Tag Archives: Epic Fantasy

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.

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 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.

Christian Fantasy: A Life-Saving Genre

Hey everyone! I have a guest post today by Angie Brashear and the cover reveal for her debut novel, Never Let Go.

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Christian Fantasy: A Life-Saving Genre

Definitions of literary genres can be…well, complex. Even tricky. Attempts to define Christian fantasy vary, though I’ve spent little time fretting over an official definition. I mean, Christian fiction typically illustrates a Christian world view within its plot, characters, or both. And the fantasy genre commonly uses myths and legends as a primary plot element, theme, or setting. So, in my opinion, Christian fantasy embodies fantastical elements in an internally consistent setting all the while reflecting aspects of the Christian world view.

But the debate (at least for some) surrounds who writes Christian fantasy. Writers who are Christians, writers who claim to be Christians, or writers who believe Christianity is a fantasy to begin with? It’s not a debate I choose to enter, for the truth lies outside the discussion: the genre influences nonbelievers. My path to salvation began with a classic fantasy, told to me in the midst of my secular world.

When I was in the fifth grade, my teacher read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis aloud to my class. In doing so, she opened my eyes to adventure and possibilities, all the while helping me escape a world of darkness for a short time. At its conclusion, I wondered, Is God real? He couldn’t be, right? For if He existed, innocent young girls wouldn’t suffer the wrath of drunken addicts, or the torment of abandonment.

I continued to speculate. Each time God placed believers in my path—a high school teacher, a college friend, and a college coach—my fascination with the possibility grew stronger until the truth stunned me like a slap to the face. God indeed lives in the form of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He rescues. He saves. And He waited for me. Then He embraced me. It all started with a little seed, planted in the empty heart of the girl I once was. A love for reading expanded to a love for writing. A desire to know God became a desire to serve Him, to reach nonbelievers.

And Never Let Go was born.

In all things, I’m grateful to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for embracing a lost, lonely girl. That He died for me…there is no greater gift. My prayer is that I’ll never let go of His truth.

 

Never Let GoBack Cover Blurb:

Captured by the Rendow Clan, who seek to slaughter those with faith in the Maker, Laila Pennedy awaits death. Moments before her execution, she is rescued from the gallows by Lars Landre and his dragon. Marked as The Chosen by his blue eyes, Lars is destined to lead the Faithful out of persecution.

 

Lars guides Laila on a harrowing race across The Woodlands to Tuveil, where the Faithful are preparing to fight a rebellion. But the secret location of the village is betrayed and the Rendow Clan’s army will soon be at the gates. Faced with this impeding peril, Laila trains for battle, but the struggles in her mind and heart may be as overwhelming as the war to come. Will she prove herself an asset or is she condemned to forever be a burden to those she loves?

 

Pre-order Never Let Go here.

 

Angie BrashearAuthor Bio:

When Angie Brashear isn’t working or taking care of her family, she writes. Usually at night after her kids fall asleep. She’s an avid reader and runner, both of which perplex her husband. Saved in her early twenties, Angie is grateful for the Lord’s presence in all aspects of her life. She is originally from Rockland, Maine and currently resides in Cameron, Texas with her husband and three children. Follow her at http://facebook.com/AngieBrashearAuthor, https://twitter.com/AngieBrashear, and http://angiebrashear.com.


Book Review: WayFarer

WayFarerThis month I had the privilege of reading WayFarer, the second book in the Tales of Faeraven series by Janalyn Voigt.

First, this is an epic fantasy, which means a world filled with magic, soul touching, winged horses (called wingabeasts), and kingdoms at war. The style of Janalyn’s writing reminds me a bit of Lord of the Rings. It has an old English feel to it that takes some time getting used to (at least it took me a while to get into the rhythm and cadence of the words and sentence structure). This writing style gives the story more of a medieval feel, which does add to the fantasy story.

Wayfarer centers around Lof Shraen Elcon (the high king) of theDawnSinger Kindren. We first meet him in DawnSinger (first book in Tales of Faeraven) where his mother dies and he becomes the new ruler. Wayfarer is about Elcon and his journey in what it means to be a ruler.

Elcon pursues his own passions and reaps the consequences for that. However, I want to add that he does not do it in an evil way, or even really in a selfish way. What I saw in this story was a naive young man who made choices without thinking about them.

Elcon chooses to marry a woman in haste (although from the story, they seem to really love each other, so I didn’t really have a problem with that). However, she is of a different race than him, so that causes conflict on both sides. Along with that, he had promised to court another woman, so he breaks her heart when he marries the princess of the Elder people.

I don’t want to give the plot away, but I will say this: every choice Elcon makes for just himself ends badly. But every choice he makes for others and for his kingdom ends well. I didn’t quite agree with that conclusion. Some choices are not wrong or right, they are simply left or right.

Other than that small point, I loved WayFarer. I was captured by the story and loved the characters, especially Aewen. I loved the world Janalyn created. It is colorful and vibrant, everything a fantasy lover wants in a book.

So do I recommend WayFarer? Yes! Do you need to read DawnSinger before you read WayFarer? Yes and no. I think you will get more out of WayFarer if you start with DawnSinger. But it can work as a standalone.

Here is a link to Wayfarer.

And here is a link to author Janalyn Voigt.

*I was given a free copy of WayFarer for an unbiased review.

Son of Truth is Now Available

The sequel to Daughter of Light is now available!

I am cold. Ruthless. I always get the job done.

I am the left hand of the Lord of Temanin. I have murdered countless, doing away with those who would obstruct the Empire. I live in the shadows, and I am never found.

Until now.

I heard of the Eldarans, words spoken on my mother’s deathbed. A race of beings left in the Lands to protect mankind. Her words I dismissed as the ramblings of a dying woman. There were no such beings. Only myth, or distant legend.

Yet now I stand before one.

The woman’s hand glows as if she were holding a sliver of sunlight. I see the light, and I fear it. My mother’s words haunt me. I know the moment the woman touches me, I will be undone.

I cannot run, I cannot move. Her hand touches my cheek and fire sears my soul.

Everything I have done plays before my eyes: the women I have used, the lies I have spoken, the way I abused others, my disdain and arrogance.

And the deaths. All those deaths.

I feel her horror as she watches every act of murder. I try to hide what I have done, pull my past back into the shadows. But I cannot. It is now laid bare in the light.

The woman disappears. All is silent. I look at my hands. They are covered in blood. I try to wipe away the evidence of my darkness, but the blood remains.

A shadow appears before me and I look up.

A deformed and scarred man stands there. He looks upon me with dark, fathomless eyes. This is no ordinary man. He is more. And he is here to deal with the blood on my hands.

He is my judge.

I bow, my heart full of fear. The time of my reckoning has come.

And I know it will cost me my life.

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Son of Truth CoverThe war in the north is over, but the war for all the Lands has just begun. As the Shadonae solidify their hold on the city of Thyra, Rowen Mar, the last Eldaran and savior of the White City, awakens to find herself hunted by those she has saved.

Meanwhile, the assassin Caleb Tala finds himself in the presence of the Word. The time of reckoning has come, and he must pay the price for all the lives he has taken. But in his moment of judgment, Caleb is given a second chance to change his life.

These two hold the power to save the Lands from the Shadonae. One must escape slavery, and one must choose to forsake everything before the world is consumed in darkness.

Son of Truth.