Tag Archives: Daughter of Light

Trivia Facts about the Follower of the Word series

As the release date for Heir of Hope approaches, the final book in the Follower of the Word series, I thought it might be fun to share some of the more interesting facts behind the characters, the setting, and the plot. Enjoy!

*I started writing this series almost exactly eleven years ago. Wow!

*Daughter of Light was originally supposed to be a stand-alone novel. About halfway through the first draft, I realize there was a lot more to the story.

*I completely rewrote Daughter of Light four times (and that doesn’t include the two rewrites during the official editing process).

*Many of the places in the Follower of the Word series are based on real places I have visited including the Oregon Coast, the Rocky Mountains, and the Mojave Desert.

*When I could, I would explore a place to write a scene accurately. For example, for the scene outside Avonai in Daughter of Light at night I went for a walk on the beach in order to see what it would look like, sound like, smell like, feel like, especially to see how well a person could see during a full moon on the beach. Verdict? You can actually see pretty well 🙂

*Nierne, one of the main characters, originally came from a group of islands to the west. Somewhere I found the name Nierne and it meant “western islands”. Since then, I have never been able to find her name again online and she ended up in the Thyrian Monastery instead.

*Knowing the ending to my books is very important to me before I start writing. However, when I discovered Daughter of Light would be more than one book, I had no idea how I would end the series. Two years later, at a Women of Faith conference, I was sitting in an arena filled with thousands of women and I suddenly saw the ending. I grabbed a napkin (the only thing I could find) and started jotting down the ending that would eventually become Heir of Hope.

*When Daughter of Light was originally published, there was no series name. When Son of Truth came out, we decided we needed a name for this series. I had earmarked Follower of the Word for the title for the last book, but we decided it made a good series title instead. So that left me to figure out a name for the last book. I realized the main theme for the last book was hope, and Rowen carries the hope of both her people and mankind, and thus Heir of Hope was born.

*The cover for Heir of Hope is based on a scene from the story.

It’s been quite a journey and hard to believe it is almost finished (at least for me). I hope to someday revisit this world, perhaps in the form of a novella that might extend Caleb’s story, or another series that takes a look at the Nordic Wars, an world-altering event that precedes the Follower of the Word series.

Heir of Hope releases April 21st. In conjunction with the release, I will be throwing a Facebook party that night that will include giving away a couple signed copies of Heir of Hope and a complete, signed set of the Follower of the Word series in their new covers. Of course, you are all invited 🙂 Just click here to let me know you are coming!

Heir of Hope Nightmares

Signed Copies Giveaway

Goodreads Giveaway

Hi Everyone! In celebration of the soon-to-be released Heir of Hope and the new covers, I am holding a giveaway for one signed paperback copy of Daughter of Light and Son of Truth in their new covers!

To enter, head on over to goodreads.com and enter the giveaway. I have provided a link for each book:

Daughter of Light

Son of Truth

Enjoy!

Heir of Hope, Book 3

Heir of HopeMany of you are anxiously awaiting the final book in the Follower of the Word series, so I thought I would catch you up on what I know and what I can share.

First, I just spent the last three weeks finishing the main edits for Heir of Hope. Whew! My brain is tired! But the final story is so much better now 🙂

Tomorrow I turn in the manuscript.

So what happens next?

Micro edits. That’s where my editor and I polish up every single sentence. We hope to be done with that by the first week of November. Then I’m pretty much done until the galleys arrive, the final proof before the story heads off to the printers.

The cover is also in the works right now and I should be seeing something this month (can’t wait!).

Then pre-release stuff (like early reviews and possible endorsements, along with a cover reveal).

Then finally it will be here for all of you to read. Having just finished the book again this afternoon, I can tell you Heir of Hope is definitely worth the wait. It has been an emotional journey for me and there were days I wasn’t sure I would ever finish this book. But here it is and almost done.

So there you go. Less than six months to the release date (barring any unforeseen circumstances). In the meantime, stay tuned for more details such as the cover, blurbs, and other exciting things. And if you want to really make sure you don’t miss anything, consider signing up for my newsletter.

Thank you for being such great readers and for your patience 🙂

 

Writing Process Blog Tour

I’ve been tagged by my friend and fellow author Anne Elisabeth Stengl. If you haven’t checked out her books, you need to. Seriously. She writes fantasy stories with a mythical/fairytale kind of flavor. Tales of Goldstone Wood are some of my favorites stories (and quickly becoming my daughter’s as well).

With that, onto the questions she sent to me!

1) What am I working on at the moment?

I just finished Heir of Hope, the third and final book in the Follower of the Word series and now it is in my editor’s hands. Wahoo! It is not slated to be released until 2015, but it will be worth the wait. Not sure? Here the response from one of my beta readers after she finished the book: “Wow, just wow.”

Now I’m working on a completely new project, a Victorian steampunk. To find out more about steampunk, check out Nadine Brande’s article here. In a nutshell, it is genre where the story takes place in a world where technology is run on steam. My world will have a Victorian era flavor to it, which has been a lot of fun to research the last few weeks.

My new story revolves around a high society young woman and bounty hunter in a Victorian world where science is crossing into the mystic in search of secret knowledge.

Airship

 

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Well, for one thing I write for adults. There are not that many Christian fantasy novels that are geared toward the adult reader. That doesn’t mean teens shouldn’t read my book (they do, and I have received some great emails from teens who were encouraged by my books). It simply means my characters are adults and they deal with adult issues.

I also don’t have the fantasy creatures and world building that people usually associate with the fantasy genre. There are no dragons, no elves, no orcs, etc… Don’t get me wrong, I love that stuff, but I write more about people who are given extraordinary gifts and then explore what they do with them.

My work has been compared to The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind and Shannara by Terry Brooks. If you’ve heard of either of these authors and like their stories, then you’ll probably enjoy the Follower of the Word series.

 

3) Why do I write what I do?

Hmm, good question. Probably because I couldn’t write anything else.  I love historical fiction, and I have thought about writing in that genre, but I’m sure something magical or fantastical would make its way into my story and then it would end up being a fantasy 😉

Since I was little girl, I have always had a very colorful imagination. The fantasy genre gives me a place to explore my ideas and stories. That and I love the freedom that comes with being able to create my own world.

 

4) How does my writing process work?

It usually starts with a character. I see this character in some kind of situation and start asking who are they? What happened to them to get them into this situation? And what will happen to them next?

For example, when I first saw Caleb Tala, the assassin in the Follower of the Word series, he had just murdered a man. I wondered who Caleb really was, why had he done this, and what was going to happen to him next? From there his story grew.

I collect the pieces of the story in a folder on my computer, accumulating dialogue, character information, and plots for months and years. When I am finally read to sit down and write the story, I know the majority of the story (like the beginning, the end, and major plotlines). Then I write.

As a mother and a pastor’s wife, I only have a couple hours a day to write, Monday-Thursday. I’m also a slow writer (sloooooowwww!) so it takes me about a year to write a book. However, I’m very meticulous while I write, so when I go back and edit, there is usually very little change to the story, just cleanup.

After cleanup, the manuscript is shipped off to my editor and I start my next story 🙂

***

Thank you so much for stopping by! Now it is time for me to tag two more authors.

First is Nadine Brandes. Nadine’s debut novel, A Time to Die, will be releasing this fall. It is a YA dystopian about a world in which everyone has a clock that is ticking down to the day they die. I can’t wait! Anyway, Nadine will be posting next Wednesday, June 25th. Go check out what she has to say: www.nadinebrandes.com

And my second author is Angie Brashear. Her debut novel, Of the Persecuted, just released! It is currently on my to-be-read pile (so no spoilers!). Angie will post her part of the blog tour on Saturday, June 28th. Check out her blog here: www.angiebrashear.com

 

My Writing Process

A couple days ago I was invited by my friend Ralene Burke to blog about my writing process and what I’m working on. So I said sure, why not? I’m always curious about what my favorite authors are up to and I thought you might be the same. So here we go!

1) What am I working on?

If you don’t follow my Facebook page or my twitter, then you haven’t heard the news yet: I finally finished the rough draft for Heir of Hope, the final book in the Follower of the Word series. Wahoo! Yippee! *cue music and dancing*

I’ve been working on this book for almost a year and let me tell you, this is going to be one big book. It finished at 48 chapters (not including the epilogue) and at least 150,000 words (your average book is usually 80,000).

So what am I working on now? My rough drafts are usually the bulk of the story. In other words, I don’t do a lot of rewrites. The story is here, it just needs a bit of clean up. So that’s what I’m working on right now: I’m checking the pacing and continuity, adding description if it needs it, and anything else I find. I should be done in a month and then off it goes to my beta readers, then to my editor. Whew!

I don’t  have a release date yet, but as soon as I do, all of you will be the first to know 😉

 

2) How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I write fantasy, but my fantasy lacks the usual creatures and races that other fantasies contain: like elves, dragons, orcs, etc… Instead, in my world I focus on people who are born with special gifts and abilities. I ask myself why would people possess such gifts, like the ability to see inside the soul (Daughter of Light), and how would they use this power? What choices would they make?

My books are not YA (young adult) which also sets them apart from others in my genre. I write about deep, dark stuff, but not with all the graphic details. And my characters are adults, with adult issues, ideas, and desires.

My work has been compared to Terry Brooks’ Shannara series and Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series.

 

3) Why do I write what I do?

A lot of authors answer this question differently. Some absolutely love writing and can’t imagine doing anything else. Some write to tell a story, others write to explore issues.

I originally wrote because I had this story inside me. But as the years passed and the rejections came, I needed more of a reason. I didn’t know if I would ever publish this series, but I still wanted to write it. I wanted to leave this series as a legacy to my children. The Follower of the Word series is a reflection of my own faith: my fears, my doubts, and my exploration of what does it mean to really follow God?

I know any story I write will have bits of me inside it. And will probably have some element of the fantastic, too. That is who I am: a mixture of questions, faith, and imagination. That is what I write. That is probably what I will always write.

 

4) How does my writing process work?

I’ve went into deeper detail about my writing process (How I write a novel), but in a nutshell, here it is:

~I plot months to years in advance before writing a novel.

~Storyboard my book a couple days before I start writing (this is the outline I follow).

~Write rough draft (this takes the longest amount of time). I try to write 500+ words a day. Recently I was able to move that number up to 3,000 words a day, but that is hard to sustain with a family that wants dinner, laundry done, and mommy around 🙂

~Rewrite and edit (I’m fast at this).

~I have beta readers read the manuscript and give me their feedback.

~Work in any feedback.

~Turn manuscript in to my editor.

Of course, that’s only the beginning. Then there are all the edits from my editor, proofs, etc… before I finally hold the book in my hands. But as far as my own process, this is how I write my books.

***

 Thanks, Ralene, for inviting me to be a part of this blog hop. If you are looking for a freelance editor or advice on marketing, look her up (www.raleneburke.com).

And in celebration of finishing Heir of Hope, here is the blurb I worked up for the back cover:

The great city of Thyra has fallen and shadows spread across the country of Kerre. Rowen Mar, the last Truthsayer, is taken before the Shadonae. But the Shadonae are not who she thought they were. And now they want to claim her as their own.

Caleb Tala, former assassin and prince of Temanin, is now a Guardian of mankind. Exiled from his country, Caleb wanders the Great Desert in search of his mother’s past. Along with him are Captain Lore Palancar and Nierne, Thyrian scribe.

These are the last days of the Eldaran race. Rowen and Caleb must find their way along the dark path set before them by their ancestors: to heal what was wounded and love where hatred grows. But the road is narrow and the darkness beckons. If either of them fails, all will be lost…

And the human race will be no more.

To find out more about the Follower of the Word series, check out Daughter of Light, followed by Son of Truth.

Endings

There are good endings and there are bad endings.

For example: I was a huge fan of the TV series Merlin. I watched every episode, every season. In the series, Merlin was the servant of Arthur, but I knew who he would eventually become. As each season passed, I couldn’t wait for the final revelation: for Arthur to realize that it had been Merlin helping him all along and for both of them to lead Camelot together.

Spoilers (for anyone who hasn’t watched Merlin)…

They both died. Yep. Arthur found out who Merlin was, hated him (because Merlin possessed magic), but finally accepted him with his last breath. Merlin died too. And Guinevere lived on to rule Camelot alone.

WHAT?!?

That’s not what I was expecting. And that is not what I wanted! I was so upset that until this post, I have refused to talk about Merlin. Sigh.

Another example: LOST. Yes, I can see all of you shaking your heads. That’s right. LOST is another TV series I followed faithfully to the end. What was the island? Where did it’s power come from? Was it real or was it purgatory?

None of my questions were answered. Instead, the series ended with everyone in some kind of heaven looking back on their time on the island.

WHAT?!?

That was definitely not satisfying.

So now let me give you a good ending. I just finish Fullmetal Alchemist, a Japanese anime (yep, love anime). This story kept building and building up from the beginning. I was hanging on my seat. I knew the good guys had to win, but I didn’t see how it could happen. People were dying, making hard choices, losing loved ones.

It took all of season five to finish. But the ending was exactly as it should be (at least for me): gripping, bittersweet, and satisfying. It wrapped up all the threads. It was a happy ending, but that didn’t mean everyone lived, or were given their just reward. It ended just the way I was expecting (or perhaps hoping is a better word) and so much more.

As I turned off Fullmetal Alchemist, I knew I wanted to generate the feelings I was feeling right then in my readers when they finish Heir of Hope, the third and final book in my Follower of the Word series.

Heir of Hope

Friends, let me tell you this has been a difficult book to write. There is always darkness before the dawn, and there is a lot of darkness in this book. A lot of pain, a lot of sorrow.

But there is also hope, and a maturing of characters and relationships.

I am almost near the end, and I am tired (and so are my characters). I thought I would finish the rough draft next week, and that is not going to happen. Just a few days ago I wanted to throw my computer out the window and shout, “I’m never going to finish!”

But I will. I need to. I know what is going to happen, but I need to write it out and see it for myself.

So thank you for your patience. I don’t want an unsatisfying ending. I want one that grips you and stays with you, keeps you up at night thinking, and when you face something difficult in your everyday life, you think of Rowen, Lore, Caleb, and Nierne, and because they could go on, you can too.

I only have one chance to end Follower of the Word series and I want to end it well. I believe you will appreciate that when you open up Heir of Hope and read to the last page.

How Do You Say That?

Part of writing fantasy is finding or coming up with fantasy words and names. You want something that looks out of this world, yet won’t make the reader stumble. I am more of the camp that believes less is better. I don’t want my readers pausing every couple paragraphs trying to figure out what that word is, or remember who that was because the name is so different, or needing a glossary at the end of the book for every creature, species, or person. I want it simple.

That being said, I still have creative or ancient words in my books. Recently I had someone ask me how to pronounce some of them. I told this person part of the magic of reading is you get to pronounce it the way you want to. However, I know some people like to know how the author pronounces it (even I am curious sometimes as to how the author would say that word).

So here is a short guide to some of the places, people, and races in the Follower of the Word series. Enjoy!

Nierne- Scribe from Thyra. Near Nee

Avonai- Capital city of the coastal country.  A Von Aa (long “a” at end)

Azar- Capital city of Temanin Empire.  A Zar

Tala- Ruling family of the Temanin Empire.  Tal La

Palancar- Guard family for the rulers of the White City.   Palan Car

Thyra- Capital of Kerre.  Thy Ra

Kerre- Country to the far west.  Cur

Eldarans- Race of people descended from the ancients ones who accompanied the Word to the Lands.  El Dare Ans

Shadonae- Race of people of which there is little known, other than they are powerful and violent.  Shad Don Aa (long “a”)

Mordra- Beings from the Unseen World. Also known as shadows or shadow wraiths.   More Dra

That about covers the main cast of people and places. If there is a person or word I missed and you are curious, feel free to leave it in the comments and I’ll comment back on how I pronounce it 🙂

Ebook Sale!

Hi everyone! Tomorrow I will be participating in an author blog scavenger hunt. What is that? It’s where you follow links through a list of blogs, read the interviews or special features and find part of a clue. Once you have collected all the clues, you turn them in at the end of the scavenger hunt for a chance to win the grand prize (an iPad mini and a paperback book from every author on the scavenger hunt).

What does this have to do with an ebook sale? During the week long scavenger hunt, both of my ebooks will be on sale for $0.99 everywhere: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Marcher Lord Press. That’s right, Daughter of Light (Christy and Carol award finalist) and Son of Truth (the second book in the Follower of the Word series) are $0.99.

Daughter of Light is the story of Rowen Mar, a woman who can see the soul of a person with just a touch of her hand. Son of Truth continues Rowen’s story along with Caleb Tala, an assassin and prince introduced in Daughter of Light.

If you are looking for a gripping fantasy series to read this winter, then download these books. Already read Daughter of Light? Now is the time to pick up Son of Truth. Read both of them? Then consider gifting these books to your friends and family 🙂

Here are the links:

Daughter of LightDaughter of Light: Amazon

Daughter of Light: Nook

Daughter of Light: Marcher Lord Press

 

 

Son of TruthSon of Truth: Amazon

Son of Truth: Nook

Son of Truth: Marcher Lord Press

 

Birthdays and Giveaway Winner

BirthdayI love birthdays, which is kind of funny because I’m not a big celebrations kind of person. But there is something about a birthday: it is one day that is all yours and everyone rejoices with you.

I am now a year older, and I don’t mind. Really. I don’t mind getting older. Every year I have more and more things to be thankful for, to celebrate. I am blessed, even with everything that has happened in my life. And with each year that passes, I draw closer and closer to the day when I finally get to meet Jesus face to face, the one that I love.

So here is to birthdays!

I’m also excited because I just clicked on the winner button for my rafflecopter giveaway. Congratulations, Karen Kahne Shoemaker! You are the winner for the Daughter of Light and Son of Truth giveaway! Whoot!

I will be contacting you today and getting those books sent off into cyberspace!

It’s just wonderful to giveaway gifts on my birthday 🙂

For the rest of you, my publisher is running a great deal right now: 25% off almost every Marcher Lord book (including my series). I have personally read almost 1/3 of the titles and slowly making my way through the rest and I can tell you that these are good books. And I’m not saying that because I’m published with MLP. I was reading these books before I was published!

If you are interested, here is the link to get the code.

Thanks, everyone, for the wonderful birthday wishes and for entering my book giveaway 🙂