Sunday, July 13, 2008

Guest Blogger: Yasmine Galenorn


The winner of Yasmine's giveaway is: anitasfriend. Congratulations!

Hi, I'm Yasmine Galenorn, USA Today bestselling author of the Otherworld Series. By my bio, you'll be able to see what else I've written over the years. And as a heads up -- I'm giving away a signed copy of Ghost of a Chance and Witchling to one reader who answers my question I ask in this blog and leaves their answer in a comment.

I like to sit at Starbucks, at the downtown Barnes & Noble and think, iced triple soy latte in hand. Sometimes I journal, other times I just sit there and breathe -- let myself rest while I watch the world around me. These moments bring to mind the autumn, for some reason. Even when it's sunny out, sitting with a journal or book in a coffee shop reminds me of the days in mid-August, each year, when I feel the first tinge of coolness in the air that heralds the beginnings of autumn.

Starting with a faint tang, autumn presages itself early here with the slightest of hints -- the scent of bonfires on the wind, the scent of graveyard dust swirling from the past, and the promise of chill, damp nights clouded in mist. It might be something as simple as a smell -- or a touch of sharpness to the air. Maybe it's catching a glimpse of a leaf just starting to turn. Or sometimes, it's when I wake up and realize that the summer covers aren't enough to keep me warm at night.

Autumn in western Washington is rife with rain and wind storms, mist rising from the ground, and fat, striped argiopes in their webs -- their strands glistening with dew. They stretch their webs across the sidewalks, so much so that I always carry a stick with me when I go out the door, or use my husband's cane, to bring down the webs before I catch myself in their snares. I am frightened of spiders -- even though I find them fascinating. I don't begrudge their catching flies outside, as long as they leave the walkways to me.

During the autumn the leaves begin to fall early and they're seldom the brilliant reds of drier climes, but instead dull bronze and spotted yellow. If you're out in a park or the woods, the light dapples on the grass when the occasional sunbeam breaks through the latticework of leaves still hanging heavy on the trees. The scents of cedar and fir are thick in wooded areas, and moss and ivy cover the tree trunks.

I wake up during the autumn. Summer is long a long, lazy dream even if I'm busier than I want to be (and I'm always busy). But when autumn hits, it brings with it new beginnings, busy-ness, passion and tales and adventures. I write better when the mist and rain are swirling. Even though I love the warmth of summer, the shrouded nights call to me, the gloomy days set me at a melancholy ease, the rain reassures me. I watch it pound down outside my office window, and it sweeps me away to magical lands, to dark and fantastical forests, to the first steps of long journeys.

In the mists, I see Smaug, and the distant fires of Sauron. I catch a glimpse of dragons flying in the sky, fighting Thread. And there -- there walks a man with living tattoos that cover his body. And delving further, I'm inundated with visions of the Fae from my own worlds, as they fight their unearthly battle and rip apart the worlds during the Great Divide. Demons hide in the mists, and trolls, and Fae Queens who are so beautiful they terrify. And through the fog, I hear the murmur of drums from the African veldt, the song of the siren, the wail of the Bean Sidhe. Pan pipes call to me from the shadow the trees, and the very real elementals I sense in my life on a daily basis present themselves as models so I might create their fictional versions -- the Autumn Lord and Grandmother Coyote and the Moon Mother and Old Shag.

Yes, my life is steeped in autumn mists, and has been for many years. With my mother's death, with seeing friends pass through the veil, with almost thirty years of working magic under the Moon, how can I avoid my fate -- which is to walk in the shadows, occasionally crossing into a warm and sunny meadow for a stay? And why would I want to? Read The October Country by Ray Bradbury and tell me it doesn't set your heart pounding. I know it does mine.

As of the first of July, I saw Dragon Wytch, my 20th published book hit the shelves. I’m a ‘bestselling author’ now, and while I write as a professional and from a business stance, I still write from love. From passion for the genre. From the heart of the magic that exists both within my actual life, and within the depths of my imagination. Autumn haunts me, yes, and I long for it even though I'm crying out for some sun by February, but the days preceding it -- the two or three weeks in late August -- early September that lead up to it, are days of excitement and the sense that the Wheel is about to be put in motion again.

So Dragon Wytch is available now. Night Huntress will be on the shelves as of January 6th, 2009. Demon Mistress hits the shelves in a year -- July 2009. And Etched in Silver, a Camille and Trillian novella will be coming out in Inked, an anthology I'm writing along with Eileen Wilks, Karen Chance, and Marjorie Liu on January 10th, 2010.

Meanwhile, I'm about to start Bone Magic, Camille's third book. It's set around the autumn equinox, so for the rest of this year, I'll be walking in the mists, walking in the shadows, and seeking out the magic of Otherworld.

Tell me, what would you like to find waiting in the mists? What visions do you see? Would you rather go rambling through the woods for a picnic, or prowling through them at night?

Bright Blessings,
Yasmine Galenorn

You can find Yasmine on:
USA Today bestselling author Yasmine Galenorn writes the Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon Series for Berkley (Witchling, Changeling, Darkling, etc.). In the past, she wrote the paranormal Chintz ‘n China Mystery Series, the Bath & Beauty Mystery Series (the latter written as India Ink) and eight nonfiction metaphysical books. WITCHLING, CHANGELING, DARKLING, and DRAGON WYTCH all hit the USA Today bestseller lists, and DARKLING and DRAGON WYTCH both the expanded NYT bestseller’s list. Yasmine has been in the Craft for over 28 years, is a shamanic witch, and describes her life as a blend of teacups and tattoos. She lives in Bellevue WA with her husband Samwise and their four cats. Her newest release, DRAGON WYTCH, just hit the shelves on July 1st.

18 Comments:

Blogger LadyVampire2u said...

Yasmine, you really have a gift with words. Lovely post!
For me, I would love to wander into the mist and see a dark, mysterious warrior awaiting me. He would be that missing part of my soul, and I his. I see visions of battles ahead where we both learn our hidden strengths and weaknesses. And when it comes to rambling, I’d definitely rather go prowling at night when the things that sleep all day finally awaken. Dangerous perhaps but a little danger can enliven the soul I think.

2:32 AM  
Blogger Lynda Hilburn said...

Yasmine: Thanks so much for being here today! I agree with ladyvampire2u (hi, there!): you have a marvelous way with words. I feel the same way about autumn. Summer leaves me lethargic and unmotivated, but the first sense of the coming coolness energizes me. I'm originally from Michigan, where it's often overcast, chilly and rainy, and here in Colorado, where I've lived for most of the last 30 years, it's relentlessly sunny. Too much sun is actually bad for my mental health!! I crave the foggy drizzle! On the rare day when it's actually cloudy and moist(and I love seeing the clouds actually sitting on the peaks of the mountains and foothills), I can't stop smiling. Welcome, again!
Lynda

8:23 AM  
Blogger Kate Douglas said...

Good morning Yaz! I'm deep into Dragon Wytch and loving the story--thank you for such a wonderful, entertaining series! As far as what I would like to see in the mist? How about the mist--here in northern California all we see is smoke!

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Breia B. said...

Yasmine, your words brings so many images to mind. I would love to wander into the mist and see the love of my life waiting there.I see visions of my family getting what we need to make our drams come true. I would like to prowl the woods at night and have a picnic by the light of the moon.

9:43 AM  
Blogger Nikita said...

Wonderful post Yasmine! I adore your Sisters of the Moon series and have a special place in my heart for Menolly.

I'd definitely rather prowl through the woods at night with moonlight and a breeze filtering through the trees, mist on the ground, and surprizes hidden in the shadows...are they friend, foe or other?

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Judi said...

I agree with everyone in saying that you truly have a gift with words Yasmine! That was an amazing post.

I too look forward to autumn and think it could have something to do with my being a virgo, but I just love the sight of all the different colors of the leaves on the trees. Not so much where I live now, but where I was born in Ontario, the fall foilage is amazing and I miss it every year. I love the crisp feel in the air, it's invigorating.

I too prefer to come out at night, and would love to meet my soul-mate in the mists. I can also envision seeing the fae, otherwordly warriors and beautiful beings shifting through the mist in the night, only giving us fleeting glimpses.

9:55 AM  
Blogger sarah said...

Part of me wants to go back to the Redwood forests in California and Oregon.

I want to explore the mists there and see what I can find.

My husband and I just drove threw them, but they awe-inspiring just driving through them - I would love to know what it is like to walk among them.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Anitasfriend said...

Hi Yasmine I have loved all your sisters of the moon series and am looking forward to reading a lot more. I would love to look into the mist and see.... A wonderfull new world filled with what else, but vampires, fairies and were animals

12:22 PM  
Blogger paulmichelle said...

love your new dragon wytch book. read it in one day. it was a can't-put-down-until you-have-read all-of-it book. hope all is well.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Carmen R said...

I would prowl the mist with the hopes of finding myself, I believe all one ever needs is already in ones self. Sometimes you just have to look a little harder to see it.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

I really enjoyed reading your post. I would love to explore the woods at night with my lover at my side.

3:15 PM  
Blogger EilisFlynn said...

Lovely post, Yaz. I would like to see home when the mists clear. That's happened in the past, and if it's a day when I'm driving, I am so relieved!

3:32 PM  
OpenID star27624 said...

Hi Yasmine. Enjoyed the post and the imagery it created.

I love to go into the woods at night. Many times I have been called into them, and step into the sacred spaces, many forgotten in today's busy times. Some of them simply give a place to rest, others offer challenge to the right to some piece of knowledge they hold for one they find worthy.

Look forward to the new books coming in 2009.

Safe journeys.

3:36 PM  
Anonymous dragon13writer said...

I'd love to prowl the dark with the moon sifting through the fog lighting my way. To feel dark desires crawl up my spine and cast a web over my thoughts. To surrender and join the night and give others a terrible fright. To fly above the tree tops and feel a lazy breeze carry me across the night.

I've been trying to write all afternoon, perhaps you're all I need.

4:31 PM  
Blogger lrwirum said...

Great posting.

I think I would enjoy ghosts, shape shifter and maybe a few faeries. :-)

I would go prowling at night. I think some of the most interesting things come out at night. :-)

Larena

5:16 PM  
Blogger Yasmine Galenorn said...

I love hearing all these comments and how many people are connected with the autumn. :)

Yasmine

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Taryn Blackthorne said...

Hi Yasmine,
I grew up on the East coast and love the autumn more than any other season. My dreams are more vivid, my breath sharper and my imagination afire! I miss the mists of home, I used to go picnicing in an apple orchard or prowl at night. I suppose the thing I'd most like to see should I walk in the mists again would be my friends and family. There's plenty of mystery and stories there!

8:38 PM  
Blogger dd03 said...

Hi, Yasmine...many blessings and good vibes to you and Samwise, always, but especially now!

When I was a little girl, sometime during a late summer campout, I wandered off alone into the woods. I came to a clearing that had a large tree stump in just about the center of it. I remember standing at the edge of the clearing looking into it, and up through the trees into the blue sky...and then getting spooked by the quietness, it's stillness. It felt as though it watched me.

I ran from there, scrambling back out through where I came. I believe that if I had the chance now, I'd like to go through the mist to find that place again. I want the chance to be brave enough to let that place have it's look at me...and maybe find something truly magical and wonderful to learn there!

10:21 PM  

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