Friday, June 18, 2010

Interview and Giveaway: Author Renee Wildes

Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to Renee Wildes. Ms. Wildes is the author of the Guardians of Light series.

Guardians of the Light

1. Duality (2008)
2. Hedda's Sword (2009)
3. Lycan Tides (2009)

DualityHedda's SwordLycan Tides

Good morning Ms. Wildes and welcome to Michelle's Book Blog.

Hi Michelle!

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I'm married w/2 kids, 2 half-Arabian horses, a Chow puppy and a calico cat - live in central WI. I'm a total history buff, from medieval times back to ancient Greece and Sparta. As a Navy brat and a cop’s kid, I gravitated to protector/guardian heroes and heroines. I've had horses my whole life, so became the only vet tech in a family of nurses. It all comes together in my Guardians of Light series for Samhain – fantasy, action, romance, heroics and lots of critters!

2. You write in the Fantasy genre - what does Fantasy mean to you?
I grew up reading fantasy authors Terry Brooks and Mercedes Lackey and am a huge Joseph Campbell fan, so the minute I discovered romance novels it became inevitable that I'd combine it all and write fantasy romance. I think fantasy is a combination of an escape from the real world mixed with good can always triumph over evil. I love worldbuilding and magical possibilities mixed with nonhuman creatures that come to life. I want to be able to step into a story and experience that world as if it were as real as our own.

3. You've said that you're a hard-core plotter - What's your writing process like and do you have a dedicated writing space?
I'm what Bob Mayer (my favorite writing instructor) calls a "front-loader." I start with a character, figure out who romantically would be perfect for them, and then work to figure out what gets them together vs. what keeps them apart, what's going on in the world around them and what problems they have to tackle. I write it all down in an outline, figure out points of view, and how to break up the action so each chapter has a beginning & ending hook. I do a bare-bones rough draft, then I do the layering - multisensory descriptions, deep POV, cultural references (foreign words, religion, govt.) I have a map I always have to check and make sure everything stays in the right place geographically speaking. It takes me forever - a book a year.
We bought a house last November (rent-to-own) with 4 bedrooms - one of which (at the top of the stairs) I turned into a home office. All my bookshelves are there, my writing awards and framed book covers. I have a scrapbook page for each book, and the framed page goes on the wall beneath its final cover. Funny to see how close (or not!) the artist came to my vision.

4. Where did you find your inspiration for the 'Guardians of Light' series?
I started out writing contemporary romances, but then my muse - a big red dragon - moved it and told me to knock it off. I read fantasy, I should write fantasy. The biggest draw for me with fantasy is the good-triumphs-over-evil theme. Duality began with a snapshot vision - a mental image of a red-haired woman kneeling in a burning room. When I found out Dara STARTED the fire, I got interested. I remember asking my critique partners if there was anything to this, and they said to run with it and see what happened. After Duality was done, I started Hedda's Sword, featuring Loren's best friend Cianan and an assassin nun. I was looking for a common theme as a tie-in and "Guardians of Light" came to mind. Keeps me focused on each book, no matter how different the stories are, they all rest on that one similar spine. Good vs. evil.

5. When you have the time, what authors do you enjoy reading?
Fantasy - Tolkien & Campbell. Terry Brooks & Mercedes Lackey. I love Joy Nash, and Elizabeth Vaughan's "Warprize." Paranormal - Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christine Feehan, J.R. Ward, Angela Knight & Pamela Palmer (Duality is competing w/Palmer's "Obsession Untamed" in the WisRWA Write Touch Reader's Award contest )
Contemporary - Suzanne Brockmann & Lori Foster

6. What are you working on now?
I just finished all final edits and approved the cover for "Dust of Dreams" which is Bk 4 in the "Guardians of Light" series. Benilo, the elven spirit healer from "Hedda's Sword," gets his own story. Paired him up with a dream faerie named Pryseis. Comes out as ebook 7/13/10. I am currently working on Bk 5, "Riever's Heart" which is Verdeen's story. She's Dara's lady's maid from "Duality." She's assigned to be a bodyguard for Prince Aryk, who's trying to unite the northern "riever" tribes into a single nation. She's the ultimate tomboy who learns to be a woman as well as warrior.

7. Where can we find out more about you & your books?
My books are at Samhain Publishing at

Renee Wildes


I would like to thank Ms. Wildes for her time and generosity.

Ms. Wildes has graciously offered a pdf copy of the first book in her Guardians of Light series - 'Duality' - to one lucky commenter. That means that this giveaway is open to all followers of this blog with an email address.

Just leave a comment or question for Ms. Wildes and your email address to enter the giveaway. Giveaway will run through Monday June 21 and the winner will be announced Tuesday June 22.

Good luck and happy reading!!



flchen1 said...

Thanks for the lovely interview, Michelle and Renee! Renee, that new cover is absolutely gorgeous!! No need to enter me--I've got the fabulous Duality already :)

Michelle Greathouse said...


Thank you for stopping by. :) Have a wonderful weekend.


Renee Wildes said...

Morning Michelle & Fedora!
Very nice to be here this weekend! (Also at the EDJ, not so nice but pays the bills!) I'm so excited to have Dust of Dreams coming out in just a few weeks! Hope everyone's having a great TGIF!

Tiger Holland said...

Your take on fantasy sounds excellent! I'd love to read a PDF copy of your work. :-)

I Follow (found you through the book Blogger Hop).


Renee Wildes said...

Hi Tiger!
So glad you could join us today!

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

Great interview, Renee and Michelle! I was wondering, Renee, if you have ever based a character on one of your horses? Also, who was the most difficult character you've written to date?

practimom said...

Oh the cover is beautiful! i love the names of your characters. where do you get the inspiratio for them?

(hey Anitra ^-^!)


Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

Hi Christy! :)

Katelyn said...

Great interview and thanks for the contest!

Email Address:

Renee Wildes said...

Hi Anitra!
Wow - great questions!
1. Do my horses end up in my books?
Yes and no. I've grown up w/Arabian horses, and they all have their own distinct personalities, so had to have the elves have something similar. But Hani`ena's voice is actually Judy Densch and Kikeona is actually Della Reese!

2.) Who was the toughest character to write and why?

I'd have to say it was Anuk from Lycan Tides, b/c I decided halfway through the book that I couldn't have poor Trystan go home empty-handed so I had to redeem one of my villain dragons into a good guy. Considering she started out as a got off on enslaving men - that took a bit of doing!

Renee Wildes said...

Hi Practimom!
I actually use Teresa Norman's "A World of Baby Names" a lot, especially to pick relatives' names so they're similar. I use a lot of creative spelling. I pull a lot of Elvish from Hawaiian names, and my Shamaru are gypsies so I use Hungarian & Romanian names. My rievers basically are Vikings (w/Isadorikja based on Iceland so I went w/Norse names.

I like selecting cultural variations, and do a lot of writing while listing to international music, or historical artists like Kate Price (hammer dulcimer) or Medaieval Baebes.

Renee Wildes said...

Hi Katelyn!
Have a great weekend! I'm going to a fairy festival in central WI tomorrow - hope it doesn't rain.

Melissa said...

I'm also loving the cover. Looks like a great series. I can see how you put the personalities of your horses into characters. Arabians have such great personalities!

books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

Renee Wildes said...

Hi Melissa!
Arabs are definitely peopley sorts - very nosy, and they love to strike a pose! My mare Sassy
(aka Temptation FyreN'Ice) does this slow trot out in the pasture with her head & tail up, then she stops and looks at you like "I'm so pretty!" makes me roll my eyes and laugh and agree all in the same breath. She's got my number!

tetewa said...

Sounds good, count me in!

cpullum said...

Love the indepth interview!

Michelle Greathouse said...

Hello everyone. :)

Thank you all for stopping by and leaving such wonderful comments and questions for Renee. :)


Stella (Ex Libris) said...

Thanks for this great interview! I haven't heard of the Guardians of Light series before, but they sound like exactly the kind of books I would enjoy, so added them to my wishlist! :-)

Please enter me.

stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

Hope you had a great weekend! :-)

Renee Wildes said...

Hey Michelle - who won?