My favorite author growing up was Mary Stewart. Have you ever read her work? She wrote in two completely different genres, and had the distinction of being equally famous and well-respected in both. She is known by many people today for her classic romantic suspense stories, which were usually about a brave young woman who travels to an exotic place and finds herself involved in a life-changing adventure. She had a great influence on my work, though I don’t write with the wonderful literary quality she had.
But in addition to her classic romantic suspense, Mary Stewart also wrote fantasy novels. I was so fascinated by her tales of Merlin that I wrote my college thesis on Arthurian legend (The Character of Kai in Welsh Sources from the Eighth to the Twelfth Century—it was riveting reading, let me tell you! <grin>).
The first novel I ever wrote was actually an epic fantasy. But though it is set in a magical world of swords and sorcery, it has a lot in common with my mysteries. It’s about a young woman who finds herself at the center of a puzzle only she can solve. There’s a handsome prince, a plucky little boy she has to save, and a message about kindness at its heart. It is called Lark’s Quest, and is the first of what I hope will be many novels about the fate of the Silver Isle.