Please welcome Amy Rose Davis to So, Write. I love the the Ravenmarked cover. Sexy and mysterious, just like the title. I was excited for the chance to learn more about the author.
Please tell us a little about yourself and what motivated you to start writing?
[Amy Rose Davis] I have always been a storyteller. I've been telling stories from the time I could talk, and as soon as I could write, I started putting them on paper. I wrote angsty teenage romance stories in high school, and in the early 90s, I wrote two full-length fantasy novels. Both of them are hiding deep in my closet to be laughed over after I'm gone. :)
When I had kids, I wanted to work from home, so I started freelancing as a commercial writer. During that time I wrote for a construction trade journal and had three short stories accepted to the "Cup of Comfort" anthologies, but that was as far as my byline went. When my work started to wane with the recession, I decided to return to fiction writing. I wrote the first draft of Ravenmarked during NaNoWriMo 2009.
You can visit Amy Jo Davis at her blog: Modicum of Talent
What is Ravenmarked about? Is this part of a series?
[Amy Rose Davis] Ravenmarked is about a man who is marked by the earth to be an avenging angel. He doesn't like the idea of being anyone's killer, so he tries to keep the magic at bay by working as a freelance man-at-arms and armed escort. That way he can justify killing in the line of duty. When the
long-lost heir to his country's throne needs an escort, he agrees to take the job. He finds himself drawn to her and the magic that makes him a killer at the same time, and he has to decide if he'll succumb to the magic or keep running from it. In the end, the heir's life depends on his choice.
Ravenmarked is the first in a five-book series called The Taurin Chronicles. I'm working on book two, Bloodbonded.
How did you come up with the idea for The Taurin Chronicles?
[Amy Rose Davis] It started with just an image of a girl in white running for her life from an abbey. I played with that idea for about three years (off and on) before I finally sat down to write the book. The girl ended up being my catalyst character, not the main character. I found Connor, the ravenmarked escort, much more compelling. But in book two, the girl, Mairead, will be the main character.
I love epic fantasy and wanted to play with a lot of themes like mercy, justice, and vengeance. I also kind of wanted to play with the idea of the earth just getting fed up with people on it, but in a Medieval setting. And, I like the idea of cusps and tipping points. The world of The Taurin Chronicles is one that's in upheaval and chaos and on the verge of new ideas and exciting changes--in many ways like our own world is! It's sort of straddling the line between Medieval and Renaissance, which is a fascinating
historical period, I think.
What makes Ravenmarked different or special compared to other titles in this genre?
[Amy Rose Davis] For one thing, it's always interesting when you give someone a violent magic and ask them to control it. A lot of hero/magicians are seen as just plain old good guys, and no one questions whether their actions are right. Connor questions himself constantly: "Is this spirit that marked me good or bad? Am I killing someone who should be killed, or is this just vengeance for vengeance's sake? How can I know I'm right?" He walks a slippery slope and has a lot of internal struggles to contend with.
Another thing... A lot of epic fantasy is plot-driven. This book (and series) is very character-driven, and each book in the series will have a different protagonist. Plus, there are strong romantic themes throughout my writing. While there's plenty of sex in classic epic fantasy, there's not always a lot of romance, and mine has romance.
Finally, I think this book straddles a line between secular and Christian fantasy. I hope it straddles it well. :) Christians who don't mind some messy characters who have a lot of vices will probably enjoy this book, and non-Christians who don't mind some biblical imagery and a monotheistic world will probably enjoy it, too.
What type of reader do you feel will enjoy this book the most?
[Amy Rose Davis] People who like a lot of magic, a lot of character development, a fair dose of blood, and a little romance. :)
What has been the most difficult part of the publishing process for you? The most rewarding?
[Amy Rose Davis] The most difficult is figuring out where to focus my marketing efforts. Sometimes I feel like I'm just marketing to other writers! With all the noise on the Internet, it's tough to figure out what
makes the most sense sometimes.
The most rewarding: Definitely when people compliment my work! The creative control is also rewarding, and I'm enjoying the freedom of being able to release my work on my own timeline. :)
Where can we buy your book?
[Amy Rose Davis]
Thank you for visiting today, Amy. I'll be adding this one to my TBR list for sure. Good luck with your future titles.