Friday, October 23, 2015

Wind VBT

Wendland is a land of dragons, and of magic. The mysterious Drachengott grants magic to his worshippers - but is he truly a god? Rutger von Gothendorf is only a simple furrier, but he has become his village's local eccentric, thanks to his obsession with the murder of his brother by the Drachengott's servants. He holds onto the vague hope that he will one day have the chance to fight back against them - until one day a mysterious and beautiful woman named Swanhild comes into his life. Rutger is instantly smitten - but Swanhild knows more than she says, and a web of lies and deceit threatens to sour the love beginning to grow between them.

And all the while, the Drachengott waits ...

The wind whistled through the darkness, shaking the branches all about and putting a chill into the air. It carried a scent with it, straight to Rutger’s nose. He took it in and immediately tensed.

‘Did you smell that, Horst?’ he hissed, snatching his older brother by the arm.

Horst shook him off. ‘Not now, Rut — we’re in enough trouble without worrying about funny smells.’

‘But it smells like rotting meat!’ Rutger insisted. He paused, ignoring Horst’s impatient look, and breathed in deeply. The smell hit him again — worse, this time. He retched slightly. ‘Can’t you smell it?’

Horst, big and muscular, turned his head in the gloom and sniffed. A moment later, he grimaced. ‘You’re right: something’s dead out there. Come on, let’s move on before we find out what.’

He strode off, Rutger hurrying after him. ‘You don’t think it’s spiders, do you?’

‘Could be,’ Horst said shortly. ‘Keep your eyes open.’

Rutger swallowed and put a hand on the hilt of the long dagger looped through his belt. He had never seen a giant spider before, and he wanted to keep it that way. Silently, he wished he had never asked to come out here into the forest with Horst. But it had all seemed so harmless — just a quick stroll through the forest to check Horst’s mink traps. But then they hadn’t been able to find the last trap, and now they were lost.

I really am the unlucky seventh son, he thought glumly.

If Horst was as worried as his brother, he didn’t show it. He walked slightly ahead, dead mink swinging from his belt. A big old woodaxe hung on his back, brought along for protection. Night was falling now, and the sooner they got out of here the better.

The forest all around was dense and looked threatening, its spiky pine needles sighing in the relentless wind. Night always seemed to come early here. But at least the putrid smell had gone away.

‘How close do you think we are now?’ Rutger asked in a low voice.

Horst shook his head. ‘Not sure — I think there’s a clearing up ahead, though.’

Rutger came to his brother’s side, and the two of them climbed a small rise into the clearing. The instant Rutger left the shelter of the trees, it hit him again: the hideous stench of rotting meat slamming into his nose, so powerfully that his eyes watered. Beside him, Horst had stopped. Rutger heard him swear softly. He looked up, intending to tell his brother that they should go — and then he saw it.

Ahead, in the clearing, a faint light began to glow. It shone on the dark, lumpy shapes which hung from the trees at the far side. Some could have been animal corpses, but the rest . . .

Horst wrenched the axe down off his back. ‘Get behind me, Rut,’ he said sharply. ‘Get out of here. Now.’

‘What—?’ Rutger started to say — but too late.

As the light brightened, two of the hanging shapes dropped to the ground and stepped forward. They wore rough leather tunics with hoods which covered their heads, but on each of their chests was a pair of red gemstones, set into an amulet. They glowed faintly in the light, making a halo over each of the two men, like a pair of glowering eyes.

‘Jüngen!’ Rutger heard himself say.

One of the pair pointed accusingly at them. ‘How dare you enter this sacred grove?’

Horst started to back away, axe raised.

The two Jüngen joined hands, and the light around them intensified as their linked hands rose. An instant later, a great flash blinded Rutger. He cried out as he fell back, but his voice was drowned out by a screeching roar from above.

A pitch-black dragon was hovering over the Jüngen’s heads, its eyes glowing red. Light crackled over its wings, and it roared again.

The Jüngen let go of each other, and the second of the two spoke to the dragon. His words were a short, cold command.

‘Kill them.’

Katie, thanks so much for stopping by. So, how did you get started writing?
I loved stories as a kid – not just books, but movies as well (and later on games as well – some of those have really great writing!). I have a very vivid memory from my primary school years, when my class was watching The Secret Garden movie. At some point in the early parts of the movie, I suddenly found myself thinking that I wished I was in it, so I could change what was happening.

That was probably the starting point. I think everyone who’s going to become a writer finds themselves wishing they were in charge of other people’s stories (this is one reason why fanfiction exists). As the saying goes “if there is a book you desperately want to read, but it doesn’t exist yet, then you must write it”.

I started writing short stories and poems in primary school, and started trying for full-length novels in high school. And the rest is history!

What was the inspiration for your book?
I had a mental image of a dragon so huge that he was one with a mountaintop, and it was such a powerful one that I knew I had to use it. I also wanted to write a story in which the standard issue “prophet’ character plays a more prominent role. So the Drachengott and Syn the Seer were born. I decided to make the world Germanic since I’ve always loved the German language and thought it would be a bit different to use it in one of my worlds. All the German words in the series are real – and hopefully grammatically correct! I actually speak a bit of German myself, in fact.

What’s the one genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
I hven’t really tried anything that wasn’t fantasy, but I’ve found I enjoy writing about conspiracies, gunfights and spies, so maybe one day I should have a go at writing a thriller. That might be fun. 

Are there any genres you won’t read or write in? Why?
I’m not interested in reading or writing a romance novel, because that’s just not a thing that has ever interested me. Nor am I particularly into science fiction, though I enjoy movies in that genre. I’ve got nothing against that sort of thing; it’s just not for me.

What are you up to right now? Do you have any releases planned, or are you still writing?
I’m busy writing a bunch of different things. Meanwhile my agents are shopping around some finished projects – a children’s book, a new high fantasy trilogy for adults, and a YA urban fantasy series. I’ve left them to get on with that while I work on a new novel set in a new world – I’m not sure if it will be standalone or the first of a series. I also plan to publish a few things independently – keep an eye on my Facebook page and author website for updates on that!

Alright, now for some totally random questions. Favorite color?
It used to be purple – now it’s blue.

Favorite movie?    
Monster’s Ball. I’m not sure why; normally I hate that kind of movie. But there you go.

Book that inspired you to become an author?
There was no one book that did that; it was every book I ever read – even the ones I didn’t like! I do remember that the first “novels” I tried to write were heavily inspired by the Deptford Mice series by Robin Jarvis – a British author who in my opinion is criminally underrated. I adored his series when I was a kid – it was surprisingly dark given that it was marketed to children.

You have one superpower. What is it?
The power of flight! Oh, the places I could go…

You can have dinner with any 3 people, dead, alive, fictitious, etc. Who are they?
A filmmaker, a veteran soldier, and a lifelong traveller. It wouldn’t matter exactly who they were – all three would have interesting new things to teach me, and all three would have experiences far outside my own. One of the things I love best about meeting new people is learning from their experiences. 

Last question: Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?
I would say I’m the most similar to Karmain Costa, the protagonist of the fourth and final book – like me she lives alone and has grand dreams of adventure, and like me she tries to see both sides of a conflict rather than automatically assuming that either one is “right”. I do have a few things in common with Rutger, the main character of Wind – I’m also seen as a bit of an eccentric, and am easily duped under the right circumstances thanks to my overly trusting nature. Unfortunately.

That’s all from me, thanks so much for taking the time to stop by!
Any time! :D

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October 20: Straight from the Library
October 21: Dark Treasury
October 22: CA Milson
October 23: Sharing Links and Wisdom
October 26: Rogues Angels
October 27: LittlePinkCrayon Book Reviews
October 28: LibriAmoriMiei
October 29: BooksChatter
October 30: Nya Reads

Author Bio and Links:
K.J.Taylor was born in Australia in 1986 and plans to stay alive for as long as possible. She went to Radford College and achieved a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications at the University of Canberra, where she is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Information Studies.

She published her first work, The Land of Bad Fantasy through Scholastic when she was just 18, and went on to publish The Dark Griffin in Australia and New Zealand five years later. The Griffin’s Flight and The Griffin’s War followed in the same year, and were released in America and Canada in 2011. At the moment, she is working on the third set of books in the series, while publishing the second.

K.J.Taylor’s real first name is Katie, but not many people know what the J stands for. She collects movie soundtracks and keeps pet rats, and isn’t quite as angst-ridden as her books might suggest.

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  1. I enjoyed the first three griffin books and this book is already on my to-read list

    1. Thankyou so much! :) There are three more griffin books, beginning with The Shadow's Heir, in case you didn't know (some people didn't, probably because the covers are so different). I hope you enjoy the Drachengott too!