Today we have a guest blogger with us, author Wendy Knight. I hope you enjoy getting to know more about her and her debut novel Feudlings (Fate on Fire #1) from Astraea Press. I love reading Wendy’s posts on Facebook and Twitter. She’s funny and I cannot wait to read her book. Wendy has given us an excerpt from the book to hook us in! Enjoy!
Twizzlers or Red Vines? Red Vines! They’re so delicious. Twizzlers make my throat feel weird.
What is your favorite punctuation mark? The em dash. I use that thing sooo much – it makes me happy!
What is your favorite genre to write in and to read? Young Adult Urban Fantasy – to write AND to read. I love thinking things in our world aren’t exactly as they appear. I also love Dystopian!
Being a mom of three, how do you find time to write? How do you stay motivated? Ha! Good question! I can’t write if I’m going to get interrupted, so having kids is definitely a challenge to my writing! Fortunately, I have a rock star husband who watches them in the evenings and weekends, and I write at night when they’re in bed for as long as I can stay awake.
I stay motivated because I really love to write! It’s my escape. I have a harder time staying motivated if I have to edit. Editing and I aren’t on the best of terms.
We hear all the time that reading makes one a better writer. How has reading helped you become a better writer? I think that reading helped me become a better writer not just because I learn, like, the whole plot/grammar/everything else, but because it opens my mind to let awesome ideas come in. Reading is the best way to find inspiration for me.
Where did the idea for Feudlings come from? I am not exactly sure where the idea came from, exactly, but I do know when it happened. I had just had my third baby, and she wasn’t a fan of sleeping, so I would spend nights for months on end in the rocking chair, just the two of us. I had nothing to do – but daydream (see? There’s the em dash again! Love it!). So I daydreamed this whole awesome story and when she started sleeping and I could function again in a non-zombie-like way, I started writing. And Feudlings was born.
Introduce us to Arianna. What are her likes and dislikes? Does she have any special abilities? I love Ari so much! She is uber-powerful. Big, strong, tough, she says what she thinks and never needs help. She is the most powerful sorcerer ever. BUT. She has also been hurt, used as an assassin her whole life, so she trusts no one. And she thinks girls are mean and boys are meaner, so getting on her good side is pretty impossible.
She likes painting her toenails, boots with big heels, and history (the human version). She dislikes anyone who tries to bully her, being the new kid, and being a monster.
Do you have a current WIP? I have four! I have one about a princess and an assassin and a giant wolf that is in the editing stages, one short story about a young girl with lupus who thinks she’s a vampire, one about battle unicorns, and one about the princess of the damned. I’m never without something to do!
Here is your pitch moment: Why should people buy your book? Because it’s fantastic! It’s kind of a Romeo and Juliet with magic. A love story with lots of battle scenes and a kick-butt heroine who doesn’t need a guy to save her. So here it is – my pitch: Two teenagers on opposite sides of a magical war must find and kill each other to bring it to an end. To fulfill an ancient prophesy, Arianna has been hunting Shane since she could throw her first spell. Now she’s falling in love with the nemesis she is supposed to kill – until he tries to kill her first.
Excerpt from Feudlings:
“Shane, I’m tougher than I look. I can handle it,” she said, although she wasn’t sure she wanted to know any more about his magic than she already did. It could get him in trouble. But she couldn’t just leave it alone. Part of her wanted to know. Maybe the monster-killer part of her.
She squashed that thought.
Shane stopped, studied her. Under his intense blue gaze her heart started to pound and she thought giddily that her favorite color just happened to be the exact color of his eyes. What were the odds? “I’m serious, Ari. There’s this war going on, and knowing anything about it could get you killed.”
“Killed?” Ari tried to look dubious.
Shane glanced around and grabbed her hand, pulling her with him out the front doors. The air was crisp and cool; Ari could see traces of her breath. If Shane was aware that half the student population was watching them speed-walk into the woods, he didn’t show it, and after a final glance back Ari ignored them too.
When the school was out of sight, she stopped and pulled her hand away. “Okay Shane. Spill,” she commanded. She crossed her arms over her chest and tried to look cold. Normals would be cold right now, but because of the flames flowing through their blood, neither she nor Shane could feel it.
Shane sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “Where to start? Even the short version is long. We’re sorcerers, and there are two sides to this war… of course, because that’s what makes a war, right?” he rambled. Ari raised an eyebrow at him as she tried to shiver. “I’m a Carules. I have magic that stems from these blue flames that, well, they’re in my blood. Hunter, too. And all other Carules. The other side is Edren, and their magic comes from red flames. Basically, we spend all our time trying to kill each other. It’s a lot of fun,” he said with a bitter frown at the ground.
“So you hide your magic because if an Edren found you…”
“They’d kill me. Or try to, anyway,” Shane finished for her.
Ari flinched at his words, and she knew right then that if she had seen him on that battle field in Adlington, she wouldn’t have been able to kill him. Her eyes widened in shock, her mouth opened into a silent “Oh”, and her heart started to pound. This was a very, very dangerous revelation she’d just made to herself.
She had a weakness. And it was Shane.
Description: Nothing makes a new school suck worse than discovering the guy you’re in love with is your prophesied nemesis.
Ari is the most powerful flame-throwing sorceress ever, and her people’s last hope in an ancient war. But she’s also a seventeen-year-old girl, and in her free, not-hunting-nemesis times, she jumps from school to school, trying to figure out regular people her own age and pretending she’ll get the chance to graduate.
Shane lives a double life. He goes to school and masters the art of popularity, hiding the fact that he has a fate with a slim chance of his survival. He’s destined to end a 300 year-old war by killing or being killed. He knows he’s hunted by a powerful enemy who’s not afraid to die. Only problem? He has no idea who that enemy is.
When Ari shows up at Shane’s school, angry and sullen and determined to keep him at arm’s reach, neither of them realize they are supposed to be killing each other, not falling in love. Until Ari does realize it, and she almost dies – by Shane’s hand.
Bio: Wendy Knight was born and raised in Utah by a wonderful family who spoiled her rotten because she was the baby. Now she spends her time driving her husband crazy with her many eccentricities (no water after five, terror when faced with a live phone call, etcetera, etcetera). She also enjoys chasing her three adorable kids, playing tennis, watching football, reading, and hiking. Camping is also big: her family is slowly working toward a goal of seeing all the National Parks in the U.S.
You can usually find her with at least one Pepsi nearby, wearing ridiculously high heels for whatever the occasion may be. And if everything works out just right, she will also be writing.