Saturday, June 26, 2010

Welcome Author Skhye Moncrief For Her World Building Discussion!

Readers, please welcome paranormal author Skhye Moncrief. She’s talking today about world building, and she’s an expert on the subject. SWORDSONG, her latest release, is another story readers won't be able to forget..And take a look at that terrific cover! Who can resist a man in a kilt, right? He looks so angsty (did I make up a word?). Don't you just want to comfort this man? Sigh. She's offering a prize--one of her previous books, so please remember to leave your email in your comment.

Skhye, thank you for visiting us.

Good morning, Caroline. Thank you for having me over as a guest. My latest Time Guardian story was released June 25th. I'm extremely wired with this event. The reason I wrote this novel is one of those choices authors make... Hence, my focus on craft here today. So why did I write that story?

SWORDSONG was the Time-Guardian novel I wrote after reading the earlier works of Karen M. Moning before my Time Guardians series was contracted for publication. I kept thinking I seriously needed to simplify my world and write a story in my series more like hers set in the "real" present, i.e. something more familiar for readers who just might not care for being thrown into a whole new world.

This is one of those crazy decisions we writers make never knowing if it will pan out for us. :) But SWORDSONG set off a whole new layer of world building in my over-sized fantasy world I've created--one that coexists with ours. I wanted to make the story world more tangible for the reader. Okay, that's if you can call a novel tangible in any sense other than it's a physical object, i.e. a book! But everyone was writing these new worlds interwoven within the fabric of the one we occupy. I just had to try the marketability angle. So, I whipped up some ambiance...

We are soldiers of Truth.

We are students of the past

We are guardians of Time.

We live, and, from living, we must die.

Death is not risk.

Death is adventure.

Death is part of the Cycle.

Woe be to he who fears the Call.

~Time Guardian Creed (

My creed worked to define reality for my lads regardless of the setting. It's reality. A reflection of their goals--life in general. These men time travel. They can't risk screwing up history. So, their creed is kind of blunt and harsh. But it hits home as they ponder a what if... Just as I had asked those same thoughts about paradox. Time travel and prehistory was my cup of steamy tea that I read for so long. I studied archaeology too long not to send my characters back to times and places we can never visit. Why? I can answer that. ;) Oddly enough, a psych test I took during a continuing education class when I was about 19 noted I lived in the past. I guess this aspect of my writing is just a reflection of who I am--my curiosity and fears. Then again, I keep writing romances that reviewers label thrillers, suspense, etc. I just don't know what goes on inside my head! *sigh* Although, I'm always explaining to my critique partners that if a story has a chase aspect, it should ring true. And time guardians safeguard history. They've got to beat the clock as the pages move forward. Ticking clocks and chases... Aye, there's the Time-Guardian rub.

But get ready to laugh.

My first and never-to-see-the-light-of-day manuscript was a time travel set in someone's mind because she was comatose. Crazy setup! Yes. But that's not the funny part! I hit delete and sent that unfinished 1000-page monster on its way to the happy hunting ground. Back to meet its moment of creation in the great loop of existence... :) Okay, maybe that's nonexistence because nobody knows about that story but me. Does a story that never is read by an audience continue to ring with glory and romance like a circulated book? Oh, here I go again with those annoying pontifications.

Alas, time travel hits home with me. So, I wrote SWORDSONG because it rang true to my interests and formal education as well as I gambled on the trend in setting a coexisting fantasy realm smack dab in the "now" with us. Should I chant here that we write what we write because those subjects are familiar to us even though they are deeply buried within our subconscious? It's true. We write what we know--even if the knowing is something we just experienced in person, reading, or by viewing a documentary. Humans innovate all the time. There is very little inventing going on... Take some archaeology classes if you don't believe me. Remember, this article is about understanding ourselves. If we search inward long and hard enough, we'll find that everything we write about is a part of us. And, it can't hurt to make the world more approachable and digestible for the reader.

Thanks for having me here today, Caroline. If you have a magic wand, please wave it at me. I so want to time travel! ~Skhye

Join my fan group to be in my monthly drawing for a Time Guardian Fan Kit and more!

Read 1st chapter of SWORDSONG

Read another (shorter) excerpt from SWORDSONG

Purchase SWORDSONG in print at amazon

What are reviewers saying about the Time Guardians series...

"Arthur is a masterpiece..." HE OF THE FIERY SWORD's King Arthur ~Diane Mason; The Romance Studio

"FORBIDDEN ETERNITY... spine-tingling suspense. The story is dynamite; it explodes off the page and leaves you breathless for more." ~Tulip, LASR

THE SPELL OF THE KILLING MOON offers the best of spine-tingling suspense. The setting is perfect... Moncrief’s ability to wield magic and emotion are without compare. Her words twist together emotions and visuals until you experience this tale as if the trap were set for you. Some lines blend a kind of poetic magic: “Moonlight wove a special kind of magic, a spell so vacillating that a person never knew if reality were anything other than a dream.” Darkness and premonitions and deadly intent fill these pages... a unique blend of mystic Medieval Gothic and romance…and a true blood-curdling thriller." ~Snapdragon, LASR

"Intense, original, suspenseful, and dramatic... an unpredictable topsy-turvy romance... the suspense builds with every page in SACRIFICIAL HEARTS. In a world where symbols mean everything, magic is the way..." ~Snapdragon; LASR

Stories available at,,, and

"Be the change you want to see in the world." ~Ghandi

Skye, I do have a magic wand my daughter gave me, but apparently it’s defective. LOL I’d love to have read the book about the comatose woman’s adventures. Too bad you didn’t know about retrieving lost documents then.


Susan Macatee said...

Sounds great, Skhye, and I really love that cover! I've written time travels myself, but they only seem to work when I use a reincarnation theme. I've read others using all kinds of devices, including magic. But I love the idea of people traveling back and forth in time!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Skhye,
Who can resist a man in a kilt?



Skhye said...

I KNOW! Thanks for stopping by, Margaret! And thanks, Susan. :)

Donna B said...

Hey Skhye! Great interview. Time travel is a neat subject. So many good themes... It's definitely right up your alley! Too bad those darned magic wands are broken. Where would you go?

practimom said...

that cover is HAWT! Thanks for including the first chapter. It really peaked my interest. I love reading time travel, especially when it involves hunky guys with sexy knees ^_^!

Skhye said...

LOL, Donna. I'd go to Scotland before I broke the wand... Then there is Iceland, prehistoric everywhere, and EASTER ISLAND. :)

Thanks, Practimom. The heroine's into sexy knees too! ;)

Don't forget to enter to win a Highland Heather Ghost-Conjuring kit at...


Kimberley said...

Love the cover and the excerpt has me hooked. Kilts and brogues...what's not to luv? LOL

Skhye said...

Like minds, Kimberley! Thanks for stopping by!

booklover0226 said...

Swordsong sounds great; I look forward in reading it.

Tracey D

katsrus said...

Hi Skhye. Looking forward to your books. Sounds right up my alley.
Sue B

Skhye said...

Thanks, Tracey & Sue!