2014 has been a HUGE year for me so far. I’d love to share other aspects of my life beyond metaphysics, the paranormal, & healing.
I met Robert Oakes some 13 plus years ago at a ski resort in Central Virginia. We worked together there briefly but a friendship had begun. Over the years our friendship has morphed into something quite interesting & he is, to this day, one of my closest friends. He is an interesting man, quite creative & unique…and he is an author. He writes about warrior-women; he writes about me.
He began writing fantasy as an outlet for his creative mind & it didn’t take long before we both realized he was quite good at it. Over the years he managed to write 3 full-length novels, all of which are a part of what we named the Black Scarlet Saga & he’s not finished, for there are to be 9 novels in this series. Now writing is one thing but getting those novels out to the world for all to enjoy is an entirely different demon. I decided that I would help him in this endeavor & I set out to do just that. The world of publishing has brought me both excitement & madness; driving me halfway & back to insane BUT when I’ve made my mind up to do something, I will. I created Blue Ridge Publishing & as acting President, published the first 3 of his novels with full intention of eventually publishing all 9.
This series is extremely close to my heart. I have devoted a decade of my life to this project & my soul is literally fused into these novels. You see, I mentioned that he writes about me…the main protagonist of these stories is Chen, & Chen carries with her everything that is me. Robert writes about what he knows & in doing so he shared my spirit; my faults & my strengths, within his stories placing them directly into her character. I take great pride in admitting that I am her & she is me because I know that I share the same thoughts, the same hurts, the same inner revelations that millions of other women share. Those other women carry unimaginable burdens & have a strength & resolve that isn’t recognized or applauded & these novels are dedicated to them.
“The fantasy series, the Black Scarlet Saga, will include nine novels, three of which are now available, Black Crystal, Black Scarlet, and White Angel. It’s a story about independent, strong-willed warrior women striving to triumph over the forces of evil. And though trained in the arts of war, their most powerful weapons are their willpower, determination and a willingness to endure great personal sacrifice. Some of the women are older and more experienced, while others are embarking on their very first quest. Yet they all share one thing, a refusal to submit to evil and a desperate desire to live free.”
“Some years ago, a female friend with a black belt in martial arts, Ronna Rothenberger, asked me if I’d ever considered writing warrior-women books. Ronna was a great fan of Xena Warrior Princess, and she knew how I feel about female leadership, that is she knew I believe women make better leaders than men. After I began writing Black Crystal, I was surprised to find that another good friend of mine, Dawn Rogers, had ended up as the basis for the main female protagonist. In real life, I had repeatedly witnessed Dawn make difficult personal decisions, ones that would require her to take actions involving considerable risk, whether it meant having to quit a job, find a new place to live or end a relationship. And she never chose the path of least resistance. So once I began writingBlack Crystal, it became obvious to me that such a true-life warrior woman had to become my lead character. As for myself, I discovered that I shouldn’t try to write the story and instead should simply allow the story to happen. A creative energy seems to take over during the writing process breathing life into the novel and making it come alive.” -R.A. Oakes
If you would like to know more about the Black Scarlet Saga you can visit www.blackscarletsaga.com
“First and foremost, Chen is a dark knight fighting for the right of women to be free.
And so when dusk approaches, and everything begins to become cloaked in shadow, and things that go bump in the night creep out to do their mischief, Chen sighs but not out of fear or apprehension. She sighs out of a sense of resignation that this is the world she knows best and feels most at home in. Chen wishes that it wasn’t always this way for her. She wishes that she, too, could feel the sun on her face and its warmth in her heart. She longs for an end to the struggle and toil that make up so much of life and which seem to stretch out before her and other women like an endless journey where too often they feel like they are on their own.
At times, Chen wishes she could turn over her nearly overwhelming troubles to someone else. However, looking around, she realizes that no one is going to take better care of the ones she loves than herself. Hoping for a white knight to rescue her isn’t part of Chen’s dream for she is too grounded in reality. And Chen also knows, from experience, that playing nice isn’t an option for it’s an overly simplistic view of life and just doesn’t work.
So as darkness falls and night envelopes the land, Chen mounts her black stallion, gathers her warrior women about her, and rides out to do battle against the forces of evil, an evil that too often beats in the hearts of insecure men as they seek to repress women and keep them down because such men either don’t know how to function in an equal partnership with women or don’t want to, or both. Instead, such men often expect to have women serve as their babysitters, something Chen has never particularly been interested in doing when it comes to grown men.
And so, the battle is on, and the game of life begins with all its potentially devastating consequences, and Chen and her warrior women ride out to meet it with heavy hearts and a firm grip on the hilts of their swords. For though children and men can be careless, women don’t have that luxury because it’s women who must shoulder the burden of making a way in the world for their families and, hopefully, to arrive at the end of what sometimes seems to be a long, dark night into a safe harbor where they and their children can live free.
The Chen character is based on Dawn Rogers, who is both R. A. Oakes’ friend and publisher, and to whom the author listens very, very carefully. For it is Dawn’s thoughts, feelings & opinions, and her warrior-woman spirit that infuses R. A. Oakes’ first novel, Black Crystal, from beginning to end, and whose spirit will continue to do so throughout the Black Scarlet Saga, the name she and the author give to a book series dedicated to a simple truth, which is that women make better leaders than men, something any woman over the centuries who’s ever tried to raise a family and manage a household could tell you. Its women who actually rule the world, and Black Crystal and the Black Scarlet Saga embrace this reality and shout it from the rooftops.
Chen was born to live free, as are all women, and every woman has the heart of a warrior beating in her breast.” -R. A. Oakes