Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Writers Wednesday: Debut Author Karla Tipton

WIN: A Handmade Bookmark will be awarded to one lucky commenter.  

Today we welcome a fellow debut medieval romance author, Karla Tipton. Karla's story, however, has a special twist--it's a time travel. Hi, Karla. And congratulations on your first novel, which was just release, Aug. 22.

Please tell us a little about the book
“Rings of Passage” is a time travel romance, but there are other genres blended in, including fantasy and history. It’s actually in the “alternative history” genre, because I twist real events to  my own ends.

A magic ring carries actress Anise Wynford through a time vortex from 2013 to fifteenth century England, where she falls in love with King Richard III – the last Plantagenet king. With a diary containing clues to her own mysterious past, once belonging to the father she barely knew, and a copy of Shakespeare's play, "Richard III," Anise must learn to survive in a medieval world devoid of modern conveniences.

As Anise and Richard fall in love, the Welsh wizard Owain Glendower conspires with the King's enemies to cast Anise as a traitor, at the same time conjuring ancient magic to thwart the King and put the Lancastrian claimant, Welshman Henry Tudor, on England's throne.

As the moment of the Richard's death approaches in the final battle of the Wars of the Roses, Anise must find a way to defeat the political and supernatural forces seeking to destroy him, and rewrite the events of history so she can be with the man she loves.

What drew you to this story? 

I learned about Richard III many years ago when my best friend Kathie insisted I read a classic mystery story, Josephine Tey’s “A Daughter of Time.” It’s entirely based on research into Richard III’s history, done by a cop laid up in a hospital bed, but it’s very suspenseful. What I found out through reading this book is that Richard III was not the bloodthirsty tyrant who killed  his nephews, the “Princes in the Tower,” as portrayed by Shakespeare. That was all Tudor propaganda. There is only some thin circumstantial evidence that connects Richard to the crime.

Delving deeper, I found out about the Richard III Society, which was founded in the 1920s to reassess Richard’s reputation through research. Last year, the society collaborated with the University of Leicester on the excavation of Richard’s remains from underneath a parking lot.  Richard had been unceremoniously buried at a priory not far from the location of the Battle of Bosworth Field, where he died in 1485. In a total coincidence, the publication date of “Rings of Passage” was the anniversary date of Richard’s death.

Richard was an honorable king who got a bad rap. He suffered much loss in his life – the deaths of his young son, his wife, the brother he was closest to. He was a just and progressive king, passing laws that served the people. He tried to do the right thing, but got caught up in the intrigue and politics of the Wars of the Roses. Richard was also incredibly brave, a true medieval warrior. He took a great risk at that last battle by riding his horse straight for Henry to cut him down and end the challenge to his reign. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out and he lost his own life. He’s a tragic hero. What’s not to like?

Put that way, one must agree. It’s interesting to see the other perspective for someone whom history was condemned. Would you share an excerpt?

Love to. Let me set it up for you. Anise is wearing a magic ring which gives her the power of empathy.  
Someone was following her. Her pulse quickened. She bolted up the stairs – up and up, into the darkness. Twenty steps and a landing. Another twenty-three steps and a landing. More steps. At the top, her way was blocked by a wooden door.

Her pursuer was not far behind. She held her breath and tried the door – the knob turned. She closed the door behind her.

A fire burned in the hearth. Had it been the room’s owner following her? All her fears might have stemmed from something entirely innocent. If he came in, how would she explain herself?
Anise froze at the sound of someone at the door, her blood pounding in her ears. She heard receding footsteps and she trembled with relief. She thought it best to remain here awhile before trying to find her way to the main corridor. As her eyes adjusted to the firelight, she noticed small details of the room, and realized it looked a trifle… familiar.

Oh, God! She had to get out of here. These were the king’s apartments!

She grasped the door handle and yanked – and her heart nearly stopped. Dropping into a curtsey, she lost her balance and collapsed to the floor. The king grasped her shoulders firmly and pulled her up.

Anise stared into his dark eyes, her words frozen on her tongue. “Y-Your Grace..! I-I'm...”
“You're lost,” Richard finished. “I know.” The corner of his mouth twitched.

Anise flushed when his eyes ran over her. He released her, satisfied she could stand on her own.
“Again.” She knew she must be white as a sheet, but clamped down on her fear, scarcely believing he was not angry.

He smiled tiredly.

“I wasn’t feeling well, Your Grace. And when everyone looked at me in the Great Hall…” Quit stammering, you fool! “I-I couldn’t breathe. I had to get out of there.” Anise felt the tears building. She took a breath and managed to push them back. “I heard someone following me. I was frightened, Your Grace. I ran up this stairway, into your room. If I’d known it was you…”
Richard’s expression clouded, as though he did not believe her.

“I don’t blame you for not trusting me,” she said miserably. With the back of her hand, she wiped away the one tear that had slid down her cheek. I’m not going to cry, dammit.

Her words seemed to trouble him. “You misunderstand me, m’lady. I fear what you say must be true – someone was following you. I did not come to my rooms by the stairs, but by another way.” He paused. “I am disconcerted only by this knowledge – not because I harbor any suspicions, for I do believe you speak truthfully.”

Richard stared at her so intently that Anise looked away, her heart in her throat, her face hot. Why was he so kind to her? More to the point, why did make her so breathless?

His expression softened. “You're as pale as a shade, m’lady. Sit by the fire.” It was an order, not a request. Anise found a chair by the hearth.  He left for a moment and she heard the sound of liquid being poured. The king placed a cup in her hands. “Drink this. Maman tells me ’tis a balm to the nerves.” After a moment, he added, “That you found my rooms ’twas fortunate. Many at court are not kindly disposed toward me, or my guests. It might have gone ill, should you have wandered to other parts of the castle.”

He stood very close to her now, gazing at her with an expression she could not read. When Anise met his eyes, she could barely speak, somehow managing, “Thank you, Your Grace.”

She remembered how he had gripped her shoulders before realizing who she was. He was a warrior. He could be dangerous. But the intensity she saw in his eyes now was not violence.

It was passion.

Oh, my. It sounds terrific. I can't wait to read it. What’s your next project?

The novel I’m working on now is “DANGEROUS REFLECTIONS” a time-travel-fantasy-historical-murder-mystery romance, set in 1910. There’s a magical and very hot romance at the heart of this story. It’s sort of like Harry Potter for adults. The heroine Martie learns from her dying grandmother that she’s a wizard. Martie walks through a magic mirror and straight into the arms of a wizard, Alastor, who has beastly manners and an animal magnetism to match. This couple definitely has chemistry. The hero Alastor is a beta male, who happens to be a very sexy wizard. Because of their inherently magical bloodlines, there are some, literally, out-of-this-world love scenes. Martie and Alastor clicked from day one. I’m excited about telling their story.

What one tip would you offer writers?

Trust the creative process. If you have read enough classic and pop culture literature, and you continue to improve your writing, the bubbling cauldron of influences inside you will produce good stories and plots. Don’t force it. Make an outline if you must, but don’t hesitate to veer off the path if it leads elsewhere – because the magic is in the “elsewhere.”

How do your stories ‘come to you’ at first--through characters, setting, story line?

I’m a romantic minded person, so the stories I want to write are usually based on a relationship. The difficult circumstances the couple has to face to be together is what intrigues me. I love the fish-out-of-water situation of a time traveler, and matchups between a modern woman and a pre-modern era man. I enjoy writing about couples who, despite their different backgrounds, end up as a great love story. So I start with setup in mind, and usually a historical person or two. I already know my ending. The middle I figure out as I go along.

Special place you like to write?

I write on a laptop in a cushy reclining chair by the fireplace with my feet up.

Challenges with finding writing time?             

I live alone, so that’s not an issue. But I do have a full-time day job, and I play guitar in a classic rock band, and have to practice sometimes! So I have to manage my time closely. If I get caught up writing a story, though, I will go with that wave of inspiration, and all else goes by the wayside.

Now there's a story I know everyone would love to hear--playing guitar in a classic rock band. Next time you stop by, please tell us more about that.

Here's where you can find Karla online. 

Please visit me at www.karlatipton.com  and my social media sites

Karla's fan page


Amazon Author Page:

Goodreads Author Page:

karla.dawn @ karlatipton.com

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rings-of-passage-karla tipton/1116818306?ean=2940148525912


  1. Hi Karla,

    It's so good to finally see you here. Your books sounds intriguing. I can't wait to read it. All the best.

  2. Barbara, I hope you enjoy the book. Having my novel published has been a bit of a head rush, to tell the truth. Thank you very much for having me on your blog. :)

  3. Great interview! The book sounds very interesting. Wish you all the best with your writing career :)

  4. Ooh, that sounds good. I love anything medieval, and I love time travel!

    1. I thought you might like one, Sharon :) Glad you are here.

  5. Rings of Passage - what a great title! I love time travel and your excerpt grabbed me and held on. More than that, I enjoyed reading about your Richard III research and will view his life differently now. Sometimes I think the best rulers are the most maligned, so we have to look behind the propaganda for the truth. Oh, and Dangerous Reflections? On my wish list already!

    1. Ashantay, I agree. I think Karla's treatment of Richard will certainly help readers see him differently.

  6. Brandy, thank you for the well wishes! :)

  7. sdkeeling, thanks! Yes, time travel is so much fun. I wish I could do it for real.

  8. Ashantay, glad you enjoyed the excerpt. I hope Richard's reputation can be mended, but some people actually believe Shakespeare's version of history, haha. Am so glad you like the idea of Dangerous Reflections! :)

  9. I love time travel because I think it's a great opportunity to compare modern thought with the prevailing thought of the time.

    I've always had a good opinion. I think it's because I read the historical accounts first and I think Richard III was a good king. The job of king was very difficult and he did as well as any man in his position could.

  10. Chuck, I agree about time travel. Sending a modern person back to an earlier era makes for great storytelling possibilities. Richard wasn't a king for very long, but he did pass some laws that benefited the citizenry.

    1. Hi Chuck. The opinion on Richard III is so specific one way and the other, isn't it? So hard to really know. The fact the two nephews (real heirs to the throne) went missing and skeletons of two little boys were found several years ago in a wall there could cloud the waters a bit. Of course, some of his supporters--or his opponents--could have done it. perhaps someday, documents will be found that will solve that particular mystery. Thank you for stopping by.

  11. ELLA QUINN posted this comment, but it didn't 'take' so I'm reposting it for her.

    Fascinating interview. Tweeted and shared.

    Ella Quinn | ella@ellaquinn.net

  12. Thank you, Ella. I really appreciate that! :)

    (sorry I can't reply directly to a person's posts, but for some reason the "Reply" link isn't working for me.)

    1. Ella, Thanks for the Tweet and share!

  13. Wow! This is a story I have to read. You've go me hooked. Thanks for sharing

  14. Kaye, I'm glad you are hooked! ;) Hope you enjoy.

    1. Hi Kaye. So glad you stopped by. Good luck in the drawing.

  15. I find Richard III fascinating and am always looking for books. I am putting this one on my TBR pile right now. Thanks for the info.

    1. knye, thank you! I'm glad my novel sounds intriguing and I hope you enjoy it. :)

  16. Great interview, Karla! Like your comment about letting the creative process bubble up.

    1. Cara, that's it... you have to trust your creative process. Thanks for your comment. :)

  17. Hey Karla! So happy to see you here today. Every time I read about how this story came about and the whole propaganda issue, I'm tugged to a time travel I'm working on. Research led me to the same issue regarding Al Capone and the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. I LOVE when we find those little nuggets that lead us on an amazing journey.

    I hope everyone reads this wonderful story. Writerly Blessings!

    1. Angela, your novel sounds very interesting. In time travel fiction we can fix everything that went wrong. Isn't it fun? :)