Genre: Young Adult (Fantasy)
Date Published: April 25, 2014
In an age when Stormlings have only known peacetime, one man’s desperate action threatens not only the stability of the mystical world of Mordana, but Earth as well.
Teenager Ophelia Drewe discovers a jewel that has been lost from its homeworld, and whilst she thinks she can keep it, demonic forces believe otherwise.
She’s not alone, but who can she trust? The head Stormling, Anadyr, hasn’t been to the Earth in 500 years, but go there he must – if the jewel is not returned, it will destroy both Ophelia’s world and his own…
How long have you been writing?
I started writing in 2009, and my first book was a work of non-fiction. I began drafting Stormling at the end of 2011, and kept on writing other projects such as the Dark Winter series and a special edition of the martial arts book.
What inspired you to write Stormling?
It will be hard to say anything original here, so I will just say it as it is. Like many people. I am fascinated by the creation of fantasy worlds, and so you could say I started there. I read widely and like classics such as The Hobbit and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. All of these elements have had a hand into why I started writing this story.
When you first started writing Stormling, did you plan for it to be a series?
I always had a four story set in mind. My original concept for the story was rather different to the final draft. I just felt that you couldn’t tell the history of this particular world in just one book.
Which of your characters do you relate to most and why?
In this story, the main protagonist, Anadyr, is a warrior who is considering stepping down and choosing someone to succeed him. He’s been fighting many demons for some years, and feels he is due a rest, and wants to settle with the woman he loves. As for me, I competed in several martial arts tournaments over the years. When it came to stepping down, that was a very hard decision for me. But I also wanted to settle down with the girl of my dreams too. Anadyr faces the same conflict as I did, but it complicated for him due to two women catching his attention, and the feeling that his chosen ones aren’t really ready to succeed him.
If your real life as a teenager was a Young Adult book, what would you, the main character, be like?
That’s a very interesting question. As a teen I was always into super heroes, once asking my mother to return the Superman costume as I had thrown myself off the top flight of our staircase, finding out – painfully, that I could not fly.
I’ve always thought it would be great to have a super power – but I’d probably abuse that power. So if I was in a YA story, I’d like to think I was a normal person who could achieve some extraordinary things.
What book have you read too many times to count?
Rebecca’s World by Terry Nation.
What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
To just keep on doing it. We can spend a lot of time talking to family, friends, on-line support groups that all want us to do well, but in the end, it’s you, your notes, your computer, your brain. Put aside the time and get the writing done.
If you could hop into the life of any fictional character, who would it be and why?
Mrs de Winter in Rebecca. Why? Well, this character is made to feel insecure and unwanted by Mrs Danvers, and more than many characters I have read, it really affected me – her plight and how she dealt with it. It would be great to pick a more upbeat character, but I feel in her character, we get to explore her very soul. There are not many books that take you in so deeply.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That you can actually surprise yourself. I will sometimes go back to a draft and think ‘there’s actually some really good stuff there, let’s expand on it and make it great’.
If all we had to do was sit down and push out a great noel, where is the learning? Where is that ‘moment’ when you realise you have put together a story worthy of telling?
Sometimes writing is a hard slog, but out of the thousands of words written, there is quality, and it is valid. That’s the surprise.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Outside of work and family time I really do have little time for myself. I always like to read, and I’ll watch tv series on DVD too. That always helps me unwind.
Are any of the things in your books based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
I think there’s parts of me in each character based on my own experiences, so let’s just say many of the storylines are real life experiences put into a fictional concept.
To learn more about John Hennessy and his books, visit his blog.You can also find him on Goodreads, Google+, and Twitter.