Today I have a video interview with fantasy author Jeanette O’Hagan, as part of the blog tour to launch her new book Blood Crystal. There are some giveaways. Transcript below.
G’day. I’m Adam David Collings. Welcome to Stories. Today, I’m joined by fantasy author Jeanette O’Hagan as part of a blog tour celebrating the release of her new book Blood Crystal.
You’ll find links to the next and previous stops on the tour in the description below. And be sure to stick around to the end, because we’ll be doing some giveaways.
Well Hi Jeanette. Thanks for being on the show.
Hi Adam, I’m thrilled to be here.
Could you begin by giving us a quick pitch on what Blood Crystal is about.
Unlikely heroes, thrilling adventure, clash of cultures and an unthinkable choice – Blood Crystal is the second novella in the Under the Mountain series.
The underground realm is under attack from mad Overseer Uzza and the Crystal Heart is failing. Twins Delvina and Retza brave a treacherous journey to seek help from Zadeki and his people. Will they find the answers before it’s too late? Is the blood of Uzza’s children the only way to restore the Crystal Heart? What are the twins prepared to do to save their realm and those they love from certain destruction?
In your underground world, the people are dependant on a device called the crystal heart to provide the power that keeps them alive. Did you have any particular inspiration behind this cool mix of magic and technology?
I knew the lights were failing and I needed an appropriate localised power source that wasn’t purely magical but not totally mundane. I think I’d read somewhere that crystals can use vibrations to store and give power. I thought too of Steam Punk stories but also Science Fiction that uses crystals – for instance the Superman mythology – and also of the Outlands in World of Warcraft. This tied in well with the context as my early origin stories of Nardva focused on stones or crystals, as well as some of the Akrad stories. So I guess a range of influences came together to produce the Crystal Heart.
So Blood Crystal is the second book in the Under The Mountain series, but it’s also part of something much larger, as it’s set in your Nardva fantasy world. Can you tell us about Nardva, and how the Under the Mountain series fits into it?
I began creating stories within Nardva when I was eight or nine. It started as an island but soon expanded, Nardva is a planet of similar size to earth with two moons. Many of my original stories were in the eastern side of the main continental mass in the northern hemisphere, but the first novel I wrote is in the southern hemisphere. The Under the Mountain series are set beneath a towering mountain range that runs down the west coast of one of the southern continents.
What other books and series do you have coming out in the Nardva world?
I have two sequels planned in the Under the Mountain series & a prequel called The Shadows of the Deep – as well as the Akrad’s Legacy series , which relates to the neighbouring area of Tamra. I’ve also written short stories set in the Barakian mountains in the northern continent – and a series of space opera stories set in the far future of Nardva – with two due to be published this year in Futurevision and Quantum Soul.
So, do you think there’ a chance we might see a big epic crossover event someday?
I would have to not only bend space – but also time to achieve it 😊 Though the savvy reader may well pick up cross-references to different stories. For instance, in Blood Crystal, the kinleader mentions Tamrak’s people – who are basically the Tamris, the the Forest Folk appear in the Akrad’s Legacy series. While towns in the Akrad’s Legacy series appear in the futuristic stories.
Now, you mentioned space opera stories, so Nardva isn’t just confined to Fantasy. Tell us a little more about this recent foray into science fiction.
It all happened quite accidentally. I was given a writing exercise – to write a food scene in a sci-fi genre with a villain. I started with ‘Dana shoving the food packet into the rehydrator’ before the villains beam into her ship. That became a flash fiction ‘Space Junk’ – and then thinking of a piece for the Futurevision anthology, I used Dana in Rendezvous at Alexgaia and decided to set the story in Nardva’s future. One of the characters has been captured and ‘upgraded’ into a cyborg, so I told his story for Quantum Soul (coming out later this year) – and have since expanded it into the basis for a trilogy. Suddenly, I finding myself writing science fiction.
Sounds like you’ve got a vast world with amazing scope for storytelling. Do you have any plans to write any stories outside of this world, or are you going to keep your focus on Nardva?
I have written a few short pieces outside Nardva – a couple of contemporary ones and one time travel one. So I would never say never, but for now I’ve heaps of untold stories in Nardva to go on with.
You started building the world of Nardva when you were just a child, and it’s slowly taken shape over the years. Do you find yourself wishing that you’d gone ahead and developed it more fully when you were younger, or are you glad you waited until now to make writing seriously a career?
That’s a great question. I wrote my first book in my late teens and early twenties with ideas for the sequel. I did get one small nibble from a publisher but then, with work and family demands, put it aside. If I had got my first book published in 80s or 90s – I can only wonder where I would be today. On the other hand, I have more experience and more time to grow my craft, and I think my work benefits from that as well. I’m trusting that God’s timing is right.
That makes sense. We can come up with our own plans, but he tends to know more than we do.
So, If the chance ever came up, would you prefer that your books be adapted for TV or for movies?
Can I have both lol. That’s a hard choice because a movie has a strong presence. I could imagine perhaps the Under the Mountain novellas as a movie or movies – and perhaps even the science fiction stories as the trilogy has a more linear plot, but I think the Akrad Legacy series would be better as a TV series due to the complexities of the storyline.
Blood Crystal features a group of people with the ability to shapeshift into animal forms. If you could do this, what animal would you choose?
I always have difficulty choosing just one – I love the power and grace of a big cat (like a jaguar) though the speed and nobility of a horse or the ability to soar on the air currents like an eagle – or leap and swim through the waves like a dolphin all have their attractions. That’s probably why my shape-shifters, for the most part, can transform into more than one form.
Now, this interview is part of your blog tour for Blood Crystal, and we’re doing a scavenger hunt. Do you want to tell us a little about how that works.
Love to. At each stop of the blog tour, there is a shared experience, memory or excerpt from a book – and a related question. The question is like a clue in a scavenger hunt. To participate, go from one blog to the next, gathering the answers – and the first person to give all the answers on the final blogpost wins the prize. And the second person gets the runner up prize.
I haven’t spent a lot of time underground, but I do remember as a kid, on our holidays around Tasmania we’d sometimes visit a cave. The type that do guided tours. We’d be led through a safe walking track. The tour guide would point out the various rock formations. This stalactite looks like a wedding cake, and here’s one that looks like an old man. I remember on one, they briefly turned off all the lights to show us how dark it was, and you could see all the little glow worms.
My question to all you watching is this, the formations that hang down from the ceiling of a cave, are they stalactites, or stalagmites?
Once you have the answer, head over to jeanetteohagan.com along with your answers to the questions from the other blog participants, for your chance to win a $50 amazon gift card. The runner up will receive both Heart of The Mountain and Blood Crystal
In addition to that, we’ll be giving away a prize to the best comment on this video, chosen by Jeanette. Comments can be made on youTube, or my actual blog article on AdamDavidCollings.com.
What date do comments need to be entered by to be eligible Jeannette?
By the end of the blog tour – which will be back at Jeanette O’Hagan Writes (jeanetteohagan.com) on Friday 28th July.
Brilliant. So the comment you choose will win a copy of Heart of The Mountain and, and I’ll throw in a copy of my Medieval Mars story Lynessa’s Curse as well. So good luck.
Well, It’s been great talking to you Jeanette. Where can people find you and your books?
Thanks Adam, it’s been fun. My books are available on your local Amazon and also Itunes, Kobo, Nook and other retailers through Draft2Digital.
Here’s the link to the US Amazon http://amzn.to/2uT4n7v
Awesome. Well, thanks for being on the show.
It has indeed, thanks for having me.
And thanks for watching. I’ll catch ya next time
Live long and prosper
Make it so.