Sunday, May 1, 2011

Be Our Guest: Nicole Zoltack on Fantasy Creatures

Today I'd like to welcome Nicole Zoltack to my blog. Her newest book, Champion of Valor, comes out today! Take it away, Nicole.

Hi, everyone, Nicole Zoltack here. First I want to thank Cherie for having me here today and kicking of Champion of Valor's blog tour!

Today I want to talk about fantasy creatures.

Fantasy creatures have their roots in myths and legends and throughout history. Unicorns are mentioned in the Bible. Chinese culture holds dragons in high regard. Tales of the Loch Ness monster have been told for generations. Paranormal creatures, especially vampires and werewolves, have become so popular right now.

But how did most fantasy creatures get to be a part of those myths and legends in the first place?

When we don't understand something, we tend to try to explain the parts that we can, or compare to something we understand. When people in the Middle Ages came across a giraffe, they first named the creature camelopard because they thought of the giraffe as half-camel and half-leopard. How about the leopard itself? It was thought to be half-lion and half-panther.

Those are some real hybrids. Some hybrids are mythical. Mermaids, for instance. The minotaur. Centaurs. The less common icthyocentaurs (centaurs with dolphin tails).

Are all of the fantasy creatures just that - a fantasy? No. For years, sailors talked in hushed tones about the Kraken, the great sea monster. Recently, the giant squid was discovered for the first time. Another hybrid creature - that of a zebra and a giraffe - was thought to be legend, but has been proven real and is called okapi.

Who knows what creatures we think of only existing in legend could be discovered tomorrow? Personally, I'm not going to go out climbing snow-covered mountains to find the Yeti.

I would love for pegasus to be real. What fantasy creature do you wish would step out of fantasy and into the world of reality?

Be sure to leave a comment to be entered to win some signed post cards and magnets. Each comment during the Champion of Valor Blog Tour gives you an entry for the grand prize: a copy of the entire Kingdom of Arnhem trilogy - Woman of Honor, Knight of Glory, and Champion of Valor.

A pegasus would be really cool, although I'd love for us to find a phoenix or a dragon. 

In honor of Nicole's newest release, I will also be giving away a copy of her first book in the trilogy, Woman of Honor. To enter this and a chance to win signed post cards, magnets, and the possibility of the entire Kingdom of Arnhem trilogy, all you have to do is comment below.   

I will announce the winner on May 31st.

Nicole Zoltack loves to write fantasy/paranormal, romances, horror, historical, for adults and young adults, novels, short stories, and flash pieces. She doesn't want to get boxed in by genre -- she might be claustrophobic!

When she isn't writing about girls wanting to be knights, talking unicorns, and zombies, she spends time with her loving family. She loves to ride horses (pretending their unicorns, of course!) and going to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, dressed in period garb. Her current favorite TV show is The Vampire Diaries.

To learn more about Nicole and her work, visit her website at or her blog at



The Words Crafter said...

The phoenix is a personal favorite of mine and I would LOVE to find a real one! Not too many people know that unicorns are mentioned in the Bible.

I'm still wondering about that zebra/giraffe animal, the okapi. I've seen one, but had no idea of its origins. Wow!

I have got to get these books!!!!

Thank you for the opportunity :)

Erin said...

I never knew unicorns were mentioned in the Bible, or about the okapi.

Personally, I love the phoenix and Pegasus. I also love dragons.

Nicole and Cherie, thanks for sharing this opportunity! Even if I don't win, I have to read these books!

Talli Roland said...

Yay, great interview, ladies. I never knew unicorns were in there, either.

I'd like to be any mythical creature that flies. And conjures 3-books deals with publishers. :)

Rebecca J Vickery said...

HI Nicole,
I enjoyed your post and I love Unicorns. From previous research I found mention of the unicorn right up until the time of the Great Flood, but not after. There's an old story my grandmother used to tell about the Unicorn being so shy and timid that it refused to heed God and Noah's call to the Ark and thus missed the boat.
Congrats on your newest release and wishing you every success.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Thank you all for stopping by!

The phoenix is an amazing creature. The neverending cycle of life, death, and rebirth. It's really amazing.

And dragons have always fascinated me too. Huge, majestic winged creatures with the ability to breath fire? Sweet!

Talli, you're doing awesome with your books! :)

That's a really interesting story, Rebecca. I heard that the unicorns were too playful to climb onto the ark, but I like the idea that they were shy and timid.

Thanks again, everyone, and good luck winning the contests! :)

ali cross said...

What an awesome giveaway(s)!

I'm with you Nicole. I'd love to ride a Pegasus. And being a girl (like so many others) who grew up loving horses and unicorns, I'd love to meet a unicorn one day!

katsrus said...

Dragons are my favorite but; I love reading about any fantasy creature. Wonderful interview. Looking forward to reading your books.
Sue Brandes

Nighfala said...

I want my fantasy golden gryphons to be real. That would just be so cool!

Angie said...

How exciting! Congrats Nicole and thanks, Cheri.

I have a soft spot for unicorns myself. I'd love to see one of those in real life!

cindystubbs said...

U write Horror too, wow & good for U! My lust for books is bigger than my pocketbook so my fingers are crossed to win!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Yay, unicorn and horse lovers unite, Ali!

Dragons are high up on my list too, Sue, thanks!

Golden gryphons? That's awesome, Christine!

Thanks, Angie, and another unicorn lover!

Thank you Cindy, and good luck all!

Unknown said...

Great posting Nicole. I didn't know that part about the Okapi. I guess I wish there were Pegasus or is the plural Pegasi?
vigorios7 at gmail dot com

Kelly Hashway said...

Great kickoff to your tour, Nicole. Best of luck. I recently purchased your book, and I'm looking forward to reading it.


Catherine Stine said...

Funny historical details about giraffes! I do love hybrid creatures, so good post. And I wish you the best for your novel!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Oh, that's a good question, Rebecca. If I had to guess, I would think pegasi.

Thank you, Kelly! I hope you enjoy it!!

Hybrid creatures are so much fun. Thanks, Catherine!

Andra Lyn said...

Dragons are my go-to mystical creature. I want one...I want to be a dragon would be AWESOME