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 In conversation with fantasy writer Kate Sparkes


By DANETTE DOOLEY Special to TC Media Lewisporte author Kate Sparkes said getting together with other writers in St. John’s recently was a fantastic experience.

Sparkes was among 13 authors who attended Romancing the Rock Exposed on Sept. 24.

Romancing the Rock Facebook page describes the group as Newfoundland and Labrador romance authors drawn together by a passion for the genre and a mutual respect and support for one another. The authors strive to culminate a vibrant romance community while developing and growing their writing careers.

While Sparkes’ books aren’t strictly romance novels, they do have romantic elements. She’d been in touch with authors through Romancing the Rock on Facebook but the event in St. John’s was the first time she met the writers face-to-face.

“I don’t do a lot of in-person events so this was a first for me,” she said. “I was nervous but all of these authors are wonderful and I was so impressed with all of the organization that went into (the event).”

Sparkes said the three-hour event was also an opportunity to share ideas, not only with established authors but new writers and those who turned up to buy books.

The sessions included advice on story building, marketing, self-publishing, and traditional publishing.

There was also an opportunity during the event for authors to read from their books.

 

Inspiration

Sparkes is a fantasy writer born in Hamilton, Ontario.

Her husband Andre Sparkes, from St. John’s, is an RCMP officer currently stationed in Lewisporte.

The couple lived in St. John’s (where their two children were born) for about four years before moving to Carmanville for about three years – then onto Lewisporte where they have been living for the past year.

Sparkes has written four books including a trilogy of young adult fantasy.

Her latest book “Into Elurien” is an adult fantasy romance about a woman named Hazel Walsh who has been dropped into the midst of a revolution, in a world where monsters have overthrown the humans who once enslaved them.

The book is set partly in Newfoundland and partly in a different world.

“(Hazel) will have to join forces with the amalgus Zinian to save both their worlds from a common enemy if she ever wants a chance to return home,” Sparkes notes on her website.

Newfoundland and Labrador has been a great inspiration for Sparkes’ writing endeavours.

Even with the books that aren’t set in this province, she said, the landscapes and settings are inspired by her time here.

“I started writing the Bound trilogy when we were living in Nova Scotia but absolutely everything about the story was influenced by my time spent in Newfoundland,” she said.

Thanks to the Internet, Sparkes said she can enjoy living in a small community but can keep in touch with her friends and fellow authors through Facebook and other social media.

On her website (www.katesparkes.com) she describes herself as a USA Today bestselling author.

She has kind words when describing this province.

“I currently live in beautiful central Newfoundland, a magical island at the very eastern edge of North America. My two kids, one husband, and handful of pets keep me plenty busy, but writing keeps me sane,” she touts on her website.

danette@nl.rogers.com

Sparkes was among 13 authors who attended Romancing the Rock Exposed on Sept. 24.

Romancing the Rock Facebook page describes the group as Newfoundland and Labrador romance authors drawn together by a passion for the genre and a mutual respect and support for one another. The authors strive to culminate a vibrant romance community while developing and growing their writing careers.

While Sparkes’ books aren’t strictly romance novels, they do have romantic elements. She’d been in touch with authors through Romancing the Rock on Facebook but the event in St. John’s was the first time she met the writers face-to-face.

“I don’t do a lot of in-person events so this was a first for me,” she said. “I was nervous but all of these authors are wonderful and I was so impressed with all of the organization that went into (the event).”

Sparkes said the three-hour event was also an opportunity to share ideas, not only with established authors but new writers and those who turned up to buy books.

The sessions included advice on story building, marketing, self-publishing, and traditional publishing.

There was also an opportunity during the event for authors to read from their books.

 

Inspiration

Sparkes is a fantasy writer born in Hamilton, Ontario.

Her husband Andre Sparkes, from St. John’s, is an RCMP officer currently stationed in Lewisporte.

The couple lived in St. John’s (where their two children were born) for about four years before moving to Carmanville for about three years – then onto Lewisporte where they have been living for the past year.

Sparkes has written four books including a trilogy of young adult fantasy.

Her latest book “Into Elurien” is an adult fantasy romance about a woman named Hazel Walsh who has been dropped into the midst of a revolution, in a world where monsters have overthrown the humans who once enslaved them.

The book is set partly in Newfoundland and partly in a different world.

“(Hazel) will have to join forces with the amalgus Zinian to save both their worlds from a common enemy if she ever wants a chance to return home,” Sparkes notes on her website.

Newfoundland and Labrador has been a great inspiration for Sparkes’ writing endeavours.

Even with the books that aren’t set in this province, she said, the landscapes and settings are inspired by her time here.

“I started writing the Bound trilogy when we were living in Nova Scotia but absolutely everything about the story was influenced by my time spent in Newfoundland,” she said.

Thanks to the Internet, Sparkes said she can enjoy living in a small community but can keep in touch with her friends and fellow authors through Facebook and other social media.

On her website (www.katesparkes.com) she describes herself as a USA Today bestselling author.

She has kind words when describing this province.

“I currently live in beautiful central Newfoundland, a magical island at the very eastern edge of North America. My two kids, one husband, and handful of pets keep me plenty busy, but writing keeps me sane,” she touts on her website.

danette@nl.rogers.com

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