Saturday, September 13, 2014

Author Saturday Spotlight: Rowan Speedwell *Interview and Giveaway*

For those who have read Rowan Speedwell you may or may not know her talent goes beyond writing. In the interview that you'll read later you will see. This woman is talent times 1000! WOW! I already loved her work, I've devoured her words like candy but when I read her responses to my questions I was blown away even more.

Rowan's work, whether it's Contemporary or other, is outstanding. She takes an idea and rides it out. We are rewarded with her books and glide through them, hearts in hand. She's an eclectic beauty and if you haven't read her yet, you must!

Rowan is also doing a Reader's Choice giveaway for one lucky reader so be sure to enter below.

Let's take a look at some of her AMAZING work:

Adam Craig is burned out. Lead singer of the hard rock band Black Varen, he's tired of the empty life of groupies, paparazzi, and hotel rooms. Worse, a life in the closet. After the final concert of their latest tour, he flees the after-party in pursuit of memories of lost summers and carefree days, until he passes out on the patio of a shuttered lake resort.

Miles Caldwell is a brilliant artist, tied by agoraphobia and social anxiety to his family's lodge. Alone but for his parrot, he spends his days illuminating manuscripts and hiding from the complexities of life. When he discovers Adam asleep in a deck chair, he's furious but intrigued. Adam soon charms his way into Miles' bed, and they lose themselves in a summer idyll, safe from the compromises and claims of reality.

But Adam's life, with all its demands, is waiting for him. And Miles, uncertain of Adam's true feelings, is battling demons of his own. Somehow, the man who's never home and the man who never leaves it must find the strength to fight for a future together.

Three years undercover with one of the worst gangs in the country left FBI agent Joshua Chastain shattered. Battling nightmares and addiction, he leaves the concrete jungle for New Mexico horse country, hoping to start over on his uncle’s ranch.

Foreman Eli Kelly spends his life rehabilitating abused animals, and Joshua is just another lost soul. But as Joshua slowly begins to put his life back together, Eli realizes that Joshua is a lot more than his newest project.

Joshua’s plan seems to work—maybe a fresh start was just what he needed. Then, just when he has finally found a sense of peace, crime and hatred nearly destroy all his hard work. forcing him to reevaluate what he wants out his relationship with Eli and his own life.

For five years, Zach Tyler, son of one of the worlds richest software moguls, was held hostage, tortured, and abused. When he is rescued at last from the Venezuelan jungle, he is physically and psychologically shattered, but he slowly begins to rebuild the life he should have had before an innocent kiss sent him into hell. His childhood best friend David has lived those years with overwhelming guilt and grief. Every relationship David has tried has fallen apart because of his feelings for a boy he thought dead. When Zach is rescued, David is overjoyed and then crushed when Zach shuts him out. Two years later, David returns home, and he and Zach must come to terms with the rift between them, what they feel for each other, and what their future could hold. But Zach has secrets, and one of them might well destroy their fragile love.

You can look up more of her terrific books on her website:
Or of course on her Goodreads page Rowan Speedwell on GR


 This question might be a little cliché but I'll ask anyway. What got you into writing?

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write! When I was little, my mother would hand me a pen and a ripped-open paper grocery bag and tell me “Draw me a story….” She had always read to us, and I started reading books at four, so stories were always a part of my life. The first thing I remember writing, however (and I still have it) was the beginning of a novel at the age of nine:  “It was a dark and stormy night, and the shutters of the old house banged crazily in the wind…”

 Finding Zach, which I truly and deeply love, is connected with J. P Barnaby's books Aaron and Spencer, which I also read and loved. Did you always know that you were going to write Zach? How did it come to be?

Zach had his origins in a science-fiction soap opera my BFF and I had been writing for about the last thirty years (completely unpublishable, but fun). The character had been kidnapped and made a child soldier when he was seven and was discovered by his family when he was fifteen, and a good part of the story was his reintroduction into civilian life. Then I saw a poster of a young man in handcuffs, thought “what if he was older…” and the pieces started coming together.

I was surprised as anyone when he said to me, “By the way, I’m also gay…” For some reason, it was that little element of his character that pulled it all together for me.

 You are such an eclectic writer (In my opinion) You have a refreshing amount of variety to your books. Illumination, a burnt out lead singer falling for an agoraphobic AMAZINGLY talented man with social anxiety. Bitterwood a very fairytale-esq feel to it that is beautiful and full of heart. Love, Like Water where you have a man used to rehabilitating abused animals finding a man whose soul is so very bruised. I guess what I'm asking is, how do these ideas form? What's the process from discovery to completion?

It always starts with the characters. Sometimes it’s something as small as a name, or a glimpse of a face on the street, or a picture in a magazine. Sometimes I’ll have an idea for a plot, or a setting—“I think I’d like to write a science fiction story…”—but nothing happens until I have a character. And then it becomes a matter of “what if…” 

I like to challenge myself, to mix things up. While my contemporaries sell much better than my other books—contemporaries always do—I don’t love them any more or less than I do the ones that hardly sell at all, like the fantasies. I’m fortunate in that I don’t have to do this for a living—the income is nice and funds my travel.

Generally, it’s characters, then plot, then romance, then sex. The sex doesn’t work unless everything else falls into place.

Everything gives me ideas, but the stories that seem to gel best for me are the ones that connect to some passion. With Finding Zach, it was post-traumatic stress. With Kindred Hearts, it was a passion for history, particularly of that era. With Bitterwood, my love for epic fantasy and my involvement with the Society for Creative Anachronism (see below…!). Love, Like Water tapped into my love of horses and New Mexico, and Illumination… well, I’m a calligrapher and illuminator in the Society, so…

 Is there any author you'd love to collaborate with? 
I collaborated with Marie Sexton on a short story in Totally Bound’s anthology Flowers for Him, and would do it again in a heartbeat. She writes faster than I do (doesn’t everyone??) and keeps me writing, but is laid back about it and very patient with me. I love Marie.

JP Barnaby and I have hashed out a possible collaboration on a YA book, but she is a very disciplined writer and I’m… not. Our schedules haven’t meshed yet, but I hope it does. She’s wonderful.

Piper Vaughn and I have also tossed around the idea, but so far haven’t really settled on anything. I’m a HUGE fan of hers and hope we can eventually do something together.

I’m a slow and deliberate writer, and edit continuously throughout the process. I think I’d probably be difficult to collaborate with.

 How do you come up with the titles for your books?


I have no idea how it happens. “Finding Zach” was just a working title until I came up with something better… and couldn’t.

Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?

Excuse me while I laugh my head off. <thunk>

Let’s just say I’ve never met a craft I didn’t like. I sew, knit, crochet, weave, embroider (all varieties, including cross stitch), paint, leatherwork, do woodworking, make jewelry, calligraph and illuminate like Miles (only not quite so intensively) … Right now I’m doing some bookbinding.

I belong to a brewers’ guild but am putting off actually doing any until I get my house organized enough to have a space for it, and do some herbal stuff (make salves and the like) under strict supervision (I know just enough to be dangerous). I do miniatures. I did archery for a while but am on vacation from it until the arthritis in my shoulder and elbow settles down. I’ve done some model-making—I love antique airplanes and boats. I bake, but hate cooking.

I’m a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, which is a world-wide organization dedicated to the recreation of medieval (up to 1600 AD) arts and sciences. That covers a LOT of my addictions!! I also enjoy steampunkery—particularly the crafts that go along with it. And I read. Voraciously.

 Do you have a "go to" writing snack?

Tea. Hot or iced, black, red, white. I love black tea, the stronger and blacker the better, and have a cup with milk every morning. It’s usually chai, Darjeeling or a blend called Highland Tay, although I recently discovered Lapsang Souchon. It tastes like bacon. I kid you not. I’ll drink that every so often.

I love coffee, especially iced, but it eats holes in my stomach, so I tend to avoid it. But every now and again I’ll buckle under to temptation and have a few cups.

I drink iced tea instead of soda.

Not a big fan of green tea – it’s too bitter. And I absolutely loathe Earl Grey. It’s like drinking perfume. Blech.

 Can you tell us about any of your future projects?

I have LOTS of future projects—whether they’ll all get done is the question!  I do have a science fiction story, two more stories in the Bitterwood universe, a spin-off (not a sequel) to Finding Zach, involving one of the minor characters, a sequel to Love, Like Water, a sequel to Kindred Hearts, two more stories following up a short story I had in Dreamspinner’s Myths and Magic anthology, a young adult historical that will probably come out (if it ever does) under another pseudonym. An historically correct Robin Hood is also in the works. Oh, and a BDSM historical—not sure if that will be a novel or a novella.

Ideas are easy. Writing is hard!

 If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would they be? 

Winston Churchill, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Christine de Pisan. Everyone knows the first two; the third is a brilliant writer from the 15th century who is one of the few women whose name we even know from a time when women were essentially property.

 How can your fans follow you through website or social media?

I’m on Facebook, but don’t spend a lot of time there. My Twitter handle is @RowanSpeedwell, and my website is

Thank you , Rowan, so much for being my Spotlight Author today! You have let us into your creative mind even more and I can't thank you enough.

Thanks for hosting me today!  I enjoyed the visit!!

Go to her Amazon page to purchase any of her books! Rowan Speedwell on Amazon


Rowan is having a Reader's Choice Giveaway! One lucky reader will have their choice of any Rowan Speedwell ebook! Contest will run from today until Friday September 19th Midnight EST. So be sure to enter. Winner will be notified via email.

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  1. Illuminations is one of my favorite books! Love Rowan's writing. Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. I have never read any books from Rowan but they look great. Going to Amazon now. Thanks.

  3. I have read "Finding Zach" it was an emotional read and it was one of those stories they stay with you along time after you have read it.


  4. I've read all three of these books and enjoyed the emotional roller coasters. If a book can make me cry, laugh and yell, it was a great book. I would love sequels to these book, of course Zach we got to see in JP Barnaby's Spencer.

  5. Had made a post but it seems to have gotten lost. OK, here I go again. :) I had not heard of this Author but now that I know I will most certainly be looking for her books. Thank you!

  6. Illumination is such a beautiful book. A go-to reread for me. xxx

  7. I haven't read any of Rowan's books yet, but I'm heading to Amazon as soon as I get done with this post. :-)

  8. I really enjoyed Finding Zach! Thanks for the chance to win another of Rowan's books!

  9. Rowan is a new to me author....the books sound great!

  10. I only have one in my collection, 'Love, Like Water', which I really loved but then what's not to love about cowboys and romance :) So thank you for a chance to add another of her books to my collection.. :D