Legacy of Albessind
Lloyd A. Meeker
Genre: Romantic Fantasy
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: February 26, 2015
Print ISBN 978-1-5092-0606-3
Digital ISBN 978-1-5092-0607-0
Number of pages: 333
Word Count: 85k
Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor
Struggling artist Eva Milaras is in the midst of buying groceries when a bomb blast tears the store apart. A handsome man with mysterious powers saves her life and stuffs her into a limo without a steering wheel—while treating her like royalty. Caught in a deadly web of magic and murder, Eva faces an aristocratic destiny she didn’t know about and doesn't want. Now in a strange world she has to survive the deadly schemes of her new-found relatives as they maneuver for advantage in a murderous royal court.
Talak has loved Eva long before he saved her life, but that love is doomed. She must marry a man from a royal bloodline, and Talak is duty-bound to protect her until she marries—regardless of his torn heart. Together they battle intrigue and betrayal, only to discover they must choose between letting go of each other...or certain death for treason. A choice Eva refuses to make.
Lloyd A. Meeker credits Walter de la Mare’s “The Listeners” as the first poem to steal both his heart and his imagination. That was in seventh grade, and he’s never been the same since. At university he devoured Lord of the Rings in a single weekend. Then came Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, and Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea. Fantasy became his home turf.
He’s led what can only be described as an eventful life, and he’s grateful for all of it. He’s been a minister, a pilot, a janitor, a drinker, a cancer survivor, and a software developer on his way to becoming a writer. His work includes five novels, two books of poetry, a few essays, and several short stories.
He’s happily entangled in a life-long love affair with metaphor and the potent mystery of the Hero’s Journey, especially in its metaphysical and psychological aspects. He lives in southern Florida among friends and family with his husband, working on his next novel, practicing subtle energy healing, reading, wallowing in classical music and celebrating a very active retirement.
Web and Blog: www.lloydmeeker.com
Heh. That’s akin to asking where a castle under siege gets its attackers. They’re constantly hammering and my gates and climbing my walls, and I have far more of them already than I could possibly fight off. And still they come…
Seriously, I’m ambushed by a story idea several times a week. Given that I have a title published every 8-12 months, you can imagine that I have a solid backlog of ideas, even though half of them wither on the vine.
On top of the stream of new ones, recently I’ve had the experience of having ideas for new titles come from already published works I thought were finished. That’s the case with Blood Royal. I never expected the book to begin a series, but that’s what I’m working on right now – book two of the Legacy of Albessind series.
2. Do you have a dream cast for your book?
I confess I’m not a huge movie guy, so I don’t generally think of my characters as played by movie stars.
But on reflection, I think Christina Hendricks with dark hair would look very much as I envision Eva Milaras. I think Hugh Jackman with shoulder-length black hair would do very well for Talak. For Eva’s suitors, Josh Holloway would be a good fit for Salar, Zach Miko for Tekko. I think Emma Thompson would make a terrific Queen Rhianna. And yes, I just went online and looked up some of those actors.
3. How do you handle writer’s block?
This is a complex question, because I first have to address what we mean when we talk about writer’s block, and some assumptions about performance anxiety.
Basically, I think writer’s block is an ego problem—fear of not writing as well as I did last time, fear of not meeting reader expectations, fear of not being considered brilliant (I wish!) or even competent. I have mini-writer’s block at least a dozen times every novel.
I’m a reasonably smart guy, at least smart enough to know that I’m seriously imperfect in spite of my domineering, cold-hearted perfectionism. I’d love to be praised unstintingly by readers and critics around the globe, but that’s just not going to happen.
What has to happen when I sit down to write is for me to do my best to tell my story well. I have to keep working at my craft, and make sure I don’t settle for less than the best I’m capable of. Yes, I can always improve, but sometimes my writing isn’t stellar. I have to be okay with producing imperfect work, as long as I’ve put everything I have into it.
Sometimes when I’m stuck I go for a walk or a swim. But when I’m writing what feels like unsalvageable drek to me, I just keep writing. No matter how embarrassed I get with what’s coming out. I can always cut pages out, but the story can’t include what never got to the page at all.
I know it’s kind of a gimmick, but if I keep writing and stay in the flow, I know some viable stuff will eventually start coming out again. There’s a lot more to this issue, like having a supportive husband, reliable critique partners, and honest beta readers, but my answer to your question is already too long!
4. What inspired you to write this book?
Well, to be honest it started out as a dare. I was talking with one of my best writing buddies about how around 80% of gay romance is written by straight women for other straight women. It’s no secret. She said, “Well, why don’t you return the favor?” and I did. What happened, though, was that I fell completely in love with the story, with Riardan, and especially with Eva’s courage and resourcefulness in the face of impossible odds. And Talak’s unswerving love for her inspired me.
Now I’m working on book two in the series, and I’m having a blast with it.
5. What’s the hardest part of being an author?
Today’s realities of publishing require an author to be active on social media, and that’s a struggle for me. I love doing readings, and interacting with readers by email, one on one or in small groups. But when someone says, “You really ought to leverage Triberr, Thunderclap, Tumblr, Pinterest boards, Reddit, and Instagram my eyes glaze over. Heck, I don’t even do pet pictures or recipes on Facebook!
I have a website and blog, I’m on Twitter and Facebook, and that’s pretty much it as a permanent presence—apart from the occasional blog tour, of course!
And thank you for hosting me on Literary Musings! I really appreciate it.