Friday, August 9, 2013

Kindred and Wings Author Stop

Today we have author Philippa Ballantine for an interview on her newly released book Kindred and Wings, part of her fantastical Shifted World Series.

Author On The Spot:

1)  Your series are so fantastical and characters so dynamic Mrs.
 Ballantine, do you build the characters to a series that you are thinking
about, or as you are imagining a new series is the world built around
these character concepts as you come up with them?

To me characters are the most important thing in a book. If I am going to
spend hours as a reader with some character, I better enjoy my time with
them. That's not to say they have to be perfect, but they have to be
interesting and possibly relatable. In the Shifted World series it is hard
for me to know which came first. Talyn and her world both sprang into my
mind at the same time. The world was all about chaos and change, and Talyn
was all about immortality and what it can do to a person when all that
time isn't so much fun.

Talyn and her situation really couldn't exist beyond Conhaero, so I think
they are completed twisted on each other. In some ways she's a
representative of the world's troubles.

2)   Are there real world locations that have inspired The Shifted World?

Conhaero is very much inspired by New Zealand. Of late my country people
have been reminded just how shaky the islands they inhabit are. My parents
back in Wellington and their property was all fine in the recent
earthquake, but how people live with such uncertainty is an interesting
thing. So I took New Zealand and extrapolated the world from there. 'What
if the world was moving and changing even faster than ours?' Such idle
thoughts often lead you down interesting paths.

 3)   With the ending of the Book of the Order Series, how many books do
you anticipate for The Shifted World?

Right now there are only two in the series, but I have written my first
short story in the world. It's available as a free download from Pyr and
gives a little more insight into the past and the Kindred.

4)   There are many Fantasy authors, but I am curious if there are a few
in particular that you enjoy reading?

I love Tad Williams, Charles de Lint, and Cj Cherryh. I'm also a big fan
of several steampunk authors, and one of my favorites is Kate Locke.

5)   Honestly this series feels like it could be a graphic novel, have you
ever thought about creating a graphic novel series set in the Shifted

I would love that! Honestly, having your work turned into other media is
an amazing experience. I've had audio books and even a RPG game...but so
far nothing in the graphic novel side of things. It'd be awesome to see
how that turns out...which means I am open to offers!

6)   As you are creating the Shifted World and its people with their
different beliefs and societies, are there parallels to modern societies
in your designs of this world? 

The Vaerli, Talyn's people draw a lot of inspiration from the native
people of New Zealand, the Maori. The rest are a mixture of the wonderful
diversity of our world. I really wanted Conhaero to be populated by a
variety of ethnicities, cultures and colors. I needed the world to feel as
though it was made up of all these wonderful heritages thrown together in
one spot. Yet the joy of a writer is you can draw inspiration from all
over, and re-create it for your world.

7)   Alright, I have to ask: there are so many fantastical creatures and
adaptations your characters have had over the years, I am curious if there
is a mythical creature that is your favorite?

Although I haven't actually written much about them, I have always loved
dragons. My house is full of them. Few creatures can inspire wonder, awe
and fear like dragons, and I was bought up reading Anne McCaffrey's Pern
books. What child hasn't wanted to soar over the clouds on the back of
power personified? And the neat thing about dragons is that there are so
many takes on them; terrifying, charming, lucky, dire...take your pick!

8)   Do you listen to music as you write? Have you ever created a playlist
for this series? So many of these characters have an affiliation with
music or storytelling, are there any real world comparisons that inspired the
songs or the music of the Shifted World?

I do make soundtracks, and they usually are movie soundtracks for the
books I write. However, for the Shifted World I found myself listening to
a lot of what is termed World Music. My two favorites were Hands Upon
Black Earth, which is a one man indie group that produces very evocative
imagery. The other is Steve McDonald, who is a well known Celtic Artist.
Southern Gael is an album about being torn from your country and trying to
make a new life—themes that run through the Shifted World.

Kindred and Wings
Shifted World #2
Philippa Ballantine
Pyr Books
Released 8.6.2013
ISBN: 9781616147792
Order:  bn  /  amazon  /  powells

Blurb from the Publisher:

On the back of the dragon Wahirangi, Finn the Fox flees the world he has known. As he sets out to find the brother he never knew of, he still holds in his heart the memory of the Hunter. He has denied his love for her, but he cannot deny it forever.
In the halls of the Last Believers, Talyn begins to uncover her own mysteries, but her lust for the death of the Caisah is still strong and clouds her vision. She must choose her path, as the Seer of her people or as the assassin of the overlord.
Meanwhile, Byre, Talyn's brother, must venture into the fiery world of the Kindred, to rebuild the pact that his ancestors made. He will risk everything he is as he forms a new pact that will change his people forever.
Dragons and myths will be reborn, as the Hunter and her Fox face each other once more.

Author On The Net:


About The Author:

Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Philippa has always had her head in a book. For this she blames her father who thought Lord of the Rings was suitable bedtime reading for an eight year old. At the age of thirteen she began writing fantasy stories for herself.

She first earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Political Science and then a Bachelor of Applied Science in Library and Information Science. So soon enough she found herself working in the magical world of libraries where she stayed for over a decade.

Her first professional sale was in 1997, and since then she has gone on to produce mostly novel length fiction. In 2006 she became New Zealand’s first podcast novelist, and she has voiced and produced Weaver’s Web, Chasing the Bard, Weather Child and Digital Magic as podiobooks. Her podcasts have won both a Parsec Award and a Sir Julius Vogel award.

Philippa is the author of the Books of the Order series with Ace- Geist, Spectyr, Wrayth and Harbinger coming in July 2013.

She is also the co-author of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series with Tee Morris. Phoenix Rising debuted in May 2011 and The Janus Affair came out in May 2012. Phoenix Rising won the Airship Award for best written steampunk, and was the number eight best Science Fiction book of 2011 according to The Janus Affair was the seventh most popular science fiction book of 2012 on The series continues with Dawn’s Early Light in December 2013.

In addition she is also the author of the Shifted World series with Pyr Books, with the first book Hunter and Fox released in June 2012, and the second Kindred and Wings scheduled for August 2013.

When not writing or podcasting, Philippa loves reading, gardening, and whenever possible traveling. With her husband Tee and her daughter, she is looked after by a mighty clowder of five cats in Manassas, Virginia.

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