Memorable Fathers in Spec Fic

On Sunday it’s Father’s Day in Australia. It’s also three months since my father passed away. He’d lived a long and good life and is now with God, though I miss the twinkle in his eye, his warm hugs and smile.  He was my hero growing up and, though like us all, he had his quirks, he left me a wonderful legacy, including a love for books, for science-fiction and fantasy.

As a tribute to my dad I thought I’d ponder some memorable fathers (or father-figures) in speculative fiction, including in the Nardva World.  One thing that strikes me is their rarity. Fathers, especially in children’s/YA literature/books, often seem absent, whether dead (like Harry Potter’s dad or Eragon’s or Catniss Everdeen’s) or distant (the Pevensey kids’ parents) or hidden (Luke Skywalker’s dad). Even when they are alive at the beginning of the book, they often don’t make it alive (Tris’ parents, for example). No doubt, this is allows the hero or heroine to come into their own.

Not all the dads are great role models. Some we love, some are doing their best, while others need a few lessons on being a great father. Warning – possible SPOILERS ahead.

 

Professor Kirby in Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Professor Kirby is a father or grandfatherly figure to the Pevensie kids in C S Lewis’ The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Peter, Susan, Edmond and Lucy have been shipped to the countryside during the bombing of London in World War II.  The Professor mostly allows his housekeeper to care for the children, but when Lucy begins talking about Narnia and Edmond teases her mercilessly, it’s Professor Kirby Peter and Susan turn to. Much to their surprise, he doesn’t discount Lucy’s story and gives them some sage if enigmatic advice. What makes this even better to my mind, is that we later find out that the Prof has travelled to Narnia in his youth (recounted in The Magician’s Nephew).

 

Théoden and Denethor in Lord of the Rings

For such a sweeping saga, there are not a lot of living fathers in Lord of the Rings.  Two that come to mind are not the best of examples – Théoden King of  Eodras and Denethor Steward of Gondor.

Théoden allows himself to be enthralled by Grima Wormtongue and becomes so embittered by grief at the loss of his only son, that he ignores the plight of his loyal niece Eowyn and drives away his nephew Eomer.  Only the dramatic intervention of Gandalf breaks Wormtongues’ hold, and Théoden is restored to his senses and show both courage and heroism in protecting his people and coming to the aid of Gondor. He heroically dies in battle with the Witch King of Angmar, who Eowyn then slays.

Denethor is ensared by his own despair and pride. He sees the darkness coming out of Mordor. He knows that Aragorn will claim his rightful place as King, making him and his house redundant. I’m not sure which he fears the most. But his most egregious fault as a father is his blatant favouritism of one son over the other. He admires and loves Boromir’s stalwart military prowess, while despising Faramir’s more thoughtful approach. In his grief for Boromir’s death, he sends Faramir to certain death in defending Osgiliath, and in bitter regret almost burns himself along with his still living son on a funeral pyre. In Denethor’s case, Gandalf’s intervention and advice is denied and one cannot help but wonder whether Boromir’s downfall was in part seeded by his father’s unwise favouritism.

 

Anakin Skywalker

Who could forget Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back ‘I am your father.’ Yes, but in name only. Consumed with an unreasonable fear of losing the great love of his live, Padme, Anakin is seduced to the dark side, cemented by his unspeakable act of killing the younglings in the Jedi Temple. His turn to the dark side, rather than saving Padme, brings about her death as she gives birth to twins, Leila and Luke. The babies are whisked off and hidden from their father (perhaps not all that well in Luke’s case, with his uncle and aunt on Tatoonie). When they do finally meet, Darth Vader oscillates between trying to kill Luke and his friends, to seducing him to the dark side to serve the Emperor.  It’s a pretty sad track record (perhaps as sad a John Lock’s conman father in Lost). But in the end, the father’s love in Anakin wins out, and rather than see his son killed, he turns on the Emperor, a final redemptive act.

This is reversed in the next generation with Han and Ben Solo (Return of the Jedi and Last Jedi). Han is not a perfect father, perhaps often away, yet there is no doubt he loves his son. Yet Ben turns to the dark side, as Kylo Ren, worships his grandfather Darth Vada and kills his own father so he will not be tempted by the weakness of love. We don’t know how it will turn out for Ben but I’m thinking not good.

On a side note, I chuckle at Jeffrey Brown’s take on  Dad moments between Darth Vader and his kids.

Ned Stark versus Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones

Ned Stark is a man of integrity in a world of gutter politics. He is stern and at times tough with his children, but there is no doubt he loves both them and their mother. His interactions with Rob, Sansa, Arya, Bran and others, shows that he understands their strengths and weakness, and wishes to bring out the best in each of his children. Yet in the end it is his integrity, his drive to do what is right, and his compassion for the children of his enemy that is his undoing. He pre-warns Cersei of his plans to reveal her incest and the illegitimacy of her children, so that she might get them to safety, Instead, she strikes back, bringing him down and leaving his own children exposed and in a mammoth struggle to survive in a predatory world.

Tywin in contrast pushes his children and shows only scorn for his youngest son Tyrion because of his dwarfism. His cold calculating drive brings out only the worst in Jamie and Cersei in particular.

Lief’s Dad in Deltora’s Quest

In Deltora’s Quest, Lief’s father gives him the task to collect the seven stones of Deltora and add them to the Belt of Aidan, so that the true heir of the realm might be returned and the Shadow Lord defeated. Lief’s father, a blacksmith, seems gentle and almost mild. What Lief doesn’t know is that , through arrogance and trust the wrong people, his father allowed a great wrong, which he now greatly regrets. He teaches Lief not only to be a blacksmith but strong values and integrity, things Lief needs on his quest. And he must face his own judgement of his father’s failings, before he can come into his own.

Harry Potter in The Cursed Child

Harry Potter (another orphan) finds it hard to relate to his younger son Albus. They are different personalities and Albus makes friends with Scorpios Malfoy and is sorted in the Slytherin, the group that opposed Harry in the past.  I think Albus reminds Harry of his own failings and temptations. Albus feels the weight of these fears and expectations and travels into the past to rectify what he sees as his fathers mistakes. The results are catastrophic and by the end both Harry and Albus make peace with each other.

King Caspian in The Silver Chair

Caspian’s own father died when he was a child and he is brought up by his murderous scheming Uncle, though it is his nurse and then his tutor that form his character and teach him of the Old Narnia. Caspian marries a star’s daughter, but she is killed by a snake when their son is a young man. Both Caspian and his son are grief-stricken and then his son disappears, only to be returned to Narnia ten years later some months after Caspian dies. It seems Caspian was a good father, but is unable to help his son when tragedy strikes, perhaps because of his own grief. He longs for his son return and does everything he can to find him. Tragic as this seems, Lewis pulls back the curtain in Aslan’s Land and shows Caspian restored, with the sorrows of his life transformed, showing his suffering is not permanent (a theme in explores in more detail in The Last Battle).

 

I’ve also written some fathers good and bad in the tales of Nardva.

 

Korak in the Under the Mountain series

Korak is Zadeki’s father, one of the shapeshifting Forest Folk. We first meet him in Blood Crystal though he probably doesn’t come to the fore in Stone of the Sea (planned release date September). He also makes a cameo appearance in Akrad’s Children. Korak is a more relaxed father, perhaps in part because the Forest Folk take to heart ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, but also because he remembers what it’s like to be young, impetuous and constantly in trouble. He provides Zadeki with direction and restraint when needed or shares a joke or the adventure, giving Zadeki a strong sense of acceptance and value.

Rokkan in Akrad’s Children

Rokkan is both a good and a bad father. He had a fraught relationship with his own father, Martal. Martal showed marked favouritism for his younger son, Naetok, and held Rokkan to an almost impossible standard.  Rokkan wants to be a good father, and guides his son, Prince Mannok with more tolerance and warmth. Even so, Mannok often feels he does live up to his talented father. But it is Rokkan complicated past relationship with Kiprissa Gaia and the need to juggle the uncertain balance between clan loyalties and outwit his cousin, Haka’s, ambition for the throne, and his fears of Akrad’s ongoing influence, that means he treats the children of his former marriage, Dinis and Ista, with far less justice and compassion.

Zander in Withered Seeds

Zander’s ambition to leave the poverty and shame of his childhood behind, leads him to make an irreversible deed (as told in Moonflame). He achieves the wealth and acclaim he desired, but find himself in a loveless marriage and treated with disdain. In reaction, he becomes in many ways an uninvolved father, not giving the input and concern he perhaps should. It is only when his youngest daughter insists on coming with him on his last trip, that the opportunity arises to rectify the mistakes of the past.

 


As I said at my own dad’s memorial service .   No father, except our heavenly father, is perfect. Yet being a parent is one of the greatest privileges, sometimes ignored for what are fleeting goals (wealth, power, prestige, status). The best fathers are not necessarily perfect or strong, but warm, fair and prepared to acknowledge mistakes and learn from them.

Who are your favourite fathers (or father-figures) in fiction? What makes them a great, or at least, lovable fathers.

Jeanette

 

 

The latest release in the Tales of Nardva: Ruhanna’s Flight and Other Stories includes Ruhanna’s Flight, Before the Wind, The Herbalist’s Daughter, Heart of the Mountain, Moonflame, Withered Seeds, Stasia’s Stand and more. It’s a great way to dip into a world of Nardva for engaging heroes and heroines and thrilling adventures.

On the Horizon and more

This year has been a whirlwind of activity and it hasn’t stopped yet. So another news update post, though over the next few months I’m planning on bringing you some interivews with Spec Fic authors and reflections and explorations related to speculative fiction and my world of Nardva.

Omega Writers Book Fair (6th March)

We had a great time with a fantastic range of writers, books and workshop from Gary Clark. Looking forward to doing it all again next year.

Gold Coast Supernova (27-29th April)

Spec fic and Young Adult authors, Adele Jones and Lynne Stringer are joining me at Gold Coast Supernova. We have some fantastic books, big smiles and would love to see you — Stand 77.

On the Horizon release

The On the Horizon boxed set release is fast approaching on Wednesday 1 May. Three days to get 22 speculative fiction novels at the low price of 99c USD, including Akrad’s Children. This is great value and will only be available for purchase for a couple of months.

A collection of 22 Fantasy and Science Fiction full novels from Amazon bestselling authors. This action-packed boxset is filled with strong-willed individuals who encounter or even are queens, witches, wizards, werewolves, shifters, angels, dragons, or shadowy nemeses. Stories are character driven and set in worlds with low or no technology. You will follow their journeys to discover magical worlds, encounter dystopian lands, space stations, and galaxies they never dreamed of before their adventures. Join us On the Horizon for these deadly and dangerous quests filled with nonstop action and adventure!

Included titles:
Pretty Waiter Girls – Greg Alldredge
fantasy

The Taming of Dracul Morsus – Stephanie Barr
fantasy

Caterina’s Renaissance – Christa Bedwin
fantasy

Clock City – Rebekah Dodson
fantasy

80 AD: The Jewel of Asgard – Aiki Flinthart
fantasy

Asante’s Gullah Journey – S. A. Gibson
science fiction

Shatterwing – Donna Maree Hanson
fantasy

Dragonwar – Mirren Hogan
fantasy

The Rose of Admirias – Charis Joy Jackson
fantasy

Anaya’s Key – Carina Merritt
science fiction

Homefront – Diane Morrison
fantasy

The Selection – Jason Nugent
science fiction

Akrad’s Children – Jeanette O’Hagan
fantasy

The Korpes Files – J. I. Rogers
science fiction

Planet Woman – Judith Rook –
science fiction

Assassins of the Dead – Avril Sabine
fantasy

Molten Heart – Katie Salidas
fantasy

From the Ashes – Connor Sassmannshausen
science fiction

Rain – K. J. Taylor
fantasy

Rebel Dragon – Steve Turnbull
fantasy

The Shadow of Oz – Jay Michael Wright II
fantasy

Beast Within – Stephanie Barr
fantasy

We will be having a pre-release party from 1pm 29th April  (Pacific time) – ie 6am 30th April Brisbane time.

In addition your can participate in the draw (US/CANADA only) to win 30 paperback books! Awesome selection of books. Sponsored by On the Horizon

Check out the list of giveaway books offered here.

Pre-order On the Horizon here.

In the meantime, I’m working on the sequel in the Heart of the Mountain series & the Akrad’s Legacy series, plus getting Akrad’s Children and Ruhanna’s Flight and other stories in print form. I also have had a short story accepted for an anthology though that’s all I can say at the moment.

Happy reading.

Jeanette

 

 

Ruhanna’s Flight

Ready to read new stories? Do you prefer print to e-book? Read on.

Ruhanna’s Flight and Other Stories

Over the last few years, a number of my short stories have been published in different anthologies. Have you ever wished that they were in one book? Now, many of Nardva tales connected to Tamra and the Five Lands are combined into one beautiful volume – Ruhanna’s Flight and others stories.

 

Tales of wonder, romance, adventure – dip into the world of Nardva with this collection of stories.

Now available for pre-order 99c USD — Ruhanna’s Flight and other stories – a collection of stories from the world of Nardva – some previously published, others brand new.

* * *Ruhanna’s Flight – Ruhanna’s father is coming for a rare visit from the capital. When everything goes terribly wrong, she discovers a mysterious gift that could save her — if it doesn’t kill her first.

* * *Heart of the Mountain – When shapeshifter Zadeki slams into the mountain side, he finds himself trapped in a strange underground realm. Can he escape or is he there for another reason?

* * * Rendezvous at Alexgaia – In her last mission, Space operative Dana secured the Infinity Cube at the cost her partner’s life or at least his humanity. Will Neon’s sacrifice be for nothing or will Dana be able to retrieve the key to the mysterious cube’s use?

Also Anna’s Dilemma, The Herbalist’s Daughter, Lakwi’s Lament, Moonflame, Withered Seeds, Space Junk, Rookie Mistake, Inferno and more.

Thanks to Bhri Stokes for the cover design.

Release date 6th March, this delightful volume is available for pre-order at the special low price of 99c USD

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079VVQHL3/

Amazon AU https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B079VVQHL3/

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079VVQHL3/

As always, if you read and enjoy my stories, please consider leaving a review on Goodreads and/or Amazon – or recommend them to a friend.

Also, don’t forget  On the Horizon Book Bundle is also available for pre-order (which includes Akrad’s Children as well as stories for Charis Joy Jackson, Mirren Hogan, Stephanie Barr and over 18 other fantasy and sci-fi authors).

On Amazon: http://amzn.to/2zqiFLM

Everywhere else: http://bookae.org/horizon/

Books in Print

Do you love the smell of a paper and ink book?

 

Print version of Heart of the Mountain and Blood Crystal have been available on Amazon since last year. I’m also working on having them available for wider distribution through Ingram Spark, as well as print version of Akrad’s Children and for  Ruhanna’s Flights and other stories.

Book Fairs and Conventions

I’ll be at two events in the next couple of months. If you live in or are visiting South-East Queensland, I’d love you to drop in and say hello.

Omega Writers Book Fair (March 10th)

Meet over twenty authors including Gary Clark (creator of Swamp), Kathy Hoopmann (All Cats have Asperger Syndrome), and Young Adult speculative fiction authors Lynne Stringer (Verindon trilogy), Adele Jones (Blaine Colton Trilogy), Jenny Woolsey (Ride High Pineapple) and myself.  Find out more at the FB event page or Omega Writers website.

Supernova Gold Coast (April 27-29th)

Once again I’ll be sharing a table with Lynne Stringer, Adele Jones, this time at Supernova on the Gold Coast. This will be a fabulous event – with a great line up of stars, including Peter Calpadi, Pearl Macki and John Barrowman from Doctor Who. Wow!  Find out more about the convention here or Adele, Lynne and myself here.

Next post I hope to have an interview from an emerging Australian science-fiction writer.

Jeanette

Thanksgiving Sales

Thanksgiving is an American tradition and so are the Black Friday sales. The sales at least seem to be a trend – and why not give my readers a chance to acquire the Nardva stories for a reduced price. So — for a few days only — all my sole authored books are available for 99c US each. And there’s a bonus at the end.

 

 
* If you’ve thinking of reading Akrad’s Children or Heart of the Mountain – now’s the time’
* If you’ve read and loved Heart of the Mountain & want to read the sequel Blood Crystal – now’s the time
* If you have a hankering over some engaging short stories over a cuppa – whether a sweet romance or a coming of age story –  now’s the time.


Click on the links below to check out the books (which are also available on other outlets).

 

Akrad’s Children

https://www.amazon.com/Akrads-Children-Legacy-Book-ebook/dp/B075BK8436/

Four young lives, a realm ravaged by war, a haunting legacy

Four young lives are bound together in friendship, love, rivalry and tragedy. A realm ravaged by civil war, a ruler scarred by betrayal, a legacy that haunts them all.

Caught between two cultures, a pawn in a deadly power struggle, Dinnis longs for the day his father will rescue him and his sister from the sorcerer Akrad’s clutches. But things don’t turn out how Dinnis imagines and his father betrays him.

Does Dinnis have a future among the Tamrin? Will he seek revenge for wrongs like his sister or forge a different destiny?

This is the first book in the Akrad’s Legacy series – and is tied in with my previous short stories and novellas – The Herbalist’s Daughter, Lakwi’s Lament, Heart of the Mountain, Blood Crystal

Akrad’s Children Available: https://www.amazon.com/Akrads-Children-Legacy-Book-ebook/dp/B075BK8436/

 

Fantasy Adventure Under the Mountain

https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Crystal-novella-Under-Mountain-ebook/dp/B073H83F42/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heart of the Mountain

YA Fantasy Adventure in the lost realm deep under the mountain.

Twins Delvina and Retza’s greatest desire is to be accepted as prentices by their parents’ old crew when they stumble across a stranger. Trapped under the mountain, young Zadeki’s only thought is to escape home to his kin. Peril awaits all three youngsters. Will they pull apart or work together to save the underground realm?

“Jeanette O’Hagan creates a world rich in lore and mystery.’ Kasper Beuamont, author.

“Three intriguing young characters with life changing missions struggle in a vivid fantasy world of ice and feathers.” Karen Tyrell, author.

Heart of the Mountain Available: https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Mountain-short-novella-Under-ebook/dp/B01J74G9I6/

Blood Crystal

Unlikely heroes, Thrilling adventures,  Unthinkable choices

The underground realm is under attack from mad Overseer Uzza and the Crystal Heart is failing. As things become desperate, Twins Delvina and Retza brave a treacherous journey to seek help from Zadeki and his people.

Will they find the answers they seek before it’s too late?  What are the twins prepared to do to save their realm and those they love from certain destruction?

Blood Crystal is the second novella in the Under the Mountain series. Like most of my fiction, it is set in the world of Nardva.

“Traditions are questioned, new friendships forged and two worlds collide in this exciting adventure story.”L Painter

Blood Crystal Available: https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Crystal-novella-Under-Mountain-ebook/dp/B073H83F42/

 

Short Stories – Tamrin Tales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Herbalist’s Daughter

A sweet fantasy romance set in the world of Nardva.

Anna’s biggest concern is whether the sturdy young guard will ever notice her. That is until the mischievous young prince Naetok begins to stir things up at the Palace.

The Herbalist’s Daughter occurs  about 20 years before the Akrad’s Legacy Series. For more stories about Anna – check out Fever.

The Herbalist’s Daughter Available: https://www.amazon.com/herbalists-daughter-short-story-Tamrin-ebook/dp/B01M9IP1O4/

Lakwi’s Lament

A Coming of Age story in the World of Nardva

Lakwi would love to read the books in the Royal library, but girls aren’t allowed inside. Her passion for books attracts the attention of her dashing older brother, Prince Rokkan, and her suave cousin, Lord Haka. Will her drive for knowledge lead her into more trouble than she can handle?

Lakwi’s Lament Available: https://www.amazon.com/Lakwis-Lament-short-story-Tamrin-ebook/dp/B01N5RSW95/

On The Horizon

And as a bonus, I’m thrilled to announce the Akrad’s Children will be part of the  On the Horizon Book Bundle. This collection of fantasy and science-fiction books by 22 International authors is available for pre-order. Release date 1 May 2018.

 

 

On the Horizon: Simple worlds of speculative adventure

A Collection of over 20 Fantasy and Science Fiction Novels

SPECIAL PRE-ORDER PRICE. REGULAR PRICE $4.99

A collection of 22 Fantasy and Science Fiction full novels from an international cast of bestselling authors. This action-packed boxset features strong-willed individuals in unusual and exciting settings. Encounter queens, witches, wizards, werewolves, shifters, angels, dragons, or shadowy nemeses.

Stories are character driven and set in worlds with low or no technology. You will follow their journeys to discover magical worlds, encounter dystopian lands, space stations, and galaxies they never dreamed of before their adventures.

Join us On the Horizon for these deadly and dangerous quests filled with thrilling action and adventure!

Contributors:

Aiki Flinthart—Avril Sabine—Brendan Smith—Carina Merritt—Charis Joy Jackson—Connor Sassmannshausen—Diane Morrison—Donna Maree Hanson—Erin Yoshikawa—Greg Alldredge—Jason J. Nugent—Jay Michael Wright II—Jeanette O’Hagan—J. I. Rogers—Judith Rook—Katie Salidas—Katie Taylor —Mirren Hogan—Rebekah Dodson—S. A. Gibson—Stephanie Barr—Steven Turnbull

Links for On the Horizon

https://www.amazon.com/Horizon-Simple-worlds-speculative-adventure-ebook/dp/B077N3FXZB/

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/on-the-horizon-steven-gibson/1127474717 Other outlets  (except Amazon): https://www.books2read.com/u/bQBgZP

 

Happy hunting – and wishing you hours of great reading.

Akrad’s Children

It’s been a long time coming, but finally it’s here!

Cover reveal

Akrad’s Children

Four young lives bound together in friendship, love, rivalry and tragedy. A realm ravaged by civil war, a ruler scarred by betrayal, a legacy that haunts them all.

Caught between two cultures, a pawn in a deadly power struggle, Dinnis longs for the day his father will rescue him and his sister from the sorcerer Akrad’s clutches. But things don’t turn out how Dinnis imagines and his father betrays him.

Does Dinnis have a future among the Tamrin? Will he seek revenge for wrongs like his sister or forge a different destiny?

This is the first book in the Akrad’s Legacy series.

Akrad’s Children is available for pre-order 22nd September https://www.amazon.com/Akrads-Children-Legacy-Book-ebook/dp/B075BK8436/

Upcoming Events:

Futurevision launch

Fictional visions form the near to distant future
– who will we be and what challenges will we face?
Futurevision is an anthology with 20 stories by 20 Australian authors — including stories by Delia Strange, Matt Hellscream, Julian Green, Kasper Beaumount, Nola Passmore, Nyssa Baschal, Raelene Purtill and Jeanette O’Hagan.

Rendezvous at Alexgaia By Jeanette O’Hagan

In her last mission, Dana secured the Infinity Cube at the cost her partner’s life or at least humanity. Will Neon’s sacrifice be for nothing or will Dana be able to retrieve the key to the mysterious cube’s use?
Rendezvous at Alexgaia is set in the future of Nardva and is the prequel to the Chameleon Protocols trilogy.

 

The Futurevision launch is this Saturday (9th September) at Northlakes Library.  Spots have filled up – though, if you haven’t already booked,  you could put your name on the wait-list here.  It will be a great afternoon.

Oz Comic Con – Brisbane

YA spec fic authors Lynne Stringer (Verindon trilogy), Adele Jones (Baine Colton trilogy) and I have a stand tat this years Oz Comic Con 23rd-24th September. Love to see you there. To find out more check out Intricate Worlds here.

Fabulous Space Opera

Adam David Collings has released the first episode in his Jewell of the Stars series – Earth’s RemnantEarth’s Remnant is gripping novella that sets up series – a cruise ship in space fleeing from a sudden and devastating tragedy on Earth. I loved the characters, the action and the sci-fi elements in Jewell of the Stars: Earth’s Remnant. You can read my Goodreads review here.

It’s been a busy month or so getting ready for the release of Akrad’s Children and preparing for Oz Comic Con. More news soon.

Jeanette

Blog Award Tour

 HeartSunrisex300 c Jeanette O'Hagan July 2012 All rights reserved.

My co-editor in Glimpses of Light anthology, editor at The Write Flourish, poet and writer, Nola Passmore tagged me for the Blog Award Tour. Nola has over 150 short pieces (short stories, flash fiction, poems, and devotions) published and is currently writing her first novel, with parallel modern and historical narratives which intersect on Nova Scotia, Canada. It all sounds intriguing and I’m looking forward to reading it. You can read more about her current writing projects here.

Nola has asked me to answer the following four questions as part of the blog tour.

1. WHAT YOU’RE WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?

I’m got a few things going at the moment. I’ve in the middle of co-editing an anthology Glimpses of Light, I am doing final edits of my story that has been accepted for another anthology (Like a Girl) and I am in the middle of Camp NaNo racing to complete Mannok’s Betrayal – editing and filling in the gaps. This is the third manuscript of my Akrad Children’s trilogy – a secondary world YA fantasy with romantic elements, adventure and courtly intrigue.  My short story ‘The Herbalist’s Daughter’ (published in Tied in Pink anthology in December last year) is set in the same story world.

2. HOW DOES YOUR WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS IN YOUR GENRE?

My novels are not typical Young Adult (YA) in that they are multi-protagonist and generally cover more than a year though the point of view characters are teens to early twenties with themes of loss, relationships, identity, belonging, and coming of age. Because it is secondary world fantasy courtly intrigue with multiple points of view, it does have some co-incidental correspondences with Game of Thrones (though without the level of violence and graphic sex).  It differs from a lot of other fantasy is that it is not set in a obviously European medieval society but uses the Southern Hemisphere for inspiration and has, I believe, strong female characters who aren’t necessarily ‘kick-ass’ warriors.

3. WHY DO YOU WRITE OR CREATE WHAT YOU DO?

I write because it is exhilarating and my stories entertain me. I write because the stories are there, inside of me, and they want to get out. I have had the idea of the Akrad cycle or series (which may end up about 14 books) since the 1980s and the fictional world of Nardva since I began imagining it at the age of nine. The stories have grown and flourished over time. I want to see these stories to take shape beyond my imagination. I also hope, that my stories can inspire a sense of hope and meaning, the value of human life, the beauty and complexity of our world as well as its challenges and horrors, and also as sense of the One who spoke it into being and seeks to renew and restore all things.

4. HOW DOES YOUR WRITING/CREATIVE PROCESS WORK?

Once I have an idea for a story, I think through a rough outline or work out major plot points, usually including the beginning and the end. I might write this outline done (in bullet points).  I spend a lot of time allowing the story to incubate, and spend time daydreaming, allowing the characters to inhabit the scenes, to speak and act and to do surprising things. These days – as I am at this stage with three or four novels ahead of those I am currently working on, I write these ideas down in notebooks to refer to later. I also draw maps, model buildings, draw out family trees etc. Then I sit down and write, often adapting the imagined scenes so they fit into chapters and the (rather rigid) structure of a novel. I might have to leave things out or change things as I go, solving plot problems or issues of pacing or characterisation. I will research issues as they arise in writing the narrative (to ensure verisimilitude) and also make sure that the novel fits in with the others in terms of timeline, family and political relationships and the realities of my fictional world. Once the first draft is finished,  the editing process begins. Though often, I prefer to move on to the next book as the ideas and stories continue to percolate.

 

Thanks, Nola, for giving me the opportunity to share some thoughts about my current projects and writing process.

I’d now like to tag three friends and fellow authors Lynne Stringer, Adele Jones and Alison Stegert:

Lynne Stringer is an editor and author. She has published her popular Verindon trilogy (The Heir, The Crown, The Reign) and has another contemporary novel ready to publish. She’ll be answering these four questions on her blog on Monday 27th July. In the meantime, you can check out her writing at her website http://www.lynnestringer.com/

Adele Jones has published a fast paced, YA thriller Integrate. The sequel Replicate will be published later this year and she also has a historical romance on the cusp of publication. She’ll be answering the same questions on her blog on Monday 3rd August. You can check out her writing at her website http://www.adelejonesauthor.com/blog/

Alison Stegert has a blog looking at internet safety (e-Quipped) and writes fantastic middle grade adventures. She’ll be answering these four questions on her blog on Monday 10th August. In the meantime, you can check out her writing at her website http://ali-stegert.com/

Thanks for taking the time to follow my current writing adventures 🙂

Jeanette

Catching Up

JennyJuly15bx200A big apology for taking so long to write an update. Okay, so I have no real excuse other than being rather busy. What have I been doing since February?

Finished

Last month I complete the final unit of the Master of Arts (Writing) at Swinburne University of Technology. Hard to believe it gone so fast. I started the Masters in 2012. The very first unit inspired me to dust off the novel I’d written decades ago, and start again after a long break from writing fiction. Now, three and a half years later, I have four books close to or beyond first draft, a few others plotted or started, and countless poems and short stories written. I’ve made a bunch of new friends, discovered a whole community of writers and learned so much about the craft. It has been, as they say, a blast – and is only just the beginning of my writing journey.

Launch

I was thrilled to learn that two of my poems Thunderstorm and Floating will be published in Poetica Christi’s 2015 Inner Child anthology. The launch of the anthology will be on Saturday July 25th at the Lutheran Hall, 711 Station St, Box Hill. It’s a bit far for me to travel but I can’t wait to get a copy of the anthology in my hands. Copies will be available at the launch or directly through Poetica Christi.

Accepted

I’ve currently got three short stories accepted for publication – one contemporary and two secondary world fantasy:

‘Sandy: Perfect Plans’ in Let the Sea Roar anthology (to be published by By the Light Books in August)

‘Broken Promises’ – part of the Barrakan Tales set in the Northern Hemisphere of Nardva – is to be published in a historical themed anthology by past and current Swinburne students called Another Time, Another Place to be published this year.

and

‘Ruhanna’s Flight’ – connected to the Tamrin Sagas – in Glimpses of Light anthology to be published in November this year by By the Light Books in conjunction with Christian Writers Downunder.

I’ve been involved in the editing and publishing Glimpses of Light and Let the Sea Roar.

I’m also hoping to release on Kindle my short story / short novella Heart of the Mountain later this year.

I am following up professional edits on Akrad’s Children.

I’ll post publication details once they become available.

July Camp NaNoWriMo

This July I’ve teamed up with some friends to form 2 cabins in the July Camp NaNoWriMo. This is a cut-down version of the NaNoWriMo challenge. For one thing, you can set your own goals. And NaNo rebels are not frowned upon. I decided it was time to finish Mannok’s Betrayal (the third in the Akrad’s Children‘s trilogy). I’ve been working through gaps that need filling in, and editing. Following the rubric – one hour of active editing equal 1000 words, I’ve done 21700 words in the last 12 days – and have had to increase my goal from 20,000 to 25,000 to 30,000 words. I’m thoroughly enjoying immersing myself in the story and loving it. I had to tear myself away from the Five Lands to write this post.

Well that’s enough about me for now.

Three Rivers Road

THREE RIVERS ROADI would however also like to give a shout out to my friend ‘Jane Batholomew’ – who has written an Australian contemporary drama Three Rivers Road. This is not a Young Adult book. It follows the adventures of a nurse in the remote communities in the Kimberley, Western Australia – and gives insight into the people, the challenges and the landscape. It includes romance and drama but doesn’t sugar coat the realities. ‘Jane’ draws from her own experiences of nursing in remote communities across Australia. You can purchase a copy here.

As you can see, quite a lot has been happening. I’ll won’t wait so long next time to give you the news. And once I get the chance to catch my breath, I’m planning to put another short story in from the Tamrin Tales on this website – this time following Haka or Rokkan’s perspective – as requested by our Scavenger Hunt winner.

Watch this space!

Jeanette O’Hagan

 

Writing Milestones

Hoping you have all had a wonderful holiday season. Apart from contemplating taking our Christmas Tree down – the last several weeks have been crammed with holidays, family, celebrations and some exciting writing milestones. I’ve been a bit slack keeping you up to date – so my apologies.

November

Writing Retreat

WritersRetreat2014x200In the last week of November, I joined eight other lovely writers for a Writing Retreat.  It was a hoot – with lots of laughter, talking, food, encouragement, inspiration – and even some writing done.  It was a great idea. A particular highlight was my writing friends cheering me on as I crossed the finishing line for NaNoWriMo (once I got over the writer’s block induced by having such an expectant audience 😀 ).

 

 

NaNoWriMo

NaNoWinner2014Logo2x200Which brings me to my second news – completing NaNoWriMo again this year. The aim of NaNo (or National Writing Month in November) is to complete 50,000 words on a novel. I started writing Jared’s Choice (the forth book in the series) and was happy to get a good chunk of this work completed. In the meantime, I’ve asked a professional editor to a good look at Akrad’s Children.

 

December

Tied in Pink Anthology

TiedinPinkx200December has been particularly exciting for me, as on the 14th December (the day before my birthday) Tied in Pink anthology was released. Tied in Pink is a romance anthology with 15 stories by 14 different authors, with all profits going to breast cancer research. My short story, ‘The Herbalist’s Daughter’ carries on Anna’s story. Anna, if you remember, is the protagonist of Fever.  The anthology has some beautiful, heartwarming, gripping and/or funny stories from both veteran and aspiring authors. Here’s my Good Reads review :). Both print and e-books are available from Amazon.

With the publication of Tied in Pink – I now have an author’s page on Good Reads and Amazon. I would love you to follow me there – and, if you haven’t already, on my author’s page on Facebook or on Twitter. I will shortly be starting an email subscription list to notify when I post blogs and other news.

January

Month of Poetry

I am currently participating in Month of Poetry once again. The aim is to write a poem a day in the month of January. So far I’m on track and have been posting my attempts on my Facebook page.

#instacollage #JeanetteOHagan

#instacollage

I was particularly thrilled to receive an email yesterday informing me that one of my poems that I wrote last year has been accepted for publication in an anthology. Only 25 poems are accepted each year. More news on this later.

So, as you can see, it’s been a busy and exciting time. I do plan to write a story on Haka, Rokkan, Martal or Naetok as requested by Nicky, the winner of the Scavenger Hunt and will post it on the website for you all to read.

Jeanette O’Hagan

11 January 2015

Namu of the Waterfall

Namu of the Waterfall is an old Tamrin love song. It is first mentioned in Akrad’s Children though Rasel refers to the underlying legend in both Rasel’s Song and Mannok’s Betrayal.

Namuswaterfall6x450

Namu dances to the song

of the rainbow spray

silver voice mingling with

double moonlit ray.

Drifting through fine mist

bright child of sylvan folk

in water-gated cave she plays.

 

An echo haunting the waters’ spray

Her voice mingles in double moons’ bright ray.

Mingling in double moons’ bright ray.

 

 

Stark shouts disturb

the shining dark

booted feet, flailing arms,

brutal blows are struck

lucid water churnes

as lost prince is stripped by thieves

and left to die in heartless lark.

 

At last the villains are gone

Namu weeps to see the bloodied dawn

Swimming out to pool’s edge

she looks upon Solik’s prone form

crystal waters sullied

from his seeping wounds,

her heart is torn.

Read more….

My Writing Process – Blog Tour #mywritingprocess

I was asked to join in with this blog tour on My Writing Process by Melissa Gijsbers Khalinsky. You can read her post here.

And here are my answers to the questions given.

1) What am I working on?

I’m working on a few of projects at the moment. My main passion is for my YA/NA fantasy fiction Akrad series. I’ve written three of the books (Book 1, 2 & 4) and am correctly close to finishing Book 3 Mannok’s Betrayal. Pulling all the threads together has been a challenge but one I enjoy. I have started sending out Book 1 Akrad’s Children to publishers and will be soon sending Book 2 Rasel’s Song to my faithful beta-readers.

I am also doing a Masters of Arts (Writing) – two units this term – which involve major writing tasks. Fortunately, I can use what I’m doing with Mannok’s Betrayal as part of my assessment for one of the units.

I participated in Month of Poetry (MoP) in January (the challenge of writing one poem a day) and have continued writing poems as the whim takes me. And I blog both for my own blogs and for a couple of group blogs.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My Akrad series is secondary world fantasy aimed at Young Adult to New Adult (ages 15-24) audiences. The books are set in an imaginary world of Nardva with complex societies, history, geography, literature, mythologies – but they are not high or epic fantasy (i.e. hero saves the universe from total destruction plot). Nevertheless, they are still full of suspense, danger, adventure, intrigue, romance and mystery. The stories are from the point of view of the younger characters (teens to early twenties) but they continue to interact with other generations. Each book can be read on its own but is also part of an overarching plot. There is also a slow reveal of magical elements with ongoing mystery throughout the series.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I love fantasy and I love writing. Fantasy was my favourite genre as a child (and still is). At about 9 I began daydreaming my own fantasy world with lots of characters and stories. This became the world of Nardva. The Five Lands (where the Akrad Series is set) is a part of this world. Writing my own books fires my imagination and keeps me entertained.

4) How does your writing process work?

Well, it starts with day dreaming. Sometimes I compose the whole story  in my head before beginning to write (often a few times with changes and usually with far more than I can use in the book). However, these days I do start the writing process earlier. I usually have a basic structure – the beginning, the climax and turning points and a good idea of the end as well as the main characters in mind before I start writing. Then I fill in the gaps – and I am often surprised at what comes out in the process. It’s definitely a lot of fun.

Here are two of my friends who will be posting the “My Writing Process” blog tour posts on Monday March 17th. Please check out their blogs next week.  

Lynne Stringer –  Lynne has been passionate about writing all her life. She was the editor of a small newspaper (later magazine) for seven years, and currently works as a professional editor and proof reader. Lynne wrote her YA sci-fi romance novel, The Heir, in 2010. The Heir is the first book in the Verindon trilogy. This book was followed by The Crown. The final book, The Reign, will be released in May 2014. You can find Lynne online at  www.lynnestringer.com

Alison Stegert – Ali Stegert is a daytime school counsellor, night time word wrangler. Her first novel, Summer of the Silk Dragon, is making the rounds of publishers, looking for the right home. Ali blogs about books and writing on Spilling Ink, her personal blog, and about cyber-parenting on e-Quipped. (www.e-quipped.com.au) The link to Ali’s personal blog is www.ali-stegert.com

Enjoy!

Jeanette O’Hagan

You can read a hyptertext teaser for Akrad’s Children – called My Sister – here.

Or join me on Facebook here.