Friday, August 5, 2016

Rebecca Chastain: Author Interview & Spotlight

This week I am happy to welcome Rebecca Chastain to Fantasy Fun Reads.

To help a baby gargoyle, Mika will risk everything.

Mika Stillwater is a midlevel earth elemental with ambitions of becoming a quartz artisan, and her hard work is starting to get noticed. But when a panicked baby gargoyle bursts into her studio, insisting Mika is the only person she’ll trust with her desperate mission, Mika’s carefully constructed five-year plan is shattered.

Swept into the gritty criminal underworld of Terra Haven, Mika jeopardizes everything she’s work so hard for as she attempts to save the baby gargoyle from the machinations of a monster—and to stay alive…

From the imaginative mind of international bestselling fantasy author Rebecca Chastain, Magic of the Gargoyles is a spellbinding adventure set in a world full of elemental magic and adorable gargoyles that is sure to enchant young adult and adult readers alike.

Excerpt from Magic of the Gargoyles:

With one last twist of a filament of earth magic, I fused together the delicate seams of the quartz tube. Slumping forward, I braced my elbows on the table and rested my cheekbones on my palms, cupping my weary eyes in darkness. Six down, six finicky tubes to go. The specifications of this project taxed my substantial skills with quartz magic, which was the point. This project would launch my business and prove that even though I was only a midlevel earth elemental, my quartz skills were equal to or better than more powerful full-spectrum elementals. These fussy tubes would fund the down payment on the lease for the shop I coveted in the Pinnacle Pentagon Center. I could finally quit my demeaning job at Jones and Sons Quarry, be my own boss, and begin a career creating one-of-a-kind quartz masterpieces I could take pride in.
My entire future rested on these fragile vials, and they were due tomorrow at four.
Dull pain pounded my back muscles. Night had crept over the city while I worked, and my jerky movements as I stood and stretched were reflected in the semicircle of bay windows in front of my worktable. Purple smears of exhaustion beneath my green eyes were exaggerated in the dark windows, and my pale face floated above a dirt-smeared navy shirt. I checked the clock: almost midnight. Sixteen hours until my deadline, and eight of those would be taken up by my Jones and Sons workday. There was no time for a break. If anything, I needed to work faster.
Groaning, I redid my ponytail, tucking shorter wisps of strawberry-blond hair behind my ears before giving my hard wooden chair the stink eye. Mentally chanting, Pinnacle Pentagon, to motivate myself, I reached for another seed crystal.
Frantic tapping shook the glass in the balcony door. I pulled the door open, knowing it was Kylie, my best friend and the tenant who shared my second-floor apartment balcony. “I really can’t talk. I need to finish—”
“Help! Help! They’ve got—”
Something small and hard slammed into my stomach. I staggered backward into my chair and crashed to the floor. A small boulder skipped across the wooden floor and smashed into the wall.
“You’re a human!”
I shrieked. The voice came from inside my room. I twisted, scrambling onto my bed.
Against the wall, the rock moved.
Beautiful blue dumortierite quartz veined with green aventurine twisted into a winged panther no bigger than a house cat. A pissed-off, solid-stone, magical, winged house cat. A gargoyle—no, a baby gargoyle. A hatchling.
Her eyes glowed feverishly. Long polished blue claws gouged into the floor when she launched into the air. Her agile stone wings unfolded with a soft gritty sound.
I lurched backward across the bed until I was pressed against the wall. The mattress shook when the hatchling pounced on the space I’d just vacated. Sharp claws bunched in my yellow bedspread. She raised her muzzle, mouth open, and sniffed the air.
I eased toward the foot of the bed, readying my escape into the hallway.
“It’s you! Your magic smells so good. I thought—”
My magic has a smell?
The gargoyle’s eyes darted to the open door, then back to me. She arched her stone back and hissed at me, the sound dying to a hair-raising growl. The tip of her stone tail slashed back and forth, gouging my wooden headboard.
“I need help.”
“My help?” Gargoyles—even baby gargoyles—didn’t interact with midlevel elementals like me, and they certainly didn’t ask for our help. “There’s a full-spectrum elemental just—” I started to point up the street but froze when she snarled at me.
“No other humans! Before it’s too late.” The gargoyle’s words were smooth coming out of her rock throat, with just a hint of a lisp from her tongue working around enormous teeth.
I stared into her glowing blue eyes, seeing past the bared fangs and agitated movements, reading her fear for the first time. I reached for her, then pulled my hand back when she shied from me.
“Too late for what?”
“You can save him. Hurry!”


Magic of the Gargoyles is currently free on Amazon. Get it here...

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The box set, featuring three full novels is also on sale...

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Rebecca Chastain is the internationally bestselling author of the Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer series and the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles, among others works. Inside her novels, you’ll find spellbinding adventures packed with supernatural creatures, thrilling action, heartwarming characters (human and otherwise), and more than a little humor. She lives in Northern California with her wonderful husband and three bossy cats.

Links where you can find Rebecca:


1. Gargoyles! I thought I had included just about every supernatural creature in my books but I left those out. Tell me what I need to know about gargoyles and how they feature in your books.

The Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles are set in a world saturated by magic—mythic creatures live side-by-side with humans, and all humans possess varying levels of elemental magic. Gargoyles are special in that they have the ability to enhance magic in others…which makes them vulnerable to the machinations of evil individuals.

My gargoyles are intelligent, breathing, moving, non-violent creatures. I made only two rules for them: (1) no matter what hodgepodge shape their bodies took, they had to have wings, and (2) they had to be made of some form of living quartz. Somewhere along the way, a third rule snuck in: they had to be adorable.

The series is told from the perspective of Mika, a midlevel earth elemental, and all three books revolve around gargoyles in need, starting with the baby gargoyle who bursts into Mika’s home and insists Mika’s the only person who can help with the gargoyle’s desperate mission.

Would you be able to say no to a helpless baby gargoyle?

2. Tell me about your publishing experience, how you found a publisher or decided to self-publish. 

I spent five or ten years trying to entice an agent with my writing, researching the art of query letters, and taking classes on writing. Not being picked up by an agent turned out to be the one of the best things that ever happened to me. I spent those years honing my craft. I wrote six or so novels, many of which will not see the light of day because they were rubbish and deserved to be rejected. But in writing them, I learned so much! When I started getting very nice rejection letters, like, “I love your writing style and this book, but it feels like something that we would have published last year” (aggh! What was I supposed to do with that?!), I decided to self-publish. Turns out that A Fistful of Evil—that “outdated” fantasy novel—was destined to become an international bestseller.

3. What have you learned since your first book was published that you wish you knew when you first started out?

Momentum is key! When I first published, I had various manuscripts laying around (all those I was trying to entice agents with), and so I focused on getting the best of them publishing ready. I started with A Fistful of Evil, and about two months later, its sales took off, but I didn’t grasp how important it was to keep going with the same series. Instead I bounced over to Magic of the Gargoyles, then back to the sequel to A Fistful of Evil, then I published my suspense-romance-magical-realism mutt of a standalone novel (Tiny Glitches) before finally realizing I needed to finish a series already! That’s when I wrote and published books 2 and 3 in the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles, and the response from fans has assured me concentrating on a single series at a time is the way for me to go!

4. What books/authors influenced you growing up that led to you writing in the paranormal & fantasy genres?

As far back as I can remember, I been hooked on fantasy. I devoured the complete works of Piers Anthony, David Eddings, Anne McCaffrey, Robert Jordan, Raymond E. Feist, Robin McKinley, and so many others. I could not get enough of magical worlds of all kinds. I was so wrapped up in fantasy that I didn’t even know romance novels existed until a time-travel romance by Jude Deveraux pulled me into that genre when I was 17. I hopscotched to Diana Gabaldon, Karen Marie Moning, and Katie MacAlister, and along the way found and fell in love with the urban fantasy genre through Kim Harrison, Ilona Andrews, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Gail Carriger. It’s hard to pinpoint any one author that influenced me; it was more of a group hypnosis, under which I realized the only way I could get any closer to these magical worlds was to create some of my own.

5. What are you currently writing and when is your next book coming out?

I’m starting the outlining process of the third Madison Fox urban fantasy novel, which is scheduled to come out this fall. I’m all nerves about it because when I set that deadline, I thought I’d be starting the book in April. It’s time to put on my blinders and focus!

Thanks for having me on your blog!

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