When Angels Fly Author Interview – Cryssa Bazos
Please welcome Cryssa Bazos to my blog. Hello Cryssa, please take a seat. Coffee or tea?
Please introduce yourself to those reading this blog post.
Thank you for inviting me here today. I’m a seventeenth-century enthusiast with a particular interest in the War of the Three Kingdoms (English Civil War). I write romantic historical fiction set during turbulent times of war and social upheaval. You could say that I make my characters work for their happily ever after, one danger at a time. Rebel’s Knot is the third book in a standalone series, Quest for the Three Kingdoms.
Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book?
I’ve been a bookworm all my life and even before I learned how to read, I remember making up my own stories, even when playing with my dolls. Barbie time did not involve an endless parade of costume changes. I gave them dramatic storylines with their suitors, Ken and GI Joe, who came courting.
There comes a time when readers transition from bookworm to writer, and for me that moment came following a long reading drought. After years of raising young children and working long hours in a demanding day job, I realized I couldn’t remember when I had last read for pleasure. When I changed jobs, I suddenly found time to catch up on my reading, and over the next year, I read voraciously, trying to fill a parched well. Then one day, I looked at my bookcase and wondered, “What do I want to read next?” A voice inside answered, “What I want is to write.” That was the start of this journey.
How difficult was it writing your first book?
I wrote most of Rebel’s Knot during a COVID lockdown, and I found it really a challenge. Initially, I took full advantage of the lockdown to write, but when it became apparent that this wasn’t a onetime-and-done proposition, I found it harder to concentrate on writing and felt challenged, creatively. It wasn’t only the dark psychological space that I found myself in, but I felt constrained by not being able to travel and visit the places that I was writing about. I never realized how reliant my writing process was on visiting the settings of my novels until I couldn’t. What helped me to break through the block was to get away as often as I could. Even though I was limited to short stays in local hotels (they were grateful for the booking), it still felt like I was freshening up my routine.
Have you ever wanted to give up and what stopped you?
I never wanted to give up, but I found ways to procrastinate and put off writing. Had it not been for my writing friends, this book would still be a work in progress. They encouraged me to keep going and stick with my writing and editing schedule. I was also blessed with an editor who I’ve worked with for years and who I implicitly trust with a very early draft. She, too, kept me moving forward even when I sent her pacesetter notes.
Who is the most supportive of you and your dream to be a writer?
Were it not for my husband, I would never have been able to write. He is the one that holds the fort down while I’m traipsing around in the seventeenth-century. Even when I started writing, before I knew whether I could make anything of this profession, he was my first fan. He is still my foremost fan.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I’d like to thank my readers for their support, especially everyone who has reached out to ask when the next book will come out. That really did help keep me focused during this difficult time. I started writing for myself; I continue writing for them.
What is the best advice given to you (book or otherwise), and by whom?
Neil Gaiman is a font of writerly advice, and I’m a fan of his Masterclass. While he hasn’t personally given me advice (I live in hope), I’ve taken his words of wisdom to heart. He once said, “Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.” I’ve found that to be true every time. Often, when someone has flagged a problem, the solution isn’t always addressed at that point, which is usually the focus of the discussion. More often than not, the solution involves unravelling things to an earlier scene.
What is your target audience and what aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience?
Marketing gurus would probably roll their eyes at any vague answer, but here goes. My readership skews towards women, but I’ve found quite a few men also enjoy my work. Historical fiction author Deborah Swift once paid me a great compliment, “Cryssa Bazos is equally at home writing battle scenes as writing romance, and the pace keeps the reader turning the pages. The book is chock-full of historical facts, and these are seamlessly woven into the plot.” I believe that the reason my work appeals to both has to do with this balance between historical fiction, action & adventure, and the central love story. There’s something truly for everyone.
Did the cover evolve the same way, or did you work with someone to make it come together for you?
The talented Jenny Quinlan of Historical Editorial designed my cover, and she did a fabulous job in capturing the grit and strength of my main character, Áine. Jenny happens to also be my editor, so she knew everything about the characters and story before she designed the cover. I love working with Jenny because it’s a collaborative process. As a professional cover designer, she is in tune with the market and what readers are drawn to in this genre, so I trust her implicitly.
What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt?
I don’t have an excerpt to share yet, but I’ll be starting on my fourth book, which features one of my favourite characters, Nathaniel Lewis. Those who have read Traitor’s Knot and Severed Knot, will remember Nathaniel. He is a rather memorable character. Nathaniel is morally ambiguous and where he goes, intrigue follows. There will be spies and counterspies and secrets for sale. Nathaniel will have his world turned upside down when an old flame turns up to complicate his life. I’m really looking forward to working on this next project.
Any last words before we wrap things up?
Thank you very much for inviting me to your blog and giving me the opportunity to share my work with your readers. (Ah, you are most welcome.)
Book Title: Rebel’s Knot
Series: Quest for Three Kingdoms
Author: Cryssa Bazos
Publication Date: 8th November 2021
Publisher: W.M. Jackson Publishing
Page Length: 350 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Historical Romance
Twitter Handle: @CryssaBazos @maryanneyarde
Instagram Handles: @cryssabazos @coffeepotbookclub
Hashtags: #HistoricalFiction #historicalsuspense #TheKnot #StuartAge #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub
(Quest for Three Kingdoms)
By Cryssa Bazos
Ireland 1652: In the desperate, final days of the English invasion of Ireland . . .
A fey young woman, Áine Callaghan, is the sole survivor of an attack by English marauders. When Irish soldier Niall O’Coneill discovers his own kin slaughtered in the same massacre, he vows to hunt down the men responsible. He takes Áine under his protection and together they reach the safety of an encampment held by the Irish forces in Tipperary.
Hardly a safe haven, the camp is rife with danger and intrigue. Áine is a stranger with the old stories stirring on her tongue and rumours follow her everywhere. The English cut off support to the brigade, and a traitor undermines the Irish cause, turning Niall from hunter to hunted.
When someone from Áine’s past arrives, her secrets boil to the surface—and she must slay her demons once and for all.
As the web of violence and treachery grows, Áine and Niall find solace in each other’s arms—but can their love survive long-buried secrets and the darkness of vengeance?
Violence, references to sexual/physical abuse.
Universal Amazon Links: http://mybook.to/RebelsKnot
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/RebelsKnot
Cryssa Bazos is an award-winning historical fiction author and a seventeenth century enthusiast. Her debut novel, Traitor’s Knot is the Medalist winner of the 2017 New Apple Award for Historical Fiction, a finalist for the 2018 EPIC eBook Awards for Historical Romance. Her second novel, Severed Knot, is a B.R.A.G Medallion Honoree and a finalist for the 2019 Chaucer Award. A forthcoming third book in the standalone series, Rebel’s Knot, was published November 2021.
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B072871QB3