Winterview with Author S. M. Roffey

To celebrate 13 weeks of winter, Hàlön Chronicles will be conducting one interview a week for 13 weeks. We’ve also partnered with additional artists and authors for a few surprises throughout the winter. Join us on the hashtag #13Winterviews, or check out our blog hop for a sneak peek at who’s on the roster in the coming weeks.

Hosted by: K. J. Harrowick

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a writer, mother, and superhero. No, really, I grew up as a complete comic book nerd, so as an adult I jumped at the chance to volunteer cosplay, and you can often find me dressed up like Batgirl working with organizations like Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, Make-A-Wish Foundation, El Mundo Latin Family Festival, and Special Olympics/Summer Games. When I’m not volunteering or writing and reading up a storm, I can be found hanging out with my rainbow family—my genderqueer spouse, two lgbtq teens, and a tyrannical five-year-old. I also run the #teamoptimism writing hashtag on Twitter, a way of giving a small thing back to the writing community that has helped me grow—a little motivation and positivity.

2. What types of books do you write, and why?

I write adult fantasy. I’ve always lived a bit in my own head, and when I moved around a bit as a child, I discovered I truly loved fantasy, and there are so many stories that became part of my childhood. But my biggest reason for writing fantasy is that when I wanted to share my favorites with my lgbtq teens, I realized there has traditionally been a lack of good lgbtq characters. I wanted to create worlds where my characters were strong and brave and empathetic and also happened to be gay, bisexual, trans, etc. so that when my children grew up and wanted to read adult fantasy, they could see themselves in some of the characters.

3. What were your early influences, and how does this manifest in your work today?

When I was a teenager, I stepped into a local five and dime (yes, I’m dating myself there) and found a table filled with ten cent books. The majority of the books on that table were fantasy or science fiction. I picked up Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey, and Isaac Asimov, and the world-building in those books floored me. But it was P.C. Hodgell’s character Jamethiel Priestsbane who really stayed with me through all these years. Jame is brash, intelligent, fierce, and messes up a lot, and she was the first strong female character I ever “met” who didn’t have to be perfect. I strive for those kinds of well-rounded, imperfect, real characters in my writing to this day.

4. Are there aspects of the craft that excite you more than others?

Oh, for sure. I love to find a character who started out as no one, and let them lead me to their story. One of my favorite characters in my work-in-progress is a genderfluid bodyguard/soldier who started out as a small character, but whose personality is such a force of nature that she (her preferred pronoun) has led me halfway through the book. She may just need her own entire series. I also love to work with critique partners to pick apart inconsistencies—not only does it make for a better book, but it gets my mind exercising to build those creative muscles.

5. What books or websites are your go-to places while editing?

I love K.M. Weiland’s How To Structure Your Novel, as well as her website, Both have detailed guides and concrete examples. I also follow so many wonderful members of the writing community on Twitter—Dan Koboldt has excellent resources for research, and Jami Gold has an entire website full of life-saving resources (figuratively speaking, of course.)

6. Tell us about your writing space (music/snacks/interruptions/etc.)

Are you trying to tell me there are spaces where children don’t interrupt? I’m skeptical! I write mostly when the children are in school, or when they’re asleep. As for music, it’s the sound of silence—not the Simon and Garfunkel song, but actual silence. I write best when my thoughts don’t have to compete with noise—in fact, when I am fortunate enough, I spend time in a sensory deprivation tank (remember Fringe?) to brainstorm.

7. Tell us about your current WIP or your latest book release.

I’m currently making another pass through the novel I’m planning to query this year, Scion of the Ring, as well as writing a standalone sequel.

Free after seven years in a slave-fighting arena, Catina is running from a prince who wants to control her magic and a goddess desperate for her allegiance. Taking refuge on an old veteran’s farm, Catina forms an empathic soul-bond with his daughter. When Catina’s magic burns down the farm, the prince captures the daughter as a bargaining chip. Catina must decide whether to rescue her soul-sister, risking her freedom, or return home to her war-torn nation to reclaim it from Kronus the Conqueror and his dark magi.

Lonn Silvermoon is a light mage who has infiltrated the dark magi at the highest level. But performing death magic comes with a cost, and Lonn soon becomes addicted to his new powers. When he falls for the Azarian Queen, a captor of the conqueror, he must decide between completing his mission at the cost of his soul or failing and losing his one true love.

Catina and Lonn must learn to trust one another and unlock the power of the combined light mages, or fuel Kronus’ rage and lose their loved ones to the dark magi. Catina’s family motto has never seemed so relevant: “we persevere.”

Curious to know more about S. M. Roffey? Be sure to visit her website and blog, hang out with her on Twitter, stalk her on Facebook, or poke around her stuff on Instagram. You can also find her work on The Good Men Project.

Don’t forget to check out this year’s Winterviews and partner interviews. You can also follow this blog and be the first to know when new content is released.

One comment to Winterview with Author S. M. Roffey

  • Maria Guglielmo  says:

    Awesome interview! I think she’s a real-life Batgirl!

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