Medford novelist Lisa Hendrix will debut her sixth novel, "Immortal Warrior," at the Southern Oregon Book and Author Fair in Ashland on Saturday, Nov. 15.

A dream about a mysterious blonde man led Medford novelist Lisa Hendrix to her sixth novel, "Immortal Warrior," a paranormal historical romance. Romantic Times BookReview magazine rated the book 4 1/2; stars out of 5, and called it, "a bold and beautiful fairytale for grownups." Hendrix will debut her book at the Southern Oregon Book and Author Fair in Ashland on Saturday, Nov. 15.

Each year, the fair organizers invite one writer from the selected genre to be a featured guest. This year, the featured genre is romance, and guest selection was easy, book fair coordinator Claire Krulikowski said.

"Lisa is an award-winning author and she lives in Medford. We have such a rich resource of writers right here in our community," Krulikowski said.

This will be Hendrix's first time at the book fair, and she sais she is looking forward to meeting other local writers and book lovers.

"I'm so pleased we have an event like this in the Rogue Valley," Hendrix said. "I really enjoy talking to readers. I'm sort of a ham, a ham caught in a shy person."

"Immortal Warrior" is the first in an extended series of nine novels about a crew of cursed Viking raiders. Hendrix chose the number nine because it is a sacred number to the Norse gods.

"That's why there were nine in the Fellowship of the Rings," she said.

"Immortal Warrior" is set in 1096, and tells the story of the first of the warriors to find a life among humankind, in the England of William II. Each consecutive novel will be set in a different time period, and "yes, all nine books will have 'immortal' in the title," Hendrix added.

Hendrix has been fascinated by the concept of love since she was 10 years old. Her interest led her to reading romance novels, and after a series of odd jobs including monitoring gray whales on an Alaskan research vessel, she moved on to writing romances.

She stresses that her work is not science fiction; it's a popular subgenre known as paranormal romance.

"The genre is fairly new, but it is huge right now. It really exploded about eight to 10 years ago," she said.

Part of the popularity of Hendrix's work was timing.

"I hit the paranormal historical romance genre at a good time," she said.

It takes Hendrix about nine months to complete a novel, she said.

"I tend to spend an extensive period researching and noodling around, getting the characters and story down, first in my head and then in notebooks and computer files."

Hendrix only recently connected with a writers' group in the Rogue Valley.

"I had always heard there were a lot of writers in the valley, but I didn't know very many," she said.

Writers' groups and events such as the book fair are wonderful opportunities for writers and readers, Hendrix said.

"I expect to have a lot of fun at the book fair. I get to talk to people about romantic fiction, that's where my heart is."

The Southern Oregon Book and Author Fair is Saturday, Nov. 15, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ashland Springs Hotel, 212 E. Main St., Ashland.