I want to give a warm welcome to Rayne Hall and thank her for stopping by. Rayne is one of the independant authors taking part in our great giveaway organised by Clare Davidson. You can win 11 ebooks, 3 signed paperbacks and a $20 Amazon voucher (open internationally) Just click here to see the great books and to enter.
I interviewed Rayne on her new book – Storm Dancer, which you can win in our giveaway.
The idea that sparked the Storm Dancer story was that two people who hate each other need to become allies to survive. Although they have previously betrayed and harmed each other, they must now learn to trust.
The novel also explores the theme of how we’re not responsible for what fate deals us, but we’re responsible for how we deal with it.
Further inspiration came from the places where I’ve lived and travelled in Central Asia, North Africa and the Middle East, and ancient cultures, especially the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Hittites and Persians.
What genre would your book fall under?
Dark Epic Fantasy
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Dahoud fights to protect women from war’s violence – but how can he shield the woman he loves from the evil inside him?
Are there any characters that you love and found easy to write?
I love all my characters dearly. They’re my children… sometimes troublesome or naughty, but close to my heart.
My favourite character is Dahoud, is a troubled hero with a dark past. He seeks to atone for the terrible deeds he committed as a siege commander, and to build a new life of humility and peace. Ruling the land he once devastated, how can he keep the secret of who he really is? Possessed by a demon that tempts him back into his old ways, how long can he resist the lure?
He wasn’t easy to write, though, because he guarded his dark secrets even from me. I had almost completed the book before he admitted the demon, so I had to rewrite the whole story. I had to rewrite it again when I discovered just how dark and terrible his past was.
Merida is a magician who can change the weather with her dance. She’s a lovely woman, warm, compassionate, serious, honest and resourceful, but also tight about principles and prudish. I had wicked fun putting her principles to the test and making her do the things she swore she would never do.
For example, when she learns bellydancing in the harem, she asserts that she would never perform in public or let men see her dance. Later, her only chance to escape captivity is by posing as a tavern entertainer and bellydance for the audience. Watching her squirm, then brace herself to push past her own boundaries was interesting.
She is certain she would never take a human life – but then the lives of a thousand people depend on whether she kills the enemy leader. Will she do it?
Of course she swears never to forgive Dahoud for what he did to her. But perhaps she will… after she gets her own revenge.
Are there any characters in your book that you hate?
I love to hate Kirral, and so do my readers. He likes to let his victims choose between two equally unacceptable options, such as “Do you want to lose one arm or both hands?” Many readers tell me that Kirral is their favourite character. He gets almost as much fan mail as Dahoud.
What other books within your genre would you compare it to?
The readers who love Storm Dancer also enjoy novels by GRR Martin, Marion Zimmer-Bradley, Gene Wolfe, Davild Gemmell, Dave Duncan and Tanith Lee.
Tell us anything else that might pique our interest in your book.
Storm Dancer is set in a Bronze Age-type world with a Middle Eastern flavour. The style is exciting, atmospheric, dark and intense. Dahoud is a flawed hero who needs to learn and grow, and he doesn’t win every battle against the evil inside him.
The book deals with some disturbing topics war, rape, demonic possession, torture, betrayal and human sacrifice, so it’s not for young readers.
Rayne Hall writes fantasy and horror fiction. She is the author of over forty books in different genres and under different pen names, published by twelve publishers in six countries, translated into several languages. Her short stories have been published in magazines, e-zines and anthologies.
You can stalk Rayne on these formats:
Thanks again to Rayne for stopping by! I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly going to get my hand on this book, it sounds right up my street!
Don’t forget to enter our giveaway!