Thursday, November 20, 2014

Author Interview - The Prophets’ Guild by Kristen Reed

The Prophets’ Guild
The Alazne Series
Book Two
Kristen Reed

Genre: Fantasy

Date of Publication: November 20, 2014

ISBN: 978-1482007213

Number of pages: 198
Word Count: 56,800
Cover Artist: Kristen Reed

Book Description:

"The year after molten sand becomes silver glass the following will come to pass: The fire shall give its life’s blood to water, and the wind will rise to claim Hesta’s daughter.”

When a member of The Prophets’ Guild is driven mad by his own divine vision, he travels to Hesta to deliver his final prophecy to the recently-crowned Fire Queen, Alazne, and that act changes the course of her life and the landscape of Faerie forever.

Available at Amazon


After meeting with my Lords’ Council over breakfast and consuming a light dinner, I sat in the throne room as I regularly did and listened to the plights of my people. For the rest of the afternoon, I handed out advice and presented solutions as needed to the men and women who came before me. When I revived the old Hestian tradition of opening the great hall to my subjects, I expected to resolve quarrels of great magnitude involving large quantities of money and property, but I quickly learned that some of my people were so obstinate that they were unable to solve even the smallest disputes locally. In the space of two and a half grueling hours, I laid three conflicts centered on betrothals to rest and resolved six disagreements that involved livestock and property. Once those men and women filed out of the great hall, my herald addressed the last remaining fey in attendance.
“Kneel before the throne and state your concerns to the queen,” he directed.
An elderly Hestian man with closely cropped, gray-peppered carmine hair stepped forward and knelt before my throne as he had been commanded. He made the sign of the star to honor the four gods and their fey children, touched his head to the ground, and placed his outstretched arms flat on the pulsating floor tiles. While the first motion was customary amongst my people, the more submissive gesticulation piqued my interest since most male subjects simply bowed or kneeled in my presence based on their rank and our familiarity. However, as much as I wanted to indulge my curiosity about the man’s unusual supplication, he spoke before I could address it.
“The year after molten sand becomes silver glass the following will come to pass: The fire shall give its life’s blood to water, and the wind will rise to claim Hesta’s daughter.”
I furrowed my brow and opened my mouth to respond, but before I could ask the meaning of the man’s strange proclamation, he abruptly rose into a kneeling position and pulled a dagger from his satchel. My ladies in waiting screamed and flames formed in my hands as two knights stepped forward to subdue him, but they did not move swiftly enough. The man plunged the gleaming blade into his abdomen and fell face-forward onto the floor, which burned more brightly as his blood left his body and spilled onto the endlessly rippling surface. The knights quickly rolled the suicidal man onto his back and checked for a heartbeat.
“He is dead, your majesty,” one of the knights announced, obviously shaken by the sudden suicide.
“Please find out who he is,” I ordered, closing my hands to snuff out the flames. “Then report your findings to me and notify his family that he is dead.”
“Yes, your majesty,” they acknowledged.

As the knights lifted the man’s body and began to carry him out of the room, something caught my eye.
The armor-clad men halted and I strode over to them, careful not to step in the blood that soiled my usually immaculate floor. Once I reached the trio, I pulled the dead man’s knife from its fleshy sheath. As I suspected, a vaguely familiar animal had been etched onto the hilt of the blade. A trio of tiny sapphires served as the scintillating eyes of the blue phoenix while its shining silver beak was open as if it had been mid-shriek when the artisan carved its likeness into the weapon.
“Thank you. Now, you may go.”
Once the knights resumed their gruesome task, I turned to face my ladies and made eye contact with Sera, whose naturally bronzed features were nearly as pale as the ivory lace on her dress.
“Sera, please find Esti and Amaia and ask them to meet me in my library.”
“Yes, your majesty,” she acknowledged with a curtsy before leaving the throne room, struggling to keep her gaze from resting on the trail of fresh blood beside her as she fled.
While the man who had died moments before clearly had no desire to end my life, my intuition still told me that a considerable threat was nigh… and that the two women’s guidance would be invaluable if I wanted to protect myself and my subjects from the imminent danger that had just begun to reveal itself.

About the Author

Kristen Reed is an artist, musician, filmmaker, and writer from Dallas, Texas. Her first book from The Alazne Series, The Kings' Council, was published in 2012, and the two subsequent books, The Prophets' Guild and The Valley of Eternity, will be released in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Kristen also served as the screenwriter, executive producer, and co-director for the feature-length film, The Dahl Dynasty, a modern re-imagining of William Shakespeare's Hamlet. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas.

How did you come up with the title? 
The Prophets’ Guild is named after a society of seers that lives in the land of Faerie. The fey gods didn’t trust each other enough to sharethe power of omniscience, so they gave it to the fey, fairies, and their other creations. One of the prophets travels to Alazne’s castle in Hesta and voices a prophecy about the Wind God rising from the non-physical plane to claim her as his bride, which raises some questions. Is Garaile her soul mate or was he just the means by which she was freed from her prison and given her powers back? Is Haizea guaranteed victory in his pursuit of her? Alazne wouldn’t need to ask those heavy questions if an impartial third party with prophetic powers hadn’t shared his vision.

What are some of the references that you used while researching this book?
I did some research on ancient Greek architecture as well as wedding scripts and clothing from the era that the novel is based on. I wanted to make the land of Faerie and the fey’s religion just close enough to reality to seem plausible but different enough to be distinct.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?
The fact that my characters don’t necessarily get “fixed” when their circumstances change. Being in Alazne’s head for the length of thenovel gives readers the chance to see that while her life has changed drastically since the beginning of The Kings’ Council, she’s still living with the effects of her past. Even if the events of The Prophets’ Guild didn’t transpire, she and Garaile would still have an imperfect relationship because of the two imperfect, broken people in it.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?  
Revising The Prophets’ Guild was a beast. I wrote the first draft in 2012 right after publishing The Kings’ Council, but I didn’t revisit it until this year. I drastically changed some plot points and doing so had a huge impact on the storyline and the characters’ relationships.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I loved imagining the non-fey characters. I really wanted to incorporate some mythical beings in this book since The Kings’ Council focused on the fey, so I wound up adding other creatures such as mermaids. They are very different from the beautiful sea-bound creatures I read about as a kid. You definitely wouldn’t want them to rescue you from a shipwreck. Haha.

Do you have a specific writing style? 
I prefer to write from first person. It gives the readers the same limited knowledge as the character narrating, so their view of the world I’ve written is inherently flawed, biased, and incomplete just like it would be in real life.

What are your current projects?
I’m in the middle of editing the third book in The Alazne Series, The Valley of Eternity. I’m also thinking about writing something in thevampire genre since that was my first literary love as a young adult.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 
Throughout The Prophets’ Guildthe characters realize that Haizea and the other gods that they worship are horribly, frighteningly imperfect. Haizea and his fellow gods are the exact opposite of the perfect, loving, merciful God that I believe in, and I want my readers to question how our world would be with equally dreadful gods versus a perfectly benevolent one. 

Best regards,

Kristen Reed

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