Friday, October 7, 2016

Beautiful Books 2016 ~ Introduce Your Novel: Starbloods

NaNoWriMo approaches so it's that time of year again! Time for Beautiful Books! This is a link-up hosted by Paper Fury and Further Up and Further in! Instead of the usual character focus, this time it's about your whole book in preparation for NaNo! I've been participating in it for the last two years with Red Hood (Post #1, #2, and #3) and Subsapien: Hybrid (Post #1, #2, and #3). It's been great fun! I'm going at NaNoWriMo again with Cassia and I'm so excited to have her as my writing buddy, especially while writing a novel I've had for so long. If you'd like to participate, head on over to Paper Fury or Further Up and Further In!

What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
I've had this idea since I was ten or eleven, but the idea has changed so much and become much more original than it used to be. I was actually inspired by this old video game series called King's Quest. I loved their combinations of mythology and mythical creatures that it made me want to write a story of my own like that. 

Describe what your novel is about!
I still need to make an official synopsis, but here goes.

Rouyn and Elasa are destined to fulfill a prophecy many before them have failed to fulfill. Harlowe is destined to destroy them. 

Rouyn is a young prince, who grew up in a foreign land for his safety. Elasa is a young lady of a province who is secretly abused by her uncle. Harlowe is a shapeshifting spy raised to make sure they never fulfill their destiny. When Rouyn manifests his hereditary abilities, Harlowe is sent by his parents to help him reach home. Rouyn's parents are doing this for his protection, but Harlowe's mistress sees this as an opportunity to corrupt the prince and taint the prophecy. After Elasa's older brother disappears, she is determined to find him. Elasa and Rouyn must embrace their future, while Harlowe struggles to defy his.

What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!
Gosh I have a Pinterest board full of Starbloods pictures, but I'll show you some of my favorites with mysterious hinty sentences. Sound good? Good. 

All rights go to the respective artists. 

The creatures of the night take whom they wish.

The stars sing to their earth-walking children from the heavens.

The tainted starlight of a starblood.

The steed of stars.

The moon gives us life.

Introduce us to each of your characters!
I have a lot of characters in this book, but I'm going to focus on the six biggest characters. 

Rouyn is a seventeen year old Starblood who has not yet acquired his abilities. He is a prince of Calsidor, a land he was only born in, but he was raised in another country for he was threatened as an infant. For years he has communicated with his royal parents by letters, but he yearns for the day he can finally meet them when he's eighteen. 

He currently lives on an island off the coast of Ibreain, a Mediterranean-like environment with his guardians and their child. The guardians, like everyone else on the island except Rouyn, are of the winged race sylphs. Until his parents sent him a pegasus as tradition of young Calsidorian princes, he always had to rely on others to get about elevated island. Landora, his pegasus, is his best friend. They are bonded by blood and able to communicate telepathically. 

Though Rouyn has been treated like a prince his whole life, he has felt like an alien among his environment, and longs to be around people like him. On the other hand, he is afraid of being a prince of a people he doesn't remember meeting. He's read so much about them, but that isn't the same as knowing them in person.

For more info check out Rouyn's character interview and Beautiful People

Elasa is a sixteen year old noblewoman of the northern province of Calsidor, a country that's a mix of the U.K. and New Zealand. She is also born from a long line of Starbloods as most of the Calsidorian nobility. Thus she has inherited the abilities to read minds, move things with her mind, and heal. Since she was very young, she has also suffered from fibromyalgia.

Her many pets keep her company during her bad days, especially her wolpertinger, a wolf-deer-owl-rabbit creature, named Icha. Icha is also bonded to Elasa by blood which is called Iadlonu in Elasa's world. Normally, nobility would bond with a pegasus, but loyal Icha is just the fit for Elasa. Even if the poor beast is no match for Uncle Mavrom.

Soon after she was born, her mother passed away. On her twelfth birthday, he father died of poisoning. Now her older brother Silanoc is Lord of the Northern Provence. The two are very close, even being seven years apart. Though Silanoc's duties keep him so distracted that he doesn't notice that his Uncle Mavrom is abusing Elasa. Elasa is afraid to tell anyone, because he threatens to erase their memories if she does--and he has the few times she's tried. Now she's faced with a difficult choice should she leave home to escape her uncle or risk something horrible happening to her elder brother?

For more information check out her interview and Beautiful People!

Harlowe is a twenty-two-year-old shapeshifting sorcerer. In his world Stars are sentient beings and he is half Star, known in his world as Starbloods, but his other half is shapeshifter, leaving him without a trace of human blood. His born abilities are shapeshifting into a hound, telekinesis, telepathy, and the ability to control burning starlight. However, at the coercion of the evil full Star Vanmoriel, he can access forbidden abilities as well. One of these was the expansion of his shapeshifting abilities, allowing him to change into any form he can desire--at the the expense of his sanity. Daily, Harlowe struggles with the dozens of minds from his different forms with the real possibility of losing himself among them.

He grew up in the primitive land of Melorain among a Native American-like race called Tsutegowa with his parents. But after the death of his mother and father, Vanmoriel took him under her wing and turned him into the most powerful sorcerer living besides her to groom him to be part of the anti-prophecy. When he was twelve, she convinced him to participate in a spell that has mentally bonded to two together, imprisoning him wherever he goes. He can never leave her or escape her thoughts or her control. The only way to break the bond is if she dies, and she won't let him kill her.

Over the years, he has grown to hate Vanmoriel for what she's done to him, and he seeks to manipulate the two chosen ones of the prophecy to kill her while in the mean time fighting his own dark destiny. But will they fail to defeat her too like all the other prophesied pairs before them? If they don't succeed, he'll have to wait another generation to be free. 

For more information check out his character interview and Beautiful People!

Silanoc is the twenty-three-year-old lord of the Northern Province of Calsidor and also ambassador to Melorain, the bordering country. At nineteen, his father Lord Rhoga was assassinated on his younger sister twelfth birthday, leaving him as lord. Silanoc readily shouldered his father's position and he wishes to rule his province justly and kindly as his father did. 

Lord Silanoc is a quiet soul. He enjoys peace and reason, but he isn't afraid of a fight if the time comes. He is highly train in the way of the sword, dagger, bow, and spear. When he was sixteen, he spent a year in Melorain, among the natives, as a way to seal an alliance between Melorain and Calsidor. He learned their language, culture, and way of fighting. In return, the chief's son lived with him in Calsidor for a year and is his closest friend. Silanoc has a special bond with the Tsutegowa, the shapeshifting natives of the country because of this. 

Above all, Silanoc adores his precious younger sister Elasa. Silanoc's mother died giving birth to her and Elasa was born very week. Though he seeded bitterness at first against her for her mother dying, he grew to love and protect her. He spends as much time with her as he can, and values her above anyone else. He would stop at nothing to protect her--even if that mean sacrificing his position as a nobleman.

Check out his Beautiful People! Interview coming on the 21st! Want to ask him a question? Click here!

Vanmoriel is a several thousand year old Star. She is a sorceress and a high priestess of a sacred order devoted to worshiping ancient pagan gods. Once she had blonde hair and blue eyes as characteristic of a star, but her corrupted abilities colored her hair red and her eyes green. Long ago she betrayed her race in devotion to her gods and has been loyal to them ever since. 

Because she is so ancient, she has become numb to most emotion. She rarely experiences joy, anger, sadness, or happiness. She gets sadistic pleasure from others secretly and primarily so she can feel some sort of emotion at all. She uses her feminine wiles to get anything she wants and if that doesn't work she kills until she does.

By sacrificing other races and stealing their abilities, she has gained power beyond a normal star's such as casting hexes from fairies and manipulating sigils from giants. She can crush the heart of anyone standing within ten feet with her with just a motion of her hand.  She rules the country of Ibreain, a realm of stars with corrupted abilities like hers, a realm she believes is free from the constraints of the old ways. She believes this way of life should be spread throughout the continent of Grathain and seeks to corrupt her sister country of pure stars to become just like hers. 

Interview coming next month!

Mordraug is a five hundred and forty-two year old werewolf. Before he became immortal, he was a bandit pillaging the lands. When he was lost in a snow storm with his last twelve men, they encountered the ancient wolf god Mwog, who granted them the power to transform into wolves and immortality. They became the first werewolves. Now they believe it's his sacred duty to turn all humans into werewolves like him. 

Mordraug travels with his caravan of werewolves biting humans and expanding his pack. He is ruthless and destroys cities and villages to achieve his goals. His only true friend is the man who raised him who is also a werewolf named Ioto. Everyone else he only cares to exploit and use for his own gain.

Not long after he became a werewolf, he lost one of his men to one of the werewolves' few weakness, a direct stab in the heart. Because of this he knew he had to protect his heart to achieve full immortality. That is when he met the sorceress Vanmoriel who made a plate out of the metal of a comet to weld to his chest to permanently protect his heart. Since then he has been in love with her to an obsessive degree and served her every wish. 

Check out his Beautiful People and his interview is coming in December!

How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)
My NaNoWriMo prep consists of writing a rough blurb, writing a Three Act Structure Outline, brainstorming with my writing buddy, doing character profiles, drawing my characters, making sure I'm stocked up on tea and candles, and doing just enough research to make sure I know what I'm doing--generally.

What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
I've been wanting to rewrite this novel for years, but my other books have always taken precedence. I've been character chatting a lot with this story world, so I've come up with way better ideas for it. I'm excited to have a third novel ready for pitching soon as well.

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.
Ohhhhhhh. One of my favorite things about this novel is its setting. 

1.) The biggest thing about this world is that it centers more around nighttime. Their days are twenty-eight hours long and all of those extra hours are night hours. The world has four moons and they're much closer to earth than ours. The moons are also almost as bright as our sun, therefore many of the plants and animals actually absorb the sun's light as nutrition.

2.) The second biggest thing is that Stars are people. Near the beginning of this world stars fell from the heavens and populated into earth-walking stars. They're pale with either blonde or black hair and blue or grey eyes. They're vulnerable to too much sunlight as well. These stars can have up to three of the six possible abilities: invisibility, telekinesis, telepathy, foresight, healing, and starlight manipulations. Stars and starbloods must also bask in moonlight to get proper nutrition. Stars don't need earth food, but starbloods need both moonlight and starlight. Starbloods also lived twenty to forty years longer than humans give or take while Stars are immortal. Starblood also have a starsmark that manifests when they get abilities. This mark allows them to filter out used starlight when using their abilities, like breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide.

What a Star looks like.
3.) Thirdly, Starbloods is set in a renaissance period, but without the renaissance fashion that I can't stand. None of those frilly collars and man tights. *gags* So we still have cool medieval fashion, but with more advanced medicine, glasses, war weapons, and better kingdom management. That sort of thing. 

What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
I have three main characters so we're doing to do this a little differently.

Goal: To be great prince for his people.
Obstacle: Vanmoriel wants to corrupt or kill him, whichever is better.

Goal: To find her brother.
Obstacle: Mordraug has sent his werewolves to hunt her down.

Goal: To kill Vanmoriel.
Obstacle: Vanmoriel can mind control him and keep him from killing her.

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
I'm doing this the same way as the previous question. However, this may change by the time I'm done rewriting this book.

Rouyn: He becomes more confident in himself and his ability to be a prince.
Elasa: She becomes more confident in her ability to be independent despite her disability.
Harlowe: He learns that there is indeed hope for freedom.

What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
I usually discover my themes as I write, but a big one that's bubbling up is that sometimes when we discover the new it isn't always best to throw out the old. For example: A long time ago we didn't use a lot of preservatives in our food, but then we used them for a long time. Recently, we found out that using these preservatives is harmful to our bodies and now we need to go back to the old, which is a huge shift in the food industry. I believe this is the case with a lot of other things like values and such. Sometimes new is better and sometimes it is isn't.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? Are you writing a novel? Are you participating in this link-up? Post your link in the comments so I can see!

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