Gust Of Wind & E-Book Giveaway!
Gust of Wind
With Guardian King Jakin in a coma and wasting away right in front of their eyes, Malakai Jenks decides to continue the quest without him.
The moons are coming into alignment and the clock is ticking. But no one really knows what is going to happen…only that it will be catastrophic if they don’t restore the Te’eta in time.
With a little help from his friends, Malakai sneaks into the Coba Culling on Wind Drifter Island. From there, he must find his way up to the Cloud City and retrieve the third piece of an ancient artifact—and then escape before the city collapses.
But right from the moment he arrives, everything goes wrong. Will Malakai achieve his goal? Will King Jakin ever wake up? Will they restore the Te’eta before time runs out?
Join our heroes as they continue the quest in Dai’awin; the realm of wind…where life appears to be one big party, and even evil King Faeran is trying hard—in his own way…
Gust of Wind is part three of the Quest of the Guardian’s story.
Available on Amazon
Gust Of Wind & E-Book Giveaway!
S. R. OLSON
THE QUEST OF THE GUARDIANS SERIES
1) Where did you get the idea for your series? What is the basic premise?
Essentially, the premise of the overall story is that we create our own reality through the choices we make and the energy we put into it. Our choices are based in love or fear, and there is power in unity. In other words, when people come together with a common goal, they will create that—so it’s important to choose wisely.
But those are heavy concepts for a fantasy story, so I decided I wanted to write a story that expresses those concepts in a fun and adventurous way. Plus, since so many stories are about good vs. evil, or good guys vs. bad guys, or God vs. Satan, I thought, why not boil it down to the core elements: Love and Fear?
2) Can you give us an idea how your world works? Its origin, politics, industry, peoples and cultures? How do nature and magic work?
What I’ve done is divided the story world into the five elements: Earth, Water, Wind, Fire, and Ether (Love), and then created a culture for each element. They co-exist with each other within certain limitations.
The Earth culture consists of farmers, merchants, and gypsies. Their lives are closely connected to the land and they are the primary producers of food for the world. Their lives are simple and uncomplicated, largely because they are kept in ignorance of what’s really going on in their world. They don’t know that they are essentially slaves.
The Water culture is what I think of as the hippie/new-ager culture. They are very “live and let live,” and spend their days either creating artistic things or in meditation, although they also have a martial arts aspect that is expressed through dance. They live in a bamboo city on the bottom of the sea and some of their people have gills.
The Wind culture lives in a Cloud City that travels anywhere they want to go. They have the world’s biggest book collection in their great library and there is a lot of emphasis on education and research. BUT, they also have strict rules about what is studied and researched and are intolerant of people who ask impertinent questions or challenge the status quo. This has resulted in a class system of citizens and “skrunts,” who are essentially slaves. When citizens aren’t in the library studying, they are partying…while the skrunts do all the work.
I haven’t written the Fire Culture yet, that’s next. But I can tell you it’s going to be a rough and rowdy culture where rude and crude are normal.
The Ether (Love) culture is a more subliminal aspect of the story that is expressed through the mysterious Yolmar brothers who—although long dead—are influencing the core plot of the story throughout all four episodes (And the prequel!). They will play an important role in the final conclusion.
Politically, each culture has its own High Priest who rules over each realm as they see fit, but there’s also a King: Faeran, who rules over the entire world as a usurper to the throne. Faeran has access to the “Fear Magic” and uses it to control the world in the absence of King Jakin who is the rightful king of the world. Jakin has the “Love Magic.” But in the midst of a conflict three hundred years earlier, Faeran accidentally threw Jakin forward in time, causing the destruction of an ancient artifact (The Te’eta), resulting in chaos and a lot of giant creatures and monsters. If I say more, it’d be all spoilers. 🙂
3) Tell us about your main character in Gust of Wind.
There are two main characters: King Jakin Daxx the Third, and Malakai Jenks, but Malakai takes a front seat in Gust of Wind since Jakin is in a coma. Jakin is the rightful ruler of the world and also the Guardian of the Te’eta. Malakai is his heir and next in line to be the Guardian upon Jakin’s death. Since Jakin is incapacitated and time is running out, Malakai decides to continue the quest without him because they need to collect all the pieces and restore the Te’eta before the three moons come into alignment—and time is running out.
4) What type of research did you do for your series to create your world before you started writing?
I’m more of a research as I go person. I had the general idea of splitting the world into elemental realms and developing cultures that fit those elements right from the beginning. But as I write each episode, that’s when I deep dive on the research. I’ve watched a LOT of documentaries about the ocean, astronomy, physics, weather, and animals. I designed the Te’eta symbol based on Metatron’s cube and the five Platonic elements. And, I can often be found staring at YouTube videos, trying to figure out the more complicated things: like how the moon affects the tides and how multiple moons would affect the planet in general.
While I do exercise a certain amount of creative license, I do try to keep things as close to realistically possible as I can…or at least try to make it believable. Mostly because as a former professional horse trainer I know how much it annoys me when writers get it wrong when they write about horses. I imagine the same would be true of experts in…astronomy, for example, if I was too loose and wild with my handling of the moons in the story.
In the next book in the series, I expect to spend many hours learning about glass-blowing because there are glass-blowers in the realm of fire.
5) What does it take to write a series? Do you know everything going in or is one book at a time building on to what you already know?
I wrote the final scene of the final episode of the series years ago. For me, I need to know exactly what I am aiming for to be able to fill in everything in between. It helps me stay on course and not get side-tracked with new “cool” ideas. Those get jotted down on index cards and stuck to the idea board to use later in other stories. Essentially, I had a rough idea from the beginning what needed to happen in each episode, but how it happened was up for grabs. Sometimes the characters take over and they tell me what’s going to happen next and I just go with it as long as it achieves my goals by the end. More than once I have written a scene and then sat back and laughed because I’m just as surprised as anyone else by what just happened!
I think writing a series can be done any way that works for the individual author…and the individual story. The way I do it in the Quest of the Guardians, is that I have an over-arching theme and plot that is threaded throughout all the episodes and then each episode also has its own plot goals. A good example of a similar series style would be Harry Potter, in which every book has its own story and yet the conflict between Harry and Voldemort is the over-arching plot thread throughout the whole series.
One thing I’ve been careful to do with the QotG series is to make sure they don’t become repetitive. Since an important aspect of each book is that the Guardians are trying to retrieve the broken pieces of the Te’eta, it would have been very easy to fall into a pattern where each book is just “go get the artifact, rinse-repeat.” I’ve tried to make each book interesting and unpredictable in its own right and to scatter clues throughout each one so they all tie together and lead the reader to the final conclusion at the end of the series.
I think it also helps the QotG series that each book takes place in a different elemental realm, so each story has its own unique setting and cast of supporting characters, even though the core group of characters are the same. It can be a big learning curve and a lot to keep track of, but that’s why I created the Who’s Who and What’s What guide that is free for readers to download. I admit that even *I* have to refer to it sometimes.
6) Why did it take so long to write this book in the series?
Yeah. This one was a long haul and took a lot of extra determination on my part because life happened. I was disabled by a back injury in 2006 so I have certain limitations when it comes to things like heavy lifting. I was working as a driver and suddenly my employer wanted me to do the work of a lumberjack. I requested an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which should have resulted in me being able to use assistive lifting equipment or being reassigned to a less physically demanding task. Unfortunately, the people in charge disregarded their legal obligations and threw me out on my head. Long story short, I stood up for myself and got my job back, but then they tried to get me to quit instead—via constant harassment and bullying. They even fabricated evidence against me and sabotaged me. It was beyond bad. I had worked there long enough to know that I wasn’t the first one they’d done this to, so I decided to fight back and force systemic change. After all, I worked for the government so that’s my tax dollars paying their salaries. The result was a three year long legal battle that hijacked all of my time and energy and really took a toll on my general health and well-being. But in the end, I won the argument and they were forced to change their ways to the benefit of all current and future disabled employees. Trying to write Episodes Two and Three in the midst of all of that was not an easy task, but I was determined that I would not let my readers down. Thankfully, that nightmare has ended and I can now forge ahead with Spark of Fire without all the distractions.
7) What was your favorite part about writing this story?
I would have to say it was having an opportunity to develop Malakai’s character more. In the first two books he’s tagging along with Jakin, just trying to figure out where he fits in. But in this one he has to take the lead and continue the quest without Jakin, so he had to grow up a lot and learn to make decisions and solve problems on his own. Malakai is important in the overall story so he needed this episode to mature and become more prominent as a character.
8) Do you have a ritual or special place you write?
In the winter I write here at my desk in the living-room. In the summer I like to sit on my deck outside and watch the hummingbirds while I work. Last year the guy across the street (aka: Creepy Perv Guy) started sitting in his front yard and staring at me non-stop and that was distracting (and annoying). So, I bought some nice curtains to hang along that side of the deck and now I have this nice private outdoor writing space where I can see out but he can’t see in.
9) Can you give us a hint about what the next book in the series will be about? Is there a next release date?
I have learned my lesson about predicting release dates, so the best I can do is to say “as fast as I can, hopefully within eighteen months.” But no promises. As far as what will it be about… Well, Spark of Fire will be the final episode in this series so it will tie up all the loose ends, solve all the mysteries, answer all the questions, and resolve all the conflicts. I have a special surprise ending planned that I hope will bring readers to the realization that there was a whole bread-crumb trail throughout the entire series that they completely overlooked but is suddenly glaringly obvious. That’s my intention, anyway. Hopefully I can pull it off.
10) Who was your favorite character in your book? The main character, or a sidekick, or maybe a scene, and why?
Hm…In Gust of Wind, I would have to say Mita. Mita is the Elder of the Ba’at warriors of the Maaoteo people so he’s a very proud, no-nonsense, get ‘er done kind of guy. I enjoyed putting him in a situation where he had to pretend to be a slow-wit and put up with being talked down to and treated like a novelty item to entertain a bunch of snobbish drunk people…and then letting him express his true self when he wipes out six of their best soldiers without even breaking a sweat. That was fun.
11) Any last words for our readers before we close?
Yes, if you enjoy a good fantasy adventure story, check out the Quest of the Guardians series!
THE QUEST OF THE GUARDIANS SERIES
DUST OF EARTH
S. R. Olson created a giveaway, especially for Writer’s Gambit & Stormdance Blog.
The first 25 people to send me their email addy will receive a free e-book of Dust of Earth Episode One in this series. It is the first full-length novel.
The email you send to me here will exclusively be used for this giveaway only. I will forward them to S. R. Olson who will send you a link to download your copy of Dust of Earth. Be sure to title the message Email for E-Book Giveaway Gust of Wind.
You can also get the prequel to this series, Days of Chaos free, a newsletter exclusive when you sign up for S. R. Olson’s newsletter here.
My Review on Amazon for Dust of Earth and Days of Chaos!
Gust Of Wind Part 3 Of The Quest of the Guardians Series
Gust Of Wind Part 3 Of The Quest of the Guardians Series
Epic fantasy author S.R. Olson lives in rural Minnesota with her two Miniature Pinschers, India and Killer, who allow her to stay because she has opposable thumbs and can open doors and stuff.