He of the Fiery Sword by Skhye Moncrief w/ Interview & Contest

Hi, today we have my friend Skhye Moncrief here talking about her exciting first book release, a paranormal romance called He of the Fiery Sword.

NN: Welcome Skhye! I'm so glad you're here. Please tell us about HE OF THE FIERY SWORD.

SM: He, Arthur, is a reflection of luck, an abomination. He can feel the love, the pain, the sorrow, and the joy of all the ages. If he doesn't save the Druid he is sent to find, all known history could change. Some things are worth dying for. But first a man must live. Arthur didn't count on becoming human. And now the fairies want him to break dragon law... He never expected his charge to push him to the edge of reason. But a man must live before becoming king.

Fear not. The fairies have a plan.

Trust not the fairies.

Druids wed one soul for eternity to protect the integrity of the timeline. Druid Solas's soul mate was taken from her. Now, an 11th Century Irish bishop stalks her to serve as his mistress. She has nothing left yet everything to live for in creating the historical maps she was sent through time to make. She will break time-travel Code if she submits to another man by allowing even one paradoxical child to muddy history. Then Arthur arrives to save her. He is anything but a time guardian. And a fairy tells her to help him. To ignore a god's instruction could prove detrimental. Yet, every time guardian knows believing the Gods is wielding a double-edged sword. Since it is forbidden for Druids to wield weapons, her future relies on He of the Fiery Sword. King Arthur is born.

NN:What incredible, mesmerizing world-building! Please tell us about the Time Guardians and how you came up with these wonderful ideas.

SM: I first started writing this series with an idea from a sci-fi piece (I can't even remember the title or author's name) that was recommended to me. The author is the daughter of a famous anthropologist. Being an anthropology major in grad school, I had to check out her work. Something from her novel triggered a scene for me, and I began writing about High Priestess Nayli. She is not truly a druidess. But she is the backbone of Time Guardian mythology.
I wanted to create a dichotomy between male and female time travelers bent on safeguarding history. I decided we know essentially nothing about druids; so, the heroes should be equally mysterious in origin. I chose freemasons back before National Treasure and The Da Vinci Code enthralled audiences from the bigscreen. That seems like eons ago. I don't consider my heroes as mysterious anymore. My reason for going for the 'mystery' was in hoping to demystify a sub-culture a bit by bringing it's history into fiction even though my heroes are from the future. Ok, maybe not always because everyone you know, even you can be a time guardian reincarnated! You just don't know it yet. ;)
For the record, I chose time travelers from the future because I couldn't decide which time period I wanted to play with. I made certain I could play with any time period in which I could make a connection with my Orders. And I love to try to find connections between various mythologies that interacted throughout history. This makes writing a challenge.
If anyone wants to know anything more about my series, I have an extensive glossary and history of the Orders at www.timeguardians.com just waiting to be read.

NN: I know everyone will enjoy exploring the world of your stories! What was the most important thing you learned (the thing that made all the difference) just before you made your first sale?

SM: You have to make your work 'high concept' with cross-genre romance. This means you must understand your story's theme and be able to tuck it everywhere for maximum effect. This is true for all genres but crucial when dealing with a new story world. There's a heck of a lot of confusion in sketching out a story in the real world. Add a new world to the mix, and you have to understand your tale like there's no tomorrow. If you don't, editors and agents won't understand your story.

NN: Fantastic advice! What inspires you?

SM: I'm inspired by documentaries, encyclopedias, what most call boring textbooks that I adore, and the worldbuilding I read when I get a chance. I'm a certifiable geek. I love to learn.

NN: I'm afraid I'm a geek too. :-) What's next for you?

SM: Next for me, is a series The Wild Rose Press plans to have released next summer. It's still in the works. But I hope we get busy writing soon. I won't mention any details here. And I just learned The Wild Rose Press wants my she-wolf Time Guardian story. So, for any werewolf lovers, here's a time-guardian tale with a canine twist.

NN: I love werewolves!! Would you like to ask blog readers a question?

SM: I love to hear opinions like those left on my current blog contest 'WHO WAS KING ARTHUR?' at http://blog.skhyemoncrief.com/. So everybody join in by midnight CST on Christmas Eve. But I'll leave a question here. Whoever leaves an answer will be in the running for a Celtic CD! Loreena McKennitt's PASSPORT. The question: What is a druid? It doesn't matter what you think. Just post! And as the High Druidess says: Know true peace. ~Skhye

NN: Wow what a fantastic prize!!! Thanks for being here today, Skhye! And we wish you the best of luck with your first book! Everyone please visit Skhye's website at: http://skhyemoncrief.com/ and don't forget to answer her question here to have a chance at winning Passport by Loreena McKennit. The songs on the CD are:

The Mummers' Dance
Huron 'Beltane' Fire Dance
The Mystic's Dream
The Lady of Shalott


Anonymous said...

druids were a member of the priestly and learned class in the pre-Christian, ancient Celtic societies. They served as healers, scholars, magistrates, and mystics. Women and men both served as druids.


Caitlin Hoy said...

Druids are the priests and spiritual leaders of the ancient Celts who communed with nature and harbored magic and knowledge of the mother Earth and the universe as well as the gods. They were healers, mystics, and the judges of Celtic society.They could be both men and women and were considered the most powerful in Celtic society barring the chief of the clans in most things.
PS Hope thats a good enough explanation!

Sheryl Browne said...

The druids were the priestly class in ancient Celtic societies through much of Western Europe north of the Alps and in the British Isles. Clever, hey!!1? Well, I did have to do a little surfing! :) Good luck, Skhye!

Anonymous said...

Hi Skhye!

He of the Fiery Sword, sounds excellent!

Druids were part of the ancient celts, the priests, scholars, healers. Both men and women could be druids. They worshipped a number of goddesses and gods. They looked to nature for a lot of things, such as omens, symbols, and such.

robynl said...

...druidic practice it appears deeply traditional, and conservative in the sense that the druids were conserving repositories of culture and lore. The etymological origins of the word druid are varied and doubtful enough that the word may be pre-Indo-European. The most widespread view is that "druid" derives from the Celtic word for an oak tree (doire in Irish Gaelic), a word whose root also meant "wisdom."

Their influence was as much social as religious. Druids used not only to take the part that modern priests would, but were often the philosophers, scientists, lore-masters, teachers, judges and councillors to the kings. The Druids linked the Celtic peoples with their numerous gods, the lunar calendar and the sacred natural order.

Anonymous said...

The Druids in pre-Christian Celtic society formed an intellectual class made up of judges and educators, doctors and seers and astronomers. I believe they were very highly intellegent people who were greatly misunderstood.

Lisa Garner said...

Druids were the first true environmentalists and viewed natural life as sacred. The wisdom of the Druids was passed down orally, very little is written except in the ancient tree alphabet known as Ogham. Druids studied Astronomy, Philosophy, Poetry and Music. Druids believe in the study of physical life and the “underworld”. They believe in reincarnation and magic. Owning few possessions, Druids represented spiritual values, which was much against the materialistic values of ancient times.

Unknown said...

to me at least Druids were a Celtic version of christian Priest they took vows and like the christian priest were supposed to live modest lives and help the people.To over see the worship and the offerings.Some were good and some were bad cause power does go to some peoples heads.

windycindy said...

Hello! There is not a lot really known about the Druids. They didn't practice in public! They were considered the wise men of the Celts.
The word Druid means strong see-er.
Their characterization was often fictionalized. They were in Old Ireland and Britain. There was a
chieftain or king, the high-priest sat next to the king. Cindi

Anonymous said...

I don't know much about the real Druids. I've always thought of them as mysterious, powerful and rather scary. I know that mistletoe and oak were important to them and there was a misconception that they built Stonehenge.

Mahaira said...

Hi Skhye! fellow geek here. I loved your interview.

In the Celtic social system, Druid was a title given to learned men and women possessing "oak knowledge" (or "oak wisdom"). Dru-wid combines the word roots "oak" and "knowledge" (wid means "to know" or "to see" - as in the Sanskrit vid). So, the oak (together with the rowan and hazel) was an important sacred tree to the Druids.

Happy Holidays and happy writing!

Gerri said...

Hi Skhye!
Your book sounds gooood!
I think of Druids as a priestly caste, in the past, who kept knowedge of the past, traditions, history and beliefs, mainly of Celts, but not limited to Celt tradition. I think of them as having a high moral standard for their society.
Gerri :D

Kimberly B. said...

The Druids were the religious leaders of the Celts, who preserved their sacred knowledge of the natural world and of healing. I think that our knowledge of them is somewhat limited by the source material, which is sparse and often recorded by hostile sources (i.e. Julius Caesar).

faechilde said...

Druids were part of the cultures of the tribal peoples who were called "Keltoi." The Druids were a priestly and learned class and could be either male or female. They acted as priest, arbitrator, healer, scholar and magistrate. And contrary to popular belief as established by history, there is little to no evidence that Druids performed animal and human sacrifices. What is known is that they tried to live in harmony with all of creation...earth, nature, living things.