After posting the covers for The Seer Trilogy the other day I’ve had a bunch of questions from readers, so I figured I’d better fill you in — at least a little! — on what these stories are about… and why I’m so excited about them :)
Once upon a time — Hey, it was a decade ago, so I feel totally justified in using “once upon a time”!
Once upon a time I was a stay-at-home mum who loved reading fantasy and sci-fi and chick-lit and YA and, well, just about anything really. And one day in 2003, I decided to have a go a writing a book… as you do *eyeroll* I started out trying to write something humorous but poignant and issue-driven, a la Marian Keyes (whose books I adore) and I got about a page into it — really just a brief outline — and stopped because I knew it blew chunks. Just to be absolutely sure, I asked my husband to check it out. And wasn’t very surprised when he very kindly told me not to quit my day job.
So what’s a mum-of-two to do when her silly dream of finding her “calling” and writing stories has been dashed? Why, curl up with a good book of course *g* My book of choice happened to be books, namely Stephen Donaldson’s breath-stealingly gritty and truly excellent The Gap Sequence. (Writers: if you want to know how to really put your characters (and your readers!) through hell by turning the expectation of who is the hero of a story, and what heroic actually means, completely on its head, then I highly recommend checking out this series.)
Now I’m one of those weird people who buys a series of books and reads them over and over. For me, there’s a certain comfort to be had in curling up with an entire series of three or four or five (or more!!!) books that you’ve read before, and diving back into those characters and the world you loved and didn’t want to end, and savoring them all over again. For me, it’s like when you’re given chocolates. Sure, that fancy box from that expensive high-end shop is a real treat, but sometimes the beautifully handmade chocolates nestled inside just don’t live up to their packaging. But that box from the supermarket? The one that your husband or boyfriend or partner buys when he knows you’re down and need cheering up? The one that has at least three each of your all-time favorite hard caramels and fudge truffles and rum swirls? Well, you know you’re going to enjoy every single one of those chocolates and they’ll all be soooo good and there’ll be no disappointments flavor-wise, right?
Right. Same with re-reading a favorite series.
So I’d already read the entire Gap series before. Meaning that instead of racing ahead in my “OMG OMG s/he didn’t just do that OMG!” eagerness to find out what was gonna happen next and whether the characters I’d invested so much in were gonna make it, I could slow down and savor the full flavor and skill of the writing and the characters and the world. And even the author’s afterword, where he talked about his writing process… which turned out to be a pivotal, life-changing moment for me. Because it gave me an idea. For a story. One that wouldn’t leave me alone, and literally haunted my dreams.
For weeks I couldn’t get to sleep at night because I could see them: Hope and Blayne. She was a blind girl, snatched from earth and dumped in Dayamaria, a primitive world of magic and capricious gods, and he was a healer. I could see the opening scenes and the end scene playing out in my head — didn’t have much of a clue what went on between the beginning and the end, but that was beside the point. I kept dreaming about these two people. And finally, for the sake of my sanity, I decided to get them out of my head and down on paper.
Jotting down a story on paper soon cramped my hand big-time, and segued to sitting behind a desk and thumping away on the computer keyboard. And nine months later (yes, really! it took nine months to “birth” that very first draft of my very first story) I had a story. And to my surprise, that story finalled in the RWNZ Clendon Award for full-length romantic manuscript.
Let me be painfully honest here. I had the guts of a good story (I knew that because the Clendon first-round reader-judges had made that clear) but I had A Lot to learn about the craft of writing. So much so, that even after completing the trilogy, these three books weren’t publishable. But by that time I’d moved on and was writing other things and experimenting with other genres and honing my craft.
Long story short (yeah, right! LOL) this fantasy trilogy sat on my harddrive for the better part of a decade. Every now and then I’d tinker with them — tighten the writing, smooth a few rough edges, delete a POV character’s scene and give it to another POV character, add stuff — and then I’d go back to my current work in progress. But I’ve always loved the original concept behind these three books and I knew that one day I’d have not only the time, but enough knowledge of crafting a halfway decent story, to haul them out, brush off the cyber-cobwebs, and do whatever it took to whip ’em into shape.
That time came around a few months ago :)
Here’s what readers who’ve read my published paranormal romances should know about The Seer Trilogy:
- This trilogy is very much a nod to my longtime love of epic fantasy, and I’d term them “fantasy with romantic elements” rather than romances.
- There are multiple characters and the main ones have point-of-view scenes (i.e. these stories are not restricted to only hero or heroine’s point of view scenes like my Crystal Warriors books).
- There are a few made-up words to go with the made-up world that the main characters inhabit (when they’re not travelling across worlds and causing trouble back on earth, that is). Please don’t panic: it’s easy to figure out meanings from context, but there’s also a glossary at the back of each book.
- Each book could be read as a standalone as it has it’s own complete story arc, but they’re best read in order.
- Hope’s full story spans all three books, although the focus in the second and third books moves to her daughter Romana (Book Two) and her son Ryley (Book Three).
- The books do include love scenes (I’m primarily a romance writer after all!), but they’re not explicitly described love scenes like those in my Crystal Warriors books. I’d be quite happy giving these books to a teenager… if they liked fantasy with romantic elements of course.
- They’re longer books — each is around 100k.
- Yes, there’s a reason why the characters on two of the covers have freaky gold-colored eyes! (And the only reason why the character on the cover of Seer’s Promise doesn’t have freaky black eyes is because we figured that would be too… too… freaky!)
And now this trilogy is almost ready to be sent out into the big scary world, and my CAE (Cover Artist Extraordinaire) has brought them to life with covers, I thought you might like to check out the blurbs. I’m still tweaking them, because writing blurbs is so not my strong point, so please be kind ;-)
Book One of The Seer Trilogy
Hope is snatched from her home and transported to a primitive world of magic and capricious gods. The Dayamari people believe she’s a Seer and their only hope of salvation, but she’s blind — she can’t see anything at all, let alone the future. She must accept her destiny and learn to wield the awe-inspiring powers the gods have bestowed upon her. And if she’s to save those she loves from the horrifying evil that lurks in the darkness, failure is not an option.
Book Two of The Seer Trilogy
Hope’s Sehani powers have finally grown strong enough to risk returning to Earth. Gods willing, she’ll find a way to rid her daughter of the soul-eater that possesses her, and convince Romana to return with her to Dayamaria.
Romana is captivated by the prospect of becoming a powerful Sehan like her mother. But her dreams are shattered when everything she’d hoped for is bestowed upon someone who couldn’t care less about wielding Sehani magic. Romana craves power with every fiber of her being… and when she finds a way to take what she wants the cost is devastating for gods and humankind alike.
Book Three of The Seer Trilogy
Ryley has traveled across worlds and discovered his soul mate living in the Earth town of Seaview… his mother’s hometown. Watching Rowan from afar is one thing, but actively interfering in her life? That’s against “the rules” in so many ways—especially when your mother is the most powerful Sehan in Dayamaria, and your grandmother happens to be a goddess. If anyone discovers where he’s been disappearing to—and why—there’ll be big trouble. But he can’t give Rowan up, especially now her strange powers have spun dangerously out of control. And then Dayamaria is threatened by a deadly predator immune to magic, and Ryley must choose between the woman he loves and the people he left behind.
P.S. I’m hoping to have these three books published over Easter weekend, so please watch this space.