Blog Archives

A Very Cathartic Ending

Wil Chan Author Interview

Under an Azure Sky follows a young woman that seeks retribution for the death of all she loved, in the process, she discovers she can still feel love. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

It’s partly a homage to the greatest fantasy writer of all-time (that nobody in the west has heard of), Louis Cha, who wrote many epic wuxia novels in his native Chinese language.

For years, I always had this notion that I wanted to write a medieval epic fantasy, but I lacked intention and purpose. I was always too scared to try in case I failed miserably, but the jury’s still out on that. It was all very ethereal, without any solidity. I find that I work best from the premise that I can “see” who my characters are, and I didn’t have the required details to give Elysia any form… until I spotted a muse on TV, and she became Elysia (that’s where the cavernous dimples and imperfect nose comes from)! My methodology is to put real actors through scenes in my mind, and then they develop nuances, quirks and character, and that can help to drive the plot forwards. Every character is developed in this “method acting” way.

Also, Elysia is a woman traipsing through an old medieval, fantasy world ruled by men, but she does it on an equal footing. I just wanted to continue the propagation of equality and feminism (although feminists may say that it’s impossible for a man to champion feminist ideals…which is kind of true, but I persist). Going forwards, in subsequent books, she is going to be challenging this medieval glass ceiling in more profound ways.

Elysia suffers a lot in her younger life making her closed off to everyone. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Her teenage years are, dare I say, a far more melodramatic version of what many teenagers go through. Their lives are changing and maybe they don’t know where they fit into a changing world. Children remember life as being bright and rosy, and when that phase is over, it morphs into the darker and more unforgiving boundaries of adulthood. When childhood ends, you have to deal with the inevitability of responsibility and loss. I like looking at everyday things, then turning up the volume in a totally faux setting. Truthfully, writing her flashback story was much easier than her relationship with Isabella.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The psychological and emotional aspects were just as important to me as things that happen in physical world. In terms of plot, I do have milestones that I adhere to no matter what, but the rest of it I can play around with depending on my own emotional state. It was meant to be more life-affirming, and that was the initial intention, but as I wrote, the plot made me more morose (during that time I was affected by the pandemic as well), so I made Elysia more and more melancholic, and that in turn affected me more, so it metastasized into a very cathartic ending. So, in the second book, it will be a case of building her back up from her lowest ebb.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m working on “Shadows Under the Shade,” which is the second Elysia Dayne book. If anybody has read the first book, I have a tendency to muse and write side-stories. One of these Elysia Dayne short stories became hefty to the point where it will work better as a standalone book (hopefully a lighter, fun read in the tone of an Indiana Jones movie). It’s also as a response to some criticism that my first book is too long, too detailed, and too purple.

I would love to write in different genres. I’m trying to write a non-YA dystopian sci-fi (a ‘Hunger Games on speed’)!

In terms of timetable, I’m still doing this as a hobby. And a part-time one at that. If it can one day become an occupation, that would be a dream come true. But today is not that day! Having said that, I am hoping for three books before the end of the year.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

They call me…Hero…Mercenary…Dragon Slayer.

But that wasn’t always the case.

There was a time when I thought that dragons were beautiful…

During my childhood, I believed that I was friends with a dragon, except the dragon never knew of this friendship.

Days after my thirteenth birthday, my secret was no longer mine to keep. Soldiers arrived to slay the dragon so that a feudal lord could make his name amongst the Nine Kingdoms. It ended in abject failure. They were left to soak in a bloodbath of their own making.

In a rage, the dragon destroyed the place that I called home, and killed the people that I called family. She also dismantled a thing that I called love.

Reborn under a mound of ashen corpses, my empty shell vowed vengeance, forging a fiery path of retribution that could not be undone.

Not by my own design, I inadvertently became a slayer of dragons. Curiously, dragon slaying isn’t my next job…

A princess is being held for ransom at a goblin fort. Wearing the stolen armour of a goblin knight, I attempt to rescue her to claim my prize.

When I met her, she was Winter. Now, she is Spring. Maybe I can learn to love again…

Under an Azure Sky

Under an Azure Sky is a fantasy novel written by Wil Chan. It is Book One in the Elysia Dayne series, of which I immediately became a fan. The main protagonist is Elysia, a tortured soul who has lived a highly traumatic life. She harnesses her hatred for dragons to become a dragon slayer, which turns out to be a less-than-ideal career choice for the young woman. However, she develops a specific skill set that allows her to pursue other thrilling adventures. Her heroic nature finds her responsible for rescuing Princess Isabella, who was kidnapped and held hostage by goblins. The two find themselves on a very tense journey back home which eventually develops into a beautiful love story.

Wil Chan is a highly talented author with an exciting writing style. His imagery and ability to create an immersive world will impress readers. He has clearly put a lot of effort into this project. He also composed the music for the book trailers, which shows that he is an all-around talented person.

The storyline has elements of fantasy, sword and sorcery, and adventure wrapped up in a complex journey Elysia must navigate. Her feelings of loss and betrayal run deep, and it is dragons, the creatures she once loved, that have caused this change. Readers see and feel what Elysia endured and will want to root for her as she starts to develop feelings for Isabella.

Chan’s worldbuilding is thorough; he gives readers detailed information allowing them to be fully engaged in the storyline. While the beginning of the book instantly hooks you in with the traumatic events that unfold, the main plot takes a slow burn approach while remaining entertaining all the way through. The LBGTQ+ representation is excellent, especially in tandem with the theme of goblin culture in this creative book.

Under an Azure Sky evokes emotion in the reader, and the quality of the author’s writing is one to praise. Fantasy readers will love the familiar elements; those looking for action and adventure will not be disappointed.

Pages: 448 | ASIN : B09MSMJ3F7

Buy Now From Amazon
%d bloggers like this: