Hi everyone! Some images within this blog may not display correctly due to the unfortunate changes Photobucket has made. Please have patience as I fix them. This may take a while, as I'll have to go through each post 1 by 1. Thank you for understanding!

Recent Reviews...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Stormling Tour! An Interview With John Hennessy! Plus an Excerpt.





Stormling (The Mordana Chronicles #1) by John Hennessy
Genre: Young Adult (Fantasy)
Date Published: April 25, 2014
Publisher: Self

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…


“Father, we can go, can’t we? Please? Don’t you want to see who will win today?”

Aldyr Veroynne knelt down in front of his son, and placed his hands on the boy’s shoulders, squeezing them gently with firm hands.

“Anadyr, please, give it a rest. That would be six days in a row. We know who is going to win, anyway. You don’t need to come along. Just know that the winner is always someone from Mill’An Draythe.”

“Still, the Easterners come,” said Anadyr. “I must go to see how they fight, so that when I have the glory to represent my land, I know how to win.”

Anadyr had been just ten years of age when he became involved in his first fight, against another young Stormling, as it happened. At first, it seemed like the bigger and older Stormling would win, and had far too much strength for Anadyr.

During the fray, Anadyr connected with few blows, but could not knock his bigger opponent down. Then, with a swift kick to his mid-section, Anadyr’s strength left him, and he rolled into a ball on the ground, one hand clutching his stomach, the other, keeping his hair from covering his eyes.

The sun was blocked out by the shadow of the Stormling standing over him, who must was five years his senior.

“Loser?” he inquired.

“You wish,” replied Anadyr, who sat up, and clapped his hands three times together before placing them on the ground, one hand either side of him.

“I don’t need applause from a loser,” said the bigger Stormling.

“That wasn’t applause,” replied the young Anadyr.

Suddenly, the ground started to shake all around them, the bigger Stormling’s smug look of apparent victory was erased by the tremors on the ground, and the almost instantaneous appearance of black clouds that filled the sky.

A few moments later, the clouds burst and soaked only the bigger Stormling and his crew of friends, whilst Anadyr stood laughing at them. The group started to run, but the rain lashed them in every way, from both sides, from above, and even as they ran into the ground which became ever more sodden, until they fell face forward.

“Why isn’t it raining on you?” the biggest one screamed. “You’re in league with the Lord of Monus! Say it isn’t so, for Stormlings don’t lie.”

Anadyr smiled and leaned over his sodden nemesis, who he was merely toying with.

“That’s right, Stormlings don’t lie, and I am not in league with anyone. So! Are you a loser?”

The bigger Stormling seethed. “So it would seem. Just make the damned rain stop. Who are you, boy?”

Anadyr clicked his fingers and rested his fists on the top of his hips.

“I am Anadyr Veroynne, and I command the Storms. The wind, the rain, the clouds all answer to me, and as for you....I will have your allegiance.”

The other Stormlings mumbled, saying they would not answer to some preppy brat, but the one who had hit Anadyr, stood up and bowed to him.

“I am good with a sword, but my true prowess lies with the double daggers. My skill is such that I could skim the sweat off a faerie’s wings. If you ever need my help, you shall have it, although...one who can bend the Storms to his will, surely has no need for an edged weapon.”

“Not so,” said Anadyr. “In fact, I practise with a longsword twelve hours a day. What is your name?”

“Kirnosst. Though my sword wielding days are at an end. I’m being sent to Firetop to learn, watch and ultimately take over from Aynara. Unlike us, she’s not an immortal, but I suppose your father told you that already.”

Anadyr nodded emphatically to show he knew about Aynara’s supposed mortality, but no-one knew when her time would end. There were none like her on Mordana.

Aldyr Veryonne was none-too-impressed with his son’s handling of things. “You wanted him to knock you down, so that you could show off, isn’t that so? The truth now, Anadyr.”

“I just wanted to show I wasn’t afraid of them. If I can instil fear into the heart of my enemies, maybe I can bend them to my way of thinking, as easily as I do the storms.”

“You are just a boy, Anadyr. You are too young to have enemies.”

“Didn’t you say that those East of the Wisty River are our enemies?”

“Well, yes, but I don’t see what that has to do with anything.”

“It’s got everything to do with it,” said Anadyr. “That’s why I want to go see the fight today. The Lord of Monus sends a Tryer from the Mordis Mountains, or from the heart of Caldreah itself.”

“Yes, Anadyr, but the point is-”

“The point is, Father, that today’s Tryer is from AnnanGhorst, and that makes things very interesting. I have never seen a ShadowWraith, much less seen you fight one. Tell me you’ll take me, please!”

Aldyr sighed. Putting combatants from the East out of their misery is something he loved to do, but a ShadowWraith of AnnanGhorst was different. Even the weakest of their kind were not to be taken lightly.

Even if the Wraith lost, it would be most likely sent to the Island of Dead Skin, where Andus Rey, ruler of Caldreah Monus and a Stormling himself, ran his own sick tournament, where combatants often had to fight to the death.

Having a Wraith enter the fray was no battle at all. Under Rey’s watch, they would win, and win easily.

Aldyr let out another sigh. He was considering throwing the match, even though this was illegal.

“Alright Anadyr, I’ll take you. But whatever happens, you come straight back home. That’s an order.”

“I will, Father. I will,” said Anadyr, who could not believe there would be any other outcome but a clear and decisive victory for his father, who was a skilled swordsman and had been known to dabble in magic.

ShadowWraiths were difficult adversaries for all sorts of reasons. Although they were scary to look at, it was more a case of what you couldn’t see, rather than what you could.

There were all sorts of rumours about them, which, outside of AnnanGhorst, became the very fabric of legend.

Some would say that there actually were no ShadowWraiths, but that it was Rey himself, who would come to test himself against the foes of Monus.

Others believed the Wraiths did have a face, but it was one so terrible to view, that one would die of fright from resting innocent eyes on their hateful faces.

Still others believed that the ShadowWraiths could not be killed, and one had to have a death wish if standing against them. But everyone who knew Aldyr Veroynne believed that he must know how to defeat a ShadowWraith.

As expected, there was a great throng of people in the town centre. They gathered round the platform, which stood some twenty feet from the ground. The ShadowWraith was already on the platform as Aldyr and Anadyr arrived.

As they walked, Aldyr beamed smiles and waved to everyone. They had come to see him triumph, which would be his thirty-eigth win in a row. The ShadowWraiths had triumphed every time to date, but the locals felt it was time one of their own succeeded.

The Wraith extended a bony finger towards Aldyr, and beckoned him to stand on the platform with him.

“Remember Anadyr,” whispered his father, “whatever happens, you will return home. Understood?”

“Yes Father, of course,” said Anadyr, who was surprised his father was making so much of this battle.

Winning fights is what Aldyr Veroynne was all about. ‘He’s just more fodder from AnnanGhorst, who will slink back to that hellhole when my father’s through with him,’ thought Anadyr.

Whilst Anadyr watched the two men line up, a third man, the one who usually judged the battles, pulled himself up onto the platform, and from underneath his robes he produced a rather large wooden box. An omnious gasp came out from the crowd. “What? What is it?” said the young Stormling. Anadyr craned his neck to see what the commotion was.

The judge extended his arms to the crowd. “Today’s battle is a red match. In this box are two weapons from the challenger’s province of AnnanGhorst. The fighter who represents us has agreed to the terms, and will use the weapon provided to him.”

Anadyr nudged the man next to him. “What is it? What is a red match?”

The man solemnly shook his head. “It means that this is not for children’s eyes. They will fight to the death."

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.
author
John Hennessy is a young adult / new adult novelist whose works to date have been Dark Winter (published 2013), a paranormal horror thriller, and Stormling, an epic swords and magic (and cookies) fantasy. The first short story he ever wrote brought together Fagan, Lizzie Bennet, Sherlock Holmes and Dracula, which despite impressing his long suffering English teacher, thankfully remains unpublished. For recreation he will visit paranormal hotspots, but prefers to write about ghosts rather than meet them. He also believes almost any problem can be overcome so long as there is an inexhaustible supply of tea and biscuits. He has also written the non-fiction title The Essence of Martial Arts (published 2011), and released The Essence of Martial Arts: Special Edition, in 2014.

To learn more about John Hennessy and his books, visit his blog.You can also find him on Goodreads, Google+, and Twitter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No comments :

Post a Comment

Thank your for stopping by. Please comment! I'd love to hear from you!