Welcome! Thanks for visiting today! How did you start your writing career?
I’ve made up stories, and been an avid reader, since I was very young. I suppose all writers dream of publishing, but I wrote many stories before Eolyn, and I’m not sure why this novel made me decide to finally give publishing a try. I guess I suspected Eolyn’s story might appeal to more than my immediate circle of friends and family. To test that idea, I started by sharing the story with different writers groups. Their response was positive, though not without criticism. My critique partners have helped me polish my work a lot, and in so doing built my confidence.
Once I was satisfied with the final manuscript, I began querying and eventually landed my first contract with editor Eric T. Reynolds at Hadley Rille Books. I had a very good experience with small press, but when time came to renew my contract, I decided for many reasons that I wanted to strike out on my own. The second edition of Eolyn is my first venture into the world of self-publishing.
Where do you dream of traveling to and why?
I’ve been very fortunate to travel to many places, but there are still many countries and regions I want to see. The next big destination on my list is Spain. The Iberian Peninsula has so much to offer, historically and culturally. Also, I love flamenco dance and dream of studying flamenco in one of Spain’s major hubs, such as Seville. Finally, I’m hoping a month in Spain will help jump start my next major project in epic fantasy, a novel based on my short story Creatures of Light.
What is the hardest part of writing your books?
Finding time to write. I think this is a chronic challenge for all writers. I have a full time position as a biology professor, so squeezing in time for novel writing is not at all easy. I try to discipline myself to set aside 2-3 hours a week devoted exclusively to writing. This may not sound like much, but it’s been enough to crunch out three major novels over the past several years – and to start a fourth one, as well.
Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
Oh, yes! No writer should be without them. Terri-Lynne DeFino, an editor and author of fantasy and romance, has been one of my most important critique partners. I’ve also had a lot of help from two writers groups, The Dead Horse Society in Kansas City, and The Next Big Writer, which is an on-line writing workshop.
Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of questions do they ask?
I’ve received a lot of wonderful responses to Eolyn from many of my readers. I think the most common question is, “When is your next novel coming out?” It’s such a great inspiration, knowing that they are anxious to find out what happens next with all the characters. People also ask where I find the time for writing novels, and how I get my ideas.
I really enjoy hearing other people’s perspectives on the stories I write. A lot of times, readers see things in my work that I myself don’t see. Believe it or not, I’m even fond of critical reviews. Readers who look at my work critically give me something new to think about, and oftentimes have helped me improve my work.
Plotter or Pantser? Why?
Both. I cannot start a novel until I have a general idea of how it ends. BUT, once I start a novel, I also give myself flexibility to change the course of the story, depending on how the characters develop. Plotting is important because it gives you a goal to work toward, and forces you to keep in mind the relationships between key elements of the story. Every scene should, in some fashion, serve the final outcome. If you don’t have an idea of what the final outcome is, it’s really hard to build into it properly.
On the other hand, rigid adherence to a plot outline can sometimes result in a story that feels stilted or contrived. If you truly feel like the characters are pulling you in new or unexpected directions, it’s important to give that impulse a chance. You never know what you might discover when you follow your character’s lead.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Music, dance, and nature. I love going on hikes, camping, and visiting wilderness areas. I also study flamenco dance and am part of a performing group in my home town. I like to read, and to spend time with friends and family.
ABOUT THE BOOK
by Karin Rita Gastreich
In a land ravaged by civil war, the Mage King Kedehen initiates a ruthless purge of the magas. Eolyn, last daughter of the magas and sole heiress to their forbidden craft, seeks refuge in the South Woods.
When she meets the mysterious Akmael, heir to the throne of this violent realm, she embarks on a path of hope, seduction, betrayal, and war. Desire draws Eolyn toward Akmael’s dark embrace, but fate binds her to Corey of East Selen, a cunning mage whose ambition challenges the limits of love and loyalty.
Can she trust either man?
Hunted in a realm of powerful wizards and brutal deceptions, Eolyn must find her own path to freedom or she will burn on the pyre.
"Vigorously told deceptions and battle scenes, with a romantic thread." -Publishers Weekly
A vicious blow knocked the wind from Drostan’s lungs and sent his mount screaming to the ground. The knight landed hard, one leg pinned under his flailing horse. A mind-numbing roar thundered through his head. Heart racing, he shoved back his visor, struggling to regain focus.
Drostan watched, incredulous, as a wild cat ripped through the neck of his mount. Almost half as large as the horse, the savage creature had snow white fur and gray stripes. It lifted its bloody jowls, roared, and set ice blue eyes upon Drostan.
Before the knight could retrieve his sword, the cat sprang. Giant claws scraped at his armor and fangs slashed at his face. Drostan wedged a mailed forearm into the beast’s throat, in a desperate struggle to hold it off. His free hand searched desperately for a weapon, any weapon.
His grip closed around the haft of a discarded axe, which he brought full force against the side of the creature’s head. The impact reverberated through his arm, but the cat did little more than pause in annoyance. The creature’s weight was crushing him. Drool dripped hot onto his face.
Adjusting his grip, he drew the weapon back and struck again, driving the metal blade into the animal’s skull. The creature’s sharp howl of pain sent shivers through the knight. He wrenched the axe away and struck again. The cat stumbled back. Drostan struggled out from under his horse and lunged forward, hitting the beast over and over. Blood sprayed everywhere, until at last the giant feline collapsed into a heap of blackened, sodden fur.
Exhausted, Drostan sank to his knees, oblivious for the moment to the battle that raged around him. As he reached forward to touch the animal, it transformed in front of his eyes, leaving in its place a man, his flesh ripped open and covered with blood.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Karin Rita Gastreich writes stories of ordinary women and the extraordinary paths they choose. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she is part of the biology faculty at Avila University. An ecologist by vocation, Karin has wandered forests and wildlands for over twenty years. Her past times include camping, hiking, music, and flamenco dance. In addition to The Silver Web trilogy, Karin has published short stories in World Jumping, Zahir, Adventures for the Average Woman, and 69 Flavors of Paranoia. She is a recipient of the Spring 2011 Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency.
Purchase link for EOLYN: http://www.amazon.com/Eolyn-Silver-Web-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01B8F4G50/
Karin will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway