I am honored to have on my blog today
and her book Spirians
About the Author
Rowena is a multi-award-winning author who lost her sight due to Retinitis Pigmentosa. Though she is blind, she certainly does not lack vision. She and her deaf mate, Gregg, enjoy traveling the countryside, backpacking, scuba diving, and living a nomadic lifestyle with her guide dog, Skye-Bear.
They are both very active in the blind and deaf community, and love to volunteer their services to help others with similar conditions.
To Rowena, life is about experiencing everything to its fullest and appreciating every moment she has on this Earth. She enjoys wild foraging, making her own herbal medicine, and helping others heal naturally with what the Spirit provides.
In her words, “Life is what you choose to make of it. The only thing that limits you is your thoughts and beliefs.”
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Spirian Saga Summary
I started writing the Spirian series after a feeble attempt at writing my autobiography of which I entitled, This is Not the Life I Ordered! After several attempts at making that story worth reading, I finally decided to turn my tale into a fictional saga scattered with the wonderful people who have helped shape my life. Okay, I had some help with making this decision. One night, while Gregg and I and the kids were enjoying a bonfire in our back yard, we discussed my book. I believe it was my youngest son who said, “Mom, the story sucks.”Ah, the honesty of kids. We then began talking and laughing about possible scenes that would bring the story to life. The Spirian Saga was born.
Many people have asked me how much of this saga is true. Much of it is. Shanuk, the old man who reveals Skye’s ability to heal, is very real and remains much a part of my life today. Khalen’s personality and spirit portray my lifetime mate, Gregg. Maiyun, of course, is really Skye-Bear, my service dog. The character, Skye, is me, and Sam is a good friend of mine. The other characters come from my family and friends. Eve is my mother and Arcadie is my father. Case represents a very talented spiritual teacher who graciously took me under his wing when my direction was lost. Derrick is my late husband, Mark, who sadly died of lymphatic cancer.
Do Spirians really exist? That is something that you need to answer for yourself.
The first three books tell the story of Skye Taylor, a blind forty-five-year-old woman who believes her life is over until a tragic accident unfolds a world that only exists in fantasy myths. She discovers that she is a Spirian, a gifted soul; an Angel who lives among humans. This race is quickly facing extinction and is threatened by the dark forces of the Shadows, or the fallen Angels.
Khalen, a powerful and mysterious man who is destined to be Skye’s lifelong mate, is trusting of no one, especially a healer who comes from nowhere. It takes the wisdom and guidance from his father, Case, and grandfather, Shanuk, to see the truth of things and to face the fate that is destined to strengthen the Spirian race.
Together, through magical wars, and spiritual turbulence, Skye and Khalen discover that power belongs to those who wield it wisely. It is not the demonstration of strength to destroy, but to build and unite with the unfathomable balance in all things.
The saga continues to tell the story of other Spirians and their many adventures.
Tell us about your saga?
This saga actually started out as an autobiography. I wanted to share my journey of losing my sight. As fate would have it, my computer suffered the blue screen of death and everything I had written was lost. While we all sat around the evening camp fire, my youngest son bravely stated that my story sucked anyway and not to feel so bad about losing it. Wow, talk about an ego blow. Later on into that evening, we as a family, conjured a few scenes and characters. I decided to tell my story as a fictitious tale. The Spirian Saga was born.
I wanted to end the saga after book three. Imagine my surprise when I received dozens of letters from my fans, pleading for me to continue the saga and tell the stories of the other characters they had grown to love. Mid way into writing Aeon Pneuma, I re-introduced the Spirians. New characters were born and I managed to open a paradigm veil that added some new twists to future stories. Now, the saga is seven stories strong and continues to grow.
I wanted my stories to invoke hope in my readers by offering some very sound spiritual advice I had received over my years. Do Spirians really exist? That is for you to decide. What is and what is not is merely an illusion. Your beliefs determine the strength of your reality. What you believe today, becomes your tomorrow.
What makes this saga different than other romantic fantasies on the market?
These fantasies are more of the urban variety because they take place here on Earth and in locations with which most people are familiar. The first three books occur in the quiet town of Belfair, Washington. Others occur on the Scottish Island of Skye, Brazil, and Edinburgh. Although these stories are romantic, they do not include graphic sex scenes. I did this so that young adults could also enjoy these stories. For that same reason, I do not use foul language or inappropriate violence. This does not mean the stories are boring by any measure. They are packed with emotion, adventure, and wars that will keep you on your seat. The stories always offer a spiritual lesson of sorts that leave you pondering aspects of life that are rarely considered.
Are there any characters with whom you relate to the most?
Because all of my characters are based on the people I have encountered in this life, they are very real to me. There are a few who connect with me more than others. The first is Skye Taylor. Her character mirrors my life. She is blind like me and harbors the same spirit and stubbornness. Her mate, Khalen, is very much like my mate, Gregg—yes, there are men out there that perfect. Shanuk is a character who has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Imagine an Angel who mentors you through every trial and tribulation. He’s fabulous, brutally honest, and wise beyond any soul I have ever encountered.
Case is fashioned after a spiritual councilor who helped me through some difficult situations. His mate, Eve, is my mum. Arcadie is my father, and Maiyun is my faithful guide dog, Skye-Bear.
How does a blind writer describe things like a sighted person?
Because I lost my sight after my thirties, I have a good store of memories for what things looked like. If I were to describe things as seen by a blind person, most sighted people would not understand. Blind people see things in a very different manner. There is a whole other world out there that few people acknowledge. The culmination of scent, feel, sound, and instinct conjure an image in our minds that becomes familiar.
How did you come up with the idea of Spirians?
Since I was young, I have always been surrounded by Angels, or what I perceived as Angels. They were unlike anything depicted in books. They are not chubby, do not have wings, and can take any form. This intrigued me and I wondered what they would be like if they chose to live here on Earth as humans. The result was Spirians—a combination of spirit and human.
Do you have any advise for aspiring authors?
Yes. Write what you love to read. Write about your passions, your experiences, and about people you know. Imagination is great, but experience forms your foundation. Your first draft should be sloppy and weak. It is the bones of your craft. Once the structure is in place, then you can add muscles that drive it forward and the skin that keeps everything together. Without the bones, however, the skin and tissue are wasted.
After you write your first draft, change things up a bit. If something is predictable, turn it around to add a few surprises. Offer the reader something they would never consider. This is where your creativity comes in handy—better break out the chocolate.
Set aside at least two uninterrupted hours for you to write. Don’t try to write the perfect sentence or prose. Sometimes it takes a few minutes to warm up the old imagination. Once it flows, let the flood gates open and the words will magically flow onto the page. Before you know it, your novel is complete and your characters are better for all they have endured.
Believe in yourself and in your story.
How do you find time to write?
That is more challenging than one might think. It’s the same kind of challenge as finding time to exercise or clean house. We, as authors, must look at our craft as a job, something that must be done. My goal is to write a minimum of 2,000 words per day. On a good day, I can write as much as 7,000 words, but I must complete my minimum before doing anything else that day. For that reason, I like to wake up early and get a fresh start on my writing before the daily drama begins to develop. If I know I need to go somewhere in the morning, I wake up two hours early to give myself time to write. I never give myself the option to write later in the day, because we all know how that ends. Something always takes precedence.
Where do the ideas come from?
My experiences with a dash of imagination. Every character I write about is a person I know. I just put them into impossible situations and watch them flounder their way through it. Sadistic to a slight degree, I know, but I can’t tell you how much money it saves me in therapy. Don’t worry, I give them something in return for their efforts. They always emerge a better person, unless they really tick me off. Then, I make them a villain from which there is no return. Yes, I do have a bit of a dark side. Thank God it only comes out in my writing. You know what they say? Don’t piss off a writer, they may make you a character in their book and kill you off.
When you read, what format do you prefer? (Hardcover/paperback/ereader) Why?
I prefer audio format. The voice over artists add another dimension to the story as they play the characters out with various accents, tones, and fluctuations. Also, I can read a good book while doing something productive like exercising, walking, cleaning the house, or cooking dinner. I do these things a lot, which explains why I go through several books per month. When a book I want to read is not available in audio format, the e-book version is the next best thing. I have a fine British gentleman as my screen reader—his name is Oliver—who reads the book to me in his charming accent. Because I read so many books, having these digital versions is a dream. I own over 500 books in my library. Can you imagine having to shelf this many books in a motorhome? We travel a lot and having the ability to store 50 or more books on my iPad is a huge benefit. I’m never without something to read and I can re-read my favorite books at any time without having to hunt to find them. I can even share my books with my mum—another avid reader.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
The thing that makes a review good or bad is merely your perception of the truth. Keep in mind that the person offering the review has their opinions, their likes and dislikes. Just because you didn’t knock their socks off with your fabulous story does not mean you suck as a writer. It merely means you missed the mark for that particular person. Some people can look at a huge white canvas with a single red dot placed strategically in the center and call it a genius stroke of art. Others say, “What the heck is that supposed to be?” Is the painting good or bad? That depends upon the viewer. Does their view of the piece reflect upon the person who painted it? Does it define whether that piece is bad or good? No, I think not.
When I receive a critical review, I try to read it from the reviewer’s perspective. Do they offer something valid? Something I can improve upon? If not, I silently thank that person for taking the time to read my story and offering their opinions.
Duality is what defines good and bad, but in truth, there is no such thing, since one cannot exist without the other. So what is bad can also be good depending upon how you choose to view it.
How do you relax?
I love Qi Gong, meditation, yoga, and a glass of spicy red wine. Listening to a good book while walking in the woods is another excellent way to unwind. Nothing, however, beats sitting in a hot bath with scented bath salts, a dark room, sandalwood candles, a glass of heated brandy, and a good book.
Thank you for stopping by my blog today to check out this amazing author and her book!
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