Monday, January 28, 2008

Guest Blogger - Gia Dawn

Good morning everyone. This week we welcome author, Gia Dawn to our little corner of the Web. Gia married her college sweetheart and after giving birth to her second son, finished writing her first book but she didn't manage to get it published. So she did what anyone else would do; she studied martial arts and belly dancing, opened her own New Age bookstore, and became a licensed massage therapist.

Then she discovered erotic romance and a whole new world opened up for her. Within five months she had finished and sold her first manuscript, a medieval fantasy which will be a summer 2007 release from Samhain Publishing, and is now happily writing the rest of the series.

She lives in southern Indiana with her husband and two teen aged sons, but makes frequent visits to her home state of Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains that she loves.

Welcome Gia!


First of all a great big thank you to the ladies here at Star-Crossed Romance for letting me come over and play today. As I celebrate the release of Princess of Thieves, Book III in my Demons of Dunmore series.

Which brings me to my topic of today...When is it time to leave your world behind?

I am finishing the final book in my Demons of Dunmore series. After three full-length novels and a novella, I will be leaving my world to move on to other projects. And, like many other authors, I find myself less and less willing to let go. I hadn’t intended to build a fantasy world, not at first. I originally pitched the books as straight historicals with fantasy elements, but my editor thought the language and dialog were too modern to please the historical reader, and suggested that I go all the way and make them into a true fantasy romance series.

At the beginning, I didn’t know a thing about world building. Basically, I changed the historical names and places with ones I completely made up. It was a simple fix, but one I was comfortable with. And so Westmyre was created, its cities and geography taking shape in my imagination.

As the series progressed, I added layers to my world, creating a history shrouded in magic and darkness, complete with a buried city unknown to Westmyre’s modern inhabitants—the Lost Blue City plays a prominent role in my newest Dunmore book, Princess of Thieves.

Paradoxically, as I reach the end of my stay in my world, I find myself wanting to explore it further, go back into its history and see how it came to be…reach into its dark ages and find the path my people took to survive the chaos and emerge into the light.

Marion Zimmer Bradley did this most excellently in her Darkover series. My favorite book in that series is The Storm Queen…and one of the saddest endings I think she ever wrote.

I also think Anne McCaffrey did another truly amazing job of developing the history of her world in her Pern series. In fact, she created several different eras in that series, all of them different yet connected by the dragons and the deadly thread that fell from the sky.

So what do you think? How much of a world is too much? Do you like reading about different periods in the development of a world, and appreciate the way the author ties them all together?

Or can you think of any instances where the past should have been left in the past?

Thank you so much for reading, and for any suggestions or comments you might have.

Gia Dawn

Demons of Dunmore Series from Samhain Publishing:
Lord Demon’s Delight
Lady Strumpet
Princess of Thieves
Dunmore Book IV, coming summer of 2008!

A Fairy Special gift: Love & Lore Anthology, Samhain Publishing


Xandra Gregory said...

It's hard to say when you should leave a world behind. If you like the place, and there are more stories to tell, then by all means, ride that thing until the wheels fall off.

The trick is not to become masturbatory over it. I find myself abandoning series where all the storylines are tied up and the characters have all been settled only to have some new threat of the week continue to pop up. Once the characters have found their happiness, or at least progressed along the arc of the story, leave them be. Go to another country, a different setting within the world, or completely different characters. But if your stories consist of the main characters of previous novels sharing potato salad recipes at family reunions and counting their kids...chances are you'll be losing readers.

Gia Dawn said...

LOLOLOL...Xandra! thanks for the advice.


Terri said...

Hi Gia, I once heard some auther (can't remember who) say that she stopped a series because one of the older characters in the series would have to die...time marches on. The author loved the character, and so the series ended rather than the character.

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Gia,

I've been thinking about your article since this morning. It is a tough decision; stay on with a familiar world or branch out to a new one. My personal opinion is that if you still enjoy the world and the characters, if you still want to write about them, then obviously you aren't ready to quit. And I suspect as long as you enjoy the writing, the readers will too.

Thanks for being here.

Gia Dawn said...

Terri, that's an interesting take on the subject. I think it would be hard to have your characters age and die...and my characters are all mortal, so far.

Lynda. I want to thank you so very much for stopping by, and extending the invitation for me to come over and visit your realm for a brief stay.
I have enjoyed it greatly.

Thanks again. Gia