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February's Featured Author: Say hello to Rowena Cory Daniells!

February 2, 2011
Oh, yikes! Can you guys believe it's February already? Like, where did January go?? BUT, since it is February, I get to introduce another author to you. Please welcome the lovely fantasy author Rowena Cory Daniells, all the way from Down Under. Yes, I now have that song stuck in my head, and yes, I'm sharing the link so you can get it stuck in your head, too...

We'll start off with the Q&A, and you'll want to read to the end to get in on the lovely contest she's hosting! Are you ready to meet Rowena? Buckle up, here we go!

drey: Hello and welcome to drey’s library, Rowena! Your name is just lovely--I once had a neighbor with your name, and I was jealous that she had such a beautiful and graceful name. Ok, so maybe the fact that she was beautiful AND graceful had something to do with that, too... ;)

rowena cory daniells
Rowena: Thanks, Drey. I love the name Audrey, always reminds me of Audrey Hepburn, now that’s one elegant lady!

drey: Awwwwww, shucks, thank you! *blush* My mom named me after the lovely Audrey, but unfortunately I only bear her name... *grin*

BUT, we’re not here to talk about me, we’re here to talk about YOU! So shall we get started?

Please introduce yourself to us, preferably in more than one sentence.

Rowena: Wow, that is a really hard one to answer. How about this? I get up every morning and try to give the best of myself to everything I do and to my family and friends. By the time I fall into bed at night I’m exhausted. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

drey: See, that wasn't really that hard, was it? *grin*

Have you always wanted to write? Why fantasy as opposed to other genres?

Rowena: You mean there are other genres? No, seriously, isn’t everything fantasy in one way or another? James Bond, now that’s a fantasy …

drey: True, true... goes off daydreaming of Daniel Craig...

Rowena: I’ve always told myself stories. When I see a movie and the character does something, I think - that’s just how I would have written it, or - what was the writer thinking, he/she’d never do that! If I see a movie or read a book that surprises me, the characters stay with me and I carry on their stories in my head because I want to know what happens to them after the book/movie ends. If I come across a book or movie with an ending that disappoints me, I’ll mentally rewrite the ending. I thought everybody did this.

drey: I'm so not that creative... Which is why I read, and leave the writing to others!

How do your stories make their way from your imagination to paper?

Rowena: When it’s going well, it doesn’t feel like I’m writing a story, it feels like the story is writing itself. Characters do things and I’m just scrambling to keep up, connecting the dots. Other times, I have to push through patches where things aren’t going well. If the story doesn’t flow it means that something isn’t working and the block is my subconscious telling me this.

That’s when mowing the yard it really useful. Unlike house work, a mowed yard stays mowed for a couple of weeks and the repetitive physical exercise lets my subconscious get to work on the story. There’s this little story-telling part of my brain that never really switches off. I’ll often wake in the middle of the night with the solution to a plot problem.

cat with The King's Bastard
drey: What do you do to recharge your batteries?

Rowena: Input has to exceed output. The brain needs to be challenged. I’m always learning, always watching trying to make sense of the world. About once a year my writing group ROR goes away to spend a weekend critiquing our WIPs (work-in-progress). This is really good for me. It sets a deadline and it gets me out the treadmill of work and family. Sometimes you just need to get away, to appreciate what you have when you come back.

drey: Screen version of King Rolen’s Kin: Who would you have on your dream team?

Rowena: Oh, wow, let me be totally self indulgent with this. KRK is a rollicking tale, meant to sweep you away. I’d like to see Zhang Yimou direct because he knows how to tell a good story and his art direction is absolutely beautiful! (Hero, House of Flying Daggers, Curse of the Golden Flower). As for actors, I’d like to give a cast of unknowns a break. I wouldn’t want people watching the movie to be thinking Brad Pitt’s doing a good job - I’d like them to be totally immersed.

King Rolen's Kin books

drey: ♥ You are so on my favorites list now, those are some of my favorite epic movies ever! My gamertag on XBOX Live is theGoldenFlower. Muahahahahahaha! *grin*

Smackdown: Your favorite characters face off in the ring. Who are they, who wins, and why?

Rowena: I’m probably over thinking this, do you mean my characters as in characters that I’ve written, or other writers’ characters, or do you mean my characters against other writers’ characters? (I used to drive my teachers crazy).

drey: Yes... lol!

Rowena: I’m going to be really wicked and say I’d like to see Sherlock Holmes in a mental battle with Spock. I think Holmes would win because he’d fight dirty.

drey: eReaders are popping up all over the place... And along with it, controversy over the pricing of eBooks vs print copies. What’re your thoughts?

Rowena: Over here in Australia we are only just seeing eReaders cropping up in the wild. People on trains reading them, someone at work in the lunch room, that sort of thing. They are still enough of an oddity for me to strike up a conversation with the person and ask them how they find using the eReader. The person usually says something like, I read a mountain of books, this way I can carry them all around with me. Reader Heaven!

drey: Um, yeah, TOTALLY!

What’s up next for you?

Rowena: I’m currently working on book three of The Outcast Chronicles, which I have to hand in to my publisher, Solaris, in May. Think sensual and violent with lashings of political intrigue as one woman tries to save her people from persecution!

drey: Ooooh, sounds awesome!

And, last but not least, the quickie 5:
  1. Who would you rather have show up at your doorstep: Hugh Jackman or Eric Bana?
  2. Neither. I already have my real life hero! (awwwwwww!)
  3. Wine: Red or white?
  4. White, but only once a year on our anniversary.
  5. Dessert: Cheesecake or ice cream?
  6. Definitely cheesecake. I have two daughters (and four sons – my house is testosterone city!). So it is really nice to get out with my daughters to have cheesecake and coffee and put the world to rights. If we get one piece of cheesecake between the three of us it is 66% fat free!
  7. Pet: Dogs or cats?
  8. Cats and this is why:
    cats and dogs
  9. Chocolate: Solo or paired (& if paired, with what)?
  10. Dark Chocolate paired with my DH, so we can cuddle on the couch and watch a good movie!

drey: Thank you so much for visiting us this month, Rowena! I hope you enjoy your stay. Everyone, find Rowena online at her website,, and the website for King Rolen's Kin.

And come back on Wednesdays this month for her awesome giveaways, which we're starting off right now!!

Rowena is giving away one book from her King Rolen’s Kin trilogy (eg. If you haven’t read any of her books, she’ll send book one. If have book one, she’ll send you book two). This one's open INTERNATIONALLY!

To enter, comment below and answer Rowena's question:
Did you see the new Sherlock Holmes set in contemporary London? Did you see the latest Sherlock Holmes movie with Robert Downey Jr.? Who is your favorite incarnation of Sherlock Holmes and why?

Hmm... I want to see that latest Holmes movie, I heart Robert Downey Jr... It's actually on my Netflix list, it just hasn't made its way here yet... I'm off to go remedy that now!

Oh, and don't forget to include your email address in your comment. Enter before 6pm CST February 9th. Good luck!!


tetewa said...

I've seen the movie with Robert Downing and thought he did a great job! I'm always looking for new series to read, sounds good!

Anonymous said...

I have seen the Robert Downey Jr. version of Sherlock and I thought he was very good. I like almost anything he does though. The other Sherlock set in the London of now is in my Netflix queue, but I guess everyone wants to see it. I should have recorded it on my DVR when it showed on Mystery!

Thanks for offering the book!


Shrek said...

My wife has always been partial to Nicholas Rowe playing Holmes in the movie "Young Sherlock Holmes". I found Michael Caine's Holmes from "Without a Clue" to be very humorous. Brent Spiner playing Data playing Holmes in ST:TNG is also one not to miss.

And everyone should pick up the King Rolen's Kin series. It's great. ;)

Anonymous said...


Now I'll have to hunt up those versions you mentioned!

Anonymous said...

Kay, everything Robert Downey Jr does is interesting. Have you seen him in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang?

Anonymous said...


Have you watched the special features on the Robert Downey Sherlock Holmes DVD?

Karielle Stephanie said...

The only version I have seen is the Robert Downey Jr. version and I thought he was perfect!

2love.stephanie at gmail dot com

booklover0226 said...

Hello there!

First I must say that when I saw this series last year, I immediately added it to my "must have" list. The series sounds exciting.

I did see the Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey, Jr. (who is so adorable). The movie was good; I enjoyed it.

My favorite Sherlock Holmes is Basil Rathbone with Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson. Wow, those movies were great. I've read many of the Sherlock Holmes stories and I think Rathbone played him to a "T".

I also like Jeremy Brett's Holmes, but Rathbone will always be my favorite.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot ocm

Jaedia said...

Would love book one, very interested to read Rowena's work! It would bump it up my 'to read' list by a fair margin too :)

Have seen both of the recent Sherlock's and I can say that without a doubt I loved the BBC contemporary version the most. As much as I love Downey Jr. and Jude Law, I just couldn't enjoy the film as much, but the series is absolutely fantastic!

jaedia at live . co . uk

Anonymous said...

Tracey D,

I bought the Sherlock Holmes collection and read the whole thing. Became totally immersed in London of that era.

Basil Rathbone, eh? You're a traditionalist!

Anonymous said...


I thought they did an excellent job of updating both Holmes and Watson to contemporary London. Each character retained his essential self, but acted as he would have done, had he been born 100 years later.

Big achievement!

Izzy said...

I liked Rathbone too. Have not seen the RDJ version yet but everyone says it's worth a watch!

Jessica said...

Mmhmm I agree with the Robert Downey Junior version. He was fabulous and maybe it's because the movie was more recent, but I liked it best!

jsididia at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...


We all enjoy Robert Downey Jr!

stepperB said...

Saw both the new movie and the new series. I really like what they did with Moriarty in the BBC series. Very dark character, even for the BBC.

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