All Press Releases for April 13, 2008

Reclusive Fantasy Author agrees to Interview

R. Leigh, author of The Winds of Asharra, a combination Fantasy and Romance Novel is interviewed.

    /24-7PressRelease/ - KENOVA, WV, April 13, 2008 - Note: has made a great effort to secure this interview with reclusive author R. Leigh. The publishers of The Winds of Asharra, Outskirts Press, do not readily give out specific information about this particular author and seemed very nervous when we even brought up this subject. We had heard rumors that the manuscript for WOA had mysteriously appeared at their offices one day and they traced the postmark to a small island in the Pacific. That proved to be a dead end since it was a post office box which forwarded mail from another address in Central China, which in turn was rerouting mail from somewhere in Australia etc...

We've determined that email contact with R. Leigh is also going through several servers around the world, masking this author's identity and location. We were therefore surprised when our phone rang recently and the voice on the other end was R. Leigh. We were still mystified since the voice was being filtered through an electronic sensor to disguise it. We agreed to conduct an interview.

Q: Congratulations on the recent release of the Winds of Asharra, your wonderful Fantasy Romance novel. Given the fact that the characters and the incredible setting and plot are so unique, are you finding it difficult to categorize WOA as a romance or a fantasy novel? It seems to have something for everyone.

A: Thank you. It's been a great joy and relief to have some of the tales about Asharra be in print for all to read. Since the characters are not only from Earth but also from a variety of places (including Asharra itself), it is understandable that readers could consider it a fantasy because of the telepathic trees, the musical dreegins, the Loaks, and the crystalline Eimiv. Still, since Asharra is such a sensual place it is also very accurate to describe any story set there as a romance. (There are several happy couples by the end of volume one). Lastly, since WOA also introduces the reader to a complex new culture and the mystical philosophy of the Asharrans, it a story for the head as well as the heart.

If we had to summarize it, we'd have to say that it's an adventure, a romance and a journey of self discovery for both the characters and possibly for the readers as well.

Q: WOA is over 600+ pages long. That is significant for a first novel.

A: We decided not to divide the initial story into two pieces, even though it meant raising the cover price on the paperback and the hardbound edition. The events in WOA get increasingly complex as the story progresses, and you find yourself becoming increasingly emotionally involved with the main characters so we felt it was a better experience for readers to have Volume 1 be that long.

Q: It appears that the reader learns about the Asharrans and over time identifies with their sensual world through Victor and Zoe's eyes. It reminded me of the Shogun miniseries on TV years ago, drawing the audience into an entirely different world. Was that a conscious decision to write it that way?

A: Absolutely. Things that seem unfamiliar, strange or downright uncomfortable in the beginning of WOA become accepted and commonplace to the reader by the end. The reader is actually thinking like an Asharran while cheering on Victor, Ionera, Zoe and the rest of the characters.

Q: We meet quite a few characters as the story progresses. In some ways, WOA is almost an ensemble cast, with multiple romances and multiple adventures going on at once. Was it difficult balancing the focus on the adventure and romance subplots and still manage to explore the details about Asharran culture?

A: It was a juggling act but ultimately all of the pieces fit together into a beautiful mosaic. WOA is one of those stories where you might find that you are entranced by many of the unusual unearthly secondary characters as well as the primary ones.

Q: Are there any plans for a sequel? They way that the Winds of Asharra ends certainly strongly suggests this.

A: Oh yes. There are many more tales of Asharra that have not been transcribed for Earthly audiences. The sequel will pick up events not long after the conclusion of Volume One. We've dropped several hints where at least some plot threads will be headed within the pages of WOA but there are many other elements that will be completely unexpected since it shifts much of the focus to a part of Asharra that the reader has yet to encounter. There are plenty of unusual characters and exotic locales that we have not yet revealed. Naturally, that means plenty more Asharran style adventure and romance.

Q: The overall tone of WOA is very positive and optimistic. This also seems to extend to the basic Asharran philosophy described in WOA. Is your own personal philosophy similar to that of the characters in WOA?

A: As it says in WOA, anyone can be Asharran, regardless of their planet of origin. That's why one of the characters says "Welcome Home" to Victor and Zoe when he meets them. My spouse and I are non-violent, vegetarian, optimistic lovers of life. We believe in serendipitous coincidences and interconnectedness. We try to avoid conventional labels but yes, if we had to use one, we would definitely consider ourselves Asharran.

Q: That brings us to the unusual secrecy regarding your identity and the circumstances surrounding the publishing of WOA. What can you tell us about that?

A: I'd rather not comment.

Q: Can you confirm that the story told in WOA is fiction?

A: Our publisher says that it is on the first page.

Q: But what do you say? At times, it reads like something being remembered rather than written. There are even some typos here and there, suggesting that someone was transcribing it or quickly jotting down details before they were forgotten. Is the world of Asharra, with its two suns and purple sky a real place?

A: Let's just say that the wonder of Asharra is anything you'd like it to be. If it made you smile along the way, then you were carried along by the Winds of Asharra and my path has been true. Thank you for the opportunity of sharing it.

NOTE: We at AuthorIsland take no official position on the validity of the rumors surrounding the origin of this novel. We can say that while we were speaking to R. Leigh, we heard the most unusual music in the background, sounding like an exotic bird but unlike anything we've ever heard. There is no reason to believe that it was a dreegin, as described in the book. That's our story, and we're sticking to it. You'll have to decide for yourself by reading the Winds of Asharra by R. Leigh.

The WInds of Asharra
ISBN: 9781432723118 Format: 5.5 x 8.5 Paperback SRP: $22.95
ISBN: 9781432718268 Format: 5.5 x 8.5 Casebound SRP: $31.95

Deftly constructed at 608 pages, The Winds of Asharra: Volume 1: First-flight is being aggressively promoted to appropriate markets with a focus on the Fiction/ Romance category. With U.S. wholesale distribution through Ingram and Baker & Taylor, and pervasive online availability through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and elsewhere, The Winds of Asharra meets consumer demand through both retail and library markets with a suggested retail price of $22.95 and $31.95, respectively.

Contact at [email protected]

About the Author

Author R. Leigh is a mystery to local neighbors, appearing enigmatic and ageless, and wearing an ever present red crystal pendant. Some have guessed this author's secret other-worldly origin, speculating that the tales of Asharra might somehow be true. Outskirts Press does not confirm this and will not comment on rumors that the manuscript for this novel appeared in their offices out of nowhere. We urge you to read this book and decide for yourself.

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Contact Information

RH Leigh
The Winds of Asharra
Kenova, WV
Voice: 304-453-3803
E-Mail: Email Us Here
Website: Visit Our Website