Philosophy is defined as a theory underlying or regarding a sphere of activity or thought. Well, my theory is if I can add at least 10 new books to my Wishlist and move at least 5 older Wishlist selections to my TBR list every month, then life is a ice cream sundae. And if I can find those 10 books from at least 5 new blogs each month then that's the cherry on top.


Well, I've made it almost 5 years now, so for better or worse, I continue on. I tend to blog in spurts as the urge to be creative erupts. As I don't have an artistic bone in my body, you will see very few changes in the layouts. Hey, I'm a reader not an artist like so many of the awesome bloggers I follow. I know you don't always have the time but if you stopped and looked, take a half a minute and say your piece. Recommend a book that you have enjoyed or hated for that matter. Thank you to all who visit.
Oh, and I moved my Google Friend Connect info and share this buttons to the top, as without our friends, who are we?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Spotlight Post/Interview For The Immortal Divide by KS Turner

 The Immortal Divide 
The Chronicles of Fate and Choice Trilogy#3
 KS Turner
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Ruby Blaze Publishing
Publication date: 29th October 2016
Pages: 576
Paperback: 978-0-9562242-9-3

This is when it will change. For them. For us. For everyone. Destiny, freewill, intent, magic, science, life, everything. This is when all those named gods will fight to the end. This world and all worlds are fated to end. The prophet, Jychanumun, has tried to prevent it. He has spent millennia walking between life and death to find a way. The powerful Shaa-kutu have tried to prevent it. They have fought with wits and weapons and given their all. Despite their best, nothing seems capable of stopping the formidable Arrunn from completing his final fateful move. So, can Tachra change that fate? Tachra stands between shadow and light. She has no tools or weapons, only the Earth power and true-vision. Perhaps her fellow humans will ascend to greater knowledge and unlock a new discovery. Or, if she can decipher the Book of Fate, perhaps that will hold a key to saving them all. But when that last prophecy comes, will she make the right choice? After all, that fate has already been written:
"If any survive, it will be known as the three day darkness. If none survive, the darkness will swallow all."

Originally trained as an illustrator and designer at Saint Martins School of Art and at Middlesex University, KS Turner turned to fiction when she saw the limitless possibilities of connectivity it offered. Before her shift in career, she worked as a fashion designer for major high-street brands, a graphic designer for musicians, and a product designer for corporations, as well as dabbling with designing technology, sustainable energy,and textiles. A vivid series of dreams were the inspiration for the Chronicles of Fate and Choicebooks. Kate initially tried illustrating her dreams, but found the medium too limiting for the story she had seen, so began writing. At first she didn’t have any intention of writing novels, but the books soon started to come together.Her first two novels, Before the Gods, and Tumultus, were featured in many magazines, won book of the month with Spirit and Destiny magazine, fantasy of the year with Bookbag, and the ‘Must Read Now’ awards with SciFiNow magazine.When Kate isn't writing, she draws, paints and sculpts as well as studying maths, science, theology and philosophy. She loves to play music, explore, nurture nature and spend time with friends and family. She lives in Somerset.

The first two books in The Chronicles of Fate and Choice (Before The Gods and Tumultus) have reached fantasy fiction fans around the world and many thousands of copies have been sold. Hugely popular in libraries and with fan mail being sent to the British author, KS Turner, from as far afield as Australia and India, it is clear that this trilogy has far-reaching appeal. Kate explains some more about the stories: “The novels have powerful characters. The kutu are angels, or gods, or aliens, or indeed all three. I think the human, Tachra, describes them perfectly in the prologue of Tumultus:‘These kutu are beautiful, intelligent and strong. They exist in a state of energy and matter, and are able to live in any combination of the two. They thrive on change and are constantly moving, seeking to be the best that they can be. The kutu feel and think much as humans do, only more, much more. They are capable of great things, great thoughts and great acts. They can fly like birds when they wish, using their energy wings. I’ve seen them. They can eat as we eat, when in flesh. I have feasted with them. And when they laugh, it lights up the air with the most beautiful colours: fluid, luminous and glittering colours that reflect their very nature. I see their condensed power; it swirls around them in colours that we have no name for. I see their thoughts. All thoughts have intent, complex or simple, and theirs share aspects of both. And I can see inside their souls. Like a map of three-dimensional shapes their essences are clear to me, if I look.'Along with these striking kutu, and the innocence of early humans here on Earth, I wanted the novels to be action based with weaving plots and sub-plots. But, I also wanted to tackle some of the biggest questions through the novels; questions about our origins, life, death, evil, consciousness and choice. I know... I do like to bite off a big chunk. And this trilogy deserves the biggest chunk I can manage.”

Excerpt from Time: The Immortal Divide

The passageway had widened to a large square, clad entirely in matte-black stone that  seemed to draw in any light. It was dark, almost black. I sensed shadows. I sensed deeper shadow. I sensed shadows within shadow.At the end of the square, sitting, was Meah. She was tense, agitated, and defensive. Low growling sounds were coming from her throat. Her fur had risen to bristles. She was facing a direction I could not see. Her eyes had narrowed. She did not like what she was seeing, but she would not look away.“When you also see,” Viir spoke, “do not fret. You are quite safe.” I walked forward to stand beside Meah. I looked.By the skies! A Nigh-kutu! Before me was a Nigh-kutu imprisoned. Several transparent energy walls and several walls of metal bars stood between us. Nevertheless, my inner defensiveness immediately rose, creating another barrier between the creature and Meah and I. He looked fearsome.The huge black kutu crouched at the back of a large room. His broad black wings were splayed out, undulating in time to the slow, tense rhythm of his deep breaths. I could hear  guttural growling as he breathed. Every breath he exhaled released pent up, furious tension. His hands were tethered by golden rope. The rope was secured to the walls behind him. His pure black energy darkened the space around him. He was fully dressed in war wear. His black skin trousers tucked into strong boots with straps around his legs and body where once he would have kept weaponry. He was muscular, and emitted the power of one of the most formidable Nigh- kutu warriors.The Nigh-kutu felt my presence. He looked up. His eyes flashed with shadow-light. His expression was full of hate. His breathing and growling did not change. He just held my stare  with restrained fury. He wanted to kill me. He wanted to kill us all.

***Syndicated interview with KS Turner***

What is it that first attracted you to fantasy writing?

“It probably all started with having an overactive imagination.
When I was young, I loved fairy tales, comics, and all things make-believe. I would see stories in even the simplest of things. Subsequently, having tried many creative endeavours, when I started writing, I realised it was my art of choice, and the fantasy genre has limitless potentials. First, there’s the magic of creating new worlds, beings and phenomenal events that can get the adrenaline racing. And then you can add layers of emotional and psychological depth that have a comparative realism to our actual world. And then, if you want, you can weave even deeper threads into the story that stir the reader’s own imagination and questioning nature… what an amazing medium. How could I not choose fantasy writing?”

Would you ever consider writing realism?

“Pauses. Pauses again…
I just tried imagining myself writing realism and I’m sure my brain shrunk at the concept! Having opened the door to writing in a genre with very few restrictions, the thought of writing realism feels too linear… and dare I say it, too boring. The real world is there already for all to perceive its beauty and flaws – all we need to do is open our eyes. But, there are worlds, events, and even species that are waiting to be created by writing about them.
Mind you, saying that, I do like putting elements of realism into my novels; just the occasional element to add balance to the speculative.”

Before writing you were trained as an illustrator, did this make the ‘visuals’ of the novels more important?

“I think so, but not intentionally and certainly not consciously. I ‘see’ stories, so it’s natural that the imagery in my head integrates into the characters and scenes as I write them.
I think visually. If I’m illustrating something, I already see it in my mind and then the rest of me has the physical task of producing it. With writing, it goes a step further. I see the stories in my imagination like a film being played; I hear the characters talk, I scan the scenes, and watch the action - all while writing. Much of the visuals are vital to the characters or plot, so they have to get included.”

How long did writing the novels take you? Were there any parts that took longer than others?

“There was a huge variation in the time it took to write the three novels. For the first novel, Before the Gods, the main bulk of the story was written in about six months. But I then spent quite a while editing, getting the voices right for the different characters, and also at this stage, the book was too big, so I edited out 40,000 words.
For the second book, Tumultus, I flew through writing and editing, getting it done in well under a year.
The third book, Time: The Immortal Divide, was initially beset with issues that delayed its progress. One was when my computer died and I lost everything I’d written bar a few short fragments that could be retrieved. After a series of fateful events and long delays, eventually and very determinedly, I took time off and wrote the novel in five months.

Were there bits that took longer to write than the others? 

Yes, absolutely. Getting the overall voices of the Shaa-kutu right initially took quite some time. I found that writing from the perspective of characters who are far more advanced than I, stretched my mind and took consideration. I found most of Tachra’s chapters fluid to write, apart from the chapters where she had almost lost her mind and was exhausted to the point of giving up. When I tried writing those chapters I would suddenly feel exhausted and ill. It was rather like fully immersive method acting; I would put myself into characters’ perspectives so deeply that their situation effected how I felt.”

How much of an impact does training at somewhere as prestigious
 as St Martin’s have on novel writing?

“For novel writing, I think the impacts are subtle, yet effective. Overall, I’ve learnt that whatever the art form, whether designing a product or writing a book, you have to take that inner creativity, magnify it, and then discipline it to produce something that the outside world would love. I’ve learnt how to juggle that creativity with the hard work of completing a project.  It’s a fine balance, but I love seeing a project come to life with all the finishing touches.
I’ve also learnt to take, appreciate, and make use of constructive criticism. When I write, I’m fully immersed in the creativity. Yet when the writing is finished, I can stand back from it and 
view from a detached perspective, with a critical eye. I’ve learnt that if something is not good, try again or try something different. And, if something is good, keep going forward to try to make it even better.
Also, I’ve learnt to follow your dreams, even if others think they are unachievable. When I was young, my peers wanted me to study something academic, such as law or accountancy, and I was told that art school was not an option. So, I saved up enough money for a week’s rent and, with a lone suitcase in hand, got a coach to London, deciding I was moving there. Within two days I had found a job and enrolled in every evening art and design class I could find. A year later, I got a place at art college. Since then, I have never looked back.
So, have courage and follow dreams. After all, you only have a chance of reaching your dreams if you try to reach them.”

Do you take inspiration from myths, legends, beliefs or historic events for the foundations of your novels?

“Yes, yes and yes.
There are many places where I’ve purposely woven something into the story that was directly inspired by our myths. And other times, just a few, there are events or situations that could appear inspired by myth or belief, yet were coincidental, wonderful accidents.
Some of the intentional inspirations have been subtly brought into the story, so they often are not noticed at all, others are more prominent. The inspirations have varied hugely, from Sumerian legends of Inanna, to the history of the last battles of Sitting Bull, and from the Christian bible to King Arthur. Although I’m not going to give any specific references as that just makes spoilers!”

When you started writing was it your intention to weave a deeper narrative or set of themes into your writing?

“Yes, I admit it; I did. My aim was to craft novels that on the surface are simply great fantasy reads with wonderful characters and twisting plots. And then, as well as that, I wanted to weave through that story-arc deeper threads, of many different types, to leave resonances with people after they had read the book. My hope was, and is, that some readers will take away from the books their own relevant deeper thread; whether that’s a question, theory, or realisation.”

This novel completes your trilogy but will any of the characters be returning in other projects?

“Oh yes, definitely. And that makes me smile as I love the characters too much, and they’re far too special, to let them drift.
I already have an outline of a book which is short kutu stories. I realised that there were many times I would have just a sentence or two in the Chronicles of Fate and Choice that were potentially huge stories within themselves. Such as, what exactly happened to Chia when he discovered Earth that almost sent him mad? Or, how did Mardoch and Cranun manage to infiltrate the warrior clan? And Eden3? What’s that? What is Orion referring to when he says that only he and Una know where sleeping beasts lay? I could go on. My interest is piqued just thinking about it. Plus, there’s the potential of a prequel… And then there’s the potential of Tachra’s book on Earth lore… I think I am going to be very busy!”

Was it difficult to write for such different characters, worlds and perspectives?

“My goodness, yes, especially as there was such vast differences in the environments, age, gender, and even species.
When I would start a new chapter, from a different character’s perspective, it would take a while to find that ‘voice’ again. I’d pace, write a few words, scrub them out, and then pace again. And then it would click in and the words would flow naturally. It was the change-overs that were the difficult bit. I consumed a lot of coffee and paced even more.”

In your life what is it – fate or choice?

“Such a big question in so few words!
I would like to say choice, because that’s the independent thinker in me who likes the idea that all my eventualities are my own doing. But I can’t. For me, fate and choice seem to go hand in hand; equal measures. But, I do think that our choices define us.”

What was your motivation to start your trilogy?

“It all started with a dream and a drawing.
The initial motivation for the trilogy was not to write novels, but to simply write a short piece to go alongside some illustrations of dreams I’d had. But, those dreams kept coming and those small pieces of writing turned into a few dozen pages. The characters I saw, and the situations, were awe inspiring and almost impossible to draw. I eventually wrote a summary of the entire story. A friend read the summary, loved it, and encouraged me to continue forward with writing a book.
I decided on a trilogy as the main story line was so huge; far too much for one book. And within that main story, were three distinct areas – the light energy, the shadow energy, and Earth energy. They naturally fell into three books.”

What have you got planned for the future?

“Lots and lots! Literary wise, I already have my next book outlined and it’s already started. In fact, I actually have my next two books outlined, so best I get busy turning those outlines into novels. I’ll certainly be attending some of the literary festivals this autumn, and some of the fantasy and science fiction conventions. I’m also excited to be working alongside a video maker to create some short videos to go with the books.
On an artistic level, I will be drawing dreams, sculpting, and letting my imagination run riot.

After all, who knows when a gem might surface.”

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