I'm thrilled today to be able to spotlight today's author. Not only is this her first fiction novel, but she is 1 of 3 new authors with Marcher Lord Press' Spring Releases. Another is my husband, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, with his debut novel, Starfire. If you like speculative fiction in fantasy or sci-fi, you should check out this publisher. The books are fantastic...and I don't just say that because of my marital bias. *winks*
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JILL WILLIAMSON is a novelist, dreamer, and believer. She writes stories that combine danger, suspense, and adventure for people of all ages. An avid reader, she started Novel Teen Book Reviews (www.novelteen.com) to help teens find great books to read. She lives in Oregon with her husband and two book-loving children. By Darkness Hid is her first novel. Check out her Web site www.jillwilliamson.com for more information.
BY DARKNESS HID
by Jill Williamson
Published by Marcher Lord Press
ABOUT THE BOOK
Half of Er’Rets is locked beneath an impenetrable shroud. On the side that still sees the sun, two young people struggle to understand the mind-communication abilities thrust upon them. It's called bloodvoicing. Some say it's a gift. One of the newly “gifted” wish it had never come.
Achan has been a slave all his life. When an enigmatic knight offers to train Achan for the Kingsguard, he readily accepts. But his new skills with the sword do not prepare him for the battle raging between the voices in his head.
Vrell Sparrow is not who she seems. She masquerades as a boy to avoid capture by the powerful forces that seek to exploit her. But Vrell feels called to help a young squire who recently discovered his bloodvoicing gift, even if doing so requires her to work with those who could destroy her.
While Achan learns to use his new ability, Vrell struggles to shut hers down. All the voices strive to learn Achan and Vrell's true identities—and a different kind of voice is calling them both.
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1. This is your debut novel. Congratulations! What gave you the inspiration for this story?
I had a really weird dream. Have you ever wakened from a bizarre dream and thought, “Wow! That would make a great story?” This happened to me once in the middle of the night. So I wrote down the dream and went back to sleep. When morning came, my notes made very little sense. It was a science fiction premise, but there was one aspect to it that I couldn’t stop thinking about. Over time I brainstormed. The premise switched from science fiction to medieval fantasy. I started researching that time period. The more I learned, the more I couldn’t wait to get started writing. The final story turned out nothing like that dream.
2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that are theirs and theirs alone?
Not much of me influenced these characters. This is the fifth book I’ve written, so I think that I used up all of me on my first few books. :) Both Achan and Vrell are tenacious, which is a trait that I have. Achan rebels more than I ever would. He rebels against injustice despite the punishments he receives and the ongoing threat of death. Achan is a lot braver than I am, too. I probably have more in common with Vrell. She tends to point out injustice, which is something I’m prone to do. She’s also a girl.
3. If one of your characters were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?
Achan would be Rocky Road, since that’s how his life has been. He is a stray, which is a social rank lower than a slave. Just when he thinks he might find a way out, his life gets more complicated.
4. Are there any themes in If By Darkness Hid that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the stories progressed?
That there is only one God and that he is the desire of our hearts. No matter what we face, knowing him will make life more worthwhile. He created us for a purpose. If we want to know our purpose, we must discover him.
5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?
Researching medieval medicine/healing was the hardest. When I really started looking, though, it was fascinating. I know my scenes are much better because of all the research I did.
6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?
To Darkness Fled, Blood of Kings, book 2, should come out in 2010. This story follows Achan and Vrell’s journey together through Darkness to flee Esek’s wrath.
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Thank you, Jill, for being in the spotlight with us.
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