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The Fiercest Fight: Character Interview

I’m thrilled to announce the release of an awesome new book that you Christian fantasy lovers will not want to miss.  Adventure, danger, romance, dark creatures, life and death, and a strong and true message…you’ll find that and much more in The Fiercest Fight.  Also…that cover is simply amazing – I dare you to disagree with me!

Without further ado, here’s a fun and tantalizing character interview between the author, Brent King, and the protagonist of The Fiercest Fight, Tristan.

Character Interview with Tristan

Brent:
Hey! This is the first post in a blog tour to celebrate the release my debut fantasy novel, The Fiercest Fight. I can’t think of a better way to start than with an interview of my protagonist, Tristan.

Tristan:
*leans back in his chair and runs his fingers through his hair*
But I’m going to ask the first question: Why did you give me your red hair? You must have known how my schoolmates would tease me.

Brent:
Yeah, I did. But all you have to know is how to smile and say, “I know. Isn’t it cool?” It’s a small price to pay for such a distinguishing feature.

Tristan:
*shifts in his seat*
Easy for you to say! The guys were relentless.

Brent:
So is that what you hate worst about life?The Fiercest Fight Cover

Tristan:
Well, not exactly.
*removes sunglasses, shifts glowing eyes*
It used to be, but unfortunately, life got more complex. My issues now make my red hair trouble seem juvenile.

Brent:
*squints into Tristan’s eyes* It sounds like you’ve grown up a bit then.

Tristan:
I had to.

Brent:
Was it scary?

Tristan:
*slips sunglasses back on and nods*
Sometimes.
You would be scared too if you had to face…uh…do you believe in monsters?

Brent:
I-well…
*twirls a pencil in between fingers*
I’m not sure…

Tristan:
You would if you were me.

Brent:
I would?

Tristan:
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to someone?

Brent:
I thought I was asking the questions.
*eyes twinkle*

Tristan:
*lifts up hand and stares at it, flexing his fingers*
Well, to answer my own question then, I’ve hurt people pretty bad. I wish the beast had never come to me. He’s a fearsome—

Brent:
Beast?

Tristan:
*nods*
You wouldn’t understand. It’s too…unbelievable. Even Pastor Mike had a hard time at first.

Brent:
Are you talking about a wildcat or a wolf?

Tristan:
*rises and shakes his head*
Much worse than that! This creature would make you believe in God…or at least search for Him.

Brent:
I do believe in God. Do you?

Tristan:
Yes.
He offered me life or death. It wasn’t easy, but I chose death.

Brent:
*rises and shakes Tristan’s hand*
That’s a bit cryptic, but I wanted it that way.
*grins*

Tristan:
Thanks a lot!

Brent:
*calls after Tristan as he exits*
You’re welcome, and thanks for the chance to ask a few questions.

Well, there you have it: a few words with my protagonist. If you have any further questions for him, don’t hesitate to leave them below. I’ll make sure he answers them.

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FOLLOW THIS LINK TO ENTER INTO THE GREAT GIVEAWAY BEING OFFERED BY THE AUTHOR!

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Brent KingBrent King is a freelance writer of Christian fantasy and historical fiction from Lake Oswego, Oregon. Brent is a musician, a waterman, and has two sons, 20 and 23, who live in British Columbia, Canada. Brent’s first book, The Grip of Grace: God’s Hand in The Lord of the Rings, was published in January, 2014.

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The Author of the Story

I found it amusing, at first, to know that I was writing a story within a story while penning The Word Changers. Now and then I would smile ironically to myself and shake my head. It was just too much fun. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, The Word Changers is about a girl who falls into the pages of a book. She spends almost the entire remainder of the story within that book (a fairy tale, in fact). Yes, with my dry sense of humor I found it incredibly droll to think about that.

But then I reached the part about the Author.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I had it all planned out. I knew the theme I was aiming for. I knew the meaning I wanted to hide within the Hand writing using quill penpages of my story, the meaning that the Author would be a part of. I knew what I was in for. Or so I thought.

Writing about the Author made me start asking my own author-self some questions. And as I wrote the dialogue between the Author and some of his characters within my book, I began to see something happening that I hadn’t planned on at all.

Not, as you might imagine, a change within my story. But a change within myself.

Because, as an author myself, I do care about my characters. I do want what’s best for them. But many times, in order for them to have what’s best, I have to watch them go through some heartache and pain. If I take control of them and force them into roles, put them in just the situations I want them to be in, like chess pieces in a game, what would that say about me? My poor characters would never learn a thing. And they would end their stories just as they began them. Selfish, heart-sore, bitter and broken. Would my love for my characters be truly shown if I allowed that to happen?

This led me, of course, to look at the way God handles us, his “characters.” He allows us to see heartache and pain. We wonder why He doesn’t lift a finger to help us. But His help is often different than the help we demand of Him. It comes in a form that is subtle, sometimes invisible … many times unexpected.

*Spoiler Alert*

In The Word Changers, Posy is imprisoned. While in her cell, she cries out angrily to the Author. He is the one who wrote the story she’s stuck within, isn’t he? Why can’t he change her story, release her from prison? It would be so simple … he would only need to change a few of the story’s words, wouldn’t he? Posy wants the prison doors to be opened for her. She wants to walk straight out of her cell.

Instead, the Author shines down on her in the form of the moon. Gently, silently. And that single ray of moonlight shining into her prison cell is his answer. At first Posy doesn’t see it. Then she realizes she has to work with what she’s given. Her door isn’t thrown open, as she wished. But the shaft of moonlight shows her the way to escape. It’s a painful and difficult escape, but an escape just open bookthe same.

*Spoiler Alert End*

So writing The Word Changers helped me understand God a little better. It made me focus on His eternal intent for me, as opposed to my own petty every-day goals and desires. It made me understand that sometimes the difficult way can be the best way – the way that helps me to grow and learn and become more closely the person God wants me to be. Writing about the Author in my story forced me, for just a small minute, to enter into God’s way of looking at things. And what a different and infinitely superior way of looking at things that is!

That’s just a small part of what God has done for me through the act and process of writing for His glory. I can only hope that you, my readers, will get half the blessing out of reading my book as I did in writing it.

Introducing the Cast of Characters

Today I’d like to introduce you to some of the characters from The Word Changers. All of these people, save one, are unique in that they portray Characters within characters.

Confused? Yeah, probably!

Let me explain.

Within The Word Changers is another book – a strange, dark fairy tale that Posy, our heroine, finds in her poky hometown library. It’s The Book: the one she falls into and spends the rest of the story within, the one she ends up traveling through and ultimately changing the words to … And within that fairy tale lies the rest of the cast of characters.

So without further ado, here is the lineup of each Character, including a bit about him or her, and even a few pictures to portray what some of them look like (in my head, at least!).

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Posy (Emma Watson)

Emma Watson makes a wonderful Posy. She has the perfect combination of vulnerability, innocence, strength and softness.

Posy: Uncertain of her worth, unsure of her path, she stumbles into something that seems like a dream, but ends up being more like a nightmare. A runaway princess, a forgotten Author … Posy has many things to find. But none as important as finding herself.

Kyran (Ben Barnes)

Dark hair, dark eyes, dark mood … Ben Barnes fits Kyran so well!

Prince Kyran: Haughty and condescending, the prince of the Kingdom is bored with his role in it, and fed up with his parents’ cruelty and manipulation. When he agrees to accompany Posy on her quest beyond the Borders of the Plot, he little realizes the life-changing journey that awaits him.

Falak:  Chief advisor to the king. Head of the council of owls. Oh, and he happens to be an owl himself. He is sharp, intelligent, and not quite all he seems …

Melanthius (John Rhys Davies)4

John Rhys-Davies. Imposing, heavy-browed, striking … in short, King Melathius.

King Melanthius:  Ruler of the Kingdom, Keeper of the Plot. But Melanthius has gone a step too far – he not only keeps the Plot, he now fully controls it along with all its characters. He has usurped the job that only the Author of the story has a right to.

Queen Valanor:  Cold, clever and beautiful. Her husband the king may rule the Kingdom, but she rules him. …At least, she thinks she does.

Evanthe1

Delicate but determined. Give this young model lavender eyes and she’s Princess Evanthe.

Princess Evanthe: She saw the truth of the wrong that was happening in the Kingdom and did the one thing she thought would remedy it … she ran away. She went into hiding far beyond the Borders of the Plot, where her brother Kyran and his companion Posy go to seek her.

The Mist:  A voice … a feeling … a whisper. The Mist is kept under tight control by King Melanthius, and its voice can’t be heard by many these days, at least for any purpose but petty information. Yet it has a power all its own, and a role much bigger than anyone dreams of.

Alvar:  A “common” character, with no large part in the Plot. All the same, he has a strong belief in every character’s importance, and he opposes the king openly – something that’s never been done. He even has plans for forming an army of his own to fight for freedom.

Faxon

Reader Hannah Williams sketched this fabulous picture of Faxon after reading The Word Changers

Faxon: Protector of the Glade. He is the leader of the exiled council of centaurs who were in power before the council of owls. He now lives in the Wild Land beyond the Plot as leader of a rogue centaur army. He helps Posy and Kyran in their search for the dark place they believe Princess Evanthe to be hiding.

Falak2

Falak usually has a particular glint in those uncanny orange eyes

Seraphine, Limnoreia, and Adamaris:  A trio of exquisite mermaid sisters who have been wronged by the King Melanthius and banished from the Plot. They live in an underwater palace full of secrets and darkness. They have a choice – seek revenge for their own sakes, or join Kyran and Posy to fight in the name of justice.

The Wild Folk:  These are the folk native to the Wild Land. They are truly natural creatures who have always lived beyond the Borders of the Plot, and whom have never been a part of the book at all. They are so bonded with the Wild Land forest that they even look like a part of it. They are peaceful and quiet by nature, yet when the King threatens their land with invasion, many of them decide action must be taken.

The Author:  He wrote the story, yes, but his characters haven’t heard from him in centuries. They have even begun to believe he never existed at all, and is only a myth kept alive in tales. But some still believe he lurks somewhere beyond the Borders of the Plot, waiting to lay claim to his story once again.

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The Journey Begins

IT’S HERE!

Well, dear readers, the day has finally come! A lifelong dream of mine has been realized, and my book has been released into the world today!

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WHAT HAPPENS NOW

In the coming week, I will be posting once a day with some insight into how The Word Changers began, introductions to some of the characters in the book, and other exciting things! Tomorrow, I’ll be talking about magical portals in fantasy and the reason I chose the one I did in my own story.

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Enter your name below to win both of these!

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GIVEAWAY

It will all end with a giveaway for a signed paperback of my book and a crocheted owl, handcrafted by my own two little hands 🙂 The giveaway begins today (as in right now!!), so don’t forget to scroll down and follow the link to enter your name! It will end on Friday, when my release week ends, after which I will email the winner for details.

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PLACES TO FIND The Word Changers

The Word Changers is available now in eBook, and releases today in paperback (although on some sites there may be a bit of a delay until it shows up). I myself am a “real” book girl. Nothing beats the smell of those pages, or the feel of a solid book in my hands. Ok, I’ll admit, part of it is just because I’m old-fashioned at heart and I’m like a cantankerous old lady when it comes to change!

But I digress …

Here are the places you can purchase The Word Changers!

Amazon          Barnes and Noble          Conquest          Smashwords

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PLACES YOU CAN FIND ME TODAY

I will be at the charming Tales of Goldstone Wood blog today, where fantasy author Anne Elisabeth Stengl is interviewing me.

The lovely Amber Stokes is hosting me in a book spotlight and fun character interview (meet King Melanthius!) over at The Borrowed Book.

Also the talented author Jenelle Schmidt is featuring The Word Changers today on her blog.

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NEW PAGES

I’ve set up three new pages if you’d like to check them out. All of them will be updated regularly.

The first one is under the “ABOUT ASHLEE” tab, and it’s got links to all my interviews and guest posts.

The second one is under the “BOOKS” tab, and it’s got quotes of what reviewers have to say about The Word Changers.

The third one is extra fun, and it’s under the “BOOKS” tab as well. It’s got fan art from The Word Changers … although right now the one picture I’ve got there is a bit lonely, so if you have read my book and feel inspired to draw, paint, or artistically express one of the ideas or characters within it, please feel free to send your illustration my way! I’d love to feature it!

Needless to say, it’s going to be a busy week around here! Hope you’re ready for some fun!

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Last Chance for Reviewers of Christian Fantasy

bookreviews

At the behest of my publisher, I will be looking for more reviewers of my book, The Word Changers, up until the time of its release in just a few days (June 23).

The Requirements

1.) Your review will need to be posted on Amazon, Goodreads and Barnes and Noble (if you are a part of any other book review sites or if you have a blog, feel free to post it there as well!)

2.) The time frame to post your review should be within a few weeks – July would be great, but August works, too!

What You Should Know

You are not required to write a positive review! But it may help for you to know a few things about The Word Changers before you agree to review it. It will just make it more enjoyable for everyone involved 😉

1.) It is a Christian/allegorical fantasy.

2.) It does contain a bit of magic, although all magic is performed by the antagonistic characters.

3.) There is romance, including a couple of kisses – no more.

If you are not opposed to these things, and if you’ve got time in your reading schedule this summer, you may be just who I’m looking for 🙂

Contact Me

The book will be in electronic form. When you download it (at a link I will provide after you contact me), it will give you an option based on what type of e-format you prefer.

Email me at ashleew@zoho.com if you are interested! In your email, please let me know why you are interested in reading/reviewing The Word Changers, and the approximate time frame you think you’d be able to review it by. I look forward to hearing from you!!

 

THE WORD CHANGERS eBook Release and Call for Reviewers

The Word Changers eBook is now up on Amazon and Barnes and Noble!  TheWordChangers(Final)

Pass the word to your friends, share it on Facebook and Twitter!  And if you decide to purchase a copy, don’t forget to leave reviews (Amazon, Goodreads, blog, wherever!).  I will be holding giveaways (to be announced at a later time) for every several reviews posted on Amazon, so keep that in mind!  Probably something fun like a Starbucks gift card 😉

This leads me to my next announcement: A call for reviewers!

My publisher has eBook ARCs ready to be sent out, and I’d love to have you grab one. You must be an active blogger, and preference will be given to those who have Amazon and Goodreads accounts.

If you’re interested in reviewing an eBook ARC of The Word Changers, email me at ashleew(at)zoho(dot)com with links to all your social media and/or sites.

The eBook ARCs will only be available for a short time period, so if you’re interested, hurry! If you’re not interested, but know of someone who may be, please pass on the news! 

The paperback of The Word Changers is still set to release June 23, 2014 (just over a month!), and I’ve got plenty of other fun things planned for around that time, so be on the lookout!

Thanks for your support, lovely friends! I couldn’t do this without you.