Title: Chosen of Azara
Author: Kyra Halland
Hosted by: Ultimate Fantasy Book Tours
Are you a full time author or do you have another job as well and if so how do either of these fit in with writing time?
After being a stay-at-home mom and homemaker for twenty-seven years, I now consider writing to be my full-time job, even though I don’t work full time hours or make a living yet.
Do you write on your novel daily or do you try to have days off?
I work every day except Sunday, which is a day for rest, family, spiritual renewal, and scrapbooking.
What do you think is the most effective marketing is for your books?
I’ve been having a good deal of success lately in cross-promotions with other fantasy/science fiction authors. When we all pool our resources, we can reach so many more readers and help everyone do better.
If you have a ‘baddy’ in your book, can you tell us a little about this character?
My villains usually have what they think are perfectly good reasons for doing what they do. Mostly, they think they know what is best for everyone and try to impose that through whatever means necessary, for the greater good of course, without regard for the rights of the people being imposed on or what they really want.
Is there any romance in your story and if so can you tell us a little about this?
My novels always have romance in them! In fact, that’s why I started writing, because I couldn’t find fantasy novels that handled romance in a way I found satisfactory. I like stories where the developing relationship has an influence on the fantasy plot, and where the couple have to work together to solve the story problem. The romance in Chosen of Azara is between Sevry, who has been searching for a very long time for the woman who holds the magic that can bring his destroyed homeland of Savaru back to life, and Lucie, who inherited a magical secret from her great-grandmother but she doesn’t know what it means. It seems like a hopeless romance, between Sevry’s duty and Lucie’s family obligations, but somehow things work out 🙂
Do you ever write sad scenes and do you feel the sadness as you write it?
I always like to have a happy ending, but there can be plenty of sad scenes on the way to that happy ending. I have made myself get all teary at times.
Did you write as a child or did you come into your talent as an adult?
I’ve always loved reading and stories, and I wrote a little bit as a child, but I took a long detour into music. My degrees are in music education and music history. After I finished my Master’s degree, I immediately became a stay-at-home mom with my first child. Looking for a new intellectual challenge, I decided to try writing the kinds of fantasy novels I wanted to read but had trouble finding.
Can you give us a little insight into any fantasy characters in Chosen of Azara?
Chosen of Azara is a tale of several generations of a family and the sacrifices they make to try to prevent a war from destroying their homeland Savaru and then to restore it after it’s destroyed. Juzeva only wants to serve at the magical Source she’s sworn to, but she has to enter into a treaty marriage with the enemy. She doesn’t want to, but she does her duty gracefully. Sevry, Juzeva’s nephew, has lost everything, and only his pure heart and dedication to restoring his lost homeland keep him going through his long, difficult quest. Lucie, Juzeva’s great-granddaughter, doesn’t want to leave behind the comfortable life she knows to help Sevry restore Savaru, but her heart tells her what she knows she has to do. With each of these characters, love gives them the strength to do the difficult things that have to be done.
Is your the world in your book like earth or is it a fantasy world?
Estelend, the world of Chosen of Azara, is a fantasy world. I based it on the idea of magic coming from Sources, or natural features in the earth, like caves, springs, trees, mountains, and so on.
What is the time period setting of your latest book?
The time period of Chosen of Azara ranges from roughly equivalent to the middle ages to the early 19th century. But these times from our world really don’t have much to do with the world of Estelend.
Do you prefer to write as a series or standalone books?
For a long time, I only wrote standalones. Then I wrote a fantasy set in an Old West-style world, just as an experiment, and it turned into a 6-book series! At the same time, I’ve written other novels set in Estelend; they don’t have any characters in common with each other or Chosen of Azara, but since they’re in the same world I consider them a loosely-connected series. So I sort of accidentally turned into a series writer!
Chosen of Azara is actually one of my older books; my upcoming novels Source-Breaker and Heir of Tanaris return to that world. I also have some story collections related to Chosen of Azara, The Warrior and the Holy Man, about a couple of historical figures briefly mentioned in Chosen, and The Brilliant Career of Sajur Golu and Other Tales of Azara, which contains backstories, character sketches, and alternate points of view for Chosen of Azara.
Do you like to use lots of subplots or do you think just confuses?
I stay pretty focused on the one or two main story questions of the plot. Usually, beating the bad guys and getting the hero and heroine together. Sometimes there might be a few minor story threads going on, but mostly I stick to the main plot and the romance plot.
Can you tell us a little about one of your sub plots in Chosen of Azara?
Probably the main subplot is about Lucie finding the strength to stand up for what she wants and get out of a destructive relationship with the man she’s supposed to marry.
Can you tell us a little about your protagonist and your antagonist and how they relate to each other?
Sajur Golu, high priest of the Madrinan Empire that conquered Savaru, and Sevry are pretty much the opposite of each other. Sajur Golu is ambitious, wanting glory for himself, his family name, and the Madrinan Empire; Sevry is quite literally willing to die to save his people. Sajur Golu has thoroughly corrupted himself in the pursuit of his ambitions; Sevry remains pure of heart no matter the burdens he has to carry. Sajur Golu pursues Sevry to stop Sevry from stealing Sajur’s final victory from him, and when they finally confront each other, with Lucie as the catalyst, it’s a battle between Sevry’s purity and Sajur’s corruption.
What is your latest project?
My latest project is actually a multi-author boxed set that I’m very excited to be part of. It’s called Light in the Darkness: A Noblebright Fantasy Boxed Set. Basically, as C.J. Brightley, the coordinator of this boxed set, says, “Noblebright fantasy has at least one important character with noble, idealistic motives who does the right thing out of principle. The character is flawed, but his or her actions are generally defined by honesty, integrity, sacrifice, love, and kindness. The story upholds the goodness of the character; the character’s good qualities are not held up as naiveté, cluelessness, or stupidity, but rather shown to be worthwhile. Good characters can make a difference. Noblebright characters can learn and grow. They can deliberately choose to be kind when tempted to be unkind, they can choose generosity when it hurts, and they can influence their world and other characters for the better.” My book Beneath the Canyons is part of this set along with 11 other full-length novels and a handful of short stories, a great value for the price of $1.99. It releases on Tuesday Oct. 18, at these stores:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/light-in-the-darkness-cj-brightley/1124360518?ean=2940153673578
Do you think all readers should do reviews to help the writers improve? When you receive reviews do you find yourself influenced to make changes?
I honestly believe that reviews are for readers, not for writers, to help other readers decide what books the want to read. It’s not the reader’s job to help me become a better writer. It’s interesting to see what readers like and don’t like, but usually some readers like things that other readers don’t, and you can’t please everyone, so it doesn’t do any good to change your books according to what reviews say. Of course, writers should still be working to improve their skills by reading good books in all genres and books about writing, doing writing exercises, taking workshops from professional writers, etc. But they should also trust their own creative vision and not be changing their books all the time according to what one reviewer or another says.
Juzeva, a princess of Savaru, vowed to the service of the magical Source Azara, sacrifices everything to try to stop a war, only to be caught in a web of evil and deceit.
Sevry, the last king of the war-ravaged land of Savaru, is tasked by Source Azara with finding the secret that disappeared with Juzeva, the secret that can heal Savaru and its Sources.
Lucie, a sheltered young noblewoman, is unaware of her true heritage and the power she bears, until a stranger claiming to be the legendary king of a long-dead land takes refuge in her father’s house.
Torn between her familiar world and the truths her heart can’t deny, Lucie must find the courage to join Sevry on his quest to restore Savaru and its magical Sources to life, a quest that will sweep her away to adventure, danger, and a love that could change her life – and the lost land of Savaru – forever.
Epic romantic fantasy for adults and older teens.
Amazon.com ~ https://goo.gl/SaUy2t
Amazon.co.uk ~ https://goo.gl/NpXqlo
Barnes &Noble~ https://goo.gl/oudviU
Kobo ~ https://goo.gl/A6XmUH
Kyra Halland has always loved fantasy. She has also always loved a good love story. Years ago, as a new stay-at-home mom, she decided to combine those two loves – like chocolate and peanut butter! – by writing the kinds of romantic fantasy novels she wanted to read.
Complicated, honorable heroes; strong, smart, feminine heroines; magic, romance, and adventure; deep emotion mixed with a dash of offbeat humor – all of these make up Kyra Halland’s worlds. She loves sharing those worlds with readers and hopes they will enjoy her stories and characters as much as she does.
Kyra Halland lives in southern Arizona. She has a very patient husband, two less-patient cats, two young adult sons, a lovely daughter-in-law, and two adorable granddaughters. Besides writing, she enjoys scrapbooking and anime, and she wants to be a crazy cat lady when she grows up.
Visit her at: