Friday, September 21, 2007

Lord Of The Fading Lands

interviewed by Beth Andrews

It is my pleasure to introduce award winning author C.L. Wilson to the Romance Bandits! C.L. combines sweeping sword and sorcery fantasy with the simmering passion of romance in her two-book publishing debut, Tairen Soul: Lord of the Fading Lands and Tairen Soul: Lady of Light and Shadows coming October and November 2007, from Leisure Books.

Welcome to the Bandit Lair, C.L! Congratulations on your debut release, Lord of the Fading Lands. Can you tell us a bit about your road to publication?

Thanks so much for having me. And thanks for the congratulations. I’m still very excited about the sale – and really looking forward to seeing my books in the stores in a week or so.

As for my road to publication…well, that’s been an interesting journey. I’ve always wanted to write, ever since I was a little kid. I wrote my first story when I was six and started my first novel at age fourteen. Of course, I was one of those “million starts, zero finishes” writers. Ideas I had by the bucketful, but I was coming up skint on endings. Finally, when I was twenty, I typed my very first “THE END”. I thought for sure fame and fortune were right around the corner waiting for me! Er…not quite. My first rejection was, though. I did keep writing. I took a few fairly lengthy detours along the way – for college, career, marriage and kids – but I never gave up on my dream of publication. I studied, learned the craft, wrote – and finished! – another three books, each time getting closer to publication. I got critique partners and started entering lots of contests. My fourth book was a Golden Heart finalist and was the project that got me my agent. My fifth book was the one that sold.

My “Call” was pretty cool. The manuscript had finalled in the Low Country RWA’s Jasmine award and Alicia Condon at Dorchester was the final judge. She read the entry and emailed me to say she really liked it and if the rest was as good as the opening, she wanted to offer me a contract. I was very excited, but I also knew I’d broken all the rules with the book – it was 1,000 pages long (675 TNR12) – it was the first of a planned trilogy about the same couple, and it was sword & sorcery fantasy romance (nary a vampire or werewolf to be found). Anyways, Michelle and I shipped the thing off…and about eight months later (after Alicia got over the shock of the *size* of it) I received a call from Michelle who said “Well, would you like to sell a book today?” Most writers talk about screaming their heads off in excitement when they get The Call. I cried. LOL.

Of course, then my Call got even better – two days later, we got a second call, and the next thing I knew we were at auction (which is, really exciting and very nerve wracking, BTW). I sold the book to Dorchester, and I will always be grateful to them and to Alicia for taking such a chance on an unknown author.

Your books are a wonderful blend of fantasy and romance. What can you tell us about Lord of the Fading Lands and your next release, Lady Of Light and Shadows?

LORD and LADY are the first and second half of the original manuscript, called Tairen Soul. I had to split my 1000 page monsterscript into two books for publication – but they’re coming out back to back Oct 2 and Oct 30, so readers won’t have to wait too long. The books tell the story about an immortal shapeshifting Fey king, Rain Tairen Soul, who is trying to save his people (the Fey) and his soul-kin (the tairen - think fire-breathing dragon-sized panthers with wings) from extinction. He’s the last Tairen Soul – the only one of his people able to shapeshift into a tairen – and when he consults a magical oracle to find the key to saving the tairen and the Fey, it sends him to the mortal city of Celieria. There he meets Ellysetta Baristani, who is far, far more than the quiet, unassuming daughter of a mortal woodcarver she appears to be. Together, Rain and Ellie embark on a journey of love and self-discovery and perilous, high-stakes adventure in their quest to save the tairen and the Fey and defeat the dark forces of the High Mage of Eld.

What's next in this fantastic series?

I’m currently working on books 3 and 4 in the Tairen Soul series, which will conclude the story about Rain and Ellie. And then, well, that’s up to the readers. If they like the world, I’ve got many more stories to tell.

World building is an important part of this series. How did you go about creating the world of the immortal Fey and the evil Elden Mages? What about the legends, poems and art you use in the story?

I adore world-building. To me, it’s half the fun of writing the stories – I finally get to put all my years of trivial pursuit-worthy knowledge to use! LOL. I’m doing a series on the basics of world-building on my website blog, but in a nutshell, you find out what your story is about (both the plot AND the theme(s) of the story) and build an entire world or certain aspects of a world (cultures, creatures, magical systems) to explore, mirror, or set into conflict the plot and themes of your book. Successful world-building (Frank Herbert’s Dune series, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Christine Feehan’s Carpathians) completely integrate the world into every aspect of their book – without that special and unique world, the story could not be told.

I did a lot of world-building for this story. I actually started with a single image – an immortal Fey king, sitting on a throne before a magical oracle, facing the extinction of his peoples and desperate to find a solution. Everything else sprang from that one very vivid image. And it’s an ongoing process for me. I’m on the same journey of discovery as my heroine Ellysetta, and we find out all sorts of things together as the words appear on the page. (Of course, I have to pause to jot down new discoveries in my world building notebook so I don’t forget them!)

As for legends and poetry…oh, I love them. Like with like fairy tales and music, you can derive such powerful emotion from legends and poetry. Legends are just, to me, little short fantasy stories with full of concentrated emotion and drama. They are a delight to read and write. And the same goes for poetry.

I know you love to travel - what's your most memorable trip? Any dream trips you'd like to share?

My most memorable trip was the three and a half months my cousin and I spent backpacking around Europe after we graduated from college. What an amazing experience – one I’d highly recommend to every adventurous soul! Some of our most memorable experiences included a trip was to Berlin, Germany on reunification day – my cousin and I both got a piece of the wall – and to Prague, Czechoslovakia, not long after it emerged from the Soviet block. Both were fascinating, and very eye-opening first-hand experiences of what life was like for most people in the Soviet Union under the communist regime. Oh, and Pompeii. Defies description. Amazing. And Rome – the coliseum was right outside the door of our pension.

Apart from that, probably my favorite trip has been the honeymoon my husband and I took to Hawaii. We stood about 10-12 feet from red-hot pahoehoe lava as it poured into the ocean from the Mt. Kilauea eruption. Fascinating.

Thanks, C.L.! To celebrate C.L. Being with us today, we're giving away three prizes; an 11"x13" poster of the cover of Lord of the Fading Lands, an 11"x13" poster of the cover of Lady of Light and Shadows and an autographed copy of Lord of the Fading Lands. So, Dear Readers, we'd love to hear from you. What was your most memorable travel experience? Where is your dream destination? Three lucky commenters will win!!


Andrea said...

*waving madly* Hi C.L.!! It's AndreaW from! It's so good to "see" you again. What a fabulous interview. You know how much I'm looking forward to your back-to-back releases! Plus, Buffie and I are really looking forward to meeting you next week at the Moonlight & Magnolias book signing.

To answer your question, I would love to one day travel to the UK...specifically England and Scotland. I want to visit some of the places I get to read about everyday.

Beth Andrews said...

Thanks so much for being here, CL! I can't wait to read Lord and Lady *g* I love a story that can transport me to another time and/or place :-)

How did you ever come up with a fire breathing, dragon sized panther with wings? Sounds so sexy and just purrfect...uh...perfect for your hero ;-)

As for dream destinations, I'd love to go to two places you've already been: Hawaii and Italy.

Anna Sugden said...

Hi CL - big wave - welcome to the Bandita's lair. Loved hearing all about the books and your path to publication. I know your Tairen Soul books are going to be a huge hit!!

Dream travel - Australia (opals, wine, penguins and Banditas!), Antarctica (penguins) and Sout America (Peru to see Macchu Picchu)

Best trips - Our time in the US has been filled with awesome trips. This is an amazing country. Alaska, Utah, Arizona, Vermont and Charleston in South Carolina are among the most memorable. While I was still working, I had a fantastic trip to Pakistan - an amazing country.

Andrea - thanks for mentioning England. We always get left out! People want to go to Scotland and Ireland ... but poor England rarely gets a mention (although on this blog we have some Anglophiles *grin*)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi CL!! Welcome to the Lair! I am THRILLED to see this book coming out. I read a bit of it as an entry either in the GH or the Daphne, I can't remember. I unfortunately read your entry first. :> I couldn't believe there wasn't MORE of it, I was so disappointed to stop reading. Then the other entries in that batch weren't quite up to the standard you'd set. I think I re-read your entry a couple of times, just for the lovely turn of phrase and imagery. I'll be waiting at B&N for them to unpack the boxes in October for this one.

To answer your question, I want to go back to England - I only got to spend one day in London on the way to Kenya. I'd spend about 5 days in the British Museum (grins) then go ancestor hunting in Pickering. I want to have high tea somewhere in the British Midlands and see the Cornish coast. THEN, I'd go to Scotland and spend a couple of weeks sight-seeing and ancestor hunting there too. Back to Kenya, over to OZ... Okay, I'll stop.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Well, I should have said books, plural. :>

C.L. Wilson said...

Hi AndreaW!!! (waving back!)
I'm so glad to "see" you here too! *gg* and can't wait for M&M!!

I adore england - and Scotland is VERY high on my TBV (To Be Visited) list. I really wanted to go when we were backpacking, but our Eurail passes weren't valid in England, and we spent most of our time poncing around in Wales and southern england in places like Stratford on Avon, Hastings (um, where *is* the battlefield? LOL), Stonehenge (so cool), and London.

Plus it was January by the time we got to England and Scotland sounded pretty chilly *gg*

One day I'll make it there in the summer. My husband's a Brit so I'm going to use him as the excuse to go!

C.L. Wilson said...

Hey Beth,
Thanks again for inviting me.

To answer your started out as a Dragon. Rain Dragon Soul. A big black dragon with glowy purple eyes. (Did I mention I love dragons? LOL)

My CP at the time wasn't too big on the whole reptilian/scaly thing. ("Not cuddly")

I ended up deciding I needed something more unique, and I wanted something sexy, dangerous and furry (to up the cuddle factor for the CP - lol). I've always loved big cats. Tigers, lions, panthers - especially black panthers. panthers...

So my dragon morphed into a huge magical black panther who kept some dragonish attributes(wings, fire breathing - both of which were necessary to enable the whole "scorching of the World" part of Rain's backstory) and Rain Dragon Soul became Rain Tairen Soul.

The CP was happy :)

C.L. Wilson said...

Hey Anna!
Ooooh, all your places definitely in my top ten TBV. My kids come in daily (because they know a couple of aussie booksellers have been very supportive) to ask - so...*when* are we going to Australia? LOL. The DH wants to go too. (Brit though he is, everyone always thinks he's Australian)

and Beth - you will *love* Italy and Hawaii.

Jeanne - thanks for the welcome! And how great to know you read TS in a contest *g* Must have been the GH. I'm so thrilled you still remember it! *g*

Mmmm...Africa...another place I'd love to go. When my cousin and I were doing our walkabout, we met these two women from Oregon. They were 1 year into their round-the-world trip. (A mother and daughter - the mother was 72 and could have beat me in a footrace up the steps of the Eiffel Tower.) they continued on after we met and sent me postcards for another year as they worked their way down through Africa, across to the tip of South America, up thru south and central america, then back home to Oregon. 2 years of travel. Thousands of pix. Dozens of sets of luggage. Now *THAT* is a trip. One day....

Anonymous said...

CL, your books sound absolutely fantastic. Can't wait for the release! I haven't traveled much, but I did a three month expedition in Baja Mexico back when I was young and spry. We did a mix of backpacking, kayaking and sailing. Waking up on top of a tall cliff, listening to sea lions bark below, is one of my favorite memories of all time.

I'll be looking forward to seeing you on the shelf! Thanks for visiting!

ChristyJan said...

My most memorable travel experience was four years ago my husband and I went on an Alaskan cruise to celebrate our 25th anniversary.

My dream destination would be to travel to both Sweden and New Zealand. My Great-Grandfather lived to be 100 and he immigrated here from Sweden when he was a young man. He lived next door to me until he passed away and I loved hearing his stories. Another Grandfather of mine loved New Zealand and traveled there several times. His home was filled with souveniers from his trips and I'd love to visit there myself someday.

Hellie Sinclair said...

Hmmm. Grand Cayman. I *lurved* Grand Cayman...and the pirate ship in the middle of the bay. Awesome.

I adored visiting Boston...and of course, Colonial Williamsburg, who has this fascinating tour guide at Raleigh's Tavern who looks like a cross between Will Turner and Jack Sparrow. (Everyone should go see--I just met the guy this summer, so I'm sure he's still there, working. *LOL*)

My favorite traveling experience? Possibly when I was 6. We went to Silver Dollar City. It rained torrents and we saw The Beverly Hillbillies car. We rode a train around the premise of SSC, and we were held up at gunpoint by some handsome looking robbers. I remember our guy had some stubble and a dashing grin (probably explains my love of bad boys now--and stubble)--and he says, "Hand over your money." "I don't have any," I tell him--and when he looks disappointed, I tried to make him feel better: "But my dad does. Dad, give him your wallet."

Hellie Sinclair said...

Dream destination: SCOTLAND. And since about everyone else has it on their list as well, no need to explain why. We all *know* why.

C.L. Wilson said...

Kirsten - sounds like you had a lovely time in Baja. That is one place I've never been, but I love to go to the cliffs along the Mendocino coast and listen to the seals. You're right - it's a memorable experience.

Christyjan -- ooooh! Alaska! My folks did a cruise and *loved* it! And Sweden was very nice - we were there for the Stockholm Open and got to ogle Agassi at his hotel the next morning when he came down for breakfast. Adn there is a fabulous exhibit of the Vasa - the Swedish king's warship that sank in Stockholm harbor on its maiden voyage in 1628. It was recovered in virtually pristine condition and is just incredible.

C.L. Wilson said...

Mshellion said: when he looks disappointed, I tried to make him feel better: "But my dad does. Dad, give him your wallet."

ROFL - too funny!!

And dream destination Scotland...mmmm hmmm. When in doubt, just go find a picture of Gerard Butler in a kilt. Oh. My. Goodness!

Donna MacMeans said...

Love this concept, C.L.. I'm sure it will be a great hit and how wonderful that you sold your 1000 page manuscript as two books! Way to debut in a BIG way.

I love to travel and am discovering every piece of the globe has its treasures. Favorite trips include England, Hawaii, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and New Orleans. I'd like to go - just about anywhere but particularly locations overseas AND I'd love to have the time to explore them thoroughly.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your debut and thanks for sharing your wonderful Call story :)

My dream destinations would be England & Scotland!

ellie said...

What an enjoyable and informative interview. Your books look fabulous and I an so interested in reading them. I would love to travel to Italy, all over that marvellous country and take in the culture, history, art and food. I am in love with Italy totally.

Claudia Dain said...

Hi! It sounds fabulous. Congratulations!! I fell in love with this type of story (of which there are too few) when I stumbled onto Lord of the Rings in high school.

Alicia at Dorchester was my first editor and I can't praise her enough. She's amazing and so delightful to work with. What a great launch you're getting, CL! A great book with a great editor at a great house.

Congrats again. I can't wait to read it.

Susan Sey said...

Hi, CL -- thanks for a great blog today! I love first sale stories, especially the broke-all-the-rules, wrote-me-a-thousand-pager, watch-it-go-to-auction ones! Let's hear it for the girls who write their hearts out & make it. Can't wait to see this one (both halves of it) on the shelves.


Caren Crane said...

C.L., welcome to the Lair! I adore fantasies and can't wait to read yours. Especially since they had the good sense to issue both within a month of each other. Spectacular for us avid readers!

Dream vacation spots include: France, Italy, England, Scotland, Austria and Germany. We took our first overseas trip to Switzerland this summer and it was wonderful! I am all about traveling. Maybe we'll have a Bandita cruise one day and cruise Europe!

Trish Milburn said...

C.L., your books sound so awesome. I remember talking to Michelle about them, wow, a good bit back. And she is funny about how she sneaks in the whole "this is the call" info. I think she talked to me about five minutes before she sprung it on me. :)

Caren, I LOVE the idea of a Bandita European cruise. Honestly, I'd love to have the free time and the endless money it would take to undertake a long road trip through all of the United States and Canada. So many places I've not seen. As for foreign destination (if someone can cure me of my fear of flying), I'd love to go to Scotland and Ireland and England (have ancestral ties to all), Norway and Sweden, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, pretty much any really cool place where I feel safe.

Trish Milburn said...

Oh, I meant to say that I think your covers are gorgeous, C.L. I think they'll be really eye-catching on store shelves.

Anna Campbell said...

C.L., your book sounds fantastic. Congratulations on your debut!

I remember seeing it winning prizes over and over again about the stage I was touting CTC around the contest circuit (then called No Ordinary Duchess). You obviously had a winner! Love the idea of the books coming back to back. Every time I finish a J.R. Ward, I pine until the next one hits the stands! It's cruel to the humble reader.

I have a dream... If ever I make the NYT, I've promised myself a fjord cruise that includes Iceland. I've got a yen for those wild, windswept places. I've been to Norway as a very poor backpacker (you'll relate) but it rained the whole time. So it was sort of like, "The guidebook says that's a great view. Wish I could see it." And I certainly didn't have the money to set foot on anything that wasn't designated as public transport. And even then, paying for it hurt. Expensive place to visit, Scandinavia!

Hey, how cool to be in Berlin when the wall came down!

C.L. Wilson said...

Thanks so much Donna, Bonnie, Ellie.

Claudia - congrats on all your wonderful books and the new series. The cover on the Courtesan's Daughter is stunning. And you're right - Alicia is wonderful. :)

Susan said love first sale stories, especially the broke-all-the-rules, wrote-me-a-thousand-pager, watch-it-go-to-auction ones! mom always said I was hard-headed!

Trust me - if I was smarter, I would have done it different -- I tried to cut the original (800) book in half, but the darn thing just grew again! LOL.

C.L. Wilson said...

Thanks Caren!! Ooooh, Austria...gorgeous country. Salzburgh salt mines - too fun. And Neuschwanstein...the ORIGINAL fairy tale castle. It was one of the highlights of my 3 month tour!

C.L. Wilson said...

Trish said...[Agent Michelle Grajkowski] is funny about how she sneaks in the whole "this is the call" info. I think she talked to me about five minutes before she sprung it on me. :)

LOL! She is that! And congratulations on your Call!! Woo hoo for you!! I'm so happy for you!

C.L. Wilson said...

Congrats for your own very successful contest career, Anna!

And I'm *very* glad Dorch decided to publish the books 4 weeks apart since they were originally meant to be a single book.

Expensive place to visit, Scandinavia!
Especially for suddenly-parched beer drinkers! LOL. Honestly! All over Europe beer was cheap, get to Scandinavia $10 a bottle! And *that* was when a got thirsty! LOL.

Helen said...

CL what a great story you have worked really hard on these books congratulations I will be looking out for them. My hubby and I went on a cruise a few years ago and some of the islands we visited are so lovely one of them was called Mystery Island very small beautiful beach all the way around, as for places I would like to visit England and Scotland I would love to see the places that I read about and I would really like to go to Alaska I live in Australia and I like cooler places for holidays because it can get really hot over here in summer and our winters are not that cold and I love curling up with a good book on a cold day. Congratulations again sounds like a fantastic story.
Have Fun

Buffie said...

I finally made it over here!!!!

Hey C.L.!!!! It's Buffie, queen of the manatars, from And as Andrea has already mention, I'm really excited about meeting you next weekend. It will be my first ever author signing and I just can't wait!!!!

Best Trip -- probably my trip Israel. That country is beyond beautiful. It surpassed all my expectations.

Dream Trip -- Everywhere in Europe. There are just so many places that I would love to see.

Cherie J said...

Great interview! I love fantasy romance and this sounds great! My most memorable trip was our honeymoon trip to St. Thomas. We rented a small private cottage with a private pool and it was a wonderfully romantic week. Would love to do that again. Hubby and I both would love to go to Great Britain someday. It is a dream trip for us when our baby and toddler are much older.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Thanx a BUNCH for joining us in the lair, CL! I'm with Trish, your covers look GORGEOUS! Can't wait to read the books!

Anyone who's spent any time in the lair knows that Aunty is a gad-about. However, in spite of Christine's claim, I really have NOT been EVERYWHERE! Only 48 states and a couple dozen foreign countries. Really VERY difficult to pick a favorite, though I LOVE LOVE LOVE Italy and would go back in a heartbeat. I feel the same way about most of Europe,Turkey, Thailand, China and OF COURSE Australia!

Place I'd most like to go? New Zealand tops the list right now, though I've really looking forward to seeing Puerto Rico and St. Thomas on my cruise next month.

Helen, believe it or not, the parts of Alaska you see from the cruise ships are NOT THAT COLD. I've been in much colder weather right in my own back yard in the Sierra Nevada mountains. :-P

Oh and CL I went on one of those salt mine tours too, in Halstatt, Austria. Quite a kick!

itching to get on that cruise ship!

anne said...

Your interview was lovely and your books sound great! I look forward to these novels. My dream trip would have to be to travel the length and breadth of Italy. It would be a dream come true. I have travelled all across Canada and the majesty of the Rockies, especially Moraine Lake area will always be memorable and unforgettable.

Cassondra said...


Thanks so much for joining us in the Bandit lair!

Your world building skills are scary impressive. Even the world of historicals frightens me a bit, and I've stuck with down and dirty romantic suspense so far. But there's nothing better than an incredible fantasy to create the perfect escape! THANK YOU for your dedication to building this amazing world. I'd love to know if there was a learning curve for you in terms of the world building--did you start out with worlds that others had built and as your skills grew--created your own unique ones--or were you always just "there" in your ability to dream up something completely different? I'm so impressed with this ability.

And I can't wait to read the books!

Oh, and my dream trips would be Scotland, Ireland (and yes, Anna, England!) with plenty of time and no particular schedule (studies there in grad school were crazy busy) and the other would be trips up and down the east and west coast with lots of time for lingering, bed and breakfasts, and stops at wineries and the hole in the wall places where the local people eat seafood. Yummmm!

C.L. Wilson said...

Hey Helen - thanks for the compliment - and Mystery Island sounds lovely!!

BUFFIE!! (waving) Hiya!! I'm very excited about meeting you too! Can't wait! Israel - would love to see it. So much history.

Cherie - so glad to "meet" you! Oh, my husband would totally agree with you! St. Thomas is his favorite vacation spot. (I love the jewelry shops! LOL)

C.L. Wilson said...

Aunty Cindy said CL! I'm with Trish, your covers look GORGEOUS! Can't wait to read the books!

Thanks Aunty Cindy! *g* I so agree. The fabulous Judy York was the artist for both books, and she captured Rain, Ellysetta, and the tairen perfectly!

I have *not* been to Turky, China or Thailand - also on my "would like to visit" list (along with Japan). I've been to most of the contiguous United States and to Hawaii - not Alaska yet. When I was little, the folks would pack us in a camper and off we'd go. Some of my favorites in the US - Yellowstone and the Grand Teton mountains, Maine in the summer, the Anasazi cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde, CO - very, very cool. (I so want to write a book about it!)

C.L. Wilson said...

Anne said My dream trip would have to be to travel the length and breadth of Italy.

Anne, you would not be sorry. It's a beautiful, incredible, historic place. Honestly, I stood on the ruins of Nero's palace in Rome, and I had the most incredible, electric sense of "I've been here before" that I've ever had in my life. Never felt it before or since. Venice - I could just go and wander there. Pisa, Florence (lovely), Milan, Rome...Pompeii. and the Italian Riviera is stunning. If I go back, I want to see Herculenium.

Anna Campbell said...

C.L., this is slightly off topic but it's something I'm often asked and I'd love your thoughts on it. As a stellar graduate of the contest circuit, do you have any advice to aspiring writers who are entering writing contests?

C.L. Wilson said...

Cassondra asks did you start out with worlds that others had built and as your skills grew--created your own unique ones--or were you always just "there" in your ability to dream up something completely different

This is an excellent question. I think all of us, as writers, are a product of every book we've ever read, movie / tv show / documentary we've ever seen, class we've ever taken. I've always loved fantasy - my earlier fantasy works were generally spin offs of my favorite books, and I know that I'm still influenced by other fantasy writers. The language I created for the Fey, for instance, and the poetry, were both worldbuilding ideas I decided to try because Tolkien did and I thought it sounded like fun.

I think as I worldbuild, I draw upon everything I've ever found fascinating and try to work those into my own unique story. These books, for instance, are chock full of fairy tale references that I've "adapted" for my world. (Instead of Cinderella, they have Ashleanne the Hearthminder *g* for example.) That was part of my effort to make the world accessible to readers.

But with TS, I really started thinking about how I could use the fantasy / worldbuilding element as something completely integral to the plot and themes of the book.

C.L. Wilson said...

Anna Campbell asked As a stellar graduate of the contest circuit, do you have any advice to aspiring writers who are entering writing contests?

Oh yes.
1. Grow a thick skin. It's really nice to read all the glowy feedback. Not so nice to read the snarky stuff. But sometimes (not always!!!!) the snarky stuff can be the most helpful.

2. If one person offers a criticism you don't agree with, it's an opinion. If three people say the same thing, you need to evaluate your manuscript and see if they might be right!

3. Finish the book! Winning does you no good if you get a request for full and only have 30 pages written!

4. Go for the bling. *VBG* If you can't be published, at least you can try to be draped in jewelry!!!

Anna Campbell said...

C.L., that was fantastic! Thank you. I bet you look like a Christmas tree when you get your bling out! I'll have to look for the sparkle in SF.

C.L. Wilson said...

Anna C says I bet you look like a Christmas tree when you get your bling out!

LOL...I think there are a few ladies on this blog who outshine me big time! I thought I was a diva, until I met the *real* divas. Then I knew, I was just an Apprentice Diva LOL. Do love my bling, though. Wear it all the time. *g*

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Welcome C.L. The Bandits are glad to have you visit us hear at the lair. Lord and Lady sound great. I have two grown daughters that love the mixture of romance and fantasy. I'm sure I'll be picking these up for them for Christmas!

brownone said...

Hi CL!! The books sound intriguing. As for me, my favorite trip is always Vegas! I always have so much fun at the shows and touring the diffrent sights in each hotel. I LOVE the fountains at the Bellagio and the "canal" at the Venitian! (Slots are pretty fun too!)

Tawny said...

CL!!! One of my fave authors :-) I love your covers, have I ever told you that??

Dream destination... A cruise to Greece, I think. Or maybe Paris... they have such sexy shoes there *g*. I'm honestly not big on travel, but the day someone invents a teleporting machine, I'm off to see the world(s)!!!

Trish Milburn said...

Yellowstone is one of my absolute favorite places. My sister worked there for a year, so I've been there three times now, I think. I've even talked about going out and being a seasonal employee one summer. You get to stay in the park and explore to your heart's content when you're not working.

Now, since I've been watching Road to Avonlea, I want to visit Prince Edward Island too.

Suzanne Ferrell said...

My dream destination is Scotland. I'd love to roam around the countryside, take in a castle or two, and find a good friendly pub to listen to the language.

C.L. Wilson said...

Thanks to the Romance Bandits - and everyone who stopped by to post! Ya'll are great!