Becoming Something More
Posted by Literary Titan
I enjoyed the magical mindgifts and dragon science in Path of the Spirit Runner. How did these begin and change as you wrote?
Evolution is the central theme of these books. Humankind becoming something more. Developing what it takes to challenge the Watchers and stop the cycles. I loved Anne McCaffrey’s Rowan series. The gifted who moved spaceships with their minds. Telekinesis and telepathy intrigued me, and I devoured any fantasy novel with mindgifts as the basis of a magic system. It seemed logical the first evolving mindgifts would be extensions of our physical senses. Farsight. Mindspeaking. Over time, I created rules around what each mindgift could do. Its limits, practical uses, and the ethical questions using them raised. I was well into the third book when I realized the push/pull dynamic made empaths and mindriders unique. They alone could affect change. The other mindgifts are merely receptors of information detected by newly augmented senses. That distinction not only made me rewrite the earlier books, but also directed how the series ends.
The dragon science is more real, if you will. Usually, after a cycle ends, the field is cleared before the new players appear. But this time, remnants of technology from civilizations that came before lingered. And survivors. The kazera are dragonkind and shouldn’t be in this cycle at all. Yet, they are. So are their swiftgates, Phoenix Island, the Barrens wall. Readers are right to wonder why.
Your writing is exceptional, as expected. What were some goals you set for yourself as a writer with this book?
My goal was to finish the entire saga before publishing the first book. When I started writing Rootstock Saga I was annoyed… no, more than annoyed… I was angry with another author for not finishing his story after investing us so thoroughly in the first books of his series. I won’t name names, but we’re still waiting on book six well after the first books launched a major HBO series. And we may never get a proper ending. But I discovered my writing style isn’t unlike his. Multiple POV. Pantser vs planner. For me, diagraming a novel to meet someone’s prescribed formulaic beat points just feels wrong. Act one. Inciting event. Midpoint. Second inciting event. Mechanical instead of intuitive. Storytelling is art, not formula. So, it was important to me to finish the storytelling, to commit to the ending, and then backtrack to weave plot lines and characters to reach that ending. I was determined to give readers a cohesive epic.
So that’s what you’re getting in Rootstock Saga. An epic story with an ending.
What can readers expect in book three of your Rootstock Saga, The Witch of Lurago?
This is when good gets really good. World-building checked off. All the major characters fleshed out and their arcs climbing their intended trajectories. Game board set for the final gambit. This is my favorite book so far.
You’ll see fewer new characters and settings introduced. Brace for a winnowing of major characters. Some you’ll be glad to be rid of, but others you’ll miss. Expect magic to be more magical, dragonkind to come out of hiding, unlikely allies to find common cause, long-held secrets to be revealed, and a few of your favorite “ships” to sail.
Gifted or cursed? Isobel is a healer, and the Hawks who accepted her, broken and different as she was, need her help. But she must hide the truth behind her healing power. She is an empath.
John Deighton, The Prophet, is back in Innis and stoking the embers of bigotry and superstition, scouring the realm and imprisoning mindgifted Aurels. When he corners Isobel, will she fight back or succumb to her old fears and lingering scars of the Beast of Monaughty? Will she answer the call of a healer if it costs her everything she loves?
Far across the sea, Tobias Buchanan is racing against time to build New Rhynn as a haven for his clan. As the noose of oppression squeezes tighter in Innis, the Hawks may soon be forced to choose between their homeland and their way of life. Can he earn a place for his Hawks amongst the Este of Tallu? Can he prove Rhynns are worthy of their trust?
Meanwhile, the Este are discovering their own place in the Awakening and the Joining. Spirit runners grow more powerful by the year, and the Mists hover closer over Tallu. But will it be enough when the water rises? Will they be ready before the cycle ends?
About Literary TitanThe Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.
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