Sunday, July 3, 2011

Guest Post - Jennifer Provost

Me Wants Food welcomes Jennifer Provost! If you are interested in guest blogging, please drop a line at kspatwriter at yahoo.

First of all, thank you Kat for giving me the opportunity to guest post on your blog!

Of course, then I needed to come up with a topic. When I asked her what I should write about, she mentioned that most describe their books, or some aspect of their particular writing process. I decided to give a brief synopsis of my fantasy series, The Chronicles of Parthalan, and answer the question I get the most:

How did I manage to write so much (five complete novels) in less than two years? Answer: It’s all up here *taps forehead*

At this point the asker’s brow furrows; sometimes, they shake their head. “But how did it get there?” they press. “Where did it come from? How did you write so quickly?”

As for where it comes from, a psychologist could have a field day with that, but the answer to the third question is that is that I write a lot of scenes that are not intended to make it into the finished books. I know, writing more seems counterintuitive, but by doing this I’m certain that I know my characters inside and out. I understand their motivations, their quirks, their flaws. Therefore, when Aeolmar loses his temper I know why he’s such a hothead, and when Harek trembles with rage when Asherah laughs at another man’s witty comment I can feel his anger.

What’s more, I can learn where their little quirks originate. Aeolmar has a short temper like his mother, but his father’s sense of honor. Leran is stubborn like Lormac, and would rather fight a war alone than ask for help. And Innetha… Well, Innetha has an interesting take on life.

By knowing my characters as well as I do, when I settle in to write a scene it’s more like a journal entry than the drudgery of plotting. I know I’ve really got a handle on them when the dialogue flows naturally, like a well-acted play. I’ve got pages of dialogue between Finlay and Aeolmar, out riding and having a (mostly) one-sided discussion on Aeolmar’s infatuation with Latera. To the average reader it’s as boring as an unpainted wall, but to me it offered valuable insight into Aeolmar’s mind. This dialogue ended up being whittled down to one line Finlay said to Latera after she threw Aeolmar out of her chamber. He told Latera that Aeolmar had been quietly in love with her since they day they met, and asked her to give him another chance. She did.

Some argue that these many unused scenes are an exercise in futility, but I disagree. After Rise of the Deva’shi was released I started getting emails asking for stories featuring Aeolmar, so I took out my favorites, polished them up, and released them as Hunter’s Tales. My favorites are Brambleberries, where Aeolmar rescues Latera from a vicious snake, and Defender of the Forge, where we get a glimpse of Aeolmar’s life before he was First Hunter.

As stated above, I like getting to know my characters. Maybe it’s a bit more work in the beginning, but well worth the end result.

Available Now:

Rise of the Deva'shi - The acclaimed story of Latera, a human girl who becomes lost in the Faerie Realm. While there, Latera becomes a huntress in the court of the Faerie Queen, steals the First Hunter’s heart, and learns that she is anything but an ordinary girl. Then she’s kidnapped again, this time sent back to the mortal realm after half a life spent in Faerie. Latera struggles to fit in with her family, but when her heritage is revealed she leans that she is Faerie’s only hope.

Hunters Tales: Deleted Scenes from Rise of the Deva'shi - Five short stories told from Aeolmar’s perspective.

Coming Summer 2011 from Fantastic Books:

Heir to the Sun: One thousand years before the deva’shi rose, the Faerie King has entered into a pact with the demon lord, trading his people’s freedom for the might to conquer the nine realms. Two unlikely allies are determined to stop him: Asherah, enslaved by demons, and Caol’nir, a warrior sworn to defend the king.

When Asherah, stripped of both her memory and her dignity, learns that King Sahlgren is responsible for her captivity, she leads her fellow slaves in a daring escape and burns their prison to the ground. Then she learns that there are many more prisons across Parthalan, and embarks upon a campaign to free every last faerie.

In stark contrast to Asherah’s struggles, Caol’nir lives the comfortable life of a temple guard. He is sworn to serve and defend the king, as his ancestors have done since time immemorial. Now a priestess has been murdered, and Caol’nir learns that Sahlgren’s scheming is to blame. Determined to thwart the king, sacred oath or no, Caol’nir joins Asherah’s rebellion. What Caol’nir doesn’t know is that Sahlgren has promised the demon lord a woman of rare and singular beauty, a woman who is rumored to be the sun god’s daughter. She also happens to be Caol’nir’s mate.

Coming in Fall 2011 from Fantastic Books:

The Virgin Queen: Asherah’s rule has brought an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity to Parthalan, but not all enjoy the peaceful times, and those closest to the Faerie Queen plot her downfall. Enter Aeolmar, a mysterious man from the west whose singular goal is the death of the demon warlord Mersgoth. With Aeolmar at her side Asherah feels that nothing can harm her – nothing, until Aeolmar pushes her away.

Coming in 2012:

Golem

Elfsong

Want to know more? Visit me online, follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or Goodreads or email me at jenniferaprovost@gmail.com.

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