Next up from the anthology, Urban Fantasy, is Tera Fulbright, author of the story, "Fires within the Blank Page." The anthology is available on Amazon and Createspace. If you enjoy the excerpt of Tera's story, be sure to comment and check out the whole anthology.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I’ve been a fan of SF/F since first reading CS Lewis in the 4th Grade. In addition to writing, I’m active in con-running, pirate re-enactment and RPG’s.
What made you want to become a writer?
I honestly don’t know. I’ve been writing since high school both fiction and non-fiction. I’ve been playing D&D since high school and writing about the characters in several different games. Then, once I started meeting writers at cons, I realized it was something I could do and others might want to read.
Why Urban Fantasy? What about this genre appeals to you?
I like the modern setting with magic. I like mixing elements of high fantasy (elves and magic) with everyday human struggles.
Could you tell us a bit about your story?
It’s the story of a runaway young girl who finds herself helped by a circle of witches.
Your story involves witches. Any particular reason you chose this type of supernatural creature? What fascinates you about witches?
I’ve had several friends who were practicing Wiccans. For me, Witches have always been about believing that there is more out in the universe than just what you can see and touch.
Do you believe witches could be real? Do you wish they could?
I certainly believe Wiccans/Witches/NeoPagans/Insert-term-here are real. But casting spells that mimic Harry Dresden…not so much. Do I wish they could? Absolutely.
What gave you the inspiration for your story?
The first line came from a challenge given to me by a writing group. The rest came out of my love for old used bookstores and a couple fun visits to New York.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
The adults are all real people. Kelsey is more imagination.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
Right now? I’d have to say Morgan Collins. She’s the heroine in my urban fantasy WIP. She’s a middle school teacher who finds she has a calling for magic and, of course, to save the world.
What’s your connection to the South?
I moved to NC after high school to go to college and stayed. Then I married a southern boy. J I love living where I am - close to the beach and close to the mountains.
Who are your favorite Urban Fantasy authors? What do you admire about them?
Jim Butcher probably tops the list. I love how he throws problem after problem on top of his characters until you think there is now way they are going to solve everything, but then he does. I also love his characterization of some of the magical creatures. I’m also a fan of Faith Hunter and Devon Monk.
Who is your favorite Urban Fantasy character from another author’s work?
Who do you particularly like him/her?
Oh, so many to choose from…I don’t know that I have a real favorite. I tend to like characters though that are the love interest of the main character but who have a deeper purpose. (Eric Northman, Zayvion Jones)
Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day?
I do. I work in Talent Management for the Center for Creative Resources.
What is your favorite writing tip or quote?
Butt in Chair. “BIC.” I’m also kind of fond of …
"Q: So, why do you write these strong female characters?
Whedon: Because you're still asking me that question."
What else have you published?
My first short story, "History in the Making," was published in the anthology Rum & Runestones in 2010. My second story, "Faith," was published in Michael Ventrella's Tales of Fortannis: A Bard's Eye View. In 2012, my third short story, "Anne Bonny's Child," was included in Spells and Swashbucklers, the follow-up to Rum & Runestones. Recently, I had a fourth story, "Knight's Gambit" published in Michael Ventrella's second Tales of Fortannis anthology, A Bard in the Hard.
Tell us a little about your plans for the future. Do you have any other stories or books in the works?
I currently have my first novel with an editor! I have two other novel series in the beginning stages, and I’m always working on several other short stories.
Where can we find you online?
Excerpt from "Fires Within the Blank Page"
There wasn’t a flake of snow on the ground, but the city was dark and freezing. Kelsey could feel her toes growing numb inside her inadequate sneakers as she walked briskly down the empty street. I’m beginning to think this whole running away thing was a bad idea, she thought to herself, as she pulled her thin coat closer around her. She hadn’t taken into account that at 16 she didn’t have a good way to make any money. And she’d gone through everything in her piggy bank to buy the bus fare from small-town Asheboro, North Carolina to the big city of New York.
Outside a used clothing store, she got a glimpse of herself in the window reflection. She stopped. It was no wonder that every store or restaurant she’d been in had taken one look at her – in her worn jeans and thin coat, with her heavy make-up to hide the bruises and the run of stiches down her right cheek - and said they weren’t hiring. The streets were beginning to empty of passerby’s and Kelsey looked furtively around. She continued to walk.
As she passed by an old bookstore, it began to sleet. The rain turned sleet came down so heavily that she was quickly soaked through. Cursing silently to herself, she hesitated outside the bookstore window. Looking inside at the rows and rows of books, she made the sudden decision to enter. She had always loved books. They were the only constant safe place in her life. So, even if they weren’t hiring, maybe she could at least get warm and dry before returning to the shelter.
A bell rang as she opened the door and stepped into the store. A middle-aged redhead poked her head around the corner of a bookcase, a stack of books towering in her hands.
“Welcome to The Four Corners. Can I help you, dearie?” the woman asked in a faded Irish accent.
Kelsey shook her head. I’ll warm up first before I ask about a job, she thought to herself.
“Okay, feel free to look around. There is coffee, tea and hot chocolate along the back wall if you need something to warm you up. I’ve got some fresh scones comin’ out in a bit.”
Kelsey nodded her thanks as she moved slowly toward the back wall. Hands shaking with cold, she poured some coffee into a paper cup and took a sip. The coffee was so hot, it scalded her tongue but the pain didn’t bother her – it was nice to be warm. Still cradling the coffee in both hands, she began to wander the aisles.