Our guest today is debut author Kylie Griffin. The first book in her The Light Blade fantasy romance series, Vengeance Born, was recently released on February 7, 2012. The second book in the series, Alliance Forged, will hit shelves on July 3, 2012. We are also featuring this series in our UF/PNR Reading Challenge 2012. Please join me in welcoming Kylie here today to Dark Faerie Tales.
Thanks to Kylie, you also have a chance to win a copy of Vengeance Born. As always, details are listed at the end of the post. Make sure you follow the rules to be entered into the contest!
Kylie Griffin’s obsession with all things paranormal/fantasy started at an early age, when she used to imagine the jacaranda tree in her front yard was a spaceship used to defend the world from invading enemies. Writing stories seemed a natural extension to her childhood adventures.
Today, she’s a primary school teacher sharing her love for the written word with young children. In her spare time, she writes and reads all things paranormal.
Kylie lives in a small rural village in outback New South Wales, Australia, where she volunteers in a number of emergency service organizations in her local community.
Want to read more from Kylie Griffin?
How real is the paranormal?
I often get asked by non-writing friends how do I think up the ideas for my characters, creatures and places that appear in my books. Many assume I have an active imagination (and they’d be right *grin*) but some of the ideas I come up with are drawn from places or things I see in every day life.
For example, in VENGEANCE BORN, my debut fantasy romance coming out with Berkley Sensation February 7th, the book opens with Annika, the heroine, descending into the dungeon of her father’s fortress to rescue Kalan.
We’re in demon territory and the characters are paranormal creatures drawn from my imagination (barring Kalan, who’s human) but the fortress and dungeon descriptions are based on buildings I’ve visited in real life.
My camera is always with me when I travel. I get the usual touristy shots of places from all over the world – Scotland, New Zealand, England, Wales, Thailand, USA, Ireland, and Canada – but I’m also on the lookout for the unusual.
When I was in Italy I travelled through Tuscany it was like being thrown back in time. Not only was the countryside beautiful with its rolling green hills and snow capped mountains, but the hills were dotted with medieval villages and thick forests. Just the sort that makes me think of demon warriors on patrol, hunting for escaped human slaves. A real fantasy setting!
The demon fortress where Annika lives with her father was loosely structured around a village I saw in Italy. The village was backed by ragged ridges and a river wound its way past in the valley below. The ridges had a myriad of small caves where people once lived. Eventually the steep valley opened out into undulating hills covered by a forest.
This is the sort of setting I used for the demon fortress from which Annika and Kalan escape, the only difference being that the river ran under the fortress instead of beside it. The caves though remained the same and they end up providing our hero and heroine with a place to shelter and hide from the Na’Reish warriors who hunt them after their escape from the dungeon.
While walking through the twisted, cobblestone streets of a village called Sovana, I came across this intricate door knocker. Can you imagine this appearing on the door of a wizard’s abode?
Or what about this light sconce? I imagined brackets like these in the dungeon where Annika found Kalan – several of them spaced around the torture pit where he was being held, the tar dipped torches hazing the air with smoke and throwing flickering shadows that increased Annika’s trepidation of entering such an unpleasant place.
Take a look at this door from a castle in Scotland. Look at how thick the beams are and the iron studs used to hold it together. And what about the huge blocks making up the archway and the worn step below? There’s another scene in VENGEANCE BORN where Annika is locked in a room with a door similar to this one. She pounds against its thick panels and realises getting out is impossible.
While I may write paranormal romance, much of real life tends to inspire my world building, particular the physical settings, and all are great fodder for a writer’s imagination. I relived a lot of great memories including some of these places and objects in VENGEANCE BORN.
So, there’s a little bit of everything for everyone in the book, from the real to the fantastical.
For readers who like world building, there’s plenty of those elements in the plot and sub-plots – creatures, paranormal powers, a deity, conflict between races, secrets unveiled and political machinations.
If you want romance, Annika and Kalan struggle against personal prejudices, flaws and other external hurdles to find love.
There’s intrigue and mystery – some twists and turns in the plot will satisfy this craving. Some secrets you may anticipate, others I hope you don’t see coming.
Action – fighting, a chase scene, death, escaping from dungeons, rebellion…as I said, something for everyone!
Now, what places – real or pure fantasy – have inspired your imagination? Have you ever come across something as intriguing as the medieval village, or quirky, like the door knocker? Or maybe a scene or setting from a movie? Just for fun, share your experiences, and your name will go into a draw to win a signed copy of VENGEANCE BORN. I look forward to reading your answers!
This giveaway is provided by Kylie Griffin
One winner will receive a copy of Vengeance Born by Kylie Griffin
Available on February 7, 2012 from Penguin/Berkley
About the Book:
There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not pure bred is virtually powerless. Until an unlikely champion is born…
Annika, half-blood daughter of the Na’Reish King, longs for more than her tormented life among her father’s people. Conceived in hatred and bred as a tool of retribution, she’s gifted with a special talent that can heal as well as destroy…
With the Na’Reish vastly outnumbering them, Kalan, a Light Blade warrior, knows the future of humankind depends on him alone. Incursions into human territory and raids for blood-slaves by the Na’Reish Horde have increased. As Chosen-leader, he faces the task of stopping the demons-and convincing the Council of aging Light Blade warriors that change is necessary for survival.
When Annika learns Kalan is a prisoner in her father’s dungeon, her dream of escape seems within reach. She agrees to free him in exchange for his protection once they reach human territory. Now, marked for death for helping him, Annika must learn to trust Kalan as they face not only the perilous journey to the border but enemies within the Council-and discover a shocking truth that could throw the human race into civil war…
Click HERE to read an excerpt
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