Karin Rita Gastreich: Daughter of Aithne

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Daughter of Aithne

by Karin Rita Gastreich

 

Author Interview: Karin Rita Gastreich

1. Woohoo! You are a published author. Describe a strong character trait you possess, good or bad, and how it helped you become a published author. It takes a lot of strong traits to become a published author. I think one of my greatest assets is patience. I’m willing to spend the time necessary to make sure my stories are as good as they can possibly be. I love to dive into words, play with them, tweak each passage until it feels perfect, send drafts out for editing, and then fix all the rough spots when the edits come back. Writing is one of those activities where the journey is more important than the destination. Don’t worry about when – or even if – you are going to finish that novel. You need to focus on where you are now, scene by scene, and trust where it will lead you.

2. Sometimes an author begins writing a story before they are aware of its genre. Did you choose your genre, or did it choose you? My genre chose me. I was not very well versed in fantasy when I began writing Eolyn, but the protagonist lives in a fantasy world. To tell her story, I had to write a fantasy.

3. The plot thickens, or does it? Which one are you, a pantser or a plotter? Both. I generally have an idea as to where I the story will go when I start writing a novel, but inevitably the characters take on a life of their own, resulting in many unexpected twists and turns, and even unexpected endings.

4. Fear 101: As writers it is our duty to make our characters face their fears. Have you ever included one of your own fears in a storyline? A lot of our fears are universal; this is why novels capture the popular imagination. The central conflict of my series is being denied the freedom to pursue one’s deepest dreams. The main character, Eolyn, is very gifted in magic, yet magic is forbidden to women in her world. I grew up in a time when women were denied many paths because of gender stereotypes; I think this situation has changed somewhat, but it is still true for most women the world over today.

5. Fear 102: Yes, deadlines are terrifying. Have you conquered the juggling act between writing and the rest of your life? What do you do when it feels like the balls are dropping all around you? I love writing, but other things in my life still have priority. My family and friends, my career as a biologist (which also pays the bills), my commitment to my own health and well-being. When the balls are dropping, I shed unnecessary commitments, pure and simple. It’s not always easy to say no, but you have to do it. If you don’t set limits on how you invest your time and energy, no one else will. Sometimes, believe it or not, this has meant setting aside writing. I never guilt trip myself over not having time to write, because that would only add to my stress. I know when things calm down, I will start writing again. Writing should be a source of enjoyment, a place to find freedom, not a guilt-inducing commitment. I have enough of those as it is.

6. Switch positions with one of your main characters in a scene. What is the outcome, disaster or divine intervention? Disaster permeates my books, but divine intervention – usually in the form of love – always triumphs.

7. Where is your favorite place to write? Add that one comfort food that you can’t do without. Once a year I travel to Virginia Beach, where a rent a house for a week with a group of women who are close friends and fellow writers. This is generally the best week of my year, and also my favorite place to write.

8. Writing inspirations? Anything and everything can inspire a story. As a writer, this is how you look at the world: every moment, every movement, every creature, every person you meet can inspire the next great idea.

9. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them? Seriously? I can only pick one? It’s almost impossible to pick just one. I guess I’d like to meet Gioconda Belli. I’d ask whether she believes there’s still a chance for revolutionary change in this world, whether a brighter future is still within our reach.

10. I’ve gone mad – why don’t you come with me? Some people just don’t understand us writers. Name a quirky, writer-thing you do that friends wish you didn’t. By design, most of my quirky writer-things happen when friends aren’t around. So, I don’t know…Maybe my friends wish I wouldn’t talk about my books so much!

 

 

GENRE:   fantasy

Blurb:

Betrayed by her own prodigy, Eolyn stands accused of treason. As power-hungry nobles dismantle her life’s work and honor, the desperate queen forges a risky alliance with the ruthless and cunning Mage Corey. Determined to defend her son’s claim to the throne of the Mage King, Eolyn prepares for her last and greatest battle, this time against her own sisters in magic. Across the Furma River, Taesara of Roenfyn is drawn out of seclusion and into an ever-more vicious game of intrigue and war. Subject to the schemes of a shrewd uncle and the mysterious ambitions of the wizards of Galia, Taesara struggles to assert her own destiny, even as she takes up arms to defend her daughter’s inheritance. In the climactic finale to The Silver Web trilogy, threads of love, honor, betrayal, and vengeance culminate in a violent conflict between powerful women, opposed to each other yet destined to shatter a thousand-year cycle of war. “An enticing and elegant series finale, filled with magic and turmoil.” -KIRKUS REVIEWS

 

Excerpt:

“Speak plainly, my Lord King,” Eolyn said. “I will not be subject to this cat-and-mouse game. If you do not trust me, if you do not believe me, then say so.”

“I trust your heart, Eolyn,” Akmael replied, “but your heart has led you to ill-advised decisions in the past. For this reason, I am not always inclined to trust your judgment.”

“For the love of the Gods! I am not the confused and frightened girl I was when my brother took up arms against you.”

“No, but you must understand the dilemma you have put me in.”

“The dilemma I have put you in?”

“If you knew of Ghemena’s plan and did not inform me, you were party to treason. If you did not know, then your authority over the magas is uncertain. Either way, the magas must remain bound and imprisoned until this conflict is resolved.”

Eolyn blinked and stepped away. “The magas have lived in peace in Moisehén for more than a decade. You cannot let the action of one woman—”

“Three women. The blatantly treasonous act of three women, all devoted students of yours. They have brought war upon us, Eolyn. Who knows how many others among your followers support them?”

“The magas who remain in my service have done nothing to merit suspicion.”

“All magas merit suspicion.” Akmael hesitated at her stricken look. He let go a slow breath and softened his tone. “There is a history here that we have not yet overcome, Eolyn. You, of all people, must understand that. Too many of our subjects still remember the war against my father.”

“And the purges that followed?” she shot back.

“The violence that tore this kingdom apart,” he conceded. “Right or wrong, the magas were left with the blame. We must manage this situation carefully, to protect you and your daughters. To see that justice is done.”

 

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Karin Rita Gastreich writes stories of ordinary women and the extraordinary paths they choose. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she is part of the biology faculty at Avila University. An ecologist by vocation, Karin has wandered forests and wildlands all her life. Her pastimes include camping, hiking, music, and flamenco dance. In addition to THE SILVER WEB trilogy, Karin has published short stories in World Jumping, Zahir, Adventures for the Average Woman, and 69 Flavors of Paranoia. She is a recipient of the Spring 2011 Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency.

 

Website: http://krgastreich.com

Twitter: @EolynChronicles

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Eolyn-110814625640244/

Purchase link for EOLYN, Book One of THE SILVER WEB: http://www.amazon.com/Eolyn-Silver-Web-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01B8F4G50/

Purchase link for SWORD OF SHADOWS, Book Two of THE SILVER WEB: https://www.amazon.com/Sword-Shadows-Silver-Web-Book-ebook/dp/B01G5L1GEG/

Purchase link for DAUGHTER OF AITHNE, Book Three of THE SILVER WEB: https://www.amazon.com/Daughter-Aithne-Silver-Web-Book-ebook/dp/B06WCZYRNW/

 

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Danita Minnis

I should have known I would end up here... Give me a good book and I'm in heaven. Especially romance, mystery, mayhem, the fantastic and the fey. Give me a laptop and I'm writing any one of these, and not in any particular order.

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