Dust of Earth BK 1 Epic Fantasy Series by S. R. Olson
DUST OF EARTH
Book I Blurb:
Giant Wasps, Poison Forests, Magic Constrained
The King is gone. Long live the King!
When King Jakin Daxx the Third vanished on the day the world descended into chaos, all hope would have been lost if not for the benevolence of the new King Faeran.
Everybody knows that.
But all is not as it seems in this tale of treachery and magic when the missing king returns to reclaim his throne.
For Malakai Jenks, a peasant teen drawn into a power struggle he doesn’t fully understand, a brand new world awaits. Between the ignorant stranger he finds in the wilderness and the outcast Maaoteo clans, he is set to discover ancient secrets about the world, the magical Te’eta, and ultimately about himself.
Join our heroes on their quest to retrieve an ancient artifact of immense power, and go on a journey filled with giant wasps, hidden cities, and poison forests in a world divided against itself by magic gone awry…
I’d like to welcome Epic Fantasy Author S. R. Olson to Writer’s Gambit Author Spotlight. She has released two books, one a prequel, “Days of Chaos” and her newest release, “Dust of Earth,” episode one in her series: Quest of the Guardians.
Sallie and I have been hanging out for a while because we are both students of Holly Lisle’s “How to Think Sideways: Career Survival School for Writer’s”. It is my pleasure to have her as my guest today.
Welcome, Sallie to my Author Spotlight.
SRO: Thank you, I’m thrilled to be here!
JK: So, let’s talk about your books. The prequel shows us a normal family with magical gifts and then something terrible happens, which launches us into your first book in the series, “Dust of Earth.”
Where did you get the idea for your series? What is the basic premise?
SRO: The basic premise of the series is “there is power in unity,” but there’s also a subliminal thread that pertains to the personal power that we all have within us if we just trust ourselves. I came up with the idea in the midst of studying philosophy. I’m a big fan of authors like Eckart Tolle and Dr. Wayne Dyer, and they all speak of our personal creative power. I thought it would be fun to write an epic adventure where that is the primary lesson the main characters must grapple with.
JK: This major change in the prequel launches into a world very different than that of “Days of Chaos.” Can you give us an idea how your world works? Its origin, politics, industry, peoples and cultures? How do nature and magic work?
SRO: In Days of Chaos a magical world has been divided into different elemental realms because that’s the only way the evil King can control the magic he accidentally unleashed in his quest to rule the world.
Dust of Earth takes place three hundred years later when the people of Arh’et (Earth realm) have not only forgotten what happened to their world, but they’ve been brainwashed through methodical government conditioning to believe a distorted version of history. They have been turned into slaves, but they don’t realize it. They are forbidden to read and live by very strict rules, all the while believing that their position in the world is the most important and fortunate because they have the only realm where food can be grown…or so they think.
The magic of the world is based in Love or Fear. The evil King uses fear magic by keeping everyone afraid of him and each other while the Guardian characters must use love magic to save the world, which creates a common paradox that we all struggle with: How do you fight evil and be loving at the same time?
JK: What and who are Jax Riders?
SRO: The Jax Riders are the descendants of the Dark Army soldiers in Days of Chaos. When the magic was unleashed, many everyday creatures were altered; including wasps who became the giant Jax that the soldiers ride as they police the world on behalf of the evil King. This ability to fly makes it possible for them to traverse great distances in a very short time, and their presence helps keep the citizens of Arh’et in line.
JK: Tell us about your main character in “Dust of Earth,” Malakai.
SRO: Malakai is a peasant boy who is perfectly happy with his lot in life. He expects to grow up, marry a local girl, and work in the vineyards just as his father had. He’s proud to be a citizen of Hornberry Draw where the only vineyard produces wine that is in high demand in the rest of the world. But Malakai’s family has a secret that changes Malakai’s plans for his future.
JK: What type of research did you do for your series to create your world before you started writing?
SRO: I’ve always been a science buff, so I have a sizeable collection of documentaries that range from physics to ancient cultures to alien visitations to astronomy. Quest of the Guardians is like a caldron with a pinch of this and a dash of that all stirred up together, just for the fun of it.
I did spend quite a bit of time, though, researching Metatron’s Cube to create the five Trah’ez symbols. Each one is based on a geometric symbol that exists in sacred geometry. The Days of Chaos symbol is based on the Dodecahedron which is the symbol for Ether/Spirit (Love and Unity in the stories), and the Dust of Earth Symbol is based on the Hexahedron (Cube/Earth).
JK: What was your favorite part about writing this story?
SRO: I love watching the characters come to life. Getting to know them is only half about creating them. They take on their own personalities, and sometimes they seem to tell me what they’re going to do next, instead of the other way around.
JK: From writing to publishing, what did you find most difficult or challenging?
SRO: Containing my enthusiasm. I am constantly reminding myself that I don’t have to use EVERY idea I have in this one series. It helped when I put a cork board on the wall and started jotting down plot ideas on index cards and tacking them up there for future books. Before I did that, I found the story kept wandering off down different paths that didn’t really fit the series goal. I guess it could be summed up as “learning to discipline myself.”
JK: Do you have a ritual or special place you write?
SRO: Since I do most of my writing in the summer when I am on seasonal layoff, I love to sit on the front deck and write on my laptop. I have a hummingbird feeder nearby and very often hummingbirds will hover in front of my face while I’m plunking away. I love it.
Other than that… Must. Have. Coffee.
JK: Can you give us a hint about what the next book in the series will be about? Is there a next release date?
SRO: Drop of Water is the next episode, and it will take place in a water world where the characters will encounter frightening sea monsters and an underwater city. Those who loved the Tate family in Days of Chaos will get to meet their descendants and learn more about what happened after they left their home behind.
Drop of Water will be released in 2017.
JK: Who was your favorite character in your book? The main character, or a sidekick, or maybe a scene, and why?
SRO: Luka Three-Feathers has stolen my heart. I love Malakai and really relate to him, but Luka is just such a reckless goofball. He makes me laugh every time I write him and he seems to be the one who is most likely to surprise me with his antics.
JK: Tell us about the giveaway you are planning for the first of June.
SRO: I would love to! I have five final proof copies of Dust of Earth, and I am giving away three of them in a drawing on June 1st. They were labeled “Proof” by the printer, so they are the real deal. I have numbered and signed each one and will write a personalized note inside the front cover for the winners. To sign up, just visit the official Quest of the Guardians website and enter your name and email address. You will be added to our mailing list for future book releases at the same time. (I promise I won’t stuff your inbox with spam, I hate that as much as you do!)
JK: Any last words for our readers before we close?
SRO: Yes! If you enjoy the books, please stop by the website and leave a comment! I love hearing from readers and I’m always happy to answer questions!
Win A Signed Proof of Dust of Earth!
Seventeen-year-old Mya Tate lives in a peaceful world where everyone knows how to do magic—even her naughty little brother, Dillon.
But then one day, the magic stops working.
Novelette Days of Chaos gives readers a peek into the backstory of the Quest of the Guardians series. Discover the events that tore apart a magical world and set neighbor against neighbor in a conflict that will span generations…
Continue the quest by journeying with the Guardians into the mysterious realm of Tav’res: a water world where monsters lurk in the shadows…
Scheduled for release in 2017.
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