Guest Post: Rowena Cory-Daniells

Today, I welcome Rowena Cory-Daniells to the RWA blog. I posed this question to her:

Why would a fantasy writer join RWA?

and here is her response:

Firstly, here’s my booktrailer, produced by my (talented and terribly patient) husband.

KRKhd from Daryl Lindquist on Vimeo.

So, why would a fantasy writer join RWA?

The short answer is that romance writers are fun. (Hardworking but fun).

I was a member of RWA ten years ago, when I worked on the committee and I have not found an organisation that is so supportive and so organised.

Having been involved in the writing world for over thirty years, I have the background to make this comparison. (I went to Melbourne when I was 18, joined SF fandom, worked in a small press publishing house, ran a book shop and then set up a graphic art studio. I am also published in children’s books, have attended writers festivals as both a children’s writer and a fantasy writer, and I’ve worked on the state and national management committees of five different arts organisations, including RWA).

The thing that makes RWA different is that it is mostly women. Many of these women work and have families and manage to write AND then they volunteer their time to help RWA. Honestly, how do we do it ladies?

You know what they say — If you want something done, get a busy person to do it.

So RWA is proactive it actively supports its members in their goal towards publication. Then there is the other aspect of romance writing. It is all just so upbeat and positive. The publishers are actively seeking out new authors, the published authors encourage the unpublished, and the readers actively seek out authors, adopt them and follow their books.

Oh, and one last thing. The genres – fantasy and romance – overlap. Ten years ago they were called fantasy-romance, paranormal-romances and futuristic-romances. Now dark urban fantasies dominate this sub genre. (Yes, I know the difference between DUF and Paranormal, I’m just making a point that the paranormal-romances of ten years ago have evolved).

While the King Rolen’s Kin trilogy is a traditional fantasy – a kingdom under threat from invasion and rogue magic. Who will save the kingdom? — I do have other series currently being shopped around by my agent, including a prequel and a sequel to The Last T’En trilogy (Book one won the R*BY back in 2000 and book three was a finalist in 2003). These books are very sensual with buckets of betrayal and passion. I LOVE writing them. And readers loved the T’En trilogy, I still get emails from people who have just discovered it.

If you imagine genre as a line, with paranormal romance at one end and traditional fantasy at the other, then King Rolen’s Kin sits square in the traditional fantasy camp, while the T’En series edges closer to the DUF with its level of sensuality.

That’s not to say that there isn’t a love story woven through King Rolen’s Kin. Love is a powerful motivator and my characters are passionate people. When I sat down to write the trilogy, I wanted to write the kind of books that you reward yourself with after a hard week at work. Total escapism. So, in a way, they are the fantasy equivalent of romance, they deliver on their promise of adventure and excitement, set in a magical world.

Other writers have a foot in both camps, Mercedes Lackey is a good example of someone who writes both traditional fantasy and fantasy with romantic elements.

If you are interested in taking the step sideways into traditional fantasy or are just curious, take a look at the ROR blog. (This is my writing group. We’re published across the speculative fiction genre, fantasy, science fiction and horror, although it gets called dark fantasy now). The ROR blog runs a Writing Craft post every Sunday. (Or until I run out of requests).

As they say on Mythbusters, between us (ROR) we have over 70 years experience in the publishing industry.

That’s the thing; one person alone only has their life experience to draw on. When you join an organisation like RWA, you have the accumulated knowledge and practical know-how of all the members who have gone before you, to help you along the path to publication. So that’s why a fantasy writer joined RWA.

Rowena has two copies of her book ‘The King’s Bastard’ to give away. The question is: What was the title of Rowena’s book that won the R*BY back in 2000. (Hint the answer is on the RWA website, in the RUBY hall of fame).

Rowena lives by the bay with her husband and various combinations of her 6 children who come and go as their finances wax and wane.

Rowena will be the go-to-girl for RWA’s 5DI workshop today, so she won’t be able to reply to comments until this evening. She apologises for the delay.

The two winners of a copy of ‘The King’s Bastard’ are:

HC Brown
Eleni Konstantine
Can you please contact Rowena at rowena(at)corydaniells(dot)com with your details?
And Rowena has had some exciting news:

Jonathan Oliver, commissioning editor of Solaris Books, has concluded a three-book deal with Australian fantasy writer Rowena Cory Daniells.  The agent is John Jarrold, and the deal is for World English Language rights. The books are due for publication in 2012.

The new series is called THE FIRST T’EN and follows the fate of a tribe of dispossessed mystics, the T’Enatuath.

Leave a comment


  1. Hi RWAers,

    As some of you may know I’m involved in running RWA’s 5DI.

    Lisa and I have been dividing up the days where we go over to the UNI and help out and it turns out that today is my day for being the 5DI go-to-girl. With juggling work etc, this was a last minute thing.

    I’m going to check the blog for comments before I head off. And I’ll check it again tonight when I get in.

    Really sorry about this.

  2. About to dash out to the 5DI now to be the go-to-girl. Running after temperamental writers all day!

    No, seriously, they’re lovely and so dedicated. They inspire me!

  3. Rowena,
    Thanks for taking the time to share all this when you’re so busy with 5DI,
    Bet they’re having a great time there, even though it’s freezing here today,
    Love all your fantasy info,

  4. Kylie Griffin

     /  July 15, 2010

    Oh, oh, oh! No hint needed nor do I need to check the RWA website for this answer – the book was the incredibly fabulous The Last T’en!!! I bought my copy over in the UK – Edinborough, Scotland in 2001 to be exact. I still have it sitting on my shelf.

    And if you haven’t read it yet – why not????? 🙂 Get thee to a book store, buy it and read it.

    A great post, Rowena, I enjoyed reading about why you joined RWA.

    I hope 5Di is going well – not too cold either. (It’s freezing here!)


    • Wow, Kylie. I didn’t know The Last T’En was available in Edinborough. I thought it didn’t get distribution in the UK.

      • Kylie Griffin

         /  July 15, 2010

        The bloke who ran the store told me he’d ordered in the series specially – the store only sold sf/f books (is boutique the term?) – I thought it was cool he stocked them. 🙂

  5. You’re right Kylie, it is The Last T’en! I had to look it up though…

    Hope the 5DI is going well and the writers are feeling warm and inspired!! Mentoring them must be a wonderful experience 🙂

    • It was a wonderful experience, Helen, even being on the outside and sitting in like I did. I think the mentors are going to need a week to recover from holding 8 different books in their heads, with rewrites!

  6. Hey Rowena, hope you are enjoying 5DI. Congratulations on your new trilogy.

    I have read books 1 (The Last T’En) & 2 of The Last T’En before the third was published. I have the 3 book volume on the shelf so must read it from the beginning I think 🙂 And I agree with you totally about RWA being a fantastic place to be even if romance is not the main focus of the book but woven into it.

    • Absolutely Eleni.

      Being at the 5DI today with several writers who were new to romance, they just kept telling me how supportive and friendly everyone was.

  7. Kylie, that is the joy if specialist bookstores. The people do it for the love. They know the genre.

    I only just discovered that the manager at Galaxy in Sydney is a fan of the T’En books. He did a post on the Galaxy blog She’s Baaack! and contacted me when the new series came out and offered me a guest post and promotion. So generous.

    • Kylie Griffin

       /  July 18, 2010

      Wow, how good is that! Promo comes to you!

      And I noticed you’ve also crossed the ditch to visit Nalini on her blog this week.

      Sounds like you’re really getting your toe in the water with this blog touring! Woohoo! 🙂

      • Finding my way, Kylie.

        So much is happening in my life with work, the books, my family, the 5DI and renovating, I don’t know which way is up!

  8. Nicky

     /  July 16, 2010

    Congratulations on your new releases this year as well as the upcoming return of the T’En! You have been yourself very supportive and encouraging with many writers. I know for myself that I have you to thank for so many aspects of my writing life. Glad to read how 5DI is keeping your inspirational fires burning (& I’m sure even though their heads have been down in the words the writers are very appreciative of having such a wonderful support crew behind them).

  9. A very interesting post. I have to agree RWA is a great place to be. Your books are in my favourite genre and I will soon be adding them to my TBR list.

    • Happy to hear that. I’m a big fantasy and SF fan, and all the cross genres.Happy to hear that. I’m a big fantasy and SF fan, and all the cross genres.

  10. Louise

     /  July 16, 2010

    Oooh I know the answer to that. I watched the trailer and had to go to your website to find out more. Your books look very interesting and I will definitely be investigating them further. Thanks for the post Rowena and thanks for all the work you’re doing on 5DI

  11. Louise

     /  July 16, 2010

    Darn, I forgot to say the answer! It’s The Last Ten as far as I can see. The others are Dark Legacy and Desperate Alliances. Most intriguing. Sorry for posting twice.

  12. The two winners of a copy of ‘The King’s Bastard’ are:
    HC Brown
    Eleni Konstantine

    Can you please contact Rowena at rowena(at)corydaniells(dot)com with your details?

  13. Oh that is so cool – thank you Rowena and Diane! 😀

  14. I couldnt agree with you more…


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