#AuthorInterview : Varsha Ravi, author of The Heartless Divine @pvraviwrites

Hello Readers! I’m pleased to welcome Varsha Ravi, author of YA Fantasy debut novel- The Heartless Divine, for an interview on Books Teacup and Review. Check out more about the book and author in this post.

The Heartless Divine by Varsha Ravi
Publication Date: November 29th 2019
Genre: YA / Fantasy

Synopsis:

In this unexpected twist on mythology inspired by Sangam India, reincarnated lovers find themselves bound together, connected to their past by a centuries old tragedy that only one of them remembers.

In the ruthless martial empire of Naja, Suri is the crown’s unfailing blade. But the princess dreams of a life exploring the lands beyond the borders, unshackled by blood. The king and queen offer her freedom, at a price: marriage to a king she’s meant to kill, and the death of Athri, a kingdom her family once nearly destroyed.

Her only obstacle lies in the mountains above the Athrian capital of Marai, where a young prophet sees a world struck by catastrophe—a world where a girl lies dead in the temple of the fire god, and the city lies burning below.

Centuries later, Suri lives with no recollection of her past lives. Haunted by her family’s deaths eighteen years ago, Suri sees the boy bleeding gold on her doormat as an opportunity to unravel the mystery of the car crash that took their lives. But not all gifts are created equal, and the boy soon proves to be more trouble than he’s worth, a dangerous link back to a world of gods and wishes.

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Varsha Ravi is a senior at California High School. She was born and raised in Illinois, before moving to North Carolina. She is currently living in the Bay Area, California.

As a kid, she read voraciously, encouraging her to attempt writing her first stories at a young age. Even as she grew older, creative writing continued to be a passion of hers.

The Heartless Divine is her first novel.

When she’s not writing, she can be found reading, studying, or curating Spotify playlists.

Can you tell readers a little about your book, The Heartless Divine? What they can expect from the book?

The Heartless Divine is a book about human choice in a world dictated by fate. It follows two different timelines: one set in the U.S.A. in the 21st century, and one set in 200 A.D. in a country inspired by areas of Sangam Era India. In the modern timeline, a nineteen-year-old college student named Suri finds herself mysteriously bound to an amnesiac god weakened by an attack he can’t fully remember. The rest of that plot mainly follows their budding friendship as Kiran struggles to piece together his past and how it connects him to Suri in the present. The past plot follows the first lives of the soulmates, over seventeen hundred years before the modern arc. Suri, an assassin princess from a foreign country, is arranged to marry the young king of Athri. Her assignment is to kill him immediately after the wedding. However, the king’s adopted brother, the messianic prophet of the kingdom, has a vision of her death soon before her arrival. This plot largely follows the span of time between her arrival and the wedding, as Kiran tries to protect Suri and she struggles to confront her feelings regarding the upcoming assassination.

Readers can expect a complex, mythology-inspired fantasy with romance, drama, and tragedy.

How did you come up with the idea for your book?

It came to me while I was writing another book, actually. Back then, a lot of the details that I now feel are incredibly salient and relevant to the plot didn’t exist; more than anything, my first grasp of the book hinted more at underlying themes in the premise: a tragic love story bookended by humans and gods and sacrifice, and a peek at the darker sides of love and power. Thinking about it now, I might’ve thought up the initial premise while listening to a song (most of my ideas appear when I’m listening to music).

What inspired you for fantasy setting and reincarnated lovers arc of The Heartless Divine?

Setting wise, I knew I wanted to tell a story across two different timelines, with fundamentally different circumstances. There’s definitely an element of fate present in the story, and I wanted to play with how the timelines paralleled one another and differed, to emphasize the characters’ agency but also bring in a kind of inevitability with regards to their endings. The reincarnated soulmates arc stems from that greatly – Suri and Kiran are different from their past selves, and yet they still fall in love.

The magic system in the book was always meant to be tied to gods, but more than that, I liked the idea of tying it to souls. Souls don’t change, but they can be changed and manipulated, and are the same in humans and in gods. I thought it would be interesting to create a fantasy where magic was innate and visceral instead of nature-based, especially since the novel itself is closely tied to emotions borne of such things.

What type of characters do you love and hate to write? What is your favorite quality in protagonists? Does anyone in real life inspired you to write them?

This might come off a bit trite, but I really love writing characters that are human. I like imbuing them with the flaws and dreams and strengths that come with every one of us, and I also love writing the different dynamics between naturally conflicting characters. I also love playing with idealistic and cynical characters, and the spectrum of morality. My favorite quality in protagonists.

I don’t enjoy writing characters that are incontrovertibly good or evil, or adhere too closely to a certain trope. Although I feel like those kinds of characters do have a place in fiction, it’s personally not as fun to me when there’s no apparent depth to a character’s actions.

None of my real life acquaintances have directly inspired a character, though I do feel like some of the character’s traits might have been inspired by my close friends, and my interactions with them. There’s no real character inserts, though.

What is the most interesting aspect of The Heartless Divine?

I modeled the book after a classical tragedy with the aim of emphasizing the heavy hand of fate throughout the plot. I think the most interesting aspect is how the supposed freedom of human choice works into that; whether human agency is real, and if not, whether it still matters to feel as though you have control of your own fate. Another interesting aspect of the book is the dichotomy between humanity and divinity; by making one of the characters a god who was once a human, it was really fun to play with the boundaries of what defines inhumanity, and thus, what defines humanity.  

Tell us about your journey to publication.

I decided to self-publish. Juggling revisions, publication, classes, and college applications wasn’t easy, but my father helped out with a lot of the minutiae of the publishing process.

What are your most favorite and least favorite thing about being an author?

My favorite thing is probably just writing. It can definitely be overwhelming at times, but the rush that comes from working through a good scene is unbeatable. Research can also be really fun.

My least favorite thing is probably the self-consciousness that comes with knowing my work is publicly available. I’m confident in my writing, but it’s a little strange to know anyone could pick up the book and read it now, after so many months of it being solely my own.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I prefer to write at home on my bed, but I’m pretty flexible with location as long as I feel somewhat secluded. My only real ritual is that it’s difficult for me to get into the mood if I’m not listening to music. I’ve made several playlists for each of the projects I’ve worked on.

What is the next project you’re working on?

I’m currently working on the sequel to The Heartless Divine. Plotting it has been incredibly fun so far. I think it’s an interesting foil to the first novel; it has a lot of the same themes, but circumstances change drastically, and the decisions the characters are forced to take become much messier and darker.

Can you describe The Heartless Divine in five words?

Fate, doomed love, human error.

And the last one, top 3 tips for aspiring authors.

  1. Read as often as you can, and as much as you can. Reading helps with understanding plot structure on a deeper level, and being surrounded with prose can help spark inspiration. It’s also just really interesting to see some of the amazing books out there these days.
  2. Write as often as you can – even if you can’t get anything on paper one day, try to keep yourself engaged by plotting and fleshing out the details of the story. But writing even a few hundred words each day does help stabilize flow and style.
  3. Don’t be self-conscious of your work on your first draft. I’ve definitely struggled with this and continue to, but the time I spend stressed out about specific sentences or paragraphs is wasted. Over time, I’ve begun to place faith in the revision process and trained myself to write whatever I want to on the first draft.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Readers can check out my website (linked below), as well as my twitter.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Goodreads

Purchase Links: Amazon

Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book and interview? Have you read this book? Are you going to add it to TBR?

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#AuthorInterview #Spotlight : E. L. Croucher, author of Horned Winged Blessed

Hello Readers! Today I’m pleased to welcome E. L. Croucher for an interview on Books Teacup and Review.  Emi is an indie writer who has written The Butterfly on Fire and her next upcoming book is Horned Winged Blessed, an LGBTQ dystopian novel, set a few years from now in a post-apocalyptic world. Check out more about the book and author in this post.

Horned Winged Blessed by E.L. Croucher
Publication Date: 29th November 2019 (Pre-release as of 10th Nov)
Publisher: Amazon
Genre: LGBTQ / Dystopian Fiction
Editor: Jake Ratcliff
Cover Artist: Dawn M Larder

Synopsis:

Follow Joan on her adventure of discovery, as she learns the hard way that her post-apocalyptic utopia isn’t always full of rainbows and Merlot.

Yes, she lives on the nicer side of the settlement, as the daughter of the Mother Founder. But after a life-threatening attack on her home, she soon realises that many out there are against the Silver Party regime.

Horned Winged Blessed is the story of one girl fighting against a tyrannous government, elected to power amidst the unending chaos of World War III. Heavily enriched in their pagan values, the Silver Party are to thank for pulling Broken Britain up from the brink of a depression, but at what cost?

Will Joan decide to take down the Silver Party from the inside…

…or will she go on to fight alongside the rebel faction that allures her so intensely?

Excerpt:

“He said that you represent them… the enemy. There’s something about you, and I see it too.” She has no idea how right she is in this exact moment. It’s almost frightening.

“Maybe I don’t want all that though, did anyone ever consider that?”

“We don’t always get to choose what we stand for, Luna. I didn’t. I’m here, fighting this fight because I have to be.”

“You have to be?” I’m confused. What is she saying? “For Matthew?”

“No, not him. He means the world to me, that’s no secret. But no. Not him. Luna, look at me.” I submit and do as she says. We put our wine glasses to the side. “I didn’t go through what I did in the previous world to live as a stupid, suppressed ‘Blessed one’. No way. And neither did any of my other sisters. Do you understand me? I’m a woman. Not a trans woman. Not anything else. A woman. The minute I’m defined as a subcategory is the minute my identity stops being up to me. I haven’t fought to become who I am – and was always meant to be – just to have it dictated to me by a bunch of crazies.”

Suddenly she stands up, and walks over to my kitchen surface. One drawer after another, she searches for something. The wine is on the table, so it can’t be that. Then, she pauses when she finds whatever it is she’s looking for. A small dagger, given to me by a guy I could’ve fallen for, once upon a time. It stands for everything she stands for. For me, it’s a symbol of what could’ve been. A night’s warmth. A fleeting memory.

Buy Links:

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E L Croucher is a young author, living in London. She started writing over two years, with her first novel The Butterfly on Fire, which she published on Amazon. Alongside her career as a writer, she works as a Japanese translator and interpreter for a well-known Japanese gaming company, after studying Japanese at university and living in Tokyo, Japan.

Her latest novel, Horned Winged Blessed is an ironic look into a world in which gender roles are swapped, and minorities are forced into labels that they did not choose. With a mix of feminist views and a pro-LGBTQ+ stance, E L Croucher writes to further her dream of a world free from prejudice, hate-crimes and bullying.

Follow her story on her website or find her on social media:

Website | Facebook | Instagram

ELCroucher.com | Emi Louise Croucher| @emi13230

Can you tell readers little about your book, Horned Winged Blessed? What they can expect from the book?

The world is built around a post-apocalyptic Broken Britain, and sees an all-female, all-wiccan government in power. The story follows the protagonist Joan, who is daughter to the leader of the above government, as she realises that the world her mother has built isn’t always rainbows and Merlot. There is a serious issue in how gender is “labelled” against the people’s will, and Joan is faced with the choice of either joining the rebels that plot against her mother’s government, or trying and take it down from the inside.

Horned Winged Blessed is my attempt at spinning the current patriarchal society on its head, as well as bringing to light the oppression that various minorities in our society goes through every day.

You can expect a dark, thought-provoking and empowering read, as you start to pick away at the paintwork of the world in Horned Winged Blessed.

How did you come up with the idea for your book?

I wanted to start in the realm of a dystopian-style gender swap, to bring an ironic light on what we are currently seeing in society today. The pay gap, abortion rights, the murder of transgender women of colour… there are so many issues that we cannot ignore. So I started by wanting to focus on a dystopian world that mirrors ours. That makes it a lot easier to show the successes and flaws within it.

What inspired you for dystopian setting of Horned Winged Blessed?

I knew I wanted to set Horned Winged Blessed around ten years from now, based on the age of my main characters. From there, I worked backwards until the present day and came up with a plausible chain of events until things get really dark, I.e. Brexit, the next election, nuclear threats. Eventually, without giving too much away, something triggers World War III in the novel. Luckily for the protagonist (and probably the reader!) the novel doesn’t started until WWIII is coming to an end and the government in charge is already paving the way to a new world…

What type of characters do you love and hate to write? What is your favorite quality in protagonists? Does anyone in real life inspired you to write them?

In Horned Winged Blessed, I really liked playing with the age of my characters. My generation have grown to be the middle-aged generation in the novel and I loved writing the characters in that way. That was exciting for me as a millennial. The protagonist, however, is of course a slightly younger generation, so writing her was a lot tougher. Would they speak differently? Would they think about the world differently? My generation has never known war, but for Joan’s generation it is all they know. Those elements were a challenge at times.

As far as real-life inspiration goes, there are of course people that I tend to channel when writing. The love interest in the novel was based on my boyfriend (at the time… we broke up three weeks ago!). However, as above, it’s a lot harder to base the characters on anyone from my real life as no-one I know has gone through a World War that they saw through their friend’s Instagram stories!

What was the most interesting aspect of writing Horned Winged Blessed?

The main theme is the daughter vs. mother, “my-generation-knows-best” divide. It was extremely interesting to write as a daughter that loathes her mother so intensely, when I am so close with mine. In fact, people may think that I based the Mother Founder on my mother, but they couldn’t be further from the truth! I actually based it on me, and everything I don’t want to be as a mum.

Tell us about your journey to publication.

I went down the self-published route, purely because I’m impatient and love having something to do. Marketing my own novel, creating a buzz and hosting a huge launch party are all things I wanted to do. I started writing this novel a year ago, finishing the first draft in around 7 months. It’s been ripped apart and edited since then. Last weekend I posted in on Amazon, and I ordered the hard copies for my launch party tonight. It’s all finally happening!

What are your most favorite and least favorite thing about being an author?

My favorite part about being an author is actually sitting down and writing, but unfortunately that is a shockingly small percentage of what I have found that being an author entails. My fondest memory was jetting off to Peterborough to a small hotel by the side of a river, all on my own. I just wrote and ate for an entire week. It was heaven. However, I of course love the organisation needed in self-publishing a novel. The ultimate reward is when people tell you that they laughed or cried whilst reading my book. It’s the most motivating feeling in the world.

My least favorite part has to be how it’s morphed what and how I read. I can’t just pick up a book and enjoy it now. It becomes research. Research becomes an effort. I start to think to myself “well if you have time to read that, why don’t you also read this”, “oh, that’s a good idea, jot that down”. The worst one is without a doubt “oh, why can’t I write like that!” Once Horned Winged Blessed is truly finished, I can’t wait to read for fun again!

Do you have any writing rituals?

It starts from the night before. I shower, pack my bag in advance and set out my clothes on my counter. Then, I sleep as early as I can. When the morning arrives – often on the weekend – I’m up and getting ready to go out within seconds.

I walk down my road, no further than a couple of streets away to the cutest little independent coffee shop in town. Headphones in, coffee steaming to my left and laptop out.

Heaven.

What is the next project you’re working on?

I wish I had a say in this, but my family have personally asked me to put anything else on hold for a while, so that I can enjoy Christmas with them. How cute!

In the new year I plan to re-write my first novel. It’s going to be a big task, but I’ve developed so much as a writer, than I really want to rework what I did when I first started in this industry. It will take a lot of time and energy, but unlike with Horned Winged Blessed I won’t tell a single soul about it until it’s done!

Can you describe Horned Winged Blessed in five words?

Relevant. Unapologetic. Dark. Empowering. Enlightening.

And the last one, top 3 tips for aspiring authors.

  1. Putting pressure on yourself to write does nothing. Like anything, we don’t want to do what we don’t want to do. Let it flow naturally.
  2. Writer’s block is a myth – it just takes dedications, focus and motivation. When you’re not in the mood, don’t force it and move past that feeling. I found drawing instead of writing helped!
  3. Plan. Plan. Plan. Spend 40% coming up with the world, the story and the characters. Then the other 60% spent actually writing the novel is a breeze.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website | Blog | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads | Book Link

Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book and interview? Have you read this book or any book by the same author? Are you going to add it to TBR?

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#AuthorInterview #Spotlight : Palmer Pickering, author of Moon Deeds #MoonDeeds @palmerpickerin1

Hello Readers! Today I’m pleased to welcome Palmer Pickering for an interview on Books Teacup and Review. Palmer Pickering is debut author of Moon Deed, first in Star Children Saga, an adult fantasy/science-fiction crossover. Before interview, check out this fascinating cover and synopsis.

Moon Deeds (Star Children Saga #1) by Palmer Pickering
Publication Date: March 7th 2019 
Publisher: Mythology Press
Genre: Fantasy / Science-Fiction / Space Opera

Synopsis:

It’s 2090: the last outpost of freedom is the moon, the best defense against technology is magic, and the only hope for humankind rests in the hands of the Star Children.

Twins Cassidy and Torr must save Earth from a ruthless enemy at a time when the only force more powerful than alien technology is magic. Moon Deeds launches the siblings’ journey across the galaxy, where they must learn their power as the Star Children, claim their shamanic heritage, and battle dark forces that threaten humankind.

The Star Children Saga follows Cassidy and Torr as they slowly awaken to their destiny as the twin Star Children, born every millennium to reconnect with the source of all life. They come to discover the sheer enormity of their task: to find our ancestors on a lost planet across the galaxy and save humanity from a spiraling descent into darkness. The powers they must wield to accomplish this task are truly frightening and put at risk everything they love.

Come along with 20-year-old twins Cassidy and Torr, who inherited deeds to land parcels on the moon. They want to use their moon deeds to get off Earth and escape a brutal dictatorship. But first they must unlock their shaman powers.

A rollicking yet poignant adventure in the not too distant future, when we have colonized the moon and nearly lost Earth to a dictatorship. Only the shamans remain free, plus the lucky ones who escaped to the moon.

Join the adventure! An addictive space opera, science-fantasy series.

Palmer has been writing fiction since she was eight. She received her BA in American Studies from Wesleyan University, with concentrations in Religion and Race Relations.

She currently works in Silicon Valley as an Innovation and Technology Manager for HP, Inc. In addition to her career in high tech, Palmer holds a certificate in Chinese Acupressure, is a certified solar panel installer, and studied Tibetan Buddhism with the 14th Dalai Lama.

She lives and writes in the magical redwood forest of the Santa Cruz Mountains, California, and travels back and forth to Nashville, Tennessee, where she dabbles in songwriting.

Can you tell readers little about your book Moon Deeds? What they can expect from the book?

Sure. Moon Deeds is the first book of a science-fiction/fantasy series, the Star Children Saga. The story is about twenty-year-old twins Cassidy and Torr. They are legendary twins, who are born every thousand years to reconnect with our ancestors across the galaxy and save humanity from a downward spiral into a permanent dark ages. However, this millennium, the path to our ancestors has been broken. It is up to Cassidy and Torr to find their way across the galaxy and find the lost ancestral planet. But to do that, they must unlock their shaman skills and stay alive.

How did you come up with the idea for your book?

It started with a gag gift from my brother: a set of parchments which were deeds to land on the moon. I considered the possibility that the deeds were legit and would be of inestimable value to my descendants. I tried to imagine an extreme scenario, and that was the idea behind “Moon Deeds.” The series starts with the twins fleeing a global military dictatorship, and they hope to use their moon deeds to escape Earth and flee to the lunar colony, which is still free.

Moon Deed was set across the galaxy. What inspired you for setting?

As I mentioned, my brother’s gift of the moon deeds inspired the first book—the first trilogy, actually—which is mostly set on the moon. The larger series-arc is based on the premise that humans are descended from an alien species from another planet, inspired by myths from many cultures and religions of celestial visitors/angels/gods/giants, etc. descending on shafts of light to visit Earth. Again, I asked myself, “what if those myths are based in fact?” Then I figured that if that were the case, then surely our ancestors visited other planets as well, and that would mean we have cousins scattered across the galaxy.

What type of characters do you love and hate to write? Your favorite quality in protagonists, Cassidy and Torr. Does anyone in real life inspired you to write them?

I only write characters that I enjoy writing. I don’t like my villains very much, but I enjoy writing them. Some of the plant spirit medicine scenes were inspired by a dear friend of mine who is a plant spirit medicine woman. But the characters themselves are purely from my imagination.

What was the most interesting aspect of writing Moon Deeds, characters and their journey?

I most enjoy writing the scenes when Cassidy and Torr learn how to use their magic. It is a sort of metaphor for their journey towards self-awareness. I also enjoyed all the research of mythology, and of the moon.

Tell us about your journey to publication.

I have been working on this series for ten years. I have tried many times to find an agent or publisher, but with no luck. I have a background in publishing, so I decided to start my own indie press (Mythology Press) and self-publish. I’ve been enjoying the publishing process so far, although it is a lot of work!!

What are your most favorite and least favorite thing about being an author?

I love being in the almost dream-state of creating something new. The editing process can be a grind, and is not my favorite part. Also, the solitude of writing is nice, but it can get lonely. And the whole promotional aspect of being an author is a bit daunting. I think many writers are introverts. I certainly am. Writing is a very personal thing—putting my thoughts and imagination out for the world to judge is frankly terrifying. On the other hand, in my opinion art is meant to be shared. It’s a radical form of communication. And so, sharing it is also very exciting and satisfying.

Do you have any writing rituals?

For first drafts, I tend to stare into space a lot and imagine the scenes in a lot of detail before sitting down to write. At the editing stage, it’s more about discipline. I force myself to sit down to review and edit every day and strive to make progress, even if it’s only a little bit. I keep track of how many pages I get through every day, in order to encourage myself. I have found that slow, persistent effort yields results. For writing first drafts or new sections, I generally get through 3 pages a day, or 10 pages on a weekend day when I can devote several hours to writing. During the editing stages, the amount of material I get through can vary widely, but I write down daily goals for myself in order to provide some structure for myself—otherwise time can slip by without making any progress. I also sometimes set self-imposed deadlines, such as delivering drafts to editors or beta readers, in order to force myself to keep going.

What is the next project you’re working on?

The audiobook of Moon Deeds is about to be released, and will be available in October, 2019 through most audiobook services. Nina Price is the narrator. In terms of future books, I am in the rewriting stage of Light Fighters, which is Book Two of the Star Children Saga. Actually, it’s with some readers right now. In the meantime, I’m at the editing stage of another book set in a completely different world: “Heliotrope,” which is a Heroic Fantasy/Sword and Sorcery novel. (Check out images of both books below)

Light Fighters
Heliotrope

Can you describe Moon Deeds in five words?

We are descended from aliens.

And the last one, top 3 tips for aspiring authors.

1. If you love to write, write. Don’t listen to any internal or external voices telling you why you can’t or shouldn’t or aren’t good enough. You can do it.
2. If you want to write, the only way to do it, the only way to start, and the best way to learn is to simply write. Write a lot. Write every day. It’s a craft, and it takes practice.
3. You have time. You can find ten minutes a day to put pen to paper. You can think about your story while you’re driving, or on the train, or driving a cab, or mopping the floor, or nursing a baby, or whatever it is you do. Then find that ten minutes a day to jot it down. Try to devote a longer length of time once a week—a few solid hours if possible. But a little bit every day is better than an infrequent, long session, in my experience. That is because if you work on it every day, then the story stays alive in your head and takes shape in the background, and you can jump right into it when you have a few minutes.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website: https://www.mythologypress.com/

Blog: I will be blogging at  https://www.palmerpickering.com/ once I update my website sometime this year (2019)

Facebook: @mythologypress

Twitter: @palmerpickerin1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18948616.Palmer_Pickering

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/redwoodforest/

Instagram: lioncutcat (Barbara Pickering)

Book Links: (Amazon): https://www.amazon.com/Moon-Deeds-Star-Children-Saga-ebook/dp/B07S9PDKTW/

Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book and interview? Have you read this book or going to add it to TBR?

Fun Que- Like Mood Deeds if we are descended from aliens, what do you think from which planet your ancestor might have descended ?

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Author Interview : Tony Halker @tonyhalker

Hello Readers! Today, I’m happy to welcome Tony Halker, author of Displaced, for an interview. Also check out the book details in this post. I hope you enjoy the post.

Book Details:

Displaced by Tony Halker
Publication Date:
February 10th 2019
Genre: Literary Historical Fiction

Synopsis:

In a landscape of pre-history, a time of ancestor worship, young Druid priests Owayne and Nial, are tasked to travel and learn all they can of rite and rule in a world of competing tribes, unsettling technologies and priest power.

Displaced people wander the lands, forced there by conflict and hunger, where they are used to create chaos. Fertility is revered, children have value for work, in marriage, for worship and sacrifice. 
Superstition, religion and ancestor beliefs have power for good and or evil, inflicting pain or kindness and sometimes both. 
Amongst the chaos pass our two priests, seeking to learn from and influence events. A mysterious helper, Bron is with them. It is unclear whether he aids them or is simply to watch and report their actions. They love, make friends, struggle and fight to alter fate; meeting decent peoples whose belief and actions conflict with their own. They have to reconcile friendships and very different values.

These modern issues and events are played out in a landscape of our pre-history, one that we can see and touch today. 
A tribal lord resists the march of progress, fighting for values that no longer resonate with his family or clan. Battles of mind, values and technologies occur. Those who prevail ultimately determine the telling of history. 

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Tony Halker is an Indie author who has published two novels and collaborated in creating a book about deep space photography. His novels are literary fiction, concerned with modern themes, set in a landscape of our pre-history. He wants the emotion of landscape to form and influence the characters in his novels. Having worked as a geologist and in business management, he travelled extensively before making time to write. His second novel, “Displaced” was published in 2019. His first novel, “The Learn” was published by Clink Street in 2016.

1. What made you decide to become an author?

Writing found me. I realized about five years ago that I was periodically trying to write. I was creating chapters of novels that were formulating in my head. They were poorly thought out, but were going down on a keyboard and even being printed out. I kept them for a while to let them ferment or mature and then threw them away. It was re-reading and throwing some away that made me realize how much I enjoyed writing. I had a hope that I could do better and become a story teller who can engage readers while considering important issues for us all. Writing helps me rationalize my life and that of my family.

2. Can you tell readers little about your book? What they can expect from the book?

I hope “Displaced” is an enjoyable, intelligent, sometimes challenging novel that has us consider important issues for our world through the eyes and minds of characters we can like and identify with. It is set in all of our history, which gives me more freedom to be controversial. Though the book considers difficult issues for our time it has an uplifting and positive theme. I hope the front cover image projects that.

3. How did you come up with the idea for your book?

I needed a canvas to tell a modern story of people like all of us. I enjoy walking where our ancestors walked and lived and were shaped by the kindness or harshness of the landscape in their time. I like writing about that landscape. A beautiful view is a set of emotions that make and influence us. I have tried to place people like us with modern issues of family, tribe, love, religion and abuse of power, in that place and to weave a tale around them.

4. What sort of research did you do to write this book?

I tried to understand the names and make up of ancient deities of natural things, streams, rivers, trees and mountains. I looked at folklore and festivals passed down to us that seem to remember those beliefs. I walked to and visited ancient monuments and artefacts. Those things stimulated in me a view of what the people may have been like; those who found time to create and enjoy beauty many years ago as they fought to survive and prosper for themselves and their families. I did some research as to how ancient artefacts were made.

5. Who are some authors that inspire you?

I read many different types of books and am inspired by so many of them for different reasons. While I like a well told story, I also want a book to make me think and pull at my emotions. I am reading a book called The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng. It is the second time I have read it, it travels well. I also recently read Warlight by Michael Ondaatje. Last year I read a wonderful book called, “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Trowles; this had wonderful characterization and optimism in difficult times.

6. What type of characters do you love and hate to write? Your favorite quality in protagonist.

I want a protagonist to be thoughtful, intelligent and self-aware. I am a little afraid of making my narrative voice that of a woman. I have read some books recently where someone has tried to put themselves in a head very different from their own and it does not always work. My favorite qualities are intelligence and empathy. I hate bluster and macho action without thought.

7. What was your favorite chapter (or part) of writing this book and why?

There is a chapter that is really about the landscape and its part in the novel. It is called, “Battles Between Land and Sea”. I am an ex geologist and I think of this chapter as my indulgence. I was able to write it quickly. The land and sea are imbued with personality and power and wish to defeat each other. My novel is not a fantasy in any way, though some may say that by giving, sea, rocks and land life I have let more than nature in.

8. What was the hardest part of writing the book? Was there anything that you deleted or altered?

The hardest things is working on voice to make a character consistent and someone whom a reader can engage with and want to hear more about and from. I continually change many things. Everything!

9. What are your most favorite and least favorite thing about being an author?

My favorite thing is being free to write and allowing my mind to create worlds and characters that are from my imagination. I can give myself a licence to make the world as I want it to be, though I rarely do so. My least favorite thing is that when I am on a roll and writing I often let my coffee go cold. It does not taste as good after I microwave it warm!

10. Do you have any writing rituals?

Coffee. I also often walk in the countryside before starting to write, especially if I am finding it hard to move a novel on. I often know something does not work, but not why or what the solution may be. Walking and talking can get me moving on. I also try to read every day when I am writing.

11. What is the next project you’re working on?

I have two novels on the go that are completely different from my previous novels. I am trying to write about the present time, that means my imagination has less licence. I tried this once before and went back to the freedom of the setting of “Displaced”.

12. And the last one, Top 3 tips for aspiring authors.
  • A novel is a marathon. Keep going and drink coffee.
  • Trust yourself; believe in yourself.
  • Edit, edit and edit and then ask someone else to edit.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website: http://www.tonyhalker.com
Blog: http://www.tonyhalker.com/blog
Facebook: @tonyhalkerauthor @learnorfade
Twitter: @tonyhalker
Goodreads: Tony Halker
Instagram: tonyhalker2
Book Links: (Amazon): https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1794683453

Thank you Tony Halker for this interview, again!

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#promo #authorinterview : This Time by Azaaa Davis @azaaadavis

Hello Readers! Today I pleased to share author interview with Azaaa Davis, Author of This Time- a very interesting Urban Fantasy, paranormal novel. I hope you enjoy reading about book and author in this post.

Book Details:

This Time (Book 1)
Author: Azaaa Davis
Series: Nadira Holden, Demon Hunter
Published October 1st 2018 by Camp-Davis Productions
Genre: Urban fantasy / Paranormal

Synopsis:

Legendary demon hunter Nadira Holden paid the ultimate price to end the war between demons and hunters.

Resurrected in present-day New York, many years have passed, everyone moved on without her, and the demons she once battled have made peace with humans. Nadira no longer has a purpose here. Dying again might be her ticket back to that “next life” she experienced.

Except humans are disappearing, and Nadira’s father is one of the missing. Feeling a strong obligation to find him before sorting out her own fate, she begins investigating. 

She won’t rest in peace unless she can prove the demons are behind the disappearances. But Nadira is running out of time. The darkness within her is causing her to lose her humanity while the rest of mankind is on the verge of enslavement to the demons they now worship.

Fight with Nadira in a new urban fantasy series that combines monster-slaying action, family drama, and simmering romance. Experience why not even death can stop her. 

Book Link:

Goodreads / Amazon/ Universal Book Link / Smashwords

About Author:

Azaaa Davis is writer of urban fantasy novels. She fell in love with reading as a high school freshman and continues to read, write, and draw today.
Her background in social work helps her portray realistic characters in otherworldly—and sometimes terrifying—situations. A New York native, Azaaa currently lives in New Hampshire (USA) with her husband and daughter.
Azaaa debuts with This Time, A Nadira Holden Novel, about demon hunters, family ties and the magic of love. Azaaa is working diligently to finish writing more fantasy novels while raising her daughter. Her next book is expected to be released in early 2019.
You can know more about author and book on her website – https://www.azaaadavis.com

Interview:

Many thanks to author for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.

1. What made you decide to become an author?

Reading a fantasy novel at age fourteen changed my life. It sparked my imagination and inspired me. I developed my love for reading, discovered my love for writing and remembered my love for drawing. Reading helped me dream big and create amazing opportunities for myself. I hope my stories encourage a love for reading in others.

2. Can you tell readers little about your book? What they can expect from the book?

This Time is book one in the Nadira Holden, Demon Hunter series. It’s a fresh urban fantasy novel is about a resurrected demon hunter and those who love her. Nadira is a strong woman of color facing many moral dilemmas. Some will love the action and monster slaying. Some with like the complicated relations filled with drama and angst. Others with like the simmering romance.

This Time will appeal to fans of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Underworld’s Death Dealer Selene, Succubus Georgina Kincaid and Vampire Executioner Anita Blake.

3. How did you come up with the idea for your book?

I wondered, “what if the hero already made the ultimate sacrifice to defeat evil? Then, the hero is called upon to do it all over again when evil resurfaces.” I wanted to explore a hero’s motivations and limits.

4. Tell us about your journey to publication.

I’m an independent author meaning that I publish my own books. I hire professional cover artists and editors. I use software to help draft, edit and format my books. Then I implement my marketing strategy which includes paid advertising and cross promotions with other authors in my genre. There is a lot of up front cost and time that goes into publishing a book once it’s written. I appreciate being indie because I set my own pace and I have complete creative freedom. As a new mom, I need the flexibility of creating my own deadlines. It’s thrilling to know that the mistakes and accomplishments are my own.

5. Who are some authors that inspire you?

Juliet Marillier, author of Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters #1) and Jacqueline Carey, author of Kushiel’s Dart (Phèdre’s Trilogy #1). Two amazing fantasy writers in an league of their own.

6. What type of characters do you love and hate to write? Your favorite quality in protagonist.

As a female, I push myself to write authentic dialogue for my male characters. I often pause and ask myself, “would a guy really  say or do that?” I don’t hate it, but it can be hard.

I love to write tense scene be it from anger, suspicion, desire or conflict.

My favorite type of protagonist is a good person with flaws. I don’t like main characters that have no moral compass or ethical boundaries. I also don’t want to read about main characters that cannot lose.

7. What are your most favorite and least favorite thing about being an author?

I love the feeling of accomplishment when I write the last words of a story. I also love seeing positive reviews of my books. I want to know that people are enjoying the stories I’m telling.

I dislike not having more time to write. Some days I’m too tired to write when I finally have a spare moment after 9 o’clock at night.

8. Do you have any writing rituals?

I try to write often and so that means writing where every I am when I have a free moment. I’ve written on long car trips to see out of town family. I’ve written while my daughter is taking an afternoon nap. Mainly, I write at night in my PJ with classical music and a mug of lukewarm coffee.

9. What is the next project you’re working on?

I have an outline for book three in the Nadira Holden, Demon Hunter series and will working on this book for the remainder of the year. Other than that, I have an exclusive, original paranormal romance story I write for my patrons on Patreon.

10. And the last one, Top 3 tips for aspiring authors.

  • Read often and try branching out of your comfort zone. More and more aspiring writers are not reading. This is scary to me. Reading increases knowledge, sparks creativity, fuels motivation and guides the technical aspects of writing. Writers must read. And, I’m on the fence about whether listening to an audiobook counts as reading.
  • Try outlining your story. Write one sentence for each act. Then write one sentence for each scene. You may have twelve or fifty scenes.  Then go back and turn each sentence into a paragraph. Already, you word count is up and your story is taking form. Don’t be afraid to hope around. Then go back and turn each paragraph long scene into a page. And that is one way to grow your story without becoming frozen by a blank page. 
  • The more you write the easier it gets. So, write as often as you can until you are able to achieve the good habit of writing daily. Those that write three to five times a week even if its for small amounts of time might progress faster than someone who maybe writes one day a week for hours. Why? Because the story they are telling is fresh in their mind and their word count per writing session has gradually improved.

Author Links:

Website: https://www.azaaadavis.com

Blog:  https://www.azaaadavis.com/blog

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/azaaadavis

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/azaaadavis

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40778146

Lnkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/azaa-a-davis-22387a177/

Thank you for reading!

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