25 December 2014

Whyte Christmas Giveaway Winner Announcement!

 Congratulations Mandy Gooch on winning the Whyte Christmas Giveaway! Your prizes are on the way!




Karen 

22 December 2014

Keeping Up-to-date!

Be sure not to miss the release of new books. Follow me on my Authors page on Amazon Central and you’ll be notified of all new releases!


Karen

14 December 2014

Why you should buy a book for someone you love this Christmas

Every Christmas without fail, I have bought my daughters a book, I have bought my husband a book, I have bought other family members a book and I usually end up buying myself a book too! Books are without doubt one of the best presents that you can give or receive. A book will give you hours, days and sometimes weeks of entertainment. Good books will make you laugh and cry, will make you feel anxious, scared, awed and fill you with wonder. A good book is magical. It's able to transport us to another world where we can forget our troubles and travel with others through theirs. We are with them when they face their demons, fight their battles and ultimately fulfil their destinies.

Ascension of the Whyte is like that. It is a book that will take you to another world of excitement and magic. It will make you laugh, cry, and fill you with that feeling of awe and wonder that a really good story always does.

I know I'm biased, but my readers aren't. Read their reviews and you will see that they, like me, believe that this book series is going to be big. So why not be there at the very start and give Ascension of the Whyte to someone special this Christmas. I promise that they won't be disappointed.

 

Ascension of the Whyte is the first book in the exciting new fantasy series The Afterland Chronicles. Book two Ryte of Passage is due to be released summer 2015.

Give someone you love a Whyte Christmas this year!




30 November 2014

New Edition of Ascension of the Whyte Released!

A new revised edition of AOTW has been released today!  The new version has an updated cover and a treat at the back.  If you are curious about book two, the first chapter of the second book in the series Ryte of Passage has been included at the end of the book.

Already purchased it?  Do not despair, you should be able to update your e-version if you purchased through Amazon or off my website.

This is what the new cover looks like.  Not much has changed but the title has been made larger and more visible.



I would love to hear what you think of the new cover and especially your thoughts on Chapter one of Ryte of Passage - The Elder Witch.  Here is the cover from book two, they compliment each other well don't you think?



Happy reading,
Karen

16 November 2014

Picture Book Adventure!

Venturing into picture book land with a rhyming picture book for pre school children called 'Daisy Sunshine and the Murkins' .

Rhyming prose all finished... Just started on draft sketches... What do you think?



Karen



1 November 2014

Readers Q/A with Karen Wrighton


How did you first start out as an author? Have you always wanted to write? 

Ever since I was a child I have been drawing or writing something. I still have some of the stories that I penned when I was a teenager (admittedly they are not very good though). Back then if you  had asked me what  I wanted to do with my life I would have said become an artist, a writer, or an archeologist (I made the first two, but I think I got sidetracked with the third and became a Psychologist and a teacher instead). 

When I was at school I loved anything about adventure, mythology, magic and science fiction and moved effortlessly from Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven to John Wyndham’s Day of the Triffids and Midwich Cuckoos and then later to books by James Blish, James Herbert and the great Stephen King.  More recently though I have become a big fan of fantasy and YA books, which began when I started to read the brilliant Harry Potter series with my children and discovered how much I loved the genre.

As a child I was always writing my own stories and escaping into my own little world.  I didn’t have a very happy childhood, so my writing was an escape for me.  Later when studying for my Psychology degree I discovered that many writers had started writing in order to escape the reality of a traumatic childhood. Psychologists such as Freud explain this tendency as the development of a fantasy prone personality in order to escape childhood trauma and I wouldn’t argue with that.  As a child I would retreat into my own private fantasy world, where I could be anything I wanted to be, strong, powerful and even magical and therefore perfectly safe from all the chaos in my life.

I have started so many books over the last few years, but none have ever grabbed me the way the idea for this one did. Consequently they remain unfinished on my computer hard drive. 

This book though was different right from the very start. I have a really long commute to work every day, I teach Psychology at a college which is almost sixty miles from where I live and so I spend around three hours in the car every day.  It is during this time that my best plot ideas come to me.  I quite often have to pull off the road so that I can jot down ideas before they disappear from my head.  The whole of the idea for the book series came to me on one of these commutes and the idea grabbed me so strongly that I knew that I just had to write it. It was almost as if the story was floating out there in the ether and just found me to write about it… here I am, now write me!


I once heard an author mention how when reading a really good book she would catch herself thinking "I wish I had written this." If you could write a book that has already been written which book would you choose and why? 

I suppose like a lot of fantasy writers the Harry Potter series would come to mind.  I found the whole series so magical and I remember when I read the Philosophers Stone it took be right back to the time when, as a child, I would read Enid Blyton’s Famous Five stories by torchlight under the bedcovers until the wee hours of the morning. J. K. Rowling’s books had all the rip-roaring adventure of Blyton’s books but magnified a hundredfold by the inclusion of magic. I cannot deny that I would have loved to have been the one to have written Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone.

If you could meet with any person, dead or alive, who would you choose? 

Oh well I am much too greedy to just want to meet with one, I would have to have a dinner party and I would invite Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, Rosa Parks, Ghandi, Charlotte and Emily Bronte, Martin Luther King and J. K. Rowling.  That should get the conversation going well!  However you asked me for one person so I would have to go with Mark Twain.

Why?  Well not simply because Mark Twain is well known for being extremely intelligent, a powerful author, and for having a killer sense of humour, but also because I would really love to ask him how he knew. 

‘How he knew what?’  I hear you asking. 

The answer is that in 1909 Twain reportedly said

"I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: 'Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.' "

Twain died of a heart attack on April 21, 1910, in Redding, Connecticut, one day after the comet's closest approach to Earth.  How cool is that?!


What is your writing process?

My main system is to use Microsoft OneNote to keep track of all my story notes, character information, plot lines, and details of the developing world of the Afterlands etc. OneNote syncs over multiple devices so I always have my up-to-date notes with me which means I can pick up my work anywhere.  I also save my work to Google Docs online for the same reason.

I have a characters note section where I file a page with a tag for each character and list their main characteristics which gives me a detailed character map of each of them so that hopefully, I always manage to write in the distinct voice of each character.

I have to be in a quiet room to write as I am very easily distracted.  I try to write every day even when I am at work when I try to write in my lunch hour if I can. I write a chapter at a time in a linear fashion, each chapter in chronological order. Once I have an idea what is to happen in the chapter I just write a very quick first draft, exactly as the story unfolds in my head, and then as soon as I complete the chapter I do an immediate second draft before I go on to the next chapter. Then I pass the chapter on to my husband for proof reading.

How do you deal with writers block?  

I have yet to experience much of a problem with writers block but sometimes the flow does tend to dry up a bit.  I have realised that this tends to happen when I am tired and the words are not flowing as readily as I would like.

What I find works for me is to take a break and concentrate on doing something else, preferably a mundane task.  Usually what happens then is when I am not consciously thinking about it, unconsciously my mind figures out where the story should go next and hey presto the solution pops into my head when I am cooking the tea or doing the ironing or whatever mundane task I chose to break the deadlock.  This solution is supported by much Psychological research which has found that our minds work much better at figuring things out when they are occupied doing something mundane.

What is your favourite quote from the book? 

That is a good but difficult question to answer.  It is my book but I don’t really see it like the readers see it.  It was a lot of hard work and choosing exactly the right words to include in the narrative was a sometimes arduous task so much of the time when I read the text I see the anguish that each sentence caused me.  However I loved creating Eldwyn’s Prophecy and the songs for the book I should probably use the Prophecy of Eldwyn that starts the book as it is one of my favourites. It was one of the first things I set down on paper before I actually began the book so it probably deserves a special mention.

“When Whyte ascends in female frame,
And Aurum Sooth speaks Rhodium name.
When Bloods swarm o'er Ferrum fields
And the fiery gate of Tollen breaks its seals
When evil emerges from its brimstone core
To conquer our lands with fyre and war
Then shall the Incantatio seek and find
She with power to unite and bind
Rhodium will resurrect, and by her hands
Unity will reign in the Afterlands"
(Eldwyn the Whyte)


If you had to describe your book in three words what would they be?

Fantasy, afterlife adventure. 

What books are you reading now or looking forward to reading?

I am reading Delerium by Lauren Oliver and I am really enjoying it but have quite a lot on my Goodreads ‘to read’ shelf including Jonathan Strouds The Whispering Skull, which I am going to be reading next.  I love his books!


You are welcome to contact me and share your opinion on which one of these you think I should be reading next, but make sure that you provide me with some good reasons! 

Karen

29 October 2014

Whyte Christmas Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter the giveaway to win a signed copy of Ascension of the Whyte and other themed prizes! Raffle is drawn on Christmas Day 2014....  If you are lucky you could win a Whyte Christmas this year.

Good luck everyone!

Karen


28 October 2014

AOTW Competition Winner Announced!

Congratulations to the winner, John Jessop of Rawley Road, Norwich, Norfolk UK who beat off 1,342 other entrants to win the Ascension of the Whyte Giveaway competition. John will now receive a signed copy of Ascension of the Whyte together with a couple of other small themed surprises!


For all of you who entered but were unsuccessful keep tuned in here for details of another fantastic 'Whyte Christmas' giveaway competition which will be announced shortly. Thank you everyone for entering, and better luck next time!

 Karen

25 October 2014

'RYTE OF PASSAGE' Book Two of The AFTERLAND Chronicles - COVER REVEAL

Well,it's here... The first draft cover of the next book in The Afterland Chronicles Series: Ryte of Passage to be published Summer 2015...  What do you think of it?  Your feedback is welcome... There is still plenty of time to alter the design, so let me know what you think...

Karen


19 October 2014

Sound Track for Ascension of the Whyte

1. Goo Goo Dolls - Better Days



This song would without a doubt be ideal for the title song. It is beautiful.... and the lyrics 'tonight's the night the world begins again' are just so apt for the beginning of Rose's journey. This track always makes me feel as if no matter how bad things are, we should always look towards the future because there is always something good that is yet to come. 

"After losing her earthly life Rose ascends to the Afterlands and is inducted into the Oratory of Aurum in the Golden city of Aureus." 



2. ELO - Strange Magic


I have always felt that this track was so magical, subtle and intoxicating the music makes me feel as if there is more to this life than what we know and 
what science can tell us. It almost lends itself to magical moments of the book, especially the soothing. 

"Rose enters the turbulent waters of the impluvium where her new name is bestowed upon her by the Sooth."



3. London Grammar - Devil Inside




My daughter Anna, who is a big fan, introduced me to London Grammar (thank you Anna!) This track is so ambiguous, beautiful and powerful in describing how evil can lurk within otherwise good people. This is why I have chosen it as El-on-ah's theme. 

"El-on-ah, a young Blood Alchemist, journeys to Tollen's Gate with her servants and faithful pukis (a tiny dragon) in order to gather the means to resurrect the great and powerful Blood Alchemist Lord Ka. However in doing so she unleashes a great evil unto the Afterlands."



4. Seth Lakeman - Race To Be King


I love modern folk music and decided quite early on that the Mud people would be the 'celts' of the Afterlands and their accents and music would be 
celtic in nature. This is such a rousing track I thought that it would be ideal for the festivities of the Ascension Feast. 

"Rose and her cell attend the Ascension Feast and are introduced to Ferrish fiddle music and such gastronomic delights as Guillywally Fyre-pot, cassava leaf soup and ginger and snow rose sorbet, as well as getting their first taste of honeyflower mead."


5. Newton Faulkner - Dream Catch Me


Newton Faulkner has long been a favourite of mine, and especially this song. As Rose eventually discovers her origins through her dream and it is within her dreams that she finally finds solace, I thought that this track makes an ideal theme for Rose. 

"Within Rose's dream a feeling of unfurling weightlessness washed over her and as she watched her hands, then her arms, feet, and finally her body dissolved until there was nothing between herself and the four. Her sense of loneliness and grief gave way to feelings of fulfilment, love, contentment and of incredible strength and power."


6. I See Fire - Ed Sheeran Lyrics


This is the ideal track for when the Djinn and Affreet of Erebus attack the lands of Hydrargyrum, Ferrum and finally Aurum bringing a plague of fyre on their inhabitants.

"A red cloud gathered in the skies above Hydrargyrum and a thousand winged Afreet rained down their fyre on the people of the Afterlands." 


7. Andre Rieu - This Land Is Mine


Last Christmas I attended an Andre Rieu concert in London and this song brought tears to my eyes. Many years ago it was a theme song for the film Exodus and so it makes an ideal theme for the chapter of my book which is also called Exodus. 

"The novices watched transfixed as crossing the river and the plains, hundreds, maybe thousands of Bloods were fleeing; old, young, native and ascendants. On the plain, slightly ahead of the main 
group a father carried a small girl... Out of the sun swooped a cloud of red men, their reptilian wings spread out above them and then as if the gates of Erebus had opened, their fyre spears spewed out fountains of fyre that rained down on the defenceless refugees." 



8. Richard Ashcroft - Break the Night with Colour


I have been a big fan of Richard Ashcroft and the Verve for many years. I love this song and for me it is perfect for illustrating how sometimes the best laid plans just don't go well and, especially if secrets are involved, there can be dire consequences. 

"A fiery stream of red light shot out from El-on-ah's ring and hurtled towards rose. Arjan, a few feet from her did not hesitate..."


9. Seth Lakeman - Hard road (on your own) 




My love for Seth Lakeman knows no bounds.... This track illustrates how difficult life is for people who don't fit in and so is an ideal choice as the theme tune of the Twocasts. 

"Rose regarded them all, her eyes swept the crowd, taking in every detail; every child's tiny fist, every open sore, each hollow of every emaciated body and the hopeless, helpless shadows that clouded every pair of eyes."


10. Mike and the Mechanics - Someone Always Hates Someone


I have loved this song ever since I first heard it. Its sentiments echo the sentiments of the last few pages of Ascension of the Whyte, which is why I have chosen it for the books closing title theme.

"Let us stand together against the evil tyranny of Ka and the Djinn of Erebus. Let us stand, not as Golds, or Muds, or Bloods, but as one people, as one cast as one race. Let us stand as Afterlanders!"


"Maybe one day Ascension of the Whyte will get made into a movie, and who knows, they may even use some of my suggestions for the score. Enjoy listening to the playlist here". Karen Wrighton.


The Complete Playlist:




12 October 2014

The Afterlands in Pictures


Or... if I were a location scout for an Ascension of the Whyte Movie!





1. New Zealand: (The Afterlands)




No wonder New Zealand was chosen to represent Tolkien's LOR World, it is ideal as a fantasy land. I would LOVE to travel there!



2. Iceland: (Rhodium)




Iceland epitomises my idea of Rhodium. The combination of ice, snow and warm water is so fantasy land. It is definitely on my list of places to see before I die... or ascend!


3. Ireland: (Ferrum)




This land with it's wonderful, humorous people, it's captivating scenery and music gifted me my land of Ferrum and the Ferrish folk.


4. Lanzarote: (Hydrargyrum)




Bleak, and barren this volcanic land is so much like my idea of Hydrargyrum... I did visit here a few years ago, so maybe it is where I got the vision of Hydrargyrum and its people from. Here you can find geysers and active volcanic fire holes... it is a volatile place... ideal for dragons!


5. Peru: Puerta de Hayu Marka (Tollen's Gate)




The ancient Peruvians carved this (Stargate) into the rock... Just like Tollen's gate (only Tollen's Gate is round of course!) BEWARE AFREET!


6. Rome: Vatican City (Aurum Oratory)




I based my idea of the Aurum Oratory on the Vatican in Rome. I loved it so much when I was there and was blown away by its grandeur and opulence (Aurum is very Roman).


7. Japan: Terunobu Fujimori’s Tetsu Teahouse (Ebony Forest Houses)




This is exactly how I imagined the Ebony Forest Houses. I could not have designed them better myself, I could just picture the Elder Witch standing in the doorway here!


8. USA: Minnehaha Minneapolis (Frozen Falls)




Rhodium's famous Frozen Falls do not figure in book one, but hang on for book two when they do make a big splash, so to speak.


9. Sweden: Ice Hotel (Enisfrae's Great Ice Temple)




I fell in love with the idea of having ice cities in Rhodium, and what do you know, Sweden have got there already!


10. USA: Florida Green Swamp (Ferndell Swamp)




This is exactly how I pictured the woods around the swamp in Ferndell... I can almost hear the Rougarou howling, and isn't there someone lurking in the trees just there?


How wonderful would it be to be a location scout for a movie? If Ascension of the Whyte - The Movie, ever gets made, I think I will volunteer to check these out, but if not then they are going on my places to visit list (yes I am that sad, I do have a places to visit list!)

Karen Wrighton


Excerpt from Ascension of the Whyte 


'Rose's response was swift, a perfectly executed block action accompanied by a clear command. The effect was instantaneous and dramatic, a blinding white energy stream flowed from her potens ring, transforming instantly into a rapidly moving wall of light which knocked Ash off his feet, lifted him up and carried him at great speed across the Arena. Goldin's hand shook as he retrieved his staff. He had never seen a novice perform a blocking spell with that much power.'



5 October 2014

My Journey into Indie Publishing



Karen Wrighton

It was quite a decision, whether to tout my beloved ‘new born’ debut novel, Ascension of the Whyte, around a myriad of publishers and agents in the hope that one of them would recognise it’s (to me) obvious brilliance, or to self publish and let the public decide whether it really was as beautiful as I believed it to be. The gestation time is long with a book, it grows inside you much longer than the nine months you would carry a child, and you become very attached and protective of it.



Choosing between self-publishing and traditional publishing methods is not an easy matter as there are many and varied options available to authors today, with different pros and cons associated with travelling either route. 

Stories of popular and even great novels being rejected tens or even hundreds of times, before finally being published, deterred me from proffering my beloved first ‘child’ for judgement. Through much research I unearthed these thought provoking examples amongst many others: Lord of the Flies by William Golding - rejected twenty times, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell - rejected thirty eight times, Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen – rejected one hundred and forty times. Carrie by Steven King – rejected thirty times and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling - rejected twelve times and she was told not to give up her day job!

Can you imagine if J. K. Rowling had decided after ten rejections that she would just give up trying and stick to her ‘day job’?  There would be no best-selling book series, no blockbuster films, no Warner Brothers World of Harry Potter and possibly no fame as an actor for a young man called Daniel Radcliffe. Also of course, J. K. Rowling would not now be one of the richest and most well known women on the face of the planet.

When most of the above authors were attempting to become published there was little option but to go through the traditional corporate publishing houses. Self publishing then was expensive and much disparaged, being mockingly referred to as ‘the vanity press.’

Today, authors who want to become published can self publish without it costing them a penny and it is no longer a complicated process, so long as you are at least marginally computer and internet literate.

In traditional publishing, if the publishing house decides to publish the book, they buy the rights from the writer and pay them an advance on future royalties. The publisher will then provide the funds and expertise to design and package the book, print, market and distribute the finished book to the public.

When I decided to self publish, in effect I became a publisher and all of those responsibilities became mine. Being a real control freak though, that really appealed to me. I chose the cover design (a combination between my daughter’s amazing photographic work and my skill on Photoshop). My husband (a teacher and examiner) proofread it for me, and I took on the responsibility of marketing and distributing the book, with a little help from a friendly book blogger/publicist and Amazon of course.


In the old ‘Vanity Press’ days I would have had to decide on the number of copies to print, which may have resulted in stacks of unsold books gathering dust in the shed! Fortunately, the Print on Demand (POD) technology now used by Createspace and other self-publishing companies means that authors only print as many as they need and generally with little or no upfront fee.

Another reason I decided to go the self publishing route was the time factor. With traditional publishing, a manuscript can take years to become a book. Whereas with self-publishing, depending on the company, as soon as your book is complete you can have it published as an e-book within minutes and in print within a few days, again, with little or no upfront cost.

A downside to self publishing though is that there is no lucrative advance payment from a publishing house, which means that, (a) you are unlikely to be able to live on the proceeds of your talent for quite a while, if ever, and (b) because of this you will have to fit your writing in around your ‘day job’, which is far from ideal, especially if like me, your ‘day job’ is quite demanding and you have been seriously bitten by the writing bug.

Perhaps my biggest pull to take the self-publishing route however, was the level of control it affords the author.  I have already mentioned that I’m a control freak. I had previously read some horror stories where an author's joy at selling a manuscript had quickly turned into despair when an over-zealous editor at a publishing house ripped his manuscript to shreds until the original storyline was almost unrecognisable. Also the publishers can withdraw your book from print whenever they feel the need, and that is then the end of your journey and the end of your royalties (which are miniscule anyway, around 7 – 10% on most books and 25% on e-books).

With self-publishing, the author gets to control the manuscript contents, the design, and appearance, as well as where the book is marketed and distributed, even how much it retails for! Most importantly to me though, was the guarantee that my book will never go out of print, they will always be available, earning money and gaining more readers year on year and the royalties are higher too, up to 70% on kindle e-book sales.

Do I secretly wish I could be published by a traditional publisher?  For one reason only, and that is recognition. Though some self published books are gaining recognition and indeed there are some very successful indie authors out there now, there is still a kind of stigma associated with self publishing and some people don’t accept you as being a ‘real’ author until you have been published by one of the big publishing houses. This may be the fault of some ‘authors’ who publish work that, not to put a too finer point on it, looks like they knocked it up in a weekend or in some cases an evening after a curry and seven pints of lager.

My book took me two years to write and went through seven drafts before I was happy enough with it to let my husband proof read it, and it still is not perfect! (Authors always find fault with their own work – even J. K. Rowling wished she had done some things differently – like marry Harry to Hermione for example!)

If there were fewer ‘curry night’ books then maybe indie publishing would have a better name. So if you are thinking of writing a book for self publishing, please be professional about it, not only will your book be more successful, but it will elevate peoples’ perception of self publishing and enable other indie authors be taken more seriously.

So what may the future hold for me? Well there is a long list of well known authors who became successful through first self publishing their ‘offspring’, so maybe I will join the ranks of the following (I wonder how many of these you realised were originally indie authors?).

John Grisham, wrote his first novel, A Time to Kill in 1989. After 28 rejections, he published 5,000 copies through a small private publisher, the rest is history.

Beatrix Potter's The Tales of Peter Rabbit, was rejected several times so she self-published in 1901.

Amanda Hocking self published 17 novels as e-books, selling more than a million copies. In 2011, St. Martin's Press bought the rights the Trylle trilogy, and for a new four-book series, Watersong, for a reported two million dollars.

The Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer was self published in 1931 and yet still sells 100,000 copies each year.

Recently self published books such as Fifty Shades of Grey have even climbed to the top of best seller lists, so I am going to persevere and maybe one day my name will be added to the list above.... it really is a beautiful baby, honestly.


Karen 





28 September 2014

Why I chose to write for a YA audience



Karen Wrighton
Author of Ascension of the Whyte

When I was young there were children’s books and there were adult’s books.  From a very young age I loved reading and I gobbled up Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven like Chinese food, I never seemed to be able to get enough. I read pretty much all of them before I even started high school.  Then there was little else to read apart from the traditional oldies like Alice in Wonderland and Black Beauty. Eventually I had no choice but to make the big jump into adult literature and I began reading classics like Little Women, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights as well as popular adult fiction such as John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit (I loved Science fiction and fantasy even then).

In those days there was little if any literature for the ‘gap’ between children’s and adult fiction and although I was able to make the jump quite easily, many of my contemporaries did not. Finding relatively few books that included teenage protagonists with whom they could identify, many of my friends just stopped reading.  Some of them never read for pleasure again.


When my own children, both keen readers, approached that age I worried that the same thing would happen to them, but it didn’t, because there was a book out there that changed all that, it was called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.  Instead of my children being turned off reading, they were turned on big time, and what’s more the books managed to bridge that ‘gap’ so seamlessly that I could even share the enjoyment of the stories with them.  I thought that this was WONDERFUL, which is why it was the natural choice for me to write for this audience and join the ever growing number of YA authors who are successfully continuing what J. K. Rowling started and encouraging young people not to fall through that gap into the abyss of ‘Never to pick up a book again land’.  However, this is not the only reason that I chose to write for young adults, perhaps the main reason is that, quite simply, I like young people, and I also happen to love to read the books that they love to read; books that produce a tingle down your spine as you read them, books that make you feel like a child at Disney Land, books that make you really BELIEVE in the magic of make believe.  I hope that my books do that, and if they do I will be one very happy storyteller. 

Karen


21 September 2014

Character Interview With Rose The Whyte


Character Interview with Rose the Whyte

In your own words, how would you describe the four different areas of the world you live in?

Well I have only really explored Aurum and Ferrum to any extent yet. I only know about Hydrargyrum and Rhodium from what I have learned from the Sooth and from Cognito class. Aurum is the most eastern of the Afterlands, the land of the golden dawn. The climate in Aurum is temperate, but quite warm and the landscape is generally one of wide open plains, though there are mountainous and wooded areas and a large area of swampland off towards the south west inhabited by the wolf men known as rougarou. The capital city of Aureus is rather grand and its people are intellectuals who are relatively wealthy. There is little evidence of hardship in Aurum from what I have seen, everyone seeming to lead a happy and contented existence, except for the rougarou that is.

When we travelled into Ferrum the landscape changed dramatically to one of green rolling hills, forests, waterfalls and areas of open water.  There seemed to be a lot of animals and farm land, the buildings had a more rustic feel and the people were less refined than in Aurum. We ran into some prejudice in one of the small towns and that upset me a great deal. I was disappointed that such a hardworking and unpretentious people could harbour such hostile feelings about people from their own world, many of whom even had Ferrish blood running in their veins. 

I learned a little about the southernmost land, Hydrargyrum, from one of its people; the Blood Ascendant, Lady El-on-ah. She described it as a hard land, a barren land, where its people were forced to endure great hardship and had to work in the mines in order to provide for their meagre existence. In the Oratory we were taught that the area was inhospitable because it was mainly volcanic, but that it was also one of the few areas in the Afterlands where dragons could be seen living wild.

Of my own land, Rhodium, I have yet to travel there and I know very little except for what Lord Dux has told me. Rhodium the most northerly of the Afterlands and is a land of snow and ice, its towns and cities were now mainly in ruins after the Great Dragon War of over a thousand years’ ago.  No one lives there now; all of the Whytes were destroyed. I am the only member of a long dead race, from a land of ruins frozen in ice and time.


How do you feel about each of the different members in your cell?

When we ascend to these lands, alone and without memory of our past lives or our families, we are told that the members of our cell will become our families, and that is sort of how I see them now.

Auriel is like a sister to me and I regard Ash and Lee as brothers. I love them all dearly; I love Auriel’s strong moral compass and unshakable loyalty, Ash’s sense of humour and his ability to always see the rainbow in every thunderstorm and I even love Lee’s naive insensitivity and cold clear logic, because it’s unashamedly honest. Lee would never lie, he just wouldn’t know how to.


What is your favourite aspect of your world?

I think that my most favourite thing is that being a Whyte ascendant has given me the freedom to be anything that I want to be, to do anything I want to do and to have the chance, despite being young and female, to really make this world a better place.

At first when I discovered that I was the only Whyte I hated it.  I felt alone, isolated and powerless to change anything.  Now I feel different, because of Eldwyn’s prophecy, being a Whyte has actually given me power, power to make people take notice of me and listen to what I have to say.  It has made me realise that I can make a big difference, maybe even save some lives or at least make some peoples’ lives better.

I also LOVE magic and I especially love being good at it!

What is your favourite thing to eat?

In the Afterlands every ascendant’s favourite food is the same; Guilywally Fyre-pot, it’s a traditional dish from Hydrargyrum, a pink stew that is enchanted so that it tastes of whatever it is that you are hungry for.  So you could eat it every day and never get bored with it because it would taste different every time you ate it. It really is the most delicious thing ever!

However, In Cognito class we learned that as good quality fresh food was so scarce in Hydrargyrum, that the alchemists devised the charm so that scraps and poor quality food would taste as good as the finest Aurum feast. That way everyone would have enough to eat, there would be no waste, and no one, but especially the children, would realise that they were often eating food that was not really fit to be eaten. It never quite tasted the same after I learned that.

What is your biggest dream?

My dream is that prejudice and inequality be wiped from the face of the Afterlands. That it’s people would live in harmony, each of them, though different, being accepted as equal, and that Lord Ka and the Djinn of Erebus be purged from these lands forever.

Where would you love to live in your world if you could live anywhere?

I would like to live in Rhodium, in my own land, with my own people, but my people are gone forever, so this can never happen.

What do you think about the place you’re studying?

I expect you mean the Oratory?  When I first arrived at the Oratory I felt rather overwhelmed by the opulence and grandeur of the buildings and the obvious high status that had been afforded to me and to a lesser extent the other ascendants.  The Sooth frightened me and so at first, did Lord Dux, who used magic with such ease and to such effect that it took my breath away. However once I had met my cell and settled in I enjoyed being there.  I learned so much about my new world in such a short time that I quickly began to feel a part of it.  The classes were amazing and all of the Magisters were such experts in their field that I doubt I could have been schooled by a more qualified group of teachers.  Who wouldn’t like learning how to read a whole book in a few seconds, talk to bees, brew charms and cast spells? I struggled a little at first, but Lord Dux helped me and I soon discovered that I had a great aptitude for most of it, especially the magic.

Do you like magic?

Magic is at the core of my soul. It now comes so naturally to me that it is like a reflex... like blinking, I do not have to even think to use it. When I need it I just react, in the blink of an eye, no conscious thought involved, even the incantations are instinctive now. So I don’t like it exactly... that’s like asking if I like breathing, but I don’t think I could live long without it now.

Are you ready?

Can we ever be ready for something as all consuming as a war against evil, against prejudice and cruelty, and against an enemy so powerful that they can take the very essence of what you are and imprison that essence within their bodies for eternity?
I believe I am here for a reason, the prophecy of Eldwyn predicted that I would ascend and tells of my unifying the people of the Afterlands against an old enemy, but the way I read it, it does not predict the outcome of that confrontation. 

Am I ready to unify?  Yes.  Am I ready to fight Lord Ka and the Djinn of Erebus? Yes.  Am I ready to lose my friends in battle, to see these lands burned to ash and to be assimilated into the body of a Djinn until I can no longer act for myself and can only bear witness to the horrors that unfold before me?  No... no... I will never be ready for that.

Rose