Today’s article is from Bernadette Rowley, a lover of epic fantasy who is a veterinarian by day and an author by night. She is currently published in the genre of fantasy/paranormal romance with six books (soon to be seven), all set in her fantasy world of Thorius.
When she was a young teenager, an aunt gave her a copy of The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks and Bernadette has lived in various fantasy worlds ever since. So it’s no surprise that her chosen genre when writing romance is fantasy.
“I can see these settings so vibrantly in my mind and hope my readers can too.”
But Bernadette has no desire to spoon-feed her readers by laboriously describing her fantasy settings. She would rather the reader use their own imagination a little.
Along with sword and sorcery, dashing heroes and stunning heroines, this author includes strong healing themes in many of her books- an element which is central to her everyday job.
“When I started writing this series, I never imagined my day job would force its way into my stories as it has.”
And of course there are animals, especially Bernadette’s beloved horses, as well.
Bernadette lives in Brisbane, Australia, with the four heroes in her life- her husband Michael and three grown sons.
Hi Olivia and thanks for having me.
I’ve learned a lot about writing over the last twenty years but one of the most significant lessons is the synopsis. I used to laboriously pare down my manuscript, distilling from it the core essence, getting side-tracked by story events irrelevant to my synopsis. It was a chore I hated.
I can’t recall when everything changed. One day, I decided to write my synopsis before I had written my story. I pulled out the basic romance story arc and, once I had a good understanding of my characters, brainstormed a story based on that arc.
You know it well:
*Girl meets boy (core conflicts mean they should never be suited)
*They are thrown together by a twist of fate
*There are inciting incidents as one or both fight their attraction
*Black moment where it appears all is lost
The romance synopsis should be all about the conflict, feelings, love, desire and desolation. It can be so easy if you draft it first, without all the minutia of the story cluttering your brain. Done this way, a synopsis provides you a basic plan of your story. If you get lost, you can go back to it and remind yourself where you were headed.
More importantly, it ensures the basis structure of your story is sound, leading to less re-writing later on. And it’s so easy to tweak at the end. Just feed in the little changes that your muse decided were vital to the story.
And there you have it- the easy synopsis!
Bernadette’s seventh book, The Master and the Sorceress, is due out on the 16th of April 2018. Here’s the blurb:
Desperate sorceress, Katrine Aranati, no longer knows how to deal with the woman she has become. She runs headlong into a man whose heart’s desire is order and control. James Tomel, master jeweler, is outwardly a pillar of society but he hides more than one dangerous secret.
When they are thrown together on a trip to Brightcastle, fierce creatures from legend pursue them but even more dangerous are the feelings swirling between them. When their hearts and bodies come together, one will flee while the other demands an accounting. Can they find common ground where their love will flourish or will secrets and betrayal kill all hope of a life together?
Find out if love and chaos can defeat order and control in the fourth exciting instalment of the Wildecoast Saga.
Groot the puppy, my faithful companion, sits by my side while I write my stories.