by Emily Gee
What I'm reading: The Complete Servant, by Samuel & Sarah Adams (1825)
Listening to: Salmonella Dub
Making me smile: The baby sparrows feeding outside my window
The release of my latest fantasy novel, The Sentinel Mage, this month caught me by surprise. I spent endless months plotting and writing it and suddenly -- kaboom -- it's on the shelves and I'm standing there blinking and going What? Already?
The author copies have just arrived and I had that surreal flicking-through-the-pages moment when you see the story that spent so much time in your head actually printed in black and white on the pages of a book. To me, it always looks very one dimensional compared to the 3D colour version that runs like a movie in my head.
The Sentinel Mage is something a new for me ... not only is it the first book in a trilogy, but it has multiple storylines. I wrote each storyline completely separately, from start to finish, and then combined them into a whole, kind of like plaiting flax. (Is that too kiwi a simile? You know what I mean, right?)
My publisher, Solaris, have created wonderful chapter images to separate out the three storylines.
The wolf and flames image marks the mages and Prince Harkeld's story -- which is the story on the back cover blurb.
(In a distant corner of the Seven Kingdoms, an ancient curse festers and grows, consuming everything in its path. Only one man can break it: Harkeld of Osgaard, a prince with mage's blood in his veins. But Harkeld has a bounty on his head -- and assassins at his heels.
Innis is a gifted shapeshifter. Now she must do the forbidden: become a man. She must stand at Prince Harkeld's side as his armsman, protecting and deceiving him. But the deserts of Masse are more dangerous than the assassins hunting the prince. The curse has woken deadly creatures, and the magic Prince Harkeld loathes may be the only thing standing between him and death.)
The sword and crown marks the story of Harkeld's sister, Princess Brigitta, and her armsman, Karel.
Britta and Karel aren't mentioned on the back cover, but I have to confess ... Karel is my favourite character in this book. He's strong, stoic, smart -- and lethal with a sword.
The footprint marks the story of the young orphan, Jaumé, whose story opens the book.
Jaumé is a blacksmith's son, fleeing across a continent ahead of the curse (the poor kid has bare feet -- hence the footprint).
Two of the storylines are going to collide violently in the second book, and all three will be bloodily entwined by the end of the third book, so my flax weaving is going to get pretty complicated. I'm looking forward to the challenge!
I have one copy of The Sentinel Mage to give away. (That's Innis, the shapeshifter, on the cover, by the way.)
Simply tell me what it is about fantasy novels that you enjoy. The magic, the heroism, the battles, the strange and deadly creatures, the passion...
(The first two chapters of The Sentinel Mage are up on my website, www.emilygee.com, if you'd like a sneak peek!)