Today I’m hosting author Carolee Croft as part of the blog tour for her new book Ariella’s Escape and she was kind enough to write a blog post about what inspuired her to write fantasy. Check it out.
I’ve been a fan of hobbits, elves, and mystical warriors since my teenage years. That being said, as wonderful as those classic Lord of the Rings books were, I was always rewriting them in my mind, wishing there were more female characters. Then I discovered more contemporary authors like Mercedes Lackey (yes, I lived under a rock), who wrote exactly the kind of fantasy books I wanted to read.
I realized how much potential there is in fantasy literature for butt-kicking female characters. I also enjoy reading and writing historical fiction, but to a certain degree the potential for butt-kicking is limited by the constraints that were put on women in past ages. There might be an independent female character, but she would be lumbered by the need to fight society’s norms as well as whatever the plot throws at her.
With fantasy, readers can still enjoy those historical worlds, but with different rules. I can write about a matriarchal society in a world of savage warriors, filthy taverns, majestic castles and all the trappings of the Middle Ages. In Ariella’s Escape, a warrior woman is nothing out of the ordinary. She lives in a kingdom ruled by a queen with plenty of other women running things. In this setting, my warrior woman would be the norm rather than the exception, and she can get busy fighting bad guys rather than wasting time trying to prove how independent she is.
Then there’s the potential for magic. Why not invent a new animal, spell, or curse? Each fantasy world is different, and making up the rules and the wonders of each new world can challenge my imagination as I try to come up with magic that’s mysterious and unpredictable yet logically sound and loophole-free.
And last but not least, there’s the telling an old-fashioned tale of good versus evil in an exciting new way. I’m not a huge fan of the anti-hero. The stories that stick with us and warm our hearts are the ones with characters who are, on the whole, good, though they may have their flaws.
Take the Harry Potter series for instance. At its core, it’s a story of love and self-sacrifice versus hate and self-indulgence, all dressed up in a fascinating new mythology. I’d love to be able to do something like that with Ariella’s Escape, and I hope readers will enjoy the journey.
About the Book
Title: Ariella’s Escape
Author: Carolee Croft
Genre: Epic Fantasy Romance
Ariella had always believed that the life of a warrior should include indulging in wine and men whenever they were on offer… And in Chaldea, the capital of the old empire, they certainly were.
Especially the man she finds in her bedchamber, a slave provided by her hosts to entertain her in any way she wishes.
But when betrayed and surrounded by enemies in a strange land, there is only one man she can trust—the slave who was meant only for her pleasure but is much more than he seems.
Demetrius had been captured in a battle at the age of fifteen, and slavery was all he had known in his adult life. When his chance for freedom comes along, his fate is bound to the noble warrior maiden whose voice and body he cannot resist. Duty calls him to return to his kingdom, but the journey will take him places that will change him forever.
Together, they make their way through a den of thieves and an enchanted elf forest, but the biggest danger of all may be their fiery attraction to each other and the secret that will draw a dividing line between them.
Enchanted by romance on page and screen, I have always tried to write my own versions of the perfect fairytale. As for real life, I believe I may have already found the man of my dreams, but I still haven’t found the dog of my dreams. Currently, I’m obsessed with Italian greyhounds. I can usually be found enjoying the outdoors or relaxing with a good book on the west coast of Canada.
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