Guest Author TJ Therien

Today our guest is TJ Therien author of yesterday’s book The Scrolls of Scion: The Dark Queen Rising. Here is a link to my post. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5tO

TJ Therien

Let’s find out more about TJ.

First I would like to thank Rosie for having me here and thank her for reading and reviewing my debut novel. I really do appreciate her taking the time out of her busy schedule for an obscure independent author.

 

1) Where is your home town?

I was born in East York and raised in North York, cities which no longer exist, having been absorbed by the Megacity of Metropolitan Toronto when it was created. I have also lived in Calgary, Alberta, Perry Sound, Ontario, Montreal, Quebec and made my home in the Eastern Townships of Quebec for most of the last decade before returning to Toronto at the end of June this year in order to promote my writing in an English Province and large urban market.

2) You’ve climbed a very steep hill to become an author, would you care to share some of your journey with the readers?

I started my journey to become an author as an almost illiterate drop out at age 15. I could fill out a standard job application, but not a long form application, or an application that deviated from the standard set up. I basically knew what boxes to put the few words I did know. I quickly realized my job prospects would be severely limited if I did not learn how to read and write so I began to self-educate myself by picking up a book and a dictionary and referencing every word I did not know and referencing every word in the definition I did not understand. It was a very long and tedious process. I began writing Poetry because at the time I perceived it to be looser in structure than prose. That was when my love for the written word began.

3) What made you choose to write a fantasy book?

Fantasy was not the genre of my choosing for my first novel, it just kind of happened. I had tried to write a novel on several occasions mostly in the vein to Kerouac’s stream of conscious or in the genre of Romance, but never saw anything through to completion. In 2013 I decided to take part in NaNoWriMo. I didn’t have an outline for a story or even much of an idea so I fell back on a love of mine which is the genre of Fantasy; I figured Fantasy would allow me to fly by the seat of my pants. I prepared myself by making a childish map with the Paint program on my computer and writing down a few names. I then gave myself 30 prompts based on those names and locations and the rest is history. I posted the original draft as I wrote it on one of my old blogs “Fables, Fallacies and Short Form Fiction” The story took on a life of its own and the rest is history. Although the story itself was written in 30 days, it took nearly six-months of edits and rewrites to put the depth into the characters and the world.

4) How did you go about researching information for your book?

Here’s the thing, other than researching the names I would use I actually did no research for the book. It was completely improvised and drew upon my youth playing Dungeons & Dragons and the fantasy I read when I was older. I am a big Tolkien fan, but I did not want to tread on the creation of such a great. The Races I’ve chosen are all staple races in the fantasy genre, although I have tried to give them all a unique twist. I would mention, as I am a History buff, especially where Ancient History is concerned, I did try to incorporate that knowledge in ways that suited the story.

5) Can you tell the readers why the Drow were driven to the Iron Hills?

Elves, as I have laid them out in my world are divided primarily among three classes, The High Elf, The Wood Elf and The Drow. Savage Elves in my book predate Elven culture and since they worshiped the old Gods they were never accepted. Back to the Drow now, they were basically a slave class of Elf forced to mine the earth and work the forges in the time when Elves still did these things, they were also used as a military arm due to their ability to blend in with shadows. The Drow, led by Lolth, the original Queen of the Drow and High Priestess of the Cult of the Spider led the Drow in revolt against their Elven Overlords and sided with the Orc in the Great War that took place five thousand years before my story begins. I should mention that while Lolth is a Goddess according to D & D mythologies, in my novel she is not a Goddess, but a Drow that had acquired unique magical powers. The revolt failed and the Elves basically committed genocide in the destruction of Sion (the capital city of the Drow at the time.) A handful of Drow (a few low level priestesses and their guard) escaped the massacre and found a home in the Iron Hills where they rebuilt their numbers through selective breeding.

6) Tell us about some of the other races of species in your book.

Well I am using staple Races of the Fantasy genre as I said previously; I wanted to give them a unique twist. So I made my Orcs intelligent and there culture is kind of a Shamanic culture that has a code of honor and they are not outright evil, but were driven into the Barrenlands by the Dwarves in what was basically a territorial dispute and this is what the Great War was primarily about. On the topic of Dwarves, Dwarven females do not have beards, but they started wearing false beards in the time of the Great War to protect them from rape and they continued to wear them even after the war had ended. Savage Elves worship the ancient gods as I have said which were animals seen in the constellations. Savage Elves exist primarily in animal form and live extremely long lives, Lord Arthfeal, the Lord of Bears existence predates the Great War.

7) Who are the ancient sages and what is their role?

Ah, now that is an interesting question. I did not want to have typical Wizards in my story, so I created the Sages, who are very old and wise beings that spend most of their lives acquiring knowledge and magic which they are reluctant to use. They are often referred to as the First Ones and they perceive each other as brother and sister, although I have never gone into their origin. Each Sage represents one of the races and one of the Elements. Their primary function is as the Advisors of Kings and the Ruling Classes of the separate Races.

8) What is a Drider?

A Drider is a creature that is half Drow and half spider, they are magically created and it is the ultimate form of punishment for a Drow to be transformed into one. It is a particularly cruel fate and the transformation is very painful. A Drider retains his Drow memories and magical abilities, but this too is part of the curse. When a Drow is transformed into a Drider they are exiled from Drow society. The rite to transform a Drow to Drider had not been performed since the time of Lolth, before the Great War until Rianon performs the rite upon Prince Maelgad in the opening scene of the book.

9) Are you working on the next book in the series?

I will be beginning the penning of the sequel to “Scrolls of Sion: Rise of the Dark Queen” “The Scrolls of Sion: Broken Bloodlines” November 1st 2014 and will use the same NaNoWriMo process. All future books in the “Scrolls” series will also be done in this fashion, although I don’t know how many books it will be in the end, my intention is to produce one book each year (to be released on May 25th  the following year) as long as I can keep the books interesting and relevant. I have other projects I am working on other than “Scrolls” that are not in the Fantasy genre including a Romance (“Forever: The First Epoch”) set in the Stone Age which I am hoping to finish writing and editing by the time NaNoWriMo starts. I also am working on a book of experimental Poetry entitled “Crossing Main.”

10) Where can readers find out more about you and where can they get your book? Is it still free on these sites?

Readers can find me at my new Primary blog “Inside the Poet’s Mind” and also on my blog devoted to “The Scrolls of Sion” which goes by the same name as the series. My books can be found on Smashwords, Barnes and Noble and the i-Store, although I can’t find me on the i-Store, books are being downloaded there. Like the Drow, “Scrolls” exists in shadow and secret in the world of “Apple.” I also have an anthology of Poetry (“Liars, Hypocrites & the Development of Human Emotion) available through the same retailers. I have decided to keep all my books free until I debut them on Amazon. I have not yet set a date for my Amazon launch, but it will be before November 1st and maybe as early as August 1st so those who haven’t taken advantage of this free offer, better hurry.

Thank you again Rosie for having me here on your Blog. I have enjoyed the experience and truly appreciate the exposure.

Links to Blogs

http://insidethepoetsmind.wordpress.com/

http://thescrollsofsion.wordpress.com/

Links to Book

scrolls fFINAL 3

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/434284

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-scrolls-of-sion-t-j-therien/1119459677

Thank you TJ and good luck with the next book.

The Scrolls Of Scion:The Dark Queen Rising by TJ Therien

scrolls fFINAL 3 Scrolls Of Scion by T.J. Therien

The Scrolls of Scion; Rise of the Dark Queen is set in the fantasy world of Brynmor. The Drow are a race of dark elves who have lived in the Iron Hills for the last five thousand years. Now Queen Rianon wants to fight back against those who banished them from their rightful home in Sion.

Humans, Dwarves and other Elves innocently disbelieve that the Drow could be any reasonable threat to their way of life and refuse to head the warnings from the ancient Sages.
Dwarf and Human join to march on the Iron Hills and  rid them of the Drow pest. However they soon find themselves facing a bigger threat than they could have imagined.
Through skilful planning Rianon has the support of The Orc, Kobold, Savage Elves, and Wolf races. An abduction of an Elf Princess and the death of the Human King all throw chaos at the ruling realms. Meanwhile Rianon’s ultimate aim is to find a way back to Sion and the magic it holds.
There are a lot of characters to get your head around in this book and I struggled with their names and my ability to place them all in the right camps at the start. However as the book went on they grew on me and I could picture them all more clearly. The ending can only mean another book to continue the storyline and tie-up unanswered questions. A well written book with some great characters.
Available as a free download from Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/434284 Or Free from Barnes and Noble (Nook)
Author TJ Therien will be our guest on the blog tomorrow, do come back and find out more about him and his work.

Guest Author Kelly R Michaels

Today our guest is Kelly Michaels author of yesterday’s book Archer of the Lake. Here is a link to the post if you missed it. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5gm

Kelly R Michaels

Let’s find out more about Kelly.

1) Where is your home town?
It’s a small, rural town in southern Tennessee called Fayetteville, and I’ve lived here my entire life.
2) How long have you been writing?
 I’ve always created stories as a result of childhood insomnia, but I recall actually writing them down when I was about twelve years old.  I was very ambitious then, trying to compose a six book epic.  That particular endeavour faded away, but all throughout high school and college I’ve been very persistent about writing constantly. I have pile of old notebooks completely filled as well as abandoned Word files saved on flash drives.  It’s hard to actually put a quantifying number on how much I’ve written.
3) Is Fantasy your preferred genre?
Yes, you could definitely say that, but my interests also expand to science fiction, historical fiction, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and other genres as well. But fantasy is my favourite.  There’s a quote by J. R. R. Tolkien–“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory…” And I think that nicely sums up my fascination with fantasy.
4) What idea sparked the writing of Archer of the Lake?
 I hate to sound cliche, but it came from a dream.  In early 2012, I awoke from a very vivid dream, and it wasn’t exactly a dream in the sense of something happened. The last thing I remember before waking up that morning was a specific tableau.  The scene was a certain congregation of elves, all sitting about in a room.  There was one elf who sat alone, an obvious outcast to the others.  Another elf was not secluded from the main group but she was distinctly reaching out to the outcast, as a gesture of friendship and goodwill.  The image was so inspiring to me that I developed a story around these two elves, who eventually turned into today’s Feraan and Caelfel.
5) Can you tell the readers briefly about the seer’s first prediction
The Seer sees a dead city in flames.  She sees that the culprit behind this appalling act has the power and ability to use this method of mass destruction to wreak havoc and death across the world.  However, the one thing she cannot see is who is behind it.  The Seer charges Feraan with the task of eradicating this evil and bringing the one responsible to justice.
6) Why is Feraan a wanted elf?
Before the incident, Feraan had been widely known as an elf with a penchant for mischief.  Quite simply, he did not fit in with the typical serenity of elves.  After the incident, when Feraan completed his task of eradicating the evil in their forest, the Councilors are left with no explanation of how this evil came to be. Thus they seize the opportunity to frame Feraan for the crime, and his previous reputation easily casts him as the scapegoat in the eyes of his community.
7) What is it that the Princeling wants from Feraan?
The Princeling simply wants revenge from Feraan.  Feraan, with his notoriety as the Wandering Elf, often meddles in affairs when he believes powers are left uncheck.  A few years before the main events of the book took place, Feraan defeated a human sorcerer who was very dear to the Princeling, and the Princeling never forgave him.
8) What is the importance of Caelfel being called The Archer of the Lake?
When Caelfel is called into battle, she is an archer.  In fact, her primary combat skill is archery.  I mentioned in the book how her parents named her after a lake, Rumfel Lake, to be precise.  Specifically, it is where she was conceived, so the lake is her namesake.  It is a part of her.  Feraan has a dream about the Archer of the Lake, who is symbolically a guardian of the forest, as evinced in the battle hymn Olwen sings to himself.

So Caelfel essentially becomes the Archer of the Lake, fulfilling a role in the threads of fate, even so that her bow becomes significant, receiving the name the Lake Bow from the Seer.  The Blind Seer knows Caelfel has an important role to play, and Caelfel’s journey has not ended as Archer of the Lake.
I also took careful measures in choosing Caelfel’s name from a linguistic perspective.  “Ceallach” is a Gaelic words which can have many meanings, but a primary usage would be “warrior”.  And what is a warrior if not a defender of homestead?  The importance of the Archer of the Lake is a protector, and Caelfel fills that role many times.
9) Are you writing a second book in the series?
 I am!  I tentatively plan to title it “Prince of the West,” and as I mentioned before, Caelfel’s journey is not over.  I am about a third of the way completed with the first draft, and I can safely inform you that Caelfel has to confront another mythical creature on her ventures!
10) Where can readers find out more about you?
Readers can visit my website at www.kellyrmichaels.com
Archer of the Lake
Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com
Thank you Kelly and Good Luck with the next book.

Archer of the Lake by Kelly R Michaels

Archer of the LakeArcher of the Lake by Kelly R. Michaels

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Archer of the Lake is a fantasy story. The scene is set when we meet Feraan Auvrearaheal known as the wandering elf. A meeting is being held of the Chthonic Order. A prediction is received from Sibylla the Blind Seer warning of evil in the forest.

Eighty years later, we are introduced the elves who live in the Honey Water Empire. Caelfel Gyssedlues is a young elf at just seventy-six years of age. She is part of a group who are under attack from Goblins, killing sixty-three of them, she is sent to check that they are all dead. Alone,she meets a stranger and both are attacked once more. The stranger is unconscious but not dead, her fellow elves insists she leaves him for dead, but Caelfel refuses and sets out to seek a healer.

Caelfel wants to study magic and her chance comes as the college selects new students. It is predicted she will be a powerful magician. But she only gets one day of lessons from Sir Kennyrateur before she is arrested for necromancy and treason. She escapes execution only after Lady Gwyndolyn Ernmas, the master of auras, proves her innocence.

Auras are very important to elves and Caelfel finds that her’s attracts some unwanted attention. Others are after her and her friendship with Feraan is putting her at risk. With the seer for-telling the importance of a she-elf in future events, Caelfel’s life path leads to a kidnapping and a dangerous rescue.

There’s a lot going on in this story and many characters with names which I struggled with. The ending opens the way for a second book.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

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The Key of Amatahns by Elisabeth Wheatley

The Key of Amatahns (Argetallam Saga, #1)The Key of Amatahns by Elisabeth Wheatley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was very impressed that the author of this book is a teenager. The book is suitable for the teenager market. The theme is fantasy in a world of magic, dragons, elves and feuding nations. I enjoyed the first third of the book best, the storyline then drifted a little and I no longer felt I was there with the characters feeling, seeing and touching. Perhaps there was a shift from showing the reader what is happening to telling us about it. This skill will improve which is why the book remains a 4 star.
See this book here on Amazon.

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Frey by Melissa wright

Frey (The Frey Saga, #1)Frey by Melissa Wright

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first book in a series. Very suitable for the YA market. There is magic and magical creatures, fairies, elves and animals. Frey runs away from home and begins a passage of discovery in to her life and her past. A group aims to protect her from those who wish her harm, but where are they taking her and why? Plenty more adventures to be had in the follow on books.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Frey-The-Saga-ebook/dp/B005EIO02C/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1374135831&sr=8-3&keywords=Frey+by+melissa+wright

View all my reviews