Dear Imps, today I have the pleasure of featuring a talented new voice in the realm of Christian Fantasy! Many of you may have already encountered her charming blog, Of Battles, Dragons, and Swords of Adamant, which is a wonderful refuge of all things fantasy and magical. Now her debut novel has released, and you have the prime opportunity to delve into the wonderful worlds of her imagination. I give you . . .
GILLIAN BRONTE ADAMS is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, coffee-loving speculative fiction author from the great state of Texas. During the day, she manages the equestrian program at a youth camp. But at night, she kicks off her boots and spurs, pulls out her trusty laptop, and transforms into a novelist. Her love of epic stories and a desire to present truth in a new way drew her to the realm of fantasy.
And here is the description of lovely new novel:
Who Will Keep the Song Alive?
Every generation has a Songkeeper – one chosen to keep the memory of the Song alive. And in every generation, there are those who seek to destroy the chosen one. When Birdie's song draws the attention of a dangerous Khelari soldier, she is kidnapped and thrust into a world of ancient secrets and betrayals. Rescued by her old friend, traveling peddler Amos McElhenny, Birdie flees the clutches of her enemies in pursuit of the truth behind the Song’s power. Ky is a street–wise thief and a member of the Underground—a group of orphans banded together to survive . . . and to fight the Khelari. Haunted by a tragic raid, Ky joins Birdie and Amos in hopes of a new life beyond the reach of the soldiers. But the enemy is closing in, and when Amos’ shadowed past threatens to undo them all, Birdie is forced to face the destiny that awaits her as the Songkeeper of Leira. Book one of the Songkeeper Chronicles.
Grab your copy of Orphan's Song today!
Grab your copy of Orphan's Song today!
Gillian is here today for an interview, and she is also offering a print copy of Orphan's Song for one lucky winner! So enjoy learning more about this exciting new voice in Spec fiction, and be certain to enter your name in the drawing.
Welcome to the Tales of Goldstone Wood blog, Gillian! First of all, would you mind telling us a little about yourself? Hobbies, personality . . . tea or coffee?
Gillian: What to tell … well, I’m a sword-wielding, horse-riding, adventure-loving speculative fiction writer from the great state of Texas. Coffee is my life line when work gets busy. I brew a pot whenever I’m facing a long to do list—it’s my signal that now is the time to focus on work and distractions everywhere should flee in terror. That’s the general idea at least.
What led you into the writing life? Were you always a storyteller? How did you get into publishing?
Gillian: I started inventing stories at a young age just for fun. A lot of them I ended up playacting out in the backyard with my siblings, resulting in all sorts of hilarious scrapes. But I didn’t take writing seriously until I participated in a NaNo-like challenge at the age of sixteen. After managing to whip out 50,000 words in thirteen days, I realized that I really liked this writing business and started researching ways to make a go of it.
I’m a bit of a dreamer, but publishing wasn’t even on my radar in the beginning. The more I researched and the more I learned about the writing craft, the more I realized that being published wasn’t completely impossible—unlike my other dreams of captaining a pirate ship, becoming an actress, or fighting with the knights of the Round Table.
So I spent the next several years studying both writing and publishing, making mistakes and learning from them, and writing … writing … writing … until I signed with a literary agent and then a publisher!
Tell us a little about your work! Orphan's Song is your debut novel, right? How did this story come about?
Gillian: Yes, Orphan’s Song is my debut novel. I started writing it four years ago with little more than a few character names, a thin plot thread, and my love for fantasy and the written word. By the time I finished the first draft, I knew the story needed a major overhaul, but I couldn’t escape the feeling that it had potential, unlike so many of the manuscripts I’d relegated to the “forsaken and forgotten” pile in the past. Four hefty re-writes later, Orphan’s Song in its final form was born.
Is Orphan's Song part of a series? How many more tales do you hope to set in this exciting world?
Gillian: Orphan’s Song is the first book in a fantasy trilogy called the Songkeeper Chronicles. I’m currently working on book two, while book three is simmering somewhere in the back of my brain.
Can you pick a favorite character from this new novel?
Gillian: I always have a hard time with this question because my favorite character generally happens to be whichever point-of-view I’m writing at the time. Orphan’s Song is written from the POV of three main characters—Birdie, Amos, and Ky. When you boil it all down, I guess you could say I love Birdie’s depth, Ky’s heart, and Amos’s strength of will.
What inspires your work? Where do you turn when you need a renewal of inspiration?
Gillian: I gather inspiration from a lot of things: a beautiful turn of phrase in a book, an image from a movie, a word of truth in a sermon or a verse that sticks in my head and won’t let go, or epic adventure-inspiring music. But there are times when inspiration feels like a well that’s run completely dry, and when that happens, I nearly always saddle my horse and go for a ride. There’s nothing like the rhythmic drumming of hooves, the breeze in your face, and the glory of movement and speed to clear your head.
What are your favorite and least favorite parts of the writing process?
Gillian: My favorite part of the writing process is brainstorming, character development, and story breathing at the beginning. I love when a story just flows from my soul onto the page. Not that there aren’t tough times, but you can’t beat writing when the story has so seeped into your consciousness that it just spills out your fingers into the keyboard.
I’m not sure what my least favorite part of the writing process is. I enjoy editing but waiting for edits to come back from an editor always makes me extremely nervous!
If you were forced to pick a single favorite author, who would it be?
Gillian: You mean forced … like at gunpoint? Otherwise, it’s a little hard to narrow it down. But if there was a gun pointing at me, I might blurt out “Tolkien” as a distraction before employing my mad Dunedain ranger skills and taking down my assailant with an epically heroic-looking move that would make any fantasy character jealous!
What are you actively writing right now?
Gillian: I’m actively writing the second book in the Songkeeper Chronicles … soon to be followed by the third book. At least, that’s what I’m writing on my laptop. But there is a completely different fantasy series that’s writing itself in the back of my head, making it very difficult to focus. Currently the ideas span a total of at least six different books, complete with characters and major plot points, and they won’t stop badgering me.
I suppose you could say I’m suffering from an acute case of multiple novels disorder. But at least I have a pretty good idea of what I’ll be writing once I’m done with the Songkeeper Chronicles!
Would you share a short snippet from Orphan’s Song?
Gillian Sure! Here’s a little bit from inside the first chapter…
Birdie ran. Past the barn, across the dusty inn yard, and out over the hills surrounding the Sylvan Swan Inn. Autumn grass crinkled beneath her feet. Blazing orange fire flowers burst as she brushed past, exploding into wild puffs of floating petals that drifted away on the wind. She ran until she gasped for breath and stumbled to her knees in a wide open space. Sobs rose in her throat, smothering her anger, and she flung herself flat against the cool brown earth and cried into her arms.
Deep below, a sepulchral rumbling from the depths of the earth, a distant melody rose to greet her. Warm as a summer sunrise, the song caught her up in its embrace. The tears dried on her face. Her sorrow eased. The song was familiar—she had known it all her life—and yet new and wondrous, something too great to be fully known or understood. It spiraled upward, carrying her soul to reach for the sky. Then, it stopped abruptly and the melody faded away.
She sat alone on the hillside; the only noise the ordinary sounds of an autumn afternoon: whispering of windswept grasses, trilling whistles of the Karnoth birds winging northward to the ice and snow ere Winter Turning, and the peaceful munching of herds of sheep grazing in the troughs between one hill and the next.
Disappointment settled over Birdie. Always it was the same. Every time she heard the song. Five notes without resolution. A beginning, constantly repeating, without an end. And yet the five notes were so beautiful that her heart ached at the sound and every fiber of her being yearned to hear more.
Thank you, Gillian, for a fun peak into your mind and creative process! Orphan's Song looks really beautiful, and I know readers are going to love stepping into the world you have created.
Speaking of . . .
Take a moment to enter your name in this giveaway, dear Imps! And, while you're at it, feel free to leave a comment for Gillian. Do you have a question for her? Are you already a fan of her work eager for another story? Are you curious to pick up Orphan's Song? Go ahead and tell us!