Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Writer's View: Kristen Taber


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kristen will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour as Grand Prize and an audiobook will be issued to 10 runnerup commenters. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Writer's View


I’m more for function over form when I write. I can write anywhere, provided I have no loud distractions (ambient noise, like in a coffee shop, is fine). When I do write at home, I have an office, but prefer to use a small desk in a tight space. It’s a comfort thing, though I can’t explain why. My husband, Joe, finds it hilarious and calls it my “Hobbit Hole”. As a Tolkien fan, I’ve whole-heartedly adopted the name. I might use 20% of my room for actual work, and the rest serves as a library. I’m not sure if being surrounded by celebrated and bestselling novels is an inspiration or an instigation for depression, but I love the smell of paper and seeing colorful spines lined up in perfect order, so I’ll go with inspiration.

As you can see from the picture, my desk is glass. It’s not as difficult to keep clean as you might imagine. I didn’t choose it for looks (though I do love it); I chose it because it was on clearance. I’m a bargain shopper through and through. The two monitors above my desk are courtesy of my husband’s ingenuity. He felt they’d help while I edited and he’s 100% right. I hand edit on an iPad app, then feed that into one monitor, open the word doc on my other monitor and off I go!

My calendar is made out of Legos. The mini-figures on the shelf above my desk are solely for the calendar. I rotate out the two figures every month. Mood determines what’s selected, though I do have some figures that match holidays: Abe Lincoln for President’s Day, a scarecrow for Halloween, and a gingerbread man for Christmas. This month, Shakespeare represents an important writing month (my first Book Festival and my first blog tour) and a man in a chicken suit reminds me to be brave.

At the moment, the bookshelf is all I have above my desk (see the picture of the cutie with the bunny? That’s my amazing daughter). I moved last July and have been a little slow to unpack (an infant and two jobs will do that to a person), but I usually have a great For Better of For Worse comic strip (pictured) hanging where I can see it. It ran on my birthday (August 10), so I took that as a good sign…lol.

To the left of my desk, I’ve attached self-adhesive white board paper to the wall. I use this to keep track of story lines for the Ærenden series. I detail out characters who need to reappear, color code subplots and “Easter eggs”, and line item side projects I want to complete for the series (such as designing the cards for Palidane and writing a series of short stories). Don’t bother blowing up the picture to try to read it. I blurred out the words to avoid spoilers.

The window on my right doesn’t provide much of a view. I live in a townhouse and my office faces a cul-de-sac parking lot, but I don’t tend to look outside often when I write. I’m too busy travelling the forests of Ærenden and Zeiihbu to notice what’s on Earth. Spring does offer one pretty bonus, though, that I wanted to share with you. The tree by my front door is in full bloom! I love this time of year.

Book One: The Child Returns

Seventeen-year-old Meaghan has no idea her perfect life has been a lie — until she witnesses her parents’ brutal murders at the hands of red-eyed creatures.

After nearly sharing their fate, she escapes with her best friend, Nick, who tells her the creatures are called Mardróch. They come from another world, and so does she. Now that the Mardróch have found her, she must return to her homeland of Ærenden or face death.

Left with little choice, she follows Nick into a strange world both similar to Earth and drastically different. Vines have the ability to attack. Monkeys freeze their victims with a glare. Men create bombs from thin air. Even Meaghan’s newly discovered empath power turns into a danger she cannot control.

But control becomes the least of her worries once the Mardróch begin targeting her. When Nick confesses he knows the reason they want her, she learns the truth behind the kingdom's fifteen-year civil war — a long-buried secret that could cost Meaghan her life.

*****


Book Two: The Gildonae Alliance

Several months after Meaghan’s return to Ærenden, the kingdom’s war has taken a turn for the worse. The Mardróch army hunts the new King and Queen, destroying villages in its wake. And Meaghan and Nick, training for battle in their remote section of wilderness, are far from safe. Danger hides in shadows and behind innocent faces. Allies become foes. Each day is a fight to survive. But in the end, only one threat matters. And it’s a threat they never see coming.

*****


Book Three: The Zeiihbu Master

Separated and on opposite sides of the kingdom, Nick and Meaghan face different pursuits which could change the balance of power in Ærenden forever.

While Nick trains the villagers to be soldiers, Meaghan and a small rescue party venture into Zeiihbu to find Faillen's young son, before Garon can use the boy's power to destroy those still fighting against his rule.

Everyone knows Meaghan could be on a suicide mission, but when Nick stumbles upon a secret concealed in one of the southern villages, he realizes that Garon might not be Meaghan's greatest foe. The enemy most likely to kill her is someone who has also promised to keep her safe.

About the Author:
Kristen spent her childhood at the feet of an Irish storytelling grandfather, learning to blend fact with fiction and imagination with reality. She lived within the realm of the tales that captivated her, breathing life into characters and crafting stories even before she could read. Those stories have since turned into over a hundred poems, several short tales, and five manuscripts in both the Young Adult and Adult genres. Currently, Kristen is completing the five-part Ærenden series from her home office in the suburbs of Washington D.C.

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Buy Links for Book 1

Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Buy Links for Book 2

Amazon
Barnes and Noble

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4 comments:

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Kristen said...

Thanks so much for featuring me & for the awesome topic. I had a blast writing this post :)

Rita said...

The books sound very intriguing.

Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

Kristen said...

Thanks! I hope you get the chance to read them :)