A Chat with the Author
Q: Why did you choose to write a YA Fantasy book instead of other young adult sub-genres such as contemporary, paranormal, dystopian, etc.?
I don’t think I really had a choice. I had to tell this story. Sure, I filled in some details, but mostly Riya wrote her own story and I just had to try and keep up. Once it took shape, I had to find a good genre to put it in. The only genre I intentionally stuck to was YA. I like to read YA books, and also because of the age range, I was pretty sure most would want to classify it as YA, so I tried to keep it appropriate.
Q: What distracts you the most while you’re writing?
Everything! The kids, the dogs, facebook, email, you name it. I’ve had to learn to go into my home office, shut the door and block the internet when I really want to get a good chunk of writing done. Otherwise I get sidetracked.
Q: What is your all time favorite fantasy book?
That’s like asking me to pick a favorite type of chocolate! Hmm, let’s see. Well, I consider fantasy a pretty broad category. I mean, you are asking me to chose between all the Harry Potter books and Twilight books and Outlander and A Song of Ice and Fire. And let’s not forget Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight. There is so much awesome fantasy out there, I can’t simply pick a favorite.
Q: What comes first, character or plot?
Definitely character! For me, characters and maybe a small tidbit about their situation wheedle their way into my head, and then I have to work to figure out exactly who they are, and what their story is. That’s not to say I’ve never intentionally created a character to fill a plot need, but for the most part, especially for my main characters, they are what drive the story.
Q: What advice(s) would you give to writers whose dream is to publish a book?
Do it! Do it right, and do it professionally, but do it. In today’s volcanic publishing landscape, fulfilling those dreams is entirely possible and plausible. Do your research because there are a lot of less than scrupulous people who prey on the uneducated, but if you want to publish a book and you are willing to put in the time and energy and effort, the sky is the limit.
The man who had found Garith in the woods spoke again. “Imagine someone with all three Gifts. The ability to hear the future. The knowledge of the past, as well as the guidance of the spirits. And the ability to harness the earth to your will. Someone with the power of all three Stones would be unstoppable.”
The man across from them spoke quietly, and solemnly.
“Souls of the Stones, their sights we bear,
Sounds of the Stones, their secrets we share,
Will of the soil blood will flow,
Should three Stones one ever know.
What once were one split thrice,
Over whispers and sights,
Soil prevails, behold its might,
Blood and Stones as one brings darkest night.”
Their leader spoke up again. “For years, we have worked to ensure that just such a union doesn’t occur. If Lady Warren weds Prince Torian, all of the Three Corners will be at risk. Son, do you understand why we can’t let that happen? That prophecy has been passed down for generations. Like our fathers before us, we have been dedicated to ensuring that it isn’t fulfilled. Our mission is to see to it that the Bloodlines stay separate, and that never again is there a union like there was between Valencia and Oren. It’s just too dangerous.”
“Emariya couldn’t have known,” Garith said sadly.
“Maybe not. But Prince Torian surely knows. It may be that he is intentionally trying to bind the lines, to harness the power to unite Eltar and Sheas to Thalmas by force. With the three Gifts at his disposal, he could do exactly that,” Russell insisted.
“If Emariya knew, she would never marry him. No matter what, she would never want to jeopardize the safety of everyone in Eltar.”
“Then we’ll tell her. It sounds like she is being used unknowingly. If she is truly innocent in this, once we tell her, she will return home. Will you come with us?”
Garith nodded. On his own he’d never find her, and now more than ever he was desperate to get to her. These men seemed to know the woods well. His best bet was to stick with them, and hopefully along the way he would learn more about the Stones. It would be fine, he told himself. They would find Riya, tell her of the lore of the Cornerstones, and she would choose not to marry the prince after all.