the storm prince

Hello, L.M. David here. This interviewee has been interviewed before with respect to her first novel, The Lady of The Veils. She has now published a novella, The Storm Prince, and I invited her back.

L.M. David: Hello Michelle. Congratulations on the new book. Since this is your second time being interviewed, I think we can skip the usual ‘tell me about yourself’ intro. I want to get straight into it, let’s start with how The Storm Prince relates to Lady of The Veils, your first published novel.

M.L. John: Nice to see you again! The Storm Prince is a novella-length tie in to Lady of the Veils. It is from Beri’s point of view, and details what happened to him while he was separated from Karen during the time where she went to the half-Fey colony

Q. Okay, so The Storm Prince is mainly Beri Quintinar’s story, a character who could melt ice because he’s so hot. What is his purpose in The Storm Prince?

A. Lucky boy, he gets to be the protagonist this time! Karen thinks she knows who Beri is, but you can never really know someone else, can you? He has his own thoughts, feelings, and problems, as well as his own secrets. This is a closer look at The Fey who Will Be King.

Q. What is a Wizard Gen?

A. The Wizard Gen was one of Beri’s teachers at the Wizard’s Academy. For Beri, Gen is one of the good memories he calls on when he needs strength.

Q. In the world you created, the domain between humans and Fey are known yet the Fey have issues with mankind. Why is that?

A. The biggest reason is that humans are mortal and the Fey are not. Imagine if you could never, ever die, and you had lived for thousands of years, and everyone around you had lived and would continue to live for thousands of years. Now, one of the rules of magic in my version of Faerie is that mortality always breeds true. So if you are immortal, and you have a child with a human, it will die someday. For the Fey, having a half-human child is the equivalent of murdering your kids. Even here on earth we don’t take kindly to that sort of behavior. If you don’t believe it, look at the case of Casey Anthony. Whether she did it or not, popular opinion tore her apart. The Fey feel the same way about a person who has a half-human child as some of us feel toward Casey Anthony.

Q. The Storm Prince also has the equivalent of medieval court, which happens to be my least favorite subject because of the way royals treated their subjects. Why did you structure like that?

A. When I was little, my favorite fairy tales were the ones about a regular girl marrying a handsome prince and living happily ever after. Beri is a prince, and when Karen looks at him, she sees fairy tales. But in his own life, his role is not so much to be a happy ending, but to someday be king. Since his own father died too soon, he has to learn what sort of king he wants to be at the Summer Court.

Q. Describe Beri’s mother.

A. In her youth, Beri’s mother was a beautiful noblewoman who decided to become a wizard. She used her magic to join the Wild Hunt, where she met Karen’s mother. Then her mother arranged a marriage for her with the High King, Beri’s father, a person she had never met and whom she had always feared because of his magic. Because of the trauma of being married to a mortal king and having mortal children, it is very difficult for her to feel connected to anyone. Though she loves her children deeply, she comes off as colder than she intends.

Q. Queen Aynia, also known as the Queen of Summerland, comes across as a mean spirited, do as I say or else kind of woman. Why is that?

A. Well, you definitely have her pegged! Fantasy, as a genre, has always been interested in the battle between good and evil, and the way it affects regular people. Beri and the Queen of Summer are far from being regular people, but they make the same point. I wanted to show that love is always good, no matter what form, and intolerance is evil. Beri and Karen’s romance represents love, and Queen Aynia is the face of intolerance.

Q. If the Ogres have taken over Avalon, who now rules in the place of the murdered King? And is there a rule that the reigning King’s widow can’t rule in his stead?

A. The Ogres are currently ruling as sort of a military presence in the absence of any real ruler. They won the war, so they’re in charge. As for the king’s widow, the only people allowed to hold the High Throne are people directly descended from the royal Quintinar line. Those people can use the magic called the Birthright, whereas the king’s widow cannot.

Q. What role does the Queen of Light play in The Storm Prince?

A. In some myths, there are two different courts in Faerie that rule the changes in the weather: the Seelie Court, which governs the summertime, and the Unseelie Court, which governs the winter. I tried to be as true as I could to fairy mythology when creating my fairy world. The Queen of Light is just one of the many titles held by the queen of the Seelie Court (which is just another name for the Queen of Summer, or Queen Aynia, in my book.) In mythology, she brings warm weather. In the Storm Prince, she’s the villain.

Q. Describe the character Connacht.

A. King Connacht is a Selkie, which is a kind of fairy that can transform from a seal to a man and back again. He is from Ireland. Even though he is married to Queen Aynia, he has a half-human son.

Q. When reading the way your characters interact, it’s amazing how you have gotten court snobbery down to a science. What did you research to be so accurate?

A. I think I read too much Alexandre Dumas when I was a kid! The court politics in The Three Musketeers were my first exposure. I think it must have broken my brain when I was too young to defend myself. Court politics (and by extension, snobbery) are an element I look for when I read for pleasure.

Q. In The Storm Prince, there is a difference between mortals and humans. Could you explain what that is?

A. Most Fey are immortal in my world, and most humans are mortal. But the Quintinar family, though they are fully Fey, are mortal, too. They have access to a magical ability called the Birthright, which is the power to kill an immortal with the touch of their hands. This power came from a deal Beri’s ancestor made with the god of death. He granted the Quintinars enough magic to rule the world, but the cost is the life of every person born with the magic.

Q. What was the purpose of forcing Beri to wear gloves at court?

A. Because the Quintinar family lives far away from the other courts on the island of Avalon, most of the Fey they deal with aren’t sure exactly how the Birthright actually works. It is an awful power, so there are a lot of rumors surrounding it. Queen Aynia forces Beri to wear the gloves because she thinks it will keep him from using his powers

Q. I personally liked how you spun this off at a certain portion of Lady of the Veils and then, at the end of The Storm Prince, hook it back into it. How did you come up with that idea?

A. I knew that I wanted to tell a story about what happened to Beri during Lady of the Veils, and I wanted to make it very clear to readers of the first book how he had time to do all the things he does, and exactly why Karen wasn’t with him. The looping structure seemed the best way to accomplish it.

Q. Since The Storm Prince is a novella, will there be another full novel in The Lady of the Veils series?

A. I plan on two more, though I suppose more novellas might spring from the series as well.

L.M. David: Well that is the end of this interview. I wish M.L. John the best with her new endeavor and to say I’m looking forward to her next full novel.

Author Bio:

The first novel M. L. John ever read was Frank L. Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, and she has had a love of fantasy ever since. As soon as her handwriting was good enough to write full sentences, she started writing stories about beautiful princesses who spent their time rescuing princes and slaying dragons. Very little has changed about her writing style since that time, with the possible exception of her handwriting. She lives in Colorado with her true love, their three children, and a small menagerie of yippy dogs. These days, she spends most of her time explaining different mythologies to her kids until their little eyes glaze and roll back in their heads.

Book Links:





Gypsy Shadow:

Book Trailer:

Book Blurb:

Beriani Quintinar, the youngest son of Faerie’s High king, is brilliant, beautiful, and spoiled as only a prince of the Sidhe can be. He has committed an unforgivable sin—he has fallen in love with the half-human daughter of a traitor. When ogres conquer Avalon and execute his father, he must convince the treacherous Queen of Summer to give him troops enough to win back his homeland. But if he makes it home, what kind of king can he be when he has already committed treason?


Tami Egonu A Rhapsody of Dreams cover page OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hello, L.M. David doing an interview of Tami Egonu, author of A Rhapsody of Dreams. Again, this was done last year and dropped down the black abyss when I fell off the grid. Hopefully Tami’s can forgive me, as I hope the others were able to. I am almost caught up.

So, let’s get into the interview. Welcome Tami.

Q. Tell me about yourself.

A. I was born in the old Charing Cross Hospital in London, which might be the reason why I adore the city centre so much, especially along the Thames. I was very much a daydreamer as a child. I think my Primary School reports stated this often. I wrote silly little stories that entertained me, but mainly all of my stories were stored inside my head. It was a happy refuge from boredom or unhappiness. I remember friends at the time, maybe when I was five, who had make believe friends, and I did not have one so I created one. It’s amazing how vivid the imagination can be. I can’t remember his name, but he seemed very real until adults and other children told me he did not exist.

I grew up in Camden Town a short walk away from the world famous Camden Market. This might be where I gained my first inspiration for travel, being immersed in crowds of people from all over the world. I have a passion for travel that never falters. I would even say it’s equal to my passion for writing.

Q. A Rhapsody of Dreams is your first eBook. Can you give a little insight into it?

A. A Rhapsody of Dreams is a tale of the extraordinary happening to ordinary people. It’s a magical contemporary story about Tyler, Molly and Evelyn, who are all very different from one another. Tyler believes in miracles, Molly is a skeptic and Evelyn has been waiting to die for over sixty years, although what they have in common is hope in a fractured twenty-first century when it seems hope is in short supply.

Tyler abandons a conventional life, much to the chagrin of his family and tandoori tanned girlfriend, to embark on a spiritual quest that begins in Middlesbrough of all place, whilst unbeknownst to Molly (an independent single parent who has given up on romantic love) fate and the wind have led her into an encounter that will change her life forever. She comes to experience vivid dreams, ghosts, a tree with photographs of a great love, and a field of sunflowers that not everyone can see, amongst other oddities.

However, Tyler’s past must catch up to Molly’s present. Keeping them all company along the way is Bagel the dog and Rosie the cat.

Firstly, what inspired me to write this tale were real life stories of regrets and heartaches, told in passing and in depth, of pain impossible to cure even decades after the death of a loved one. The regrets were many. Living a wasted life spent with someone who they did not love intrigued and saddened me.

Secondly, I was (still am) so fed up with all the depressing news in the media that I wanted to write an uplifting story. There are many contemporary themes woven in, of everyday realities that people will recognize, however I wanted to tap into the possibility of the extraordinary occurring to people who have lived pretty ordinary lives, and who find they are not ordinary at all. It’s also about taking that leap of faith into the unknown. As a child I was curious to know what existed beyond our perception of reality. This novel doesn’t claim to answer that, but I had a lot of fun imagining.

Q. Tyler seems like a man lost within himself. Tell me about his character.

A. Tyler is very restless because for too long he has been living a safe kind of life. He is hungry for answers to questions from boyhood curiosities about the bigger plot. He is scared of sleepwalking through life and senses a veil has been cloaked over him, which he seeks to shred. His side-kick and counter balance for a little of his journey is his cousin, Mark, a property developer ensconced in logic. Refusing to be derailed on his quest, Tyler’s spirit grows despite disappointments and disillusionment, although inevitably his leap takes him on an inspiring journey that he always sensed existed beyond the veil.

Equally, Molly and Evelyn are filled with loneliness and regrets, and their stories slowly unfold in-between Tyler’s. The two women also embark on a journey together, albeit one that is set at Evelyn’s home, of self-discovery that produces surreal and magical results.

Q. A Rhapsody of Dreams has magic and takes Tyler on a spiritual quest. Why did he decide to do this?

A. Tyler has lived life pretty much by the book. He is in a job that he hates (opening chapter) and for years he has daydreamed about quitting and doing something else. Finally, after a lucid daydream in which he holds onto a giant balloon that carries him far above London, he can take it no longer. There are burning questions that can’t be repressed. Tyler knows there is more to life and his safe nine to five existence is killing his spirit. So he takes that leap into the unknown. We meet him first as a thirty-one year old who gathers the courage (even when others call him a nut) to follow his own path.

At a beach, Tyler has an amazing sighting of a flying steam ship that is collecting souls, which only he and his cousin’s dog, Bagel, can see. However, the more he searches for miracles the more elusive they become.

Q. What is your favorite part in A Rhapsody of Dreams?

A. Blimey, my favorite part. Now this is hard because I enjoyed writing every part of A Rhapsody of Dreams, so I would have to say it’s the gradual movement of the past catching up with the present.

Q. What about the character Tyler frustrated you when writing A Rhapsody of Dreams?

A. Tyler is quite an easy going character, as is Molly, although Molly frustrated me in parts because of her reluctance to be as open to life and the unknown as Tyler. That’s fine though, because she slowly comes to realize her gift of seeing what others cannot, and it was therefore satisfying to see her grow and accept magic into her life.

Q. Do you believe in the spirit world?

A. I believe I’m a balanced enough person, so on one side of the scale is logic that causes me to be skeptical of things that I can’t see, however I have seen things that I can’t put a logical answer to. So, yes, I believe in the spirit world. That rests on the other side of the scales. There, I bet you’re curious now. Ha!

Q. What about A Rhapsody of Dreams will appeal to readers?

A. A Rhapsody of Dreams will appeal to anyone who wants to take an ultimately uplifting journey. It will transport them above rooftops, drop them from a plane into a steam ship that travels through time, and they will be invited to a field of sunflowers where anything is possible. So if you want to get to know Tyler, Molly and Evelyn on their quests to find love, self and magic, then the voyage starts here.

Q. Do you have a current work in progress and can you tell me about it?

A. Yes, I am currently editing an historical fiction (possibly YA as the main protagonist, Emily, is between 17 to 18 years old for the most part) entitled ‘Bird’ (book one of two) that I will be publishing as en eBook in June. It is a story set in Victorian England, when inter-racial relationships were taboo and the consequences fatal. There are many other elements to it, although the majority of the book is Emily’s story about her coming of age, and discovering the world and her family are alien to her. There are elements of the supernatural that will be more evident in the sequel, which I am also in the process of completing. Although my eyeballs and finger tips may have dropped out/off by then.

Q. You are a self-published author. Why did you choose it over traditional publishing?

A. I thought of self-publishing years ago and never took it further until recently. I had travelled the old traditional route of attempting to get an agent. I found one years ago, but alas she turned out not to be trustworthy. Never ever give money to an agent for reading your manuscript. I bailed out when this update appeared. Anyhow, after countless rejections from agents (apparently Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help, struck gold after 60 rejections) I finally took my fate in my own hands at last, and am so glad I have. I could be sixty before I get a traditional publishing deal (if ever), and my sole purpose is to write and have my books read. That is what is happening and it feels very satisfying. A Rhapsody of Dreams has already been downloaded a few hundred times since March. These were all on the free days that are a part of Amazon KDP select book promotion. It could be that readers store the book for weeks or months down the line to read, but regardless it’s in their virtual shelf ready and waiting. I have physical books on my actual shelf that have been there waiting their turn patiently for me to read them. Not enough hours to do it all, but I’m giving it a good go.

Q. What advice would you give other writers just starting out?

A. It’s easy to find distractions. If you can, set aside a routine, even if it’s every other day, but at least get a good amount of time writing every week. I know, even a passion can sometimes be hard to muster depending on what kind of day or night job you have, but you somehow make the time because writing is in your blood and soul.

Don’t ever give up. If you don’t get any encouragement from those around you, believe in yourself. You have the talent. And if you do have encouragement, then blinkin’ marvelous. Inevitably, it’s just you and your keypad, so utilize everything around you, and remember to look up a lot and keep your eyes and ears open. Keep a note pad and pen handy so you can write down those brilliant ideas, or observations, whenever they strike. People can be fascinating. Quirks and sayings and all kinds of everyday stuff are vital to a writer. I am always over hearing bits of conversations, by total strangers usually, and like a magpie take them back home with me to store. It helps to bring characters to life. Talking of life, it can indeed be a lot stranger than fiction, although catching even the simplest details are important. It all balances. Jot it all down before another thought takes over.

Times have changed. We can all self-publish and that is beyond wonderful. If you want to go the traditional route, then buy the Writers & Artists year book, or subscribe online. Check they are right for your book genre and then blitz them with your brilliance, making sure your letter is top notch. Be prepared for rejection. Actually, it always stings a little, though the skin gets a tad tougher but no matter what – PERSERVERE!! And stay away from sham agents who want money upfront. Lots of luck.

Author’s Personal Bio:

I was born in London, England, which is such a great inspirational city, especially as I grew up only minutes away from the world famous Camden Market.

I believe in writing outside of the box, in love deep and rare, in great authors, in making dreams real, and I am grateful to be born after the invention of air travel.

I have met so many interesting people, or overheard bits of conversations on buses, tubes etc., that coil their way into my writing. It’s the world around us that influences me, seeing it with different eyes and conveying that to characters.

I now live in the North East of England and am equally enthralled with the surrounding countryside, cities, villages and coast, which all offer different kinds of stimulation. It still hasn’t sunk in that it takes as long for me to get to Durham or York as it does to get from one part of London to another. Ha!

A Rhapsody of Dreams is my first self-published eBook, and is itself a dream come true.

L.M. David: And that concludes this interview.

Author links:


Book Blurb:

‘Can you see the field of sunflowers and the memory tree? Good, then you have an eye for magic.’

A Rhapsody of Dreams is a literary contemporary fantasy dusted with lost loves, ghosts and the hunt for magic.

Tired of the monotony of life, Tyler hangs onto a magnificent balloon that takes him far above his London office. Seeing countless other daydreamers, Tyler is snapped back to reality and immediately abandons his stale life to begin a spiritual quest. However, his travels around a world void of magic makes it hard for him to keep believing miracles exist.

Meanwhile, at a Georgian house in Yorkshire, Tyler’s long lost first love, Molly, encounters a heartbroken and bitter poet. But nothing is as it first appears in this story of a powerful enchantment, a field of magical sunflowers, a memory tree, and the search for love … even beyond death.


Petra A veil of glass and rain

Hello, this is L.M. David. Today’s interview is with Petra Bragnardi, author of A Veil of Glass and Rain. Again, this was done last year, apologies to Petra for not following through with this. The one great thing about this is Petra updated her information and what is contained in the interview is accurate as of this posting.

Now to get this interview started. Welcome Petra to my little looney corner of the world.

Q. Tell me a bit about yourself.

A. To start with, I’m part Italian and part Swiss. I currently live in Rome and majored in cinema. After I graduated, I began to work as a TV screenwriter writing mostly cartoons. Then, during a screenwriting workshop, one of my professors told me how important it is for writers to be also actors in order to make your dialogs more authentic. So I decided to take some acting classes. It was just for fun at first, then it became more serious. An indie-director noticed me, and asked me to write and then play a monologue about a social issue; he liked it and he directed it. We didn’t become famous, but it was appreciated nonetheless. Then I formed my own indie-company. We were five very motivated people. Our first work was a comedy that we wrote all together. It went quiet well within the indie scene. But most of all, we had a lot fun!

Q. That does sound like fun. Can you tell us what A Veil of Glass and Rain is about?

A. It’s about two childhood best friends, Brina and Eagan, who grow up and become lovers. Of course, the path from friends to lovers is not easy; it’s emotional and filled with conflicts.

Q. Describe the character Brina.

A. Just like me, Brina is part Italian and part Swiss. She has long, inky hair, milky-white skin, and midnight eyes. She’s a very talented musician, but she’s very insecure about her abilities. She’s both fragile and strong. What I like about her is the fact that when she loves, she does it with all her heart, soul and body.

Q. What is the character Egan like?

A. Eagan is a very charming dude. He’s tall and fit. He has dark-blond hair and bright blue eyes. He’s a New Yorker, an architect who got the lucky chance to work in the beautiful Rome. He’s self-confident, determined, kind and loyal. And he also has some alpha-male tendencies.

Q. The character Brina seems to be have relationship issues. Why?

A. Brina is hopelessly in love with Eagan. He’s always been her best friend, but as soon as she became a teenager, her feelings for him changed deeply. Over the years she tries to deny those feelings, she tries to keep her distance, in order to save their friendship, but Eagan is always in her mind and in her heart; he’s all she wants. That’s why she finds it impossible to be with anybody else. All she craves it’s him. It is kind of scary, but beautiful as well, I think.

Q. What was the hardest part of A Veil of Glass and Rain to write?

A. Definitely the sex scenes! I wrote them, and then I re-wrote them…and then I wrote them again! The hardest part is trying to find the perfect equilibrium between explicit descriptions and poetic prose. While I was working on my novel, I read a lot of books written by great Erotica authors, such as Annabel Joseph and Maya Banks. These ladies have become my role models. They’re my inspiration…but they also intimidate me!

Q. Which character did you like most?

A. Brina! I adore her. She’s so, so human. She’s full of conflicts and insecurities, but she also changes a lot during the story. Writing her growing path has been a really interesting experience for me.

Q. Which character had characteristics that drove you crazy, but was essential to the writing of A Veil of Glass and Rain?

A. Definitely Eagan. You see, in real life, I totally dislike the “alpha” dudes. But those guys work really well in romance novels. The dominant type, like Eagan, is pragmatic, his actions and reactions are immediate. Eagan’s character drove me insane, but I had to admit that he was the one that pushed the story forward; he challenged Brina, he provoked her. Watching those two interact was amazing!

Q. What about contemporary romances do you feel is important to interest readers?

A. The stories I enjoy the most, are the ones that deal with everyday life and everyday people. I like “small” characters that, as the plot evolves, prove to be strong and larger than life. And the contemporary romance genre portrays those kinds of characters. It depicts life as we know it. We read because we want to escape our reality for a while. But it’s also true that we read because we want to see other human beings struggle, fight, and then win. We relate to them. We are them, in a way. That’s exactly why contemporary romance is a fundamental genre.

Q. What about A Veil of Glass and Rain will draw readers to it?

A. Well, there’s a lot of sex!

I’m kidding, well, not really, because there actually is a lot of sex. But what will draw readers, I hope, is the fact that it’s a simple story, about simple human beings, who live, fight, struggle, cry, breathe, laugh, and fall in love.

Q. What inspired you to want to become a romance writer?

A. It all started when I “met” Nora Ephron and Carol Goodman. Mrs. Ephron wrote and directed really good romantic movies, and Carol Goodman wrote some of my favorite books. When I grow up, I  want to be like them!

Q. What are you working on now?

A. I’m planning to write story of Jean and Margherita, Brina’s parents. Part of their story is told by Brina in A Veil of Glass and Rain, but it’s just a hint. A want to develop their plot, because they intrigue me; they’re both orphans, they’re photographers and they’re adventurers. So, you see, there’s a lot to explore!

Q. You are a self-published author. Why choose it over traditional publishing?

A. Writing for Television is challenging and interesting, but it also binds your creativity. You’re forced to work within a very tight schedule and strict rules. So I felt the need to play by my own rules; I wanted to be free to experiment with my writing style, my plot and my characters. And I went for it!

Q. What advice to you have for writers who are just starting out?

A. Never surrender, never give up, be your own number one fan! I know these are all big clichés, but they’re also truthful. You want to be a writer? Then write! You’re haunted by a story? A couple of stubborn characters will not leave you alone until you listen to them and write about them? Then just do it. Set them free. Give them life. And try to have fun doing it!

L.M. David: Thanks for the advice. I wish you success in your writing endeavors.

Author Bio:

Petra F. Bagnardi is a television screenwriter and story-editor, and an indie-theater writer, director and actress. She’s an avid reader and an enthusiastic cinéphile.

Author’s Links:

Book blurb:

Brina and Eagan meet for the first time when she’s nine and he’s fourteen. They like each other from the very beginning, although their bond isn’t immediate, but it grows over the years. What links them is the fact that their parents are photographers and are extremely devoted to their work and to each other; so much so that both Brina and Eagan have to learn how to take care of themselves from a very young age. Despite their differences, age, gender, nationality, Brina is Italian and Eagan is American, they find comfort in their growing friendship.

Then Brina becomes a teenager, and her feelings for her friend start changing and deepening. New desires stir within her. On a warm, summer day, the two friends rest in a park, surrounded by the shades of the trees; then Brina kisses Eagan, while he’s sleeping. Scared by her impulses and actions, Brina realizes how her feelings complicate her friendship with Eagan, therefore she runs away from him.

A few years later, Brina is twenty and Eagan is twenty-five, they find one another once again. Brina is studying cinema in Rome and she’s also trying to become a musician. Eagan begins to work as an architect in the same city. Eagan wants to be a part of Brina’s life anew; he wants to know her new friends and, most of all, he wants to listen to her singing and playing her guitar. Brina, however, is still in love with him, and she finds it difficult to act merely as a friend, therefore she keeps pulling away.

(Ages 18+ due to mature content and language)