Welcome Destiny Swallows to Creekside Café. Destiny is the other half of the writing duo of the debut novel, The Lost Maidens.
1: This is my first Romance novel.
2: I made that helmet behind my head in my photo.
3: I have autism.
4: My wife calls me Loki spawn, so it would be fitting that I’d end up writing an agent of chaos.
5: I did 3 tours of duty in the Navy, which allowed me to travel around the world.
6: If I had another chance, I’d love to return to Germany. I only spent a week in the nation.
7: I can still hear the dial-up sounds, and you got mail when someone says anything about it.
8: As a panster, working with an outliner was interesting, to say the least. Having to plan out the chapters with Ruby was quite the experience.
9: I hold a Batchelor of Science in Computer Security and a Master of Business Administration that I earned in the early 2010’s.
10: I grew up in Portland, Oregon but now live in Colorado. The climate shock between almost a rainforest to the high desert has been interesting.
Bio: Destiny was kidnapped and forced to write this at writer point by Ruby. Having written privately for years, Ruby convinced her friend to share her work with the world. She’s traveled around the world, seeing far-off places that inspire the worlds she writes.
According to your bio you were held at ink point to write this novel. Tell us the truth, we won’t tell a soul. Is Ruby a vicious task master?
Destiny: No, she isn’t. Once she got me to start the project, I was the one with the whips.
Sherri: As a pantser myself, I understand the difficulties you must have faced working with one who plots and outlines. I do try but I’m not consistent. What was the most difficult for you?
Destiny: I tend to have an idea of where I want the book to start and end. From there, I tend to let the characters lead the way, often changing the ending I wrote down. I will build scenes in my mind before I sit down to write, as I feel like outlines are double the work. If you’re writing details already, might as well just write the draft.
Sherri: Oh, I agree. I fast draft, which is like an outline, before going back to hand fruit.
Destiny: Ruby is the type of writer that needs to have an idea what chapter is covering what. To have road signs as she writes and to have the details already worked out.
Sherri: From Ruby’s interview, I know the two of you met through an online writers’ group. What do you usually write?
Destiny: I tend to write Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction, and Mythology. It’s wide selection of genres, but they are interesting to research how to provide realism to my novels. I love learning about the subjects I am writing.
Sherri: How did the two of you divide the writing?
Destiny: I wrote for Kaitlyn, while she wrote Alva. We shared the descriptions and NPC’s. As we both are Tabletop RPG players, we let the dice dictate how our combat actions, with a few exceptions for the plot.
Sherri: Tell me about the helmet in the photo. What was it for? You said you made it.
Destiny: I made it for my wife. It is the Lich King Helmet from World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. In 2015, she wanted to go to DragonCon, in Atlanta, as Elsa, the Lich Queen. We made her the helmet and sword, Frostmourne, for her to cosplay. We took cardstock, cut a pattern out for them, glued the pieces into a 3d model. From there, we fiber glassed them and used Bondo (for cars) to harden it and provide shape. My daughter airbrushed both for us.
Sherri: My daughter-in-law and grandchildren took me to a comicon. I enjoyed dressing up. I wish I’d known about using Bondo to fabricate my costumes. He’s a mechanic.
You said you hope to return to Germany, what adventures do you hope to do when you return?
Destiny: As a historical writer, I would like to see the rich history of the area. There is only so much you can understand from books, but physically seeing what happened in the old USSR state, to see the buildings that the Holy Roman Empire was ran from, to see the hills where the Celtics and Romans fought would help me translate that into my novels.
I’ve been to Italy, which allowed me to see the Vatican, Rome, Naples, and other towns on the Mediterranean. I’ve been to England and Ireland. I rather enjoyed their history as well.
Sherri: I love history as well and envy your travels.
The Lost Maidens is a historical, sapphic romance. I know you are married and have your own sapphic romance, but you said you’d never written romance, so how did this come about? Why romance? Why historical? How did this story evolve?
Destiny: Ruby was visiting my wife and I, and we started tossing ideas back and forth. The basic idea came rather quicky, one of us suggested Viking, which lead to a lesbian romance of the pair lost from their tribes. Ruby writes romance, so she talked me into adding it into the story.
Alva and Kaitlyn were not originally enemies to lovers. At best, they didn’t know each other but turned out that the healer cared more about making sure Alva would live than being nice.
Sherri: How did you and your wife meet? And why does she call you Loki?
Destiny: I met her on one of those sites in 2012. We had dinner, and I pretty much never left. It was like magic, as we are both pretty closed off people, that we opened to each other. We’d spend every night after work smoking (bad habit, quit later) and talking on her back porch. We were married in 2015.
I am Loki spawn because if I can cause chaos, I will, just to see what happens. Loki’s role within the Gods was to be an agent of change. I tend to also push my friends to become the best they can be. Because of this, I earned the nickname.
Sherri: Do you use your education in your career?
Destiny: I use my MBA in my career, but my Computer Security degree, I haven’t worked in that field in 7 years. It is a very competitive field.
Sherri: With a degree in computer security, yet you have no social media presence. Has the knowledge kept you from setting up an account?
Destiny: Mostly. I used to use social media a lot, but a few years ago, I said I don’t need this kind of negativity in my life. I walked away from most of them. I rather enjoy the person I am now that I’m not chasing likes and spending so much time doom scrolling. I also kinda forgot to make a Twitter account to promote my books until you asked.
Sherri: Now that your debut novel is ready to go live, what is next? Do you have other books ready to publish? Will The Lost Maidens be part of a series?
Destiny: I don’t have any more books ready to publish, but Ruby and I are talking about writing starting a WW2 Spy Novel series, taking place in the early days of the war in France. We want to tell the stories of the woman who spied for the allies, like Virginia Hall. She had a wooden leg, and managed to cross the Pyrenees mountains, twice with it. She had named it Cuthbert, and her handlers once told her to cut Cuthbert loose if he’s giving her too much trouble.
There are many women who helped the Allies stop Germany. From France, Italy, Russia, and many other places. I hope in the series that we can include stories about the Night Witches (A WW2 Female only Bi-Plane Bomber squadron) and Lyudmila Mikhailovna Pavlichenko, was a Soviet sniper in the Red Army during World War II, who was credited with 309 deaths, making her the most successful female sniper in recorded history.
Sherri: Ah, you are talking to my heart with WW2 stories, especially female spies. I will be happy to do another interview when you get that series up and going.
Thank you for joining us at my Creekside Café. I wish both you and Ruby great success with your debut novel.
If you enjoyed this interview, check out The Lost Maidens pre-order now, it goes live July 19th.
Alva and her wife Lise are on a mission to lead the sassy Princess Kaitlyn to a new land. They will combine clans through Kaitlyn’s marriage to the son of Alva’s chief. Standoffish at first, the pair quickly draw a disdain for one another, unmatched by any sense Thor and Loki.
However, when a storm rocks their world and capsizes their boat, Alva and Kaitlyn are the sole survivors. They are left with the tasks of exploring not only a new world, but also their newfound desires for one another. When the pair comes across a village hidden in the cold Canadian arctic, they embark upon creating a new life with the native people.
As they become one with the Inuit, how will these shield maidens prepare for their biggest threat yet? Will Alva be able to find Lise in their new village? Or will she seek comfort in the arms of Kaitlyn? Will the shield maidens be enough to protect the village from Frost Giants?
Find out in The Lost Maidens!