Saturday, January 4, 2014

"The Coming Storm" by Valerie Douglas

The Coming Storm
by Valerie Douglas

Spanning an epic series of books, The Coming Storm series by Valerie Douglas takes you to the heart of a conflict between magic users, and those without magic, good and evil, love and loss. Join Ailith and Elon as they have to choose between love, duty, and everything they've battled for.
The Coming Storm is the first in the series. Also available: A Convocation of KingsNot Magic Enough, and Setting Boundaries.

Valerie is currently on tour with The Finishing Fairies and stops by today for an interview. Please visit all the other tour stops as well.

Elon of Aerilann, Elven advisor to the High King of Men, helped negotiate the treaty between Elves, Dwarves and men. He suddenly finds that fragile truce threatened from without by an unknown enemy and from within by old hatreds and prejudice. With the aid of his true-friend Colath, the wizard Jareth and the Elven archer Jalila, he goes in search of the source of the threat.
Ailith, the Heir to Riverford, fights her own silent battle. Her father has changed, but her quest to discover what changed him puts her life and very soul in danger and leaves her only one direction in which to turn. Elon.
To preserve the alliance, though, Elon will have to choose between his honor, his duty and everything for which he fought.

Very good story! The plot is well developed and fast moving with strong, well developed characters that are easy to identify with and yet complex. The battle scenes are intense, and the ending left me eager for more - both on the history of the world the author created and on what happens to the characters afterward. Well written epic fantasy in the middle earth tradition and definitely a must read!

Interview with the Author
Hi Valerie, thanks for joining me today to discuss your book, The Coming Storm.
Which writers have influenced you the most? J. R. R. Tolkien, George R. R. Martin, Anne McCaffrey ...
What age group do you recommend your book for? Adults over 18
What sparked the idea for this book? I missed classic fantasy, with people who understood the difference between good and bad, and some who couldn’t. I wanted a book, characters and a story that would wrap you up and draw you into that world, a world full of characters that you would miss when you finished.
Which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel? I’ve always felt that you can’t have one without the other, that they come together to become complete.
What was the hardest part to write in this book? As in life, there’s good and bad. It’s difficult to write the painful parts, the loss of people, or describe the battle scenes accurately – reflecting the death and dying, the struggle, the grief and sorrow.
How do you hope this book affects its readers? Books are a refuge and an escape, I hope they love the characters, laugh and cry with them, and miss them as much as I sometimes still do.
How long did it take you to write this book? The first draft just swallowed me up – I wrote it in 72 straight hours, fell into bed, slept, woke and started in on the second draft. Additional drafts followed…
What is your writing routine? *laughing* I don’t have routines… When the muse strikes, I write.
How did you get your book published? I had been told that no one was taking chances on epic fantasy, that I needed to establish myself, so I tried another genre and submitted to a small publisher. I got some good reviews but it wasn’t a good fit. About that time Indie/Self-publishing was just breaking out of the ‘vanity’ label and phase, so I tried that with a standalone fantasy. It still does well for me.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer? Don’t limit yourself – try self-publishing even if you want to go with a traditional publisher. Having established writing credentials will only stand you in good stead.
What do you like to do when you're not writing? Read, read and read. Watch movies. Play with my dogs, cuddle my cats and my husband.
What does your family think of your writing? My husband – bless his heart – is hugely supportive. He’s actually read some of my books. An uncle let me know he read one. No one else has commented. *laughing*
Please tell us a bit about your childhood. I was the independent one, the wanderer and explorer – I had friends in places my parents didn’t know about.
Did you enjoy school? I loved school – I was bright, and curious. Dictionaries were way cool.
Did you like reading when you were a child? I loved to read. I went through the children’s section in 3rd grade, by the time I was in the 7th grade, I was into some classics. My reading teacher ran out of assignments for me, so she had me tutoring others in the class.
What was your favorite book as a child? To Kill a Mockingbird. I identified with Scout and wished my father was Atticus.
Who were your favorite authors? As I grew, I had a lot of favorite authors – most of the classics. I’d also discovered sci-fi fantasy thanks to Jules Verne and H. G. Wells.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I wrote my first book at eight – non-fiction about dinosaurs *grins* - but I didn’t consider it a career. I kept writing – a book at thirteen, and a sixteen. Following the advice of the time, I wrote a short story and submitted it to an anthology (they said it was ‘too dark’). Discouraged, and with so much life getting in the way, it would be almost 15 years before I tried again.
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing? No, I try to stay away from that. It’s boring. *grins*
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say? I hear from them now and then, mostly – “When’s the next book coming out” kind of thing. That’s always gratifying! Sometimes just “Hello,” which is great, too.
What can we look forward to from you in the future? A prequel to The Coming Storm, a short novella that’s part of my Servant of the Gods series, and a sequel to Nike’s Wings. At least, that’s the plan. The muse may have another.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by today. Best of luck with future projects. It sounds like you're busy!

About the Author
Valerie Douglas is a prolific writer and a genre-crosser, much to the delight of her fans. A fan of authors of almost every genre from Isaac Asimov to Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, she writes classic fantasy, romance, suspense, and as V. J. Devereaux, erotic romance. Who knows what will pop up down the road!
Happily married, she’s companion to two dogs, four cats and an African clawed frog named Hopper who delights in tormenting the cats from his tank.