Swords Of Deception follows a woman on a mission to track down a rogue council member but her journey reveals dark secrets about the Council of Witches. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
To show at what length people go to hide their true purpose and misuse of power.
Ellemar is a character that was fun to follow and well developed. What were some challenges you felt were important to defining her character in the story?
To find the right timing when Ellemar loses herself in her anger and how she learned throughout the story to be more reasonable. Then finding the right moments how Ason patiently tries to help her, making it as believable as possible. Because Ellemar mostly relies on him but he wants her to think for herself. Stepping only in if she loses herself in her anger again.
With beta readers and my editor, it took us a while until everyone was happy with the outcome. So lots of changes had to be made, leading to some frustrating moments.
What were some sources that informed the development of the world and lore in your book?
The world I have created in my Black Eyed Witch series was still fresh. So it made it easy to write it with a different story, powers and characters.
This is book one in your Sword of Deception series. What can readers expect in book two?
That Ellemar will be mentally challenged. That’s all I will say as otherwise it will spoil a big moment betas and my editor didn’t see coming. One beta said she cried during that scene.
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Swords of Deception by Rowan Staeffler is a gripping fantasy novel revolving around Ellemar Vancel, who has been living her life as a hostage for almost three years, with permission to move only within the boundaries of the city. Her crime? She practiced her powers without supervision. One black day three years ago, rogue council member Celeana Maar wreaked havoc in the Witches Academy, and after a severe tussle, left Ellemar Vancel deeply wounded and deformed. Ellemar carries the painful memory of this traumatic incident to this date and wishes to find Celeana to take revenge on her. However, her mission is interrupted by the Council. The Council of Witches holds that a member cannot kill anyone. The novel begins with Ason informing her that the Council has finally granted her wish, and she can undertake her mission to track down Celeana.
Swords of Deception is the first book in A Sword of Deception Novel series, and the story is to be continued in Book 2, Swords of Revelation. This dark fantasy novel si short but potent. With little room to spare the chapters are succinct and the story is relentlessly propelled forward through a series of wild turns and electrifying revelations.
Within this adventurous story is an emotionally invigorating relationship between Ellemar and Ason which is subtle yet deep and provides ample dramatic punctuations to this action filled story. The work carries a light sensual undertone, especially towards the ending, without being too graphic.
Swords of Deception has a unique plot with crisp prose that will appeal to fans of The Witcher. This is a thrilling dark fantasy novel that will appeal to both young adult and adult readers who are interested in a sword and sorcery story that knows how to deliver a well defined and entertaining hero’s journey.
Pages: 227 | ASIN: B097Q4VK1T
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The Black Eyed Witch follows a witch and a former witch hunter as they face a madman obsessed with acquiring the strength of witches. What were some sources that informed this novels development?
As stated in the Foreboding interview, the manga/anime Claymore were part of the inspiration and made my own version of it. Just instead of the typical tropes of magic, I wanted it to be organic, like there is a more scientific reason behind it. This was the element the madman was after.
Did you plan Ronan and Lithia’s character development before writing or did they develop organically while writing?
Yes, way before I even began writing the book. The characters were very clear in my mind that writing them felt natural. All I had to do is to take notes of the timelines so that I don’t get them wrong.
The black eyed witches were interesting and a highlight of the book. What were some ideas that guided their development?
That these are misunderstood beings. They try to help, not only for them self, but humans too. Only the humans fail to acknowledge that. All they see are overpowered beings they can’t control.
While writing, it occurred to me that I need to explain who these witches are, so I decided to write who Lithia was. Not only to give her more backstory but to give a more detailed insight what witches do and that some are as quirky as humans are. Originally it should have been a simple chapter but since Lithia is four hundred years old, the reader would be asking ‘what did she really do in that time?’. In the end, I had so many ideas that I end up enjoying writing about her backstory than the current storyline.
What can readers expect in the next book in your A Black Eyed Witch series?
The series has ended with FOREBODING. Book 3 was a consideration but I could not make a compelling story to write an entire book about. Also, I aim on becoming a tradionally published author. So I hope my current book, with a completely new story and characters, will get their interest.
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The Black Eyed Witch is Rowan Staeffler’s first book through which he introduces a fantasy world where witches and various kinds of monsters live along with humans. We follow Ronan, a royal guard from Terom who seems to be one of the very few humans that’s not afraid of the black eyed witches. In fact, he admits to being intrigued by them since childhood, wondering what more could there be behind those dark, terrifying black eyes. It’s the eyes what truly distinguishes the witches from any other human. People run from them when they see those eyes approaching. Some fear them. Some despise them. And some, like Ronan, are willing to recognize that maybe the witches are not that horrible. After all, these scary witches seem to spend their lives working for humans to get rid of the monsters terrorizing their lands. After a black eyed witch called Lithia saves Ronan from a few terrible monsters, they’ll decide to embark on a journey to find out who’s behind their creation and stop them once and for all.
The book shows us two time frames along its chapters. Through some of them we directly follow Ronan’s and Lithia’s journey fighting monsters and evil humans. Through others we get a glimpse of Lithia’s life as a black eyed witch, following from a front row seat what she had to endure since childhood, understanding through her life the hard reality of black eyed witches, terrifying at first but there seems to be much more to them to figure out. This story was an easy and fast read for me. The writing is simple and it helps to illustrate quite clearly to the reader this alluring fantasy world. Chapter by chapter I felt intrigued and wanted to know more about the witches and about Ronan’s and Lithia’s adventure. It was nice seeing how both Lithia and Ronan slowly got to know each other, gaining trust in one another. The development of their characters was methodical, slow, and left them feeling authentic in the end, but was something that I wanted to see more of in the secondary characters.
In particular, what I enjoyed the most were the chapters in which we would get a glimpse into Lithia’s life as a witch, from the moment she had to learn how to use her magical powers to then fighting against monsters to keep humans safe. I found the way her storyline was narrated to be very interesting and gripping. At first I had felt myself terrified by some of these witches, but little by little I could understand them more which made me eventually like them.
The Black Eyed Witch by Rowan Staeffler is a gripping dark fantasy story with a uniquely riveting narration style that makes the already interesting characters come to life in a baroque fantasy world.
Pages: 341 | ASIN: B07Q25Q5J8
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Foreboding follows a witch and her lover who are hired to eliminate creatures preying on the kingdoms citizens. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?
The idea was partly from the manga/anime Claymore. Which was about silver-eyed witches who are feared by humans as they are part monster, yet are the only ones who can hunt and eliminate creatures who devour humans. I liked this perspective as they are not the typical kind of witches, and made my own version of it. In the manga, the witches are created, in my book they are from birth on witches.
Lithia and Ronan’s relationship is intriguing and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind their connection?
Both dared be in a relationship which was seen by many as wrong. Especially since witches can live so long and look young. However, Ronan and Lithia found a way to make it work, and to generally indicate that regardless the differences, that there is a way make a relationship work.
What were some themes that were important for you to focus on in this book?
That the typical magic tropes such as fire and lightning are not being used. Also to add some scientific aspects into it that can be as scary as magic if used wrongly. What was also important for me is that the world can be dark, but bright too. That there are humans who respect the witches for what they are doing. And I thought it would be good to see that witches can have issues as well such as in relationships.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Currently I’m writing about a twenty year old witch, Ellemar Vancel, who was assigned by the council of witches, to hunt down a rogue witch and former member of the council, Celeana Maar, who killed everyone at a academy. Ellemar was the only survivor and held a grudge against Celeana since then. However, Ellemar discovers a conspiracy against the council.
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Foreboding: A Black Eyed Witch Novel by Rowan Staeffler, is a thrilling tale set in a fantasy world. The main characters in the book are Lithia and Ronan. Lithia is a witch and Ronan, a human, is her boyfriend. Ronan’s job is to protect the witches from people. The people want to kill the witches because they believe the witches are responsible for the many deaths in the battles against monsters. Lithia, Rononan, and other witches are on the hunt for who is really to blame for the deaths and save the world.
Foreboding: A Black Eyed Witch Novel has a thrilling setup to an intriguing romantic fantasy that is filled with gruesome scenes. The author has a distinctive descriptive style that makes the grisly scenes lean towards the macabre a bit. For example this scene: “the bearded man continued to scream, watching his blood gushing out of the stumps.” (Chapter 1 page 3). Scenes like this showcase the authors willingness to let the blood flow in some shocking ways that, for the right audience, can be entertaining.
The storyline on its own is interesting, it was something that kept calling me back to this book, and made it hard to put down, I wanted to see where it was all going. It made me wonder if they would actually end up capturing the Naguals and save the world. My favorite character is Ashley because she was fun, upbeat, and optimistic throughout the obstacles in the book. I also love fantasy, so I loved the scenes with the witches and their awesome powers trying to save the world. I really enjoyed this novel, and I think with a good edit it could definitely be a fantasy novel that I praise to everyone I come across. But as it is there are just a few sentences scattered throughout the story that feel oddly worded.
Foreboding: A Black Eyed Witch Novel is consistently riveting and filled with imaginative characters. Author Rowan Staeffler has created an absorbing fantasy adventure that is perfect for fans of sword & sorcery.
Pages: 303 | ASIN: B089FR4ZDS
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