Musie: Because of our guest today.
Mick *raises an eyebrow*: I know our guest is Emily Pikkasso, so why are you so... sedate?
Musie: Because she also edited me! I can't be flitting around like usual.
Mick *goes and opens door for Emily*: Nice to meet you Emily, the lump in the chair is Musie. *whispers* She's nervous about you being here.
Emily: Hello Mick, nice to meet you. Nice to see you again Musie.
Musie *almost vibrating*: I can't do it! I can't sit still this long! Thank you so much for editing Ghostly Passions! You made it so much better.
Mick: Luv, we're here to talk about Emily's book - not you. Tell us about The Oak King's Daughter.
Ahh, The Oak King’s Daughter…. Well, the premise of the story is roughly based on the old legend about the Oak King and the Holly King and how they each rule 6 months of the year. The Holly King rules the winter months and the Oak King the summer months. That is kind of misleading of course, because their reigns really begin and end at the solstices. From the Summer Solstice to the Winter Solstice the Holly King rules because the sun reaches its greatest strength at Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year and slowly diminishes until Winter Solstice. The Oak King defeats the Holly King at Winter Solstice and from that point on the sun strengthens and the days grow slowly longer.
For my purposes, the story takes place at Mabon, which is the autumn equinox, half way between the solstices. Dara is the Oak King’s daughter and she is yearning for some excitement. She is a young woman and has the desires of one, she feels stifled by her father’s control and rebels against marrying someone her father has picked out for her. It is her duty as his daughter to make a marriage which will help the Oak Kingdom prosper.
Instead, Dara falls for the mysterious new court mage, Tinne. The old mage passed away in the spring and his replacement is young and handsome. She allows him to woo her, unbeknownst to her father. At the Mabon Feast she runs away with her love, hoping for freedom and love in the Tinne’s arms.
However, there is a bit of twist to the story, Dara doesn’t know Tinne as well as she thinks she does. He is much more than what he allows the world to see and harbors a secret of his own.
Mick: That sounds interesting. Do you have an excerpt we can read?
Emily: Of course.
Mabon was Dara’s very favorite feast. The autumn colors were so well matched to her own coloring, she couldn’t help looking anything but breathtaking. The red and gold streaks heralding autumn’s approach glimmered in her dark green hair. Not that looking amazing will do me any good, I won’t get within ten feet of Tinne if Father has anything to say about it, she reflected.
Her father adamantly ordered she couldn’t be seen with anyone he hadn’t approved of first. Dara snorted in disgust. She could certainly manage to choose her own dancing partners, and if dancing led to other things, well Dairmuid didn’t need to know everything. She knew the behaviour childish, but she always used her father’s given name when he annoyed her.
The frown on her face softened as she remembered the first time she laid eyes on her
father’s new mage. Old Willowbark had died in the spring, and the new mage arrived at
Lughnassa. Dara’s heart jumped at the memory of Tinne when he first entered the Oak King’s court. The sunlight streamed through the open door behind him and set his hair and clothes ablaze.
“And set my heart ablaze as well,” Dara murmured.
Dara wrenched her thoughts back to her present dilemma. Somehow, she must find a way to give the herd of prospective husbands the slip. She drummed her long fingers on her knee as she considered her options. Dairmuid was far too formidable for Dara to risk out right defying him, and besides, she really did want to please him. Except his choices were so boring; none of them made her blood race like Tinne did just by walking into the room. Her face flushed with excitement, and a brilliant smile appeared on Dara’s lips as the perfect solution to her problem crossed the green lawn below her, disappearing in the shadow of the tree.
Dara slid down the tree and through the door hidden in the oak’s trunk. Racing down the
stairs as fast as she could, Dara slid to a halt outside her chambers. No need to alert anyone to her excitement if her handmaiden, Ruis had company when she entered. Dara never knew when Dairmuid would choose to visit her, and tonight he would be certain to seek her out to nudge her in the direction of his choice for son-in-law.
Mick: That does sound good. So tell me about your muse?
Emily: My muse is quite capricious at times, she’ll wake me up in the middle of the night and nag me until I get up and write whatever it is she is all het up about. She is also very magical and takes me places I would never think of on my own.
Musie: And now he'll ask I have a few questions about writing in general. What do you like most and least about writing?
Emily: I don’t know, that’s hard. I kind of love it all. But I guess if I had to choose what like the least it would be the tiny fine tunings of the edits at the end. I love to write and just let my fingers fly trying to keep up with my Muse and the twists and turns of the plot. After you’ve edited the manuscript like a thousand times it can get pretty tedious. I just keep the goal in mind; how wonderful and shiny it will be when all the edits are done.
Mick: What inspired you to write? Or was it something that you just always had in you?
Emily: I don’t think I know how not to write, I’ve been composing stories and poems in my head as long as I can remember.
Musie: Are you a plotter or do you just let the story unfold?
Emily: Actually, both. I had to do a lot of research for some books and so that requires plotting, how to fit the information into the storyline without seeming to be doing that. But once my Muse gets the bit in her teeth the story just unfolds and I run along behind holding onto the ribbons of her apron.
Mick: Where can people find you on the web?
My website is http://www.emilypikkassoauthor.ca/ and I have an author’s page on the MuseItHot! Publishing site.
Musie: Do you have another book coming out? I seem to remember Delilah saying we were going to do another cover for you.
Emily: Why yes I do, Musie. Thanks for asking. I have the March 2012 spot in the Lacey’s Lamp series which MuseItHot! Publishing is releasing in 2012. There will be twelve stories, one a month, each with some of the same basic components but each author has interpreted them in their own inimical style. It will be fun.
I am also working on a bit of a sequel to The Oak King’s Daughter, all my beta readers have urged me to continue the story. They want to know what happens next.
Mick: It's been a pleasure, Emily. Hopefully you can stop by and visit with us again.
Emily: Thank you Mick, and you too Musie. I hope to see more of your work in the near future, Musie.
It has been a pleasure visiting with you today. Thanks again.