Welcome to Kristie Cook! She is my second guest on the Romancing the Darkside Tour.
Kristie has graciously offered an e copy of each of her books, Promise and Purpose. She will choose one winner per book from a random drawing. To enter, leave a comment for Kristie. Please provide an email where you may be contacted. Entries must be posted by Midnight on 9/2/11.
Building the Soul Savers World
One of my favorite parts about writing in the contemporary fantasy genre is world-building. The real world provides a familiar environment to work within, but the genre allows us freedom to create our own creatures, bring in legendary and mythical beings and even bring down the boundaries of time, space and alternative dimensions. As long as we can make it sound believable, we can even break the laws of science.
The characters of my Soul Savers Series occupy our world, although another dimension exists – the spiritual or “Otherworld.” In the Otherworld, angels and demons fight for human souls, but it’s also home to other entities, such as the faeries. The series, however, is about how these Otherworld spirits impact the physical realm and it mostly takes place in our human domain.
In my world, the ruling factions of the Otherworld – the angels and the demons – have each created their own armies on Earth. Vampires, were-creatures and mages (witches, wizards, warlocks and sorcerers) all exist in our world, though in secret. My main characters, however, are none of these, yet all of these. They are my own creation.
In Promise, we only get a glimpse of these secret entities that inhabit our world, learning along with the main character, Alexis. She learns more about them in Purpose, the second book, but it’s in Genesis, a prequel that comes out in October, and Devotion, the third book in the series that releases in February, where we really get to explore this world that exists in our own.
As we become more immersed in the world I’ve created, we learn the rules and parameters. Why are my vampires able to come out in the daylight? (Dracula could, so why not? My vamps prefer the night because daylight weakens them, but it’s amazing what a shot of mage blood can do for them.) Do they have any restrictions at all? (Of course! But not many.) What’s the difference between a witch, a wizard, a warlock and a sorcerer? (Only gender separates a witch and a wizard but the level of power defines a warlock and a sorcerer.) As for the creatures I’ve made up, what powers do they and don’t they have? (It’s dependent on the individual and what gifts the angels give them.)
The most difficult part about writing this or any other fantasy genre is creating rules and sticking to them. If we set a rule early in the book or in the first book of the series, we must stick to that rule throughout. So whatever rules we make, we can’t break them later for the sake of convenience.
For example, in my world, some mages have the ability to “cloak” other people, making them invisible. I’ve had to decide if the spell only works on people or if it “hides” objects, as well. If a woman is holding a purse, is it invisible, too? What if a character is carrying something bigger – perhaps huge? If he picks something up while cloaked, does that object become invisible, too? Or would it be seen as if floating in mid-air? When setting these rules, I have to think ahead and ask myself every possible “what if” situation to ensure I don’t set myself up for future failure.
If we discover later that we need to break a rule we’ve set, we must have a plausible work-around that doesn’t leave the reader thinking, “Puh-lease. That makes no sense at all!” We must be able to convince the reader to believe the exception to the rule.
I think one of the biggest sins an author in any of the fantasy genres can make is assuming the reader won’t notice. After all, I believe readers enjoy reading this genre for the same reason I enjoy writing it – to escape into an alternative world the author has built. In the Soul Savers Series, I have built a unique world within our own, combining the familiar with the fantastical and adding in my own little twists and creations. Now…I better go check what I decided about the invisible purse rule before I write this next scene.
About the Author
Kristie Cook is a lifelong, award-winning writer in various genres, from marketing communications to fantasy fiction. She continues to write the Soul Savers Series, with the first two books, Promise and Purpose, available now and the third book, Devotion, coming February 2012. She’s also written a companion novella, Genesis, coming October 2011.
Besides writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and riding on the back of a motorcycle. She has lived in ten states, but currently calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, three teenage sons, a beagle and a puggle.
When Alexis Ames is attacked by creatures that can’t be real, she decides it’s time she learns who she really is, with or without the help of her mother, who guards their family’s secrets closely. After meeting the inhumanly attractive, multi-talented Tristan Knight, however, Alexis retreats behind her façade of normalcy…until she discovers he’s not exactly normal either. Then their secrets begin to unravel.
Their union brings hope and promise to her family’s secret society, the Angels’ army, and to the future of mankind. But it also incites a dangerous pursuit by the enemy – Satan’s minions and Tristan’s creators. After all, Alexis and Tristan are a match made in Heaven and in Hell.
Lost in despair, Alexis teeters on the edge of an abyss, her lifeline of hope fraying into a thin thread. If it snaps, she’ll plunge into complete darkness. With the help of her son and her writing, she’s been able to hold on. Until now. Erratic impulses, disturbing delusions and her own demonic blood threaten her sanity. When she’s forced to choose between hanging onto hope or letting go to serve her Amadis purposes, she faces a decision with inconceivable sacrifices.
Alexis runs to the one place she thinks will provide answers, only to find herself at the center of another battle of good versus evil, not only with the Daemoni, not only within herself…but also against the worst opponent imaginable. But even if she wins, what will she lose?
Krisite can be found at:
Author's Website & Blog: http://www.kristiecook.com/
Series Website: http://www.soulsaversseries.com/