A girl with a sword - looks like my kind of book!

And she has green eyes, too - bonus points :)  Here's another Take 10 interview with debut YA author, T.G. Ayer.  I met Tee in Auckland, New Zealand when I was attending the NZ Romance Writer's conference.  She's super nice and we've become friends.  Her fantasy novel, DEAD RADIANCE was just released and I'm a part of her blog tour!

Leave a comment for Tee and I'll enter you in to win a signed copy of my book INSIDE (includes Inside Out and Outside In).  To be eligible comment by midnight March 2st EST, and include your email addy so I can email you the good news.  This is open world wide!

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:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/reqs.php?type=1#!/TeeGAyer

Link to purchase DEAD RADIANCE: http://amzn.to/yqRmMa


  1. Wowww valkyrie book so cool! Wish you all the best TG Ayer !, arethazhen(at)rocketmail(dot)com

    1. (From T.G.Ayer) How very kind of you! Thank you :)

  2. I'll be putting this on my reading list. I haven't read many books that have valkyrie's so this is very interesting. Last time I heard about valkyrie's was on an episode of Charmed. And I completely agree, daydreaming is my favorite little pleasure of life.


    1. (From T.G.Ayer) I'm a total fan of Charmed as well--totally agree with you there! Hope you enjoy the book :)

  3. This sounds cool! I haven't read any book that is Norse Myth-related. Though I am familiar with some terms/names. :p

    This is my first time hearing this book and added it to my TBR list, ;)

    -Len of Musings of a Reader Happy

    1. (from T.G.Ayer) I love the Norse mythology, so fascinating! I hope you have a fun time in my Norse world!

  4. Def my next read!!!

  5. Oh, a YA that uses Norse mythology. I'm very curious about this story and I will most certainly try to get hold of it.


    1. (From T.G.Ayer) Thank you so much and happy reading!

  6. I'm posting for T.G.Ayer(who has been trying to post but her comments haven't been making it through for some reason!)

    Thank you so much for your well wishes!


  7. Now I get to comment for myself! I loved this book, was lucky enough to read it before it came out and can't wait for the sequel. :)

  8. i've put this book on my amazon wish list. the front cover is fantastic!

    1. Thank you Rachel, I really loved the cover too :) Hope you enjoy the book when you read it...

  9. Another on my 'to-read' list. I'm glad this blog exists because I love Marias work, and therefore if figure anything she recommends would be simmilarly awesome.


    1. Thank you Kylie!
      Maria is one of the loveliest and most approachable authors I have ever met! She rocks! I hope you enjoy Dead Radiance too :)

  10. Dead Radiance has been on my wishlist since I knew it from the author herself. The synopsis did convince me to wait for it. And when the cover was revealed, well, I need to have it into my hands! Accio Dead Radiance!


    1. I do hope you enjoy reading Dead Radiance Von. Let me know how you feel about it when you do get to read it :)

  11. I'm always looking for YA books for my 16 year old daughter and I to read so that we have more to talk about other then school.

    1. Hi Lynette
      Hope you and your daughter enjoy the book - there is of course the romance element but I have tried to create strong characters who uplift a reader and encourage positive action
      Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions :)

  12. Wow, Dead Radiance sounds phenomenal. I love mythology, but I haven't read many books (read: none) with Norse mythology as the basis for the story. I can't wait to pick this one up! Loved the interview, as well.


    1. Thanks Jen and hope you enjoy your trip into Asgard :)

    2. The story is very beautiful and Bryn seems great character. I love mythology but I don't know much about Norse mythology, I'm from Greece and I grew up with mythology. Thank you for the giveaway!

      artgiote at gmail dot com

  13. I've been reading Jennifer Estep's Mythos Academy books and they've really gotten me into Norse mythology so I think I will give this a try

  14. I hadn't heard of this one yet, but I'm definitely hooked. Great Take Ten responses as well.

    I can see how it would be traumatizing when people cut a cake. And I loved your description of Bryn.

    Best of luck and I'll be adding this to my to-die for list.

    ~Danica Page

  15. Thanks for all the great comments! And it was super nice of Tee to reply to everyone :)

    Random.org picked a winner for the signed copy of INSIDE and the winner is.....

    Kimberly! (who posted on my Goodreads page)

    Congrats Kimberly!!


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