Swift Six Author Interview – Deborah Jarvis #Fantasy #Portal

Name: Deborah Jarvis

Please introduce yourself (250 words or so):

My name is Deborah Jarvis. I am a high school and college English teacher, a writer of fantasy novels, and an advocate for greyhound adoption. My main interests in writing all have a basis in mythology, so many of the characters in my books stem from the different cultures that I read about.

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)

The Crystal Pawn and The Ivory Queen are the first two books in portal fantasy series, The Keyralithian Chronicles. Deirdre Hawes is brought into the land of Keyralithsmus by the father she had never known, a Shaper by the name of Ettar Nerfal. She is the last of his line, and as it is only the women of that line who can potentally call on the aid of their ancient ancestors, the dragons, he asks that she undertake the challenge to do so. As it becomes evident that there are forces aligned to stop her from succeeding, Deirdre secretlysets out to find the dragons

When did you start your writing adventure? What was the inspiration for it?

My mother was an English teacher and she encouraged me to read books of all kinds, including The Chronicles of Narnia and The Last Unicorn. I gravitated from there to reading any fantasy novel I could get my hands on! I also am fascinated by world mythology. Writing came pretty naturally to me, but it wasn’t until 2020 that I really made the effort to get my work out to others. Since then, I have been working on several other projects and continuing my writing.

What writing plans do you have for the future?

I’m working on the third book to The Keyralithian Chronicles and am going to release an unrelated urban fantasy called Wolves Running in September. I also have another project on the back burner, but that one is still simmering for now.

What do you like to read?

I tend to be primarily a fantasy reader, but if it is good, I’ll read anything. My dad loved Clive Cussler and the team of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, so I got into them. My favorite authors to read include Charles De Lint, Peter S. Beagle, Jim Butcher, and Patricia Briggs.

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you’d started your writing adventure?

Read everything you can about KDP, Kindle, and Ingramspark and get onto facebook pages like Wide for the Win and other writing pages. They are HUGELY helpful in getting where you want to be before you publish.

Author bio and book synopsis

Deborah Jarvis has been writing for a long while and has been an advocate for all things greyhound for slightly less time than that. She teaches high school and college literature and writing, and lives in New Hampshire with her husband Rob, her son Will, two greyhounds, and four cats. Her daughter Rosalynde lives nearby. The Crystal Pawn is the first book in The Keyralithian Chronicles to date, and The Ivory Queen is the second. Deborah is now working on another exciting project titled Wolves Running which will hopefully be out soon.

The Crystal Pawn

     Deirdre Hawes had never thought of her life as extraordinary until one day she met the father she never knew and thus began the adventure of a lifetime. Armed only with the knowledge that she is heir to magical gifts that would allow her to call on the aid of the long-vanished dragons, she finds herself drawn into a web of intrigue and murder where the powers behind the throne are aligning to make sure she doesn’t succeed, no matter the cost. Deirdre soon finds her life in the hands of those she’s been told not to trust, but trust them she must if she is to have any hope of not only completing her quest but surviving to make the journey home. 

     Together with several loyal friends, she makes her way south. As they travel further, she discovers that not everyone is as they seem and that preconceived notions of what is good and what is evil are often mere simplifications of a much more complex truth. When forces long-aligned with the crown begin to show their true intentions, it is up to Deirdre and her companions to figure out a way to evade their traps and make their way below the Southern Mountains and across the desert to the jungle where the dragons are said to reside.

Links/Social media

https://linktr.ee/the_rael_coyote

Swift Six Author Interview – T. Norman #EpicFantasy

Name: T. Norman

Please introduce yourself (250 words or so): I am a self-published author from Southeastern Wisconsin. I started writing my first novel in 2014, and since then have published 5 within the Ascent Archives. I love spending time outdoors hiking or canoeing. One of my favorite things to do in writing is experiencing as much as I can in real life to what I’m writing about. I picked up archery to better write about it. I have been an avid horse lover for years, using my experience working with horses in my books. I also spent some time sailing on a Schooner in college and used that when writing about different ships and crews. I find it’s the easiest to help readers connect to my writing when it comes from personal experience.

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short): I have written five books in the Ascent Archives. Blood-Stained Heir, Dead King’s War, Primordial Judge, and Brother’s Promise are books 1-4 and comprise the main series. They follow a wide cast of charaters as two nations are at war with one another. Book 5, Lost Lore of Draxos, is a collection of short stories following charactesr from the main series. Many of them are backstories and histories that are hinted at. All the stories are Epic Fantasy as a broad genre, but specifically NobleDark. (Noblebright/GrimDark combined). There is darkness in the world as a whole, but they’re stories about heroes and good people fighting against evil.

When did you start your writing adventure? What was the inspiration for it? I started writing this series in 2014. The inspiration actually came from my childhood. When I was young, my brother and I would play with toy figurines together and we would create these in depth stories and characters. It was during that time that I started creating some of these characters, the world, and the conflict.

What writing plans do you have for the future? I am currently writing a spinoff series. It follows some familiar characters on a new adventure. It is looking to be a trilogy, and I can’t give away too much yet but the plans are to release it in Spring 2023.

What do you like to read? I love reading epic fantasy, specifically grimdark and noblebright. I try to read books similar to mine, because that’s what I enjoy but also to see what other authors are writing. I love finding stories with unique magic systems and worlds that I haven’t seen before. The more unique, the better.

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you’d started your writing adventure? The biggest thing I wish I knew was that no two writing journeys are the same. I struggled right away in writing when I followed others authors who started at the same time, and they published books faster than I ever could. I tried to rush my publishing to keep up, but couldn’t sustain it. I had to take a pause, and look at what worked for me. I’ve come up with a plan that fits my author career, and I’ve stopped trying to compare my journey to those of other authors.

Author bio

T. Norman, self-published author of the Ascent Archives, grew up in small town Minnesota where his passion for reading and immersing himself in to the fantasy worlds of his childhood grew in to creating and writing his own stories. T. Norman’s series, the Ascent Archives, was first formed during his childhood playing toys with his brother, and now it is set to become a four part series. With experience in a variety of fields, writing has become his passion. T. Norman currently lives with his wife, two children, and dog in southeast Wisconsin.

and book synopsis

After the sudden death of his beloved wife, Rysh Trell struggles to keep his life together and devotes everything to raising their son. When the King of Ansaroth seeks vengeance for the murder of his father, Rysh is forced to defend his home and family again.

As an army pursues him across Ansaroth, Rysh fights to honor a promise he made to a dying friend. With little hope of survival, he searches deep inside to find the soldier he spent years burying away.

Will Rysh keep his promise, or will evil forces stop him from reaching his goal?

Links/Social media

https://www.facebook.com/t.norman.author/

https://www.instagram.com/t_norman_author/

http://jntpress.com/

Swift Six Author Interview

Name: Thomas Kast

Please introduce yourself (250 words or so):

Hello, I’m Thomas Kast, and I write absurdist philosophical science fiction. I’m also the author and illustrator of Bablah’s Odyssey — an upcoming comic book series.

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)

The Great Convergence: science fiction and social satire. Two competing academics living ten million years in the future travel back in time to 2022, wrecking reality in the course of their investigation into a mysterious event — the Great Convergence.

When did you start your writing adventure? What was the inspiration for it?

Frankly, I don’t even remember how did it start. The Great Convergence took me about ten years to complete until I was happy enough with it to release it into the wild. It went through several editors and iterations.

I wanted to create a book that can be enjoyed, read and re-read and could give the reader a memorable experience. I’ve noticed that most contemporary sci-fi often ventures into the strictly commercial territory. Not entirely happy with this trend, I wanted to use science fiction as a vehicle to highlight many social and philosophical problems, but with a healthy dose of humour.

There are several recurring themes in my book, which result from observing and analysing the world around me. One of those inspirations would be stupidity. It’s a subject that has always fascinated me. All of my characters make inexplicably unwise and shortsighted decisions despite being exceptionally smart (some of them). Superheroes are great but, often being no more than mere archetypes, they often lack humanity. It’s the crazy ones who provide all the fun.

Another recurring theme in my book inspired by real-world observation is miscommunication. My characters are all stuck in uncomfortable situations. Constantly missing the point, they don’t understand each other’s motives, and they’re unable put themselves in someone else’s shoes. They oscillate between being inordinately overconfident or hopelessly insecure but can never think on two feet. Above and beyond, they’re blinded by their personal goals they consider of great consequence and which are insignificant and trivial. As irony would have it, they all have a profoundly important part to play on the universe’s stage — something they’re never to discover.

What writing plans do you have for the future?

Currently, I’m working on the humorous and philosophical comic book series Bablah’s Odyssey, which is scheduled for release in August 2022. Bablah’s Odyssey features a mad scientist, lord Bablah as he traverses the universe, mansplaining the ‘wonders of progress and civilisation’ to his unassertive yet perceptive mutant sidekick, the Pet-Thing. It’s colourful, psychedelic and contains a lot of irony and dark humour. I’m both a writer and illustrator.

I’m also working on another sci-fi mystery: Apoptosis. But this will take me another year to complete.

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you’d started your writing adventure?

Someone asked me once: ’Is there a market for what you write?’ To which, I replied: ‘I hope there isn’t’. I believe the writer should create demand rather than try to fit into an existing trend. This is what all successful writers do. The unsuccessful ones will advise you to ‘write for the market’. There’s a strong need for original content that breaks the rules instead of following them. Write a good book, get your tea-box out and yell about it.

Bio:

Thomas Kast is an award-winning independent photojournalist and illustrator based in Zurich, Switzerland and has published a number of photography art books. Thomas spent a big part of his life in Israel, where he taught design, photography and illustration at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design and other Israeli colleges.

A long time in the making, his debut novel — a philosophical science fiction piece, the Great Convergence — evokes many of the author’s real-life experiences fused with his unhinged fantasies.

Synopsis:

10.000.002 A.D. A cantankerous scholar slipping into obscurity is out for revenge. He time-travels to the year 2022 to stop his nemesis, Scott — a successful scientist at a competing university — from thwarting his research into the origin of a mysterious phenomenon, the Great Convergence. Cunning and ruthless, Scott will stop at nothing to defend his tenure track. The feud quickly spins out of control, and the damage to reality grows unchecked.

Caught in the crosshairs are three characters responsible for triggering the Great Convergence: an art-hating professional art critic who, unbeknownst to him, spontaneously switches between universes wreaking havoc as he goes; a talentless artist whose sculptures act as trans-universal portals; and a schizophrenic astrophysicist trying to avert the invasion of alternate versions of himself from different realities. As their paths converge, the apocalyptic event takes place, and the inescapable tragedy of human existence unfolds. 

Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B099Z5KH33

Personal website: https://thomaskast.com

Writings: https://thomaskast.space

Comic Books: https://thomaskast.space/bablahs-odyssey

FB: https://www.facebook.com/Swift.Bromba

Swift Six Character Interview – The Unnamed #ScienceFiction

Character Name:

My name isn’t mentioned anywhere.

Which book/world do you live in?

I live in the year 10.000.002 in a small house we share with my wife Trudy and our pet frog Rupert. Like everyone else, I keep a battered time machine in our garage. Since I’m constantly busy with work, we don’t travel much.

The university I work at is run as a for-profit corporation, where science and progress are just side-effects of a cut-throat fight for personal advancement and prestige. At the university, there’s a lab where scientists grow universes to experiment upon. There’s an old, baroque-like fountain spewing streams of time instead of water in the university’s courtyard. There is also a site with portals connecting different universes, much like the Four Corners Monument in the US. It’s frequented by tourists taking selfies with a hand in one universe and a leg in another. Everybody keeps a time machine in a garage.

I relate the time travel history in one of the appendixes.

Tell us about yourself:

My name is not important. Neither is what I do — I’m an investigative ontology researcher. It’s a field you’ve probably never heard of, at a comparatively undistinguished university you’ve definitely never heard of.

In my line of work, I periodically declare scholarly pronouncements in the form of scientific articles no one has any interest in, except my fellow academics who cursorily thumb through and subsequently evaluate my work based on their ever-fluctuating level of pettiness and professional jealousy.

Long story short, I’m an alcoholic …

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

I’m persistent, I’m an idealist, and, despite all evidence pointing to the contrary — I’m exceptionally good at what I do. You’ll have to take my word for it. As for weaknesses, I’ve none. I do have a nemesis, though — Scott — my ex-PhD fellow student, currently a quantum semantics investigator at the Bauer-Richter Academy of Speculative Sciences — our direct competitors.

Here’s Scott’s short bio. Not long ago, Scott bursts out of an abyss of ignorance and joins the ranks of our university as a PhD student. He spends his time doing absolutely nothing apart from toadying to our supervising professor. All the while, he turns my life into an unendurable Gehenna. The reason? No reason at all. Eventually, Scott defects to Bauer-Richter, taking with him many collectively developed ideas, which he then claims as his own.

Now I’m left to fight for the scientific truth, which I will, whatever it takes.

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).

Here are the three characters living in 2022 who caused the Great Convergence.

Larry: a highly-regarded professional art critic who projects his frustrations onto the artworks he doesn’t even bother to see. Unbeknownst to him, Larry is a singular. A singular denotes an object or a person that can only inhabit a single universe at a given moment. In other words, only one version of Larry exists in the whole multiverse. Larry often switches between several universes wreaking havoc as he goes. Larry’s spontaneous flings between different realities are exacerbated by the crude creations produced by a tormented sculptor — Geoffrey.

Geoffrey: an aspiring — yet essentially talentless artist living in denial. Geoffrey’s sculptures, he cranks out to impress a girl he fancies, act as interdimensional portals, swapping things and people between realities. All of this happens without Geoffrey’s knowledge. A series of seemingly-random occurrences culminate in creating a perfect inter-dimensional portal connecting all the universes in existence. Geoffrey’s perfect portal brings about the most dramatic transformation of the multiverse — the Great Convergence.

Timothy: a genius astrophysicist suffering from severe schizophrenia. Timothy fights a host of his versions from alternate realities — who want to take over his universe. It remains unclear whether Timothy’s versions are real or exist in his imagination. One way or another, Timothy’s actions bring about a real-life catastrophe no one could have prevented.

What does ‘heroism’ mean to you?

Perseverance in the face of adversity. I’m not afraid of hard work, however daunting the task at hand. I believe in the triumph of science and that it’s possible to learn the principles governing the Great Convergence. To master the quintessence of existence. Unearth the building blocks of nature. Look into the eyes of the beast. Hypnotise it. Discover … everything!

What do you think of your ‘creator’?

What creator? I’m not a character in a book. Unlike fictional characters, I control the reality around me. Everything I do has a real impact on the real world.

Give us your favourite piece of advice:

Keep fighting the good fight. You’re always right, and everyone else is wrong. If you do, the truth will prevail!

Links to the book:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B099Z5KH33

*****

Swift Six Author Interview – Cassie Greutman #Fantasy

Name: Cassie Greutman

Please introduce yourself (250 words or so): Hi! My name is Cassie, and I write fantasy. Mostly urban fantasy, but I do have fun in other sub-genres, epic and portal if you want to know specifically.

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short): I have two series out right now. One is the Penchant for Trouble series, an urban fantasy about a fae girl being raised in the human foster care system, and a portal series, called the Arnath Chronicles.

When did you start your writing adventure? What was the inspiration for it? As a kid, I read through every book at our library that I found interesting, and most of them twice! So I started writing my own stories.

What writing plans do you have for the future? I have so many different projects in the works right now. A sea monster story coming out in a Mythicological Creature anthology, an epic fantasy story in a collection of dragon stories called Dracos, and book 4 in my Penchant for Trouble series.

What do you like to read? I’m all over the fantasy/sci-fi spectrum when it comes to reading. I also enjoy a mystery occasionally, or a contemporary story.

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you’d started your writing adventure?

Just stick with it. You’ll find people who love your work, and it will make you keep on even when it’s early mornings and late nights, just to put a smile on someone’s face.

Author bio and book synopsis

Cassie Greutman is a small town Ohio girl who has always loved stories in any form. You can usually find her typing away at her computer or playing out in the barn with her ponies.

A fae girl in the human foster care system has to fight against her own Council to stay with the only people who have ever cared about her. Her foster parents.

Links/Social media

TikTik: https://www.tiktok.com/@cassiegreutman

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cassiegreutman

Twitter: https://twitter.com/writeranrider89

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cgreutman/

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Cassie-Greutman/e/B079VSM6QK/

Swift Six Author Interview – John Wells #YA #Fantasy

Please introduce yourself (250 words or so):

Hello! My name is John Wells III. I love long walks on the beach and candlelit dinners— Okay, I am only joking—Well, not about the long walks on the beach. Or the dinners, But that is because I’m a San Diego Native, and who doesn’t love the beach and tacos? So let’s see, about me. Well, I am a nerd with a wild imagination. I love fantasy and the supernatural, which is why I write about them. I picked up my first Animorphs book in the third grade, and I haven’t left the genre since. (I know, I know, Animorphs is more science fiction, but eight-year-old me didn’t know the difference). I even thought I was an Animorph for a while. I wish I were joking, but I am not.

I love telling stories in all forms: books, plays, movies, etc. I am also a loving dog dad of two beautiful pitbull mix-breeds. But enough about me, let’s talk about well…me?

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)

I write YA Contemporary Fantasy. I currently have two books published (The Last Angel Warrior & The Heir of Ambrose), A Novelette (The Forbidden World), A Short Story that will be released in August (They Call Him Destroyer), And an upcoming book that will be released at the end of the year (The Invisible City).

When did you start your writing adventure? What was the inspiration for it?

I have been writing stories for as long as I can remember. My first writing assignment was in the second grade when I was supposed to write a book report, and I wrote a story titled “Teenage Mutant Ninja Lizards.” Very Original, right? Throughout my childhood and adolescence, I wrote the stories that I wanted to hear. A lot of this started because I hated when books ended, so I continued the stories.

Later, as a teenager. My best friend invited me to write two scenes for an ambitious film script he was attempting to complete. Unfortunately, his lofty aspirations for the script never materialized, but the experience was enjoyable and helped me realize that writing as a career was a possibility for me. So, a year later, in 2008, I began my journey as an author. 

What writing plans do you have for the future?

I am excited to release my third novel this year, The Invisible City. My plans for the future include continuing the series with an additional four books and several compendium stories. I don’t foresee myself being done with the Kalib Andrews Universe for a very long time.

What do you like to read?

  • I like to read the same genre that I write. Contemporary Fantasy and Magical Realism. I love books that bring magic to my world in a believable way. When I was a kid, I was fascinated with the possibility that what I was reading could be true and that the general public just didn’t know about it.
  • When I choose a book, I look for a book that will take me on a journey with the protagonist. I love underdog stories or coming-of-age stories. I also really enjoy a sympathetic character that is forced to go through extreme circumstances. I suppose Dystopian and Post-apocalyptic stories also fit the bill of what I enjoy; basically, just give me a good fast-paced story with witty dialogue and a sympathetic character, and I am happy.
    •  

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your writing adventure?

Let go of perfection and just keep writing! It is the most basic advice you can receive but the easiest to forget. Don’t edit while you are writing. Let go of the need for the first draft to be “good” it doesn’t have to be good; that’s not the purpose of the first draft. The purpose of the first draft is to get the story out of your head and onto the paper.  Perfectionism is the enemy of progress. So just get the story out of you. True magic is made during the rewrite, but before you can uncover those hidden jewels, you must first write the story. So write!

Author bio and book synopsis

 John Wells III is a native of San Diego, Ca. He loves the beach, tacos, his two dogs, and all things supernatural. As a child, John had a vivid imagination and often found himself lost inside his own daydreams. So it was only fitting that he became a storyteller. John is the author of The Last Angel Warrior and The Heir of Ambrose. In addition to writing books, John also acts, produces, and owns a small theatre company in San Diego, Ca.

The Last Angel Warrior (available on Amazon).

Kalib Andrews discovers that maybe his life isn’t as normal as he thought it was. Not that it was ever really “normal” to begin with. He is the adopted son of the mayor, a detail that he never quite felt comfortable sharing, mostly because he always suspected that he was his adopted parents, the Donovan’s, “Humanitarian purchase.” Adopting the underprivileged African-American kid was good for their image. But when strange things start happening in town, like, a creepy-smelly-shadow-demon-thingy appearing out of nowhere and trying to kill him on the street during his walk home from work one day, Kalib starts to think that maybe there’s more going on in town, than he originally suspected. And furthermore, he starts to wonder if maybe, somehow, whatever was going on in town, had something to do with him.

The Heir of Ambrose (available on Amazon)

Legend has it that “Ambrose,” the first Magicborne, was behind the annihilation of the Angel Warriors. Now, Kalib fears that the mysterious Heir of Ambrose is determined to fulfill his predecessor’s vendetta both against him and his kind. And when citizens of Hainesville suddenly begin to vanish, he becomes more convinced than ever that this heir is coming for him. But the real question that Kalib is struggling to answer is… Should he let him?

The Invisible City (Coming Soon)

Kalib and his friends are forced to leave Hainesville after the town is afflicted with a supernatural plague. And the only way to save the city is to find one of the last remaining Enochian stonThates.  stone, combined with an ancient spell and the blood of the Angel Warrior, will vanquish the demon, Beelzebub, who is responsible for the city’s supernatural disaster. But where does one find an Enochian stone? Legend has it that a fragment of the stone was hidden inside an ancient city. So, what’s the dilemma? This ancient city has been veiled by magic, rendering it visible only to those who know where to look. A difficult piece of knowledge to come by considering that the city inhabitants have been forbidden to leave the city for thousands of years.

The Forbidden World: A Kalibverse Novelette (Available on Story Origin)

A demon market is no place for children. At least that’s what Manaan’s parents always told him. Besides, Nephilim were prohibited from entering the demon side of town without an escort. But despite the startling omen he’d been sent, warning of impending doom, Manaan knew one thing for sure. The peculiar ring he found tucked away in his father’s secret satchel was drawing him there. And if his hunch were correct, Manaan would find what he needed to reverse a curse, save his baby brother, and escape the clutches of the treacherous Shadow Man.

They Call Him Destroyer: A Kalibverse Short Story

After the Angels invade his town, Ravlyn and his younger brother, Mar, are rushed out of the town with one final message from their parents. Find the one the Angels call the Apollyon. Now Ravlyn is determined to honor his mothers final wish, but he has one question. Who is Apollyon?

Links/Social media

Facebook –https://www.facebook.com/TheKalibAndrewsChronicles

TikTok –https://www.tiktok.com/@johnwellstheauthor

Instagram –https://www.instagram.com/j.waymanwells

Twitter – https://twitter.com/jwaymanwells

Website/Blog – https://www.thekalibandrewschronicles.com

Swift Six Character Interview- Adelei #Fantasy

Character Name: Adelei aka Iliana Poncett of Alexander

Which book/world do you live in? The Boahim Trilogy, beginning in Book I, Amaskan’s Blood

Tell us about yourself:

I serve Anur, God of Justice, first and foremost, but beyond that, I’m fairly simple. I enjoy weapons-work and hunting, as well as working with my battle steed, Midnight. I’m nineteen but some days my years stretch further in the distance than I’m capable of seeing, which is a polite way of saying I feel old. Perhaps it’s the killing. I know I only kill when Anur requires and only to serve Justice, but the blood never leaves you.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

I feel that my strengths lie in my ability to deliver Justice swiftly and without…complications. Where others might worry about taking a life, I understand my role in the grand picture set by the Thirteen (the gods). My greatest weakness is my past. I love my adopted family, especially Master Bredych, my father, but he lied to me about my birth family. Sometimes it’s a challenge to know who to believe.

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).

The Order of Amaska (including my adopted father, Master Bredych)—they took me in and made me who I am; King Leon Poncett III, my birth father; and Anur, God of Justice, may I find the way.

What does ‘heroism’ mean to you?

It means standing up for what is right and defending those unable to defend themselves. Heroism also means ensuring Justice is served. Always.

What do you think of your ‘creator’?

I have thirteen. While my life is Anur’s, I’m not as fond of the others. They aren’t always as fair and just as He.

Give us your favourite piece of advice:

Family is what you make of it, so choose wisely.

Links to book

Autographed copies can be obtained here: https://booksandchains.square.site/

Otherwise, links to book here: https://books2read.com/ravenoak

Swift Six Author Interview – Raven Oak #Fantasy

Name:   Raven Oak

Please introduce yourself (250 words or so):

I’m a disabled, geeky, enby and full-time SF/F author and artist. I live in the Seattle area with my partner and three special-needs kitties and we both enjoy gaming (tabletop, board game, and video games) and exploring the ocean. Cartography and linguistics are both hobbies of mine, and I love living in the Pacific NW.

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)

I have a lot of them so I’ll tell you about Book I of my Boahim Trilogy, Amaskan’s Blood.

It’s been described by others as Disney’s Tangled meets Game of Thrones. I don’t think it’s as violent as GoT but it’s a valid description in terms of the study of familial relationships and political intrigue. My short blurb for it is: Two sisters. Two loyalties. One path together. The two sisters didn’t grow up together and are the antithesis of each other. Adelei has been raised in the Order of Amaska, a holy sect of assassins that seek out Justice for their clients. Margaret is the very stereotype of spoiled princess. Through book I, as they grow to know each other, they both learn lessons from each other that make them better people. While the familial themes are going, there’s an ancient evil brewing because let’s be honest, there always is in epic fantasy. The trilogy is about how they deal with various shades of evil and what evil really is.

When did you start your writing adventure? What was the inspiration for it?

I’ve always written. My first publication was actually a children’s book I wrote and illustrated that was published as part of a university study on children’s literacy. Whenever I got into trouble, I made up a story to go along with it and explain what “really happened” and why it “wasn’t my fault.” Some people call those lies or super-elaborations but in my brain, they were stories. Adventures to entertain me and keep me from thinking too hard about the environment I grew up in.

When I was twelve, I discovered the majority of SF/F, specifically Anne McCaffrey. I liked her photo in the back of the book because she looked like my grandmother and even shared the same birthday (April 1st), plus the books I first found had dragons (my fav). After devouring the Pern novels, I spent my summer that year writing a 350+ page novel that was my own version of The Dragonriders of Pern. I didn’t know what fanfiction was but it was pretty much that. I even got map making supplies and drew my own maps. I drew dragons and characters as well. I was hooked. I’d written stories before then but never a full novel. After that book, I wrote a trilogy, and by the time I was in high school, I was writing daily of my own material (not fan-fiction). It wasn’t until college that I began to seek publication.

What writing plans do you have for the future?

I’ve got three novels, 1 short story collection, and 1 story in an anthology due out in the next twelve months! Right now, I’m working on revisions for most of those works with some pretty serious deadlines so wish me luck!

What do you like to read?

I read most genres: sci-fi, fantasy, horror, thriller, mysteries, urban fantasy, historical fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, etc. I don’t read a lot of romance unless it’s mixed into one of the other genres. Straight up romance and erotica tends to bore me as a demisexual. As far as my favorites, they shift all the time since I read a LOT, but some favs are: Rebecca Roanhorse, Neil Gaiman, Connie Willis, Jenny Lawson, and Shannon Mayer.

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you’d started your writing adventure?

Don’t be afraid to experiment. It’s how we learn.

Author bio and book synopsis

BIO:

Multi-international award-winning speculative fiction author Raven Oak is best known for Amaskan’s Blood (2016 Ozma Fantasy Award Winner, Epic Awards Finalist, & Reader’s Choice Award Winner), Amaskan’s War (2018 UK Wishing Award YA Finalist), and Class-M Exile. She also has many published short stories in anthologies and magazines. She’s even published on the moon! Raven spent most of her K-12 education doodling stories and 500 page monstrosities that are forever locked away in a filing cabinet.

Besides being a writer and artist, she’s a geeky, disabled ENBY who enjoys getting her game on. She lives in the Seattle area with her husband, and their three kitties who enjoy lounging across the keyboard when writing deadlines approach. Her hair color changes as often as her bio does, and you can find her at www.ravenoak.net.

Amaskan’s Blood Book Synopsis:

Adelei was a master in her field, one of the feared Order of Amaska. Those who were a danger to the Little Dozen Kingdoms wound up dead by her hand. The Order sends her deep into the Kingdom of Alexander, away from her home in Sadai, and into the hands of the Order’s enemy, her birth father. The job is nothing short of a suicide mission, one serving no king, no god, and certainly not Justice. With no holy order to protect her, she tumbles dagger-first into the Boahim Senate’s political schemes and finds that magic is very much alive and well in the Little Dozen Kingdoms.

They say the truth depends on which side of the sword one stands. But they never said what to do when all the swords are pointing at you.

Links/Social media

Website: www.ravenoak.net

Mailing List: https://www.ravenoak.net/join-the-conspiracy/

Facebook Author Page:  https://facebook.com/authorroak

Facebook Reader Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/ravenconspiracy

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/raven_oak

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/author_raven_oak/

Goodreads Author Page:  https://www.goodreads.com/raven_oak

Bookbub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/raven-oak

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Raven-Oak/e/B00P5PT4AM

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/kaonevar/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ravenoak1

Swift Six – Character Interview – Barte #Fantasy

Character Name

My name is Barte son of Moshere. And no, there are no commas. That name, my friend is my title, though I believe my guardians should have included more surnames just to make it difficult for the common people to remember.

Which book/world do you live in?

I live in the books the author titles Sword of Cho Nisi. She really should have called it Sword of Casdamia as my empire is larger, stronger, and much more fitting than that tiny little island in the middle of the Nisi Sea. Did you know the natives walk barefoot on that island? I was there once but I don’t remember much. I was blind at the time—under the curse of that evil wizard Skotádi, the murderer of my parents. I’d rather not talk about it.

*Fiddles with his falcon’s breast feathers and kisses the leather helm over its head.

Too traumatic for me. Too much blood. They know I get sick at the sight of it, yet they made me go there anyway. *shudders.

Tell us about yourself:

I’m the emperor of the greatest nation in the world. Casdamia is my charge and someday I hope to conquer all the lands. Perhaps. Well, maybe not. Seems like such an effort.  I would like to have Tellwater Valley within my borders though. No finer wine in all the land comes from Tellwater and I hate to say it’s ruled by Potamia and that young scallywag son of a king, Barin. He’s not an altogether rotten chap, but the commoners speak way too highly of him.

My father was the emperor Moshere. He was the grandest of all warriors and provoked fear throughout the land. Part of that was Skotádi’s doing. They were in cahoots for most of the battles, but something happened, and the dark wizard changed. He cursed my father and my mother and when I was an innocent young child barely out of my nightcap, he burned them to a crisp. Magic did it. A cruel inhumane bolt of magic.  *He breathes a sigh and fans himself* I will never forget, nor forgive. And I trust no one because of it. Only my Allat. *Kisses the falcon again.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths? *He laughs and takes the falcon’s headdress off. Strengths, the man asks. Yes. Well, my strength is in my army. They’re a cruel lot. I’ve been working on them. You should see their black Armor and green plumage. One look and you’ll be quivering in your boots, my dear fellow. No one messes with the Dark Army!

As for weakness, well, I must admit I retch at the sight of blood, but that shouldn’t make any difference. I don’t really need to be on the battlefield, you know. That’s what soldiers are for.

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).

Does me, myself and I count? Oh, I know. You’re looking for something beyond Rigelstaff.

I heard a rumour that Barin the king of Potamia, has a lover, the daughter of one of his barons he exiled. Seems that her father was slain in my kingdom. I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry about that one.

And his wizard Kairos made a pet of a skura. Had me fooled for months. I’m the one that taught him falconry and to think he took advantage of my blindness and tricked me into thinking he was training a falcon. No wonder the man stunk every time he came around.

King Tobias’ gods died with him. That’s what I’m told. They put a monument for them in the palace garden.

And the fool who married the Tobian Princess, the man who was once king of Cho Nisi? Gossip is spreading that he handed his throne to the village elders. Imagine that! A whole conglomerate of natives sitting on a throne. Barefoot, no doubt.  *Snickers and kisses Allat. The Fool will lose the island.

What does ‘heroism’ mean to you?

Heroism is what Allat is to me. *He holds the falcon close to his heart.  My hero. The only friend I have. The only creature I can put my trust in. Allat is my hero. He hears my deepest thoughts and keeps them secret. He does what he’s told. He even found the murderer of my parents for me, and nearly lost his life doing so.

What do you think of your ‘creator’?

Hmpf! Poor choice of main characters.

Give us your favourite piece of advice:

Stay to yourself. There’s not a soul on this planet you can trust, not even the trustworthy ones. Unless of course they have some fashionable Armor to sell you or some delicacy for your kitchen. Still, don’t trust them.

Links to book

https://books2read.com/ap/nBvawn/DL-Gardner

https://gardnersart.com

Swift Six Author Interview – Nathan Tudor #Fantasy

Name: Nathan Tudor

Please introduce yourself (250 words or so):

Hello, I’m Nathan Tudor! I’m a new author, having just published my first two books in early 2022. I write fantasy novels that blend epic scope with intimate character moments. Ancient beliefs and ideas have always interested me, so I take lots of inspiration from myths and archaic texts—philosophical, religious, magical, you name it!

I knew I wanted to be a storyteller pretty much my whole life, and I’m so excited to finally put my work out there for people to enjoy. The response from readers has been encouraging, and I look forward to writing and publishing many more books in the future.

Besides reading and writing books, I spend my days exchanging memes with friends on Discord, gaming (tabletop RPGs and video games), and hunting down great stories to devour! I tend to think in archetypal patterns and symbols, so I’ll often pace around late at night pondering whatever I’ve taken in most recently—whether it’s a superhero movie, a romance manga, or a Russian tragedy. My interests are all over the place, so I love talking to people about what they’re into and then taking those recommendations to fuel my own creative work. Speaking of which, I’m very fortunate to have a coterie of artistic friends, who help fuel my own passion by sharing their creations. Having comrades in this line of work is essential, since so much of the work itself is solitary.

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)

I have two books out right now, both in my epic historical fantasy series The Imperial Adept. The Empire’s Lion is book one, a 220,000 word doorstopper full of action, intrigue, and awesome magic.

Adept Initiate is the prequel, which I give away for free to all my newsletter subscribers; it tells the story of how Reiva, the protagonist of the series, trained to become the lethal arcane warrior we see in The Empire’s Lion.

When did you start your writing adventure? What was the inspiration for it?

When I was six or seven, I wrote a short story based on my favorite video game at the time. Ever since then, I’ve had an urge to write—I told all my friends back in third grade that I was working on a book, even though each ‘chapter’ was only a couple of paragraphs! As I grew up and read more, I developed a love for epic fantasy, studied the craft of writing, and got more and more possessed by the need to write a full novel and send it out into the world for others to read. That day has finally come!

What writing plans do you have for the future?

I have plenty of plans for after I finish the Imperial Adept trilogy! They’re all pretty much fantasy books (though I have some sci-fi ideas), but I don’t want to get pigeonholed as just writing historical fantasy. I hope readers will enjoy seeing the ways my different series share some common DNA despite occupying different subgenres.

What do you like to read?

I read epic fantasy for the most part, though I tend to hop around a lot. At any time I’m working my way through three or four books, usually a mixture of fantasy novels, a classic (maybe mythology or philosophy), and then some wild card that happened to catch my interest. Reading widely is important to me, as I often find inspiration in books that occupy different genres than my writing.

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you’d started your writing adventure?

I wish I had internalized the importance of regular discipline and habit. I published at twenty-three, which I suppose is relatively young, but I know I could have published sooner if I had stopped waiting for inspiration to strike and just buckled down to do the work!

Author bio and book synopsis

Bio:

Nathan Tudor has researched ancient religion at Oxford, traveled the seven continents, and mastered the art of speaking in the third person. His debut novel The Empire’s Lion tells an epic story filled with action, identity, and the struggle to do what is right in an upside-down world

When he’s not writing or reading, Nathan can be found debating matters of no particular consequence with his friends, falling down research rabbit holes, and fiddling with a hand-crank coffee grinder that’s been stuck for the last few months.

Allegations that he hired an alchemist to give him the tread of a cat and the ears of a fox are categorically false.

Synopsis for The Empire’s Lion:

She left a slave. She returns a conqueror.

As an Adept, Reiva blasts fire from her hands and leaps over walls. But when her first solo mission leaves her half-dead amidst a heap of massacred allies, she gets just one chance at redemption.

The Empire orders her to crush the one kingdom she thought she would never see again: Talynis, the land of her birth, the land she left in chains.

Standing in her way is the Wolf, a vicious assassin hellbent on killing Adepts—and a single cut from his cursed blade will destroy Reiva’s magic forever.

Even if she can survive, victory may come at a price too high to pay…

The Empire’s Lion is an epic military fantasy filled with action and intrigue set in a war-torn, magic-filled world perfect for fans of Brandon Sanderson, Guy Gavriel Kay, and Steven Erikson.

Links/Social media

The Empire’s Lion: https://books2read.com/u/3n2GLP

Website/Free Book: https://nathantudor.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathTudorBooks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nathantudorauthor

Amazon Author: https://www.amazon.com/author/nathantudor

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/nathan-tudor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22106843.Nathan_Tudor