Wednesday, November 9, 2011

M. K. Theodoratus: The IAN Interview

I wrote my first novel in the sixth grade: the teacher asked for a short story for an English assignment. She got a Nancy Drew pastiche -- "The Clue of the Clay Cats" -- and gave it a "C" because, at 25 handwritten pages, I hadn't finished the story. [Most of the other kids only wrote two to four pages. *snarl*, *snarl*] The next summer, I finished the novel- length MG story.

After writing all these years, mostly short non-fiction, I now write fantasy set in various worlds. I most enjoy writing about the Half-Elven. The three pieces listed at IAN are available on Smashwords in a variety of formats. You can read them on your computer without any special readers.

I have the usual web presence. I blog at Lessons from My Reading. This takes the form of book reviews, useful links about promotion, comments on craft, and answers to comments. The Far Isles Half-Elven have a website with some fabulous artwork by Igor Gluskin and a short history of the Half-Elven. There’s also a Half-Elven Facebook page. Lastly, I twitter: @kaytheod.

IAN: Please tell us a bit about Taking Vengeance.

MK. Once Linden, the ruler of the Marches, was Mariah’s lover and comrade-in-arms during the Rebellion that saved the Half-Elven from genocide. Now, they fight constantly over how their country should be ruled.

When their daughter's family is murdered by Trestemontan raiders, Ashton returns to the Marches to support Mariah. The two go hunting for vengeance, only to discover the killers wield a strange new magic. Now, they must convince Linden that the Trestemontans endanger the Half-Elven.

IAN. How long did it take to write Taking Vengeance?

MK. I’ve been writing various “pieces of history” about the Half-Elven since 1995. Only recently have I started to revise pieces of it for publication.

IAN. What inspired you to write the book?

MK. After surgery, I was still weak but bored. One day, while petting my cat, I had this vision of a tall Elf woman, standing on a bluff in the face of a retreating gale, her long reddish hair blowing behind her.

IAN. Talk about the writing process. Do you write at night or in the morning?

MK. I write because my brain itches if I don’t write. I write most any time, though I try to write in the mornings and evenings. Afternoons is kept for errands and social networking.

IAN. Did you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft?

MK. I write by the seat of my pants, but I also set up 30 chapters when I start something. As I get new ideas as I write I jot them down in the chapters as is appropriate.

IAN. How is Taking Vengeance different from others in the Fantasy, Adventure genre?

MK. I’ve been told that my half-elves are more grounded and earthy than most. They’re a mixed race, human and elf, so individual vary a lot in their abilities.

IAN. Is Taking Vengeance published in print, e-book or both?

MK. WolfSinger Publishing only offers the story in e-book formats.

IAN. What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

MK. I hope they enjoy the time they spend reading it enough to look at the other two stories.

IAN. Where can we go to buy your book?

MK. Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes and Noble

IAN. Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand alone?

MK. I’m revising a novella set just after “Taking Vengeance” called “The Somant Troubles”, where Linden and Mariah are still fighting. I also have a complete novel, “Dark Solstice” about the reconciliation of Linden and Mariah, almost ready to submit to publishers.

IAN. Any other links or info you'd like to share?

Facebook Half-Elven page:

Website: Blog: “Lessons from My Reading”

Taking Vengeance by M. K. Theodoratus

41 pages

Fantasy, Adventure

WolfSinger Publications

Mariah lifted her arms over her head, stretching to feel the full impact of the retreating gale. If only we could sail away from our troubles like our daughter!

Tired from a day of mediating petty disputes for her holding, Mariah stood on a promontory over-looking the churning eastern sea. The wind whipped her unbraided chest-nut hair around her head. The gusts tempted her to ride the buffeting air currents without keeping her pointed ears tacked to her head out of sight. The illusion of freedom teased the weight of time from her thoughts.

For a moment, she thought of removing her shirt to feel the wind against her unbound breasts but changed her mind. The thought held no allure without Ashton. When alone, they often sailed the air currents making love, their souls merging until their bodies glowed and sparked with their co-mingled power.

Her mind reached out to caress the tether between them. Ashton was angry. Her lips tightened, but she couldn’t help him. They had agreed to live apart.

:Mother, where are you?

Her daughter’s silent cry riveted Mariah’s attention away her own discontent. Norie and her family should have set sail by now. Unexpected pain invaded her mind as she sought out her daughter, only to catch a dim glimpse of her own hall far to the west.


The thought was a bare whisper before the connection between them went dark. Mariah transferred home to find her daughter bleeding on the floor. A harpoon pierced the babe in her carrypack and opened a gaping wound across Norerah’s back until it embedded under her shoulder. Her reddish-brown brown warrior’s braid fell across the blood soaked rag rug the two had stitched together during the long winter nights.

Kneeling by the expanding stain, Mariah struggled to remain calm. She took a deep breath as her fingers traced the path of the harpoon barb. Using the magic that made her a skilled healer, she mentally probed the broken ribs and lace-rated flesh as she sought the source of pulsing blood. She needed to stop the flow; Norie had already lost too much.

Mariah took deep breaths to stay calm. The aftermath of battles always crippled her thinking. She forced from her mind the mocking memory of her elder son sprawled on a battlefield pierced by arrows. The healer had no time to soothe that wound to her heart. Only a thread tied her daughter’s life to this world.

Twisting her hair into a knot with bloody hands, Mariah bit her lip. The Summerlands can’t have her. I refuse to give her up to the Fates!

Closing her eyes, she knew death would still be gloating when she reopened them. Fear and anger beat in rhythm with her heart. Abandoning her pride, Mariah called for the help she needed to save Norie.

:Nurtana, to me with your kit! I need your help.

Her friend’s ring-mate, Wintel, answered. :My, my, aren’t you in a jolly mood, love. You haven’t felt so snarly since Linden refused to allow the rangers to live away from the camp. Do you need my help too?

Wintel, who was as prominent a healer as his partner and a strong ally in Mariah’s constant fights with Ashton’s half-brother, mentally embraced her and hugged her close as few others in the Marches would dare. Wintel’s calm touch soothed her anguish a little, but Ashton’s arms would have comforted her more. Mariah shook her head. She needed to concentrate on Norie.

:I sent some of my new cleansing potion with Nurtana. There’s more if you need it. May the Fates be kind.

“Blazes! Who had the balls to attack Norerah? Did the Suthrons violate the treaty or was it the Drummers again?” Nurtana named their enemies to the north and south as she appeared in Mariah’s hall, her healer’s kit slung over her shoulder. “Do we need Wintel’s skills too?”

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