by Monica Shaughnessy
The Space City Scribes love to support local authors, and I’ve got one I’d like to tell you about – Dorothy Tinker. She’s a fantasy writer who just released her second book, Gift of War. In the spirit of co-opetition (did I spell that right?), we’re talking about her series today, not mine.
Q. Your Peace of Evon series looks like a great find for fantasy lovers. Can you tell us a little about your books?
A. The Peace of Evon series is a young adult high fantasy series set in a world of magics, gods, and noblemen. It’s a story of friendship, both old and new, and the struggle to trust another with secrets long kept. It’s a tale of the struggle to find peace, not just between peoples, but with oneself.
Gemini is the orphaned daughter of a duke who takes on the male peasant-born persona of James in order to help her country find peace. As she travels the country with her best friends and bondmates, the dragon Flame Tongue and the stallion Shadow Racer, “James” gains a reputation as a rebel leader, hunted by nobles and revered by peasants. When a violent encounter breaks out between the pirates she has befriended and the king’s men, she finds herself face-to-face with a man who has the potential to be her most dangerous enemy or most powerful ally: the country’s young king, Ferez.
For his part, King Ferez is intrigued by the boy who can take down five men with a pair of daggers and, half an hour later, stand before him in the position of first mate on a pirate ship. Once he learns James’ part in uniting the rebellious groups, Ferez asks that he be allowed to join the boy in his quest for peace, a request which Gemi grants despite the risk that Ferez might discover the full truth of her identity.
Q. Sounds like action-packed fantasy. What attracted you to this genre?
A. Fantasy has been my favorite genre for as long as I can remember. Exploring the seemingly impossible worlds and creatures (not to mention rules and cultures) of the fantasy genre is an endless thrill. I love to get lost in other worlds, whether they’re my own or other people’s, and the creatures have always enchanted me. I love dragons, faeries, and pretty much any creature that is a mixture of real creatures or can be found in mythology. In fact, magical creatures enchant me so much that I came up with a motto when I was younger: “Wings, cats, and horses galore!” Anything related to any of these (dragons, faeries, pegasi, unicorns, cat people, etc) are beloved to me.
Q. If you know the plural of “pegasus,” you’re a definite fantasy buff. 🙂 I read in your bio that you were inspired to write at a young age by a fellow scribe. What advice would you give today’s young/beginning writer to inspire them?
A. My advice to young writers: never give up and try not to get frustrated. I started writing at the age of 13, and the story I wrote then only ended up with seven chapters written despite the spin of tales (three or four books long) that I had held in my head then. When I entered college, I began writing Peace of Evon (which was originally supposed to be one book), but I only made it through thirteen chapters before classes and then job searching got in the way. It wasn’t until I was out of college for two years that I finally decided that writing was what I was truly passionate about and I went back to Peace of Evon. Two years later, I published the first half of the series in one book, which I have since broken up into two, Peace of Evon and Gift of War.Life happens and so does writer’s block (in whatever form it takes for you), but never let it steal your dream of writing from you.
Q. Life does happen. And so do bills. Many beginning writers don’t make much money with their craft, so working while you’re writing is a reality. Spot on advice, Dorothy! Now let’s talk world-building. It’s so important for fantasy novels. Can you tell me a little about your process?
A. I agree that world-building is important. One of the good things about the series having taken me so long to continue is that it gave my mind time to work on the rules and cultures of the world. As I like to tell people, the story began with the map of Evon, and it only grew from there. Interactions between countries, between gods and the world they rule over, and between specific individuals have all influenced the world in which Evon is set. I also decided to incorporate other languages in order to delineate differences between different cultures within the country of Evon, so natives to these different regions may think and speak mixtures of English and Spanish or English and German depending on where they’re from (I reference existing languages but call them different names in the world).
Q. Terrific insight. “World rules” are important to set, and more important to follow consistently. What do you have planned next for your series?
A. The third book in the series, Lost King, is in the process of being edited and will be published March 31, 2015. The book takes up where Gift of War left off, finding Gemi, Ferez, and their animal companions separated and lost. Their allies do what they can to remedy the situation, but half of the struggle lies within the minds of both Gemi and Ferez, and even Gemi’s bondmates have difficulty fighting such battles.The last book of the series, Forgotten Goddess, should come out in late 2015 or early 2016.
Q. Give me one super silly fact about yourself that NO ONE KNOWS (until today).
A. The creatures of fantasy are so much a part of my mental worlds that I once painted the floor of my bedroom to display them. A fairy ring encircled my bed, and a faerie guarded each of my doors and windows. The door out to the hallway was guarded by a large dragon and my childhood motto: “Wings, Cats, and Horses Galore!”
Q. I bet you and Artemis Greenleaf, my fellow Space City Scribe, would’ve been great childhood friends! So…your March book launch at Writespace looks like a lot of fun, especially the part about the costumes. Tell us about it.
A. I am working with Writespace to create a book launch for the first two books of the Peace of Evon series. Attendees are invited to dress in their favorite medieval outfits, though it’s not required (there will be a costume contest in which two winners receive either free copies of the books or gift certificates to Writespace). There will be food, renaissance faire music, and tidbits on the culture and history of Evon. I will be reading sections from both Peace of Evon and Gift of War, as well as helping the attendees imagine the desperate grief of the war preceding the series through story and song.The book launch party will be at Writespace on March 7 at 7pm. (2000A Edwards Street, Houston, 77007)
Of course, you can buy one of Dorothy’s books at her launch party. But if you want to check them out ahead of time, visit her Amazon page or her website.
Nice chatting with you, Dorothy!