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DEAD RADIANCE - Book 1 in the Valkyrie Novels
For as long as she can recall Bryn Halbrook has seen a golden aura around certain people, and it is only when her new best friend Joshua dies that she understands the glow means death. Bryn struggles to adapt to a new town and a new foster home while trying to deal with the guilt of being unable to save her friend. Until mysterious biker-boy, Aidan Lee arrives.
When Aidan unexpectedly takes off he leaves behind a shattered heart, a tonne of unanswered questions and a mysterious book that suggests Bryn is a Valkyrie. Bryn is faced with questions about Aidan’s real identity, the real reason he came to Craven, and that Odin, Freya and Valhalla just might be real.
As if accepting her new wings, new life and new home in Asgard isn’t difficult enough, Bryn is forced to find and return the precious necklace of the Goddess Freya. The only problem is – if she fails, Aidan will die.
Take 10 with Tee:
Maria, I just want to say thank you for hosting me on your blog :)
1.) Why this book? What made you want to write this story?
I love Mythology, and I hadn’t seen myth Norse based mythology out there- it’s the least done I think – so I mulled over mythological beings that would be cool and I went with the Valkyrie- although dragons do warm my heart (but that may just be another story entirely) *grin
2.) You live in New Zealand (how cool is that?), how has your location inspired your writing?
New Zealand is gorgeous- and there is so much I still have to see in this lovely country, but I have a major part of my heart still in South Africa. I’m afraid I’m a Durban girl at heart, all that sun, sea and surf – too wonderful not to miss it like crazy.
For this series living in NZ was inspirational in depicting Bryn’s loneliness and her sense of not belonging, which I think is true for any immigrant. And, the Valkyrie series is also set in the mythological Norse realm of Asgard- the ice covered mountain ranges in the South Island were definitely a source of inspiration for me, along with bathing in the healing waters of a geyser.
3.) Why YA fantasy? Is there something special about this genre that draws you to write?
My teens – yup, they are really the reason I’m writing YA. I wasn’t given a choice really- they said YA and I had to say OK. Kids! *rolls eyes. I write across genres though so even if I continue in the YA vein I may come out with a non-YA fantasy or horror every now and then… we’ll see.
And the genre itself – it’s all make-believe isn’t it? And don’t we love to daydream? Of course, my novel does contain the elements true to any life changing choice or situation, and deals with issues and choices that are not always restricted to the teen generation.
4.) What do you find most interesting about Bryn Halbrook?
Her quiet strength and that she doesn’t really have much confidence in herself until she is faced with choices. The ability to make choices is empowering in itself and when a choice is given to someone who hasn’t had that privilege before it is sometimes interesting to watch how different people deal with it.
And of course I love her independence. For some reason I don’t write weak, simpering, dependent, love-crazed main characters *wink [Thank goodness - neither do I ;]
5.) What else do you enjoy doing besides writing? Interests? Hobbies?
Don’t tell anyone but I make fancy cakes- I just love the process of creating a piece of art (I always have to be far away when the cake is cut though…way too traumatizing). I was waiting for either Duff Goldman or Buddy Valastro to offer me a job! But no, I have truly found my dream job. I’m artistic but I’m afraid I’m also very analytical too. I’m my own worst enemy.
6.) Did you have to do any special research for this book? What did you learn that you didn't know before?
Mostly just researching Norse Mythology both online, in the library and a few select purchases of Norse Myth textbooks. I have always loved the diversity of the Norse gods but I loved learning about how distinctively human they were. They got up to all sorts of mischief, like Loki and how he always steals Freya’s jewels, not to mention all the political power-plays. Sometime they seemed more fickle in nature than most humans. I still have so much more to learn about the whole Mythology that I think I am sure to enjoy following Bryn through her travels through the series.
7.) How did you become a writer? Is this what you saw yourself growing up to be? Or did it take you by surprise?
I’ve always written. I grew up on Enid Blyton, so when I was eight I was writing little stories in the Blyton tradition – elves, fairies and my own version of Moonface from the Farway Tree adventures. It’s a real pity that most of my creative works were snagged by well-meaning teachers who thought my little stories were amazing so I never managed to create my own collection.
And I’ve always written poetry – in fact I still have a book filled with poems that I’d written from age 11 to 20- some hideous that will never see the light of publication and others that are fairly good that I wouldn’t be too embarrassed to show to the world.
I have to admit, though, that the actual decision to make writing my dream come true was something that happened over a period of time. I’d decided to try my hand at writing again when we were unpacking and my daughter read a couple of chapters of an old piece I’d written – an Egyptian fantasy mystery. When she exclaimed that it was really good I laughed rather loudly. But she’d sown the seed and very soon I was Googling and borrowing writing books to see what I could do about my long dead dream.
8.) Do you have a writing routine? Talk process for a moment, how do the words get on the page?
I usually work from 8.30 to 11.00 then take a break to work out (when I’m good) and have lunch (when I remember). Then it’s back to work from 12.30 to 3.30. I take a break when the teens get home or when I cook. After dinner and a walk with DH to clear my head, I usually get back to my PC and work until midnight. That’s the weekly routing. Weekends I try to do more reading and research unless I’m editing or on a writing deadline.
I used to be a full on pantser but I’ve found that creating a plan really helps my momentum and my productivity too [traitor!!]. I’ve started using scene cards recently and I’ve found them to be a total success.
9.) Office? Closet? Corner of the living room? Do you have a set place to write? A favorite?
We have a small apartment so space is at a premium. I have two areas- my main study is just a corner of our living room- this is where I work when the troops are out. And I have a little alcove area behind my bedroom door that I escape to during school holidays or when the people in my house watch movies and pretend they have surround sound!
10.) What are you writing now? What's coming out next?
Right now I’m finishing the last few chapters of DEAD EMBERS which is the second book in the Valkyrie series. It’s expected to be out in May or June.
In addition I am working on the next series – also YA fantasy and also mythology but I’m keeping my lips zipped on that. Let’s just says it’s never been done before. Look for the first book in the series coming out in Fall 2012.
Links to find Tee on the web:
Website: https://tgayer.wordpress.com/Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/reqs.php?type=1#!/TeeGAyer
Link to purchase DEAD RADIANCE: http://amzn.to/yqRmMa