Please welcome Janalyn Voigt to my blog this week. Janalyn is giving away 3 ebook copies of DawnSinger. Leave a comment or ask Janalyn a question to be entered. Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth. I’m sitting in the dining room at the table and wearing a striped red-and-white tee-shirt, blue jeans, black socks (because who needs to match when you’re at home), a red fleece jacket (because I live in a drafty old house), and I have my hair in a ponytail because it was bugging me down.
What is the funniest, strangest, or most interesting thing you have learned when doing research? While researching 13th-Century medieval warfare for my epic fantasy novel, DawnSinger, I learned that the Byzantines perfected something called Greek fire, which combusted upon contact with water. (I’m still getting my mind around that idea.)
Its primary use was in naval warfare although it also showed up in castle sieges. It burned with ferocity, even as one account claims, beneath the water. An eyewitness who saw a lighted barrel catapult toward a besieging army described it as a fireball with a long tail that lit up the night as if it were day. It roared like a dragon. Kind of makes you wonder, doesn't it?
The formula for Greek fire has been lost in the mists of time. While some believe it contained naphtha or petroleum in some form, no one today knows for certain what it contained. I can’t help but be glad about that.
What is something that very few people know about you? I have a gift for drawing. I’m starting to post some of my pictures online, but it’s really a hobby. Here’s an orca I drew to use as a scene divider in the Islands of Intrigue linked-fiction series I’m entering into with two other authors: Something of a Mystery: Why and How I Drew This Orca. There’s more about the series at the site. It started as a project for fun, and has since turned into a joint venture. My title, Deceptive Tide, will release May 1st, 2014.
What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair) I have an antique scroll-back couch upholstered in blue velvet that reminds me of something from the American West. It doesn’t contour to your body very well and it’s kind of narrow so it’s not good for sleeping on, but it’s awesome looking!
If you could live in any time period other than the one we live in, past or future, when and where would that be and why? The Middle Ages have always spoken to me. If I could have it without the filth and pestilence, that would be my choice. If I could have my druthers, I’d prefer to be a princess in a castle than a kitchen maid. I’m sure princesses had their share of tedious duties, but they probably didn’t break their fingernails while performing them. If you were writing a book about your life what would the title be? I actually have written a book about my life, but it’s never seen the light of day. I’m not sure if it ever will (or that I want it to anymore), but writing it was great therapy. It’s entitled Now I’m Found. What one novel did you read that made you want to be a part of the story? Hands down, it was Tolkien’s The Hobbit. My attention span was wandering until I reached the place where they rode on the back of giant eagles. Then I was with the story all the way. I’m addicted to adventure, just so long as it’s not life-threatening. Besides that, I fell in love with Middle Earth. What is the biggest secret you ever kept (of course it can’t be a secret anymore)? I’m lousy at keeping secrets. I usually forget they are secrets and blurt them out. However, I’m a private person, so there was one thing I kept to myself instinctually: the fact that I’m a writer. I was embarrassed to admit it. Looking back, I can’t remember why I felt this way, except that maybe I wasn’t ready to commit to my calling at the time. It’s no longer a secret or an issue, and I’m glad of that.
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done? When my job as an assistant underwriter for an insurance company ended, I didn’t look for another one but stayed home to write. That was a huge leap, because I was making pretty good money and I could have found another job easily. The money I’m making as a debut novelist just doesn’t compare, but I’ll never go back to my old life.
More about Janalyn:
It happened over time. My father instilled a love of literature in
me at an early age when he read chapters from "The Wizard of Oz,"
"Robinson Crusoe" and other classics as bedtime stories. When I grew
older, and he stopped reading bedtime stories, I put myself to sleep with tales
I "wrote" in my head.
As a precocious reader, I soon graduated to the novels in my
parent's bookcase. I'm sure those books contributed to my growth as a writer.
Eventually, I scribbled my own stories on paper. A teacher noticed my storytelling
ability when I was twelve. As a result of his encouragement, I identified my
desire to write novels.
DawnSingeris my debut
novel and the first offering in Tales of Faeraven. WayFarer, the next book in my epic fantasy
series, releases January 3rd, 2014. I’m currently completing DawnKing, book three. I’m represented by
Sarah Joy Freese of Wordserve Literary.
My home is in a beautiful corner of the Pacific Northwest. I enjoy
reading, gardening, and finding adventures in the great outdoors. I dream of travel
to amazing places where castles can be found.
High Queen is dying… At the royal summons, Shae mounts a wingabeast and
soars through the air to the high hold of Faeraven, where all is not as
it seems. Visions warn her of danger, and a dark soul touches hers in
the night. When she encounters an attractive but disturbing musician,
her wayward heart awakens.
But then there is Kai, a guardian of Faeraven and of Shae. Secrets bind
him to her, and her safety lies at the center of every decision he
makes. On a desperate journey fraught with peril and the unknown, they
battle warlike garns, waevens, ferocious raptors, and the wraiths of
their own regrets. Yet, they must endure the campaign long enough to
release the DawnKing—and the salvation he offers—into a divided land. To
prevail, each must learn that sometimes victory comes only through
WayFarer, Tales of Faeraven, book two
Elcon, an untried youth, assumes his duties as High King. But as trouble
stirs between nations and rebellion threatens Faeraven, his position is
far from secure. Can Elcon trust that the Elder youth accompanying Kai
is the DawnKing, sent by the High One to deliver his people? Or has
something gone horribly wrong?
to prove himself, Elcon embarks on a peace-keeping campaign into the
Elder lands, where he meets a beautiful Elder princess. But Aewen is
betrothed to another, and Elcon has promised to court the princess,
Arillia, upon his return. Declaring his love for Aewen would shame them
both and tear apart the very fabric of Faeraven.
choices lead him into the Vale of Shadows, where he learns that to
deliver his people, he must first find his own redemption.
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again! Drawing will be held Monday, October 14th at 8:00 A.M. EST. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.