We were able to delve into the life and career of Delwyn Jenkins in this recent interview and I must say that I find learning about authors inspires me. I have to agree with Delwyn, as I was growing up authors always seemed a little magical and larger than life so I love glimpsing the people behind the books.
Hi Delwyn and welcome to Beauty and Lace.
Thank you, I’m delighted to be here.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always been a voracious reader and authors always seemed to be more magicians than artists. Being an author was always my ‘fantasy’ job – if I could have rubbed the genie lamp and asked for my dream job, that’s what it would have been. I’ve been writing off and on for the last ten years or so, but it’s only in the last five years that I became serious enough that publication seemed an achievable goal. It’s a real thrill to have achieved that dream – it took a lot of work and a bit of luck, but I’m happy to say I got there.
Can you tell us a bit about The Watchtower Chronicles?
The Watchtower Chronicles is a series about four women (each with their own book) who live in the modern world and who also happen to be witches. In order to reach their full potential they are required to spend three years in the World Between, studying their craft and honing their skills. Each witch commands an element – fire, earth, water and air respectively. They work together in groups of four and their bonds make them more sisters than colleagues.
The ‘watchtower’ in the title comes from the heroes in the stories. The Watchtower Knights are a group of men created solely to defend and protect the witches. In book one the Watchtower is brought back into the fold after two hundred years of exile – and they are in turn delighted, shocked and intrigued by these modern-day women.
Claimed By Earth is the new release, can you tell us about it?
Mycah is an earth witch so she’s particle and grounded – she’s also prickly with a hair-trigger temper. She’s fiercely loyal and she’ll do anything to protect her sisters. As ‘Claimed By Earth’ begins, Mycah has just broken the most sacred rule of her people by using her magic to do harm. She did it to save the lives of the people she loves, but the consequences of that action lay heavily on her.
Also weighing heavily is the knowledge that in order to become strong enough to defeat the enemy, she will have to undergo a ritual that hasn’t been conducted in over two hundred years. A ritual that requires intimate contact with a Watchtower Knight – a problem that seems insurmountable to her because she can’t bear to be touched.
Sebastian has set his sights on Mycah and he’s prepared to be as patient as he needs to be in order to make her his. He knows Mycah’s been hurt – physically and emotionally – and he’s ready to woo her slow and steady. But the enemy is metaphorically knocking down the door and Sebastian and Mycah are running out of time. It’s going to take a great deal of courage – from both of them – in order to succeed.
What can you share with us about your world building?
In my teens I read epic fantasy and I still have a love of those worlds. But I’m a grown woman now and while I like the romance of long gowns and lantern light, I also LOVE air conditioning and hot and cold running water. The world in which my story is set is like a faux Camelot – gowns, servants, warriors with swords and no internet or iPhones.
But because I have to live there too (if only in my head) there’s no way I’m going without my daily shower. So my witches are permitted whatever luxuries they can provide for themselves by working together and using their magic – which means my love of daily showers and comfortable room temperatures are carried through to my characters.
My story world (the World Between) sits beside the world we live in but is not part of it. So my characters talk like we do; they love shopping, internet, movies and music like we do; and they have the same strengths and failings as we do. Hopefully that makes them relatable – despite the magic factor.
Who was your favourite author growing up, has that changed now?
As I mentioned before I was always a voracious reader. When I was in fifth grade I came across a series called Flambards (written by KM Peyton). I was totally obsessed and even though it was aimed at pre-teen age bracket, it fired my imagination and planted the seeds for my love of romance. Now I have about a dozen authors who I class as favourites and their books are an automatic click on my kindle.
If I asked you what your favourite book is, what’s the first answer that comes to mind?
This is a good question, but I can only give you a terrible answer. Remember the voracious reader thing? I have lots of books that I love, and my ‘favourite’ depends on mood and what sub-genre I’m reading at any given moment. I read three or four books a week so I have a high turnover. Don’t make me choose!
Do you think the discipline of your naval career helps with your writing?
How I would love to say yes – but I think that would be a half-truth. After ten years in the Navy I spent five years as an Arts student, so discipline is a tricky proposition. I’m proud of my service and I learned a lot during my time in the military – but for the purposes of my writing career the best thing the navy taught me was a good work ethic. I always try to be professional, I meet my deadlines and – while I don’t have set writing hours – I still manage to produce a book from beginning to end (and on time).
Have you got a favourite place to write?
Yes. I do the bulk of my writing in a comfy lounge chair with ergonomically propped pillows, a lap desk and my trusty MacAir. I don’t write outside or in cafes because I have the concentration span of a gnat. If a fly crawled down the window it would be enough to distract me. Sad but true.
Can you tell us about what you’re working on at the moment?
I’m working on book three of the Watchtower Chronicles ‘Kissed By Water’. I’m about three quarters of the way through first draft and it’s been challenging in ways I hadn’t anticipated. Because there are four books in the series, I tried to make each of my heroines quite different in temperament as well as looks. In book one (Called By Fire) Kamryn is a normal, well-balanced woman with a healthy libido – and a terror of losing control of her fire magic if she let that passion free. In book two (Claimed By Earth) Mycah is a ball-breaker with a protective streak a mile wide who uses her prickly nature to hide a heartbreaking trauma. In book three (Kissed By Water) Charlotte is a shy woman who’s been brought up in a strict moralistic household. She is struggling to shake off the boundaries set by other people so she can become the passionate woman she was born to be.
I love Charlotte – a lot – but she is pretty much the opposite to me in all ways. So writing a shy, kind hearted woman while still showing her intelligence and strength of will has been quite a challenge for me. Hopefully I’m doing her justice.
What does being a woman mean to you?
I love being a woman – and more specifically I love being a woman who lives in a country where my rights and freedoms are protected by law. Being a woman means being able to work for what I want – I’ve served my country, I’ve gained a territory eduction, I’ve worked for myself and others, and now I’m living my dream of being a published author.
On a broader note I think being a women also means being part of a sisterhood (which is a theme in all my books). I think it’s important to support other women in whatever they choose to do – from staying at home with the children to being a CEO and everything in between. I support a woman’s right to have an opinion (even when it is different from mine), and her right to work where she wants, to choose her own religion, and to be safe at home and out in the wider world. We all want that but I think we need to remember that everyone has a different road to walk – we need to embrace and celebrate women in all their glorious diversity.
Thanks for your time Delwyn, and good luck with the rest of the series.
The Watchtower Chronicles are available for purchase at Momentum.