Please join me in welcoming Alayna Williams here today to Dark Faerie Tales to talk about Dark Oracle. The first book in her Oracle series, Dark Oracle, was released on May 25, 2010. You can read an excerpt of Dark Oracle here.
Three lucky commentators will have a chance to win an autographed copy of Dark Oracle. Details are listed at the end of the post.
PROFILING WITH TAROT CARDS
By Alayna Williams
For DARK ORACLE, I took a different approach to profiling my heroine, Tara. I didn’t use any tried-and-true psychological or literary approaches. Instead, I did what Tara would.
I used Tarot cards.
Tara Sheridan swore off criminal profiling after narrowly escaping a serial killer who left her scarred for life. By combining Tarot card divination with her own intuition, find a missing scientist who has unlocked the destructive secrets of dark energy.
The card that came up most often in my random drawings to represent Tara was the Queen of Swords. The Queen of Swords depicts a woman staring pensively into a stormy sky. She’s lifting sword as if it’s quite sharp, and extends her hand as if she’s cut herself with it. The swords, in general, represent intellect. The Queen of swords traditionally represents sadness and mourning or a particularly clever woman. I always associated her with the Snow Queen from fairy tales – cold, isolated, withdrawn. The Queen of Swords became the significator for Tara – an image that focused the rest of my Tarot card readings. Throughout writing DARK ORACLE, whenever I was stuck or needed more information, I’d draw a random card from my Tarot card deck as a story prompt.
But I needed to know more about Tara. I wanted to know what the story of DARK ORACLE would show me about her past, present, and future. So, I pulled three more cards from the deck.
The card I picked for Tara’s past was the High Priestess. The High Priestess wears a severe expression and heavy robes, seated between dark and light colored pillars, representing knowledge of good and evil. She holds a scroll in her hands, symbolizing esoteric knowledge. She’s the embodiment of feminine wisdom. This card was easy for me to interpret. Tara once belonged to a secret society of oracles, Delphi’s Daughters. They’re the intellectual descendants of the priestesses of the Temple of Apollo.
The head priestess of the Temple of Apollo, the Pythia, would have the qualities of the Priestess card. As the leader of Delphi’s Daughters in my story, she would be powerful, insightful…and that power might make her inflexible. And that inflexibility drove Tara away from Delphi’s Daughters. Tara blames Delphi’s Daughters for the death of her mother.
The card I drew to represent Tara’s present was the Four of Swords. It depicts a knight lying in effigy in a cathedral. It’s a card of exile, of rest and solitude.
At the opening of DARK ORACLE, this is exactly where Tara finds herself. She’s gone into seclusion. After having narrowly escaped an attack by a serial killer that left her scarred for life, Tara has withdrawn from her work. She’s living alone in a cabin in the woods when Delphi’s Daughters come knocking at her door.
Tara doesn’t take this well. But Delphi’s Daughters need her help. A scientist who has unlocked the secrets of dark energy has gone missing, and the Daughters feel that his disappearance is critical to the balance of power in modern time. They ask Tara for her help in tracking him down.
Tara is undecided. She consults her own cards. And one of the cards she chooses in her own reading is one I picked for her future: the Six of Swords. It shows a man rowing a boat across a sea, carrying six swords in the prow of the boat. It’s a card of movement, of journeys. It symbolizes Tara breaking out of her exile, rejoining the world, and seeing what’s on the other side of her seclusion.
What’s waiting for her is an adventure that pits her esoteric knowledge against the extremes of science.
Alayna Williams has an MA in sociology-criminology (research interests: fear of crime and victimology) and a BA in criminology. She has worked in and around criminal justice since 1997. Although she does read Tarot cards, she’s never used them in criminal profiling or to locate lost scientists. She recently took up astronomy, but for the most part her primary role in studying constellations and dark matter is to follow her amateur astronomer-husband around central Ohio toting the telescope tripod and various lenses. More info is at www.alaynawilliams.com.
Three lucky commentators will have a chance to win an autographed copy of Dark Oracle.
To enter, leave a comment below answering the following question:
Is there something you would like to know about your future? Or is there something that you feel that you’d rather not know?
1. +1 entry for answering the question (required).
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3. +3 entries for tweeting about this contest, blogging about it, linking via your sidebar etc…(please tell me where!).
4. Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada residents only.
5. Please include your email address in your comment.
6. Giveaway ends Friday, July 9th at 11:59 PM EST.
7. The winners will be picked with the help of Random.org.
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