Have you seen the lovely invitation to  a Masked Ball on May 1st on my sidebar? The invitation comes from Prue Batten, a very kind and talented Australian lady, a fantasy writer, who is one of my latest interesting acquaintances in the blogoworld. I asked her to be my guest on Fly High and to tell us about her love for writing and whatever she wanted about herself and her interests.
 Read till the end : there is a double giveaway open worldwide. Just leave a comment under this post and don't forget your e-mail address!
Now it's time to meet Ms Prue Batten

I’m Prue Batten, an Australian writer of fantasy and I’m delighted to be Maria Grazia’s guest on Fly High. Maria Grazia  asked me to guest-blog after she’d become a regular commentator on Mesmered's Blog , my site. We both have a love of historical fiction, of the great writers through the centuries, of costume dramas and of course, an interest in the work of Mr.Richard Armitage.

As a writer of Fantasy, the contemporary take on Robin Hood delighted me. I loved the language, the in-jokes, the costuming and the storyline. Having not yet seen Series 3, and shattered at the death of Marion, I firmly believe the writers took a wrong turn, but that’s a personal and very uninformed opinion. The thing with writing is that it takes U-turns when a writer least expects. In writing each of my books, I had a carefully detailed plot and an idea of how I wanted the plot to unfold. The reality was another thing altogether. In that first draft, as the characters grew so the story changed and I had to be mindful of controlling the characters with an iron fist in a velvet glove so they didn’t gallop away too often with the plot in their saddle-bags.

My world is the fantasy world of Eirie, a world no different from our own. There are the misty, wooded vales of Trevallyn, the cultural jewel of the canal province of Veniche, the sun-baked exotic province of the Raj and the disparate and eclectic islands that make up the Pymm Archipelago. In my world, Others exist – those enchanted immortals who drift from our own myth and legend to enhance and trouble the lives of mortals with whom they share Eirie

Over a series of books, the same family is written about – through successive generations. And yes, in looking for qualities on which to base my various male protagonists, Richard Armitage’s alter-egos have helped build my character profiles. (Read my post Dark and Dangerous)
My stories are romance, adventure, tragedy, endurance and revenge and since 2008/2009, have begun to build a niche following. It’s all I want, all any writer wants, to have loyal readers who love and hate the characters as much as the author both loves and hates them herself.
Most recently, it was deemed suitable in terms of marketing, to create and upload a book-trailer to Utube for my first novel The Stumpwork Robe, which was an exercise in fun of the highest order.

After that, it was decided to increase the books’ profiles by having a blog event. So here am I, the world’s greatest Luddite, with two e-friends from America, hosting a ‘virtual’ Masked Ball in May and quite honestly having more enjoyment than I thought possible. We have created our own far-fetched and fantastic back-stories (something we hope everyone who joins us will do). We have researched costumes, food, dance, music and will introduce a bit of each and some of the fantasy world of Eirie as the weeks progress toward the Ball. We shall have competitions with delightful prizes like miniature books and handmade silk reticules, prizes to please the discerning eye.

And after it’s over, I shall return to my world and my characters and push on through the generations and see where it takes me. I have travelled with Liam, Finnian, Lalita and Phelim to Trevallyn, Veniche and the Raj. With Nicholas and Isabella I am currently in the Han, an Asian inspired and hitherto undiscovered province. And in the future, Gervais the Cartographer shall sail with me across seas that were believed to have a finite end. In each you will find women of highly charged emotion and daring, some will be mad, clever, even attractive and their men, both mortal and immortal, shall be beautiful, tragic and vengeful.

In the meantime, I invite you all to join Maria Grazia, and Pat, Rebecca and myself on May 1St. We’d love to meet you at the Ball.


Win a signed copy of Prue's
THE STUMPWORK ROBE ( one lucky winner )

or a copy of her second novel , THE LAST STITCH ( another lucky winner).

Open worldwide.
Just  leave your comment and e-mail address.
Winners will be announced on Wednesday March 31st



Alexa Adams said...

This sounds like the kind of story my husband and I would enjoy reading together. He's more interested in fantasy than I am, but my love of mythology sounds like it would be well indulged. Please enter me in the contest! alexa.adams@gmail.com

Roberta said...

Well I've never been much of a futurist reader but these two stories sound very interesting. Thanks for the giveaway and can't wait to read more about the Masked Ball :D
Fondly, Roberta

CLM said...

You sound like a kindred spirit and the book looks great: I have added it to my TBR on Goodreads. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Maria, an enormous thank you for a beautifully presented interview. When I emailed the piece to you, I had no idea you would put it together so strikingly and I am really humbled actually. I do look forward to seeing who wins the books. Very best wishes . . . Prue Batten

Anonymous said...

Alexa . . . it is a love story as much as a fantasy, good to read together.

Roberta . . . the stories are set in the mythical world of Eirie which is merely an alternate time but a world that represents ours in every way and invites the creatures and people of myth and legend to people it. Shall look forward to you coming to the ball. Enter your back-story!

CLM . . . if kindred spirit means the same to you as it meant to Anne of Green Gables, then I am on your wavelength.

mrsshukra said...

I like love stories with the element of fantasy in them! I enjoyed your backstory, Prue!


lunarossa said...

I'm intrigued, Prue, by your creating a totally new world. It's already pretty difficult to write novels located in our world, so I can only vaguely imagine all the work you put into it. Have you also introduced a new language or terminology? I'm thinking of LOTR or Alice in Wonderland etc. Thanks Prue and MG for this lovely post. Ciao. A.

Unknown said...

What an intriguing post. It sounds like you have created a world rich with characters and settings for many books. Your book covers are lovely. I am looking forward to exploring your world of Eirie and meeting some of its inhabitants.

librarypat AT comcast DOT net

vvb32 reads said...

i'm so excited for the upcoming masked ball! i've been hoarding the mesmered posts i've been getting via email to read soon. so much detail and backstory. it's amazing. both of these giveaway books look absolutely delightful. and the fact that they are in miniature make them so special ;-D

Theresa N. said...

I don't believe you'll ever return completely to this world, the other sounds to wonderful.:)
Theresa N

Anonymous said...

Etirv: thanks so much for your comments and for stopping by.

Lunarossa: No, no new language etc. I have a preference for a real world approach to fantasy. I find I put more fantasy books back on the shelf in a store if there are what I call scrabble-board words. Even my world is our world, but still an eldritch world, where Others (characters from myth, legend and folktale) drift back and forth through mortals' lives. (there are no winged fairies, elves, gnomes as we know them from childhood. Instead we have hobs, swanmaids, waterhorses etc.) The editorial agency in London who pull my manuscripts apart and then help me mend them again, have said the stories have a significant amount of magical realism in them and that's fine by me.

Patricia: Thank you so much. I hope you can read the books one day. The covers are perfect for the books and were designed by my daughter who runs a graphic design studio. I was lucky that the publishers agreed to her doing the work. She used my own embroidery for the shoot.

vvb32: Thanks so much. You are a role model par excellence with your amazing blog events. If we can do half that well, we shall be happy. Do you know Pat, Rebecca and myself have written 12,000 words so far in The Masked Ball story? Amazing! And we ran it off the other day as just the story without illustrations and other posts and comments and we were surprised that it actually IS a story. Thought we'd self-publish with LULU for fun. And re the miniature books, my novels are normal size but Bo Press Miniature Books (www.bopressminiaturebooks.com) have just published a magnificent collector's edition of another Masked Ball story in Regency stripes and lace covers with a little box to contain it and a tiny gold mask. I ordered one as soon as I saw it!

Theresa: I actually went for a walk the other day and had to remind myself I wasn't still in Eirie. It's hard for any writer to ground themselves outside after a protracted writing period.

Thanks so much everyone for taking the time to comment and once again thank you MG for being the bestest blogger ever! The giveaway copies of the novel are winging their way from Australia to the winners as I write this.