In eighth-grade English class, I penned the tale of an Indian girl lost in the woods who makes her way back to her father, proud chief of her tribe. This exercise taught me the joy of losing myself in another world. My teacher praised the imagination of the story; that surprised me, because I thought every kid could do as well.
When I was fifteen I got sick and was confined to bed a lot, with books being my main mode of entertainment. Years later, stronger, I decided to try writing again. In my tale set in the Middle Ages, a girl and her twin brother learn their family has enemies who force them to flee from their stronghold through an underground passage … unfortunately their tale ended there. I gave up.
In college I began to write my novel Falcon Heart. Since I gave up on my first story too easily, I told the Lord I wouldn’t give up on this one unless He made it clear He wanted me to quit.
Don’t dare laugh at this next bit.
As unrealistic as Xena: Warrior Princess was, the show had a core of adventure. In Xena I saw strength, compassion, martial art, and comradeship with her sidekick, Gabrielle. The adventure and strengths within Xena: Warrior Princess sparked the idea of Falcon Heart in my mind. My lead heroine started out with the name Xena and had blue eyes. Now, years later, her eyes are brown; Kyrin is different from Xena in many ways.
As I edit Falcon Heart for print and e-book publication in October, Lord willing, several things keep my creativity fresh: walking in the country, time to think, and Pinterest. But my main motivator is you, fiction readers.
Stories of brave adventure give me a welcome escape and courage to live when I return from them. Great stories give me experiences of hope, goodness, mystery, beauty, and adventure. I want this for you.
Castle Gate Press is happy that Azalea serves as one of our associate editors. More on Azalea’s novel Falcon Heart: Kyrin’s story in the Middle Ages spans Britain and Arabia, murder and sacrifice, fear, courage, and slavery. She must overcome her fear of blades, slavery to an Arab master, blood feud in the desert, and treachery in the caliph’s court. Dagger against sword, she fights the wazir’s slave to save those she loves from death.
For a sneak peek, go to Azalea’s Books webpage and scroll down to “Peeks.” http://azaleadabill.com/wp/books/