Friday, March 24, 2017

Linda M. Crate ~ 2nd guest post and her novel ~ Centaurs and Magic

TITLE: Centaurs & Magic
AUTHOR: Linda M. Crate
ISBN: 978-1537665047
IMPRINT: Chimera
KEYWORDS: macabre, gothic, dark fantasy, fantasy, sword and sorcery, magic, dark magic,  horror, murder, mayhem, centaurs, mythical creatures
CATEGORIES: Dark Fantasy/Action & Adventure/Horror

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. Her two chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press - June 2013) and Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon - January 2014) were published fairly recently. Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. The second novel of this series Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015. Her third book of poetry If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications - August 2016) was recently published. Her poetry collection Sing Your Own Song is forthcoming through Barometric Pressures Series.

An evil child grows up to become an evil man who harbors a dark secret and an even darker ambition to become king.

Evan Arwen Rabastan Louis Artinfallinger the III, son of Yvonigsar Artinfallinger, has a secret. One he wouldn't want anyone in Atriel to know. One that he's killed over and for because if anyone should find out the truth, he knows they'd only use it against him.

In this prequel to Blood & Magic and Dragons & Magic one learns the bloody, secretive past of one of Atriel's worst counsel leaders and his fearless and shameless pursuit to become king. Yet there is a prophecy made of a child who will foil his plans. Will he be able to rid Atriel of said child before the curse made in the prophecy comes true or is he doomed to fail one day in the future?

Guest Post:
Evan was an interesting character to center a book around. In Blood & Magic he's there, but there isn't much in depth exploration of his character. He's just a villain doing what villain's do best and making the lives of the protagonist and the man she loved a living hell.

He surprised me in the first book, however, when he expressed interest in Lucille. I'll never know why he held any romantic interest in her, but it wouldn't be the first time he fell for someone who was magical.

If you've read Blood & Magic you might recall his daughter Gabrielle. She's a beautiful part vampire who is in love with a druid named Gwen, but leaves her love behind because she's excited to meet her father who she has never seen before. However, moments after meeting her, Evan kills her so as to not be seen as a hypocrite before his own counsel that he heads.

She has to be revived by a flower that Gwen once thought just a myth, but that's a different story entirely, and I don't want to spoil it for those who have not read the first novel.

We know more about the mysterious Veronique in the first book than we do Evan.

I thought fleshing him out would be an interesting concept. It was. It was also a challenging one because Evan is not a normal human being. He is a narcissistic sociopath that suffers deep psychological wounds. There were times that even I felt bad for him despite the fact that he too often used his past as an excuse not to change.

In fleshing Evan out, I also got a change to learn more about Veronique. Unlike Evan she wasn't always dark. She wavered between virtue and vice, darkness and light her entire life.

Evan was fun to write, I must admit, because he simply didn't care what anyone thought of him and he acted in whatever way he felt was right even if it was entirely selfish and hurt people.

Few of my protagonists are that way.

Writing from the perspective of a villain was certainly a challenge, but it was definitely a fun change because you never knew what Evan would do next. Was he going to be nice to butter someone up to do what he wanted them to do or was he going to threaten them with force or would he randomly end up killing someone simply out of a fit of rage at how they handled a situation? It wasn't certain until I started putting the words to life.

So while he wasn't a new character that I created, he was in a way because his character developed more in this book than it did in Blood & Magic of which he first appeared.

I hope that my readers enjoy learning more about Evan and his past, and getting to see slices of his perspective and truth no matter how skewed and irrational it can be.

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Ravenswood Publishing

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