I’m so excited to have the lovely Moira Katson visiting today! She’s got a new YA fantasy series — or rather serial — out and it sounds so fun! Take a gander at the blurb for the first one:

Saira doesn’t know how she ended up in a mountain cave. She’s not quite sure where she got this magic sword, either – or the tattoo on her arm. In fact, Saira can’t say for certain who she is.  

What she does know: she’s been kidnapped by bandits. And apparently, they’re planning to use her as bait for a city full of ghosts …

And take a look at this cover. Isn’t it gorgeous?

This is going to be of great interest to Crow, who has an interest in dragon eggs himself. Hehe!

What, I wondered, motivated her to write the story? So I asked.
Moira: As many stories, Saira began with a “what if:” What if this series of events occurred (I’d tell you, dear readers, but there are so very many spoilers) and our hero woke up alone, in a cave, with no memories? What would she make of it? What would everyone around her make of it? How would she figure out what had happened to her? I knew I wanted to write something that, while there were serious elements to the story, would have room for a lot of fun and humor — and Saira and her cohorts were just the group!

RL: Sounds perfect, right? Humor, adventure, amnesia… Okay, we have got to see how this turns out.
Question: In a nutshell, what’s your writing process, Moira?
Moira: Morning is my writing time — I get up when the house is still quiet and put in an hour or so, and then write when I get home at night. Weekends will often find me curled up on the couch with my laptop and a mug of tea! For each story, I write an outline with the specific scenes and objectives I’m looking for in each chapter, and proceed to ignore about half of it. I’ve learned to trust that characters can solve problems — If I know a chapter needs to end with them finding a safe way to jump off a cliff, they’ll oblige. 
RL: So an outline is more of a guideline than a rule. Just what I thought! I, too, like to have an idea where I’m going, though there are no rules against detours. They might be better than the “plan”!
One more question: What was the toughest challenge you faced when writing, and how did you overcome it? 
Moira: To quote Robin McKinley: “Every ‘once upon a time’ for me is another experience of white-water rafting in a leaky inner tube.” It really does hit the nail on the head. With Novum, I had to reach into some very dark parts of myself in order to have my characters face an apocalypse with realism — and in this story, the struggle was to keep the characters from getting lost in the tumble of events. The difference in the type of writing was very jarring. It’s new every time, so the toughest challenge is adapting!

RL: That sounds like an exciting challenge, though, and similar to what I’m facing with my current project. It is amazing the things we learn about ourselves when we write, and amazing all over again to be able to share it with readers. I don’t know about you, but after experiencing “writing,” I often find myself wondering about the author when I read. What life experiences do they have that puts these stories in their heads? It is a mystery!
But hey, you know what’s not a mystery?
The giveaway that goes along with the release! Hooray! Somebody’s gonna have free stories to read …! A copy of Episode 1 (Saira & the Magic Sword) will go to five lucky individuals, and one winner will get all 8 episodes. Booyah.
Moira will choose the winners from those people who comment here on the post or on Facebook.
So what are you waiting for? Go! Quick! Type! Win!