Today I would like to welcome you all to indie author Hazel West of urban fantasy, YA, and much more. First, her book’s synopsis, and then the interview!
Six months after Ciran defeated King Lorcan and instigated a peace treaty between the High Court of Ireland and the Goblin realm, things have been slowly getting back to normal in the kingdoms. That is, until the council decides that it’s time for High King Eamon to find a queen.
On top of that, there seem to be stirrings of rebellion in the Faelands, as not all the Fair Folk like the High Court’s treaty with the Goblins. So it’s up to Ciran Mac Cool and his company to stop the rebellion before it goes too far, while also trying to keep Eamon safe from potential assassins. And with all the prospective brides rubbing elbows with the High King, that’s easier said than done.
With the help of their friends and a spunky agent from the Bureau of Protection Against Fair Folk, Ciran’s Company attempts to stop the Faery plots before Ireland is thrown into all out war. Again.
An Earthly King is another action packed book in this Celtic urban fantasy series with lots of friendship, humor, angst, and even traces of the Ballad of Tam Lin.
An Earthly King (The Modern Tales of Na Fianna #2)
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy, Alternate History
Blood Ties (Book One) purchase links, including a special Kindle deal:
For the giveaway, visit HERE on the author’s blog!
Hello, Hazel West, and welcome! We are glad to have you here on the blog today. Congratulations on your sequel, An Earthly King!
Since you are running a Kindle deal on Blood Ties, the first book in the series, can you tell us a little about the story’s setting and plot?
Blood Ties is set in a modern Ireland that sort of incorporates modern gadgets and medieval politics. They still have high kings, and they fight with swords and bows and stuff, but they also enjoy the modern conveniences such as phone service and awesome sports cars. In addition to that, there are Faeries and other such creatures from Celtic folklore and mythology. The main focus is on the Fianna who were a legendary group of warriors who fought for the High Kings of Ireland which I took from the Fianna Cycle and the Legends of Fionn Mac Cool from Irish mythology. Ciran and his company are the modern day descendants of the original warriors.
You can also check out my book trailer for Blood Ties on Youtube which explains it a little more with visual aid 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TM8OMLfVeis
The Fianna sound really cool! I would like to learn more about the mythology; myths and legends always pique my curiosity.
Who is the main protagonist in An Earthly King? Introduce them to us.
Ciran Mac Cool is the main character of the series. He’s a young warrior in a long line of Fianna warriors (a descendant of the legendary Fionn Mac Cool). When he is introduced along with his friends in the first book, he’s looking for his brother who went missing with his scouting patrol and were captured by the goblins. So he kind of has to take over his brother’s role as the leader of Na Fianna, even though he barely just graduated from his training. In Book Two, we get to have a couple other protagonists added to the mix, one being Eamon, the High King of Ireland and the other Bree who is from the Bureau of Protection Against Fair Folk (BPAFF) which is an organization that works with human/Fae relations and protects Ireland from the more dangerous Faeries.
Bureau of Protection Against Fair Folk, love that! What first inspired you to pick up the pen and write stories like this one?
I have always loved reading stories and I guess eventually that sort of graduated to writing them. I have been making up stories since I was very young, so it’s kind of always been something I have been doing, even if not always proactively haha 😉
I was a young story thinker too, so I can relate to that. 🙂 Can you name for us some of the authors and/or books that have inspired you?
I think Brian Jacques with his Redwall series is the first author I can give credit to because I was reading those books when I really got serious about writing, and he was a fantastic writer (it helps your writing to read good stuff). More recently, Rosemary Sutcliff and probably others I can’t think of. I think each book I write I get inspiration from different authors, but I’ve kind of found my own voice by now as well.
Brian Jacques, yes! He was one of the first next to Tolkien to influence my writing world.
What were some of the challenges you faced in bringing your story and characters to life?
It would be lovely if one could write a story without any challenges 😉 This is also something that changes from book to book. I think my main problem with the Na Fianna series is marrying the character stories to the plotline. I have a lot of characters in this series and they all have their own stories and personal issues, and I typically prefer writing character driven novels, but these are also adventures, which means plot that moves, and sometimes the two don’t always like to go together smoothly. And also, making a world, especially one based on our own but marginally different, is tricky to make sure everything makes sense, but I actually had a pretty good time with this one.
Na Fianna sounds like a fun and mysterious world to explore!
If you could live anywhere, real or fictional, where would it be?
Ooh, good question. I think I’ll go fictional for this one and say the Inkworld in Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart trilogy. Or maybe Middle Earth. I would be perfectly happy in Hobbiton with my books and my good food 🙂
I second Middle Earth!
Since you’ve written some Irish tales, what Irish name would you rename yourself if you lived in an Ireland tale?
I’ve kind of always been fond of the name Siobhan, so maybe that. 🙂
That sounds really pretty! What does Siobhan mean in Irish, I wonder?
It was a pleasure interviewing you, Hazel! The book tour continues on the author’s blog HERE.
Hazel West lives in Purgatory, er, Florida, with her books and her hedgehog Horatio. When she’s not writing, she’s reading other people’s books, studying folklore, or binge-watching something on Netflix—drinking coffee is also a given.
You can find Hazel West and connect with her on the following links:
Writing blog: http://talesfromamodernbard.blogspot.com
E. E. Rawls