SAIHM Feature + Guest Author & A Giveaway: Yasmine Galenorn

My darlings it is November! How did that happen?! Also, it’s the first Tuesday! >.> Yes. *koffs* So – it’s time for our Guest Author & A Giveaway feature! Today we have Yasmine Galenorn, she’s a first time guest at ALBTALBS so everyone give her a warm welcome! I also loved her answers, and I hope you do too.

So without further ado … your typical ALBTALBS Author Interview with Yasmine Galenorn! \o/

Courting DarknessWhich would you most like to go to? A​ncient Greece, ​Rome, Egypt, China, Mesopotamia, Africa, or South America? Why?
Um…can I pick Finland? Because I have a special connection there—not by blood but by spirit. If not, then Mesopotamia, because I love the B52’s song. *grins*

Which fairy tale would you most like to be in? ​Least? Why (for both)?
Most: I’m picking Where the Wild Things Are. YES—I maintain it’s a modern fairy tale! I want to travel with Max to the island and meet the Wild Things. And some times, I want to stay there, because the concept of living on a magical island full of wild creatures who were also malleable sounds like a lot of fun.

Least: Cinderella. I don’t believe in Happily Ever After (though I do believe in Happy For Now), I don’t like housework, and I want my man to be an equal partner, not my rescuer. 😉

What’s the best book you read as a school assignment?
Watership Down. It’s still my favorite book. I absolutely love it, and see it as modern myth. I had to contrast/compare it to the Odyssey in 9th grade. I still cry over the end, no matter how many times I’ve read it, and my favorite character is Fiver.

What do you think about clowns?
Do we even have to go there? *shudders* Have NEVER liked clowns. They freak me out. They invade your boundaries and space and then victim-blame you for being a poor sport when you tell them to back off. I can’t imagine being married to a clown. That would be a deal breaker.

Night SeekerCelebrity/Author death match – who would you most want to take on? [you don’t have to say why ;)]
Oh hell, I dunno. Alyssa Day. Because I love the woman and no matter how it came out, I’d be happy . *laughing*

What did you do with the money from your first royalty check?
Bought a new desk and chair and got my first tattoo! WAY back in 1998.

What items have to be close by when writing & not just the sensible stuff like research notes, but the other perhaps slightly goofy stuff (bowl of m&ms, stuffed animal, stress ball, pot of coffee).
Other than my notebooks, research, Daytimer, dozens of pens and other office supplies…there are a number of trinkets I love but the ONE constant throughout my writing life has been Miss Kitty, the porcelain kitty I’ve had since I was 7 years old (and that is…a little over four decades). I traded a necklace for her at school. She’s been my writing mascot ever since. I have a lot of other baubles and things, but Miss Kitty? She has to be there.

If you had to become a bear, which type would you choose? Why?
I LOVE BEARS I LOVE THIS QUESTION…*calms down* Okay…Brown bear. I love brown bears. The goddess I’m a priestess of created the bear in the Finnish traditions/mythos and names him Otso. Bear is tattooed on my arm. I have three cave bear teeth that are 20,000 years old. I have statues of bears—including a very large one in my yard. I have pictures of bears. I have stuffed bears—I love the Gund Snuffles bears and collect them. Oh, you wanted to know why? Because brown bears are…bears. Isn’t that enough reason?

Shadow RisingA twisted fairy offers you perfect health. You’ll never be sick or get a migraine again. The catch is you’ll break a bone every three years until your 75th birthday. Nothing crippling, but still a break. (Anything from a femur to your pinky.) Do you take the offer? why or why not?
Um, sure. Considering that at most, I’d maybe, possibly, live 15 years after 75 years old, that’s five bones and none of them crippling? Okay. Fine. I won’t be going wind surfing or sky diving at that point. That’s fine. Even at my age, if all health concerns magically vanished until I was 75—sure.

If you were to become a spammer, what product would you peddle? And what would your message be? Come up with the most attention getting, creative, crazy thing. Yes, that’s a challenge.

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​T​ell us two truths and a lie. (The catch is you have to tell us what the lie is later in the comments)

  1. I lived in a converted school bus and slept with a hatchet by my head.
  2. I firmly believe I was an Egyptian Pharaoh in an earlier life.
  3. I never went on a date with any of my boyfriends/girlfriends/husband (and former husband) before I got involved with them romantically.

If you could be a super hero what would your super hero name be? And what would your nemesis be named? What would both of your super powers be?
The Empress of Dark Sparklies. My powers would be the ability to enchant and delight, with the darkest of sparkly magic. And my nemesis would be Grumpy Conservo-Dude, who has the power to drain the magic out of any gathering, and the fun out of any situation.

Night VisionIf you could switch places with someone for 72 hours, whose life would you want to live?
Honestly? Nobody. If I loved it more than my own, I’d regret coming back. If I hated it, I’d never be able to talk to that person again without thinking, “I know too much about what their life is like.”

What five other authors do you think more people need to be reading? (You can assume you’re already on the list ;))

  1. Shawntelle Madison.
  2. Kerry Schafer
  3. Karen Mahoney
  4. Holly Black (The Coldest Girl in Cold Town is one of my favorites as of late)
  5. Chloe Neill

Who are you choosing for your zombie apocalypse team? [Real, then fictional?]

  1. My friend Andrew. He’d be my choice for leader of the pack. If anybody can survive the zombie apocalypse, he can.
  2. I’d be the brains.
  3. Samwise—my husband—to run the underground communications/computer network.
  4. Marc and Andria, my assistants—both strong and handy.
  5. Carol, one of my best friends.
  6. Gary Numan—my favorite singer because we’re going to need entertainment. *koffs*celebritycrush*koffs*

Autumn WhispersFictional:

  1. Leonard McCoy from Star Trek: He can cure anything with that tricorder.
  2. Buffy: because she’s…Buffy.
  3. Daryl from the Walking Dead: Because besides being eye candy, you have to love a guy who can shoot a good cross bow and have no remorse.
  4. MacGyver: because he can create ANYTHING.
  5. Han Solo: because HAN SHOT FIRST!
  6. Thor: because he’s Thor, any other reason needed?

(Hey, you said ‘team’…to me a team means numbers!)

What a fun interview! But now I want to talk a little about Native American Indian Heritage month, and about how that relates to me. You might not know, but I’m (a significant) part Cherokee. I don’t talk about it much because honestly, I see it as just part of who I am. It doesn’t make me any more special or less special than someone who’s part Norwegian or part African American.

I’m one of those people who are kind of adrift about my family heritage. Most of the rest of my origin is Irish, but the honest truth is this: I don’t know much about a lot of my ancestors. I tried to investigate my Cherokee ancestry but my ancestors weren’t on the government rolls and that makes it difficult to pursue information.

Night's EndThe genealogy of my family wasn’t documented very well and with a great-grandma who outlived eight husbands, nobody really even knows what her original last name was, as far as I know. Our family? Not so close. Add to that, my blood father was my mother’s cousin (a long and involved story there. My mother left my stepfather for very good reasons, got pregnant with me, and then unfortunately went back to him)…and you begin to understand the complicated dynamics involved in my background.

However, I do know this: I grew up in a town where ethnicities weren’t accepted very well. I grew up hearing my stepfather refer to Native Americans as ‘warhoops’ (right in front of my mother and me), and Hispanics as ‘wetbacks.’ It didn’t make me ashamed of my background. In fact, his prejudice only served to make me leave that town and my family as soon as I could.

I also know that when my mother first married my stepfather, Grandma wouldn’t allow Mom to walk through the front door for a couple of years because she was part Cherokee. (Yes, I called—her Grandma. Blood related or not, she actually treated me pretty nicely though everybody knew I wasn’t actually H’s daughter. She didn’t take it out on me like he did—he abused me for just existing.)

Priestess DreamingMom was forced to go through the back door or the ‘servant’s entrance.’ After my stepfather finally spoke up—two years later—and his brother and sister argued with Grandma, she relented. But two years of being relegated to ‘servant’ status affected my mother’s already low self-esteem and I don’t think she ever recovered. When I heard the story, it made me that much more determined that I’d never let anybody stop me from what I wanted to do, just because of who I was.

Once I left home, I don’t believe I’ve ever suffered discrimination because of my ethnic background. I’ve been discriminated against because of my weight, being tattooed, and to some degree—being bisexual—more than anything else.

But yes, that, and the whole dynamic of knowing what happened to my mother, did affect my writing. In my books, there are hate groups and racism, even though it’s within an urban fantasy setting.

While some things in my world are idealized, others are not. In Otherworld, same-sex marriage? Legal and no problem to most people. Alternative lifestyles and sexualities? Maybe not the norm but just a matter-of-fact presence. But discrimination exists, and not only among the humans. My D’Artigo Sisters’ father hates one of Camille’s husbands simply because of his heritage. He’s prejudiced. And it causes a rift and he pays a price in losing his daughters’ respect.

Panther ProwlingI approach the themes of ‘other-ness’ and discrimination from a world-centric POV rather than taking it down to one ethnicity. Because I see racism and discrimination in every group, in every country, every continent, every religion, every gathering of like-individuals. There will always be a few who browbeat those who aren’t part of the ‘us’ in the us-and-them. So my writing focuses on oddballs and misfits, and those who live—like I do—a little bit on the fringe. In fact, I truly don’t know if I believe in ‘normal’ as truly existing.

I’ve always been on the outside, always been a ‘misfit’ in the norms of society. And that has made me realize how important subculture becomes. It’s also made me think about how important it is that those of us in the subculture not become exclusive. We cannot allow ourselves to take on the characteristics of those who would make us feel less-than-human, less-than-acceptable—whether it be for our ethnic heritage, or our weight, or the way we choose to portray ourselves.

So, next time you see a heavily tattooed fat chick wearing retro-pinup clothing, before making quick assumptions about her, remember: that could easily be me. ~grins~

So tell me, how do you see yourself against what is thought of as ‘normal’ in society? I’m giving a mini-book basket to one commenter (must be USA, I’m sorry), including the first three books in the Otherworld Series, the first book in the Indigo Court Series, and the first book in my Chintz ‘n China series.

You all know how this goes! Guess – which one is the lie that she told? What crazy question do you want to ask Yasmine? (Or you know, a reasonable one. Or something about her books.) And go go GO!

37 thoughts on “SAIHM Feature + Guest Author & A Giveaway: Yasmine Galenorn

  1. Shandi Hoggard

    I think the lie she told was about sleeping in a converted bus. My crazy question would be…Why Belles-Faire?

  2. robyn j

    Hmmm Question would be if you could meet any character from a fairy tale who would it be? The lie would maybe be about believing you were a pharoah lol though youd make a great one

  3. Cawingcrow

    I’ve read all the books so I don’t need to be in the giveaway, but I’ll guess at #2 the pharoah thing being the lie (having achieved #3 myself, it makes sense to me and I’ve known a fair number of bus-dwellers too). Totally blanking on crazy questions unfortunately. I’m going to have to hunt down books by the couple of authors mentioned I haven’t read anything by yet and I’m always on the lookout for new stuff to read, so thanks! BTW, Holly Black is going to be a guest at Mythicworlds in Seattle in February, which should be really interesting/fun (used to be Faeriecon West).

  4. Sarah Cone

    I think the lie is that she never dated before becoming romantically involved. I actually have 2 questions: 1. If you could add any Amendment to the Constitution, what would it be? and 2.(if this isn’t too personal) What do you want your next tattoo to be? (I LOVE tatts, too!!)

      1. Sarah Cone

        Thank you for your answer and I apologize if I crossed the line or ruined a good mood/happy vibe by asking about politics! I’m so glad I read this interview and got to really see what a strong,bright&inspirational soul you are. If you have time, a 3rd (and follow-up 4th)question came to mind: Out of all your book characters, do have have one that is your favorite, or that you relate to the most?If so, which one? Again, thank you; you answering a question (or 2or 3.Lol) has made my whole week!

        1. Yasmine Galenorn

          Oh no, I just have some controversial views and I don’t think this would be the best place to answer that question, at least not honestly! LOL And yes, I relate most to Camille–by far we are the closest, though in my new series I’m starting–the Whisper Hollow Series–Kerris and I have some definite similarities. 😉

          1. Sarah Cone

            I so appreciate you taking the time for this spectacular interview and for answering everyone’s questions. I know you don’t believe in ‘happily ever after’ but you certainly deserve it! I’m anxiously awaiting the Whisper Hollows series…SO excited! 🙂

  5. Delani Neal

    Hi, I don’t need to win because I own all those books but I guess the lie is that you lived on the bus, mainly because I can see believing you were a pharoh, and not going on a date before being romantically involved.
    Ok so here are my questions (excited to talk to you ahh) ok, I am someone with a varied background similar to yours and I have struggled with my decisions to learn more about it. When I join the different cultural groups at school trying to learn more about my ancestors I always get looks, and stared at. They’re like “you’re black why are you here”, but Black is so many things, and I’ve always felt a very deep spiritual connection with my ancestors Black, Native American, etc. But at times I feel like a phony because all I have to claim is the blood and none of the culture. I guess my question is, do you think that it is a good idea to continue to try to get closer to my roots or accept the somewhat detached culture that is being Black in America, where that is all you are allowed to be?

    My other question is how do you/how did you overcome the prejudices that come with being different? I’ve always been on the outside, too dark, too short, too smart, too bi, too emotional, and sometimes that takes a toll. But you have learned to deal with that and become someone I admire greatly, so I was just wondering how.

    1. Yasmine Galenorn

      First: the only person who can answer that question is you…it depends on what you want–what you’re comfortable with pursuing. I stopped pursuing my Cherokee background as much because my spiritual path lies another direction and I’m deeply entrenched in that.

      Second: I’m strong-willed, and I’m not willing to let anybody beat me down. I was abused both sexually and emotionally as a child, I was raped when I was 17 and hitchhiked to California, I was in an abusive first marriage. After leaving that relationship, I was freaking DONE. DONE with being a doormat, DONE with being abused, DONE with other people’s problems. Got a problem with the way I look or live my life? That’s not MY issue. NOT my circus, NOT my monkeys. Go figure it out yourself–that’s become my attitude. And being 53 helps…I’m of the age where, if peeps don’t like who I am, they can hang with somebody else. I don’t need toxic people in my life anymore. I keep close friends close, and a keen eye on those who might choose to disrupt my life. But they don’t get inside anymore. 😉

      1. Delani Neal

        Thanks, I think it helps to know that other people have had similar experiences to mine and that they came out stronger for them. And thank you for answering my questions, there was definitely some underlying fangirl excitement while reading your response to me.

  6. Kelly S.

    I don’t feel like I fit in “normal” society sometimes, my husband feels the same too. We just do what feels “normal” to us and that’s what makes us happy. I think the statement about being a pharaoh was false. My question is, have you ever felt burnt out and what do you do to recharge?

    1. Yasmine Galenorn

      Oh hell yes. Too many times. First, I started trying to get more sleep–sleep helps. I’m still an insomniac but not so much. Second, I eat for my body, not for my cravings. I respond best to meat, veggies, and some fruit. So that’s what I eat. Third: I cut toxic people out of my life as much as I can. And lastly…my rechargers: sitting by the water’s edge–the water is a huge source of energy for me. Music. Games. TV. Talking to friends. An occasional (and I mean “occasional”) drink. Movie nights with friends. Playing dungeons and dragons. Remembering that if I don’t put myself first, I won’t be able to help anybody else. 🙂

  7. Vicki rapaglia

    In normal society I see my self as a big beautiful woman who is short and not normal. I am 43 short and heavy set and love video games and such and my love to read.

  8. Misty Gee

    In “normal” society I don’t fit what people say are normal. I am different and I love it. I love to read. My question would be what gave you the inspiration for your stories? I have been attempting to write my own novel.

  9. Raven Draconias

    I think the lie was two .

    You have used alot of mythical beings in your stories . Which one would you be and why?

    1. Yasmine Galenorn

      It I were other than human…well…Fae. I’m already a witch so don’t consider them mythical. *laughs* But yes I’d be part Fae because I love the energy of that world–dangerous and glittering and magical.

  10. Samantha Cox

    Yasmine… I love your books! I too come from a family that didn’t accept me BC of my mixed heritage. My dad is southern… He grew up in NC. He has Cherokee, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and German. My momma is South Korean. I’ve always felt like I didn’t belong, when I was growing up. My “white grandparents” treated me and my younger siblings not so good, but my white cousins were always treated great. My momma’s family— complete opposite. My Korean side always loved me, no matter what.
    When I started reading your books, I felt a connection to your characters BC it felt like they too know what its like to be treated bad BC of being mixed or for just being different. Especially by family. I just wanted to thank you, Yasmine, for helping me thru some bad times in my life. You are an inspiration to me. You don’t take crap from anyone. You are strong, you are beautiful and you are fierce!!!

    I spent my childhood and early parts of adulthood always trying to make my family happy… Even if I was miserable. Now, I stand up for myself. I don’t take crap from anyone. I am not normal…. I never wanted to be. I am me… All the quirks and imperfections make me the woman I am. It took so long for me to love the woman I am. I won’t change for anyone.

  11. Travis W. Brooks

    Actually, the sleeping in a bus is true, she’s mentioned it before. I think the lie is number 3. It’s too believable. My question is, if you could be a character from someone else’s book, which book/character?

    1. Yasmine Galenorn

      Unfortunately, one of the authors whose world I loved best…(she’s dead now btw), I found out some horrible things about her life in terms of her actions/choices, and they were to the point where I couldn’t keep her books, as much as I loved the world she wrote in. So scratch that off the list. Hmm…you know, I’m one of those odd people who really wouldn’t want to change places with other peeps. But ask which world I’d like to live in–oh, I’d love to visit Pern! I really would. Or Middle Earth–oh! I might want to switch places with Goldberry–who embodied the nature of a river spirit (Tom Bombadil’s lady). “”Goldberry sang many songs for them, songs that began merrily in the hills and fell softly down into silence; and in the silences they saw in their minds pools and waters wider than any they had known, and looking into them they saw the sky below them and the stars like jewels in the depths.”

  12. Yasmine Galenorn

    OK, the lie is….drum roll…I never have–and never will–believe that I was a pharaoh in ancient Egypt. I remember several past lives and in none of them was I nobility. 🙂

    Yes, I owned and lived in a converted school bus and slept with a hatchet by my head, and I never went on a date with any of my BFs/GF/husband before I got romantically involved with them.


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