I am fortunate today to interview the author of one of my favorite books, Crystal Shadows, the wonderful Joy Nash. Her next, highly anticipated novel is Celtic Fire,
published by Dorchester Love Spell and is scheduled to be out in June of 2005.
Thank you Ms Nash for taking the time to talk to us today.
Your books have very diverse topics such as the futuristic Dream Guardain, your
contemporary paranormals A View from the Clouds and Heroes Incorporated, a fantasy in
Crystal Shadows (a personal favorite of mine) and your next book is the historical Celtic
Fire. How do you decide what to write next, and is it difficult to keep the different styles
I don't have any problem coming up with ideas! They pop into my head all the time - I'd
never have time to write all the stories I can imagine. Most of my stories are paranormal,
as I love the genre.
I got the idea for Celtic Fire when I visited the British Museum in London. I love all things
Celtic, and the second century was a fascinating time in Britain - so much passion and
conflict. But the story really took off when I created Aulus, the ghost tormenting his older
brother Lucius, the hero. If you like Druid lore and dark magic, you'll love Celtic Fire.
Crystal Shadows was the first story I conceived, and I stuck with that one a long time,
rewriting it many times before it was finally published. I even attended wilderness
survival school as part of my research! Derrin is a lone wolf, very tortured, very honorable
- my favorite type of hero! I love how the story turned out and I'm very excited at all the
award nominations it's earned. (PRISM, Scarlett Letter, Write Touch, More Than Magic, The
Lories Best Published) Crystal Shadows will be available very soon in trade paperback.
Heroes Incorporated, a current PRISM and Scarlett Letter finalist, was my first foray into
pure humor. Clark is a geek hero who gets the girl without having to join a gym or get
contacts! He was really fun to write. Blossom, named, of course, after my favorite Power
Puff Girl, is his perfect soul mate.
I'm not sure where Dream Guardian came from. I wrote it right before Christmas, and I
was under quite a bit of holiday stress at the time <lol> I love Dar - another sexy
tortured hero. Jewel is a wonderful match for him - she's an opera student and her singing
is the key to saving Dar's life and sanity.
A View from the Clouds was a short story that was part of a fairy tale series. I had my
pick of fairy tales - i chose Jack and the Beanstalk, with a twist. The heroine is a woman,
Jackie, the beanstalk is a city skyscraper, and the sexy ogre is the senior partner at the
law firm where Jackie works as a lowly computer help desk operator.
Is there a difference in writing a book for print and or an e-book?
Not at all.
What is your strategy for writing and how does that differ from your work in architecture?
I spent years developing construction drawings for various architecture projects. It's a
time consuming, complicated job of creating elements and putting them together in a
form that everyone can understand. In a way, writing a book is the same. I just do it with
words rather than pictures.
The plot of Celtic Fire is loosely based on the story of Rhiannon from Celtic mythology.
What made you decide to use the myth as your stories backdrop?
Actually, the plot of my story isn't similar to the myth of Rhiannon at all. But my heroine
*does* have some characteristics in common with the mythical Rhiannon. The funny thing
is that I conceived my heroine first, then when I was searching for just the right name for
her, I discovered she had a lot in common with the Celtic myth of Rhiannon. So a tweaked
in a few elements for fun. I even hid a joke in the book - there's a passage where the
hero, Lucius, hears an unnamed Celtic myth and makes a disparaging remark about the
hero in the tale for not being man enough to catch his woman. The story is the myth of
Rhiannon, and since Lucius is *my* Rhiannon's hero, and he's having a bit of trouble with
his own love life at the moment, he's really poking fun at himself!
Are you a big fan of Celtic history and legends?
I'm a fan of all mythology - I can't get enough of folklore, fairytales and legends. I'd have
to say that the Celtic myths are some of my favorites. I admit I was surprised to learn
during my research on the Celts that they originally came from Germany, and once sacked
Rome (about 500 BC).
What other legends interest you and can we expect more mythology based romances from
I love the Holy Grail legends. I've just sold another paranormal to Dorchester, for release
in 2006. THE GRAIL KING is a follow-up to Celtic Fire, with Rhiannon's Druid brother Owein
as the hero. So much is written about the Holy Grail after King Arthur's time - in my
story, I put my own twist on what might have happened to the Grail in the centuries
before Arthur. Druids and Celtic legend are a big feature of this book. And if you liked
the DaVinci Code, you will love The Grail King.
Celtic Fire is written during the time of Hadrian, how much research did you have to do?
Celtic Fire takes place in 117 AD, during a time of huge strife along what is now the
British - Scottish border. The conflicts of the time led to Hadrian constructing a wall to
keep the warring Celt tribes away from the conquered ones. I did tons of research, my
sources coming from the Internet and from the extensive bookstore at the actual site of
Celtic Fire, the Roman Fort Vindolanda. Vindolanda is a Roman era fort near Hadrian's
Wall which is now a museum. I hope to visit there someday! I'm sure that when I do, I'll
expect to see Rhiannon and Lucius!
Which of your books took the most research and do you enjoy the research that goes into
Celtic Fire definitely took the most research. I loved it. I could have gotten lost in the
research and never written the book. A lot of what I learned didn't get into the book, but
it was useful to annoy... oops, I mean *amaze* my husband with.
Your heroes are pretty eclectic, are you inspired by people you meet, or is it solely your
I can't say I've ever based a hero on someone I knew. More likely, they are buried
aspects of my own psyche, or maybe a past life.
You have a number of anthologies published, what is the best part of working with other
It's fun working with other authors and seeing the twist they put on the same subject
you're working on. And of course, promotions are easier when you're working with other
Do the different writing styles ever conflict?
It's up to the editor to match up the stories. In Ultimate Warriors, I'd say Heroes
Incorporated was definitely the comic relief, as the other three stories were all serious.
But I'd say the whole collection hung together pretty well.
With whom would you like to work next?
I haven't really thought about it. I've met some of the very talented authors at
Dorchester - I'd love to do an anthology with some of them.
The release date for Celtic Fire is June 2005, I love how the home page tells the "secrets
of the story". How did you come up with this idea for your website?
I was very lucky to hook up with the wonderful web designers at Wax Creative
(waxcreative.com) They have a long list of romance authors as their clients and they really
guided me as to what romance readers love to see in a website.
On a personal level, how does your family feel about your stories now that you are
becoming so well known?
My husband loves being married to a romance author!
How did you react when Dream Guardian won the 2004 Lories Award for Best
Novella/Short Story and took Second Place in the 2004 PRISM Awards for Best
I was thrilled to win the Lories, and ecstatic to tie Sherrilyn Kenyon for second place in
the PRISM. This year Crystal Shadows is up for "Best Fantasy" and Heroes Incorporated is
competing for "Best Novella." There are a lot of other talented authors on the finalist list,
though. The PRISMs are a great place to look for a list of great paranormal books for your
What do you like to read, and what was the last book you read?
I love romance. The romance genre is really my first choice when I'm looking for a book.
But I started out reading fantasy and sci-fi, and I still like that genre and all the
cross-genre books that are being written now.
I loved all the books in Dorchester's 2176 series, and also all CJ Barry's "Un" books,
especially Unraveled. I'm looking forward to the Crimson City series. I'm a big historical
romance reader, I love Lisa Kleypas and Ann Lawrence, and I'm very partial to my critique
partner Donna Birdsell, who is writing wonderful Georgian romances for Berkley. For
contemporary romance, my big favorite is Suz Brockmann, and I also love Sherrilyn Kenyon
for the way she's brought ancient mythology into her contemp stories. I read some chick
lit, too - I like Michelle Cunnah and Sophie Kinsella.
The last romance I read was Married to the Viscount by Sabrina Jeffries. I love all of
Sabrina's books. They are smart and sexy, with a liberal dose of humor. Her characters
are amazing. This one sat way too long on my TBR shelf before I got to it!
My non-romance reading right now? It's Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
series, which I'm reading out loud with my kids, which is really a great way to read those
books. If you love sly and wacky British humor of the Monty Python variety, I recommend
The Hitchhiker's Guides. And I know Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will be in my
Do you have any last messages for your readers?
In celebration of the release of Celtic Fire, I'm giving away some very beautiful pieces of
Celtic-inspired jewelry on my website in May and June - www.joynash.com Please check
it out! If you'd like to drop me a line, please do, at email@example.com
And finally - keep reading! <LOL> And I hope all your real-life romances are as happy as
the last page of a romance novel :-)