Friday, January 20, 2012

Interview with Resa Nelson

Visiting the blog today is Resa Nelson, author of a couple of books, including The Iron Maiden. Down at the bottom of the post I have some great information about giveaways!

1. Tell us about your book in 2 short sentences.
Book 1 (The Dragonslayer’s Sword) is about Astrid, a female blacksmith who lives in a world of ghosts, shapeshifters, and dragons, and who makes swords for dragonslayers.  In Book 2 (The Iron Maiden) Astrid discovers that a rumor mentioned in Book 1 is real and that a much deeper danger exists in the world beyond her front door.

2. Is there anything in particular that draws you to fantasy, the genre of The Dragonslayer's Sword and The Iron Maiden?
When I was a little girl, I practically lived in the children’s section of the public library.  I loved fairy tales.  That led me to explore folktales.  Because I constantly wanted to read more, more, more, I was thrilled to discover a section in the library with folktales from all over the world.  That led me to mythology.  All of it, eventually, led me to science fiction and then to fantasy.  When I write short stories, I write science fiction, fantasy, and horror, and I often blend one or more of those genres with mystery or historical fiction.  But for some reason I seem to be sticking to fantasy when I write novels.  To me, genres are like crayons.  Some genres feel very limiting to me, like your basic package of 8 crayons in basic, popular colors.  When I was a kid I received a gift of a gigantic array of crayons – there must have been 70 or so.  The range of colors was fantastic!  That’s what writing fantasy feels like to me.  It’s like having a wonderful array of colored crayons at hand, like peach and brick red and silver.  I never know how many colors I’m going to want or need, but I like the idea of having so many at hand.
3.Your main character, Astrid, is very strong and brave in her quests. Is she in anyway based on anyone?
At the risk of having a complete lack of humility, she’s based on me.  (When I create any character, good or bad, I try to tap into some aspect of my personality or to find something within myself that will help me understand someone who’s different than me.)  When I think of Astrid, I think of times in my life when I’ve been terrified to do something and I’ve just pushed my way through the fear to do it anyway.  For example, I love to travel.  When I went on my first trip, I had no one to travel with and felt like such a loser.  I live in the U.S., and I’d always wanted to go to Egypt.  I found a local group to travel with, which meant we met up at the airport and took the same flight.  Taking a shuttle to the airport was one of the scariest things I’d ever done.  I kept thinking that I’d have no one to talk to or eat with during the tour in Egypt.  The only way I could get myself to the airport was to tell myself that if I wanted to change my mind it was OK and that I could always go home.  Of course, as soon as I got to the airport and met up with my group I was fine – and I had an amazing trip and spent time with some really wonderful people.  But I’ve found that every time I push through my fear, there’s less of it the next time.  I think that’s what Astrid does – she pushes through her fear. 
4.When did you first start writing? Have you always wanted to write?
I started writing fiction as soon as I learned how to write.  Before I could write, I was making up stories in my head to entertain myself, so it seemed like the natural thing to do to put them on paper.  By the time I was 8 or 9 years old I knew I wanted to be a writer.
5. What are you working on currently?
A couple of things.  I’m writing the final chapters of the last book (Book 4) in my Dragonslayer series.  I’m also in the planning stages of my next series, which I hope to start writing sometime this year.  The new series will be fantasy, but right now it looks like it’s going to be present-day fantasy…although that could change at any moment!

Thanks so much for letting me stop at your blog!  

Anyone who would like to sample my work for free can download a free “mini” ebook called “Dragonslayer Stories” from my website at  No cost, no obligation, nothing to sign up for, no information gathering.  I like giving away samples of my work so you can decide for yourself whether you like it or not.  If you do, you can enter to win a copy of the first two books in my series, which I’ll give away at the end of this tour on Feb. 14.  To enter, just send email to – people from all countries are welcome to enter.  (I won’t keep your email address – this just makes it easier for me to keep track of entries.)  I’m also doing a book giveaway on GoodReads (open to U.S. residents only), so you can enter to win there, too.

For a link to the Goodreads giveaway, click HERE.

About Resa:

Resa Nelson has been selling fiction professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop.
Resa was also the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years and was a contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Her first novel, The Dragonslayer’s Sword, was nominated for the Nebula Award, the highest honor in science fiction and fantasy. It was also a Finalist for the EPPIE Award. This medieval fantasy novel is based on a short story first published in the premiere issue of Science Fiction Age magazine and ranked 2nd in that magazine's first Readers Top Ten Poll. The Dragonslayer's Sword is Book 1 in a 4-book series. Book 2, The Iron Maiden, was recently published. Book 3 is scheduled for publication in Summer 2012.

Resa's standalone novel, Our Lady of the Absolute, is a fantasy/mystery/thriller about a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt. Midwest Book Review gave this book a 5-star review, calling it "a riveting fantasy, very highly recommended."

In real life, Resa is a fan of chocolate, travel, summer, museums, ballet, movies, and Broadway musicals (her favorites are Les Miserables and Wicked).  She lives in Massachusetts.
Resa’s website:                                                                       
Free “mini” ebook of Dragonslayer short stories:

My review of both books: The Dragonslayer's Sword and The Iron Maiden. Click the titles for links!

Thanks for stopping by Resa!


Mary @ BookSwarm said...

I love the comparison of writing fantasy with one of those huge boxes of crayons--that's how I feel about reading fantasy. Endless selection. Lovely.

Lisa said...

A present day fantasy series sounds really interesting. I imagine writing fantasy would be difficult, but also a ton of fun.

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