Message From The Author
by Kathryn Falk
As the older sister of Anne Rice, Alice Borchardt did not grow up wanting to be a novelist. That was Annes dream, says Alice. I studied nursing in Dallas and worked in a hospital in Houston for 30 years before I decided I wanted to write.
Her first two books, Devoted and Beguiled, were released to excellent reviews in 95 and 96. Currently shes working on book three in her Wolf series for her new publisher, Del Rey, and shes thrilled with both the association and the hefty new contract secured by the high-powered Mort Janklow agency, literary agent to the mega-stars.
Its a great life, Alice explains, in a telephone conversation from her home
outside Houston. I tremendously enjoy what I do. I just fixed myself a new office
in a spare bedroom. When we have guests, they will just have to sleep on an inflated mattress, she adds with good humor.
Many authors find touring tiresome,
but not Alice, who is a familiar figure in the many bookstores in Houston, a city made for booklovers.
I do enjoy the book tours. I think everyone enjoys the attention, whether they want to admit it or not, she adds.
One possible explanation for her great enthusiasm for life is that Alice suffered for several years from auto-immune problems which made movement excruciatingly painful. For a time, she could only write 30 minutes a day before resting. But now shes greatly recovered, and appreciative of every easy breath and step she takes.
Alice and Cliff, her husband of over 30 years, had just returned from a vacation in Big Bend, in West Texas, when I spoke with her, and she was eager to relate tales of the experience.
There was a cougar around the trail
we were on. I was thinking how wonderful
it would be to be a cougar, built to maneuver the rocky environments they haunt.
The Silver Wolf, which won an award from RT as Best Historical Romance of 1998, and will run the gauntlet again as
a July paperback release, proves that Alice literally speaks and walks with wolves. Now it sounds as if a cougar may be in her life (and books) one day!
Alices books reflect her passionate love of nature. Shes also passionate about her vast book collection, especially a fine collection of botanical folios, engraved and hand-painted. Throw in an appreciation of good food and the opera, and thats the multi-faceted Alice Borchardt who produces powerful fantasies in her writing.
Alice grew up reading the kind of series she now writes. Her first literary hero was H. Rider Haggard, author of She and King Solomons Mines.
When I mentioned that Id recently visited his home in Bungay, Suffolk, England, she immediately corrected me.
I dont know anything about Bungay, but he lived in his imagination, she said with certitude. He was my first favorite author and the man could write series.
He bequeathed his legacy to Edgar Rice Burroughs, to Tolkien, and they inspired Del Rey, which also produces my books. When Del Rey wanted The Silver Wolf, I was wildly delighted.
Alice Borchardt admits to being an instinctive writer.
I never know what I will put into a proposal for a series. I know what went on, how they lived their lives, but I dont put in all the characters.
Whereas the first book, The Silver Wolf, is a story set in the historical era of Charlemagnes reign, the second book, THE NIGHT OF THE WOLF, which should be on the shelves in August, is set in Roman times during the conquest of Gaul.
It follows the wolfs interaction with a Celtic woman warrior from Caledonia, explains Alice. She buries the dead, foresees the future, and trains young male
warriors. In some sense she and the wolf
are together and in some sense they
THE NIGHT OF THE WOLF is dedicated to Alices sister. Anne has been a huge help to me, got me my first agent and in every crucial step in my career she has always been there for me. I owe her beyond repayment. And, she adds, I think Anne is very proud of me.
Born in Louisiana, Alice and Anne, and their two younger sisters, Tamara and Karen, moved to Texas when their father was transferred. It was love at first sight
I love Houston, she rhapsodizes. Except for June through July, the climate is just beautiful. The rest of the year the roses are blooming, even in December.
Ive used some of the money I made
to create a big brick patio. I have herbs and a tropical garden; its just a beautiful back yard with banana trees, a big persimmon tree and even a fig tree. Theres nothing better than fresh honey-tasting figs.
Alice and the RT staff are already planning a special tour of Houston, Galveston, and the Space Center for next years Booklovers Convention, which will be held Nov. 912, 2000 at the Hyatt Regency.
By then all three books of her Wolf series should be available and a cougar may well be in sight!
Write to Alice Borchardt, care of Ballantine Books, 201 E. 50th Street, New York, NY 10022.
Read Book Review ›