Rhavensfyre is the collaborative pen name used by two writers, Roxanne and KL, who have been partners since 2000 and were finally legally married in Washington D.C. in 2012. They have a small farm in Pennsylvania where they raise and breed horses. KL is a horse trainer and has shown western pleasure in the past, now her focus is more on pleasure riding and breeding. She is an avid cyclist, and when she is not on four hooves she is on 2 wheels. Roxy works as a nurse by night and an artist by day. A military veteran, she has seen a good bit of the world and now enjoys the quiet country life immensely.
Their Switching Gears is a Goldie finalist in the erotica category. I asked them the 6 questions you posed on Facebook – and here are their replies.
1) Who/What is your favorite book/author? Why?
KL’s is Redemption of Althalus by David and Leigh Eddings. The depth of the world the authors developed and the concept of the anti-hero that never makes apologies is appealing to her. It is a traditional fantasy that may not be a part of the lesbian fiction genre, but it is a good example of where we want to be when we write fantasy with lesbian characters.
Roxy? So difficult to pinpoint one author. After years, no decades, of being a perennial student, heavy reading has become a norm. I read anything that will turn what the world accepts as common truth and turns it on its ear. If you can give me an alternative reality that is just as real and possible as what the majority has taught us, I will read it. I feel it is not a re-writing of history, but a method of making us think about what our world would be like if someone else had written it in the first place. A favorite book that left an impression on me is The Moon Under her Feet by Clysta Kinstler, simply because it offered a believable revision that brought the feminine presence back to the tale of Jesus.
2) What has been your most surprising or interesting inspiration for a book?
This is a tough one. There is so much we could list. A bike trail, a ride in the woods, a sign above an off ramp on the freeway, even an overheard conversation. All of these things have greased the gears rolling around in our heads. Personal experience and history? Yes…there is that too. Sometimes a story needs to come out, sometimes it is therapy, and sometimes it is just a piece of the past better served as fiction.
3) Writing is emotional and can be isolating. From where do you get your support?
As a team, we support each other. Sometimes one will need more downtime than the other depending on the story. Depending on the subject, the emotional drain can come from channeling experiences or knowledge the other doesn’t have. It is a unique situation, having someone to share this journey with, so it doesn’t feel quite so isolating…that is, until you realize you’ve been locked in the writing room and forgot to eat or go food shopping. A side effect of this is when we do finally go out with real people in the real world, it is a bit exhausting at times, but a good reminder we have been “down at the farm” for too long.
4) What does it mean to you to see your work in print and then up for an award?
Love, love to pick up a book and heft it in your hand…and then realize that you wrote this. Every word and thought and character came out of your head. It is almost unbelievable. Being up for an award is a double edged sword. It is great being recognized for your work, especially for a debut novel such as Switching Gears…but it also leaves you open to disappointment, knowing there can only be one winner. The true reward for us is hearing from our readers. Whenever we get a letter or message that our books touched them in some way, or helped them get through something—that is an award in itself.
5) What is next on your personal bucket list to accomplish (literary or otherwise)?
The idea of a bucket list is a bit foreign to us, we just want to live life and experience as many things as possible. Trying to pin down this or that as a must do is difficult proposition, mostly because we try to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. For now, continuing to write and publishing our books is the best adventure!
Literary wise? We just want to keep improving and sharing our works with our readers.
6) What are you working on now and what’s next up for publication?
Ladysmith was out on June 1st, this is a new foray into the fantasy genre for us and we can’t wait to see how our readers receive this book. Ladysmith is a modern fantasy, edgy, and a bit dark. I think the twists we have come up with are pretty unique and the world that revolves around the two heroines is one that is not going away any time soon.
We also have several novella length projects that are set up for serial release. We try to do a little bit of everything, since we realize not all readers have the same taste. For that reason, we have a bit of traditional romance with a western flair in our Chase and Rowan series. In fact, the third novella in this series will be released soon, most likely this month (July 2014). For our readers who have been following Chase and Rowan, we are adding a bit of action and adventure to the tale, so it should be a fun read! The tentative title is Love is Not a Dying Art, and follows Life is Not a Country Song and Love is Not a Romance Novel.
As for the next full length novel, we have another romance in the works…something we hold dear to our hearts and can’t wait to get out there. It is a fun, quirky, summer romance that should appeal to a lot of people.
Huge thanks to KL and Roxanne for taking part.