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Saturday, May 8, 2010

CL Wilson Mini Interview about the Tairen series (2009)


Cheryl, thank you for your precious time to indulge the inquiring minds and to join us in the anniversary celebrations.

Who and what are Tairen series about for those who are not yet acquainted with your novels yet?

Before I tell you about the series, let me first explain who the tairen and the Fey are and how they’re connected. Basically, the tairen are magical, fire-breathing winged cats (think giant, dragon-sized panthers with wings) who live in The Fading Lands, home of the immortal Fey. The Fey are Champions of Light who wield the five powers of their world: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and the mystic magic Spirit (thought, illusion, consciousness). Fey men are fierce warriors—sword masters with no equal—while Fey women are healers and empaths. Every so often, a Fey male is born as master of all five Fey magics, and with that gift comes the ability to shapeshift into the form of a tairen and live among the great cats as one of the pride. Although no one remembers how or why, the tairen and the Fey are somehow so closely and symbiotically connected, that if tairen died out, so too would the Fey.

The Tairen Soul series begins a thousand years after the cataclysmic Mage Wars that pitted the immortal Fey and their allies against the corrupt, grasping evil of the Elden Mages and their dark-gifted supporters. During those wars, in a fit of grief-induced madness caused by the death of his mate Sariel, Fey shapeshifter Rain Tairen Soul nearly destroyed the world in a blaze of tairen fire. Since that time, tairen kitlings have been mysteriously dying in the egg and the Fey women have gone barren. Both species teeter on the brink of extinction.

Having clawed his way back from seven centuries of madness, Rain, the last Tairen Soul and now king of the Fading Lands, must fight to save both his peoples from extinction and once again stop the evil rising in the homeland of his enemies, the Eld. The key to his success lies in the mortal city of Celieria, where the Mage Wars began, and with a seemingly mortal young woman whose soul sings to him in ways no woman’s (not even Sariel’s) ever has, whose presence reawakens the primal fury of the tairen within his soul, and whose vast, untapped power can either save or destroy him and his people.

The four books of the Tairen Soul series (LORD OF THE FADING LANDS, LADY OF LIGHT AND SHADOWS, KING OF SWORD AND SKY, and QUEEN OF SONG AND SOULS) tell the story of Rain and Ellysetta as they fight to save the tairen and the Fey, defeat the evil Elden Mages, and complete the truemate bond that will ties their two souls together as one for all eternity.

Around this time last year Lord Of The Fading Lands and Lady of Light And Shadow where released back to back. First of all, how did it feel to see your books hit the bestseller lists?

This was the realization of my lifelong dream. I was floating on Cloud Nine! In fact, I still haven’t come back to Earth, lol.

What has happened with you the last year and were there any highlights you would like to share with us?

(let’s not ask this question. I pretty much spent all day, every day, working on KING and beginning QUEEN. 16 hrs a day, 7 days a week. It’s boring and no one wants to hear that.)

As for highlights, I accepted a contract for four more books, three of which will be set in the Fading Lands.

Which characters are you most questioned about?

I always receive the most emails about Rain and Ellie. After Lord of the Fading Lands was released, I received hundreds of emails about Bel. After Lady of Light and Shadows, I received quite a bit of mail Gaelen seems to have captured everyone’s interest. I also get frequent mail about Shan and Elfeya—usually along the lines of…”I hope you’re going to get them out of there before this series ends!”

Lastly, I get questioned about Adrial and Talisa and will they have their own book. At this moment, I don’t have plans to give them their own book, though they will continue to be a subplot in at least two other books.

Are you a chaotic writer or a structured one?

Ummmm, let’s say “structured chaos”. I usually start with chapter one, trying to get a feel for my characters by throwing them into a situation and seeing how they will react. That helps me determine the character’s GMC (goal, motivation and conflict) and I use that to determine the four main turning points of the story.

I do storyboard (lay out the chapters and ideas of what should happen in each chapter) but I tend to find storyboarding more effective as a revision technique – something to check pacing.

Probably the most structure I have comes in tracking my worldbuilding details. Since I make it up, I basically have to maintain the “research sources”. So I have a “bible” where I keep all the details about characters, language, phases of the moon, timelines, etc.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Getting up at 3 a.m. to write. It’s a quiet time of day, and I get the best writing done before the rest of my hemisphere wakes up.

Your latest release in your Tairen series is King Of Sword And Sky. Where and when can we find his tale?

KING comes out September 30th, 2008 in the USA. All major US brick and mortar and online bookstores will carry the book, as well as bookstores like Indigo in Canada and Murder One in London, England.

How would you describe Rain as the hero?

Yummy? LOL. I love Rain. He’s tormented by the millions of deaths he has caused during the Mage Wars, and by his need to save the Tairen and the Fey, his people. He is very fierce and very protective of his people—and of Ellysetta in particular.

How would you describe Elysetta as the heroine?

Ellysetta Baristani is an innocent, sheltered, unsophisticated young woman who has always felt different than everyone else around her. In accepting marriage to the Fey King, she realizes she must adapt to fit the role and change herself both physically and mentally into a Queen.

If your novels would ever be captured on screen which actor/actress would come close to play:

Rain: Hugh Jackman as Wolverine but without the muttonchops and bouffant do. Tall and lean, fierce and gorgeous, with shoulder length black hair and lavender eyes to die for.

Ellysetta: I’m not sure. Kiera Knightly with curly red hair might be perfect. I loved her portrayals of both Elizabeth Swann in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and Elizabeth Bennett in Pride & Prejudice.


Are there more Tairen stories in the works at the moment?

I have recently contracted to write three more novels set in The Fading Lands. Once QUEEN is complete, I will finish up my mostly-written, non-Fading Lands fantasy romance, THE WINTER KING (tentative release date October 2009), then head back to the Fading Lands to see who else is getting into trouble!

What does Cheryl Wilson do when she doesn’t write?

Sleep. LOL

Other than that, I spend time with my family and friends, read, and watch my favorite movies and TV shows. I’m an avid collector (ie pack rat) and I love to go looking at model homes for fun and ideas. I also adore amusement parks and roller coasters. I love to travel as well, and I hope that I will be able to do more of that.

Is there a new author that has grasped your interest?

NO ANSWER – HAVEN’T READ IN 2 YEARS EXCEPT FOR FAVE AUTHORS. NO TIME.

What are you reading now?

Dark Curse by Christine Feehan
Up Close and Personal with the Tairen Steli.

Steli, Can you grace us mortals in telling us a 5 things about yourself?

1: Grrrowl…Steli is chakai, First Blade of the Fey’Bahren pride, very fierce.

2: Steli loves Ellysetta-kitling. Though Ellysetta-kitling looks like Fey-kin and has not yet found her song, she smells much tairen. Ellysetta-kitling does not yet know the ways of the pride, but Steli will teach. Steli is good teacher.

3: Steli’s song is brave and fierce and free. She loves to fly and hunt. She has no mate—she needs none—but if Ellysetta-kitling can save the pride, perhaps one day there will yet be a tairen born worthy to be mate of Steli-chakai.

4: Steli love to swim in Tairen’s Bay and dry her wings and fur beneath the heat of the Great Sun. Steli remembers before, when the pride was strong and the tairen many, the makai would lead the Fey’Bahren pride across the Fading Lands to the waters of Tairen’s Bay. Much was there to eat and long the days of play, and tairen would fill the skies with the fire and song of their mating flights. Too long has it been since the pride flew to the waters there, but one day—when Ellysetta-kitling saves our young—we will return.

5: Steli does not like knocking! Not at all!


Up Close and Personal with Gaelen and Belliard:

Gaelen and Belliard you are the first and second Lu’tan of your Fey’reisa. If it would please you both could you each tell us 5 things about the Fey behind the blood sworn Lu’tan?

Bel: There is no greater honor than serving as a lu’tan, a bloodsworn champion, to the Feyreisa. I willingly and joyously offer up my life for hers and dedicate myself to her protection, in this life and in the death that follows until the Gods call me back to my next life.

Gaelen (glances at Bel): The honor is great, aiyah, but I for one don’t intend to fulfill my oath in death for a long time yet. There are still too many Eld in need of killing, (grins evilly) and I am all too happy to help them greet the Darkness they serve face-to-face.

Bel (sighs): You do love to act so fierce and bloodthirsty.

Gaelen (snorts): It’s no act. Besides, you feel the same.

Bel: Oh, aiyah. But I don’t run around beating my chest and bragging about it. I just slit throats and move on.

Gaelen: Fear is a weapon as sharp as your sword. Did your chatok never teach you that? Mine did. Shannisorran v’En Celay knew the value of instilling fear in the enemy. You weren’t born at the time—I was just a small boy—but I grew up with the legends of Lord Death. All he had to do, they said, was step on a battlefield, and the half the enemy lost control of their bowels.

Bel (rolls eyes): And you believed that?

Gaelen: Every word.

Bel (sobering): Truly?

Gaelen: Truly. Even after his met his shei’tani, he saved all his kindness for her. The man had a look that would freeze your blood in your veins, and his way with a sword…well, let’s just say I’ve never seen his like since. Probably never will again.

Bel (snorts in disbelief): You mean there was a Fey born better with a sword than you? And you admit it?

Gaelen (shrugs): When it comes to Lord Death, there’s no shame in admitting he could best me. Indeed, if he were still alive and we met today, I’ll wager even now he could wipe the floor with me.

Bel: It’s a shame he died in the Wars, then. We could use another swift blade.

Gaelen: Aiyah. (breathes deeply, then smiles.) But you and I aren’t too bad a substitute.

Bel (raises brows): You and I? You mean you include me in your exalted company as a swordsmaster of reknown?

Gaelen (sniffs and examines fingernails): You have some small skill.

Bel (laughs): My head swells with all these compliments.

Gaelen: I could still best you, handily, of course.

Bel (still laughing): If it pleases you to think it, by all means, cling to your illusion. But one day, vel Serranis, we may just put it to the test.

Gaelen (grinning evilly): I am at your service, vel Jelani. Just say the word.

Bel: Well, then… (pulls his swords free; cobalt eyes flare with challenge; teeth flash in a predator’s grin)…Word.

**********

Are you hosting any contests at the moment or present at any singings for us to look you up?
Please check my website at www.clwilson.com for my current schedule.

Cheryl, thank you for your time and good luck with writing the follow up: The Crown of Crystal Flame!

Thank you, Leontine and Natascha / Ashleagh. As always, I love the opportunity to come visit with you both.

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