Guest Author: Keri Arthur
Today’s guest’s bio on her website says that she “grew up sharing (your) life with dragons, elves, vampires, werewolves, shapeshiters and the occasional talking horse” but she actually had jobs as a clerk at the Bureau of Meteorology, a cook at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and a Function and Desert cook at the Essendon Football Club in Melbourne well before she became an author.
She has penned the New York Times bestselling Riley Jenson Guardian series and I met her many years ago at my very first Romance Writers of Australia conference. I remember how I was a little overwhelmed when I met her but that she was welcoming and very down to earth and easy to speak to – immediately putting me at ease.
Since then, I’ve enjoyed seeing her at numerous conferences, conventions and book signings and have followed her career (and over forty books) with great interest. I’ve cheered when she won RT’s Career Achievement Award for urban fantasy, applauded when she’s won Australian Romance Readers Awards for Favourite Scifi and been thrilled for her when she’s received several nominations in the Best Contemporary Paranormal category of the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Awards, because all these accolades are so well-deserved.
Thanks for having me here J
Keri, I’ll start off by asking about your latest release and whether it posed any particular challenges to you.
My latest release is BURN, which is book 3 in the Kingdoms of Earth & Air series. I’d say the biggest challenge in this book was the fact that the heroine has a form of amnesia at the beginning of the story, and doesn’t know where she is or even who she is. Writing from the viewpoint of a character who is struggling to uncover what has happened made world building interesting.
Yep, that sounds like a challenge!
You’ve described yourself as a wanna-be photographer and I know you do a lot of travelling. Would you care to share a couple of your favourite shots with us from your travels?
You may regret you asked...but here’s some of my favs J
Wow! You really are a lady of many talents. I'm thinking you should have an exhibition!
Imagining all those dragons and vampires certainly set you up for writing paranormal romance, but I know you are adamant that all your heroines should be very capable and strong women who are more than capable of taking care of themselves.
I wrote a post last year on the Breathless in the Bush blog about how romance novels empower women. What are your thoughts on that topic?
I think it’s vitally important that women (and girls!) have role models that they can look up to. People often mock romance because it’s written by women (generally) for women, and yet romance novels often tackle truly heartbreaking subjects such as the loss of loved ones, mental illnesses, abuse, and even rape—even if the overall plot is about falling in love. Romance heroines are strong and capable, and they always find ways of overcoming darkness and adversity to come out the other side whole and happy. I think the world needs more of that sort of strength right now. I also think one of the major reasons Urban Fantasy has been so popular for so long is due in no small part to heroines who are kicking bad guy butt and saving the world—and even the hero—along the way.
And to me, there could be no greater example of how much strong heroines have been needed than the reaction the movie Wonder Woman got. Not just from adults, but from little girls who finally had a woman onscreen who was strong, capable, and caring.
Writing can be an isolating profession. I know you keep active and that you have many friends who are authors. Do you need to be strict with yourself to drag yourself out from the writing cave and to make time for both exercise and socialise or does it come fairly easily to you to have that balance?
I’ve been writing full time for about 12 years now, but I still have to be fairly strict about treating it as a job and making sure I get the daily word count done. The good thing about being my own boss is that I can change the hours to suit myself. The hardest part of it is controlling the urge to scroll through all the online sales when the words aren’t coming.
I generally don’t find it difficult to exercise, as I consider my morning walks my ‘thinking time’. I also don’t find it hard to socialize—and I think it’s vitally important for any writer to do so. I’m a member of a couple of writing groups that meet once a month to talk about the business, the market, and our writing, and I always find it revitalizing. Writing can be a very isolating business, and I’m a big believer in the need step away from it and get out regularly, if only for our mental health.
What’s next for you as an author?
I’ve currently got Wicked Wings, book 5 of the Lizzie Grace series, going through copy edits. I’m also working on Blackbird Rising, a take on the King Arthur legend, and the first book in a brand new series. It should be out in Feb. 2020.
Good luck with the edits! I believe we can expect Wicked Wings out in October, so not too much longer to wait.
Thank you for joining me, Keri and for giving me more to look forward to. I’ll look forward to catching up with you again.
It's definitely worth a visit to Keri's website where you can check out all her books. Scroll through the book page and you'll find links to her series in Fantasy - Military & Magic, Urban Fantasy, Dark Urban Fantasy, Dystopian Fantasy, Fantasy Romance, Paranormal Romance and Erotic Urban Fantasy. https://www.keriarthur.com/
Aren't the covers fabulous as well!!
Until then, Happy Reading!
About the Blogger:
Alyssa J. Montgomery is an Australian contemporary romance author who is published by Escape Publishing (Harlequin Enterprises, Australia). She also
writes medieval romance as Alyssa James,
Welcome, and hopefully we’ll catch up at the next conference!