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Alexis Morgan | The Warriors of the Mist—a labor of love


Years ago, when I first started writing, my very first completed manuscript was a fantasy romance, a story about a band of heroes charged with ending an evil that had traveled from their world to ours.  After several rewrites, it ended up being set in the American West, but with aliens.  Yes, aliens.  That book never sold and is safely tucked away somewhere in my office, but even after all these years I still remember how much fun I had creating the world they lived in.

Ever since then, I've dreamed of writing another fantasy someday, and I'm happy to say at long last, that day is here.  The first book in my Warriors of the Mist trilogy, MY LADY MAGE, will be out this week from Signet Eclipse. I've had such a great time creating my warriors and the world they live in.

Captain Gideon and his men serve as the avatars for their gods, and when they are not needed, they sleep beneath the River of the Damned. Each time they are called to do battle, they strive to restore their honor and ultimately to find peace in death.

To get to know them, to understand the differences between the five warriors, I tried several approaches, all of which helped at least a little bring them into focus.  I began by picking names that meant some variation of warrior. Once I settled on the names, I picked out pictures of handsome men who fit the mental image I had of Gideon and the other warriors. But in truth, just knowing how they look didn't tell me much about them as individuals. Even when I went on to choose the style of clothing each wore, I realized it was still all surface image with no depth.

In the end, I learned far more by figuring out what kind of horse would choose each warrior. You see, the heroine, Lady Merewen, has a gift for breeding extraordinary horses, which have a mind of their own. Can you imagine these five battle-tested warriors having to stand in a semi-circle while the horses decided who is a worthy companion?  I had a great time not only writing that scene, but picking out pictures of each horse. Knowing Kestrel, the lead stallion, would choose Gideon was fairly easy. After all, both the horse and the man are leaders and responsible for those in their care.

The scholarly knight, Duncan, is also the most courtly of the men. He was picked by a lovely mare with an elegant bearing. Murdoch, the biggest of the men and a fierce warrior, was chosen by a mare who rivals Kestrel for size. The youngest warrior was picked by a spirited young horse for obvious reasons. 

But it's Kane, the dark warrior, who proved to be the biggest challenge. In the past, war horses have often refused to carry him because of the mage mark on his cheek that represents the dark magic in his bloodlines. On the other hand, a horse calm enough to carry him was of little use in battle. In the end, a horse named Rogue that chose  Kane. The horse bears his own scars from his past, and the two forge a friendship that can't be broken. Just like Kane himself, Rogue isn't handsome, but he is powerful, loyal, and fierce. 

So in knowing the horses, I also knew the warriors.  That was just part of the process I went through creating the Warriors of the Mist, but it was integral to the story. I had a wonderful time delving into the world of the Warriors of the Mist, especially seeing through the eyes of my heroes' four-legged companions.    

Let us know what you think and you could win a copy of MY LADY MAGE




41 comments posted.

Re: Alexis Morgan | The Warriors of the Mist—a labor of love

Your book looks great. I am looking forward to reading this
and getting to know your warriors. I enjoy all types of
genres - just to escape into another world is so much fun.

(Pam Brewer 5:13pm July 2, 2012)

this sounds so great im so excited to get a copy of this or
have a chance to win one i love books about the supernatural
also about warriors falling inlove
(Denise Smith 6:18pm July 2, 2012)

Hi, Pam and Denise! Thanks for stopping by. I love strong warriors myself, so writing about these five guys was great fun for me, even if I had to work hard to tease out all their secrets!

(Alexis Morgan 7:02pm July 2, 2012)

I must admit that this is new territory for me. However, like Pam, I have been enjoying all types of genres, so I best check this one out real soon! Thanks for sharing!
(Elaine Seymour 9:08pm July 2, 2012)

Elaine, I hope you enjoy My Lady Mage if you do give it a try.

(Alexis Morgan 9:24pm July 2, 2012)

I think it's a bonus that you went through the trouble of adding the details of each horse that goes along with each god. Being an animal lover, and reading the descriptions that you wrote, I can already picture the horses in my minds' eye. Your book sounds like I would be taken on a wonderful ride through the underworld, and I would love to go there. I thought the cover was magnificent the minute I saw it pop up on my screen. It takes a minute to load since I have dial-up. Best of luck with your book, and I'm looking forward to reading it!!
(Peggy Roberson 10:37pm July 2, 2012)

I like the idea of the horses choosing the riders and that you developed the warriors based on the characteristics/personalities of the horses who chose them.
(Janie McGaugh 11:26pm July 2, 2012)

I love the work you went to bring out the characteristics of the warriors and their horses . I love stories about the
(Patricia Kasner 11:42pm July 2, 2012)

Thanks, everyone! Learning who my characters are has definitely taken me down some interesting paths! I love horses, too, and spent a long time studying the amazing pictures in a book called The Fabulous Horse by Langrish and Sweeney.

(Alexis Morgan 12:17pm July 3, 2012)

I'm a horsewoman so this certainly interests me. I read Janny Wurts' To Ride Hell's Canyon where the heroine starts off with several beautiful horses but soon it became clear she was going to keep losing them... I don't want to re-read that book. Morgan Lewellyn, I think, also wrote about a magical black horse breed.
(Clare O'Beara 6:07am July 3, 2012)

Have not read a pure fantasy novel in a couple of years but I love the cover and the story looks interesting. Will be looking for this in the bookstore.
(Lindsey Ekland 6:23am July 3, 2012)

I love fantasy novels and this one sounds great! I look forward to reading it.
(Deanna Mancuso 9:10am July 3, 2012)

I also love fantasy novels and look forward to reading this one. There is nothing like a quiet afternoon and sitting down and reading!!! Thanks so much
(Bonnie Capuano 10:13am July 3, 2012)

Clare--I wouldn't like to see the horses disappear either! I especially loved the horses in Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series.
Lindsey, Bonnie, and Deanna--I appreciate your taking the time to read the interview. I was a reader long before I was a writer, and love sitting down to get lost in a book as often as I can!
(Alexis Morgan 10:31am July 3, 2012)

I love your books. i can not wait to read this new book Lady mage. Magic mystery, adventure, passion, romance, friendships, and life. I know this is going to be a great, fantastic, and interesting read.
(Anthonia Sharp 11:23am July 3, 2012)

I love horses! It looks like I have some reading to do. :)
(Sandy Fielder 11:54am July 3, 2012)

I think that this is a book I MUST read!
(Nancy Gazo 12:05pm July 3, 2012)

What an intriguing idea to have the horse pick its master! I
have put this on my must reads list! Thank you for the chance
to win.
(Theresa Dunlap 1:28pm July 3, 2012)

Your book sounds great - and I would love to win a copy. Even if I'm not a winner, I plan to get it to read. Best of luck with it. Nancy
(Nancy Reynolds 1:39pm July 3, 2012)

The book sounds awesome!!! Thank you for the chance to win
(Leisa Prater 1:48pm July 3, 2012)

I like strong bonds between people and animals in stories.
(Maureen Emmons 2:01pm July 3, 2012)

We always forget how smart animals are, and having the horses choose the warriors was a wonderful idea. It reminds us that we are not always the smartest creatures on the planet. Cannot wait to read the books and learn more about these mysterious warriors. Thank you Cheryl
(Cheryl Bezalel 2:38pm July 3, 2012)

It has been some time since I last read a fantasy book... this looks like a series I would enjoy.
(Colleen Conklin 3:10pm July 3, 2012)

This book sounds great, I hope I win. I love your books.
(Susan Atkins 4:17pm July 3, 2012)

Your book sounds so cool! It was very interesting how you went about building the characters. I'm always in awe of writer's imaginations. Best of luck on your new release!
(Renee Pajda 4:30pm July 3, 2012)

Very interesting concept using the horses to choose the
warriors. Sounds like a great book and I'd love to win it to
learn more about their world.
(LaRonda Atchison 4:50pm July 3, 2012)

I would love to win this book. It sounds very intresting.A
must read.
(Mary Hay 5:16pm July 3, 2012)

A smart strong man who relies on an animal to complete his feats, sounds
(Darci Paice 5:39pm July 3, 2012)

Sounds like a really good book! Thanks for the chance to win!
(Natasha Donohoo 5:48pm July 3, 2012)

I loved reading about how you developed your idea to have the horses choosing their warrior riders, and I like the names you've chosen, too. The cover is so beautiful; it would make a fabulous poster. I love horses anyway. This is a book I must read, which sounds like a great start for your trilogy. Thanks!
(Linda Luinstra 6:14pm July 3, 2012)

oooh - I SO want this book!! Pick me! Pick me!! I LOVE your work!!! :) Pam
(Pamela Faye Howell 6:50pm July 3, 2012)

I like the way you natch the names to the work the men do.
(Alyson Widen 7:32pm July 3, 2012)

Fantasy & romance is my favorite combination.
(Jan D 8:18pm July 3, 2012)

Your book sounds wonderful and just like something I'd love to read. I always enjoy it when historical fiction has a touch of the supernatural!
(MaryAnne Banks 8:34pm July 3, 2012)

The summary of the book sounds terrific. I love the book cover. Looking forward to reading it.
(Kai Wong 8:49pm July 3, 2012)

I love fantasy romances. This book sounds awesome. I would love to read it.
(Molly Frenzel 9:14pm July 3, 2012)

This post made me remember a series I read a long time ago by Mercedes Lackey. The world was Valdemar and I remember loving it. I will have to dig those out. Thank you for shaking those cobwebs loose and I will be looking into this series as well!
(Patti Paonessa 9:19pm July 3, 2012)

What a unique approach! Sounds like it worked too!
(Janet Worley 10:49pm July 3, 2012)

I love this idea of a connection between man & horse - must be
a good man to make that connection (& a good horse).
(Diane Sallans 10:52pm July 3, 2012)

This sounds like a very exciting read & indeed the series too.
(Mary Preston 2:02am July 4, 2012)

This sounds like just the kind of fantasy novel that I have been missing in my recent reading. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
(Dolores Feagin 10:58pm July 5, 2012)

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