Here it is: the Big Blog Post about my upcoming novel, Alen’s War. And this one will be fun.
Let’s begin with the updated blurb. Which is probably the strangest word in the English language. This is likely the version that will end up on the back of the book, but suggestions are welcome before I finish the final cover design:
Alen, the son of the king of Agran, is given a simple secret task: find an insurrectionist named Galer and bring him back quietly to the capital for trial, but in a series of tragic mistakes Alen sets off a full-blown civil war. Now Agran is out to have Alen’s head for a wereguild. To save himself and his homeland, Alen and a small group of fighters must capture Galer once and for all. Yet their own dark secrets haunt them at every turn and foil their plans.
What else can I explain here? I find it hard to classify this book as anything beyond the generic “fantasy.” It has a young protagonist on a quest, and much of it takes place on beautiful pirate ships and frozen seashores. However, the whole plot revolves around a war that began as a rebellion. So what do I call it? I call it my fantastical YA war story that feels like historical fiction about vikings.
And now for the real cast of characters. Some of this might be a repeat of my introductory post, but there’s also some new stuff, so stick around. Oh, and I’m doing the dream cast this time, too.
Personality type: ISFJ
Dream cast: …Alas, I could not find the perfect actor for my young protagonist!
The prisoner lifted his head, the deep look of hurt still hanging in his eyes. “Then what will you do to me now?”
Alen grinned. “I hope to save your life.”
What can I say? Alen may be a son of the king of Agran, but he’s by no means a normal prince. He is adorable, but not too soft; uncertain, but not a chicken; fierce, but not too impulsive. In short, he is every “good kid” when he or she was sixteen years old. Strangely enough, loyalty is simultaneously his strongest asset and his worst fault. It is the quality that propels him forward to accomplish his mission and yet holds him back from truly achieving the truth. Alen feels that letting go of the past is disloyalty, so he has to keep everything inside of him, pushed down where he cannot forget it.
Personality type: ISTP
Dream cast: Richard Armitage
“Do you believe we will win?” Alen asked.
Brandis turned sharply, as if surprised and even offended. “Do you disbelieve it?” he returned, and Alen nearly withered at the frown that Brandis gave him. Then Brandis laughed. “Well, so do I.”
Okay, I admit it: Brandis the raider is my favorite character I have ever written, and that’s coming from an author who has written over thirty unique characters in one fantasy world. He is (dare I say it) Long John Silver, Coriolanus, and Faramir all rolled into one- although I wasn’t thinking of all those characters while I wrote him. To be honest, I wrote Brandis specifically with Armitage in mind. Brandis is the enigma that refuses to be solved: the friend who betrays and then apologizes; the killer who rescues people from fires; the raider who speaks like an English professor. And all that is resolved in his dark secret.
Personality type: INTJ
Dream cast: Harry Lloyd
Still Turomar stared out at the grey sea. “I do not need love.”
Ah, my resident Mastermind. In many ways, Turomar the strategist is me gone wrong. That is, if I had been abandoned and rejected for all of my life, I would have the skewed worldview and priorities that Turomar does- all of which may explain why he’s a close second for my favorite character. Turomar may have a few acquaintances, but he refuses to let anybody into his life for fear that he will be written off as worthless or rejected altogether.
Personality type: ENFJ
Dream cast: Matthew Macfadyen
“Each of us failed Agran once, whether in word or in deed, and even after all the good we could do, there is no going back. Never.”
My sister teases me about the central antagonist, calling him “Enjolras,” and I can admit that there is some resemblance. Galer does serve as the hopeful leader of a revolution who gets himself into serious trouble. Yet he is also incredibly intelligent and crafty, having many more resources at his disposal than Marius’ college friends ever dreamed of, and his influence only expands as the war rages on. In short, Galer has a chance of winning, and he desperately wants to do just that.
Personality type: ISTJ
Dream cast: Liam Neeson
“Whoever promised that life would be easy?” Reyis stood up and straightened, looking again like a tall king with steely eyes and grey hair. “Certainly not me.”
Good ol’ Reyis. He is Alen’s father and also the king of the second-largest kingdom in the world, so despite playing a relatively small role in the story, he was a great deal of fun to write. He’s not exactly the most touchy-feely parent in the world, but he always does what he knows is best, and if he doesn’t know, he will find out. I can appreciate that kind of attitude.
Personality type: ESFJ
Dream cast: Lily James
Alen felt the dagger at his side. Maybe it had no real magic, but Arila surely did, and it was enough for him to keep fighting.
You knew I couldn’t write a book without any estrogen, didn’t you? Not, that is, without getting complaints from my romantically-minded mom. Again, as a bookkeeper at the capital, Arila has a relatively small role in the story. However, while she does play something of a love interest (at least at the beginning), Arila mainly serves as a sort of impact character, the one on whom the message depends. And she is really quite a sweet girl, which makes for a sweet subplot.
That’s all, folks! I’ll be doing some interviews at other blogs as the big day approaches, so keep an eye out for those. You can also preorder the Kindle version of Alen’s War or hold out for the paperback in July.