To those of you who have been following me as I interview authors and their books, it's now my turn. EEEKK. Yes, with trembling knees and fingernails bitten to the quick, I take my first steps into authordom and ask myself the same questions I posed to them.
Following the brave authors before me, I am releasing my debut novel, The Paladins of Naretia, (book one of the Naretia series), an epic fantasy novel. The Paladins of Naretia was also nominated for the Summer Indie Book Awards and a semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Awards. Update: The Paladins of Naretia won first place in the acclaimed books, The Book Awards, december 2016.
What is the book about?
A vision sparks the beginning of treachery and war in the kingdom of Naretia.
The story is told by a nearly three-hundred-year-old wizard, Olórin, and a seventeen-year-old tyrannical queen, Aria. Olórin knows only one thing for certain: that his adopted son, Aramus, will end all life if things are left the way they are. He must scour the kingdom for otherworldly ingredients to make a potion that will save him. If he cannot, then by his eighteenth birthday Aramus’s real father, Dantet, will send his dark army to kill his son and take Aramus’s powers for his own. The evil God will be free to walk upon mortal soil and incinerate all who live there.
Olórin is optimistic, however, that Aramus’s human side will prevail over the rising darkness within him. He also hopes that his love for his son will be enough to steer Aramus away from the darkness. But underhanded deeds by traitors within the wizard caste prevent Olórin from achieving his goal, and Aramus turns before the potion is ready. Olórin is faced with an impossible choice: his son’s life, or all who dwell in the kingdom of Naretia.
What was the inspiration for this book?
I woke up from a dream one night, after having witnessed a strange and dynamic world (which was later to become Nareita) fall into chaos in my dream. In it, I saw the fiery winged figure of a young man with amber eyes. I began to wonder what an ominous, but obviously torn, figure would have to do with the destruction of the world and how it might affect him. So, in truth, the world was created by my unconscious brain and everything else just fell into place after that.
What draws you to this genre? Do you write in any other genre?
I also write in science fiction and I'm working on a book as we speak. Science fiction and fantasy interests me the most because I'm not limited by the bounds of reality. Should I decide that there are three moons in the sky, then there are three moons. I'm only limited by my imagination and that's the kind of freedom I love to write in. Not only that, but I love to figure out the dynamics of the different characters between each other and the strange environment they have been put into. Working out the logistics of the science side of things for Scifi is a bit more daunting, however. But I've never been one to shy away from a challenge.
Can we expect more?
This is just the first book of the Naretia series, of which I'm expecting about 3 in total. Also, the Scifi novel I'm working on, Kepler One, is a trilogy. My love of literature, and strange worlds, won't allow me to stop writing, so, yes, you can expect a lot more.
Tell me about you and what drew you to writing? Are there any authors who inspired you to become a writer yourself?
In my youth, I was a terrible student, not for the lack of brains but rather for the lack of interest. I remember every parent teacher's meeting, my poor parents would come back exasperated with me because every year it would be the same. "She could be fantastic, if she only tried a little harder." Little did they know that my lack of interest stemmed from a lack of an ability to be able to spell. There is a history of dyslexia in our family, although I'm not sure if I am dyslexic. But I've struggled all my life with reading, writing, directions, and my confidence suffered because of it. I learned to work around my issues and mask them as best I could. If I couldn't spell a word, I'd use a different one. I hid it quite well. The only thing outing me was reading in public, so I avoided that at all costs.
Despite my lack of effort, I never lost my interest in hearing the teacher reading fantastical stories. It was the best part of my day as a child. I would relive those tales at night when I couldn't sleep and I made up my own stories, but never told a soul. It wasn't until I had my own two children that I began to tell the stories bubbling around in my noggin. My confidence grew, and soon I began to write them down (thanks in large part to spellcheck). After writing a couple of books, I finally found my groove and out came The Paladins of Naretia.
I love quirky authors, or books where the worlds ooze imagination. That, of course, is only second to a good story. My favourite authors are, Douglas Adams, JRR Tolkien, Jonathan Stroud, Ransom Riggs, John Green and, of course, JK Rowling.
Other than your own book, what is your favourite novel?
I have so many. My favourite books are the ones that remain with me after I've read them for one reason or another. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Charles Dickens - A Christmas Tale, Mrs. Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs, or most recently, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms - NK Jemisin.
Have you written other books we should know about?
I have written other books, but this is my debut novel.
If you could advise aspiring writers on only one aspect of authordom, what would your advice be?
When you live inside your head as you make sense of your make-believe world, don't forget to come up for air. Inspiration can be found in the world around you, and the biggest characters of all are not on paper. Believe in yourself, and remember, those who love your work will keep it in their hearts much longer than those who don't.
Where can we find your books?
Books on the Square, Providence, Rhode Island
Brookline Booksmith, Boston, Massachusetts.
AMAZON US now Free
AMAZON UK now Free
Where can we find out more about you?
I'm all over social media, most of my links can be found on my website
A preview of book two... The Barren Throne... can be found here. Please download it and some stars wouldn't go amiss.