Feature Friday + Author Interview: The Harpy Chronicles by @AnezaLee

TheNamariCoverWEB -  31Jan2013 - 1600x2400 AMAZON

Kirin, the elfish daughter of an exiled priestess, befriends an enigmatic trader with a secret and a harpy on a quest to save her people from an ancient curse. Goddess-touched, Kirin’s gift is a commodity in a war between two goddesses, in a world of magic and slavery. Harpies and elves must learn to stand together to triumph in a war that threatens to destroy the entire realm.
Long ago, Kirin’s mother defied a goddess. To save her from the debt she must pay for her disobedience, Kirin embarks on the long road to Illa Kalladûr, the elfish high city, to serve in her place. Upon her journey she must learn what it is to be a Namari. This gift of foresight makes her an invaluable commodity in a war between two elfin goddesses, one of whom will have her death, or her service.

A chance meeting with an enigmatic trader leads to an unexpected journey to the Black Lands, home of the dark elves, traders in flesh and enslavers of mortals, elementals and elfkind alike. The trader has a secret and is not who he claims to be, yet he has knowledge of the rare gift of the Namari.

Her path also crosses that of an injured harpy, a creature thought to exist only in myth, who is upon a quest to save her tribe from extinction. Together they must find a way to thwart her destructive machinations and save their homeland from decimation.

Interview with Aneza Lee

What inspires you to write fantasy?

Fantasy is such a versatile medium and I was drawn to it for it’s rare magic, and vast scope. The ability to create new worlds and fantastical characters with otherwordly characteristics gives free reign and I believe that you are only limited by your imagination. I would class my writing as epic fantasy romance, with a touch of erotica thrown in.

Your Harpy Chronicles is about an elf, a daughter of a priestess. Tell us how you crafted the elf race for your story, and what roles the gods and goddesses play.

A part of the story came to me in a dream and it wove itself from there. I feel as though it has always existed within me, it only waited for me to express it. There are two elf factions, the light and the dark. The light elves live in free cities crafted by magic, powered by an energy source that literally grows and maintains their buildings. Their culture is steeped in tradition and they all elves are born with magic of their own.

The dark elves are easily spotted by their characteristic blue-black hair and fair skins. They are more fierce and will take what they feel is owed them, which has earned them a fearsome reputation. They build their cities much like mortals do, as they have no magical energy sources to grow them. They have found a way to maintain their buildings by enslaving elementals, infusing their energies into the stones, trapping them there to keep their cities alive. Dark elf cities radiate an air of discontent and malevolence, a residue of the resentment felt by the enslaved elementals who are forced to obey their masters. Dark elves will also enslave elves and mortals alike by means of a magical collar that enforces obedience.

Both light and dark elves pay homage to the various gods, though only a rare few are favoured with their patronage. Fewer still receive gifts or abilities for their dedication. The gods are removed from the elfin realm and reside in the Bower of the Gods, a place that can only be entered by those who were born there. One young goddess was born outside the Bower, and as such she lives amongst the elves. They created a priesthood of high-born elves to serve her and in turn she guides and protects them. The other gods are rarely seen, but they do make their presence known at times.

What has been the best reward so far in being a writer?

For me, it is the ability to fire a reader’s imagination and to find that they have enjoyed my tale and have fallen in love with the characters they have met on the pages.

If there are three tips you can pass along to an aspiring writer, what would they be?

One, read to expand your imagination, and not only books in your genre, but read books (and watch movies) from a variety of genres to inspire you. This will also help to improve your own writing style.

Two, and this one is quite important, take the time and the effort to read your completed manuscript through in its entirety, to make sure it makes sense and reads smoothly. Check for spelling and grammatical errors, not once, not twice, but thrice and don’t rely solely on Word’s spell check, but take the care and love to review each error individually.

Three, take advantage of beta readers (many offer their services for free on places like Goodreads) and find yourself a professional editor. No matter how well edited your book is by you, you will be amazed by things that objective readers/editors will pick up that you missed. They can help to point out everything from spelling errors to holes in your plot that you did not notice. There is nothing worse than reading a badly edited book. To me, it shows that the author does not take pride in their work and does not really care about their writing.

Do the same thing with your back cover blurb. I have passed over many a book because the blurb was badly written or edited. Why bother reading something when the author obviously does not care enough to ensure proper spelling and grammar? I’m going to add that as an indie author, this is of particular importance to stave off the stigma that independent authors have chosen this route because they are not ‘good enough’ to be traditionally published. Don’t let the side down, make the effort so that we can collectively change the negative outlook created about indie authors because there are so many out there who do not take the time to edit professionally.

What can we expect next from you?

I am currently working on completing the second novel in the Harpy Chronicles, and am excited to share it. The self-edit is going more slowly than I’d like, but once I have completed it I will hand it over to my editor and then go about setting it up for publication. I’ve made Book I of the Harpy Chronicles free on Smashwords, in anticipation of Book II, so please feel free to download it here. After that, I will continue with the next book in the series, The People of the Crow. I am also working on a collaboration with author Vanessa Finaughty and plan to release a collection of my poetry in the future.

Vanessa is awesome! I’ll be looking for your collaboration with her, as well as your poetry collection. Thank you, Aneza, for stopping by. Folks, here are the details for Aneza’s book.

The ebook is currently FREE!

 

The Harpy Chronicles (The Namari, Book I) @B&N  @Smashwords

Paperback @Amazon

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