On a wondrous planet of telepaths and swordsmen, nonhumans and ancient mysteries, a
Gifts of Darkover will be released May 5, 2015, and is now available for pre-order.
Here Margaret L. Carter answers questions on her story, "Hidden Gifts."
Tell us about your introduction to Darkover. What about the world drew you in?
The first Darkover book I ever read was The Bloody Sun (the original edition), and I was enthralled by it. At the time, I didn’t know it was part of a series. That novel makes an excellent introduction for a reader because it’s told from the viewpoint of an outsider. (Even though the protagonist spent his childhood on Darkover, he thinks of himself as Terran and is learning about the world almost from scratch.) I love the motif of a character who uncovers buried secrets about his own past and unsuspected truths about his own nature and talents. Later I picked up the first anthology, The Keeper’s Price, which presupposes a lot of knowledge about the setting, but I was intrigued rather than confused. The handling of culture clash in the series fascinated me, and when I read The Shattered Chain, I was completely drawn in.
What inspired your story in Gifts of Darkover?
The guidelines for Darkover stories often mention “unusual use of laran." I wanted to do something with one of the most unusual laran phenomena, teleportation, which (I think) is shown in the novels only in the context of matrix work. What experience might make a person unaware of the extent of her power desperate enough to perform such an act on her own? For a protagonist, I chose one of my favorite character types, the “Ugly Duckling” who discovers her “swan” traits only when pushed to her limits. In a way, this story echoes my first Darkover tale, "Her Own Blood” (in Free Amazons Of Darkover), which also features a nedestra heroine discovering her laran.
What have you written recently? What lies ahead?
About a year and a half ago, my husband, Leslie Roy Carter, and I released Legacy Of Magic, prequel to our “Wild Sorceress” fantasy trilogy. In 2014, I published a couple of paranormal erotic romance novellas, Romantic Retreat and Merry Twinness. Also in that year, I had a paranormal romance novel, Sealing The Dark Portal, which features a heroine exiled here from another world, pursued by creatures from alien dimensions, and protected (at first without her knowledge) by a werecat bodyguard. I’ve recently sold a horror-erotic-romance crossover, Crossing the Border, a novella with Lovecraftian elements, for release in October 2015. Presently I’m working on a “next generation” sequel to my horror novel From The Dark Places, which also includes Lovecraftian motifs.
Margaret L. Carter holds degrees in English literature and worked for many years as a legislative editor for the Maryland General Assembly. She specializes in vampires, even having included chapters on Carmilla and Dracula in her PhD dissertation. In addition to vampire-related lit-crit such as Different Blood: The Vampire As Alien, she's had horror, fantasy, and paranormal romance published. Her latest novels are Sealing The Dark Portal, a paranormal romance with Lovecraftian elements, and Legacy Of Magic, a sword-and-sorcery fantasy in collaboration with her husband, Leslie Roy Carter (prequel to their “Wild Sorceress” trilogy). Margaret and Les, a retired Navy Captain, have four sons, two cats, a St. Bernard, eight grandchildren, and now a great-granddaughter. Information on her works can be found at Carter’s Crypt: