Book Review and Author Interview: Faithless by Graham Austin-King (published by Fallen Leaf Press)
At the end of October, I attended a science fiction and fantasy convention called BristolCon and there I had the pleasure of hearing Graham Austin-King reading from Faithless. I had already started the novel, and Graham kindly agreed to answer some questions for me. So, below is my review and then an interview with the author.
From Melokai story concept through to ‘on sale’ took me one year, four months. It was an intensive time, and in this post I will break down the different stages of planning, writing, production and marketing that led up to publication day on 10th October, 2017.
Audiobook Review: The Power by Naomi Alderman (published by Penguin)
WOW! I luurrrrrrrvvved this book! It’s science fiction with a feminist slant and a hint of dystopia. It tells of an event that sees almost all the women in the world suddenly having the ability to create electricity from their bodies (from a new ‘organ’ called a skein) and electrocute at will. And then lays out a scenario for what the world would become if the women became the more powerful gender.
My original idea for Melokai came when I was trekking in Nepal’s Annapurna Sanctuary and I started to daydream about a country surrounded by mountains and ruled by women. The trek took eleven days up and down, hiking for seven hours on some days, so I spent a lot of time in my head and a story formed.
One of the critical parts to my thinking was about this country (which I named Peqkya) and about the wider world it was situated in. It was important to me that Peqkya was a country which could actually be real, which could survive and function, and wasn’t one dimensional.
Book Review: Fires by Tom Ward (published by Crooked Cat Books)
This thriller is quite dark but kept me interested and is very relatable. It is set in modern times in a bleak, industrial city where the lives of two strangers, Guy and Nathan, become inextricably linked as Guy fights fires and arsonist Nathan likes to set them.
Imagining my own races was exciting and creatively satisfying, as was devising my own world, complete with different ecologies and environments. But both required quite a bit of research to make sure my fantasy world and its inhabitants were grounded in some semblance of reality! Here I detail some of the research I did for my epic fantasy novel Melokai.
Wondering how to say Peqkya? Well, here’s a short pronunciation guide for some of the tongue-twister names of characters, peoples and places in my epic fantasy novel Melokai, book one of In the Heart of the Mountains trilogy.
In Melokai, book one of the In the Heart of the Mountains trilogy, life in Peqkya is based on the philosophies of the Stone Prophetess Sybilya. These ten maxims are ingrained in everything a Peqkian does and they each feel the presence of Sybilya within them. Melokai Ramya repeats Sybilya’s Sayings often to herself.
Reading and discussing the epic fantasy novel Melokai by Rosalyn Kelly for your book club? Here are fifteen questions that should help to get the conversation flowing.
1) What were your first impressions of Melokai? Did it hook you from the start or did it take a while to get into?
At the time of Melokai, Ramya is thirty-two years old. Born in Riaow, the capital of Peqkya, she was placed in the pen led by Kafya, as Peqkian custom dictates ‘No baby will ever know it’s parents and no parents will ever know their baby’.
From an early age, Ramya showed great promise as a warrior and entered the profession at age fifteen. She quickly became known as the greatest warrior in Peqkya due to her skill at chariot warfare, multiple opponent combat, and archery, as well as her endless energy and how she never seemed to tire in a fight.
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