Where do you get your inspiration?
Honestly? From everywhere. From a song I’m listening to, from a show or book I’m watching, from stories I heard growing up. Sometimes I listen to a conversation and it sparks an idea. Sometimes I have a concept, like redemption, and I want to explore what that would look like in a story. A lot of my inspiration comes from a misconception; for example I saw a guy wearing a bluetooth headset that caught the light in an odd way, and I thought he had these really cool metal ear pieces that made him look like an elf. And then I thought, oh, that would be a neat detail to add into a story! So, from everywhere and everything.
Where did the inspiration for Hurricane Chronicles come from?
It’s difficult to talk about the inspiration, when the series isn’t done yet! I don’t want to give away any spoilers! But, here’s what I can say about it. I knew I wanted to start with a lesser known mythology, so I looked into some of the South American folklore and was really drawn to Mayan mythology. The Camazotz are taken directly from Mayan mythology, although in their myths Camazotz is a bat-god of night, death and sacrifice. I took some creative liberties with making them a race of destructive warriors and modified the name into a singular and plural form.
I was also intrigued by the idea of friendship between two people, and wanted to explore how strong those bonds could be, and also what happens when you break that bond; what does it do to a person? The other themes that are explored in the books are loyalty, and unconditional love. What does it mean to love someone, flaws and all? Does it always have to be romantic love? Can a love formed in friendship surpass a romantic love?
How do I pronounce Mithre, Camazotz, Ihsani, Goreg, etc?
I’ve uploaded a prununciation guide here for those of you that would like to know how they are intended to be read.
Where can I buy your book?
It’s available exclusively on Amazon, as a Kindle eBook, or a paperback edition. The paperback is lovely, and so big!
Will there be a sequel to Storyteller?
Yes! The second book, titled Intruder, is being finished up right now. The goal is to have it ready for release in January of 2021. We have two more books planned to finish the series, as well as potentially a few novellas to explore some storylines we really loved but didn’t fit into the overall story arc of The Hurricane Chronicles. Books 3 and 4 in the series will most likely publish sometime in 2022. It will take a while to wrap up the series in a way that doesn’t let everyone (including myself!) down!
What age range is the book written for?
The genre is YA Fantasy, which just means that the series is set in a fictional world (a la Middle Earth, although I’m not claiming to be as amazing of a writer as Tolkien!) and the characters are young adults, so their age is between 13 and 18-21 years old. People of all ages have enjoyed Storyteller, and we’ve gotten really great feedback from people that don’t regularly read the fantasy genre! Keep in mind that it is YA, so some themes may not be appropriate for younger children (I’d recommend 12 and up) and there is some language and light romance.
How do you come up with the names of your characters, places, creatures, etc?
I’ve created the majority of the names in the series, with the exception of Camazotz and Saguzar. I’ve been heavily inspired by the Basque language, as the names/sounds/letter combinations feel like ones you’d encounter in Orosea. I’ll often look up a word in Basque, and then work on modifying it until it sounds right or has the feel that I’m going for. I also try to make sure that characters in each caste have similar sounding names – for example the Agiles’ names frequently end in a vowel or with an “s.” (Like Ihsani or Tres). Strengths use the “or” sound a lot in their names and their towns. Letters like “x” and “z” are very common in the language my characters speak, so I try to keep that consistent throughout. Sometimes I have a character’s name immediately, and sometimes they get a nickname until I finally come up with the perfect character name. Ziara’s nickname was Sassy for the longest time, and Ilari was Chestnut.
I came up with Reka’s name right away. It’s pretty common in fantasy for the main character’s name to be totally original, so it took some time to come up with something unique, feminine sounding, and a name that I liked. I’ve probably written her name hundreds of times at this point, so it needed to be something I liked for the long haul!
How can I self publish my own book?
Check out resources like Fiverr and Amazon Direct Publishing help desk. Fiverr has a host of freelance people who can help with editing, proofreading, book blurbs, etc. There are book cover designers on there, as well as graphic designers, people to help with marketing, keywords, etc. It’s a great marketplace! Amazon will walk you through getting your manuscript uploaded and published, but be aware that it’s a lengthy and detailed process. Have lots of patience!