Thursday, 20 November 2014

Interview with Author Kristen Reed

How does a typical book get written in your world - what do you start with?

I usually start the process by writing a very rough draft of theplot. This usually winds up being about a page long, but it grows and evolves as I write. Then, I create a list of characters and locations, which includes their names, attributes, and other pertinent information. Since I loosely based the land of Faerie on 15th century Western Europe, I also did some research about topics such as sword fighting, clothing, and architecture for The Prophets’ Guild.

How would you compare the protagonists of your books with yourself?

While I wasn’t locked up in a castle for twenty-five years like Alazne was, I have my own discontentment and emotional wounds that I’ve had to heal from. Despite some changes in circumstances throughout my life, I didn’t make big strides in recovering and finding true joy until recently. For that reason, I haven’t let Alazne experience full healing yet because though her circumstances are dramatically different, her heart hasn’t changed enough to allow for true contentment.

How would you typically choose the names of your characters?

Since The Alazne Series takes place in a fantasy world, I imagined the fey having names that were unique but stillEuropean sounding. I wound up deciding to use a lot of Basque names because they sound romantic and exotic without being completely inaccessible. The fey royals also have two surnames each, which was inspired by the Spanish naming custom in which both parents’ surnames are used. For example, Alazne’s name is Alazne Katarin Lorea Viteri since her mother and father come from the Lorea and Viteri families.

also like my protagonists’ names to have meaning, so I take great care when naming them. Alazne means “miracle,” which is appropriate since a woman having the hands of fire was completely unprecedented. As far as my male characters, Nikola’s and Garaile’s names both have meanings that are related to victory, and I created that parallel on purpose since they are brothers.

I named each of the gods according to the elements they have dominion over. For example, Haizea means “wind” and Euria means “rain.” Though Irati is the Earth God, his name means “fern field” because he also has power over plant life. I derived Hesta’s name from Hestia, who was the Greek goddess of hearth.

What's that one Classic work that you wish had been written by you?

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. The way she wove a moving love story into a social novel about mill owners versus their employees is truly inspiring. I love the strength of her protagonist, Margaret Hale. She overcomes great upheavals like moving from an idyllic village to an industrial town and losing both of her parents without losing her spirit.

How would you deal with reviews?

I would consider true constructive criticism and incorporate it into my future writing if I feel compelled to do so, but I would ignore unnecessarily harsh comments or reviewers who call my take on particular things “wrong” because it doesn’t align with other fantasy authors. After all, different fictional universes have different rules and terminology even if they do have similarities.

What's your favourite writing location?

I like writing at coffee shops now and then, but my favorite place to write is probably my church, Watermark, since it’s nice and quiet some evenings. I’ve spent some time writing on the porch, which overlooks the baptism pool. It has rocking chairs, fire pits, and tables. It’s very serene and peaceful when there isn’t an event going on.

What awesome books and projects are you working in at the moment?

After The Prophets’ Guild comes out this month, I’ll start editingThe Valley of Eternity, which is the third book in The Alazne Series. I also have ideas for a fourth book in the series and a vampire novel. Vampire/horror books were my first literary love, so I’m excited to dive into that genre again and create some undead heroes and villains. As a Christian, I find the idea of vampires intriguing because if someone chooses eternal life on earth as a vampire, they’re more or less rejecting eternal life in Heaven. I would love to explore that in a novel.

Release Day Blitz -- The Prophets’ Guild by Kristen Reed



Genre: Fantasy

Date of Publication: November 20, 2014


ISBN: 978-1482007213

ASIN: B00MX1CD36



Number of pages: 198

Word Count: 56,800

Cover Artist: Kristen Reed



Book Description:



"The year after molten sand becomes silver glass the following will come to pass: The fire shall give its life’s blood to water, and the wind will rise to claim Hesta’s daughter.”



When a member of The Prophets’ Guild is driven mad by his own divine vision, he travels to Hesta to deliver his final prophecy to the recently-crowned Fire Queen, Alazne, and that act changes the course of her life and the landscape of Faerie forever.



Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/Fa5ZlBiyRuQ



Available at Amazon


Excerpt:



After meeting with my Lords’ Council over breakfast and consuming a light dinner, I sat in the throne room as I regularly did and listened to the plights of my people. For the rest of the afternoon, I handed out advice and presented solutions as needed to the men and women who came before me. When I revived the old Hestian tradition of opening the great hall to my subjects, I expected to resolve quarrels of great magnitude involving large quantities of money and property, but I quickly learned that some of my people were so obstinate that they were unable to solve even the smallest disputes locally. In the space of two and a half grueling hours, I laid three conflicts centered on betrothals to rest and resolved six disagreements that involved livestock and property. Once those men and women filed out of the great hall, my herald addressed the last remaining fey in attendance.

Kneel before the throne and state your concerns to the queen,” he directed.

An elderly Hestian man with closely cropped, gray-peppered carmine hair stepped forward and knelt before my throne as he had been commanded. He made the sign of the star to honor the four gods and their fey children, touched his head to the ground, and placed his outstretched arms flat on the pulsating floor tiles. While the first motion was customary amongst my people, the more submissive gesticulation piqued my interest since most male subjects simply bowed or kneeled in my presence based on their rank and our familiarity. However, as much as I wanted to indulge my curiosity about the man’s unusual supplication, he spoke before I could address it.

The year after molten sand becomes silver glass the following will come to pass: The fire shall give its life’s blood to water, and the wind will rise to claim Hesta’s daughter.”

I furrowed my brow and opened my mouth to respond, but before I could ask the meaning of the man’s strange proclamation, he abruptly rose into a kneeling position and pulled a dagger from his satchel. My ladies in waiting screamed and flames formed in my hands as two knights stepped forward to subdue him, but they did not move swiftly enough. The man plunged the gleaming blade into his abdomen and fell face-forward onto the floor, which burned more brightly as his blood left his body and spilled onto the endlessly rippling surface. The knights quickly rolled the suicidal man onto his back and checked for a heartbeat.

He is dead, your majesty,” one of the knights announced, obviously shaken by the sudden suicide.

Please find out who he is,” I ordered, closing my hands to snuff out the flames. “Then report your findings to me and notify his family that he is dead.”

Yes, your majesty,” they acknowledged.

As the knights lifted the man’s body and began to carry him out of the room, something caught my eye.

Wait!”

The armor-clad men halted and I strode over to them, careful not to step in the blood that soiled my usually immaculate floor. Once I reached the trio, I pulled the dead man’s knife from its fleshy sheath. As I suspected, a vaguely familiar animal had been etched onto the hilt of the blade. A trio of tiny sapphires served as the scintillating eyes of the blue phoenix while its shining silver beak was open as if it had been mid-shriek when the artisan carved its likeness into the weapon.

Thank you. Now, you may go.”

Once the knights resumed their gruesome task, I turned to face my ladies and made eye contact with Sera, whose naturally bronzed features were nearly as pale as the ivory lace on her dress.

Sera, please find Esti and Amaia and ask them to meet me in my library.”

Yes, your majesty,” she acknowledged with a curtsy before leaving the throne room, struggling to keep her gaze from resting on the trail of fresh blood beside her as she fled.

While the man who had died moments before clearly had no desire to end my life, my intuition still told me that a considerable threat was nigh… and that the two women’s guidance would be invaluable if I wanted to protect myself and my subjects from the imminent danger that had just begun to reveal itself.




About the Author:



Kristen Reed is an artist, musician, filmmaker, and writer from Dallas, Texas. Her first book from The Alazne Series, The Kings' Council, was published in 2012, and the two subsequent books, The Prophets' Guild and The Valley of Eternity, will be released in 2014 and 2015 respectively.



Kristen also served as the screenwriter, executive producer, and co-director for the feature-length film, The Dahl Dynasty, a modern re-imagining of William Shakespeare's Hamlet. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas.


INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR KRISTEN REED

www.thealazneseries.com



www.facebook.com/thealazneseries



www.twitter.com/kristenreedtx








Tour giveaway



1 free Kindle copy for the first book in The Alazne Series, The Kings’ Council



Rafflecopter coming soon














Guest Post by Author Angela Roquet

Questionable Questions


One of my favorite novels of all time is Mary Roach’s Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. I have a serious case of morbid curiosity. I admit it. It’s a big part of the reason why my Lana Harvey series centers on grim reapers and the afterlife. There’s a certain enthralling mystic about the macabre, and I’m certainly not the only one who sees it. There’s a reason why vampires and zombies and ghosts are so popular.


While these lovely, dark creatures are most likely fiction, they have histories and mythologies. They have their own set of truths that many a writer has upheld throughout the ages. Vampires drink blood. Werewolves howl at the full moon. Grim reapers collect souls. Sometimes the rules are bent…. like vampires who sparkle in the sun rather than burst into flames. But for the most part, writers stick to the facts of fantasy, which means that a certain degree of research is needed, even for a fiction novel.


Research is a tricky thing when you’re a writer. Sometimes, if you’re using a shared computer, it’s absolutely vital to delete your internet history. In fact, I’d say it’s more important for a writer to delete their history than it is for a porn addict. If you don’t believe me, take a look at this short list of questionable questions I’ve had to ask the Google gods (all in the name of research, cross my heart!):
  1. How long does it take a drowned body to bloat and resurface?
  2. How much blood can a person lose before they pass out?
  3. Which level of Dante’s inferno contains the most torture?
  4. Why is lettuce so sexual in Egyptian mythology?
  5. How does one hot-wire a car?


If the Google searches weren’t bad enough, I’ve also been on the receiving end of some pretty horrified looks from librarians. You try checking out these books (all at the same time) without getting the stink-eye:
  1. Do They Take Credit Cards in Heaven?: Economics in the Afterlife (Milica Bookman)
  2. Go To Hell: A Heated History of the Underworld (Chuck Crisafulli)
  3. The Malleus Maleficarum (Heinrich Godfrey Kramer)
  4. Forbidden Rites: A Necromancer's Manual of the Fifteenth Century (Richard Kieckhefer)
  5. Latin for Dummies (Clifford A. Hull)
  6. The Joy of Writing Sex (Elizabeth Benedict)


So, there you have it. Free admission onto the FBI watch list. Public humiliation. And that’s all before the actual writing of the novel even begins. It’s a hard knock life for us writers, but I think the finished product is worth the pain. Plus, it’s an excellent alibi when the there’s non-fiction mischief afoot. Eek!



Urban fantasy author Angela Roquet lives in Missouri with her husband and son. When she's not swearing at the keyboard, she enjoys painting, goofing off with her family and friends, and reading books that raise eyebrows. GRAVEYARD SHIFT, the first novel in Angela's Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. series, is now available for FREE on Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, and more. You can find Angela online at www.angelaroquet.com

Book Review and Promo - Psychopomp by Angela Roquet







Genre: Urban Fantasy


Date of Publication: October 14, 2014


ISBN-13: 978-1502721488
ISBN-10: 1502721481
ASIN: B00NQDQB0Q


Number of pages: 300
Word Count: 63,000

Cover Artist: Angela Roquet



In war, everyone loses...


Reaper Lana Harvey is finding out the hard way. When Grim's new second in command, Jenni Fang, recruits her for a special mission, the biggest victory over the rebels is tainted by a crushing and immediate reprisal. The rebels have a new general working in the shadows of Limbo City, luring gods, reapers, demons, and souls to the dark side.


The Afterlife Council’s orders to locate the new rebel base are overshadowed by a desperate and mysterious plea from Grim to find the  abducted Greek god of sleep, Hypnos. Where Lana and Jenni find one, they hope to find the other. But some discoveries have a way of bringing one to their knees.

Available at Amazon   BN   Smashwords



Tour giveaway

3 Psychopomp ebooks, and a basket with a signed set of books 1-4 and a few misc. goodies/swag  open to US Shipping


$25 Amazon gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway




BOOK REVIEW






Urban fantasy author Angela Roquet is a great big weirdo. She collects Danger Girl comic books, owls, skulls, and random craft supplies. Her obsessions include the Wizard of Oz, over-sweetened coffee, and all things Joss Whedon. She's a fan of renewable energy, marriage equality, and religious tolerance. As long as whatever you're doing isn't hurting anyone, she's a fan of you, too.


Angela lives in Sedalia, Missouri with her husband and son. When she's not swearing at the keyboard, she enjoys painting, goofing off with her family and friends, and reading books that raise eyebrows. GRAVEYARD SHIFT, the first novel in Angela's Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. series, is now available for FREE on Kindle, Nook, & Smashwords.


You can find Angela online at www.angelaroquet.com


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