Book Information supplied by Bewitching Blog Tours
Title: The Darkness of Light
Series: The Dia Chronicles
Author: Tammy Farrell
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Number of pages: 375pages
Cover Artist: Nathalia Suellen
Formats Available: Paperback, E-Book
BLURB supplied by Bewitching Blog Tours
The world has long forgotten them, but their descendants live on, not wholly mortal or god, but something in between…
At the dawn of the sixth century, in the aftermath of her mother’s brutal execution, Mara Black is forced to flee the only life she has ever known.
Mara can tell she’s different, but isn't sure why. After she encounters two mysterious strangers, she discovers her secret is but a drop in an ocean of many. She is a Dia, a descendant of ancient gods, and her mother sacrificed herself to protect Mara from their past.
Summoned by an uncle she didn't know existed, Mara thinks she’s found the family she’s always wanted, and Corbin, a love she never thought possible. But not everything is as it seems. Her uncle has other motives for protecting her, and her mentor, Malcolm, becomes so jealous, he’ll do anything to get what he wants.
When tragedy strikes, and the true darkness among them comes to light, Mara discovers that sometimes love can give you everything, and obsession can take it all away. With her powers gone, and destiny calling, she has to look deep within to find the courage to save herself. Mara, along with Corbin and her new found family, must fight to get back what was taken, or die trying.
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The drums echoed off the walls as Corbin and Malcolm made their way through the back gates of Moorthrop. The guards and villagers were gathered near the green, leaving no one to challenge their entry, or seize their swords.
“We’re too late,” Corbin said through clenched teeth.
“I can see that,” Malcolm responded. “How was I supposed to know we wouldn’t make it in time?”
Corbin bit his tongue. Now was not the time to argue with Malcolm. They had a job to do. As they weaved through the rows of huts, an old woman called out to them. She sat near the door of her hovel, her body hunched with age, and a half-woven basket in her lap. “Here for the execution?” she asked.
Malcolm laughed at the woman with a sneer and continued on. Corbin stopped and looked at her with a tilt of his head; the knuckles of her hands were swollen, and appeared painfully stiff. “Will there be an execution today?” he asked.
She nodded and pointed to the square. “I never saw in all my life such evil as this. Killin’ folks fer nothin'.” She gave a disapproving shake of her head and began to fumble with the basket.
Corbin walked up to her and dropped a coin in her lap. When she glanced down at it, he took hold of both her hands. She gasped as the blue light from his fingertips covered her skin, but in less than a moment he stepped back, and the light vanished. Blinking in amazement, she examined her hands, her fingers spread out like wings, healed from the stiffness that crippled them. She moved her fingers up and down, and then met Corbin’s gaze and asked, “What magic is this?”
Corbin smiled. “I don’t know what you mean.”
Before the old woman could respond, he continued towards the green.
He met up with Malcolm as he approached the edge of the crowd. Malcolm used his energy to move the onlookers aside. The crowd of people wouldn’t know why they moved or even look at the two men moving past them. The power of the veil was a gift to their kind, to protect them from discerning mortal eyes. Most mortals wouldn’t have noticed Corbin much anyway. He looked almost human. But anyone could see that Malcolm, with his white hair and fierce gray eyes, was different, unnatural.
The man in the long black robe bellowed out to the crowd. “By order of King Gerren of the realm of Dumnonia, we are not to tolerate evil among us.” He pointed his finger at the accused woman on the platform. Corbin used his keen sight to examine her. She looked wretched, defeated, and certainly not one of their kind. Could Rowan have been mistaken?
Corbin turned to Malcolm. “Are they charging her with witchcraft?”
Malcolm nodded with a smirk. “It appears that way. Fools. They waste their time looking for witches. They have no idea what walks amongst them.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Tammy Farrell. I was born in Toronto, Ontario and I now live in Greenville, South Carolina.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember, but if I couldn’t write, I wanted to be either an Archaeologist or a history professor.
When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I think I’ve always considered myself a writer, but I didn’t consider myself an author until I finished my first manuscript. At that point, no one could tell me I wasn’t an author ;).
Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
No. Being an indie-author, I was able to see my work glide along the road to publication a lot quicker than those who take the traditional route. Of course I would love to have a big 6 publisher, but for this particular project, I don’t think I could have waited the years it sometimes takes to see it published.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
The Darkness of Light is a historical fantasy set in post-Roman Britain and based on the mythology of the Tuatha Dé Danann.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
If you mean finishing the first draft, I would say a few months. But then there’s a lot of revision and rewrites. I’m sure as I write more novels, my process will quicken, but for now I think the time between writing a first draft and having an almost final draft is about 6 months.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I will definitely stick with the historical fantasy genre. It’s my favorite to read and certainly my favorite to write. For now I am going to continue on with The Dia Chronicles. I have a few sequels and stand alones planned for the series.
What genre would you place your books into?
Adult Historical Fantasy
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I didn’t know at first that I wanted to write fantasy. I always thought of myself as more of a paranormal writer. But when I got into researching mythology, and many of the books I read are fantasy, I found myself becoming a fantasy writer.
Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite? (I see your spelling of “Favourite”. I miss using the “ou” in words. )
Although I have a special connection with Mara, I would have to say that Malcolm (the antagonist) is my favorite character. He is awful at times, simply awful, but whenever I am writing about him, I find myself completely lost in the story. He is such a complex character and he frustrates the hell out of me sometimes, but I always find him speaking to me more than the other characters.
If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?
I’d want to be Mara simply because of her relationship with Corbin ;)
Where do you get your book plot ideas from? What/Who is your inspiration?
They seem to come out of nowhere. I could be watching a movie that is completely unrelated to the fantasy genre, and maybe I’ll hear a line or see a scene that sparks an idea. I also find a lot of inspiration in music. It usually starts be evoking a mood and then I end up forming a story based on that mood. Art is another great source of inspiration. Any kind of dark fantasy art, especially the work of Victoria Francis is a huge idea starter for me.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I move constantly when writing. I have an amazing office, but for some reason I find myself switching between the office, the kitchen table, the couch etc…I don’t know why I have to change rooms so often, but I find it helps me write for longer periods of time.
Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
Definitely, yes. I have given many copies of my book out to reviewers, friends and other writers. Feedback is so important to authors and let’s face it, reviews sell books, so giving out copies is just good business sense.
Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Of course. I have given out many and will continue to do so after publication.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Yes, but don’t know that I will after publication. Reviews are great, and I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read my book and review it, but I don’t want to get discouraged should a negative review pop up. Maybe I’ll have someone filter them for me, or maybe the curiosity will get to me and I’ll end up reading them. I’m just not sure yet.
What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
Without getting specific, there was one review that I didn’t agree with. It wasn’t a bad review, but I felt like the summary of the novel was a little misleading. I was upset about it for a moment, but then I remembered that not everyone is going to see my novel the same way I do.
The best review I’ve had so far sent me into tears. It was a review from Ciar Cullen, author of Lillian Holmes and the Leaping Man. I have a lot of respect for Ciar and think she is an excellent writer, so when I saw the 5 star review and her comments, I nearly hit the floor.
Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
Never. I don’t think authors should even reply to negative reviews. You can’t change a person’s mind. Either they liked it or they didn’t. Arguing with them or campaigning for a new review will only make the author look bad.
How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
I toyed around with a lot of names before I settled on The Darkness of Light. I came up with this name because, while the characters possess an ancient power called “Light” there is a darkness that seems to follow them wherever they go. It seemed fitting.
The cover was done by the dark artist Nathalia Suellen. She worked on a fellow author’s book and I was in love with her cover. I knew I had to get Nathalia to work with me and while I had to wait several months for her to become available, I’m glad I did.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I chose the title after the book was written.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
I had the names Mara, Malcolm and Corbin picked a long time ago. For other characters I usually google common names of the time period, royal family trees, or names that have a specific meaning.
Choosing medieval town names is a different challenge. Since there are so few records from the time, many of the town and village names have been lost, so I had to get creative with those. The town of Moorthrop was conceived because the village was surrounded my moors. The rest of the names are either just word mashups or altered names of places that once existed.
Are character names and place names decided after their creation? or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
I think character and place names are decided after I’ve thought of them. If I need a specific place, or person, I know their details before I decide on the name.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
This is a bit tricky. Sometimes I have an idea of what a character will be like and then they go off in their own direction. The character Annora was originally intended to be a minor antagonist, but as I wrote her, she was too sweet and shy to ever be malicious. Most of the time the characters will show you who they want to be.
Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I do a very basic plot plan before I start writing, and I continue to plot throughout the writing process, but for the most part I let the story write itself. I am okay with straying from the original plan.
How do you market/promote your books?
I have a great “street team” of other authors, friends and readers who have been promoting my book for months. Aside from that, I am doing a blog tour, I have small cards made with the cover and details of my book that I hand out regularly, and I am working with some local bookstores on setting up an author event.
What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
Well, talent is definitely a must. People want a good story. I think a bestseller is made with part talent, part marketing and a whole lot of luck. Luck is probably the most important part of it. I think there are a few bestselling novels that we’ve seen recently (that shall remain nameless) that exploded with luck.
Now where is my damn horseshoe…
Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
Yes. I think every writer has at some point, but my most recent bout of writer’s block lasted a full three years! I actually gave up writing because of it. I tried to fight it and keep writing, but I think I needed some time off. I needed to sort through some emotions and spend some time learning about the things I wanted to write about. One day I woke up and it was like I’d been hit with a sledge hammer of inspiration. I haven’t had any blocks since then, thank goodness.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
Yes, and I hope they translate to the reader. The first hidden message of the story is that perception is not always reality. It’s like what Malcolm says to Mara when she first sees Valenia, “Most people only see what they want to see, not what’s actually there.”
The second message is that of courage. No matter what life throws at Mara, and no matter how much she doubts herself, she never gives up. She is a fighter and a survivor.
Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
Anne Rice is by far my favorite author. I always find myself inspired by her books.
Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
Hardback and paperback. I do have a kindle fire, and I do read ebooks, but I would always prefer to have a physical copy of a novel in my hands. Plus, a kindle just doesn’t have that gorgeous book smell.
What is your favourite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
My favorite book is Blood and Gold by Anne Rice. I can’t even count how many times I’ve read that book. There is something about the setting and the character, Marius that I just can’t get enough of.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst book to movie transfer?
This is a tough one. No, for the most part, I don’t think books transfer to movies well. There are very few adaptations that I think captured the story well. I would say the word adaptation would have to be the many, many attempts to translate Wuthering Heights into film. I have watched many version and every single one is always missing something. Either Heathcliff is too evil, or Catherine is too snobbish. While neither of them are sympathetic characters, in movies they lack the complexity of their characters.
I would say my favorite adaptation would have to be The Lord of The Rings. Who can deny that those movies are absolutely incredible? Another amazing adaptation was Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. I loved the book AND the movie. I suppose it was done so well because Anne wrote the script herself. Perhaps if they worked more closely with the authors, adaptations wouldn’t be so disappointing.
If I was ever lucky enough to have my novel turned into a movie, I would LOVE to have Neil Jordan write the script and direct it. He is such a genius and always seems to create such wonderful shows and films.
What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
I am currently reading Philipa Gregory’s The White Queen in paperback. I previously watched the miniseries (WHICH I LOVED), so it’s interesting to see the differences in the book. I do like it, but I have to say I’m a bit disappointed with the lack of intimacy between the two main characters. Of course STARZ showed some pretty steamy sex scenes, but in the novel, Gregory glosses over them. I’m so disappointed with that.
Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
NEVER! Not while I’m alive they won’t.
Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
I might get flogged for this but, I seriously hate reading anything by Ernest Hemmingway. Yes, yes, I know he was a trendsetter and a classic American author, but he’s SO BORING! I had to read The Sun Also Rises in college and I swore I would never pick up another Hemmingway novel again.
Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
Unfortunately, yes. I’d received some advice that I wish I didn’t take. I was told to cut down on the exposition and turn it into action. I did this with some of my scenes and while it kept the integrity of the story, I feel like it disconnected the reader from the character a little bit. It’s not such a big change that any reader will notice it, but in the future I will make sure to stick with my gut feeling and not take ALL advice that comes my way.
What do you think about book trailers?
I think they’re weird. I’ve only ever seen one book trailer that made me want to read the book and it was done by a major publisher with a huge budget. For the most part, book trailers look cheap and don’t make me want to read the book.
What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Trust your instincts. Famous writers became famous because they had their own voice, their own style. Don’t conform to the rules just because you want to get published. Sure, there are some things you may need to learn, but you have to find your voice first.
Where can readers follow you?
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