fire. The chill was creeping back in, but she didn’t want to offend her host, so she hadn’t said anything. She laughed at Kelly’s question, causing the other woman frown at her. “Sorry. It’s just that if you’d asked me that question a couple of months ago, I’d have given you a completely different answer! You see, I had the second story all mapped out in my head, but when I finished the first novel, I realized that particular story would have to wait. There’s no need to rush, not when those particular characters are involved. Sooo, I changed my mind. The second story will focus on Ryver, a Vampire Guardian of the Order of Blackwood and a human woman called Ria. Ryver, who is the best friend of the female lead in book one is a telepath. The ONLY telepath, as far as anyone knows. Ria, who as far as she knows, is completely human and doesn’t believe is anything even remotely supernatural has been hearing voices for the last six month or so. The two of them meet by accident in a goth club. It’s where he goes so he can’t hear anything and she gets dragged along by a work colleague.”
Kelly nodded as she listened. “And what conflicts are they facing? What’s driving the story?”
“Well, Ria thinks she’s going mad until she confides in her friend, who thinks it’s the coolest thing she’s ever heard. Ryver realizes a long time before she does that she might not be strictly human. The Vampire race has declined to the point where there are only a few hundred of them left. Until very recently, there had been no true pairs left. Ryver is the youngest of the race and he’s over fifty so the thought of a half-breed is exciting but is also met with distrust and skepticism by House Blackwood, the ruling House. The story will focus on Ryver’s effort to bring Ria into the fold and Ria’s struggle with her new-found heritage.” Sharon gave an embarrassed smile. “That wasn’t exactly succinct was it? The problem is, I’m a bit of pantser when it comes to writing.” She laughed. “Well, if you ask my husband, I’m sure he’d tell you I’m a pantser in all walks of life, not just writing. I know the general plan,and where I want these guys to end up. How they get there though is an entirely different thing. I suppose I’ll let them help with that.”
“It sounds fascinating, and I’m very curious to see how it all plays out!” Kelly beamed, but then her eye caught sight of the clock on the wall and what time it said it was, and she frowned, hunching her shoulders. “Unfortunately, our time is up. And I had so many other questions I’d ask, but oh well—maybe another time then!” Kelly smiled at Sharon as she rose to her feet with Sharon mirroring her. “When you open the door, you’ll find a portal that’ll take you home, but it was very wonderful to finally meet you and have this chat! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have.”
Sharon smiled, though she was disappointed their time together had ended. She looked over at the door and then back at her host and smiled. “I can’t believe where the time has gone! Thank you so much for having me, and for the tea. It was amazing.”
She moved towards the door and the portal that would take her home. “Thank you again. It really has been great. I hope we get to meet again sometime.” She gave a little smile as she looked at the fire and then back at Kelly. “Though, maybe next time, I’ll choose a warmer venue.”
Kelly smiled back at her. Sharon opened the door and with one more look back at Kelly, waved as she stepped through the opening. “See you soon,” she said. And then she was gone.
Note: Sharon’s Character Interview will focus on her character, Lena, from her story ‘Bound to Blackwood’ which she hopes to have published by the end of the year. The story she discussed in this interview is not yet written. You can read the first chapter of ‘Bound to Blackwood’ on Wattpad, and you can follow Sharon on Facebook and Twitter. Also, Sharon is a fabulous cover designer as well, so be sure to check out her work!
Wattpad: Chapter One of ‘Bound to Blackwood’
Facebook Author Page: Sharon Lipman
Sharon’s Facebook Cover Designer Page: Fantasia Covers