This week I am delighted to have a slice a cake with fellow author Jacqueline Simonds.
Jacqueline is an author and publishing consultant living in Reno, Nevada. She loves (in no particular order) books, writing, reading, beagles, coffee, good bourbon, publishing, and politics.
What kind of books do you write?
I write about strong, but challenged, women in circumstances that are slightly off from our usual reality. The current series blends Arthurian legends with Goddessian faith and an apocalyptic future. As the series evolves, the characters discover that not everything they thought was real is necessarily true.
Can you describe your writing why?
When I was a small girl living in Phoenix, Arizona, I used to climb up into the orange tree in the backyard and daydream the day away. I was a princess, a pirate, a warrior, an adventurer… and I would live in my stories. Writing was a natural offshoot from that. But it took me a long, long time to give myself permission to call myself a writer, to record my thoughts and stories.
The current series—which I had only intended to write one book—emerged after a fairly serious illness laid me low, and I realized I had not tried to write in almost 10 years. And I found I wanted to very much.
Share with us your favourite passage from the book you enjoyed writing the most
Wow, that’s a tough one, since I have written/am writing 4 books at once. It depends on the hour/day/moment. But here’s the best bit as I see it today, presented without context:
Consider, thou, the tall, tasseled river grass that grows in the marshland. Wind rushes down from the mountains, bending the stalks. Gusts roar in from the sea, fluttering and shaking the leaves. Storms rumble through from the uplands, swirling the seedheads this way and that. Yet, rather than stiffen and bear-up against this assault, the grass takes this as an invitation to dance. Her tendrils fly this way and that, her stalk weaves a complex movement, like a woman, hips swaying, moving to the beat. Great storms sweep in from the ocean or the highlands, sometimes even beating down the grass so that it looks to be laid low. But, observe! When the sun comes out, the grass rises tall again, stalk straight, leaves up-reaching to the Light. It is unbowed by passing weather. It knows the calm time will come again.
Tell us about your latest project
I am currently involved in The Heirs to Camelot series, which is being published by Vagabondage Press/Strange Fictions Press. Book 1, The Midsummer Wife, was launched on Midsummer Day 2018. The prequel, The Priestess of Camelot was launched at the end of September. Book 2, The Solstice Bride, I just sent off to the editor. It should be out about late March 2019. The final book, which I am editing at the moment, is Mistress of the Rose Moon, which should come out on Midsummer Day 2019.
Prequel: In the time of the Round Table, Nordic priestess Anya washes ashore in Britain. There she runs afoul of the high priestess of Avalon, Morgaine, who sends her to spy on Camelot. But Anya falls in love with both Merlin and King Arthur, bearing each a son, and later bears a child to the Goddess. With the relics each man gives to her, and her penchant for recording stories, Anya weaves a legacy for her children so that they may complete a task the Goddess tells her they must perform in the far future. (Arthurian Fantasy)
Book 1: Nearly 1500 years after Anya instructed her children in the task to be performed, the Time Foretold is at hand: London has suffered a nuclear attack and the country is in ruins. It is up to Ava Cerdwyn, high priestess of the Sisterhood that has kept the worship set down by Anya, to assist the heirs of Merlin (Harper Drunemeton) and Arthur (Ron Steadbye) to come to the aide of their country. But Ava suffers from a grave anxiety disorder and it is everything she can do to get through each day, let alone a task of this manner. And then there’s her attraction to Ron, the Arthur heir, which is complicating the situation. Each heir must come to grips with their present problems—for they are being challenged daily by attacks from Morgaine and her coven. (Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Inter-Racial Romance)
Book 2: Everything the heirs feared has come true: Ava has been taken over by Morgaine, and she has made the New Britain a living hell. Falke, son of Harper Drunemeton, is tasked with returning and convincing his half-sister (daughter of the queen and Harper) to go back in time with him. But the demands of the situation in London pull them away, and they find themselves assisting a resistance. Can they help that group and perform their important function? (Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance)
Book 3: The timeline is restored and the new Britain has had 27 years to thrive. But there is unrest in the country, traceable to one man: Reverend Kasdeya. At this juncture, the Holy Grail appears, and Falke (now the leader of the Goddessian Church), and the heirs must go find it with the strange pastor. Each finds a love that both helps and hinders their quest. They are challenged in fundamental ways… and begin to realize that the stakes are much higher than they had thought: They aren’t just helping Britain, but the very Universe. (Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Inter-Racial Romance/Quest)
What is your favourite cake?
Chocolate Espresso Fudge Cake. The recipe can be found in Marcel Desaulniers’ Death by Chocolate cookbook. This layer cake is light, but depthy, presenting the happy consumer with differing notes of chocolate with every bite.