Monday, May 26, 2014

#Interview with @KristenTaber about her series AErenden

Kristen spent her childhood at the feet of an Irish storytelling grandfather, learning to blend fact with fiction and imagination with reality. She lived within the realm of the tales that captivated her, breathing life into characters and crafting stories even before she could read. Those stories have since turned into over a hundred poems, several short tales, and five manuscripts in both the Young Adult and Adult genres. Currently, Kristen is completing the five-part Ærenden series from her home office in the suburbs of Washington D.C.

1. At any given time do you work on only one story at a time and maybe plot out the next one or are there many ideas racing around your head?
I write one at a time, but I’m constantly keeping notes for others. If I didn’t, I’d have a million people and ideas clamoring for attention and I wouldn’t get anything done. I have notebooks everywhere and a file on my computer with scenes that I’ve jotted down while I was writing other books. I also have scraps of paper here and there and a notepad app on my phone. I’m a bit haphazard with the process, but it works for me (somehow).

2. Is there a genre you haven't written in but would like to? Or wish you could write in?
I would love to be able to write a great mystery. I have book ideas for a couple of them, but I’m not sure where to start or even how to plot them out. Plus, I have no experience in or knowledge of proper criminal investigation procedure so I’d be terrified of getting details wrong. I haven’t really delved too deeply into trying my hand at it, though I may someday, when I have time to research. A paranormal crime novel I’ve had in my head for about five years just won’t leave me alone, so I may not have a choice in the matter. We shall see.

3. Do you add an element of romantic suspense in your stories?
I do! I really enjoy romance when I read, so I add it when I write. For the Ærenden series, it has a definite presence, but it’s secondary to the war a lot of the time. After all, it’s hard to focus on love when you’re dodging lightning bolts.  That said, romance as it relates to the debate of fate is a huge issue for my main characters.

4. Say you have unlimited funds: What kind of writing office/cottage would you create for yourself?
I’ve actually created my ideal cottage in one of my romance novels (currently unpublished). It’s a large cabin, with polished, plank walls decorating the inside and sweeping, floor-to-ceiling windows along an entire wall in the living room. At night, the windows highlight a clear, starry sky. By day, they show the thick woods of Mt. Dessert Island in Maine. A deck wrapping around the outside of the house would be my perfect writing spot.

5. If you could turn your novel into a TV show, which novel or series would you do? Where would it be set? Network TV (ABC, NBC, CBS), Cable (AMC, BBC, Lifetime) or Premium Cable (HBO, Showtime, Starz)?
Although I’ve always pictured the Ærenden series as movies, I could definitely see it broken into hour-long TV shows. It would allow me to expand Ærenden and Zeiihbu and delve deeper into their history, wars, and culture. It would be a perfect fit for ABC, I think, since they seem to be doing well with Once Upon A Time and the appeal would be to the same audience. 

6. Finally, tell us about your latest release!
The Zeiihbu Master (Ærenden #3) hit the streets March 24, 2014 and quickly moved up Amazon’s charts to become the #2 Hot New Release within the YA Fantasy/Paranormal & Urban category. The book continues to follow the journeys of Meaghan and Nick, now separated as they face different challenges to rescue the kingdom from Garon’s rule. Meaghan heads into Zeiihbu in an attempt to rescue an ally’s son from one of Garon’s monsters while Nick trains villagers to fight. As Meaghan struggles to reconcile a prophecy that she believes predicts her death, Nick discovers that Garon may not be Meaghan’s greatest threat. Something more sinister hunts her and its sole focus is ensuring her assassination.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to chat with you :).


Book One: The Child Returns
Seventeen-year-old Meaghan has no idea her perfect life has been a lie — until she witnesses her parents’ brutal murders at the hands of red-eyed creatures.

After nearly sharing their fate, she escapes with her best friend, Nick, who tells her the creatures are called Mardróch. They come from another world, and so does she. Now that the Mardróch have found her, she must return to her homeland of Ærenden or face death.

Left with little choice, she follows Nick into a strange world both similar to Earth and drastically different. Vines have the ability to attack. Monkeys freeze their victims with a glare. Men create bombs from thin air. Even Meaghan’s newly discovered empath power turns into a danger she cannot control.

But control becomes the least of her worries once the Mardróch begin targeting her. When Nick confesses he knows the reason they want her, she learns the truth behind the kingdom's fifteen-year civil war — a long-buried secret that could cost Meaghan her life.

Book Two: The Gildonae Alliance
Several months after Meaghan’s return to Ærenden, the kingdom’s war has taken a turn for the worse. The Mardróch army hunts the new King and Queen, destroying villages in its wake. And Meaghan and Nick, training for battle in their remote section of wilderness, are far from safe. Danger hides in shadows and behind innocent faces. Allies become foes. Each day is a fight to survive. But in the end, only one threat matters. And it’s a threat they never see coming.

Book Three: The Zeiihbu Master
Separated and on opposite sides of the kingdom, Nick and Meaghan face different pursuits which could change the balance of power in Ærenden forever.

While Nick trains the villagers to be soldiers, Meaghan and a small rescue party venture into Zeiihbu to find Faillen's young son, before Garon can use the boy's power to destroy those still fighting against his rule.

Everyone knows Meaghan could be on a suicide mission, but when Nick stumbles upon a secret concealed in one of the southern villages, he realizes that Garon might not be Meaghan's greatest foe. The enemy most likely to kill her is someone who has also promised to keep her safe.

The odor or rotting flesh overwhelmed her senses, searing her nose. Instinct forced her to inhale to clear it from her airways and she smiled with the realization Nick’s theory had been correct. The Mardróch’s power had no effect on her.  She stood, lifting the boy into her arms.

A hiss of surprise erupted from one of the creatures. “The immune one,” he spoke, his voice a guttural mix of road gravel and raspy breath. “We’ve been looking for you. There’s a prize for your death.” He let out a rattling noise that sounded like screws bouncing in a tin can. Laughter, Meaghan realized, and her blood chilled. “Run,” the creature croaked. “It will make for a better story.”

He raised his hands. Blue lightning arced from fingertip to fingertip and Meaghan tightened her grip on the boy, backing away as she looked for a way out. Nick stood a dozen yards from them, unseen by the Mardróch, though he remained frozen as if hypnotized by their power. His face was white and she thought she saw the glint of tears in his eyes. He no longer blocked her. His fear rolled over her, followed by a deep grief that squeezed her heart. She hardened her heart against it, knowing as he did that he could not help her, and kept scanning the field. Nothing offered hope. The trees behind her seemed too far, but they were her only chance. She turned toward them as a flash of lightning blew apart the ground beside her. She felt heat singe her skin and swallowed, controlling her panic as she ran.

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Mary Preston said...

A very interesting interview thank you.

Kristen Taber said...

Thanks for hosting! :)

Kristen Taber said...

Hi, Mary!
Thanks for stopping by and reading :)

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

MomJane said...

I really enjoyed your comments. This series sounds so good.

Kristen said...

Thanks, MomJane! I'm happy to hear (see?) you say that :)

Rita said...

I enjoyed the interview, thank you.

bn100 said...

Nice interview

Kristen said...

thank you, Rita & BN100! Hope you're having a wonderful week :).

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